World understands advertising agencies are centres of creativity. A hot-bed of creative ideas for ad campaigns and promotions. Y&R has now added another dimension – innovation.

They are incubating start-ups and fledgling businesses that can possibly be harnessed to offer agency clients more unique ways to promote and engage with their brands.

Start-ups are encouraged to take space within the agency itself so there can be interaction and stimulation for both sides. This scheme going under the title ‘Spark Plug’ was launched last September in the New York office of Y&R. JJ Schmuckler, Global Chief of Staff at Y&R in the USA, came over to Asia on 15th May to help “spark” it off here.

The Singapore office has already formed relationships with Gametize, DJ Nomsta, Squiryl and Riot! Record, all young companies with interests from music promotion to loyalty programmes to gaming/advertising mixing. These companies have not actually taken up residence at Y&R Scotts Road offices but their founders will soon become familiar visitors.

Singapore is the first Y&R office in Asia to implement this programme. Camellia Tan, Director of Network Development for Y&R Asia will oversee ‘Spark Plug’ expansion across Asia.

This move is another example of how agencies are adapting to the changes not only from their earlier business model but the unfolding of new relationships between brands and customers.

Left to right: Keith Ng (Gametize); Mike See (Riot! Records); DJ Nomsta; Camellia Tan, Director Network Development, Y&R Asia; JJ Schmuckler, Global Chief of Staff Y&R; Mulyadi Syariffudin (Squiryl); and Damon Widjaja (Gametize).