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Marketing Featured South Asia

Edtech upGrad’s latest ad makes online degrees a mainstream phenomenon

Mumbai, India – The pandemic has impacted today’s education, which resulted in the increase of demand for digital learning, and with this, India-based higher edtech company, upGrad, has launched its latest brand film to highlight the importance of online degrees.

upGrad hosts online degree courses from the country’s top universities like Chandigarh University, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and JAIN. It also provides an opportunity to circumvent the pandemic impact on the aspirations of Indian students and working professionals who are now looking at an alternative to the offline learning modes of obtaining degrees without compromising on the learning and career outcomes.

upGrad Online Degrees
upGrad Online Degrees

Created in collaboration with creative agency The Womb, the new brand film is a part of its clarion call ‘Sirf Naam Ki Nahin, Kaam Ki Degree’, which translates to ‘do not get the degree for the name but one that helps you move ahead and get a job.’

Titled, ‘Online Bachelor’s Degrees’, the ad features a jingle vocalized by a group of four friends, addressing the fading education dreams of Indian learners to get a meaningful degree amid the COVID-19 situation.

Arjun Mohan, the CEO of upGrad India, said that due to offline education system taking a backseat, there’s a lot of tension and confusion among India’s working professionals who are looking to get an acceleration in their careers, and the situation is alike with freshers who are worried about a year backlog that might hamper their career growth. 

“We have partnered with the leading universities to provide young India with UGC Entitled and WES Recognised degree courses to give them a 360-degree university experience online. Post the course completion, we will also assist these learners with career services that involve a paid internship up to 6 months and placement support up to 3 years based on their performance,” said Mohan.

Meanwhile, The Womb’s Co-Founder, Kawal Shoor, commented, “Our campaign borrows from the current reality but also is geared towards positioning online undergraduate education as a powerful alternative to trudging to a nearby big city to access quality education.”

The brand film is now available in over 50 television channels across geographies, along with 360-degree amplifications in other media channels.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Hindustan Unilever partners with VMLY&R Commerce to launch ‘Smart Fill’ machine

Mumbai, India – The Mumbai-headquartered fast-moving consumer goods company, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), has just recently launched its first-ever ‘Smart Fill’ machine, an in-store vending model for its Home Care products, playing on the popular sustainability mantra of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ with their own version ‘Reuse, Refill, and Reward.’ 

HUL is a subsidiary of Unilever that offers several consumer goods, including food, beverages, and cleaning agents, as well as personal care products, and water purifiers, among others. 

The initiative, which is created in collaboration with global creative commerce company VMLY&R Commerce, aims to offer consumers an innovative option to reuse their plastic bottles by refilling products from HUL’s flagship brands, including Surf Excel, Comfort, and Vim.

As part of the pilot program, the new ‘Smart Fill’ machines have already been rolled out, seeking to expand across prominent retailers and modern trade outlets across the country. To access products from the machine, consumers can either use their old empty bottles or purchase a ‘Smart Fill’ bottle from the store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers will be offered a discount on the regular retail price if they bring their own bottles.

Prabha Narasimhan, the executive director for Home Care at Hindustan Unilever and vice president for Home Care at Unilever South Asia, shared that today’s consumers are conscious of the values that their favorite brands hold, and shop accordingly, so not only are they able to make a real impact on the amount of wasted plastic but the consumers are reacting in an extremely positive way. 

“VMLY&R Commerce has helped us take a problem that was truly impacting our customers and solution it into something that helps both the environment and our business,” said Narasimhan. 

Meanwhile, VMLY&R Commerce’s Chief Operating Officer, Shankar Shinde, commented that they are thrilled to partner with HUL on a creative solution that helps combat single-use plastic.

“We’re proud to work with a partner who is taking a stand against industry norms in packaging and offering sustainable solutions. With the aim of making the world a less polluted place for tomorrow’s generation, we are working with HUL to make this an open-source initiative all key retail players are able to offer their consumers,” said Shinde.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

7-Eleven HK to donate 1,000 7-SELECT chicken legs as store marks 40-year journey

Hong Kong – The global convenience store chain, 7- Eleven, has pledged to donate 1,000 7-SELECT chicken legs for 40 consecutive weeks to be distributed to Hong Kongers in need, marking its important 40th year in the industry.

The new initiative, which is done in partnership with Food Angel a local NGO, is part of 7-Eleven’s effort to be in the daily lives of Hongkongers. The donations will be delivered to recipients via Food Angel’s Community Centre, Community Food Assistance Service, and Automated Food Dispenser Service – an innovative initiative that allows for the flexible collection of chilled meals.

In addition, Food Angel will distribute the donations across its 180 charity partners. It is expected to help over 10,000 recipients including the elderly, low-income families, and people recovering from mental health problems, as well as cage home residents, and disabled people.

According to 7-Eleven, during the height of the pandemic last year, they have initiated several activities to help those most impacted by the outbreak. They have donated and delivered 70,000 food items to local neighborhoods and launched the ‘Charity Meal Voucher Program’, which raised over 550,000 vouchers to provide hot meals to disadvantaged people and low-income families. 

“Although the pandemic situation in Hong Kong is starting to stabilize this year, we remain committed to showing care and support to the most vulnerable in society,” said 7-Eleven.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Olay China’s latest ad uplifts the message of ‘fearless of judgement’ for beauty standards

Hong Kong – Beauty standards have long been the subject of various strict opinions about what constitutes being ‘beautiful’. In the case of women across China, data from Sina China shows that six out of ten females in China say they lack confidence in their appearance and feel anxious about how others may perceive them if they don’t fit into what is considered to be normal.

Foraying into this societal dilemma of setting up beauty standards, the China arm of global beauty brand Olay recently launched a new campaign, titled ‘No Fear of Judgement, My Own Beauty’ which centers around the brand’s vision to empower women to express beauty in their own way by stating that beauty has many faces and should not be defined by social standards

Said campaign is leveraged by La Mu Yang Zi, a Chinese actress who is not usually seen as conforming to the traditional definition of beauty. In the film, she questions: “If I want to see it for myself-which face would I choose?” After contemplating the changes, she then tells her personal story of how she deals with social judgement and chooses her own appearance – a message the brand believes will resonate with women in China.

The campaign was conceptualized by the team at Grey Hong Kong, and is the first part of a series under Olay China’s newly launched brand idea ‘Pursuit of Fearless’.

“This is a time we think it is necessary to walk further with Chinese women on the journey to becoming fearless,” said Hyoeun Kim, vice president of P&G Greater China, Skin Care – Olay.

Meanwhile, Duffy Lau, general manager at Grey Hong Kong, commented that they will continue to tell heartfelt stories to consumers and make Olay a meaningful brand.

Apart from the film, which is released on several online platforms including Dou Yin, Weibo & WeChat, Olay has also teamed up with the Xiao Kou Stand-up comedy show inviting Yang Li, a famous female comedian, to talk candidly about facial anxiety. More celebrities and actresses, key opinion leaders (KOLs), writers and bloggers, were also featured in this movement.

“It was rewarding working with the brand team to create a campaign that will help women to gain confidence in how they perceive their own standard of beauty,” added Joe Yue, creative partner at Grey Hong Kong.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Hyundai Tucson says ‘future wants its car back’ in latest campaign

Australia – The global automotive manufacturer, Hyundai, has just unveiled its newest campaign for its all-new car model, ‘Hyundai Tucson’, in order to bring Australians closer to “tomorrow’s car.”

The campaign, which is created in partnership with creative agency Innocean Australia, marks a step-change for Hyundai, helping customers reappraise the brand one that is now more visually ‘desirable’ and innovative.

Titled, ‘Tomorrow wants its car back’, the new ad captures the ‘Hyundai Tucson’ as a preview of the brand’s bold design and innovation-led future. It features the car’s futuristic look with the appearance of robots coming from the future to steal back what is rightfully theirs from 2021.

In the pre-launch ad, viewers get a glimpse of an unexplained object in a Tucson driver’s blind spot monitor, with the initial ad introducing robots that are on-watch. Soon after in the final launch ad, we see a conclusion where the robots creep from the bushes towards a Hyundai Tucson, driving the owners to drive the car back to the future. 

Hyundai Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Goult commented, “This is a truly flexible, fully integrated campaign designed to work with the requirements of our business this year and represents a step-change for Hyundai. This is only the start.”

Meanwhile, Wes Hawes, Innocean Australia’s executive creative director, shared that by working closely with their partners at Hyundai, they were able to react to the problems facing the automotive industry and successfully launch a new brand platform using one of their most innovative, futuristic models – the all-new Tucson.

“The phasing and reactive design of the campaign actually made it all the more impactful, with bots discreetly hidden in multiple channels, before being unleashed to stalk and infiltrate our own advertising and steal the Tucson back. It’s essentially a COVID era campaign – except you’d never know that,” said Hawes.

Ian Hartley, the client partner at Innocean, also said that it is a very interesting time to be involved with the automotive industry and particularly Hyundai who blow them away every day with their innovation and new product – so robots from the future couldn’t be more appropriate. 

“I’m loving the opportunity to help steer this brand into what will be a really bright future in Australia,” said Hartley.

The campaign is now available on social, radio, and digital, as well as out-of-home, and CRM.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

WATCH: Korea’s first-ever virtual influencer comes to life, thanks to this insurance company’s campaign

Seoul, South Korea – The majority of brands are turning to the power of technology in an effort to attract more consumers as through its leverage brands are able to cook up out-of-the-box marketing campaigns, and one that’s been emerging as a trend lately are influencers – no not the human ones – but the highly resembling, and animated counterpart of the breathing face of the brand – the virtual influencers. A lot of countries are seeing their brands jump to the bandwagon, but here’s what’s hot as of the moment – Korea has just launched its first-ever virtual influencer through a campaign by Shinhan Life, the newly established insurance company in South Korea.

Being fresh to the market, Shinhan Life has launched its first brand campaign titled ‘Shinhan Life adds surprises to life’, unveiling ‘Oh Rozy’, the country’s virtual human.

Done in collaboration with advertising agency TBWA\Korea, the campaign aims to target the country’s Millenials and Gen Zs, who are reshaping the conventions of the financial investment markets. By featuring virtual human ‘Rozy’, the company seeks to break down the traditional codes applied to financial communications to appeal to the targeted audience, as Shinhan believes that this demographic is responsive to trends and they prioritize personal values including individuality and preference when choosing a brand or a product. 

‘Rozy’ is designed with 3D technology by analyzing the face and characteristics which Gen Z in Korea prefers the most. She currently has over 21,000 followers on Instagram and like ordinary influencers, uploads photos of her daily life and actively communicates with her fans via comments.

Throughout the brand film, ‘Rozy’ is dancing to the music in various locations including the forest, city, and subway with the message – “That surprising life begins when you meet Shinhan Life.”

According to Shinhan Life, the music used and Rozy’s dance moves were specially created for the campaign after analyzing the most popular music and dance content from the short video app TikTok for those in their 20s and 30s. 

“As the brand ambassador, Oh Rozy has given Shinhan Life new and exciting ways to communicate and engage with Gen MZ, who are rising as the major consumer segment in the financial market,” said TBWA\Korea’s spokesperson.

The new campaign will be airing across TV, digital, and social.

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Marketing Southeast Asia

iNova Pharmaceuticals partners with The Teeth to launch new regional campaign for ‘Difflam’

Singapore – The multinational pharmaceutical company, iNova Pharmaceuticals, has just launched its latest campaign for one of its brands, ‘Difflam’, in Singapore and Malaysia.

iNova Pharmaceuticals develops and markets a range of over-the-counter and prescription medicines to the Asia Pacific, South Africa, and other markets. Its product portfolio includes weight management, pain management, dermatology, and cardiology, as well as respiratory health, and allergy.

The campaign, which is created in collaboration with creative agency The Teeth, includes a series of films, social media content, and in-store communications. It aims to show that high achievers cannot afford to be hindered by mild illnesses such as a sore throat, positioning its Difflam lozenges as a trusted solution.

Titled, ‘Feel The Relief with Difflam During Your Big Moments’, the brand films capture the functional and emotional benefits of Difflam. With striking imagery designed to stop people in their tracks, it immediately communicates the physical and metaphorical pain produced by an unwelcome sore throat in a way that’s hard to miss.

The films cover different relatable situations such as when attending a Zoom meeting, being at a birthday party, or asking someone for a date, as said scenarios, the brand says, have become even more meaningful in the middle of a pandemic.

Ben Agnew, The Teeth’s co-founder and managing partner, shared, “Last year, Difflam established its pain-relieving credentials by featuring a bride on her wedding day. This year we wanted to go deeper and feature more frequent high-stake moments.”

Meanwhile, Zee Agnew, The Teeth’s founder and business partner, shared that in developing the campaign, they needed a creative idea to make the point that they have the best range of products to treat the two kinds of sore throats that Difflam has solutions for – the dry and itchy, and the painful stabbing ones. 

“The visual language had to be understood across all the markets we had to reach, so we went to great lengths to get it right. The films were produced by Breed and the photography by Colossal, in Singapore. And to create the most realistic blend between the cactus and the neck, we commissioned the visual effects to The Imago in Brazil,” said Agnew.

Jenny Shortall, iNova’s marketing director for Asia, commented, “We are all really impressed and proud of the new brand assets. It’s great to see a clear linkage to our brand strategy, footprint, and past campaigns, and on top have really high-quality material. It was a big effort catering for all the market’s requests.”

The pharmaceutical company also announced that the campaign will be launched in Hong Kong later this year.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Colgate Thailand inspires locals ‘to keep a resilient smile’ in new campaign

Bangkok, Thailand – When dealing with tough times, smiles work as affirmations that boost one’s confidence, and with this, Colgate Thailand seeks to encourage the locals to embrace resilient smiles through its newest campaign titled ‘#YimsuGeneration’, following last year’s #Yimsu campaign, which in English translates to ‘smile strong’. 

Created in collaboration with creative agency Soho Square Bangkok and Red Fuse, WPP’s integrated global team dedicated to serving Colgate-Palmolive, the campaign aims to empower Thailand’s generation of today to not only keep smiling but be resilient enough to thrive. 

The latest ‘#YimsuGeneration’ campaign features the true story of Thun-Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, whose life took an unprecedented turn as she lost both of her legs in a train accident at the age of 14. Nevertheless, Thun and her father have not lost the ability to keep smiling and found the strength to pursue a new dream. 

Colgate believes that Thun embodies the Yimsu ideal and becomes the face of a generation hit by soul-crushing crises yet remaining positive and resilient through a difficult time.

Soho Square Bangkok’s Executive Creative Director Andrew Chu shared that this latest campaign from Colgate Thailand aims to strengthen the Yimsu concept laid out by previous campaigns under the same theme.

“By showing Thun’s story, we want to highlight that despite a family or parent’s best interests for their kids, life doesn’t always go as planned, and the most important thing is to never give up. We hope that Thun’s optimism can inspire people of all ages to become more resilient and smile strong through all the challenges they face these days,” said Chu.

Meanwhile, Arisa Ruchirawat, Colgate-Palmolive’s marketing director for Oral Care, commented that since their first #Yimsu campaign last year talking about the power of smiling through adversities, Colgate Thailand has committed to inspiring Thais to embrace the spirit of optimism and resilience to help them get through obstacles in life. 

“We believe that despite whatever happens, with the right perspective and mindset, they will be able to rise above the challenges and build a better future for themselves,” said Ruchirawat.

The campaign is now available in long-form content and TV commercials, along with integrated communications across digital and activation.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Special Olympics Asia Pacific launches ‘virtual activation’ campaign to promote inclusion among youth

Singapore – To celebrate its 53rd anniversary and Global Week of Inclusion in July, Special Olympics Asia Pacific (SOAP), the non-profit sports organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), has launched a new campaign called ‘#WalkforInclusion’ – a virtual activation to promote inclusion and raise awareness and support for children across APAC. 

Special Olympics provides health screenings to people with ID and supports more than 2.4 million athletes across 35 countries. It also promotes a life of inclusion, dignity, and respect for persons with intellectual disabilities.

The ‘#WalkforInclusion’ campaign, which will run until 31 December 2021, aims to encourage the public to share videos of themselves, family members, or friends walking across social media platforms, where creative expressions of the walking motion are encouraged.

Every video tagged with ‘#WalkforInclusion’ will add 10 steps to a universal digital counter that will be hosted on the campaign microsite. Besides the standard motion of walking, users are also encouraged to share fun videos that capture and interpret the act of walking in creative and innovative ways. 

Furthermore, the microsite will be pulling together stories of resilience and grit from athletes, families, and coaches across the region, alongside a digital counter – where every ‘walk’ video uploaded, page load, and steps taken across physical walks and runs documented in support of #WalkforInclusion will be added to the total step count. The public is also encouraged to also play the ‘#WalkforInclusion’ AR Filter game – available on the SOAP’s official Facebook and Instagram pages – and to donate as well towards the cause.

The campaign also highlights the ‘Special Olympics Young Athletes’ program, which is an early intervention initiative for children with and without ID between the ages of two and seven.

Dipak Natali, Special Olympics’ regional president and managing director for APAC, shared that the movement reaches out to more than 360,000 children with ID across the region, and it helps in ringing home the message that in the global debate of diversity and inclusion, a large population is still marginalized from the mainstream consciousness and discussion. 

“The aim of the ‘Special Olympics Young Athletes’ program is to give these children an early head start in life, to improve their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. It leverages the power of sports in furthering a child’s intellectual development by working their motor skills and fostering in them a sense of belonging to the community at large through effective teamwork. The program creates an environment of inclusivity and gives families of children with ID hope for a child’s future,” said Natali. 

Besides the digital activation campaign, every dollar donated to SOAP will help an athlete get access to the right support in order to give them a better shot at a brighter future. Monetary contributions will also go towards supporting the work across the region including providing better healthcare through screenings and access for athletes, with the hope of early intervention and thus prevention in times of health needs.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

P&G, Lazada launches Olympics-themed campaign ‘#GoForGold’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the canceled Tokyo Olympics finally materializes on 23 July, brands and sponsors are now unleashing their special campaign to engage more sports fans. 

Two official partners to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Lazada – has launched a new regional campaign called ‘#GoForGold’, which seeks to encourage people to keep their spirits up, to go for gold, and reach for their dreams, even when the going gets tough.

‘#GoForGold’ is inspired by the many Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are not only achieving athletic greatness but are also stepping up to take action for good, making a positive difference in their communities. The campaign will feature a short film that unites P&G’s long-standing citizenship efforts of Community Impact, Equality & Inclusion, and Environmental Sustainability. 

Titled, ‘Your Goodness is Your Greatness’, the short film, which will appear in full digital form, celebrates athletes who show their best on and off the field of play. Narrated from the perspective of proud parents, the film features real-life Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are leading with love and showing the world that the true measure of greatness is goodness.

“In a time when the world needs to come together and hope once again, these athletes set the gold standard in terms of perseverance, courage, and selflessness, which we hope will be an inspiration for many others to pursue their dreams and #GoForGold,” shared Alexandra Vogler, P&G’s e-commerce senior director for Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

Meanwhile, Lazada Group’s Head of Strategic Accounts and Retail James Chang commented that Lazada is proud to partner with P&G to extend the celebration of “goodness, hope, and resilience” in a sporting spirit to consumers in SEA. 

“This partnership embodies the spirit of positiveness, keeping dreams alive, and fostering connections,” said Chang.

Beyond the film, the campaign will also come to life on Lazada, through a shopping extravaganza on LazMall, which features a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Pampers, Olay, and Pantene, as well as Oral-B. It will be running across six SEA markets including Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, as well as Vietnam on 23 July 2021, and in Singapore on 28 July 2021.