Five Singapore independents form agency collective Better Together

Better TogetherFive Singapore independent agencies from different marketing disciplines have come together to form a collective that proposes a “better alternative” for how to work with clients.

Called Better Together, the group, which is led by Shaun Quek, the co-founder of creative agency The Local, is made up of creative, entertainment, events, media and public relations agencies, which offers a “scalable and fluid” approach to marketing services.

The group is a non-equity arrangement made up of music events firm Red Spade Entertainment, brand activation company I_Possible, media agency BlackBlue Media Group, PR firm Saffron Communications and Quek’s new creative shop TMRW. Combined the group has 50 staff.

It has a footprint in Cambodia and Myanmar, and is positioning itself as a bridge for Singapore brands to expand overseas, and foreign brands to enter Singapore.

Profits will be shared according to which agency leads a client’s business, and which has allocated the most resources to the job. Better Together has already started pitching as a collective.

Though there are no official job titles, Quek assumes overall leadership of the group.

A press release from the agency reads: “Offering a holistic suite of services under one roof, clients now have the option of true scalability for projects – both large and small.”

“Whether it’s creative, digital, entertainment, events, media or public relations, we are indeed, better together. We understand that an agency is only as good as its people. And that time is most definitely money.”

Shaun Quek

Shaun Quek

Quek’s new venture, TMRW, “sets out to create the agency of the future,” one based on what he calls “Passion taskforce” which involves drawing on other partners with “that same burning desire to create the most insightful, outstanding work.”

The launch comes three months Quek called time on The Local, an ad agency he co-founded in 2011, to take a short break from the industry. His business partner Kirsten Ackland, ten staff and some of The Local’s clients moved to Y&R.

Ariane Goh

Ariane Goo

The media component of Better Together is led by former OMD and Mindshare executive Ariane Goo, co-founder of BBMG, a company that has grown from two to 15 people since launching three years ago. Goo has worked with clients including Marina Square, L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, StarHub, UOB, MasterCard and Singapore Tourism Board.

Melissa Ho

Melissa Ho

Events firm I_Possible is run by Melissa Ho, formerly director of integrated communications at outdoor and brand activation firm Kingsmen-Ooh Media, a Kingsmen subsidiary, and regional director of media agency Starcom MediaVest Group. She has worked with clients including BMW Asia, Asia Pacific Breweries, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Singapore Power.

Cheryl Khong

Cheryl Khong

The PR arm of Better Together is led by Cheryl Khong, the founder of Saffron Communications, which started out as a lifestyle PR agency and has expanded into retail and music. Clients include Far East Organisation, Resorts World Sentosa, MediaCorp, Sony Music, Lend Lease, Alfred Dunhill and Puma.

Khong was formerly a MTV Asia executive before moving on to artiste management for celebrities including Dick Lee and Tanya Chua, and was later head of marketing communications for night club St James Power Station.

Samantha Chan

Samantha Chan

Kelvin Goh

Kelvin Goh

Red Spade Entertainment provides the festival element of Better Together. The entertainment marketing firm was co-founded in 2009 by Kelvin Goh and Samantha Chan, whose credits include music festival SingFest and the Sundown Festival.

Goh runs logistics company Goh Seng Lai Company, which was founded by his grandfather in 1960. The firm has provided logistical support for Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the National Day Parade and SportsHub, and at venues such as Gardens By The Bay, Singapore Indoor Stadium, Fort Canning and Resorts World Sentosa.

Better Together is the second agency collective to form inside two years in Singapore, to take on the networks. In 2013, a group named after Singapore’s most famous ever creative Ian Batey, IAN, formed from agencies including Alchemy Partnership, Blak Labs, BS Advertising and Kult.


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