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WPP agency bates drops '141' as part of latest rebranding

HONG KONG - Bates is undergoing a number of changes in an effort to rebuild its brand and strengthen its offering, both internally and to clients.

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In its third rebranding exercise in recent years, the agency will drop the ‘141’ from its name, and adopt a new ‘changengage’ philosophy and corporate identity to underline its new agency model.

Developed by Dheeraj Sinha, the agency’s regional planning director, and Sonal Dabral, regional ECD, the new agency logo features three speech balloons, reflecting a structure that’s based around ‘management, creative and planning leaders’, supported by digital experts.

The new bates will be younger, more nimble and exciting — ready to create path breaking and engaging work for clients — explained Dabral.

The rebranding is, indeed, more than just a facelift. It is aimed at injecting a start-up approach and attitude into the agency that’s fighting to better define itself. It sets out to not only change the way bates is perceived, but also how it does business, both in philosophy and in execution. 

"Change has always been what we do best, and remains so. In a world where change is so rapid and fundamental, being change experts is even more relevant than ever. However, our insights on change need to lead to an active benefit to clients. It needs a sharper ear to the ground, an understanding of inflection points, and real time action," said Tim Isaac, regional chairman of bates.

"Brands that engage with their communities can far outperform those who are still talking at broad audiences. Technology allows us to do this. Our futures in marketing will increasingly be about a fusion of technology and creativity. These are exciting times and I feel that bates is in a very good place to ride this wave."

The agency will continue to build on its engagement offering, including online, OOH, shopper marketing and activation, with the aim to embrace technology across all disciplines. Its ‘cluster’ operating model is based on the Greater China, India and Southeast Asia regions to enable it to leverage pockets of category and discipline expertise across markets and offices. 

"The last decade has been revolutionary in the way the world has changed. People today are facing larger issues like severe economic fluctuations, rising terror threat and overall vulnerability. People across the world are challenging authorities and seeking a stake in the way they are governed. Marketing is thus talking to an audience that isn't just seeking hope through lipstick. Brands in this world need to provoke debates rather than dish out doctrines. They need to be fluid as people's lives are, rather than fixed to their own plans. By understanding the larger shifts in people's lives, our new positioning and thinking readies us to engage this world in new ways, to provoke new conversations with people," noted Sinha.

This article first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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