Jeffrey Tang, managing partner at Havas Immerse, has stepped down from his role to spend more time with his family based in Melbourne. Tang (pictured) joined the Havas Village in late 2017 when Havas Group Malaysia acquired the digital agency , formerly known as Immerse, to bolster its digital prowess. During his time there, he worked closely with co-founder and chief creative officer of Havas Immerse Kerry Khoo, as well as group MD of Havas Group Malaysia Andrew Lee.
Confirming the move to A+M , Havas' spokesperson said Tang has been a driving force in leading the growth of the agency, having expanded to Malaysia and Singapore and catering to a portfolio of clientele including a range of Unilever brands.
"In the last two and half years since the integration with Havas, Tang has played an instrumental role is enhancing Havas Group Malaysia’s value proposition around digital prowess, innovation, collaborative culture and transformation," the spokesperson added.
Lee said that Tang has certainly helped Havas Group Malaysia accelerate its creative and digital presence in the industry. "It has been a pleasure to collaborate with him and take our Village model of integration ahead in full steam. On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank him for all that he has done and wish him all the very best moving forward," he said.
Meanwhile, Khoo added that Tang has been his most trusted comrade all these working years. He explained that the partnership has been grounded in an unwavering belief of common goals, mutual support and optimism.
"It has been a phenomenal personal and professional journey and I wish him nothing but the best and further success for his future projects. At the same time, I fondly look forward to my continuing journey together with Lee and the rest of the Havas team to make a meaningful difference for the people and the brands we work for," Khoo said.
Vishnu Mohan, chairman and CEO, Havas Group, SEA and India also thanked Tang for his contribution and wished him the very best for his future endeavours. According to him, Tang embodies Havas Immerse’s entrepreneurial spirit and future forward thinking perfectly and this has contributed to the growth and success of the network. "Tang's ability to transform creative vision to effective results and value-creation is commendable," Mohan added.
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In a conversation with A+M , Tang said he is currently taking a break, adding that it is bittersweet to leave an agency he helped found in 2004. Nonetheless, the move is "a big change" in the pace of life for Tang, who said he is used to spending plenty of time working with teams and on projects. "I'm sad to leave as I have made plenty of good friends, especially with the people I work very closely with," he added.
Tang explained that the integration with Havas Group Malaysia was to expand beyond digital and work on the media aspect of advertising, especially since the network has strong media capabilities in the region. More importantly, Tang said his goal for the acquisition was to tap on the network of companies under Vivendi Group, including Dailymotion, Gameloft, and Universal Music Group.
"That allowed us to own a space which I believe none of the other agencies out there will be able to claim a stake in - being able to product entertaining content that we can bring to consumers or brands. That was one of the big hopes I wanted to bring through this new service offering at Havas Immerse," he added.
Immerse was established about 16 years ago primarily specialising in providing strategic creative consultancy and digital marketing solutions. Among the list of clients it has worked on include Volvo, Mitsubishi Motors, F&N, Wrigley, as well as Unilever brands including Dove and Magnum. In its early years, Tang said the team comprised about five to 10 individuals but it eventually grew to 50 prior to the acquisition. According to Tang, Havas Immerse now has a headcount of 100 employees.
"I am proud to have used technology as part of our service 10 years ago, such as AR and multi-touch screens at kiosks. I definitely treasure the times I had with my team and we won't be where we are today without those people," he said. He added that as a people-person, he always tried to find a balance when it comes to help clients at Havas Immerse, be it the type of solutions available, or pushing the boundaries of what the agency is able to offer not just from a creative production standpoint, but also in business conversions.
"Business conversions is an important element I have been driving for myself and the team. Other aspects that I also pushed the boundaries in included exploring UX and UR. Agencies need to look at the customer journey and experience, and pinpoint a precise way of doing marketing. Budgets from clients are tightening so we need to be more efficient and think about how we run our campaigns and engage our audiences," Tang explained.
While advertising is in his blood, Tang said he is still constantly exploring other business opportunities in the areas of start-ups, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He is also considering entering the consulting space as it marries both business and marketing.
"If you look at consulting companies such as Accenture and Deloitte, they have been active in not only providing consulting services, but also marketing services. When you have all these under one roof, there are plenty of possibilities to drive business success and be more accountable to clients' businesses," Tang explained.
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