S4 Capital is currently on the hunt for talent to fill 44 new roles for Media.Monks in Kuala Lumpur under departments including creative, creative strategy, design, illustration, account management, and business operations. Some of the roles include account director, APAC; art director (social); senior creative (content); creative technologist; senior designer (UI); experiential creative/experience designer; illustrator; digital asset manager; and project manager (web).
The office in Malaysia serves as S4 Capital's production hub servicing clients both regionally and globally within its API model. Led by Andy Loo, VP of operations, APAC, Media.Monks, S4 Capital, its Malaysia office was officially launched last year with four individuals and has since grown to more than 80 people.
While Loo did not specify client names, he told A+M that the agency works with a wide range of clients in tech, telecommunications, fintech, consumer electronics, FMCG, and entertainment sectors in Malaysia.
"The kind of clients we work with and are looking to target are forward-thinking, digital-first clients who are growth-obsessed and want to amp up their positioning with high-impact work. The kind that are looking for flexibility and agility at the speed of consumer conversation, without giving up on scale," he explained.
Additionally, being B-Corp certified with zero-emission targets is a choice goal that S4 Capital is building towards. Hence, it is important for the agency to work with clients, partners, and suppliers who share its sustainable vision.
The agency sought to take a bigger step into Southeast Asia last year, amidst the hiring of Joao Flores as ECD of Media.Monks for Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan. In March last year, 17 job opportunities were open for Malaysia, including creative director, digital producer, head of films APAC, head of production APAC, and senior copywriter.
Meanwhile, S4 Capital entered Asia Pacific in 2019 with the opening of its first office in Singapore. This came nearly a year after executive chairman Martin Sorrell established S4 Capital in 2018 and made a return to the London stock market. Sorrell, who was WPP's former CEO, then beat out WPP to purchase MediaMonks (now known as Media.Monks).
According to Loo, global tech titans are increasingly finding Malaysia an attractive hub. International gaming companies such as Sony, Bandai, and Larian Studios have also set up in Malaysia, and the agency is also seeing homegrown stalwarts working on global triple-A titles.
"The gaming industry is spearheading disruptive technologies - ones that we are equipped to work on with excellence. There is a perceived undervaluation of creative talent in the country and we wanted to tap into that. Being close to our regional headquarters in Singapore gives us a strategic advantage as well," he added.
When asked who were some of its close competitors in Malaysia, Loo explained that Media.Monks does not function as an agency locally. Hence, its competitiveness will need to be measured on a regional, industry level with players who have integrated capabilities at S4 Capital's global scale.
That said, S4 Capital aims to stand out from the crowd and be ahead of the game by being prepared for a digital-only future. According to Loo, the agency is capable of doing this with its unique API model that connects diverse and distributed teams into an integrated offering. "We have access to great talent with category expertise across a broad spectrum of capabilities," he added.
To continue attracting talent in Malaysia, S4 Capital is doubling down on thought leadership, culture and talent, sharing not just the strategic thinking behind the work it has done but the people who drive that. While Malaysia is a promising hub for S4 Capital, Loo said the agency needs to ensure it preserves a culture that sticks, one that defies The Great Resignation.
"We look for value systems that motivate our employees and look at ways of blending individual and organisational goals - a win-win for everyone. Active lines of communication irrespective of hierarchy and the ability to work on stereotype-busting projects will also be a big draw," he added.
Moving forward, S4 Capital hopes for Malaysia to be "a well-oiled engine" with a breadth of capabilities to propel its growth in the region. It is also looking at the expansion of integrated teams in the country. "Our efforts are intentional and we want to grow mindfully - with talent forming the fulcrum of our foundation," Loo said.
S4 Capital's Asia Pacific's operations witnessed strong growth during the third quarter of 2021 last November, with gross profit/net revenue up almost 98% to US$19.3 million and up over 54% like-for-like. Year-to-date gross profit/net revenue grew over 84% to US$45.9 million and like-for-like was up almost 48%. Asia Pacific operations are currently being led by CEO Michel de Rijk.
Last August, S4 Capital merged MediaMonks and MightyHive to form Media.Monks, creating a new dynamic logo featuring MightyHive's iconic hexagon. The single brand emphasises on a shared heritage in creative content and roots in data and digital. The merger unified a team of nearly 6,000 digital-first experts working as a single P&L across 57 talent hubs in 33 countries.
Prior to the merger, MediaMonks combined with integrated creative, technology and media agency Decoded Advertising, Shanghai based creative agency TOMORROW and Stuttgart based automotive specialist STAUD STUDIOS in 2021. MightyHive also announced its combination with integrated digital performance marketing agency Metric Theory. MightyHive also acquired the assets of Datalicious Australia, a Google Marketing Platform, Google Cloud and Google Analytics partner in Asia Pacific. At the same time, MightyHive also combined with Salesforce specialist Destined last July to expand its data and digital media practice in Asia Pacific. S4 Capital currently has over 7,500 individuals in 33 countries across Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.
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