RDB (Robin des Bois)—a global boutique agency based in Vienna, Austria—launches its official Asia-Pacific hub to service the ever-growing APAC market in the heart of Metro Manila. As Western Union’s Social Media Agency of Record for many years, the agency has built a unique closeness with the Philippines and Filipinos with projects such as WUParol, WUPinoy, School For Better, and Mother’s Pride, among others, even before opening its Philippine office. RDB embarks on the APAC region offering its global expertise with a desire to merge it with Filipino talent, experience, and knowledge. RDB’s desire is to Build Brands That Do Better through Impact, Purpose & Shared Value Projects and Communications in the Asia Pacific and around the world.
RDB Asia Pacific is led by Managing Director Günter Taus with newly minted Managing Partner Jerianne Ejercito. They are joined by a new team of Filipino advertising & marketing veterans, namely award-winning Executive Creative Director Ryan Giron; Account Director Jemelle Conde; Art Director Luke Sebollena; and Copywriter & Communications Specialist Krizha Vitug. CEO & Founder Mario Alonzo-Debout, Co-founder Denise Alonzo-Debout, and APAC Managing Partner Gerard Rabara, began the Manila expansion in 2018 that laid the foundation for what is to become RDB Asia Pacific.
RDB Asia Pacific is not only an extension of the agency’s operations in the Asia Pacific, but a mix of RDB’s global knowledge of European and North American best practices with Filipino talent, insights, and expertise. As a boutique agency with a glocal approach, RDB offers a wide range of services from Sustainability Communications, Purpose, Branding, Marketing, Social Media Management, Content, Storytelling to Influencer Marketing and Events to those who wish to position themselves as impact-drivers, not only in the Philippines but the entire region.
The journey to RDB Asia Pacific was a long but steady stream of eye-opening events that kept pointing the agency’s focus back to the Philippines. After years of getting to know the Filipino market very well through various projects for Western Union and Social Media & Community Management, RDB found its way to a new home, right in the heart of Metro Manila’s financial district—Makati City.
For a small Viennese boutique agency to service a global organization with simultaneous regional needs, it meant having an agile working model to adapt to the client’s multinational scope. Being able to work with key regional offices in Latin America, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific effectively, RDB learned to work remotely from the onset. It also meant being able to mobilize assets and team members globally at a moment’s notice was the norm. It was not uncommon for a team to be a consortium of people around the globe working in unison—a team lead in London advising a production team in Miami, adapting content in Spanish in Vienna, while preparing for the next shoot in Manila.
In 2018, an advance team from RDB including Gerard Rabara, RDB’s APAC expansion lead, Mario and his co-founder, now wife, Denise Alonzo-Debout, traveled to Manila. They laid the groundwork for what was to become RDB Asia Pacific. The Manila office began as a community management hub in APAC that serviced clients’ Social Media needs in seven different languages. Fast forward to 2020, RDB discovered more than talent, but a unique potential in working with young, dynamic, and tech-savvy individuals with a strong global outlook. “The Philippines today has the largest generation of young people in its history. 30 million young people between the ages of 10-24 account for 28 percent of the Philippine population.” (http://philippines.unfpa.org)
Apart from the Philippines, the rest of the APAC countries are ever-growing more interconnected and rapidly emerging as new leaders of innovation, so it’s only natural for RDB to set its eyes on the Asia Pacific as a whole. According to industry data, “North America will remain the largest advertising market worldwide, with media spending growing from 232 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 to 276 billion by the end of 2021. However, one year later Asia Pacific is believed to surpass North America, with ad spend higher by some 4.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.” (www.statista.com)
RDB’s goal of bringing its brand of purpose-driven marketing to the shores of Asia was not a solo excursion but a concerted effort of like-minded individuals, driven by their years of experience in the industry and the same desire to see the Philippines in the forefront of driving impact and seeing Filipino talents shine. Thanks to these people, RDB was able to find its footing in the Philippines with ease.
Günter Taus, RDB Asia Pacific’s current Managing Director (then Managing Director of Jardine Engineering Corporation and Chairperson of Matic Hub) was instrumental in establishing RDB in Manila. His work with the EU bridging European businesses with Filipino talent brought him back to his home country of Austria often. In one of these trips, he got to know RDB and its dreams of setting up a shop in the Philippines much deeper. A few sips of incredible wines and fascinating stories of his 34 years doing business in the country and more around the world later, it was clear that this was a partnership written in the stars and that he was determined to help take RDB back east.
Almost a year later, the opportunity came knocking once more in the form of Jerianne Ejercito. A veteran of the ad & marketing industry and a prodigy of San Miguel Corporation with the direct guidance of none other than now President and COO Ramon Ang, Jerianne has grown to become a force in her field, with years of notable works to boost. In search of newer challenges and a global family to let her span her wings further, Jerianne found her way to RDB. Having recently started a marketing agency herself that focused on sustainable development goals, Jerianne found a kinship with RDB. She decided to continue that same mission under the RDB banner as its newly minted Managing Partner, adding to the organization’s mix of strong female leaders.
Jerianne came with a team of award-winning veterans, trusted experts, and fresh new talent. Jemelle Conde, RDB’s newest Account Director for APAC, was not only a well-seasoned pro in advertising, sales, and marketing but also Jerianne’s most trusted sparring partner and sister—proving that family can not only work together but thrive together. They credit their tried and true sister dynamic to years of trusted success together and mutual respect.
RDB’s Executive Creative Director for Asia Pacific, Ryan Giron, is not only a seasoned creative but a multi-awarded designer in the Philippines and beyond, with a long list of accolades and renowned campaigns under his belt from Radio to Film. Ryan joined the RDB APAC Team with the same vision of conscious communication and purpose-driven agency taking up space in the Philippines. Ryan also brought with him his most trusted team onboard. Luke Sebollena, a young and passionate Art Director, and Krizhia Vitug, a young communications specialist join the ranks of RDB’s team of young global talent.