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Branding Campaign of the Year: Pau-Pau, foodpanda’s brand ambassador

Singapore Looking back, the year 2022 was packed with amazing campaigns that had our jaws dropped and our hearts touched. However, one emerged at the top of our list and gained MARKETECH APAC’s Branding Campaign of the Year nod — foodpanda’s brand mascot ‘Pau-Pau’

Unveiled through foodpanda’s 10th anniversary campaign in Asia last January, Pau-Pau was introduced to the public as its first-of-its-kind brand ambassador that represents sustainability and empowerment. The pink panda mascot was rolled out on the food delivery platform’s channels and interfaces, including the foodpanda app, website, social media accounts, and live-environment activations, amongst others. 

In an interview with Monika Mikusova, senior director of marketing for APAC, foodpanda told us how Pau-Pau was conceptualised, the traction and sentiment he gained from the public, and moreover, what more can we look forward from him and the brand’s campaigns.

The story behind fun-loving and free-spirited Pau-Pau

Before we got to know the Pau-Pau that we now love, foodpanda has been signing on real-life influential personalities to represent the brand. However, foodpanda’s desire to establish a stronger connection with its communities and give its customers someone they can relate to in their everyday lives led to the creation of Pau-Pau. His inception then began two years ago amidst the lockdowns, with over 200 people across 22 nationalities who worked to bring Pau-Pau to life.

“The creation of our own brand ambassador, Pau-Pau, allows us to connect and engage with millions of people who use the foodpanda app daily in a fresh, new way,” said Mikusova. 

Not only that, Pau-Pau was made to have a personality that matches foodpanda’s values: a fun-loving and free-spirited panda who advocates environment sustainability and believes in empowering people to live their lives on their own terms. He also had his own universe: the ‘Pandaverse’.

“As a reflection of our brand purpose, we centred Pau-Pau’s unique personality and passion points on three key values – living life on one’s own terms, the environment, and food and fun. This speaks to our commitment of making food, grocery and essential services delivery accessible to everyone, everywhere quickly around the clock,” she further explained.

How Pau-Pau inspired the foodpanda community

When we think of foodpanda, the image of Pau-Pau may now be the first thing that comes to mind. This signifies that the pink panda has indeed received love from millions of people across Asia even just almost a year from its launch. Unsurprisingly, Pau-Pau was able to build his own fanbase with his fans wanting to see more of him, even in merchandise— talk about popular!

Mikusova even shared a touching story of Pau-Pau’s fan from the Philippines, “For instance, we saw a Facebook post of a customer in the Philippines requesting for a Pau-Pau plushie or soft toy because it was the only thing her godson wanted for his birthday. We were so moved seeing how much this child loved Pau-Pau, that we wanted to do something special to make his birthday memorable!” 

As a champion of empowerment and sustainability, foodpanda through Pau-Pau has also inspired people to live life to the fullest, by simply encouraging them to grab their favourite foodie whenever they would like at any time of the day. He has likewise been the face of foodpanda’s recent green initiatives such as the ‘Let’s do our Pau-rt’ initiative in the Philippines and the launch of a locally produced and sustainable beer in Singapore called ‘Loaf Like A Panda’.

Will we be seeing more from Pau-Pau?

From having his own universe to his own fanbase, we think we may have already seen a lot from Pau-Pau. But for foodpanda, Pau-Pau is a distinct asset that will always inspire them to tell creative stories. Hence, for them, this is only just Pau-Pau’s beginning. 

“Next year will be even more exciting, and potentially Pau-Pau’s universe may grow in the future,” Mikusova concluded.

This recognition is based on Google Analytics results on the most-read stories of 2022, along with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaign results, and overall impact.