Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Global marketing company Stagwell adds Thai ad agency CJ Worx to global affiliate network

Bangkok, Thailand – Global marketing and communications company Stagwell has added Thai independent advertising agency CJ Worx to its global affiliate network. This is in part of Stagwell’s objective to build on its investments made in Asia-Pacific in 2022.

As part of the network, CJ Worx will be bringing its expertise in creative content and digital transformation to the table, strengthening Stagwell’s ability to serve brands in Asia-Pacific with top-notch digital creativity. 

In addition, with its substantial presence in Thailand and Southeast Asia, CJ Worx will provide valuable insights and support to Stagwell as it continues to expand its reach and impact in the region.

Randy Duax, managing director, Asia-Pacific for Stagwell, said, “When we saw the outstanding work Jinn and the CJ Worx team were producing and the capabilities they had, we knew we had to bring them into the Stagwell family. CJ Worx is a highly respected and accomplished agency with the same born-to-be-digital roots as Stagwell. They’re a jewel in the region. We believe their expertise and experience will be valuable to our Global Affiliate Network.”

Stagwell has taken several steps in recent months to enhance its footprint across Asia-Pacific, including the formal opening of its regional headquarters in Singapore, a new office in Malaysia, and the addition of several of the region’s leading creative and media shops as affiliate network partners. 

Meanwhile, Jinn Powprapai, chairman and co-founder at CJ Worx, commented, “CJ Worx and Stagwell is a natural partnership. We define ourselves as the ‘Today agency’ where digital is no longer new but just the way of modern business. We never stop restructuring ourselves because the digital environment constantly changes.”

He added, “Thai creativity is some of the best in the world. We are confident that our collaboration with Stagwell will allow us to expand our reach here in Thailand and export this region’s world-class approach to creativity to global markets. I want to show the world how unique creativity is in Thailand.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Paper Moose’s humorous 8-bit mobile game highlights importance of purpose-led advertising

Australia Independent creative agency Paper Moose has launched its 8-bit style mobile game, highlighting the value of entertainment and humour in purpose-led brand advertising and marketing.

Titled, ‘The Wild West of Purpose’, the game features an image of a foot used as an imagery of carbon footprints. This is controlled by the user, navigating through the wild west setting with the goal of avoiding the obstacles in the game.

The game is also targeted at reducing carbon footprints and staying clear of greenwashing and emissions. 

Nick Hunter, Paper Moose’s co-founder and CEO, said that while brand purpose is a serious business, the agency does not believe that seriousness is the best way to reach its audiences.

He added, “We believe most people have had enough of worthy advertising and yearn to be entertained. We work to make purpose-led brands more accessible rather than holier-than-thou. After all, the last few years have been serious enough.”

Paper Moose has also previously entered partnerships with ethical wealth management company Australian Ethical and fintech company Brighte.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Calling all gamers—McDonald’s PH lets you exchange ‘food-alikes’ in video games for actual food items

Manila, Philippines – McDonald’s in the Philippines is jumping into the gaming space for its latest campaign. Called ‘Unbranded Menu’, the new campaign aims challenge gamers to hunt for McDonald’s ‘food-alikes’ across video games and then swap their inedible discoveries for actual McDonald’s items.

The campaign, made in collaboration with advertising agency Leo Burnett, began when the Philippines’ popular gaming personality Alodia Gosiengfiao found a Big Mac look-a-like inside Grand Theft Auto V and posted a screengrab of it. She then challenged her eight million followers to do the search. 

More gamers and streamers joined in and tagged their discoveries #ThisIsMcDonalds, which signalled the start of the hunt. 

Some of the Philippines’ top gamers and their fans are also already sharing pictures of unbranded and logo-free virtual food items that resemble the iconic French Fries, Big Mac, and Quarter Pounder sandwiches, amongst other McDonald’s food items. These have been found in classic video games like The Sims and Resident Evil; online multiplayer games like Fall Guys, Roblox, and PUBG; role-playing games such as Genshin Impact, Final Fantasy, The Last of Us, and Persona; and giant titles like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Cyberpunk 207, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Raoul Panes, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe Philippines and Leo Burnett Manila, said that the campaign was targeted at connecting with the Philippines’ 40+ million strong gaming community.

“Then we stumbled upon an amazing discovery: so much food in the gaming multiverse looks just like McDonald’s products, despite being unbranded. Why not hack this unbranded space to build brand love for McDonald’s through the gamer behavior of screen-grabbing milestones and discoveries for posterity or bragging rights?” he added.

To fuel the hunt, McDonald’s has also been giving gaming credits, consoles, and other gaming merchandise in exchange for screengrabs of food-alikes with the #ThisIsMcDonalds tag.

“It has been fascinating to follow this virtual hunt and watch gamers exchanging virtual food clones for the real deal. Leo Burnett’s idea taps into the relationship between gamers and food, which is a big part of gaming culture, and helps us to connect with a huge gaming audience in the Philippines and beyond,” Oliver Rabatan, McDonald’s Philippines chief marketing officer, further explained.

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter’s policy banning tweets promoting rival socmed retracted after a few hours 

Singapore – Hours after the announcement of banning users from promoting rival social media platforms, Twitter has deleted its previous announcement regarding said social media policy, with the dedicated page for it now unavailable.

In a series of now-deleted tweets, the official page of Twitter Support had said that starting December 18, they would no longer allow promotion of particular social media platforms on Twitter.

Some of the mentioned platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr, and Post. In addition, link-in-bio tools like Linktree and Lnk.Bio will be also banned.

“We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said back then on its policy page.

However, it is worth noting that the social media platform said it will allow such types of tweets provided they fall under paid advertising or paid promotion.

The policy deletion was a result of the quick widespread criticism of said policy, including those by influencers who often cross-promote their social media platforms from one medium to another.

At the moment, Twitter’s safety page is currently holding a poll related to said ban on rival social media platforms. The poll revealed highly favoured opposition, with 85.5% of the respondents against such policy.

The new policies are done under the leadership of new CEO Elon Musk, who started off his time in the company by firing the company’s C-suite leadership, as well as doing massive layoffs which have reached marketing and communications teams in the Asia-Pacific region.

Technology Featured South Asia

Dentsu Programmatic launches programmatic supply solution ‘Dentsu Curate’ in India

India – Dentsu Programmatic has announced the launch of ‘Dentsu Curate’, a strategic programmatic supply solution, in India. Said solution enables advertisers to target premium and brand-safe inventory, allowing them to bring better performance leading to high operational efficiency for all campaigns.

In addition, the solution aims to improve media quality by consolidating supply and involving deeper integrations with tech platforms and data partners.

Dentsu Curate is built on dentsu international’s global clean supply initiative. The programmatic supply solution guides advertisers in buying digital inventory across media on behalf of dentsu X, Carat, and iProspect in a brand-safe and fraud-free environment.

This is done through robust evaluation mechanisms, with industry-leading partnerships offering high-quality premium supply coupled with supply path optimisation modelling.

Speaking on the launch, Divya Karani, South Asia chief executive officer for media at dentsu said, “Dentsu Curate offers our clients’ assurance and trust in maximising fraud-free, brand safe, and viewable inventory. Dentsu’s ability to fulfil these assurances entails working with the right supply partners with robust solutions and value to ensure clean supply in building a marketplace for our advertisers.”

Through Dentsu Curate, clients can once again get control by building up their bespoke marketplace across Display, Mobile, CTV, DOOH, and native. India’s fragmented landscape in OTT and growing CTV as with this solution they can curate across publishers but drive a certain campaign objective of video or viewability. It allows them the flexibility to have control across their inventory via multiple parameters such as third-party audiences, context, inventory type, among others.

Salil Shanker, chief operating officer at Dentsu Programmatic said, “At dentsu, we are committed to investing our brand dollars to deliver maximum efficiency and efficacy whilst safeguarding brand legacy. With the launch of Dentsu Curate, we are equipped to help enable great value and outcomes for our clients and support a fair marketplace.” 

Meanwhile, Saagar Sethi, president at Amplifi India commented, “It is all about finding the right mixture of quality publishers and partners that align with our defined quality KPIs. Our Inventory Superiority Mechanism is used to analyse the quality of a publisher across a variety of our trusted partners. With Dentsu Curate we safeguard transparency on the overall media operations.”

Technology Featured East Asia

Moving Walls, jeki team up to meet growing local demand for media assets

Tokyo, Japan – Adtech solutions provider Moving Walls and local OOH company jeki have teamed up to see jeki screens light up across Japan as the country caters to an influx of inbound and outbound demand on a global scale.

The partnership will build and strengthen a seamless system to meet a growing demand for media assets. Moving Walls will leverage itself as a global media solution partner to bring global buyers to jeki media. 

Meanwhile, jeki will have access to a global network of clients from which they can tap into global and regional digital budgets to execute campaigns in Japan. Jeki will also work with Moving Walls to run overseas campaigns for Japanese clientele.

Srikanth Ramachandran, group CEO and founder at Moving Walls, said, “This is a historic partnership for Moving Walls. We are proud to partner with a forward thinking and innovative media owner such as jeki – whose ideals for both Japan and beyond are admirable. This is the first of many more steps to come.”

Meanwhile, Atsushi Takahashi, managing director and CDO of jeki, commented, “Jeki noticed the increasing momentum of Japan-bound tourism in Southeast Asia with the easing of Corona-related entry restrictions. We are confident that networking OOH in Southeast Asia will be a powerful boost for our clients, especially as we specialise in tourism promotions for local governments and other clients throughout Japan.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

RHB Bank emphasises dedication to service in new brand campaign

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysian banking company RHB Bank, in collaboration with creative agency FCB SHOUT, has released a new campaign titled ‘The Extra Mile’ highlighting the former’s customer-first culture and service excellence values.

The campaign features a short film inspired by the true story of two RHB staff from Kuala Kangsar, who travelled 140 kilometres to Gerik during the pandemic to help a bedridden customer withdraw his Employees Provident Fund for medical expenses.

Speaking about the campaign, Group Chief Marketing Officer of RHB Group Abdul Sani Abdul Murad said, “We knew right from the get-go that a commercial about RHB’s commitment in providing service excellence has to be based on a true story of our staff, because the RHB  brand that Malaysians have come to know and love is not built by the numbers in our annual report or the products that we have, but by our people.”

He added that the campaign is aimed at showing the public the “unsung heroes” of the company, who go beyond their call of duty by providing the best service possible.

Meanwhile, Tjer, FCB SHOUT’s head of creative, added, “The pressure on us was immense because we had to do justice to such an incredible true story. We could’ve taken the easy way out by simply producing a documentary, but to stay true to the work that the agency has been creating for RHB over the years, we took up the challenge to produce a commercial that contains a cornucopia of entertainment, emotions and unexpected twists.”

Tjer also thanked their production partners D’Moving Pictures and Grand Theft Records for making the campaign possible. 

“While brand commercials about service excellence are neither new nor rare, what makes ‘The Extra Mile’ such a uniquely powerful story is the fact that it’s based on a true story. This film is proof that RHB is a bank that truly walks the talk,” FCB SHOUT’s Co-Owner and Chief Creative Officer Ong Shi Ping, concluded.

RHB Bank has also previously released creative advertisements to celebrate Eid/Hari Raya and Chinese New Year.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

foodpanda forms long-term collaboration with Huawei to launch app in Huawei smartphones

Singapore – Food and grocery delivery platform foodpanda has announced a long-term collaboration with Huawei to launch the foodpanda app on the HUAWEI AppGallery for all Huawei smartphone users. The foodpanda app will also be pre-installed on millions of new Huawei mobile devices across the region.

In addition, Huawei will run a series of integrated advertising campaigns on foodpanda’s adtech platform, panda ads. In turn, foodpanda will also be leveraging Huawei’s Ads platform, which includes Huawei’s own media and third party media channels to reach out to Huawei users.

The online-to-offline collaboration will also span across foodpanda and Huawei’s social media channels as well as foodpanda’s OOH billboards. This campaign will be rolled out in Southeast Asia.

With this partnership, hundreds of millions of Huawei smartphone users can now get food, groceries, electronics, gifts, and more delivered to their doorsteps.

Since 1 November 2022, the foodpanda app has been available to Huawei smartphone users in foodpanda’s 11 markets. 

Kiranjeet Singh Purba, senior director for advertising and partnerships at foodpanda, said, “We’re excited to join forces with Huawei and help it reach millions of foodpanda customers who are digital-savvy and can therefore resonate with Huawei’s latest technologies and advancements. It also opens doors for us to touch the lives of millions of Huawei users who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the conveniences that on-demand deliveries offer.”

Meanwhile, Rei Xiao, director of mobile ecosystem business growth at Huawei for APAC region, commented, “With foodpanda on our AppGallery, we are able to elevate the experiences of our users, increasing convenience and making deliveries accessible to them. Users can continue to look forward to more benefits and enhanced experiences through Huawei’s expanding cooperation with global partners.”

The recent partnership comes after foodpanda’s multiple partnerships this year, including with The LEGO Group, and J&T Express.

Technology Featured APAC

Publicis Groupe, Playground xyz team up to implement attention measurement, optimisation solutions in APAC

Sydney, Australia – Advertising agency company Publicis Groupe in APAC has teamed up with martech company Playground xyz to implement attention measurement and optimisation solutions across Publicis Groupe APAC clients’ digital ad campaigns.

The project expands on an ongoing partnership that has seen Playground help Publicis Groupe APAC clients test attention-based solutions and build a clear understanding of the actual levels of consumer attention their digital display advertising receives.

Next stages of the partnership will look to test how Playground’s attention solutions can be applied to other advertising approaches and channels, including contextual targeting and YouTube video ads.

Playground xyz’s ‘Attention Intelligence Platform’ uses real eye-tracking data from an opt-in panel, fused with AI to deliver attention measurement and optimisation.

Sapna Nemani, chief product and solution officer for APAC at Publicis Groupe said, “Brands have always been in the business of capturing and converting attention. Yet, as an industry, we have found it hard to quantify this, until now. The ability to measure attention meaningfully gives us an accurate perspective on effectiveness, and this is a game changer.”

Meanwhile, Rob Hall, CEO of Playground xyz, commented, “We’re continuing to find that attention time is an incredibly reliable and effective predictor of brand outcomes. It’s capable of unearthing hugely beneficial insights that will undoubtedly help brands more effectively formulate their strategies. Attention data is the missing ingredient in advertisers’ quests to secure maximum ROI and we’re incredibly excited to be helping Publicis’ clients realise its potential.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Lemma names Puneet Biyani as new company president

Mumbai, India – Puneet Biyani has been named company president of Lemma, an independent supply side platform for digital out-of-home, in order to expand the company’s global footprint. Biyani will collaborate with the board of directors and the leadership team in APAC and other regions to develop the company’s business growth vision, global market expansion strategy, and all operations in all markets.

With over two decades of experience in business operations, finance, international market and strategy, Biyani will be joining Lemma immediately. 

Biyani said, “I am really excited to be part of this amazing team. Lemma has been a pioneer in the digital advertising segment. I look forward to working closely with the team on the exciting journey ahead. The space is bound to expand rapidly, and on the technology front, Lemma is well positioned to lead and shape the development.”

Biyani spent the majority of his career with The Times of India Group, where he held the position of chief financial officer for Times Innovative Media Limited (Times OOH) while also leading their Mauritius business. He also worked for multinational corporations such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Goldman Sachs. His most recent job was with Times OOH, a Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd subsidiary.

Founder and CEO of Lemma, Gulab Patil stated, “Having Puneet onboard as company president at Lemma will inject a new level of energy and innovative thinking to help accelerate the company’s growth and attain our vision of transforming DOOH to mainstream digital as we enter a new phase of scaling business.”

“Puneet’s expertise aligns perfectly with our business expansion plan as we continue to strengthen our technology and team globally and enhance our programmatic DOOH presence.” Patil said.

Biyani will be based in Lemma’s Delhi office and will serve as a liaison between all teams and markets in the city.