Mumbrella360 Asia ‘Evolution Stage’ conference sessions announced – including WPP and Havas

The rapid pace of change in the media and marketing industry will be the focus of the ‘Evolution Stage’ at the Mumbrella360 Asia conference in Singapore this November, as expert speakers from WPP, Havas, Goodstuph and TrinityP3 take to the stage.

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 second stream of content to be revealed is the ‘Evolution Stage’.

It will include a 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.

Dahan is engaged in ‘radical evolution’ with WPP@Unilever

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.

Next up is the session ‘Reversing the Agency Brain Drain: What can be Done?’ Earlier this year, recruitment agency Grace Blue launched its research ‘The Migration Report’. It was a study looking at the trend of agency talent migrating to in-house brand roles. 

But how bad is the agency brain drain in Asia? And what can be done to ensure adland is able to retain its top talent in the years ahead? 

In this session, you will hear from an expert panel including Goodstuph CEO and founder Pat Law – who founded her own independent agency nearly 10 years ago after working for the likes of Ogilvy, TBWA and Publicis. 

Law started her agency Goodstuph some 10 years ago

Also onboard is the Grace Blue Asia CEO Jean-Michel Wu, as well as GetCraft chief growth officer David Mayo. Both Wu and Mayo also come from agency backgrounds.

The topics of discussion will include socio-cultural factors, economics, resource distribution, leadership and strategy – and the role they play when it comes to the in-housing trend.

Then there will be a session titled ‘Creating Meaningful Media at a Time when the Industry faces the Threat of Extinction’. For media planning and buying could be accused of suffering from a short-sighted focus on digital, data and platforms. While technology is obviously an important part of the puzzle, in terms of how media works, it is not the only important part of the process.

Meaningful media should be about quality as well as scale, respecting the audience and enriching their experience – rather than adding to the digital overload we all experience on a daily basis.

With agencies under attack from all sides – including frenemies such as the consultancies and social networks – they would do well to reclaim their natural space, that of deeply engaged human experience.

Amour wants to see ‘meaningful media’

Mapping out how to achive customer loyalty and brand advocacy in this session will be Havas Group APAC CEO and chairman Mike Amour. He joined Havas in 2016 and prior to that worked for Starcom, Grey, TBWA, Wieden + Kenney and McCann WorldGroup.

The final session from the Evolution Stage is titled ‘The Pitch – A Game Show beyond All Others’. Is the pitch always the right way to choose new clients? Not necessarily, often pitches can be long and expensive for no good reason. So what are the alternatives? And if you do have to run a pitch, what are the best-practice elements to doing it well.

In this fun game show activation, hosted by TrinityP3 CEO and founder Darren Woolley, you will find out the answers to those questions and a whole lot more besides. There will be rounds of questions that the contestants can buzz in to answer and even the option of asking for the audience’s help, as a ‘lifeline’. 

Taking part as a contestant will be APAC regional business director at BBH Natalie Jane Hellon. She has worked for some of the best agencies in the world including Droga5, Naked and J. Walter Thompson – in London, Sydney and nowadays Singapore.

Hellon from BBH will be among the contestants

Also taking part will be IPG Mediabrands Singapore CEO David Haddad. His previous employers include UM, Mediacom and Bellamyhayden.

Keeping score will be the TrinityP3 business director Julian Barrans. He has worked client-side at Mars and agency-side at Interbrand.

Separately, on the Brand Stage, a new session has been added titled ‘Johnson & Johnson’s digital journey in Asia: A Blueprint for Effective Storytelling through Data’.

In an indication of how Asia is in many respects ahead of the rest of the world in terms of marketing and technology, this session will explore how the Johnson & Johnson regional team were able to guide and influence J&J’s global strategy to unlock US$15 million of value.

Unveiling the new approach to ‘data storytelling’ – which so impressed the United States headquarters of J&J – will be Johnson & Johnson APAC head of consumer and business intelligence – health, Jyoti Jain. She has been with the company since 2015 and before that worked for Mondelez and Pepsi, among others.

Jain helped to unlock $15 million for J&J

Jain will be joined by the vice-president of sales and client development at data specialist firm Nugit, one Darren Jacobs. Prior to joining Nugit last year, Jacobs worked in commercial roles for a diverse range of companies including iClick Interactive, Yahoo! And Maxim magazine.

And opening the ‘Brand Stage’ will be the session titled ‘The unique marketing journey of Mars’. As one of the largest privately held companies in the world, Mars has a unique approach to business as well as to marketing.


The company has a whole host of household name products such as M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, Uncle Ben’s Rice, Dolmio, Twix and Whiskas as well as the Wrigley brands Extra, Doublemint and Eclipse – and of course the Mars bar itself.

Although the Mars family is famously secretive, in this session you will hear from the company’s vice-president of marketing for Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa – one Nicole McMillan – about the unique marketing journey the brand has been on over the last 100 years. 

McMillan has worked for Mars in Australia, Hong Kong and now Singapore

Singapore-based McMillan has been with Mars this time for two years and before that she worked for Mars-owned Wrigley in Hong Kong and Mars in Australia. Prior to that, she worked for Fosters and Campbell Arnotts, also in her native Australia. She is also a prominent member of industry association The Marketing Society.

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.

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. 

“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, Omnicom Media Group, Getty Images, Unruly, Brave Bison 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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