Independent shop Leagas Delaney has opened in Shanghai with an agency that it believes can take advantage of the sophistication of China’s young, optimistic and media savvy ‘sunshine generation’.
The company, one of the few independents in Asia, boasts two founding clients, to be announced in weeks. Existing clients such as Timberland, Intercontinental Hotels, and Skoda have also expressed Interest.
“There’s a generation in China that gets China’s new role in the world. They are confident and proud of their country and they want a Chinese take on brands not adaptations. They are leap-frogging traditional forms of communication in favor of new media,” says Jacob Johansen, Managing Partner of the new Leagas Delaney venture in Shanghai.
“Also, too many international brands suffer by believing there’s a mystique about doing business in China. There isn’t. It’s a mature market, in real need of exceptional insights and great creative work – just like everywhere else. Many in the industry entertain clients on how different China is. We don’t believe in that. Of cause you must understand local favor, differences, culture and language. But BIG ideas, solid, top-notch creative work creates results – also in China. I feel many advertising people here patronize the Chinese audience. That’s a mistake we do not intent do repeat focusing on communication that will respect the target audience and engage with them on their home turf. Let’ break down the great wall of myths surrounding China!”
(Jacob Johansen, Managing Partner of the new Leagas Delaney venture in Shanghai)
Johansen, a Dane, has lived in China for seven years and has most recently worked at local agency DMG, as a Managing Director in Shanghai and led the Skoda China account, a client Leagas Delaney handles internationally.
“It is no longer possible to offer our international clients what they need without an office in China,” says Margaret Johnson, Group CEO. “ We are working on a number of projects already and they will come to fruition over the next months providing a base for the business. Our presence there is also further proof of our ability to keep up with the profound changes happening in our industry – both geographic and technological.”
(Margaret Johnson, Group CEO / Chairman Tim Delaney)
“All the big agencies have been there for sometime, so we’re late. But most other agencies are adapting international campaigns for China. We don’t want to do that. We want to employ our disciplines to offer China-centric strategic and creative across all platforms. Plainly we are not going to be the biggest but we can try to be the best,” says Chairman Tim Delaney.
The London-based company also has offices in Hamburg, Prague, Milan and Paris.