Sydney, Australia – Adtech Kargo has announced that it is bringing its video advertising product suite to Asia-Pacific, more specifically in the markets of Australia and New Zealand, India, and Southeast Asia. Said solutions put brands front and centre with optimised creative ensuring that they are seen with the intended visual impact. 

Kargo currently has three video advertising solutions which includes:

  • ‘Branded Canvas’ – squeezes video back with additional product imagery and messaging, driving deeper awareness and memorability.
  • ‘The Split Card’ – offers large real estate next to the video ad, ideal for product showcases, promotional offers or oversized call-to-action prompts.
  • ‘The Interactive’ – adds subtle branding elements on top of the video for playful motion and bonus attention. 

According to the company, its video advertising solutions have the capability to deliver experiences on the small screen using proprietary technology design and deep integrations into their curated supply.

Neill Pitt, sales director at Kargo APAC, said, “Kargo understands what works for consumers and brands. Enhanced video ads make brands relevant, capturing attention and increasing performance against key metrics, even above industry standards. We’re thrilled to offer our video advertising in APAC, where digital advertising, particularly video, is in a growth phase. APAC advertisers can make a better impression with Kargo enhanced video ads.”

Kargo recently acquired connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) platform VideoByte, as part of its mission to deliver differentiated interactions to audiences through various platforms.

Singapore – As part of its 150th year anniversary of the iconic ‘501 jean’, global clothing brand Levi’s has rolled out a slew of local celebrations across various markets in Asia-Pacific, as well as in other global markets.

A large chunk of the local event activations in the Asia-Pacific region came from the markets in Southeast Asia, South Korea, and Greater China.

In Singapore, denim lovers and fans enjoyed exclusive early-access to an all-new 501® denim line-up, live performances by homegrown DJs Clammr and TINC, workshops by sustainability-focused creative studio FIN Crafted Goods, and live customisation by the iconic Levi’s® Tailor Shop.

Meanwhile, over at Thailand, the experience was held at the newly-renovated shopping hotspot Siam Square, complete with live customisation at the Levi’s® Tailor Shop and handicraft studio Craft Creator, and digital art recreating the stories behind each consumer’s own Levi’s® offering. Moreover, Levi’s was involved at Pattaya stop of global music festival Rolling Loud, as part of the brand’s global partnership with the music festival.

In South Korea, the experience was celebrated with an exclusive, invite-only event featuring the brand newest global ambassadors, K-Pop girl group NewJeans. The event included a product archive showcasing the 150-year history of the 501 jean, as well as a music concert with performances by NewJeans and local music artists BIG Naughty and Zior Park.

Over at the Greater China region, the experience was done through dedicated brand experience space inspired by the fusion of American denim and Chinese characters, with included an auction for limited edition 501 jeans. Moreover, Levi’s worked with art installation group L+L to launch branded art installations.

Nuholt Huisamen, senior vice president and managing director for East Asia-Pacific at Levi Strauss & Co., said, “Through the years, Levi’s® stands tall as the original pioneer of denim, blending quality craftsmanship, innovation, and timeless fashion. We’ve dressed icons, rebels, and innovators alike, making our mark on history. More than a pair of jeans; we are a symbol of self-expression and authenticity.”

He added, “From the rebellious ‘50s to the rockin’ 80s and beyond, Levi’s® has been a trusted companion on every adventure and the brand remains very much at the center of culture and top-of-mind for youths.”

Singapore – Keso Kendall, most recently the head of regional strategic accounts for Asia-Pacific, has been promoted by TEAM LEWIS as its newest senior vice president for Asia-Pacific. In her new role, she will be leading the agency’s business in the region following a slew of business wins such as Pizza Hut, Circles.Life, and the Singapore National Youth Council

Kendall will play a vital part in driving the agency’s overall strategy – expanding its client base, and leading cross-functional teams to deliver results. She will also work closely with the global and regional executive team to further solidify the agency’s position in the market.

She replaces Fairil Yeo, who will be leaving the business for a new role after being at TEAM LEWIS for 8 years. Kendall’s promotion took effect in 1 June this year, and will report to Yvonne van Bokhoven, executive vice president for EMEA and APAC at TEAM LEWIS.

Kendall brings 12 years of experience in PR, marketing, public affairs, branding and communications to the role. With a background covering both B2B and B2C marketing, she has worked with brands across APAC to deliver local, regional and global campaigns that drive business impact.

Commenting on her new role, she said, “I am extremely excited and energised to be stepping up to lead our fantastic APAC team. As the marketing landscape continues to evolve and face new challenges, I know the team will continue to deliver exceptional, impactful and creative work.”

Meanwhile, van Bokhoven commented, “Her extensive experience, industry knowledge, and leadership skills make her the ideal candidate to take our agency to new heights. I have no doubt that Keso will play a key role in driving our continued success and helping us achieve our ambitious goals. We thank Fairil Yeo for his excellent contribution to our business and wish him well for the future.”

Singapore – The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) has appointed media veteran Gregory Ho as its senior advisor. Ho was most recently the vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD).

In his new role, Ho will support AVIA CEO Louis Boswell and work closely with the teams in Singapore and Hong Kong, focussing particularly on the curation of AVIA events and conferences as well as membership development and engagement. He will continue to be based in Singapore.

During his previous stint at WBD, he led the corporate communications and marketing for the media and entertainment conglomerate’s entire portfolio of brands, services and businesses as well as Warner Bros., CNN, Cartoon Network and HBO, across Asia Pacific. 

He also had a long spell with Sony Pictures Entertainment – which included leadership roles overseeing marketing, communications, ad sales, research, channel management and operations for its networks in Asia. He began his career with positions at CNBC Asia and Mediacorp Singapore.

Speaking on his new role, Ho said, “I look forward to working with Louis and the small but mighty AVIA team as we continue to support the industry and our members, shining the spotlight on growth opportunities and the most pressing challenges through our events and conferences – sharing, discussing and debating what matters most to us. I’m honoured to have this opportunity to give back to the industry that I love and has been my career for the past 3 decades.”

Meanwhile, Boswell commented, “As our industry continues to evolve during this period of tremendous flux and transition, I’m delighted to have Greg joining the team. His deep experience and understanding of our industry and his extensive network of contacts will be a tremendous asset as we continuously strive to represent and support the industry’s and our members’ needs including the opportunity to share, learn and engage with each other through our various events and conference.”

Singapore – VICE Media’s creative agency Virtue has appointed Chloe Fair as its client services director ahead of the agency’s next phase of growth in the region.

Fair combines creative ideas with measurable business outcomes. She will drive commercial and operational excellence at Virtue, growing the account management team and its capabilities, in addition to developing client partnerships and new business opportunities.

She was most recently the vice president of regional branding at Lazada. Prior to this, she also spent three years as the head of brand marketing at Income, where she expanded her portfolio into segment marketing, piloting new customer journey design, content strategy and personalisation efforts.

Fair also has prior agency experience with BBH and Wunderman Singapore across a range of global brands including Ikea, Xbox and Microsoft. 

She will be reporting to Lesley John, Virtue APAC’s managing director.

Speaking on her appointment, Fair said, “This signals a move back to the agency world for me as I’ve missed the energy and ideas that stem from a creative environment. I’m so honoured to call Virtue my new home, where its culture-led thinking and approach unlock powerful ways we can partner brands to play a visible and valued role inside culture. I am excited to be part of this talented crew to further our growth and prominence in APAC.”

Meanwhile, John commented, “Chloe is a proven leader with hybrid agency and marketing experience that has seen her deliver award-winning, engaging, culturally relevant and effective campaigns across a number of categories. She will ensure our existing and new clients continue to get the best strategic insights and creative thinking and I’m delighted to welcome her to Virtue’s growing regional team at a time when more companies are looking to us to build their brands from the inside of culture.”

Singapore – Dentsu Singapore and SaaS suite Grasp have announced a partnership to offer media excellence in Asia-Pacific. Said partnership will leverage dentsu Singapore’s media expertise and Grasp’s proprietary preventive media and data excellence technology to deliver a comprehensive suite of media excellence solutions including campaign configuration verification, golden rule monitoring, and audience measurement. 

Moreover, the joint offering will serve to meet the evolving needs of brands in the region by optimising ad spend and ensuring that the important aspects of digital advertising strategies are followed meticulously.

Hemant Menon, client partner and performance marketing lead for media group at dentsu Singapore, said, “Dentsu Singapore has been at the forefront of providing real and tangible solutions to help our clients in delivering successful media strategies across the region. As media channels continue to evolve, it is more important than ever to ensure that digital campaigns are delivered with precision, accuracy, and efficiency. With Grasp’s unique proposition of advocating conscious and responsible solutions and dentsu’s experience in media execution, we will now be able to offer unparalleled media excellence solutions for brands across APAC.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Phua, performance director for media group at dentsu Singapore, commented, “Given the complex and fragmented set up of the APAC digital landscape, our clients will appreciate the efficiency and flawless platform navigation that our partnership with Grasp offers. With Grasp’s pioneering media excellence technology, we will be able to deliver media excellence by mitigating overspend in digital campaigns, ensuring accurate implementation of brand naming conventions in campaigns, and by embedding central governance of campaign set-up standards for seamless campaign execution to extract more value from media.”

Lastly, Jessica Michen, chief operating officer at Grasp, said, “We are thrilled to partner with dentsu Singapore to deliver media excellence in the APAC region. Dentsu Singapore’s reputation as a leading agency in the region and our unique preventive technology in media excellence make this a powerful partnership that will deliver value to brands across the region.”

Singapore – Dentsu has appointed Prerna Mehrotra into the newly-created role of chief client officer for Asia-Pacific. This adds up to Mehrotra’s existing role as chief executive office role for media in APAC.

In this newly created role for the region, Prerna will focus on designing and delivering an elevated client experience across dentsu’s services in creative, media and customer experience management (CXM). 

She also continues her responsibility of overseeing the group’s leading media brands Carat, dentsu X and iProspect, working closely with her leadership team, global and local market teams to deliver value across the media ecosystem on behalf of clients.

Speaking on her added role, Mehrotra said, “Partnering with clients has been the essence of my journey in this industry. In the last two decades, I’ve worked with a diverse mix of clients across many verticals and markets including Singapore, China and India. I find real joy in understanding a client’s business challenge and collaborating with them to solve for these challenges.” 

She added, “One thing has always been clear – my commitment to put forward the best of my agency’s expertise in creating a competitive advantage for the brands I work with. I can’t wait to continue this journey, pooling together the best talent, capabilities and thought leadership to drive excellence for the clients we work with.”

Meanwhile, Rob Gilby, CEO for APAC at dentsu said: “Prerna joined dentsu in 2016 as our Head of Investment and has continued to show her star quality, working across division and clients. This appointment is huge testament to Prerna’s tenacity and growth mindset. She consistently demonstrates outstanding leadership and understanding of the changing client and consumer landscape, innovating products and services to capitalise on new opportunities for growth. I look forward to working close

Singapore – Tech-enabled coffee chain Flash Coffee has announced that they have completed its Series B financing round, raising US$50m in funding. This will be used then to expand its footprint across the Asia-Pacific region to serve high-quality specialty coffee.

Flash Coffee aims to double down its current expansion in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea, as well keeping updated on their own technology and product innovation and further developing the sales performance of existing stores.

The coffee chain will continue expanding deeper into its most mature market, Indonesia, where the fast-growing middle class is rapidly driving coffee consumption in Southeast Asia’s most populous country. 

Following the company’s successful entry into Bandung – its first expansion outside of a capital city – with 11 outlets across the metropolitan area of over 8.8 million inhabitants, Flash Coffee will be officially launching in the vibrant city of Surabaya in July 2023. 

The funding round was led by White Star Capital, with support from Delivery Hero, Geschwister Oetker, and Conny & Co.

David Brunier, founder and CEO of Flash Coffee, said, “We are grateful to have the continued backing of our shareholders in this financing round. With 100% of our 92 stores in Indonesia being profitable, we have found a solid product market fit and are eager to expand our presence into additional cities in Indonesia to further drive sustainable growth.” 

He added, “Offering a product that people love and following our ongoing trajectory of topline and profitability improvements, we are confident that we will reach our overarching goal of being profitable on a group level next year.” 

Singapore – Global recommendation platform Outbrain has named Amrita de la Peña as its new managing director for Asia-Pacific. In her new role, de la Peña will be responsible for expanding the company’s offerings for agencies, brand advertisers, and publishers in the region.

Prior to joining Outbrain, she was recently the first general manager for Sprout Social in APAC. She also spent six years as the head of global brands for JAPAC at Twitter.

She brings with her over 25 years of experience in the digital marketing, media and advertising space.

Speaking of her new role, she said, “I am excited to join Outbrain at a time when the company is poised for significant growth in the APAC region. More and more marketers are understanding the real importance of trusted, premium content environments and looking to drive measurable outcomes and deeper engagement with audiences. I look forward to helping more brands, advertisers, and publishers leverage Outbrain’s suite of innovative technology and create even more value for all sides.”

Meanwhile, Alexander Erlmeier, chief revenue officer at Outbrain, commented: “Amrita is a seasoned leader with a track record of success in the digital marketing and advertising space. We are thrilled to have her on board as we continue to innovate our solutions to better serve brands, advertisers, and publishers. With her expertise and leadership, we are confident that we can build even more strong partnerships and deliver innovative solutions for our clients.”

De la Peña’s appointment follows recent appointments within Outbrain’s C-suite lineup namely Yonatan Maman as chief technology officer and Andraz Tori as chief product officer.

Singapore – VICE World News, the current affairs channel under digital media and broadcasting company VICE Media, has announced a wave of layoffs globally, including the entirety of its newsroom team in the Asia-Pacific region.

Natashya Gutierrez, who served as the editor-in-chief for Asia-Pacific at VICE World News, tweeted out that she is grateful for the reporting she and her team had done in the region, adding that they will always be proud of the stories they have shared throughout their stay at the company.

Other newsroom members that were affected include Alan Wong, managing editor for APAC; Sahar Habib Ghazi, editor for South Asia; Alastair McCready, editor for Asia-Pacific; journalist JC Gotinga; Greater China and East Asia reporter Rachel Cheung; Japan-based reporter Hanako Montgomery; South Asia journalist Pallavi Pundir; senior reporter Gavin Butler; Southeast Asia reporter Koh Ewe; and Thailand-based journalist Caleb Quinley.

Wall Street Journal first reported that VICE World News looks to sell itself, and recently hired an interim finance chief to commence the media buy-out.

The news comes after a recent wave of media-related layoffs globally, including from BuzzFeed News, sports news network ESPN, business media company Insider, and mass media group Vox Media.