Marketing Featured East Asia

Decathlon appoints OMD China as media agency in China

Shanghai, China – Renowned sports retailer Decathlon in China has appointed OMD China as its official media agency locally, following a multi-agency pitch. The agency will be taking over its integrated media planning and buying duties across traditional and digital channels for the sports retailer.

OMD China said it was able to clinch the account by displaying a strategic approach to deliver business results through digital and data-led expertise. 

For the remit, the agency will be guided as well by OMD Design, the agency’s end-to-end planning process.

“Over the course of a rigorous selection process, OMD demonstrated their experience and passion for the sports category as well as their advanced strategic thinking with integrated group resources. I’m confident our partnership will result in our brand breaking through in a highly-competitive category and we look forward to working with OMD together for a new journey in the coming future,” said Heddy Yuan, chief marketing officer at Decathlon China.

Meanwhile, Connie Chan, CEO at OMD China, commented that said appointment is a testament to OMD’s strategic approach and their emphasis on placing greater insights and capabilities at the heart of communications planning.

“Coupled with the calibre and passion of the team, we look forward to leveraging the best of our capabilities to drive direct and measurable business impact for Decathlon,” Chan stated.

This appointment comes on the back of OMD China’s recent wins that include UNICEF, BHP and Taro, a Thai snack company.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Martech Techsun launches in SEA, unveils new product for SMEs

Singapore – APAC Martech brand Techsun, which provides solutions for consumer marketing, consumer data, and marketing process automation has launched in Southeast Asia with a new headquarters in Singapore. In conjunction with the regional expansion, Techsun has also rolled out a new product built for SMEs.

The new product is an expansion of Techsun’s flagship product, Social Hub, a cloud-native customer understanding and engagement SaaS for omnichannel retailers and brands. It is an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) solution and enables brands to have a 360 degree understanding of their customers by managing and analyzing relevant customer data across multiple online to offline (O2O) touchpoints such as transactions in-store and in-app, official and authorized reseller websites, social media channels as well as payment platforms. 

Deepening brand loyalty is also part of Social Hub’s value proposition via its omnichannel personalized customer messaging, automated precision marketing, and management of promotion initiatives and loyalty programs such as membership points and discount coupons. 

The expansion to Southeast Asia marks the martech’s first regional office outside of China and is considered as a stepping stone to the greater APAC region.

Ivan Zhou, Techsun’s general manager for APAC, commented that they see great potential for Techsun in the SEA region due to its growing regional economy and a strong business community. 

“With Social Hub, we aim to be the solution of choice for both the global brands and the large SME market in the region. We want to utilize the experience we gained working with numerous global brands in China and the APAC region and help businesses in Singapore as well as the rest of Southeast Asia,” Zhou said. 

Zhou added that its SaaS promises better value with less than 20% of what big companies are charging and is confident that it will go a long way in “uplifting the retail landscape in Asia.”

He also remarked on democratizing tech for SMEs, “SMEs may not be as prolific as MNCs but they are important engines of growth in Southeast Asia. Technology is a key competitive advantage for brands, especially in the new retail era, and we want to democratize access to the same cutting-edge solutions that big brands have been using for SMEs so that they can equalize the playing field.”

SMEs can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Social Hub on Techsun’s website.

Marketing Featured East Asia

IPG Mediabrands appoints Kestrel Lee as head of MBCS China

Shanghai, China – Interpublic Group’s media and marketing solutions division IPG Mediabrands has recently appointed Kestrel Lee as the head of Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS) in China, effective immediately.

Lee, who has over 20 years of industry experience, is a well-known creative expert across all facets of integrated digital marketing including e-commerce and social media. He will be responsible for setting a creative vision and building an innovative, content-forward culture for clients across all platforms and formats in China.

He first entered the industry as an English-Chinese copywriter at advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH, and Y&R; and then built his industry credentials working across digital-led integrated agencies such as Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett, FCBi, TBWA/Tequila, Sapient, and ZENO/Edelman.

He will be reporting to Chris Chen, CEO of Mediabrands China.

“I am thrilled to have Kestrel join us to champion our content proposition as part of our global MediabrandsContent Studio capabilities. With his award-winning track record, creative passion, and in-depth understanding of how content is consumed in China, I truly believe Kestrel will accelerate our business growth through content,” Chen stated.

MBCS was first launched in 2020 by Brendan Gaul, global chief content officer at Mediabrands, and aims to grow the content capabilities within Mediabrands agencies: UM, Initiative, Reprise, Rapport, MAGNA, and Orion; around the world.

Marketing Featured East Asia

League of Legends marks decade anniversary in China with new campaign

Hong Kong – In retrospect to celebrating the game’s gameplay in China for a decade now, multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends has launched a new campaign alongside brand agency Superunion, which evokes memories of the game’s players in the country, who have been active now for a decade.

Called aptly as the ‘Annie-versary’ campaign, the title plays on one of the game’s well-known characters known as Annie, a child mage known to possess pyromantic abilities. Furthermore, the character has become of increasing importance to League of Legends players as a valuable and iconic champion.

Said campaign was developed using the insight from Riot Games that gamers love finding Easter eggs and the feeling of being truly part of a gaming community. It uses memes, secret words, and insider jokes, piecing them together to follow a protagonist’s 10-year gaming journey with League of Legends, sharing the wild ride with the gaming community.

Justin Kuo, head of creative, China Entertainment at Riot Games, said, ”Superunion has been the ideal partner for the campaign, as they truly understand the passion that our players have for our games and have helped us create a campaign that reflects the transformative power of being part of the gaming community.”

The film launched at the grand opening celebration event at Hangzhou Olympic Sport Centre and will be featured across all social media platforms and broadcast media.

Meanwhile, Maggie Chien, business director at Superunion China, commented, “It’s been an honor working with Riot Games China, with this particular project aligning perfectly with our creative revolution spirit. We worked as one global Superunion team to complete Riot’s 10th ‘Annie-versary’ film that integrates an impactful plot with top-notch visualizations, designed to evoke memories for all League of Legend gamers over the last 10 years.”

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 East Asia

China’s Nantou City undergoes brand transformation to boost presence in GBA

Hong Kong – Nantou City, the ancient city of Xin’an located at the center of Nanshan District in Shenzhen, has announced its complete brand overhaul, as part of its effort to build a cultural landmark in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Nantou City is positioned as the capital of Eastern Guangdong and the cultural origin of Hong Kong and Macau. It strives to be the melting pot of design, culture, and creative industries.

According to Nantou City, after Vanke, the town developer and city service provider, took over the renovation of the city, it has evolved into a landmark location embedded with four major parts – cultural and creative retails, trendy art experiences, and high-quality and innovative F&B, as well as cultural residencies.

The rebranding, which will be managed by creative brand agency Superunion, includes strategic brand, experience, and communications planning, alongside a total revamp of visual identity.

Nan Huang, the general manager of Shenzhen Nantou City’s Renovation Project, shared that their aim is to activate Nantou City, bringing out the best in both Chinese traditions and modern creativity, organic and sustainable development vitality to the town. 

“As we see the Greater Bay Area continue to thrive and develop, our goal is for Nantou City to retain its original architecture, which is reminiscent of Lingnan/Cantonese styles from the Ming and Qing dynasties but injects modern elements to build the city toward a young and collaborative melting pot,” said Huang.

Meanwhile, Maggie Chien, Superunion China’s business director, commented that it is both exciting and challenging to curate a brand strategy and positioning that addresses the delicate balance between maintaining the history and making it relevant for contemporary times, and the Vanke team has demonstrated astonishing execution and sensitivities in revamping the old city.

“We want to reveal that hidden charm of Shenzhen Nantou City and build an innovative and consistent visual system that communicates the city’s values. In our view, Nantou city is not just a historical landmark that you visit once, but a place that you want to come back to time and time again, to relax, to stay, and to grow with. Instead of commercializing, we want to build the city into a sustainable cultural center and integrate it with the local lifestyle,” said Chien.

The city’s new brand revamp is set to be revealed at the end of 2021.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Wunderman Thompson China appoints new CCO, CSO to strengthen agency offerings

Shanghai, China – Creative agency and consulting company Wunderman Thompson in China has recently bolstered its leadership team with the appointment of Raymond Chin as chief creative officer and Joyce Ling as chief strategy officer.

With 20 years of experience, Chin has used creative innovation to propel many brands’ digital transformation. Having previously served as digital creative director at advertising company J Walter Thompson in Shanghai from 2008 to 2013, Chin returns to the Wunderman Thompson network after serving as Accenture Interactive’s chief experience officer, leading subsidiary ad agency Droga5 in creating a more meaningful and targeted customer experience for brands.

“Brand creativity should not be just about communication but should also cover all dimensions of brand experience from product, service to CX innovations. It’s why I am excited to return to Wunderman Thompson, an agency that believes in this experience-driven approach,” Chin said regarding his appointment.

Meanwhile, Ling was previously the chief strategy officer for J. Walter Thompson for Greater China and was also previously chief strategy officer at ad agency network McCann Worldgroup in China, and vice president of strategy at digital consulting company Publicis.Sapient.

Having 20 years of experience in both traditional and digital advertising in China under her belt, Ling’s experience spans industries, including technology, luxury goods, FMCG, health, tourism, and lifestyle. She has worked on more than 100 brands, including Nestle, Michael Kors, LVMH, Heineken, Unilever and more.

“It’s very exciting to be back at the Wunderman Thompson network. I look forward to enhancing our strategic offerings to set up for client success, together with a team of driven and passionate talents.” Ling said pertaining to her appointment.

Both will serve under the leadership of Carter Chow, chief executive officer at Wunderman Thompson China.

“Their experiences since their previous tenure at J Walter Thompson have mirrored our growth as an agency network, and we are glad for the opportunity to work together again. I am certain that both Raymond and Joyce will further our growth as a future-focused agency and look forward to the collision of inspiration and ideas,” Chow concluded.

Marketing Featured East Asia

H+K China launches strategic advisory services in line with upcoming COP15 conference

Beijing. China – The Chinese arm of global public relations consulting firm Hill + Knowlton (H+K) Strategies has announced the launch of its strategic advisory services to aid local businesses in creating environmental-friendly business strategies, in line with the upcoming COP15 conference to be held at Kunming, China on 11 to 24, October 2021.

Known as the ‘UN Biodiversity Conference’, COP15 will convene governments from around the world to agree on a new set of goals for nature over the next decade through the Convention on Biological Diversity post-2020 framework process. 

The framework sets out a global plan to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity and to ensure that, by 2050, the shared vision of living in ‘harmony with nature’ is fulfilled.

Through the newly-launched services, H+K China encourages the fact that effective communication will be essential for businesses and NGOs to gain recognition from key stakeholders, establish their positions in the global movement for biodiversity conservation, and deliver real impacts both within and outside of their organizations.

Furthermore, H+K Strategies has developed the H+K Better Impact™ offering in response to the challenges that companies and NGOs encounter while pursuing sustainability. Services under this new offering will empower brands and organizations to deliver timely and enduring impacts around COP15 through a holistic approach, which involves a unique score, act, consulting, or partnering process that zooms in on the best areas for targeting sustainability endeavors.

“H+K Strategies encourages all organizations to join in the global movement for safeguarding the natural world. At H+K Strategies, we’re dedicated to empowering and enabling brands and businesses to have a better impact on people and the planet. As a once-in-a-decade biodiversity conference, COP15 offers a fantastic platform for us to help them formulate a performance strategy that will deliver a better impact before, during and after the event,” said Jun Xu, CEO of H+K China.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Edelman China completes current leadership lineup with more senior hires

Beijing, China – With an interest leaned towards strategic growth sectors and practices, the Chinese arm of global public relations company Edelman has recently completed its new roster of leaders by hiring three more senior specialists, namely Justin Teo as chief digital officer for China, Nelson Ren as head of corporate for China and managing director for the Shanghai office, as well as Mark Pinner as the head of technology sector for Greater China.

The recent appointments finally come full circle as Edelman recently expanded its creative lineup in APAC, which includes the appointment of Wendy Chan joining as chief creative officer for China and Cici Wang taking on the role of head of HR for China. In addition, Edelman China has also seen the recent appointment of Pully Chau coming onboard as president for Greater China.

In their respective roles, Teo is tasked with elevating the firm’s agenda for digital transformation, building up key capabilities in social commerce, performance optimization, B2B demand generation and content production. Meanwhile, Pinner will serve as part of Edelman’s global Tech Centre of Excellence, exploring tech intersections with sectors like health, finance and energy. Lastly, Ren brings over 20 years of communications experience to his new role and joins from ophthalmic optics company Essilor, where he previously served as head of communications.

“I believe communicators write the first draft of history. In a world flooded with uncertainties, communications can and should play the vital role of engaging and building trust. Edelman is a world leader in building meaningful connections and narratives that help organizations navigate complex environments. I am excited to be joining a team of dynamic communications experts in breaking new ground and exploring new horizons,” Ren commented.

Meanwhile, Teo brings over 20 years of digital experience, having worked with various players – from start-ups as an entrepreneur, consultancies and the large advertising networks – across Greater China’s digital marketing landscape. He joins Edelman from VMLY&R Commerce which was previously Geometry, where he served as chief digital officer for China, responsible for accelerating growth of the agency’s digital practice.

“To win in the China market and compete at the speed of digital, trust plays a critical role. As the experts in studying trust and advising clients on how to develop and safeguard it, Edelman is strongly placed to help clients win big in an increasingly digital world,” Teo said.

On the other hand, Pinner’s career has focused on advising corporate clients, particularly those in the tech sector, on Chinese inbound and outbound investments. He joins Edelman from public affairs consultancy Interel where he was Managing Director for China, and his previous roles include helping Chinese brand Lenovo with its international expansion.

“The tech industry in Greater China is an exciting and fast-growing one; it has the potential to improve the lives of people in this market and around the world. I look forward to being a part of this growth journey with the rest of our growing team,” Pinner said.

All three new hires will report to Mark Wang, CEO of Edelman China.

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.