Wannee Ruttanaphon has distinct ideas about what it takes to be successful. She says, “Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all agencies, but in Thailand, we have taken this to every aspect of our business-- be it client interactions, strengthening our capabilities and skillset, building new offerings, coming up with new ways of media campaigns. We believe in the philosophy of creating, trying something new and finding opportunities to grow. This philosophy has never let us down.”
And she is right.
Under her leadership, the Initiative Bangkok office has grown 900%. It won "Agency of the Year" accolades within the Initiative Asia Pacific network consecutively from 2004-2006 for delivering not only consistent growth and best profit, but as the most innovative agency. Wannee was voted "Boss of the Year" in 2006 within the Advertising Agency category by reporters at Boss Magazine. In 2010, RECMA published its Thailand Agency Quality Evaluation Score, and Initiative scored as the #1 quality agency. She guided UM to a turnaround with 14 times revenue growth when it came under the Mediabrands umbrella in Thailand. Last year, Wannee was elected president of Media Agency Association of Thailand.
Wannee Ruttanaphon’s drive is centered in her definition of innovation. “It is at the heart of all that we have achieved and all that we set out to do. We just don’t want to do innovative work; we want to achieve inspiring work-- one that the next generation of youth who will join our teams can look up to and aspire to achieve great things for our clients. There is no substitute for great imagination.”
Yet, she admits to challenges, and says it is not always easy to encourage clients to embrace innovation. “Creative ideas are priceless, and history is a witness to some of these ingenious ideas that have elevated the industry to newer heights. However, most clients prefer to do things they have done before; the tried and tested methods that have borne results and which don’t take them away from their comfort zone.”
Wannee was born in Bangkok, educated in Hong Kong, and then attended the University of Texas, where she completed a BA in Advertising. She returned to Bangkok, and has worked in the advertising industry ever since with some 25 years spent at IPG at Lintas/ Lowe/ Initiative and now IPG Mediabrands.