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.
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 such as School for Better, Mother’s Pride, WUParol and Social Media & Community Management, RDB (Robin des Bois) found its way to a new home, right in the heart of Metro Manila’s financial district – Makati.
RDB’s familiarity with the Filipino market comes from being Western Union’s Social Media Agency of Record for many years; the Philippines remains one of the company’s largest markets to date. 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 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 moments 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.
“The moment I touched ground in the Philippines captivated me. It’s beauty, it’s people, it’s talent, it’s culture & history.” – Mario Alonzo-Debout, CEO & Founder
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 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 7 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)
“When Mario spoke of his experience with the Philippines and Filipinos with such touching reverence and pride, I knew I would do anything in my capacity to help him. Apart from the belief that the Philippines is the prime market for RDB’s vision, I saw this as my chance to give back. An investment in my country & showcasing Filipino talents, this became deeply personal to me. I saw this as my love letter to the Philippines and the Filipinos.” – Gerard Rabara, Managing Partner, RDB APAC
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 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 APAC’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 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.
“One seizes an opportunity when it arrives. With RDB it was finally a rare occasion to expand business while, at the same time, merge with social outreach, promotion of Filipino talents, and create a platform for more people to access global possibilities.” – Günter Taus, Managing Director, RDB APAC
Almost a year later, 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 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.
“What we have seen certainly in 2020 is that there has been a need for us to really find meaning and fulfillment in our lives. My goal has always been to work with passionate people who are focused on helping individuals and businesses find their purpose. What excites me about RDB is being able to be a part of a Global family, an organization that is making a difference. When people can fully align their personal purpose with the purpose of the organization, they can also see how their everyday work is making a positive impact on the community” – Jerianne Ejercito, Managing Partner, RDB APAC
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 a conscious communications 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 joins the ranks of RDB’s team of young global talent.
RDB APAC 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.
RDB | Robin des Bois is a global boutique agency based in Vienna with operations in London, San Francisco, and Manila, building brands that do better through Impact, Purpose & Shared Value Projects and Communication.
RDB services numerous clients around the world, from Fortune 500 companies (eBay, Western Union) through international and national NGOs (Global Citizen, Eden Reforestation Projects) to public institutions (UNIDO, UNWomen, British Council) among others, in identifying their purpose, bringing it to life through meaningful communication internally and externally to drive growth and impact.
RDB was founded in 2013 in the spirit of social justice and a deep conviction towards a more sustainable future. Dedicated to help build and serve an alliance of brands that drive tremendous impact and a new socio-economic reality where technology enables humanity to be as connected and borderless as ever before, RDB strongly believes that everyone has a role to play in reshaping tomorrow. Progress and success in a more complex and dynamic global economy requires looking out for one another – doing good, doing better.
Mario is a self-taught creative director, entrepreneur and founder & CEO of RDB- founded with the aim of creating sustainability and awareness in the advertising industry.
Over the past three years, Mario Alonzo-Debout has expanded his holding’s portfolio, The Major Oak, to include a sustainability consulting company called Allmende, a design studio specializing in sustainable materials with MDB, and investments in companies such as markta, Polarstern and Reach Mobile.
Today Mario Alonzo-Debout is a recognized global expert in UN Sustainable Development Goals, purpose, digital brand architecture and communication as well as social entrepreneurship with guest lectures and seminars at the Vienna Advertising Academy, die Graphische – School of Media and the ImpactHub Vienna.
Günter is the Managing Director of RDB Asia Pacific and Spartan Race Philippines; he brought the Spartan Race franchise into the Philippines. He also runs LERAC Services Inc., a maintenance and engineering solutions company.
With more than 30 years of experience in business development, electronics, construction and waste management systems, holding consultancy and management roles, he is responsible for the overall profitability of past and present companies he has been involved with.
Gerard currently serves multiple senior functions within the agency and the holding it belongs to – The Major Oak, namely Chief Communications Officer and Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO. In 2018 Gerard spearheaded the groundwork for the APAC expansion and is also currently a Managing Partner of RDB Asia Pacific.
He traded in his initial career in art and design for communications, and in 2017 joined RDB. Having lived in three continents, Gerard considers himself a global citizen, but a son of Manila first and foremost.
Jerianne is a Managing Partner of RDB Asia Pacific. She has a wealth of experience in brand marketing and advertising from her work with Filipino giant San Miguel Corporation to co-founding VIVA API, a joint venture with VIVA Communications Inc. She was also an active consultant for Media Pro and HAVAS Group for many years and was instrumental in the acquisition of many landmark projects like the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
She is also majorly involved in a number of charitable causes for several Institutions. She was one of the 2019 LO Presidents of the Junior Chamber International in the Philippines, together with 123 countries around the world, sharing her expertise with young leaders driving impact in their communities.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE RDB VIRTUAL LAUNCH
January 12, 2021
RDB Asia Pacific
2nd Floor Grundfos Bldg. 5548 Osmeña Ave.,
Bgy. San Isidro, Makati City