IPG Mediabrands Japan welcomes Matt Ware as new CEO

IPG Mediabrands announces Matt Ware as the new CEO of its Japan operations, aiming to optimize media investments and drive real business outcomes.

IPG Mediabrands Japan welcomes Matt Ware as new CEO

IPG Mediabrands, a global media and marketing solutions company, has officially appointed Matt Ware as the new CEO of its Japan division, marking a transition in leadership following Koichi Sonoda's tenure.

Ware's role at IPG Mediabrands Japan involves leading the network's strategy to optimize advertisers' media investments to align with business outcomes. He will report directly to Leigh Terry, CEO of IPG Mediabrands APAC.

With years of digital marketing experience, Ware's career spans achievements and roles globally. His journey began in Barcelona, immersed in the data-driven transformation of finance, igniting his interest in digital advertising.

This led him back to London and eventually to the APAC region in 2009, where he focused on establishing regional headquarters for US ad technology firms. Ware's move to the agency side in 2015 saw him in various capacities at WPP and IPG, handling accounts for major advertisers.

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His appointment draws from expertise, notably his tenure as APAC CEO of KINESSO, an IPG Mediabrands entity known for its approach to performance marketing. Ware's leadership at KINESSO involved managing a team of digital specialists across the Asia-Pacific, advancing in digital media, marketing automation, analytics, commerce, and AI.

Moreover, Ware's connection to Japan is not new; he previously lived in Tokyo, serving as the managing director for Xaxis, WPP's digital activation unit, between 2018 and 2021.

“I am thrilled to be taking up the Japan leadership role and excited to be returning to a market that I'm passionate about,” said Matt. “Having worked in APAC for 15 years, Japan has always been a special place for me; full of innovation, excitement, and global players but also a robust and vibrant domestic tech scene. It's a fascinating time to be working in advertising in Japan and I'm delighted to be back,” he added.

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Tech-centric media agencies in Japan

The integration of technology has become a fundamental aspect of advertising, marking a shift from traditional methods to digital-forward strategies.

Dentsu, with its longstanding presence in the Japanese advertising sector, has moved towards incorporating technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and programmatic buying. This shift is aimed at refining the process of targeting and campaign performance, offering insights into consumer behavior to assist brands in developing content that resonates more closely with their audience.

Hakuhodo takes a different angle, emphasizing the understanding of individuals as 'Sei-katsu-sha'—a concept that goes beyond seeing people simply as consumers. The agency's strategy involves weaving digital tools and platforms into their offerings to create media solutions that connect traditional values with the digital era.

CyberAgent focuses primarily on digital, catering to the dynamic preferences of digital consumers. This agency places a particular emphasis on mobile and video advertising, employing AI and machine learning to fine-tune ad placements, aiming to better engage users and improve conversion rates.

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