The Creadits team in Singapore. (Photo: Creadits)
By Billy Teo
Formerly known as ReFUEL4, Creadits has gone on to take on the digital advertising industry with its Shaka AI engine.
In its previous incarnation, the company won the 2016 Facebook Global Innovation Spotlight in the Creativity category – for overcoming ad fatigue through ‘automation, data and insights’, in addition to ‘a 10,000-strong community of global designers operating across different time zones, to make sure that marketers get high-performing advertisements at scale’.
The team has since taken on advertising projects with several well-know brands.
Founder and CEO Kazuhiro – ‘Kazu’ on his LinkedIn profile – Takiguchi took some time out to share his thoughts with IMpact.
What is the origin story for Creadits?
From my experience running growth and acquisition teams, I realised how difficult it was to get the right ad creatives to drive campaigns at a sustainable cost.
On the flip side, creative talents from around the world were not getting equal access to opportunities and fair remuneration. This inspired me to start Creadits, which was ReFUEL4 at that point in time, to bridge the talent divide and maximise the value both businesses and creative talents get from digital advertising.
A mutual friend introduced me to my co-founder Vernon (Vasu, COO and Co-founder) in Singapore, and as they say, the rest is history.
Here's a peek at what Creadits' AI-powered solution can offer advertising creatives.
Why the name, Creadits?
Creadits is a play on the words ‘creative’ and ‘credits’, accurately reflecting our business model and what we hope to become – a unified creative currency for all advertising services!
Why did you start up in Singapore?
When we were choosing where to start our business, Singapore came to mind because of its connectedness and how well developed the IT infrastructure is.
Furthermore, the highly educated workforce meant there would be no shortage of talent to tap upon as we continue to expand. Strong IP laws were also important, given how we are in the business of creativity and innovation.
And why target the advertising market?
Media spend on digital advertising has been growing at a fast pace over the last decade, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. With more and more brands and businesses coming on board, the demand for ad creatives to drive online campaigns will only increase, and we saw a huge potential for our product to meet their needs.
How will machine learning shake up the advertising industry, in your opinion?
Machine learning and AI will automate the bulk of manual optimisation of campaigns, saving time and effort from advertisers so they can focus on what we do best as humans – come up with creative ideas and establish a genuine connection with customers.
What can you share about SHAKA?
While it may sound like an acronym for something, SHAKA is actually named after the lead engineer who worked on the very first version of our AI. SHAKA works by analyzing data from previous ad campaigns and using it to predict the performance of new ad creatives given the same targeting and objectives. Unlike other AI-powered platforms on the market, we aim to complement human creativity and bring out the best in our designers instead of replacing the work they do.
Who are some of the clients you work with?
Some of our more notable clients include eBay, Lazada, PayPal, Spotify, and TigerAir. For Spotify in particular, they wanted to acquire new listeners in Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines through their paid digital campaigns. However, these APAC markets were divided by languages and cultures with burgeoning indigenous pop cultures while at the same time sensitive to global trends, posing a creative challenge.
Tapping on our global network of designers, we created over 300 ad creative variations and analyzed every one of them to determine which would perform best for their specific campaign objectives and targeting. As a result, Spotify achieved a 40% increase in CTR while tripling the number of downloads they had within the campaign duration.
How do you think the advertising industry will evolve?
Investments in technology will push the development of more and more AI-powered platforms readily available for advertisers. This democratisation gives businesses of all sizes easy access to tools that can save time and money for them, and could level the playing field across the entire advertising industry.
What was the Accreditation@SGD process like?
The entire journey of accreditation, around 6 months long, was tough and rigorous in the best possible way. It allowed us to conduct a thorough review of our company, from the processes, security, right down to the code our platform is built on. Gaps were exposed along the way, and we seized the opportunity to address every one of them to improve the running of Creadits.
Being accredited is a major boost for our business development in the region, especially when it comes to getting contacts and building referral quality. Our prospective clients also have greater confidence in our solutions, making it easier for us to clinch deals.
How big is the team now, and what are your expansion plans?
We are around 60-strong across our offices in the U.S., Singapore and the Philippines. To meet the increase in market demand, we are looking to scale our operations and provide our services to even more customers in the near future.
For more information about IMDA's Accreditation@SG:Digital programme, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/accreditation.