Creative agency Naga DDB Tribal (Naga) and digital agency C27 have collaborated to build a creative intelligence platform named “Project Curious” (Curious). This is to assist marketers in developing consumer campaigns and target audiences in a more effective way via data warehousing and machine learning.
Naga's CEO Kristian Lee and C27’s CEO Fazil Fuad said the platform will offer brands the "action points based on combined historical data, consisting of project management, ideation, agency CRM, sales, real-time market insights and performance data".
Speaking exclusively to A+M, Lee said as part of this inter-agency deal, both agencies will combine its resources and talent together. This means leveraging on C27’s "culture of innovation and experimentation", as well as Naga’s "expertise in creativity and brand strategy", to create a new setup that provides advertisers with tailored marketing solutions and products developed in-house.
“I view this partnership as an opportunity for both parties to have a shared interest in creating omni-channel marketing ecosystems that can provide quicker ROI, and bridge the online-to-offline gap,” Lee said. He added that this would also be one of the first times where two non-group affiliated agencies in Malaysia are working on building a tool which can benefit agencies and clients alike
In fact, the deal also aims to introduce new approaches to the advertising industry in terms of sustainability and growth. Apart from that, it wants to create more value and interest amongst marketers and aspiring talents as to how they perceive agencies moving forward.
Lee also added, when speaking to numerous agency professionals about the issues they face today in the industry, "one comes to the realisation that there is a sense of widespread dread and hopelessness about the future, and you cannot help but question what is next for agencies - not just in Malaysia but around the globe as well."
"In recent times, the advertising industry in general has somehow lost the shine that it once possessed, as numerous contributing factors have combined to devalue the once proud profession," he said. He attributed an uncertain economic outlook, the wave of startups and specialist shops mushrooming endlessly, as well as competition from consultancy firms seeking to take a piece of the ad pie, as reasons to why clients and creative talents are casting their eyes elsewhere, from what was largely viewed as traditional creative setups. He added:
However, perhaps most alarmingly, there seems to be little fight back from advertising agencies as a whole to not only protect their own turf, but to see it thrive and grow to greater heights.
"As creative minds we are in a position to not only develop products that make things better for society, clients and ourselves, but to own them and turn them into sustainable and profitable assets to drive ourselves forward from a reputation and financial standpoint," he added.
C27’s Fuad added, “For almost 50 to 60 years, an agency’s value has always been limited to the value that can be delivered during the tenure of the existing staff. We have to break away from that format by delivering new technologies such as machine learning and data science, to properly house agency intelligence thereby protecting agency’s value proposition that otherwise might be affected by loss of talent.”
“Both Lee and I agreed, that a new culture we can create, is that agencies should not only sell ideas, but also potentially build products that they can truly call its own,” said Fuad.
"The core fundamental competency we both share is creativity, and that we should do more to promote that something clients will invest in and talent will be attracted to,” he said, adding that that Curious will inject data science into the creative world.