1 March 2019

Naga DDB Tribal Launches Malaysia’s First Behavioral Science Consultancy

Naga DDB Tribal Launches Malaysia’s First Behavioral Science Consultancy

Malaysian creative agency sets up Naga Behavioral Lab to help marketers influence consumers without the need for big marketing budgets.

Naga DDB Tribal is thrilled to announce the launch of Naga Behavioral Lab, a strategic consultancy within the agency that uses behavioral science, a tried and tested practice worldwide, to help clients solve some of their most complex and longstanding marketing problems.

“Marketers today are facing huge difficulties in influencing behavior change amongst customers... and we are coming to a realization that the dependency on campaigns alone isn’t going to be enough,” says Pi Wo Chia, Chief Strategy Officer of Naga DDB Tribal. “In light of this challenging landscape, what global brands have started doing is to use behavioral science to tackle these issues.”

Today, behavioral science is an integral part of marketing strategies in some of the biggest companies around the world, from Coca-Cola and Unilever to Uber and Netflix – and even governments. Advertising agencies however, have been slow to incorporate the practice in their offerings. Naga DDB Tribal is one of the first agencies in the world, and the only agency in Malaysia, to build a full-service behavioral science consultancy.



“When I speak to CMOs about their marketing problems, most of the time the solution points to behavioral science, but until now, agencies weren’t equipped with this capability,” Chia explains. “We thought it was high time for advertising agencies to adopt this practice.”

Chia is confident about Naga Behavioral Lab’s potential. “Malaysian consumers are so culturally diverse, and not to mention, technology today has made consumers incredibly fragmented. The notion of relying on traditional communications alone to influence behaviours in such a diverse and fragmented market is getting way harder than before,” says Chia. “That’s exactly what makes behavioral science so important.”

Leading the Naga Behavioral Lab is Josephine Phang, Behavioral Strategy Director. Phang, who holds eight years’ experience as a strategic planner and a master’s degree in behavioral science from the University of Warwick, explains that “unlike other agencies, what we do at the Naga Behavioral Lab is understand how people are fundamentally programed to behave, rather than looking at consumers purely from the traditional insights standpoint.”

“Once we have that understanding, we then come up with really simple solutions to hack consumer behaviour,” says Phang. “That’s how the Naga Behavioral Lab helps our clients solve complex marketing challenges without the need for big marketing budgets.”

Naga Behavioral Lab spent the last year building the practice and has already completed a number of successful projects. “What we do has received a lot of enthusiasm and interest from Malaysian marketers, which we’re very happy about,” says Phang. “We’ve already worked with innovative brands like Tiger and Teach For Malaysia to run some of the first behavioral science projects in Malaysia.”

Joyce Lim, Senior Brand Manager of Tiger, reveals that “the Naga Behavioral Lab came to us with a really interesting idea to drive beer consumption using behavioral science, and we thought it had a lot of potential. So we tried it out and the idea turned out to be really effective.” Lim adds, “We’re very interested to see what else behavioral science can solve.”

Caryl Heah, Head of Marketing at Teach For Malaysia, says, “We worked with the Naga Behavioral Lab to drive donations for our non-profit organization, and they came up with a simple solution based on behavioral science. We tried it out and got pretty good results. We’re excited to see how else behavioral science can help us in the future.”

Phang believes that the Naga Behavioral Lab has a great future in this market. “The great response we’ve gotten from clients shows us just how needed behavioral science is in the marketing mix,” says Phang. “I feel very fortunate to be able to spearhead such a necessary practice on behalf of Naga DDB Tribal. There’s actually very few agencies that would allow people the freehand to develop ideas like this.”

Chief Strategy Officer Chia agrees, “At Naga DDB Tribal, one of our key priorities is to constantly grow our skills and capabilities to meet our clients’ evolving needs. The Naga Behavioral Lab is part of a much larger push to reinvent our Planning offerings for the modern needs of marketers, and we’re extremely excited that they now have access to such a valuable practice.”

To find out more about Naga Behavioral Lab, head to www.nagaddbtribal.com.my/behavioral-lab