This month’s top stories which were sourced from Google Analytics from the 16th of May to the 15th of June were a combination of local and global stories.
First off, Malaysia is taking the spotlight where two come from the market – a leading agency unveiling new leadership appointments, and also a platform’s rundown of top Hari Raya ads in the country.
Southeast Asia country Philippines also made it to the top with an esports company and a media giant partnering in the country to change the game in advertising in esports.
Two global ad tech companies have also joined forces to provide marketers a new way to measure their campaigns, while a global communications agency has also announced new managing directors.
Together with our exclusive interviews with the brand spokespeople, read on to find out which stories made noise this month.
Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines-born esports talent agency for Southeast Asia, has partnered with media and communications giant GroupM to achieve a common goal: to bring in more mainstream brands in the advertising landscape in esports.
Advertising in esports remains to be an exclusive arena for endemic brands, and Tier One, which has been in operations for four years now, has always eyed to be an agent in bridging the gap between gaming and mainstream.
In an exclusive conversation with Joanne Llavore, the CCO of Tier One, she shared that as the audience penetration in esports continues to grow, the company has always been cognizant that the time will come when the standardization of media advertising metrics will become a requisite among clients.
GroupM being the leader in the industry, it is but inherent to seek out and forge this partnership as we work together with them to bring esports and gaming in the forefront of media advertising.Joanne Llavore, CCO, Tier One Entertainment
Llavore adds, “It’s a blue ocean of non-endemic brands out there. And we know the potential is really huge to be able to scale the business.”
Aside from its headquarters, Tier One currently has offices in Myanmar, Japan, and Vietnam and had just opened an office in Malaysia.
Media and communications network dentsu in Malaysia has announced new leaders within its Media division. Asha Nair will become the new managing director of media investment and platforms, Jing-Wen Foo has been appointed as the new e-commerce director, while Hemanth Jayaraman has been unveiled as the new partner and agency brand lead of DentsuX.
Dheeraj Raina, CEO of Media at dentsu malaysia, said that the new hires go under dentsu’s continuous transformation journey which started last year when it was announced that dentsu will now be organized into three main business lines including Media.
Raina, who himself, has also been recently appointed as the inaugural CEO of Media in January, said that it has been an “intense 6 months”, looking at simplifying internal structures and how they create solutions for clients. It has also been, Raina bared, quite a year of subsequent pitches.
The new lineup that you’re seeing of the leaders [is] primarily [for] creating capability centers of excellence within the organization so that as the agency partners with our clients, we are in the best position of solving their marketing challenges.Raina said in a MARKETECH APAC interview
Raina also shared that the division will be more product-focused as an agency, such as into its e-commerce practice, where the vision is to provide clients beyond the performance marketing aspect of it but to be an end-to-end e-commerce service that touches on strategic consulting as well as on-site and off-site optimization, among others.
“Obviously, it’s been a very, very challenging one and a half year for everybody in terms of forecasting and looking at how the future will be, and therefore, [being] an agency partner for us [means] to be able to then deliver really integrated growth solutions for our clients [which] is going to be very, very critical; and for that, I think, we need to have a very strong product focus, and that’s where I think is we are going to be spending a lot of our time as an organization in the next coming few quarters,” said Raina.
Raina also remarks, “And obviously, e-commerce is one of the key products that is no more [treated as a] luxury [for brands].”
Singapore-headquartered global communications agency Redhill has unveiled two new managing directors, Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel.
Both Castelino and Cussinel have been homegrown executives of Redhill, being part of the company for a long time, even during the time it was operating out of its headquarters in Singapore, in an attic-like office with no windows, as CEO and founder Jacob Puthenparambil describes it.
Puthenparambil, in a MARKETECH APAC interview, shared why it’s important to build and stick with its people for a long time.
It’s extremely vital for our growth that we have people who stay with us for a very long time because it’s a people-based industry, especially PR. A lot of the company culture is based on the long-term people that we have. You can’t write those things down or learn from a textbook.Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and Founder, Redhill
Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.
The communications firm started in 2014 as a boutique agency and in the interview, Puthenparambil shared how at the beginning, they had always been firm in their goal that they wanted to grow into being more than that.
“We knew from day one that we didn’t want to be a boutique agency. We’re going to fight the big boys,” he said.
He shared that along the way, they found that a boutique agency’s lifeline is mostly dependent and stuck to how long its founder is active or relevant to the market and that in the end, said agencies aren’t able to hold on to the talent or to the clients.
“So that’s what pushed us to establish this presence in all these countries, even if it’s one [to three] people; [we] just go plant the flag there and start doing work,” he said.
Redhill currently has a global presence in 17 markets.
Global marketing cloud InMobi has announced a new partnership with global technology company The Trade Desk to integrate InMobi’s mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – InMobi Pulse – into the latter’s demand-side platform (DSP).
As more and more brands seek to find additional and effective ways to measure their brand campaigns across all digital media, the two ad tech platforms come together to offer in-app brand lift surveys to be delivered programmatically, enabling brands to measure metrics such as brand awareness, favorability, intent to purchase and other metrics that determine campaign effectiveness.
Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Vasuta Agarwal, managing director of InMobi for the Asia Pacific, said, “This partnership is a first of its kind between InMobi and The Trade Desk, and it provides brands and marketers the ability to deterministically measure the incremental brand impact of their campaigns across digital media by web, desktop, and in-app.”
It allows them to deliver in-app surveys, both to an exposed group and a controlled group of users which are users who have seen the ad and have not seen the ad, and then measure the difference in the brand lift metrics between these two groups.Agarwal explaining how the integration works
She adds that the metric is deterministic because brands can use mobile ad identifiers to identify the end-user who’s seen the ad or not seen the ad.
Agarwal also shared another benefit, “And any advertiser using the [The Trade Desk’s DSP] while running their campaigns, can do a lot of [other] stuff like in-flight optimization, and change in brand messaging, [among others].”
Finally concluding the Hari Raya, or the celebration of the end of Ramadan in Malaysia, YouTube, through its ads leaderboard, has rounded up the top 10 ads on the platform that came in celebration of the festivity. This is MARKETECH APAC’s top story for June.
The list included a mix of international and local brands in Malaysia. Some of the local names on the list are Tenaga Nasional, Petronas, and RHB Group. Meanwhile, Asia retailer Watsons also made it as a top ad, with leading e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee also entering YouTube’s picks.
YouTube’s ads leaderboard is usually based on metrics such as organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention, but we spoke with Lars Anthonisen, Google’s head of marketing for Malaysia, to give us an insider on what other factors said Malaysian brands were able to hit right to get into audiences’ radar.
Anthonisen said there are three key themes: brands that stood out stayed in tune with the values of Hari Raya, showed empathy, and took a stand on societal norms.
More Malaysians, unfortunately, are unable to celebrate with their loved ones. I think ads that stood out were from brands who leaned heavily to the core Hari Raya values [such as] family, compassion, and hope, providing Malaysians the Hari Raya spirit.Anthonisen on brands showing the values of Hari Raya
With Empathy meanwhile, he said that brands are starting to recognize the importance of acknowledging the struggles people and communities are facing.
“Brands have realized the need to engage the audience on a deeper level by leveraging real stories and also [to] add [the] human element and build this deeper connection,” he said.
And finally, Anothisen’s insight on brands challenging societal norms: “It can be daunting, I know, for a lot of brands to take a difficult topic on and turn it into something of value, but I think brands who were there to do it really got the support and the engagement from audiences.”
And of course, he himself has a favorite from the list, and this is what he had to say, “The one that stood out for me was the one from Petronas. First of all, they used animation to tell the story a bit differently, but I think also the whole campaign centered around how many Malaysians missed home during Hari Raya, and I think that was a really lovely story.”
Watch our live interviews with the newsmaker themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.
This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.