Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

WATCH: Watsons MY’s CNY film a splice of kung fu, comedy, and music

Malaysia – The celebration of Chinese New Year has not been the same for everyone since the pandemic hit in 2020. Seeing that most of us have been unable to ring in the new year as we once did for the past two years, many are now eager to kick off 2022 with the best possible Chinese New Year festivities. 

With this in mind, marketing communications agency Naga DDB Tribal and Watsons Malaysia have collaborated to release a festive piece based on the common sentiment of wanting to amplify the celebration this year — by welcoming the new year with a sense of revitalized hope and energy, making it “a grand and epic celebration.” 

Titled ‘大阵仗过靓年’, which translates to ‘Celebrate The Grandest #HappyBeautifulYear’, the short film is inspired by the Mandarin word, ‘功夫’ (gong fu), which could either mean ‘Kung fu’ or ‘effort’. Naga DDB Tribal said this gave the team the freedom and idea to play with the word’s double meaning, which also became the premise for the film’s main message to Malaysians – keeping them entertained and engaged in a martial arts comedy that communicates the messaging — a wonderful #HappyBeautifulYear awaits as long as we put in the effort. 

Caryn Loh, MD of Watsons Malaysia, explained, “After almost two years of battling the pandemic, Watsons, as the No.1 health and beauty retailer in the country, returns with the grandest celebration for Chinese New Year. Through this, we hope to inspire everyone that the grandest celebration comes from our hearts, and it’s with whom we celebrate that makes the celebration grandest. Together, we can embrace each other’s strengths and overcome any challenges to make this year’s celebration a grand one.”

Watsons Malaysia’s CNY campaign is further amped up with special appearances from an all-star cast which includes Han Xiiao Aii, Phei Yong, Amber Chia, Jinnyboy, Julie, Meeki, Mei Fen, Smashpop, and Wilbur.

Raphael Ang, head of Chinese copy of Naga DDB Tribal, said, “The star-studded cast, Watsons’ signature CNY melody, high production value, and the entertaining plot have made Watsons Malaysia’s CNY film the most anticipated CNY content over the years. For many viewers, content from Watsons during CNY is synonymous with the arrival of Chinese New Year and as such, we are mindful that our CNY film has a social duty in spreading good values and positive messages among Malaysians.”

The agency’s COO Clarence Koh also commented, “We believe that driving real-world business results requires us to create experiences that resonate with the audience through the conversion funnel. The film is a good starting point to generate interest and buzz for the brand but it’s not the only thing that mattered to us.”

Aside from the main film, Watsons Malaysia also produced a series of short video assets for the various digital platforms to highlight the wonderful deals that are available in-store and online. Watsons members stand a chance to win prizes worth over RM2.8 million when they purchase any Watsons products during the promotional period. Terms and conditions apply. 

Watsons’ Grandest Celebration #HappyBeautifulYear, ‘大阵仗过靓年’, has accumulated over 6 million views on both Watsons’ YouTube and Facebook platforms at the time of writing. 

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

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

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.