Publicis Worldwide has acquired a minority stake in Singapore-based creative agency Arcade. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Arcade’s key clients include Clear, Closeup, Pond’s, Rexona, IKEA, Coca-Cola, Bango, WeChat and Google. The agency will continue to operate as Arcade with Nick Marrett as CEO. The shop has more than 100 employees and has offices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Jakarta.
This deal underscores Publicis' focus on Asian markets. Top clients have made Asia a global hub for several of its brands and the holding company finds itself increasingly working with Asian brands that have global ambitions.
"Asia is a strategic priority for us," says Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Worldwide. "The Arcade team’s core values of creative excellence, entrepreneurship and digital innovation are a perfect match for Publicis Worldwide, as we strive to be the preferred partner of our clients in their digital transformation."
With the deal, Publicis has taken a stake in a growing agency with low overhead. Founded four years ago by creative entrepreneurs, the agency's core ethos reflects the belief that only three or four key players affect outcomes, no matter how big the brand or the job. As such, Arcade focuses on reducing the number of people in the process. Still, the agency has delivered innovative work, including the world's first Android concept store, which is now the blueprint for Google's stores worldwide.
Arcade was also the first Asia-based agency to launch a major Unilever brand in North America—the Clear haircare brand.
Arcade expects that the new partnership will fuel its growth. Earlier this year, the agency expanded into Indonesia and now, it will have additional resources and opportunities. "The worlds of marketing, entertainment and information are colliding," says Nick Marrett, founding partner and CEO of Arcade. "[Our] entrepreneurial approach to creativity helps brands find new ways to thrive in this new and challenging environment. We are thrilled to be joining forces with Publicis as we accelerate our development across the region into key markets like China, Africa and India for the benefit of our clients, and strengthen our Asian credentials.”
Last month, Publicis executives reconfirmed their interest in acquisitions, even though the holding company hasn't spent much money on them so far this year, 61 million euros (approximately $82 million) versus 363 million euros (about $487 million) last year.