Ruder Finn acquires Hong Kong-based Daylight Partnership

Daylight founder David Ko to lead Ruder Finn's regional digital arm after acquisition.

)Jean Michel Dumont, David Ko and the Daylight team).
)Jean Michel Dumont, David Ko and the Daylight team).

HONG KONG: Ruder Finn has acquired Daylight Partnership for its expertise in insights and analytics including predictive analytics, influencer mapping, social listening tools, and experience design.

For the last two years, the companies have been collaborating on projects for multinational brands such as Prudential, Porsche, Cartier, Bayer, and Nestle, and they co-developed products such as the SONAR social media crisis-simulation system.

The move will advance Ruder Finn’s digital expertise to tackle a fundamental challenge clients face in trying to translate massive amounts of customer data into valuable information.

Daylight will merge with Ruder Finn’s digital arm, Ruder Finn Innovation Studios, and will be known as RFI Daylight. Daylight’s founder, David Ko, will take on the role of SVP and lead a team of 50 spanning China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India while reporting to Jean-Michel Dumont, chairman of Ruder Finn Asia. The new RFI Daylight will also lead a global analytics offering staffed in both Asia and the U.S.

"RFI found what we do very complementary with what they're doing," said Ko, whose clients include Digital Domain, Fitbit, Lee Kum Kee, L'Oréal, New World Development, Prudential, Sino Group, Sogo, and Swire Properties.

Ko's career path has included stops as a practice lead at Edelman and Hill & Knowlton and founder of Shout Communications, which was acquired by WE Communications, previously known as Waggener Edstrom. In 2013, after eight years with WE, he left and established Daylight.

"I'm really, really excited because Ruder Finn is one of the very few remaining independent global comms agencies in the world," Ko said. "And that independence gives us a lot of flexibility to innovate and really move the craft forward. So this is one opportunity I couldn't say no to. Even though, four years in, we're probably a little young to be acquired, I really wanted to work with the Ruder Finn people."

The areas Ko will work on under RFI Daylight will center on immersive storytelling and experiential marketing, using virtual-reality and mixed-reality technologies for branding campaigns.

"We are already talking about developing products like chatbots for public education," he said. "That's another huge area that's going to keep us very busy for the next couple of years."

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