CircleSquare ‘to look closer into digital’ after acquiring comtogether stake

By Andrew Pentol |

Stéphane Zermatten, Managing Partner, CircleSquare.

CircleSquare has announced the acquisition of a significant stake in Swiss digital marketing agency comtogether.

The move comes as the experiential marketing, brand activation and consumer engagement specialist seeks to strengthen its focus on digital elements of campaigns for its travel retail clients.

Based near Geneva, Switzerland and with offices in Hong Kong, comtogether is an agency with a strong list of brand clients. These include MSC, Maurice Lacroix, Fisherman’s Friend, Sygnum and Clinique La Prairie.

Comtogether’s primary focus is on data-driven digital marketing, producing campaigns — including media planning and buying — and bespoke automations.

CircleSquare works with major travel retail players including Diageo, Mondelez and L’Oreal. The company cited comtogether’s deep knowledge of the Western and Chinese digital media eco-systems and their approach combining data and psychology to target shoppers as key factors in formalising its association with the agency.


Stéphane Zermatten, Managing Partner, CircleSquare said: “This is a very positive step forward for our business. We are combining their 14 years of experience in data analysis and media planning with our own 20 years of travel retail shopper experience to offer a strong end-to-end proposition.”

Charlene Lau, Head of Media Planning at comtogether believes integrated campaigns are a necessity.

He added: “comtogether is an important part of our pioneering work to make light of channel agnosticism, seamlessly blending digital and physical to allow brands to have a consistent campaign message delivered across the entire shopper journey.”

CircleSquare’s association with comtogether began in July 2019 with a successful integrated digital-meets-physical campaign for Italian eyewear specialist Luxottica.

Zermatten explained: “We worked with comtogether to target shoppers on social media with personalised messages before their trip, effectively driving awareness of the campaign, creating footfall to the physical activation at Hamburg Airport and remaining connected with the shoppers throughout their journeys,” explained Zermatten.

He continued: “Covid-19 has fast-forwarded the need for travel retail to look closer into digital as a means to engage shoppers and ensure a strong end-to-end omnichannel offering. Accordingly, we have noticed an acceleration of the move towards digital, in terms of client requests and budget allocation.

“In order to continue delivering on the digital briefs at the highest standards — not only the travel retail standards, but the local market standards — we have made an important move to acquire a major stake in a leading digital marketing agency to bring these strategic capabilities in-house.”

Philip Handley, CircleSquare, Executive Creative Director (pictured left) added: “One of the most exciting things to come out of this acquisition is just how accurately we will be able to get precise, relevant customer data to inform our strategic planning. This will allow us to offer existing and potential new clients a unique service bringing together the best of the digital and physical worlds at the same time.”

Charlene Lau, Head of Media Planning at comtogether in Hong Kong concluded: “Integrated campaigns are a necessity, but the secret of a successful campaign is showing up for the right customers, at the right time, where it really matters, in a remarkable way.

“We are delighted to be working with a company of the stature of CircleSquare, to help deliver the footfall and engagement to the irresistible experiences they are renowned for creating.”


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