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Havas Worldwide Thailand ECD Ricardo Turcios quits agency to launch gaming app for kids

The executive creative director of Havas Worldwide Thailand, Ricardo Turcios, is leaving the agency – and the advertising industry – to launch a gaming app aimed at young children, Mumbrella can reveal.

He will depart next month after two years with Havas.

Turcios joined the agency in September 2014 following more than three years at Lowe Bangkok.

Havas confirmed the departure of its ECD but declined to say if a replacement has been linked up.

Turcios told Mumbrella that he wanted to focus on the growth of ImaginMe, an app development start up that allows children to create their own personalised avatar who become the main character of stories and games.

It will, Turcios said, help prevent children developing an unhealthy fascination with fictitious characters.

“The concept for the project was inspired by my daughter Zoe,” Turcios explained. “Like most 4-year-old girls, she was obsessed with the princess character and she wished she could be tall, blonde and blue-eyed like Cinderella.

Ricardo Turcios

Ricardo Turcios

“I believe these stereotype role models can be detrimental to a child’s self image. This gave me the motivation to create ImaginMe. The goal is to enable kids to identify themselves as the heroes of their own stories and adventures.”

Turcios said ImaginMe has attracted investment from venture capitalists, with the company now exploring ways of monetising the app.

“We have interested investors. We recently attended Tech In Asia in Singapore and RISE in HK, and we’ve already raised a few hundred thousand through early angel VCs,” he said.

“Our plan is to sell original content in stories and games as paid downloads. We want to keep the experience as pure as possible for kids so we’ll stay away from in-app charges and such.”

Turcios said it was also exploring publishing partnerships and saw “huge potential” in the prospect of working with existing youth brands such as Sesame Street and Nickelodeon.

“Our core mission is to provide value to parents and kids, through entertainment and positive messages,” he added. “We will do this by developing fun, inspiring and educational content that we hope will help kids grow up creative, brave and kind.”

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