Global Accenture Interactive and WPP execs to speak at Mumbrella360 Asia – Wisdom Stage revealed

International heavyweights including the global president of Accenture Interactive Operations Nikki Mendonça and WPP global chief marketing and growth officer Laurent Ezekiel will be among the speakers on the ‘Wisdom Stage’ at the Mumbrella360 Asia conference in Singapore this November. 

The three-day media and marketing conference will return on November 5 to 7 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. Following the industry ‘call for submissions’, a number of key themes have emerged and the fifth stream of content to be revealed is the ‘Wisdom Stage’.

First up on the Wisdom Stage is an international keynote session titled ‘The Connected Customer Experience: A view from Accenture Interactive on a Game-Changing Industry Approach’. Growing expectations from chief executive officers to drive marketing-led growth mean chief marketing officers must reinvent the way they do business and adapt to a more disruptive landscape. 

We know that the CMO has the shortest average tenure of any C-suite executive, at just 18 months, and that marketing departments are often seen as a cost centre rather than a profit centre.

But media and marketing is now about the full stack customer experience, all the way from purchase to delivery and after-care. And so, this calls for pioneering marketers with an unrelenting focus on hyper-relevant and connected customer experiences at a global scale.  

It means developing new roles and skill sets; forming different ecosystem partnerships that have tangible commercial leverage; and connecting all of the operational dots along the marketing, production and service ‘chain’ – within the always-on cadence of ‘brand experience activation’. Everything from  inventory management to invoicing. The game has changed and the new rules of branding and activation are being written now. 

Mendonça of Accenture Interactive

In this keynote session, you will hear a compelling perspective from the New York-based global president of Accenture Interactive Operations Nikki Mendonça. Before joining Accenture last year, she had senior roles at Omnicom, Leo Burnett and other advertising networks – helping a wide range of clients to navigate their global and regional marketing strategies. 

Next is a session titled ‘Purpose? What Purpose? It’s only Soap’. Brand purpose is an issue that keeps raising its head. Of late, we have seen no end of debate around Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad and Nike’s campaign featuring the rebel Amercian Football star Colin Kaepernic – for example.

Some critics say brands should not stray into such bigger picture debates. Others applaud them for doing so and taking a stance. But the inevitable tension around brand purpose remains.

In this session you will hear from Procter & Gamble Asia integrated communications leader Dominique Touchaud how brands can ‘do good’ in a way that is still beneficial for their business. For P&G’s mission has always been: “Touching lives, Improving life”. Touchaud will demonstrate how marketers can build a better world for tomorrow, by building strong brands today. 

Touchaud joined P&G back in 2003

He has been with P&G since 2003 in a number of countries including Panama, the United Kingdom, Chile and Switzerland. Prior to that, he worked for Swatch, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett.

We will then have a session titled’ The Marketing Funnel is Dead, so what’s next?’ For the traditional marketing funnel is “dead” and marketers have to get used to the fact that they are trusted less than the customer referrals enabled by internet ratings and reviews. That is the hard truth facing the industry today.

Research by HubSpot – a global survey of just under 1,000 consumers – revealed that only 3% of people trusted marketers, a percentage lower than the trust in journalists (5%) and the same as investment bankers, also at 3%.


In this session you’ll learn how replacing the funnel with a flywheel helps you use the momentum of happy customers to drive referrals and repeat sales for your business.

Delivering the intelligence will be the HubSpot Asia-Pacific managing director Shahid Nizami. He joined the company in 2018 and prior to that he had senior roles with Google and Oracle.

This is followed by another international keynote session titled ‘Deconstructing the Future of the Marketing Industry – A WPP Perspective’. All of the major marketing industry giants are restructuring and reorganising the way they do things, in order to adjust to a new business landscape. The only certainty is that the existing model will have to evolve into something new. 

In this international keynote session, you will learn how the biggest of them all – WPP – is looking to do things differently.

Taking to the stage will be WPP global chief marketing and growth officer Laurent Ezekiel. He is based in between London and New York, and joined the company in May of this year – having previously worked for Publicis for more than 16 years. Before that, he was at Grey, UBS and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Ezekiel is building a new WPP

He says his goal is to help WPP, its agencies and talents to deliver creative transformation for clients. This is a session you do not want to miss.

Then there is a session revealing new research titled ‘Making Brand Memories – The Neuroscience of Engagement’. The human brain is a complex thing. That created problems for marketers and brands. How do you engage fickle consumers and get the neurons firing? Especially in the age of the smartphone, where attention spans have shortened dramatically.

Providing some answers in this session will be the founder and ‘chief memory maker’ of the self-proclaimed ‘neuro-experience’ agency Rebel & Soul, one Kristy Castleton.She says her organisation applies a proprietary neuroscience methodology to create high impact, long-term brand memories. 

During this session, Castleton – who founded the agency back in 2013 – will reveal the findings from a scientific study into consumer attention and emotional arousal.

Castleton loves brains

Rebel & Soul works with leading brands such as Red Bull, HSBC, CNN and Cartier – using innovations including emotion-tracking wearables, holograms and mixed reality.

Next up is a session titled ‘Scandalously Revealing: How Brands True Characters are Uncovered’. Often in life, people (or brands) are not what they seem. For example, Elizabeth Holmes – the charismatic Theranos CEO – at first appeared to be the idealistic start-up leader looking to create a better world with her medical solutions.

Only years later was it revealed that she and her company had lied about the capabilities and development of its proprietary technology – meaning investors lost billions.

It is a truly compelling story because it taps into the fundamental human desire – for some at least – to create a perception that is very different to reality

Why is this story so compelling? It’s because it speaks to a fundamental human belief – that people are not what they seem. Placed in the context of marketing, brands want to be seen a certain way, but consumers can see the truth behind the mask thanks mainly to the internet. 

You will hear from BBH Singapore chief strategy officer Jacob Wright on the type of actions and situations that reveal a brand’s true character. He will share examples of how brands can do the right thing even when facing challenging circumstances.

Wright looks beyond the brand mask

Wright joined BBH earlier this year and before that was at Droga5 and VCCP in London. He is a graduate of Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom, where he studies natural science.

The final session on the Wisdom Stage and, indeed, the finale of the conference is titled ‘The Mumbrella Wheel of Truth’. In it, a panel of senior executives will be challenged to share the uncomfortable truths about the industry in the finale of the Mumbrella360 Asia conference. The session will feature a giant wheel, spun by a special guest still to be announced, which will randomly decide the question the panel will face next.

The Mumbrella Wheel of Truth will feature Edelman global client strategy managing director Michelle Hutton, former South East Asia chief creative officer at Havas Valerie Madon, Sentosa Development Corporation chief marketing officer Lynette Ang, World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Asia director Joon-Nie Lau and consultant and former vice-president of marketing at Honestbee Christina Lim.

Madon joins the ‘Wheel of Truth’ panel

Hutton has been with Edelman since 2010 and before that was with Hill & Knowlton. Meanwhile, Madon left Havas earlier this year having been with the company since 2017. Prior to Havas, she worked at Facebook, JWT, Publicis and Leo Burnett.

Ang has been at SDC for nearly three years. She is also a member of the executive council at the Institute of Advertising Singapore and previously worked at the National Trades Union Congress, OCBC, Coca-Cola and Unilever.

Lim left Honestbee earlier this year to set up her own consultancy. She is an advisory board member of the CMO Council and has also worked agency side at Dentsu, TBWA and JWT.

Lau has been at WAN-IFRA since 2016 and is a former vice-president of Singapore Press Club. She previously worked at Singapore giant Mediacorp and studied journalism at Columbia University.

This session will be moderated by the Mumbrella Asia publisher Dean Carroll. He is an experienced British journalist, who has worked in a number of international markets including Singapore, Australia, Dubai, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. As well as his media work, he is also a published academic.

There are also some new speakers for the previously announced session titled ‘WPP@Unilever – A radical evolution’. Indeed, the ‘WPP@Unilever’ experiment in Asia is a practical shot at doing things differently. Some 70 cherry-picked staff from Ogilvy, Mindshare, Wunderman Thompson and Kantar are working out of the client’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in a co-working space (Level3 by Unilever Foundry) surrounded by marcoms start-ups. 

It is, in effect, a new agency run by top WPP staffers working in the same building as the client, Their focus is full-service global campaigns. They sit within a start-up community of potential supplier companies too. 

Come along to find out more in this session with the progressive WPP@Unilever CEO David Dahan. Although, it is just a few months into the new organisation, there are already some great lessons to be learnt for those looking to find an alternative agency model.

Before taking up the challenge with WPP@Unilever in May, Dahan worked in senior roles for agencies including Ogilvy, M&C Saatchi, BBDO and MullenLowe. He has an international profile, having previously been posted in Paris, London, Melbourne and most recently in Singapore.

Versolato, CCO at WPP@Unilever

Dahan will be joined onstage by the WPP@Unilever chief creative officer Marco Versolato, the Unilever Foundry Asia director Barbara Guerpillon and Mindshare’s ‘Team Unilever’ leader Sudipta Rao.

Guerpillon of Unilever Foundry

It is the second time the conference will be held. Back in 2017 the first event saw more than 1,100 delegates attend 70 sessions with 150 speakers across five streams – over the three days.

Some of the industry’s most prominent speakers from across Asia and the rest of the world will feature on the programme. The format also includes one-to-one networking, a large exhibition zone and masterclass workshops as well as the four main content stages.

Christian Kurtz opens the first Mumbrella360 Asia in Singapore, back in 2017

The annual Mumbrella Asia Awards ceremony will also take place during the same week as Mumbrella360 Asia – November 5 to 7 – meaning that those coming from outside Singapore only need to make one trip to attend both events at the Marina Bay Sands convention centre.

This year, earlybird tickets can also be purchased on the event website for delegates wanting to benefit from the discounted price by buying early. If you are booking a three-day all access pass, for example, you can do so until September 3 and save $400 on ticket prices – paying just $799 instead of $1,199.

The conference is targeted at client-side marketers, ad agencies, media owners, adtech players, consultancy firms and related segments like recruitment and executive education. It has already attracted a headline sponsor in Bonsey Jaden. The other sponsors onboard so far are Getty, IPG Mediabrands, Brave Bison, Unruly, CodeCo, Omnicom Media Group, Wunderman Thompson and Verizon Media. The Singapore Tourism Board is also supporting the event financially.

“This year, Mumbrella360 Asia is going to be even bigger and better than 2017,” Mumbrella’s Asia general manager Dean Carroll said previously.

“It is about the industry telling us what is interesting and should be on stage at the conference. It comes from the grassroots up with our industry-owned curated sessions. 

“Without a doubt, this is again going to be the region’s best media and marketing conference this year. And for those delegates wanting the cheapest ticket price possible, now is the time to buy while the earlybird offer is on.”

More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for updates. Already onboard as sponsors are Bonsey Jaden (headline), IPG Mediabrands, Wunderman Thompson, Omnicom Media Group, Unruly, Brave Bison, Verizon Media, Getty Images and The Code Co. Singapore Tourism Board is also supporting the event financially.

For further information on the conference and to buy tickets go to the Mumbrella360 Asia website here. In addition, for information on the remaining sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at the event contact the partnerships manager Wilfred Wong on – and for content inquiries you can reach out to the Mumbrella Asia general manager Dean Carroll on


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