HONG KONG — Andres Vejarano has launched a marketing consultancy after departing his role as DeVries Global Asia-Pacific MD in June. 

The new firm, called Cali17, aims to help brands access cultural trends and data to build more effective connections with consumers and communities.

Vejarano spent four years in charge of the Asian operations of Interpublic Group firm DeVries. Previously, he co-led Edelman's Hong Kong office, after a lengthy in-house career that included senior marketing roles at Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation. 

"Brands need to 'anticipate to participate'," said Vejarano. "Today’s consumers expect brands to be involved in their community beyond simply providing a product or service. Understanding shifting community expectations is important for brands to be relatable. Ignoring culture in your marketing is one way to head towards brand irrelevance."

Vejarano believes Cali17 will meet CMO demand for boutique specialists backed by the agile use of data tools and culture forecasters for insights.

DeVries' local market MDs in China, Taiwan and Singapore now report directly to new Golin Asia-Pacific president Darren Burns, after DeVries was realigned to operate under Golin last year.