DDB Worldwide looks to foster local talent with the launch of Equator

DDB Worldwide has launched Equator, a global centre of excellence for creative technology and innovation.

Based in Singapore, Equator is the first such centre for DDB globally and will provide end-to-end technology solutions for DDB’s clients worldwide. The new offering is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the launch of Equator in Singapore signposts the country’s rising role as a global hub for digital innovation.

Equator, under the leadership of Jeff Cheong (pictured), president of Tribal Worldwide Asia – DDB’s digital arm, will develop, pilot and integrate innovative products and services for DDB clients in areas such as platform engineering, experience and ecosystem, mobility solutions, omni-channel commerce, data-driven marketing and the Internet of Things (IOT). Equator will be led by over 50 technologists from Tribal Worldwide Asia, further increasing its pool of digital specialists based in Singapore.

Beyond enhancing the talent pool in its Singapore office, Equator will also contribute to the development and grooming of young creative technologists in Singapore. It will set up a satellite office in Temasek Polytechnic (TP), a tertiary education institution, by the end of this year.

Equator@TP seeks to tap diverse talents from the School of Informatics & IT, School of Design, School of Engineering, and School of Business to create prototype concepts for commercial and community needs. The participants will also go through an agile learning programme and work on several live projects.

Cheong a former student of TP said in a conversation with Marketing that today, good talent for the ad industry is no longer from disciplines related to the field, rather it cuts across silos. As such the Equator will see the best students across educational silos being picked to join the programme and will result in diverse skill sets being included in the industry.

The programme is set to launch in TP as early as the end of the year. Cheong told Marketing that the entire journey from conceptualising the Equator to launching it took two years in the making.

Meanwhile, EDB’s assistant managing director, Kelvin Wong said: “Equator’s establishment of a multi-disciplinary team of digital technologists reflects the transformation of Singapore’s advertising industry – from providing purely communications services, agencies are now adding greater value to clients by building consultative expertise and developing marketing solutions based on creative technologies. The upshot is that there is demand for diverse skillsets across UX, data analytics and m-commerce.”

“With Equator’s global capability hub in Singapore, we look forward to frontier marketing innovations being pioneered out of DDB’s office here. We are also heartened by DDB’s efforts to develop our students into digitally savvy talent,” he added.

In the last six years, DDB and Tribal Worldwide in Singapore have put together a team of specialists for Mobile Technology, User Experience, e-commerce, and Enterprise solutions consulting. They have delivered enterprise products and solutions for clients worldwide, as well as achieved international recognition on the global level at the Cannes and Effie Awards.

“Equator is a tremendous step forward for the DDB network to offer innovative technological solutions for clients.  We are excited to partner with the Singapore government and we look forward to creating transformational ideas and tools that can generate growth for our clients," Chuck Brymer, chief executive officer of DDB Worldwide said:.

“We are creative marketers at DDB, and technology is the new power of creativity. Equator is a new tripartite for tech innovation – putting together the best technology talents, the support of the Singapore government and the most innovative brands – to embrace disruption and create breakthrough marketing solutions ahead,” David Tang, chief executive officer of DDB Asia said.