Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Pavilion KL welcomes CNY with 3D show of a ‘Golden Bull’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysian shopping mall Pavilion Kuala Lumpur has unveiled its new attraction for the Chinese New Year, a 3D show depicting a ‘Golden Bull’ charging towards Pavilion KL.

The show depicts a ‘Golden Bull’ charging towards the mall, as it ‘breaks’ the glass with the words “Together Against COVID-19,” and graphics showing greetings for the Chinese New Year.

The 3D show is best viewed from Pavilion KL’s Crystal Fountain and is aired until March 2021. The Pavilion Elite LED Screen measuring 60.8m in width and 21.5m in height, with an impressive total size of 1,310 sqm, is a venue in showcasing this groundbreaking 3D show and technology. 

This 3D Golden Bull show on the Pavilion Elite LED screen presents yet another first in Malaysia showcase by Pavilion KL for this Chinese New Year’s‘ Blessings of Prosperity’ celebrations. The other first in Malaysia record is the ‘Biggest Golden Bull’ in the mall’s Centre Court, measuring 15ft in height and 16ft in width.

MARKETECH APAC has already reached out to Pavilion KL for further comments on the 3D show installment.

Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Here are the top 10 most ox-some CNY ads on YouTube by Malaysian brands

Malaysia – Gong xi fa cai! With Chinese New Year a monumental celebration across Asia, brands didn’t waste a second making the most out of the festive holiday, pulling out the theme to showcase each of their creative advertisements. 

In Malaysia, brands across all industries flexed their red-accented and gilded films on YouTube to ring in the year of the Metal Ox, and the platform has just revealed the CNY ads that made it to its top 10 this year.

The ads were chosen not only based on views but also watch time and audience retention. Take a look at the list, arranged in alphabetical order.

1. Celcom Axiata: Double Your Joy with Any 2 Phones @ RM188

Celcom Axiata: Double Your Joy with Any 2 Phones @ RM188

In a simple but graphically endearing ad, telecom Celcom Axiata drew in Malaysian viewers not just with its creatives but with an attractive offer letting customers nab 2 phones at RM188, from a slew of mobile models such as Huawei, Vivo, and Realme.

2. Daikin Malaysia: Daikin CNY 2021: The Extraordinary Family GO

Daikin Malaysia: Daikin CNY 2021: The Extraordinary Family GO

Air condition manufacturer, Daikin Malaysia, stresses the importance of family this CNY through a comedic short film, bringing the message through the all-too-familiar and anxious scenario of a guy’s courtship to a girl’s parents.

3. McDonald’s Malaysia: Golden Prosperity Burger

McDonald's Malaysia: Golden Prosperity Burger

Global fast-food brand McDonald’s is known for regularly sprucing up its food offerings to align with current cultural celebrations, and this CNY, it offered Malaysian customers a special ‘Golden Prosperity Burger’ to add to their momentum of festivities.

4. NESCAFÉ Malaysia: Happy New 牛 Year ~ NESCAFÉ

NESCAFÉ Malaysia: Happy New 牛 Year ~ NESCAFÉ

With a straightforward sing and dance video, NESCAFÉ in Malaysia delivered its greetings by partnering with famous personalities and performers Pong Pong, Jestinna, DJ Perry Kuan, and Ariff Bahran.

5. Shopee Malaysia: Shopee CNY Sale is Happening Now! 

Shopee Malaysia: Shopee CNY Sale is Happening Now!

With a quirky and cheery acoustic performance, Shopee in Malaysia released its share of the 2.2 sale ad, which offered eight-themed marketing deals such as its daily RM8,888 Shopee Fortune Box, and daily 88% Off Vouchers.

6. Tenaga Nasional: TNB CNY 2021 – Nian-tastic New Start

Tenaga Nasional: TNB CNY 2021 – Nian-tastic New Start

Still within the message of family and togetherness, electricity giant Tenaga Nasional goes all the way back to give audiences a piece of the origins of the celebration.

7. Tesco Malaysia: The TESCO ONG Medley 2021

Tesco Malaysia: The TESCO ONG Medley 2021

Through a jovial medley, grocery chain Tesco in Malaysia reminded how through its range of fresh produce and food products, customers can achieve a fruitful celebration this CNY.

8. Vivo Malaysia: Vivo CNY Huat Cow Cow 2021

Vivo Malaysia: Vivo CNY Huat Cow Cow 2021

With a brief 15-second but upbeat music clip, Vivo Malaysia invited viewers to learn how to Huat Cow Cow, or how to bring in ‘maximum prosperity’.

9. Watsons Malaysia: Watsons CNY #HappyBeautifulYear​ 2021

Watsons Malaysia: Watsons CNY #HappyBeautifulYear​ 2021

Much like others in this list, health and beauty retailer Watsons in the country made use of a musical short film, featuring a star-studded cast including Summer Grace, Danny Ahboy, and Jenn Chia among many others.

10. Yakult Malaysia: YAKULT新年2021 ‘Miles apart, but close at heart’

Yakult Malaysia: YAKULT新年2021 'Miles apart, but close at heart'

Even before the pandemic struck, family members are forced to spend time apart for a number of reasons such as those that choose to work away from their hometowns for better opportunities. In a touching short film, Yakult Malaysia showed that there are still ways for families to send love albeit from a distance this CNY.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Origins of CNY festivity traditions come to light in this quirky film by TNB

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Utility giant in Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), has recently launched its Chinese New Year film centered around the folklore behind the festivities of the occasion. 

The film features the fictional recount of scared villagers who are protecting themselves against Nian, a mythical beast terrorizing the village. After seeking help from an old master they chased Nian away from the village, thanks to displays of red colors, loud sounds, and bright lights.

The film shows the importance of unity in the mid of hardships. In it, villagers realized that as a community, they ultimately hold the power to defeat Nian with a joyful spirit and positive energy. The film brings the message that finding joy is the key to unlocking prosperity and moving forward.


“Many are looking to make a new start in 2021, especially on the back of the multitude of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering an age-old wisdom and timeless folklore, this short film weaves the legend of Nian with a slight twist, and we hope it inspires people to embrace the new year with the spirit of joy and unity that underlies Chinese New Year traditions,” said Mohamad Ariff Zainol, TNB’s chief corporate services officer.

The film was created in collaboration with marketing consultancy Entropia, and directed by award-winning director Quek Shio Chuan.

For April Toh, principal at Entropia, the film speaks to a greater need to join forces and rise in the mid of adversity, as Chinese New Year itself symbolizes new hope and prosperity.

“There’s no better time to re-tell the tale of Nian, as it metaphorically explains the situation we are currently in. We’re facing a common enemy that requires us to join forces to rise above adversity. And that’s precisely what this TNB film wanted to remind us of: together we can conquer anything,” Toh commented.

Meanwhile, Zaheer Kaisar, creative director at Entropia, commented that the film itself is heavily inspired by old Chinese comedy action films, and with a twist of modern-day elements.

“Legend has it, an old wise man got the villagers together to defeat the monster Nian by beating drums and gongs, and lighting fireworks with bright red decorations and clothes. When we dug deeper, we realized it was not so much the actions that chased the Nian away, but it was all about joy and good energy. We retold this story in the most entertaining, action-packed, and cinematic way,” Kaisar stated.

Currently, the film has garnered more than 4 million views on YouTube, and has been shared across TNB’s socials. Viewers can also interact with an alternative personality from the film, the master, on his Instagram account.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

WATCH: Creative agency FOREFRONT ushers in CNY with music video

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Creative agency FOREFRONT ushers in the Year of the Ox with a cheerful and colorful music video, with a track composed and produced by singer and songwriter, Ang Chee Ciang.

The campaign, dubbed ‘A Return to Abundance’, is a collaboration with its new sister tech venture FOUN. FOREFRONT said the campaign aims to represent new beginnings, good fortune, and positivity in this new year.

The film features the agency’s team members which were filmed in the comfort of their homes and were creatively stitched by its video production team. The deliberate use of the character ‘锋’ in the video, is derived from FOREFRONT’s Chinese name ‘先锋’.

“It’s truly heartwarming to witness how our team members come together virtually for this campaign despite the lockdown restrictions. It’s important that we make the best of what we have in these difficult times. The road ahead may look rough now, but we are definitely on the road to recovery,” commented FOREFRONT Group Founder Darien Mah

Creative agency FOREFRONT CNY angpow.

Following its annual tradition, the agency will be implementing a social media giveaway for its highly-anticipated angpow packets. The angpows’ intricate design this year features a gold outline of an ox with horns pointed upwards which the company said alludes to an uplifting change in fortune. The design also features an optical illusion depicting a fish which symbolizes abundance. 

In addition, the campaign has launched a microsite to host a series of interactive content and for the official giveaway details of the limited edition angpows.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

WATCH: RHB Bank’s new CNY-themed ad an adage to undying parental love

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the Chinese New Year draws near, Malaysia-based RHB Bank has released its Chinese New Year-themed film ad titled ‘Love Carries On’, a tear-jerker story centered on the importance of parental love.

Based on the true story of a father and daughter from Sibu, Sarawak, the film focuses on the graduation speech of Ngu Nyok Ping, the daughter, as she reflects on the past memories she had with her father carrying her in his back. Due to her disability, rendering her unable to walk, her father has been constantly carrying her to school so that she can continue receiving education. The film also showed the father-daughter tandem enjoying the passing of Chinese New Year festivities each year.

Despite the threat of the disability to Nyok Ping’s future, the film showed how her father’s incredible actions of love paid off, helping her obtain her master’s degree. Today, Nyok Ping dedicates her life to helping fellow disabled members of her community. 

The real life version of the characters in the film, (left) Ngu Ee Kiong, the father and (center) Ngu Nyok Ping, the daughter, seen here after her 2016 graduation of her master’s degree from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

“There may be times we find ourselves faced with an obstacle too big to overcome on our own or a dream too far for us to reach, but with the unconditional support and love from those around us, we will realize that we’re never truly alone in our journeys. It’s in them that we will find the strength to progress and succeed,” said Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, group chief marketing officer of RHB Group.

“That message is the bedrock of this film, and it’s especially relevant now because even as we are preparing to usher in the Chinese New Year, many of us are still faced with the waves of challenges brought upon by the pandemic. This spot aims to remind Malaysians that they’re never alone during these times, and it encapsulates what RHB’s brand promise of ‘Together We Progress’ means amazingly well,” added Murad.

The film, created by advertising agency FCB Malaysia, has been shared across RHB Bank’s social media pages. To date, the film has raked in more than six million views, 15,000 likes, and 1,500 shares across RHB’s social media platforms.

For FCB Malaysia creative director Tjer Wang, the story is described to be “unbelievably out of this world and profound.” The agency made sure that as the story is being adapted, the core message remains. 

“We spent a good amount of time on fact-checking just to ensure that it was real and not fiction. It was retold and reimagined just as beautifully in the most effortless manner, despite the tremendous amount of depth that it carries,” Wang stated.

Meanwhile, Ong Shi Ping, co-owner and chief creative officer of FCB Malaysia commented that the film speaks to a deeper meaning of parental love, stating that the film showed a parent’s determination to lead his child in the right direction despite the given circumstances.

“Not only did this amazing dad keep his belief in his daughter’s capabilities, he also did what not many people could or would do to guide her in finding her own place in the world. And because of that, Ms. Ngu managed to achieve the kind of success that most of us can only dream of. It’s a truly remarkable story about progress,” Ping stated.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Boost your Chinese New Year sales with irresistible shoppable content

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the first major holiday of the year in Southeast Asia (SEA), and a tremendous opportunity for marketers. In 2021, this opportunity has shifted online, with surging online activity in the region and e-commerce skyrocketing with blockbuster year-end 9.9, 11.11, and 12.12 sales.

This year’s Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 12th of February

This CNY, we welcome the year of the Ox, the zodiac animal marked by traits such as diligence, reliability, and inspiring confidence – values that brands can lean into this season as they strive to bounce back from last year’s crisis. With a fresh sense of optimism, marketers would be wise to parlay the immense growth in digital adoption into exciting opportunities as the SEA region fully embraces online shopping. Especially during the holidays, shoppers are looking for online, immersive experiences that translate to retail therapy.

One sure-fire way to meet this need is by introducing dynamic and personalized shoppable content. Channel the festivities and optimism of the year with these exciting forms of shoppable content across food, fashion, technology, and more.

Showcase curated and irresistible shoppable content

Brilliant and engaging content that feels authentic, with a high level of conceptualization and interaction can reach and engage consumers who are averse to ads while capturing the holiday spirit.

One example is leveraging powerful storytelling and leaning into branded entertainment such as a shoppable video. Consider an interactive film – a heartwarming story of a family celebrating the festivities amid social distancing, while introducing products, shoppable within a click, that fit within that experience. This way, a brand can take their consumers through an authentic journey that shapes positive brand association, while also providing a direct path to purchase – making every moment shoppable.

Another tactic that works well for fast-moving consumer goods such as food items is a shoppable image carousel or hotspot, with easily recognizable products and images. This allows for quick browsing and an instant path for shopping. For brands that would like to go big with a splash, a customized landing page provides unique, can’t-be-missed experiences that create a large impact and draw in the user to make a purchase.

Drive discovery and inspiration

What’s another way to make your shoppable content hard to miss? Be discoverable. As consumer behavior shifts towards experiential e-commerce, customers want to find and learn about new products online. A study by Valassis and Kantar Research showed that customers are making more informed buying decisions than ever, with 60% researching their products online before purchasing. A research by Verizon Media also shows that people go online to search for inspirations and ideas while they shop, where in Europe, around 35% of consumers searched online for ‘gift inspirations’ during the holidays and we can expect this to be a growing trend globally as e-commerce continues to boom.

When it comes to shoppable content, not everything has to be a hard sell. Look to combine value with information for the shopper. Shoppable editorial articles, for example, can deliver valuable and informative content, as well as build customer confidence and trust in their purchases. 

Also consider gift guides for shoppers with distinct themes, such as an interactive gift guide for CNY with the latest styles and colors that will bring luck and positivity for the year. As for undecided buyers, a shoppable quiz or poll is a fun and interactive way for them to discover new items, gift wrapped with personalized shopping advice.

Introduce interactive and immersive experiences

While online shopping certainly provides the conveniences that physical shopping cannot, certain factors of the brick-and-mortar experience are still not easily replaced. Yet, as more and more shoppers rely on e-commerce and lean on mobile shopping, the demand for reimagined sensory physical shopping experiences becomes all the more necessary.

Shopping for clothing and makeup heavily relies on ‘window shopping’, or the buyer’s interaction with the product – with decisions largely based on how it feels or fits. When it comes to shoppable content, experiences can go beyond mere interaction and become immersive, with rich and dynamic XR experiences aiming to bridge the physical-digital realm.

This is an opportune moment for brands, especially fashion, and beauty, to create innovative experiences through multiformat, tailored content. Consider forms such as AR-enabled shoppable content that not only strikes inspiration for shoppers by letting them view multidimensional facets of an item, but also allows them to try the items on for size: think of it as a ‘try before you buy’ feature where a shopper can virtually try on clothing or a makeup product. Other formats can enhance social experiences through rich forms of interactive content, such as being able to watch shoppable videos with friends

To really take online shopping up a notch, brands need to create a frictionless, relevant experience as consumers interact with content they trust. With 5G launching across SEA, 5G-enabled devices will set the stage for more innovative, personalized, and engaging experiences, especially for shopping.

Truly engaging and effective shoppable content requires a masterful mix of information and context, inspiration, and action. In order to scale shoppable content to the right audience and amplify positive results, it is especially useful to complement this with other forms. Enhance its impact by going omnichannel and pairing shoppable content with native ads, prominent front-page display ads, social media, and even DOOH – easiest if done with a one-stop-shop demand-side platform that allows for omnichannel buying across a diverse set of channels in a single platform.

With supercharged shopping experiences online and a rebound in consumer interest – 2021, the year of the Ox is shaping up to be promising for marketers. As CNY rolls in, good fortune and prosperity await brands who are able to capitalize on the opportunities emerging, and pivot to innovative, engaging, and dynamic offerings online – this year and beyond.

This article was written by Rico Chan, co-head of Verizon Media for APAC.

Verizon Media is a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., which houses media brands such as Yahoo, TechCrunch, and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

WATCH: Singtel’s comedy sketch for CNY teaches the value of ‘unity over rivalry’

Singapore – Singapore’s telco giant Singtel has launched its latest Chinese New Year short film, a comedy sketch titled “My Grandmother’s House”, which centers around the theme of the importance of unity over rivalry.


The video revolves around two rival families, headed by their missus, Wendy, and Adeline who are about to visit their grandmother in the upcoming Chinese New Year. Due to the regulations mandated by the government, only eight visitors are allowed to be guests in a house, which results in the standoff between the two families, where both race in reaching grandmother’s house first.


As both families engage in competition, a twist in the story ensues as an emotionally driven grandmother narrates the story of how she met Daisy, an old best friend of hers, at an old Tracy Kwang concert, with whom she lost touch with, yet memories remain thanks to a jade pendant they both shared.


All of a sudden, Wendy’s youngest son surprises all of them when he was able to get in touch with Daisy over a video call. The grandmother and Daisy talk over and show surprise that they both wear the jade pendants years ago. Wendy tips off the skit by saying “You can always join us” in reference to Singtel’s 5G connectivity, as the whole family laughs and spends the Chinese New Year together in unison.

“Chinese New Year has always been a great time for us to underscore Singtel’s brand message that connections in the deeper sense of the word should be esteemed, hence the film’s tagline, ‘Stay connected to what matters’. This is all the more pertinent as Singapore eases into Phase 3 with renewed hopes of post-COVID recovery,” said Lian Pek, Singtel’s vice president for group strategic communications and brand.

Pek added, “Ultimately, we’re all in this together and we should continue to help each other out of the woods. We also wanted to bring some fun and cheer through a film that everyone can relate to, as people look forward to better things ahead.”

Commenting on the abundance of 5G references in the comedy skit, Pek said, “As a company that’s been leading in the next-generation connectivity stakes, we made a subtle nod to the benefits of 5G – from faster GPS downloads which gets the family to their destination earlier to faster gaming speeds and high definition video calls. As we roll out our 5G network and coverage, this is a tongue-in-cheek way of illustrating how this next-generation technology can deliver positive new experiences and possibilities.”

Singtel’s “My Grandmother’s House” rolls out today, January 22 and to all of Singtel’s social media channels and Singtel TV.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

This DIY printing platform has tied up with Shutterstock for customizable gifts this CNY

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Printcious, an online do-it-yourself (DIY) printing platform, has partnered with stock photography provider Shutterstock to enable customizable gifts for the upcoming Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day.

Printcious will be adding 25,000 of Shutterstock images and designs to their existing design multimedia collection. Customers can use these extensive images and designs as templates to create DIY personalized gifts such as throw pillows, t-shirts, mugs, canvasses, puzzles, mouse pads, tote bags, to name a few.

Printcious’ customers may order gifts in these three ways:

  • Design Your Own: Add your own design/photo and text to be printed as-is.
  • Template-based: For users who are new to designing, they can use existing template designs and just add personalized photo or text in the designated areas.
  • Ready Design: Designs that do not require customization, where customers can just choose to print the selected design on specific merchandise. Printcious’ online design tool remains available should customers want to add personalized gifts further.

Both corporate clients and personalized merchandise clients may order in bulk. 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

In spirit of Chinese New Year, Revolut SG users can now send e-hongbaos

Singapore – In response to encouragement from the Monetary Agency of Singapore to give electronic hongbaos instead of physical ones in the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, financial app Revolut  has now enabled the sending of e-hongbaos using its Gifting feature.

The handing of Hongbaos is a tradition in several East and Southeast Asian countries which are red envelopes containing cash, given out as a token of good fortune in occasions such as baptisms, weddings, birthdays and festivals. 

Under Revolut’s new e-hongbao feature, users can send in 28 currencies, including Australian dollars (AUD), Hong Kong dollars (HKD), United States dollars (USD) and the British pound sterling (GBP). The e-hongbaos will also feature special designs provided in the Gifting platform.

“With the Monetary Authority of Singapore encouraging people to give e-hongbaos instead of physical ones for Chinese New Year, it has become a necessity to make it easy for everyone to give hongbaos in a safe, frictionless and fun way, said James Shanahan, CEO of Revolut Singapore.  

“Revolut has expanded beyond our origins as a multi-currency travel card. Our foreign exchange (FX) feature can be used for remittance, gifting, and online shopping, where customers will always be assured they are getting the best exchange rates,” added Shanahan.

The e-hongbao feature on Revolut SG will be available on February, the month for the Chinese New Year.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bakery brand Bread Garden unveils Chinese New Year pastry collection for 2021

Singapore – Bakery brand in Singapore Bread Garden has unveiled its new pastry collection for the upcoming Chinese New Year; this is together with the launch of its newly revamped website. 

Bread Garden said its 2021 collection is a balanced palette of perennial best-sellers, and old-school tastes as well as new, innovative sensations that cater to a diversity of taste preferences.

Just like in the previous years, the brand will be introducing new flavors to the collection, such as Mala Lotus, which puts a spicy twist to lotus snacks, and Brownie Almond Cookies, which combines almond with a chocolatey taste. Meanwhile, the established classics that will be gracing the collection will be almond cookies and ‘kueh bangkit, a biscuit made from sago starch. 

“As today’s consumers get exposed to more new food flavors in their everyday consumption, bakeries have been quick to hop onto trends and experiment with new, interesting tastes that appeal to a younger generation of Chinese New Year snack buyers,” said the brand in a press statement. 

Despite the country reopening from the pandemic, large physical events are still discouraged, including Chinese New Year street celebrations. As more people are expected to buy pastry treats online, Bread Garden is offering early customers a “Buy 4 Get 1 Free” promotion from now till 15 January 2021, where the lowest priced item out of every five is given as complimentary.

Bread Garden is also releasing its yearly collection of Chinese New Year Goodies, the Prosperity Gift Set, consisting of a handpicked selection of six most recommended flavors, symbolizing blessings in the six aspects of a life filled with abundance.