Digitas names former VMLY&R creative Joaquim Laurel ECD for SEA market

Publicis-owned agency Digitas has appointed Joaquim Laurel as executive creative director for Singapore and Southeast Asia. Laurel is tasked to shape Digitas Singapore and SEA into a leading creative force in the industry, merging UX, social, content and digital campaigns to create Digitas signature work.

Laurel (pictured left) was previously head of creative at VMLY&R Singapore for shortly over a year. According to a release sent by Digitas, prior to that he held the role of creative director at the agency for three and a half years, where he began to lead the entire creative department. Laurel also witnessed the merger of VML and Y&R and assumed leadership of both creative teams after the new entity was formed.

Laurel is no stranger to the Publicis Groupe. He joined the agency in Manila as art director, where he was then promoted to senior art director and later digital director. He then moved to Publicis Singapore and served as an integrated creative. He started merging creative and digital innovations nine years ago but has chalked up a career that spans a total of 15 years in both advertising and marketing. His also lead the creative work for Circles.Life in its early days all the way into becoming one of the most popular telco market disruptors. He has worked across consumer categories with brands such as Citibank, Nestle, P&G, Asia Brewery, Pringles, Caltex, Temasek, Grab.

He will report to managing director Singapore and Southeast Asia Rika Sharma, with a dotted line to Matt Cullen and Gary Tranter who are both chief creative officers for Digitas APAC.

Sharma (pictured right) said, “After a long, hard search we have found the Unicorn of the creative space. As we stand at the intersection of data, technology and creative, we look to Laurel to harness the collective power of all our expertise as one united force, and bring to life our ambitions of being the best marketing transformation agency in Singapore and SEA.”

Cullen said: “Laurel will be instrumental in driving forward the Digitas agenda over the next 3 to 5 years. He comes with an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit. He is also future-proofed with a unique blend of creative skill sets across all disciplines, in addition to storytelling and brand building.”

In addition to leading the creative team, Laurel will also orchestrate collaborations across departments including data, strategy, technology and media to deliver an integrated consumer-driven experience.

Laurel said, “I am really thankful and humbled to be joining such a talented group of people at Digitas. The brand has a complete set of marketing capabilities, putting the agency in a great position to deliver ground-breaking solutions. I’m really looking forward to being as helpful as I can and contribute to the team.”


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