Marketing Featured East Asia

Carousell HK’s campaign encourages users to sell more amid 11.11 craze

Hong Kong – Online sales festivals are known for encouraging users to spend more across various e-commerce platforms. But for this time, classifieds platform Carousell did the opposite: inviting Hong Kongers to sell their underutilized items and earn some spare cash.

The campaign, which will roll out for a month from 12 November to 9 December, takes visual inspiration from the ubiquitous Sau Mai Lo, a local term for a rag-and-bone man, to remind everyone that they already have a ‘Sau Mai Lo’ in the palm of their hands anytime, and can easily list their items and earn back some spare cash.

“They can channel whatever remorse they may feel about overconsumption into selling, and create more shared possibilities where everyone wins,” said Kevin Huang, managing director at Carousell Hong Kong in a statement to MARKETECH APAC.

Huang also told MARKETECH APAC that the local campaign launch is timely with the upcoming Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) charging scheme in Hong Kong, adding that they hope to encourage more conversations about mindful spending and a culture where buying secondhand is the first choice.

“11.11 is an important date to most e-commerce sites, but as a classifieds marketplace whose vision is to make secondhand the first choice, we wanted to continue to drive the key message about sustainability and reducing overconsumption. We have seen how buying and selling second hand has helped everyday Hong Kongers to make extra cash and reduce waste at the same time,” he stated.

Huang further added, “In addition, acceptance of preloved products are becoming increasingly accepted in Hong Kong, and we see this as a continuing trend as we become more conscious of becoming more environmentally friendly.”

As part of the local campaign, Carousell has also launched a three-day onsite activation at Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay featuring 903 DJ Bonnie Wong (Ah Jeng) and 70 micro influencers.

Passersby can meet and take photos with Ah Jeng, and take part in activities to win a limited edition Samuel Ashley tote bag. To encourage more people to list their items, users with the highest number of listings stand a chance to win autographed gifts from Ah Jeng, including her T-shirt from “be ON game”, Nintendo Switch Controllers, speakers and coffee from Ah Jeng Coffee Club.

“We have seen good results so far in the first weekend. Our teaser video featuring Ah Jeng had over 15,600 views on Instagram, and Ah Jeng’s two Instagram posts had over 23,000 likes,” Huang noted.

The campaign has also rolled out in Singapore, in which according to Cassandra Leong, head of regional marketing at Carousell, had actually materialized last year when they ‘took to the streets to boycott 11/11’. She added that for this year, while other brands were busy shouting about their 11/11 sales last week, they reminded their users that they can consume sustainably, even while shopping for 11/11 sales.

“We understand buyer’s remorse deeply, and we’re reminding users that we’ll be here for them long after the flash one-day sales, not just for the lowest prices and deals all year around, but we’re also here for them to earn their money back from purchases or any decisions they may regret,” Leong added.

The Singapore rollout of the Carousell campaign was made possible by 72andSunny Singapore, to whom they appointed as creative partner during March this year.

Daniel Ko, creative director at 72andSunny Singapore, commented, “As a self-confessed chronic shopaholic, I must admit that this was inspired by what people like me need – I’ll definitely be turning some of my remorse into Carousell listings.”

Premium Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Behind eye-catching 11.11 discounts: The silent flak over Shopee’s 11.11 ad ft. Jackie Chan

Singapore – Global action star Jackie Chan was recently announced as top e-commerce Shopee’s newest ambassador in August which was launched as part of the platform’s 9.9 campaign. Shortly after, Chan makes a comeback to viewers’ screens for the platform’s 11.11 campaign

In light of the backlash from some advertising and creative professionals on Shopee’s current ad for 11.11, MARKETECH APAC reached out to social listening platform Digimind to learn about how the mass audience perceives the latest campaign. 

On October 25, just a few days after Shopee released its 11.11 ad with the international star, Singapore-based marketing expert Richard Bleasdale stirred quite a conversation on LinkedIn by sharing a post about the ad, describing it as the “worst ad ever made.” Soon, the post drew quite traction, serving as an invitation for other creative and marketing leaders to share their verdict on the ad–which was a unanimous disappointment over Shopee’s chosen creative direction.

The general audience, meanwhile, had been split on their perception of the ad. According to Digimind’s analysis, some had found the 11.11 campaign endearing, while a fraction showed displeasure over the latest campaign mixed with some neutral liking.

The main narrative of the ad in question was Jackie Chan fighting off bad guys ‘magically’ through the power of Shopee’s ‘big discounts’. For every press of the actor on his phone, discount bubbles pop up such as “$60 CASHBACK ALL DAY,” sending an enemy down and defeated. 

Screenshots from Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad

Apparently, the negative sentiment by the mass audience drew some parallel with professional opinion, which is Shopee’s seeming failure to leverage Chan’s martial arts prowess. Following Bleasdale’s post, MARKETECH APAC formally reached out to some of the advertising professionals that commented on the post.

A consensus among the creative leaders was Shopee’s perceived faulty decision to favor a fictional story of ‘powerful’ discounts rather than spotlighting the ambassador’s renowned action-comedy branding. 

A leader from ad agency Cheil Singapore described the ad as an “orange mess,” while an advisory board member from martech DAIVID said the ad could have been an opportunity to have “some whacky martial-arts impossibility” performed by the ambassador. 

Digimind had rounded up some definitive comments which had been in agreement with the said professional flak. 

Digimind_ social mentions
Negative and neutral comments on Shopee’s 11.11 ad gathered by Digimind

One tweet said, “I guess Jackie Chan beating up people with a tap of a button is all [we’re] going to get in a Shopee ad.” 

While another wrote on Twitter, “[Jackie Chan] did a [Shopee] ad, my life is ruined.”

Other hostile comments pointed out other ‘less-than-perfect’ elements of the ad such as Chan’s seeming wrinkle-free appearance and how the ad looked like a ‘deepfake’, which is the digital alter of a person’s face. 

“I’m laughing, they [airbrushed] Jackie Chan’s wrinkles…,” one netizen tweeted.

While another one said, “Tell me why I’m so convinced that the Shopee ads with ‘Jackie Chan’ [are] [deepfakes]…” 

According to the report, there were a total of 309 mentions in Southeast Asia, excluding promotional content, about Shopee’s 11.11 ad from the period of October 17 – 31 across leading social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. 

Digimind social mentions

The study found that Malaysia conversed the most around the campaign with 40% of the mentions coming from the market, followed by the Philippines (30%) and Indonesia (20%).

Digimind top countries

Information from the study also showed that the inaugural Shopee ambassadorship of Chan for 9.9 in August garnered higher traction on social media than the sophomore campaign of the star for 11.11. There had been a 4530% fall in the total volume of mentions for the newer campaign compared to the previous 9.9 over the same period from August 19 – 31.

Shopee’s 11.11 ad was released on YouTube on October 18 across its covered markets in Southeast Asia. Thai viewership of the ad eclipsed the platform’s other markets, registering over 39 million views as of writing.

Digimind’s analysis covered the markets of Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

This new price checker allows users to check the best deals for 11.11 sales festival

Singapore – As 11.11 sales consistently draws record numbers, this year’s sale event is likely to be bigger than ever. This means come event day, there will be a list of offers from countless sellers, many with additional coupon discounts. 

To accommodate online user demand for these online deals, e-commerce aggregator iPrice has launched its ‘Price Checker’ service to help shoppers find the lowest prices on 11.11. This will be launched across six countries namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

With the iPrice Price Checker, shoppers are notified which seller provides the best discount for their favorite products. In addition, the service aims to save shoppers the time and trouble to track prices across multiple e-commerce sites and sellers. 

To use the service, online users must click the ‘Buy on 11.11’ button on the ‘Price Comparison Page’ option on iPrice’s site. The user will then be sent an email on the 11th of November about the item’s price drop. 

Through the feature, the user is able to make the purchase right away by clicking a link to the product in the email. Consumers can subscribe to any number of product prices they want to track. 

“We continue to bring a greater level of trust, convenience, and transparency with everything we do. The iPrice Price Checker fulfils our mission to help shoppers save money through a convenient shopping experience. We will notify them on 11.11 about the lowest price of any item they choose among tens of thousands of products across the region,” said Heinrich Wendel, chief product officer at iPrice.

According to iPrice, shoppers can expect more new features in the coming months.

Premium Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Marketing experts, creatives majorly thumb down Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad ft. Jackie Chan

Singapore – In August this year, top e-commerce platform Shopee unveiled its newest endorser, probably its biggest ambassador to date – global superstar Jackie Chan. 

Following the announcement, Chan’s first visibility was for the platform’s 9.9 sale, and now the renowned action celebrity is back to grace Shopee’s campaign for 11.11. 

Both advertisements with Chan were nothing short of the e-commerce’s creatives DNA – a cheerful and upbeat mood, animated movements, and of course, Shopee’s staple soundtrack. 

Screencap from Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad

However, on the back of the recent release for 11.11, some marketing and creative professionals on social media gave their verdict on the ad – which leaned towards disappointment and frustration over its creative execution. 

On Monday, October 25, Richard Bleasdale, a specialist advisor at media investment analysis firm, Ebiquity, shared an article about the ad on a LinkedIn post with the comment, “Is it just me? Or is this without doubt the worst ad ever made? I challenge anyone to nominate better (worse).”

The post attracted other creative experts and advertising leaders to share opinions of their own, which had a resounding rejection of the ad’s conceptualization and overall direction. 

“The bar is very low…”, one ad leader wrote, while one marketing leader pointed out how the ad made him “lost for words.” 

Another agreed to Bleasdale, commenting, “I know what [you] mean. Very disappointing. Was hoping for more [Jackie] action.” 

MARKETECH APAC‘s Inner State reached out to some of the marketing executives that jumped on the post for their official insights on the ad.

A common sentiment among the marketing executives was how the brand failed to leverage Chan’s superstar imprint of action coupled with comedy. 

Shopee’s 11.11 platform-wide sale is running from October 25 to November 11, and the campaign was launched on October 18 on the platform’s YouTube channels across its covered markets.

The ad showed Jackie Chan on the street, being slowly approached by dangerously looking men. With an impending fight scene, Jackie is seen mustering his strength to prepare to defend.

Throughout the 30-second ad, Jackie is able to fight off the men with Shopee’s ‘Big Sale’. Using only his phone, Jackie magically defeats the men by powering through Shopee’s ‘big discounts’, where for every press of a button, discount bubbles pop up, such as “$60 CASHBACK ALL DAY” and “$6 OFF EVERY $50” off the phone and beat the men down. 

Anand Vathiyar, managing director of Cheil Singapore, describes the ad as an ‘orange mess’, a reference to the platform’s orange branding 

“Jackie Chan’s brand equity is action-comedy…Shopee could have done something [on what] we’ve come to love Jackie for instead of the orange mess they’ve rolled out,” said Vathiyar.

Echoing this, Rob Sherlock, advisory board chairman at martech solutions DAIVID, said, “I do think they could have taken Jackie Chan’s trademark antics and dialed them up into something even crazier, more ‘action’ exaggerated – and still have Shoppee fully integrated into the story.” 

He adds that instead of handing Jackie a mere phone in an attempt to inspire action to the ad, Shopee should have had “some whacky martial-arts impossibility performed by Jackie.” 

“And make the Batman & Robin pow-wow cartoon bubbles more integrated into everything we love about the man,” continued Sherlock. 

Meanwhile, Bleasdale, the one who published the LinkedIn post, shared to MARKETECH APAC that he thinks the ad has been “devoid of any idea.” 

When asked what Shopee could have done better, Bleasdale said, “Start with a real brief – with a clear objective and a compelling consumer insight. Anything that responded to that would be better and more effective than this.”

On one hand, executives were also quick to poke on the past Shopee ad with professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that the e-commerce brand had been underperforming with its campaigns even before when it signed the Portuguese sports personality in 2019. 

Shopee’s 9.9 ad in 2019 with Cristiano Ronaldo

The two-year-old ad puts Ronaldo on a football field where shortly after scoring a goal, audiences in the stadium start changing into an orange-wearing army with the trademark Shopee pop-ups coming out of each one. At the middle to the end of the ad, Ronaldo performs the Shopee dance together with his team. 

According to a survey done by consumer research Milieu, 24% of audiences in Singapore ‘dislike’ the 9.9 ad with Ronaldo in 2019, with 56% ‘liking’ it. Of those that disliked the ad, stated reasons were they found it “silly” (60%), made them cringe (60%), and was “annoying” (47%), and lacked product information (37%).

For Sherlock, Ronaldo was the worst use he’s ever seen of a mega-celebrity and thinks if Shopee had done a low-quality ad the first time, it would be difficult to redeem itself.

“It probably worked, drove sales, and tattooed the brand in the consumers’ brains. But, like any sequel, it’s hard to improve on the original – or in this case, be intentionally ‘so bad it’s good’,” said Sherlock.

MARKETECH APAC has already reached out to Shopee for a comment. 

Shopee’s presence expands Southeast Asia and Taiwan. For the latest 11.11 ad, the Thailand market paid the ad a staggering 30 million views on YouTube as of writing. 

The e-commerce platform continues to be the top platform in Southeast Asia with the most visits by consumers in 2020, trailed by Lazada. 

Inner State is MARKETECH APAC’s dedicated platform for industry deep dive.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lazada SG’s 11.11 giveaway gives participants chance to win a condo unit worth S$1m

Singapore – As part of the platform’s new campaign to boost reach of the upcoming 11.11 sale, e-commerce platform Lazada in Singapore has launched its newest giveaway which is none other than a new condominium unit at Normanton Park, valued at S$1m.

Said giveaway has been co-sponsored by PropNex, a Singapore-based real estate agency. To boost the campaign, Lazada will be rolling out the marketing campaign across various platforms to publicise the giveaway, including TV, radio, digital ads, Out Of Home (OOH), social media platforms and more.

To enter the giveaway, shoppers must collect ‘golden keys’ through various missions on the Lazada app. Up to 34 golden keys can be collected in total through the app from 1 November onwards, by completing missions, playing games and more. The more keys collected, the higher the chances of winning.

James Chang, CEO at Lazada Singapore, said that they wanted to inject something new and more exciting for their shoppers to look forward to, adding that with PropNex as a co-sponsor, they are thrilled to be able to up the ante for this year’s million-dollar giveaway.

“Our key focus to support our sellers to thrive in the online space has never wavered, and to thank our shoppers for supporting us, we went and looked for the biggest reward we could find in the market, to show that e-commerce opens up all kinds of possibilities,” Chang stated.

Meanwhile, Ismail Gafoor, CEO at PropNex, said that a way to increase chances in winning the million-dollar prize is to fulfil the task of purchasing their PropNex edition of the popular board game Monopoly at the Lazada store. Said limited edition of the board game is specially curated with Singapore real estate rules and the winner is declared in an hour, with in-depth knowledge of real estate investment.

“We are delighted to co-sponsor this prize – Normanton Park in collaboration with Lazada, and bring about a new excitement to the shopping experience on Singapore’s biggest annual sale event, and we could not have asked for a better platform to collaborate with. It is part of our branding campaign in building our brand equity and we are thrilled to be part of this mega event this year,” Gafoor said.

He added, “We hope that shoppers who purchase it will enjoy the game, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to work closely with Lazada in value-adding to customers.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

CapitaLand, Shopee mounts second edition of online-to-offline campaign for 11.11

Singapore CapitaLand Investment, the leading global real estate investment manager with a strong Asia foothold, and Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, today announced the launch of the second edition of the ‘CapitaLand x Shopee’ 11.11 campaign. The inaugural edition of the campaign was launched in 2020 similarly for the 11.11 sale event of Shopee, and the two aim to replicate the project which had driving the omnichannel model at its heart. 

In 2020, CapitaLand and Shopee launched an integration of online and offline shopper engagement for the campaign to drive sales, traffic, and engagement for six CapitaLand malls through gamification. Following this, in early 2021, Capitaland also launched the virtual shopping mall of its outlet giant IMM on Shopee, making it the first virtual shopping mall from Singapore on the platform. 

For this year’s 11.11 sale event, both partners will be recreating the omnichannel experience for 29 retailers in eight CapitaLand malls over a period of three weeks, from 22 October to 11 November 2021. CapitaLand and Shopee are also bringing back the popular co-branded games from last year’s 11.11 campaign, where shoppers can participate and win attractive vouchers that can be used in-app and at participating physical stores including Toast Box, LiHO, Etude House, and Giordano.

On the continuation of the partnership, Chris Chong, CEO of retail & workspace for Singapore and Malaysia at CapitaLand Investment, said, “This will allow us to enhance retailers’ consumer outreach and further engage with their customers digitally while driving footfall to their physical stores through online marketing efforts.”

From 22 October to 11 November 2021, S$125,000 worth of ShopeePay Scan and Pay vouchers, Shopee vouchers, and eCapitaVoucher will be given in the CapitaLand Lucky Prize game on the Shopee Singapore app. The ShopeePay Scan & Pay vouchers can be redeemed at eight CapitaLand malls, namely Bedok Mall, Bugis+, Bugis Junction, IMM, Funan, Plaza Singapura, Westgate, and JCube. 

Shoppers visiting any of the eight malls can simply scan the QR code at participating merchants and malls to play the ‘CapitaLand x Shopee’ Lucky Prize game and win ShopeePay Scan & Pay voucher to pay for their purchases using ShopeePay at 29 participating CapitaLand merchants’ offline stores. 

Shoppers can also try their luck in the ‘Guess the Weight’ campaign every weekend over the campaign period to win up to S$22,000 worth of eCapitaVoucher and Shopee vouchers. To participate, shoppers can proceed to the atrium of three shopping malls on selected weekends – Bugis+ on 23 and 24 October, Westgate on 30 and 31 October, and Plaza Singapura on 6 and 7 November – to guess the weight of five unexpected combinations of products, where one of them is the combined weight of a Dyson vacuum and a feather. Contestants must get the closest answer to qualify for the prizes.

Zhou Junjie, Shopee’s chief commercial officer, commented, “Following the success of last year’s CapitaLand x Shopee 11.11 campaign, we are excited to join hands with CapitaLand once again to support even more retailers under CapitaLand’s network by digitalizing the shopping experience.”

Zhou Junjie adds, “Shopee has always been passionate about empowering our sellers and brand partners to unlock the full potential of e-commerce to succeed in today’s digital economy. Through this omnichannel integration, we hope to help retailers deepen engagement with new customers, through an exciting and rewarding experience.” 

To find out more about the campaign, shoppers can head to the campaign’s microsite which will go live on 22 October. 

Marketing Platforms Southeast Asia

ShopBack SG taps comic veteran Kumar as new brand ambassador

Singapore – APAC rewards and discovery platform ShopBack has announced its newest brand ambassador – comedy veteran Kumar.

The partnership between ShopBack and Kumar will be running for a year, beginning with the approaching 11.11 sale event of the platform, whereby Kumar will be playing the lead character in their music video ‘ShopBack, Get Paid to Shop!’

After 11.11, Kumar will continue to front a range of campaigns and marketing initiatives to promote the ShopBack brand and engage with shoppers through the year-end sales season and in the future.

Kumar is a Singaporean Indian comedian, television host, and drag queen, who made his name performing in the now-defunct cabaret nightclub Boom Boom Room during the late 1990s.

In the music video, Kumar switches between various cross-dressing get-ups, from a schoolgirl outfit to an elderly grandmother, and takes center stage dancing and rapping to the ‘ShopBack, Get Paid to Shop’ song.

In the opening of the music video, Kumar boasts that “everyone loves a good lobang but no one knows about lobang better than me” before reminding viewers to use the ShopBack app to Get Paid to Shop. The lyrics of the song encourage consumers to shop smart by getting the best deals and earning cashback on their purchases.

“It is an immense pleasure for us to have Kumar on board. He is a well-loved personality and household name in Singapore, and we are proud to have him represent the ShopBack brand and amplify the message of Smarter shopping and saving money to Singaporeans,” said Imran Mohamad, head of marketing at ShopBack Singapore.

Mohamad said the brand chose Kumar to incorporate the exuberance and comedy he carries to the brand’s marketing assets.

“We hope that Singaporeans watching him in our 11.11 music video will feel as though a trusted friend or family member is reminding them that a dollar saved is a dollar earned, and that they can maximize every cent with ShopBack,” he added.

Kumar expressed his excitement and trust to the brand, saying, “Whether you are buying bubble tea, a walking stick, or groceries, you can earn cashback on all your purchases with ShopBack. You should always remember to check on ShopBack before making a purchase from your favorite brands so you can ensure that you are getting it at the best price on the internet. If any Singaporean is still not getting paid to shop by ShopBack, I don’t know what else to say to them already lah,” said Kumar.

For 11.11, ShopBack has lined up cashback offers of up to 60% from over 600 brands. On 10 November, it will be running a Vouchers Bonanza, offering up vouchers from brands including Amazon, Grab, Fairprice, Qoo10, and Zalora.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

K-superstar Lee Min Ho to front as Lazada’s first regional ambassador

Singapore – Southeast Asia eCommerce platform Lazada has partnered with one of South Korea’s most popular leading men Lee Min Ho to become the regional face of the brand, ahead of its 11.11 sale.

Prior to the partnership, Lazada’s ambassadorship has been focused on local personalities from key markets. Lee will be the first-ever to represent the whole of Southeast Asia.

Lazada’s Group Chief Marketing Officer Mary Zhou said that the annual 11.11 shopping festival is its most anticipated and biggest one-day sale of the year, and they want to be able to capture the imaginations of their shoppers with a regional ambassador who can positively inspire SEA consumers.

On choosing Lee, Zhou said, “Lee Min Ho’s exuberant, optimistic, and encouraging personality resonates with Lazada shoppers. [He is] reminiscent of Lazada’s spirit and tagline Go Where Your Heart Beats and [the] signature finger-heart gesture.”

Lee gained a massive fan base when he starred in the television series Boys Over Flowers in 2009. Since then, his popularity grew all over Asia, and is now the most followed Korean actor on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Weibo. He most recently appeared in the Netflix-produced The King: Eternal Monarch.

Lee commented, “I’m excited to join the Lazada family for the 11.11 shopping festival as their first regional brand ambassador. Lazada is known across the region for its innovative and customer-focused approach to online shopping, and working with the Lazada team has been a really fun and creative experience so far. I look forward to introducing more fans and friends in Southeast Asia to the lifestyle platform.”

As part of the campaign lineup, Lee will be starring in a TV commercial which will showcase his online shopping routine. Another commercial will also see him joining the brand’s local ambassadors from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Zhou shared that virtually bringing together both Lee Min Ho and the local brand ambassadors is Lazada’s way of connecting the community despite being geographically separated.

“As 2020 comes to a close, Lazada wants to foster a deeper understanding of the power of the commonalities that exist within our diverse community across Southeast Asia, and how we can unite to harness this strength to support each other through challenging times,” she said.