Monthly Archives: January 2013

What if we reinvented how we played on Facebook?

I had lunch today in Hong Kong with Joanne Lao, who directs TBWA\Hong Kong. Joanne showed me a new innovation developed by TBWA\DAN Hong Kong (DAN standing for Digital Arts Network) for the mobile operator one2free. Called “One2Free Invaders” this is first game that allows you to play with your Facebook newsfeed or timeline without having to download an additional application. Launched last Friday, “One2Free Invaders” is the first in a series of games for the mobile operator and as you may have guessed from

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the name these games are inspired by video game classics such as Space Invaders, Snake, or Frogger. Each game has a special Hong Kong touch like the Star Ferry, or images of the Hong Kong Skyline. These games were developed in Flash and HTML5 for ease of use on different devices with or without Internet. One2Free hopes to use these games to promote its new Game Box and to reinforce its mission

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as “always looking for new ways to bring fun to Hong Kong”. A warning to readers: I tested this game and it is VERY addictive, play at your own risk, by clicking here!


What if you could change jobs and not companies?

It’s official: as of this morning I begin a new professional life.  For the 4th time in 18 years, I am changing my job but not changing my employer.  Today begins Guillaume Pannaud’s (see above photo, right) first day as President of TBWA\France.  I am now the Vice-President of TBWA\Europe and President of BEING Worldwide.

BEING – The Brand Behavior Network – aspires to be an alternative micro-network within the TBWA\ group.  A network of brand behavior experts, BEING leverages multidisciplinary thinking to provide services from point-of-sales design, to consulting, digital and advertising.  In a world where actions speak louder than words and brand experience is as important as brand communication, BEING provides an integrated offer that reinforces brand behavior. This is why BEING has put design at the center of what it does as it is the first expression of brand behavior.

BEING was founded in Paris in 2010 by Bruno Tallent (see above photo) and his team, by merging three agencies within the TBWA\ group.  Two years after BEING’s birth, it became the 2nd biggest agency in the TBWA\France group with 240 employees based in Paris, Lyon, and Lille.  Clients today include Procter&Gamble, Mondelez, Groupama, Pernod Ricard, and many others.  I am very proud of some of BEINGs most recent work: a film for Martell directed by James Gray, and the first ever ad for Deezer (a music streaming service) done by the illustrator McBess. BEING France has been named France’s “Integrated Agency of the Year” and obtained its first Effie Prize in 2011.  In 2012, BEING was the only French agency to be short-listed at Cannes– not a bad beginning!


In the past two years, the BEING brand has been exported to New York, Los Angeles (see LA’s Kraft film below), and London.  As of this summer, our agency in Doha has since become BEING Qatar, and we are currently opening up BEINGs in Shanghai and Seoul. In 2013, we are actively developing the brand in the BRIC countries and in Europe.  We hope to have 15 BEING agencies by the end of this year.  One of the many things that makes BEING special is the agency’s ability to bring local expertise to global clients (from Paris’s design specialization to London’s digital savvy).  This “liquid network” is perfectly suited the era of liquid marketing (see my LinkedIn post “What if we let liquid marketing flow?“)


A year ago I accepted the mission of developing the BEING network whilst remaining head of TBWA\France. BEING’s considerable expansion has now made this task my principal preoccupation in 2013.  To celebrate this new job, my blog (which I remind you is personal), will very soon by dressed in the BEING color scheme!

This begins the fourth chapter of my professional journey next to Jean-Marie Dru, the Chairman of TBWA\Worldwide.  Jean-Marie, inventor of Disruption, recruited me in 1994 to serve as deputy Managing Director (alongside Natalie Rastoin) of the agency BDDP Conseil (today TBWA\Paris).  Before that, I had spent 6 years at Saatchi and 6 years at CLM/BBDO where I worked with the extraordinary adman Philippe Michel.

In 1998, after 4 years at BDDP Conseil, I created BDDP&Fils with Olivier Altmann and Valérie Hénaff. Today, BDDP&Fils is head up by the amazing François Blachère.  In 2004, I had the honor of becoming the President of TBWA\France, third largest communication group in France (after Havas and Publicis).  Today, TBWA\France counts 1600 employees and 19 agencies (TBWA\Paris, BEING, Integer, TBWA\Corporate, Auditoire, TextuelLaMine, Harrison & Wolf, BDDP&Fils, E-Graphics, Else, TBWA\Adelphi, Excel, XL, Qualicontact, DAN, SMARTS,  Luxury Arts, TBWA\Compact, Nouvelle Vague).

These past 8 years heading up TBWA\France has been a true pleasure thanks to caliber (both personal and professional) of the managers and workers. In my many years in communications, I can attest to TBWA\France’s unique collaborative culture which I believe comes straight from the 4 founders of the BDDP group (Jean-Claude Boulet, Jean-Marie Dru, Marie-Catherine Dupuy, and Jean-Pierre Petit). BDDP’s merger with TBWA\ in 1998 allowed us to become a global force, and a strong presence on the American market (thanks in particular to TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles) whilst still retaining a strong French and European anchoring (today, TBWA\France represents 15% of global profits of TBWA\ and it is the second largest country for the network after the US).  I am proud to pass the baton to Guillaume. I wish him the best in leading what I consider to be a particularly solid and successful group, made up of an extraordinary team of managers who are each at the top of their game.  I would like to thank all of my colleagues from TBWA\France for their contribution to these 8 years of success. I wish them all the best for the coming 8 years and I am confident that the best is yet to come.  I will continue to do my maximum to contribute.


Changing my job 4 times while working at the same company is a professional pleasure, especially when the company is TBWA.  I personally have found it more enriching to grow within the same company, rather than changing companies every time an opportunity came up.  I guess what’s been most important for me has been finding my own way of BEING!



What if What Happened in Vegas Didn’t Stay in Vegas?


I have yet to attend CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), the world-famous technology and electronics trade show held in Las Vegas that’s been around for nearly 50 years. However, I follow the goings on at CES with a great interest.

I thought that this year there were some absolutely fascinating launches, presentations, and meltdowns (anyone see Michael Bay’s freak-out at Samsung?). Of course, there is still a day left, but for the moment I would like to share my top 5 favorite inventions from CES.

5. Buzz off!

According to the NYPD, 14% of all crime in New York is iPhone theft. The start upYellowJacket, seeks to remedy this problem. Their smartphone case looks unassuming. Like many of these plastic sheaths, it can charge your iPhone, however it packs a punch—950,000 volts of electricity to be precise. Yes, this stun gun smartphone case could be a new answer in preventing petty theft of smartphones!

4. Living the video game

Motion detection technology will continue to surprise us all. YEI Technology makes a compelling case for this with PrioVR a motion-sensor harness that does away with a joystick and allows the player to use his own movement to control the action in the video game. This creates a wholly immersive experience, and can make the games less sedentary. Although now in its infancy, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time these motion sensitive harnesses become de rigeur for gamers.

3. Mother, May I?

Mother comes to us from the minds behind Nabaztag, the creators of the now defunct robotic rabbits. This Wifi enabled matryoshka doll monitors objects in a house thanks to a series of colored motion detecting “cookies”. If, for example, you place a cookie on your medicine box, it will be able to detect if you’re taking your medications regularly and alert you if you haven’t. There are countless other applications that the creators have imagined in the video below.

2. The end of Passwords?

How many passwords have you entered today? For me, I’ve entered 6 and I’ve only been at the office for a few hours! We are all juggling a multitude of passcodes that, for securities sake, are often complex and diverse. That’s a lot of information to keep in our memories. This is why I loved Myris, by Eyelock. This tiny device scans the user’s iris and encrypts its unique pattern. Once installed, you can use the scanner to unlock email, bank, and social network accounts. Small, portable, and secure, this can change our online security.

1. Wrist Wars

The battle for our wrists continued at CES, with ever more smart watches being launched. Although as the New York Times pointed out, wearable devices face many obstacles before they become widely adopted by the general public. Key among them are battery life, price, and aesthetics. Never the less, CES still showcased some impressive wearable prototypes. I was particularly intrigued by the June bracelet by Netatmo which in addition to measuring the wearer’s sun exposure and informing them, via a connected app when they should apply sunscreen, was also one of the first “fashion forward” wearable tech I’ve seen. Expect to see the June watch featured in the pages of fashion magazines alongside bathing suits this summer.

I also was very interested in the Lumo Lift, which like the June bracelet, has a single function which is to improve posture. This magnetic chip that attaches to clothing like a pin closely monitors the wearer’s posture. If the wearer slouches or adapts a “closed” position, Lumo Lift sends a light vibration, signaling to the wearer that he needs to correct himself. Much like the Fuelband, the lift also monitors steps taken and calories burned.

It’s the sheer quantity of outrageous inventions that makes CES so unique. I

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hope that the gadgets in the above list make their way into our daily lives. But if not, no big deal, we’ll always have CES 2015!

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