The global full service content and creative solution driven by influencer marketing, Whalar, officially open its first office in Singapore with more office openings to follow across the region in 2019. Matt Sutton, who has 15 years of experience in Asia building, managing, selling and integrating digital businesses and was latterly the CEO of Axiata Digital venture, ADA, has joined Whalar’s global leadership team and as CEO in Asia will build operations across the region. The agency is backed by chairman Sir John Hegarty.
Whalar are a full service creative solution that leverage proprietary technology to source digital native creators to commission, curate and deliver authentic, inspiring, fresh content. It claims to be on a mission to “liberate the creative voice” by connecting influential, digital native creators with large brands at scale. The business has grown from 10 to 70 people in 2.5 years, connecting over 200 brands with nearly 5,000 creators around the globe through teams in offices across London, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Amsterdam, and now Singapore. Launched in 2016 and an official Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat partner, they have built strong creative talent and portfolios for some of the world’s leading and demanding brands and businesses including Unilever, HP, Samsung, Diageo, Apple, Dior and many more.
Whalar’s value comes from its ability to enable brands to build relationships with authentic, digital native and influential creators and commission and create content at scale that ultimately allow them to tell their brand story in new and delightful ways. This new operating model allows brands to be continuously sourcing fresh and new ideas from the digital savvy creator community as well as reach and engage audiences with authenticity.
In a statement to Marketing, Sutton said Singapore is a “great starting point” for its APAC operations. From here, the agency can better service existing and new customers in Asia.
“We will open further offices across the APAC market as we get deeper and more strategic with our brand customers. In many ways that focus will be determined by the brand customer needs with Southeast Asia, Korea, Japan, China, India and Australia as potential focus areas,” he said.
He added that Whalar’s model is “unique” in that it combines service and technology to deliver a new operating model for curating, commissioning and delivering digital content to scale with insights and reporting. According to him, the model allows Whalar to work in any market from anywhere. However, it also plans to scale the team in local markets around the customers. “We’ll be scaling the brand customers and the community and the headcount all at the same time,” he added.
Sutton said that forward thinking marketers are moving towards working with specialist partners that allow them to meet their marketing goals. Driving authentic, inspiring, and influential engagements with consumers is a central part of this.
“The content creation capabilities, deep insights, workflow tools and service that Whalar provide allow us to liberate the creative voice in a way that was not possible before the advent of this new operating model. It’s going to be an exciting journey as we bring this model to Asia this year,” Sutton added.
The company’s co-founder and CEO Neil Waller said, “We couldn’t be more excited to open our fist physical presence in APAC in the powerhouse that is Singapore. APAC has always been a massively important market for us and it’s no surprise with it having 57% of the world’s population. It’s also the region with the highest growth rates for social media adoption and we’re excited to help brands leverage the opportunities that come with that.”
Global client, Akash Mehta from LVMH’s Dior Parfums said “So pleased to learn that Whalar is branching out to Asia and seizing all the great but growing opportunity there. Following the success in partnering with Whalar last year, in terms of quality content creation and results, we are truly confident that the same will follow now in Asia. Their creative tech plus service model really sets them apart in the market and has helped to drive our creative output. This expansion will not only deepen our continued work together but also provide a significant added value to our upcoming global campaigns”