S4 Capital’s MediaMonks acquires Chinese creative agency Tomorrow
Tomorrow, the boutique Chinese agency founded in 2015 by Rogier Bikker, has joined the MediaMonk in Shanghai, offering additional expertise and growing services for both local and global brands operating in the country.
Tomorrow blends the strategic and creative power of a creative agency, the execution mastery of a social agency and production house—building campaigns and content that redefine today’s perspectives with the strategic foresight of tomorrow.
It was named the “Greater China Independent Agency of the year – Gold” in Campaign Asia’s Agency of the year awards for both 2020 and 2019. Its notable clients include Burberry, Budweiser, Beyond Meat, Coca-Cola, Crocs and more.
By joining together, Tomorrow’s local clients now have access to a global team of talent and award-winning capabilities, including digital production, mixed reality experiences, immersive broadcasting, building content at scale and more. On the flip side, we’re now better positioned to help global brands show up for Chinese audiences with greater relevance and speed—which has become increasingly important as eyes turn to the first major economy to experience positive growth following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rogier Bikker, Founder, Tomorrow: “We are incredibly proud of what we have built at TOMORROW and couldn’t be more excited about this next stage as we partner with MediaMonks and S4Capital to be a disruptive creative force in China.”
Despite the COVID-19 outbreak in quarter one of last year, China’s online advertising market has staged a strong recovery, achieving 17.1% growth in 2020 according to Credit Suisse’s China Internet Sector 2021 Outlook report, with a further 18.1% in growth predicted this year.
In addition to remaining on the path to recovery amidst a global recession, China has doubled down on investment in emerging technology.
Last April, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for businesses to “push forward with investment in 5G, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, the industrial Internet and other new-type infrastructure.” At the same time, China’s online population has been growing: eMarketer expects it to surpass 975 million by 2022.
Last year, MediaMonks Technical Director Ron Lee and Business Director James Zhang shared with Campaign Asia what brands can expect from China’s 5G boom: a transformed CDJ, immersive new experiences and streamlined content production, each of which signals important opportunities for brands to lead in the virtualized market.
Michel De Rijk, CEO Asia Pacific, S4 Capital: “Tomorrow has quickly established itself as a creative leader specialized in representing global brands to the Chinese youth.”
Both technological innovation and a more connected population will also elevate the role of the young Chinese consumer. Believing that they will make up a significant cohort both in China and around the world, Tomorrow adds strong insight in youth marketing and creative applied to our platform and ecommerce expertise.
Michel De Rijk: “Tomorrow has quickly established itself as a creative leader specialized in representing global brands to the Chinese youth in a challenging market like China. We look forward to scaling new heights as Rogier leads the combined MediaMonks/Tomorrow team and drives forward S4Capital’s Content Practice.”
Regardless of tech innovation in China, foreign brands often miss the mark in trying to reach audiences on even the country’s more established channels.
According to WARC, “40% of US marketers apply the same marketing plans in China as in the US, despite the huge differences in platforms, culture and demographics,” effectively making their marketing efforts dead on arrival.
Key opinion leaders and social proof play an important role in brand health, for example. And in response to lockdown under the pandemic, the popularity of livestream commerce has flourished in China—and has even inspired similar content for markets in other parts of the world. Platforms unique to the nation (like WeChat) can prove essential for brands servicing Chinese audiences, but can also inspire ecommerce strategies in the West, writes Ramzi Chaabane from our office in Shanghai.
With Tomorrow and MediaMonks joining forces, the new entity is looking at focusing on social, influencers and building content studios that better offer brands the tools and insights they need to make a greater impact through award-winning work.