Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Automotive group C&C Malaysia names Thomas Tok Chek Kuan as new CEO

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Automotive group Cycle & Carriage (C&C) in Malaysia has announced the appointment of its new CEO, Thomas Tok Chek Kuan. Tok succeeds Wilfrid Foo Tsu-Jin who takes on the role of chairman of C&C and managing director of Cycle & Carriage in Singapore

Cycle & Carriage is an automotive group in Southeast Asia with presence in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar. Tok’s new position comes after holding the role of C&C general manager and head of sales in Malaysia since January 2017. Prior to joining C&C, he held various positions across different functions in Cycle & Carriage Singapore for more than 10 years and spent another four years in China managing dealership operations.

Tok has over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry and held portfolios in sales, auto finance & insurance, vehicle logistics and leasing businesses. His tenure in Zung Fu, a major dealer group for Mercedes-Benz in China, included a stint in managing dealerships in Guangdong, China. 

“Since joining C&C, Thomas has professionalised the sales management operation system across our network and grew our downstream business strongly by leading new business concepts. His familiarity with the company and experiences in the industry is well suited to ensure the stability and continuation of the company’s strategies under his leadership. I am excited to pass the baton over to him and I believe that he will bring Cycle & Carriage to greater heights in years to come,” shared Foo.

Meanwhile, Tok himself commented, “I am excited to take on the Chief Executive role in C&C, an organisation that stands for the hallmark of exceptional service and quality. Mr. Wilfrid Foo has inspired our team here and set an impressive momentum of modernising the retail experience for our customers. I look forward to serving the community with continuous support from our Cycle & Carriage family.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

India’s ŠKODA AUTO marks 20-year journey with a ‘sky’s the limit’ activation campaign

Mumbai, India – As ŠKODA AUTO India marks its 20th anniversary, the automotive brand has launched a new activation which creates one of the highest 3D projections in the country on the sheer rock-face of the Rohtang-La at 10,942 feet above sea level. 

Titled ‘Conquering the Unconquerable’, the activation takes the concept of experiential marketing, and its installation establishes its stronghold in the country by literally establishing its presence on the mighty canvas of Rohtang-La. Through this, the automotive brand is creating a legacy in India that rests on 20 years of innovation by using mesmerizing art projected on a mountain face at an altitude that almost reaches the sky. 

Zac Hollis, ŠKODA AUTO’s brand director, shared that they wanted to set a benchmark and push the boundaries to achieve something beyond imagination. 

“Conquering the Unconquerable is a campaign that is an ode to the brand’s journey and potential. A tribute to ŠKODA being a fun, dynamic, creative, and passion-driven brand,” said Hollis.

Meanwhile, Tarun Jha, ŠKODA AUTO’s head of marketing, commented that the idea of ‘Conquering the unconquerable’ was to create history by taking on the mightiest and craft a story on achieving the unimaginable. 

“With this campaign, we are truly conquering the unconquerable, alongside our partners, who have been a constant source of support and inspiration. We are confident that the beauty of this activation will touch hearts and minds across our consumer base,” said Jha.

The activation’s communications, strategy, and creatives were spearheaded by PHD Media India and Omnicom Media Group India’s content arm, OMG Content.

Monaz Todywalla, PHD Media’s chief executive officer, shared that the campaign is defined by superlative thought and augmented by superlative action that has been conceptualized on the back of the power of imagination. 

“It’s a pleasure for Team PHD to be involved in achieving a feat of this magnitude; partnering with ŠKODA AUTO India to help them Make The Leap with innovation, and we’re excited to witness the response to the eminence of creativity in play at such an impressive scale,” said Todywalla. 

Shailja Saraswati, OMG’s chief content officer, believes that great concepts spark great content, and when those concepts are translated into reality, they know that there is potential for true impact. 

“It has been an incomparable experience working on this unique activation, and we are certain that together as partners we have all conquered the unconquerable in more ways than one,” said Saraswati.

Marketing Featured ANZ

WATCH: GMSV’s inaugural local campaign in ANZ

Australia – General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV), the GM venture operating within Australia and New Zealand, has launched its inaugural locally produced campaign via performance marketing agency Reprise

The campaign called ‘That’s Boss’ introduces GMSV’s Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss to the ANZ market, showcasing the ethos of ‘mateship’ and adventure which are key characteristics of Aussies and Kiwis.

The campaign’s 2-minute video, shot on location in Tasmania, creates a story of a few mates around a campfire reminiscing about the incredible things they’ve done during their day out and about, where their adventures are aided and abetted by the rugged off-roader vehicle.

Marcelo Andrade, national head of strategy for creative & content at Reprise, said the strategy was simply about telling a compelling story based on true and authentic people behavior to drive purchase intent.

Created with a humorous spin, friends in the ad look back on their energy-driven and scenic activities that have been both literally and figuratively done through Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss such as a trip to the countryside, ‘fishing’, a ‘bike ride’, and flying a parachute.

“Key to the campaign is the idea that LT Trail Boss is for adventurers who aren’t afraid to cut their own path and ‘Live Big, Roll Strong’ showcased by the vehicle itself doing what it does best; from tackling rocky landscapes to traversing water crossings and towing heavy loads,” said Andrade.

Jodie Lennon, GMSV’s general manager for marketing, CX, and communications, said, “The campaign highlights a variety of vehicle attributes throughout the videos, always doing so with a liberal dose of humor to give the story a genuine feeling of reality and truth.”

She adds, “We think the humor, set against adventurous backdrops and rugged activities will really resonate with enthusiasts who will relate to the various ‘That’s Boss’ experiences.”

The campaign is the first work created and produced by Reprise since being named GMSV’s creative agency of record in ANZ earlier this year.

Launching last week, the 2’ ‘Hero’ video is supported by more than ten variations of 6”, 15”, 30’’, and 60” spots; a series of comic feature-led videos; digital banners; social posts, and a series of teaser videos, among others. The campaign will feature across social channels including Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Maserati MY taps Aforemention to localize global campaign

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Luxury automotive brand Maserati in Malaysia has tapped performance marketing agency Aforemention for a six-month remit. The agency has been tasked to localize its global ‘Brutal Beauty’ marketing campaign along with a slew of tactical executions.

‘Brutal Beauty’ is the global awareness campaign for the new Levante SUV in 2021 set by Maserati’s HQ in Modena, Italy. The campaign localized by the agency will be called ‘Momentum’, and speaking to MARKETECH APAC, a spokesperson from FOREFRONT, Aforemention’s parent company, shared that for the localization, additional assets will be introduced, featuring city skylines and local destinations to evoke a sense of ‘wanderlust’ and to occupy domestic travel moments.

In addition, Aforemention will be overseeing Maserati Malaysia’s social media accounts, including performance marketing duties such as social media ads and content strategy.

Darien Mah, founder of FOREFRONT Group, said that there is a growing need for automotive brands to establish a digital presence as more consumers are shifting towards a virtual car-buying experience, with most of the decision-making moments happening online.

“We are honored and excited to ride with Maserati Malaysia along with this digital momentum,” said Mah. 

The agency shared that the campaign ‘Momentum’ has been made as a social-first platform that caters to automotive marketing trends that have been accelerated in the new normal. The concept of the campaign aims to incite optimism via the digital ads space, with creative assets that visualize the ‘resilience’ and ‘fighting’ spirit of Malaysians as the nation accelerates towards ‘brighter’ days. 

Jihan Malik, head of marketing and communications at Naza Italia, the importer of Maserati in Malaysia, commented that it is important to recognize and respond to rapid digital shifts in order to stay relevant. 

“With state borders reopening, being present is an opportunity to spread positivity amidst changing times. As such, working with an agency that shares our passion and understands our brand is key to effectively connecting with our audience,” Malik said. 

Sylvester Hiew, partner at Aforemention, remarked, “A partnership with one of the world’s top luxury automotive brands is an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to deliver effectiveness-driven marketing solutions.”

At the start of the year, FOREFRONT was also the one who unveiled the first virtual launch of automotive brand Hyundai in Malaysia, to showcase its car models ‘Kona’ and ‘Sonata’.

Marketing Featured East Asia

BMW China’s new ‘The Convenience Store’ seeks to make buying car as easy as buying sneakers

Shanghai, China – Automotive manufacturer BMW in China has launched ‘The Convenience Store’ on its flagship store in e-commerce TMall, in order to deliver a completely new brand and product experience for a younger generation of car enthusiasts. 

The concept, which was created in collaboration with creative agency TBWA’s Juice Beijing, has been designed to remove traditional barriers associated with purchasing a car, making the experience as seamless as buying the latest pair of sneakers. 

Moreover, ‘The Convenience Store’ integrates popular culture, technology, and service with a brand-led approach, which includes door-to-door delivery, online bidding, car customization, and lifestyle collectibles.

Through door-to-door delivery, customers can now view a model and reserve a test drive with door-to-door delivery without ever stepping into any physical store, while the online bidding is for limited edition cars, where customers can bid to get hyper limited-edition models immediately, avoiding a long waiting list. 

Furthermore, the car customization will enable customers to customize exterior color, wheels, and interior materials for key models enabled by BMW Visualizer tech. And lastly, the lifestyle collectibles will allow customers to purchase a full set of limited edition designed collectibles.

In addition, the initiative includes the BMW pop-up ‘The Convenience Store’ in Huaihai TX, which is the latest street culture landmark in Shanghai. The real-world pop-up provided a complementary sensory experience including Yee’s crafted miniature art cars and collectibles on display, and different art installations to represent the different service experiences in an avant-garde style, mirroring the virtual store.

BMW China has appointed Chinese singer Jackson Yee as its new-generation ambassador to introduce ‘The Convenience Store’ across phygital channels Yee’s creative process in crafting unique miniature BMW art cars, T-shirts, and paintings became the highlight of the lifestyle collectibles.

For customers to gain access to the pop-up, they will simply register at BMW TMall Store to become members.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ford MY’s new ad invites to remember all the good times ‘outdoors’ just until ‘all is well’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Behind the threat to humanity that began upon the entry of 2020, the ‘silver lining’ that this generation has always had, if it may be pointed out, is the power of the digital world, and how digital content has ‘saved’ all by providing a semblance of the old normal such as experiencing the ‘outdoors’ even if it’s just through our screens. 

The pandemic has turned to be a time to innovate the internet and deliver content that would help people cope with the current times, and automotive brand Ford in Malaysia has just done its share, launching a new film that aims to transport viewers and help them touch base with the ‘outdoors’. 

Ford Malaysia
From Ford Malaysia’s new ad ‘Hello Outdoors’

Ford, which has been known to channel passion, energy, and ‘adrenaline rush’ in its campaigns for its car models, has once again hinted at the great outdoors, but this time, more of a ‘hi’ and a gentle reminder that soon, we are all going to come back and be one with nature again. 

In collaboration with Reprise Digital, the full-service integrated communications agency within the IPG Mediabrands network, the film ‘Hello Outdoors’ features scenic spots in Malaysia with a subtle but hopeful greeting on each feature. 

“Hello, Mist,” ‘Hello, open road,” and “Hello, bridge” are some of the greetings the film would say. 

In amplifying the sentiment of the film and to move emotions, Reprise zeroed in on the ‘little things’ and the normal places and structures everyone tends to overlook, reminding the audience how the renewed novelty of the life we got so used to has now made us view it with so much gratitude and beauty. 

Mandar Wairkar, one of Reprise Digital’s creative directors, shared that the idea behind the film stems from something we are all asking right now, “When can we travel again?”

“We know the Ford Ranger audience loves the outdoors, so the intended impact is to evoke that serenity and connection with the outdoors. That spirit of adventure and discovery. It isn’t dead, it is just grounded temporarily,” said Wairkar

Meanwhile, Queenie Tham, the marketing communications head of Sime Darby Auto Connexion-Ford, the sole distributor of Ford in Malaysia, said that the intention of the film is to touch base with Ford Ranger enthusiasts and the people who aspire towards the Ford Ranger brand and lifestyle. 

“Malaysians have been eager for our borders to open, eager to travel, explore and discover the outdoors again. The team at Reprise [has] managed to bring that message of hope, that we will soon have our time outdoors again to live our best lives,” commented Tham. 

In the end, it leaves a very hopeful note with a hint of emotion – “Let’s catch up when all is well again.”

The digital-only campaign was officially launched on 26 July and can be viewed on Ford Malaysia’s Facebook and YouTube. The campaign has also been developed to retain the Ford brand as top-of-mind where viewers are invited to book a live 1-on-1 session with a Ford Ranger Specialist to answer all their questions about the Ford Ranger, while they wait for the roads to open back up. 

Technology Featured ANZ

Your auto has a nickname? The new ‘MyHyundai’ platform makes petting cars official

Australia – Our automobiles do a lot of things for us – they make life a ton easier. Add to that, that cars are a big-purchase item, regardless whether of some lucky spin of fortune, a car has been gifted to you or one that you bought with your hard-earned money – it no less took a hefty amount to obtain. Which is why, it isn’t surprising that a lot of owners ‘baby’ their autos; and just this recently, global vehicle brand Hyundai in Australia, in particular, has revamped its customer platform ‘MyHyundai’ to sing along to wheel enthusiasts’ tunes. 

Hyundai Australia, together with Sydney-based creative technology agency Orchard, has redeveloped the ‘MyHyundai’ platform to take the brand’s customer experience (CX) a notch higher. ‘MyHyundai’ is the car maker’s customer service platform that lets Hyundai car owners manage their servicing needs such as service booking, vehicle management, service history recording, and also serves as a means to place a call for roadside assist or just simply any help on demand.

At the heart of the new ‘MyHyundai’ platform is the call for personalization. Within the platform are helpful and informative content that add to customers’ auto quotient to become better car stewards. The profile that a registered user will create will serve as the basis of the content that will appear in his or her own experience of the platform. Not only that, in the bid of Hyundai to create an even more engaging CX, it has also gamified its navigation, where Hyundai presents tasks and grants ‘trophies’ for every completion.

The Digital & CRM Marketing Manager of Hyundai, John Duff-Gordon, commented, “We are confident that the new owner portal will create a meaningful space for Hyundai to connect with customers. Improving the ownership experience is incredibly important to Hyundai by making it more convenient, rewarding, and intuitive. Our aim is to make the joy of buying a new car last longer. This is just the start of reimagining what the future of ownership looks like.”

What’s even more interesting with the platform is that it lets customers create nicknames for their units and lets them add cars to their ‘garage’. 

Andrew Antoniou, managing partner of Orchard, said that in collaboration with the brand, they had wanted to develop an integrated digital experience that gives more rewards, support, and most importantly, more convenience to Hyundai customers. 

“Ultimately, the MyHyundai portal makes owning simpler, and belonging, more rewarding,” commented Antoniou

This isn’t the first time the two have collaborated on the automobile brand’s CX in Australia. Prior to the portal, Orchard has also developed an AR experience for Hyundai in the mid of social distancing measures. The AR experience was delivered across Hyundai’s most popular vehicles such as the Tucson, Kona, Venue, and i30, and Santa Fe, where customers were able to browse and ‘try’ models such as configuring their colors, place the car into their driveway, and most importantly, booking a test drive. 

Currently, the new ‘MyHyundai’ is exclusive to Australia and is only available on a web-based app. Users can visit through 

Marketing Featured Global

Hyundai, BTS join forces in celebrating Earth Day through new campaign

Seoul, South Korea – Automotive maker Hyundai, together with K-pop group BTS, has launched a new campaign in celebration of this year’s Earth Day, centered around the message of incorporating eco-friendly activities into our daily lives.

The campaign, narrated by BTS member RM, shows a montage of how BTS and other people can start doing actions that can help the environment such as diving to collect trash, using reusable containers and bags when grocery shopping, patronage of eco-friendly, among others.

Titled ‘For Tomorrow We Won’t Wait’, the campaign’s theme stresses the importance of acting now to directly impact the future of our environment.

“We want to celebrate the independent thinkers who are participating in eco-friendly activities to improve their everyday lives while raising awareness and inspiring others to making meaningful changes in their lives too,” the video description read.

Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Hyundai commented, “Hyundai Motor and BTS have continued to work together to spread the values of sustainability to the world. [This] generation’s growing awareness of how their lifestyle choices and purchasing decisions are impacting the environment has led them to seek greener solutions for their daily needs.”

This is Hyundai Motor’s second Earth Day video starring BTS, the first of which was released last year, generating over 100 million views on YouTube. Hyundai Motor has collaborated with BTS on its global hydrogen campaign since last year to spread awareness on the importance of sustainable practices and the future of hydrogen as a source of clean energy under the slogan ‘Because of You.’

BTS had also previously worked with Hyundai in releasing the song ‘IONIQ: I’m On It’.