VICE Media unveils creative agency in APAC, aims to offer 'differentiated' approach

VIRTUE, the creative agency of youth media brand VICE Media, has expanded into Asia Pacific, serving the entire region with offices in Singapore, Seoul and Sydney. Led by newly appointed managing director for VIRTUE APAC, Aaron Pearce (pictured), the three offices will initiate and manage brands’ ability to tap into VICE and VIRTUE talent worldwide. Pearce joined VIRTUE from Octagon, an agency under IPG Sports and Entertainment.

The agency roped in former APAC regional strategist at Havas, Sacha Bury, as senior regional strategist (Singapore). VICE Australia's GM, brand partnerships, Alex Light, will helm the role of VIRTUE Sydney. Meanwhile, VIRTUE also brought on board Alex Koo, who previously worked at Y&R and Havas in New York, as creative director (Seoul); Daniel Kang as managing director (Seoul) and Rich Lim, creative strategist (Seoul).

VIRTUE aims to offer a "differentiated approach" to the business and appeals to a multi-generational mindset that aims to empower young people worldwide through a distinct but adaptable voice and style. The agency currently operates in more than 26 countries with over 600 employees.

Its ethos orginates from moving beyond campaigns, creating sustained 360 identities, not fleeting moments. The agency aims to push clients to create a living, breathing manifestation of their brand, by leveraging VICE experience, talent and hard, first party data to get audiences to really choose to engage and identify with a brand, rather than passively consume.

Last year, VICE Media made Singapore its APAC headquarters, as part of its effort in expanding offerings across the region. Led by VICE APAC CEO Hosi Simon, it also named Serene Lee as head of sales, VICE APAC in July this year.

Since the launch of its APAC headquarters in Singapore, the company has been executing projects and campaigns through VIRTUE for brands across Asia, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, multiple Unilever brands, Pernod Ricard, lululemon, Coach, Asics and GSK. Globally, VIRTUE works with brands including Google, Coca-Cola, Netflix, IKEA, Chanel, adidas and Rolex.

Pearce said the first things VIRTUE asks its clients is who they want to reach, and what they want to stand for and everything after that point is crafting.

"We know that the division between brandland and culture is no more, people expect the same feeling from brand content as they do from their favorite film, or track it has to be authentic, multi-dimensional, and entertaining — that’s the best way to introduce value exchange," he added.

Meanwhile, Simon said that expanding VIRTUE in Asia has been a "key focus" for its plan in 2018. "After simply getting on with actual work, we're excited to formally launch VIRTUE across Asia. We're leveraging VICE’s years of experience in the region - our unique content and insights and unwavering dedication to deeply locally and globally relevant stories, helps our partners break through in this rapidly shapeshifting part of the world," he added.