Earlier this month Branding in Asia caught up with Ogilvy Asia Co-CEO Kent Wertime over Zoom to discuss trends in the Asian market and what the future might hold as the region looks to emerge from the global pandemic.
Kent first touched down in Asia three decades ago in Hong Kong as Network Director for BBDO. Since then, he’s had stints in Singapore, Tokyo, and Bangkok where he’s held the Co-Chief Executive role at Ogilvy for the last five years.
Last month he penned an insight piece on “Velocity” in Asia looking at recent research done by Ogilvy that focused on the state of markets and brands in Asia. In the article, Kent described “velocity” as “the accelerating pace at which economic improvement, coupled with technology and urbanization, transforms middle-class social values, sentiment, and consumer attitudes.”
Over the course of our conversation, he takes a deeper dive into the concept and discusses the transformation that much of the region is undergoing along with the changes that brands need to undertake to keep up with increasingly dynamic markets in Asia.
One interesting topic he touched on during our conversation is the mentality of marketers “viewing many of the rapid-growth markets, particularly in Asia, as ’emerging’, because in some ways they are leading,” says Kent. “You look at the sophistication of technology in several of these markets, they are leading the world.”
We also touch on the pandemic, its effect on the travel and tourism industry, and what brands in that sector can do to recover.