Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Lion & Lion launches film production studio

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Southeast Asian agency network Lion & Lion will be expanding its offerings through the launch of a Film Production Studio, which will connect its integrated creative, social and digital experience solutions. Through the new studio, the agency charges its capacity forward on brand remits that require full creative to digital-film content production solutions, including but not limited to full-service video production, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, and music creation capabilities.

The studio will be led by Johnson Ling as head of production. Ling brings with him a decade of experience in production houses and in-house creative teams and most recently served as the Video Team Lead at AirAsia. 

“I believe that a holistic approach to production is essential to create truly jaw-dropping visuals. This entails seamlessly blending creativity, technical competence and social relevance to create content that not only satisfies client goals, but also elevates the brand via captivating narrative – when all of this is in sync, magic happens,” said Ling.

Asher Cheelip Ong, the agency’s regional chief creative officer, describes the new studio as a ‘natural next step’ for the business. 

“My past three years have been about driving transformative growth for our organisation and clients through innovative digital and creative solutions; building our cast of talents. A natural next step for us to expand our creative service offerings is to launch a Film Production Studio, that can help our clients meet the demand for entertaining film content across diversified platforms in today’s digital-centric world,” he said. 

Johnson will report directly to Ong and will be supported by a skilled, expanding team comprising Rachel Lian, Senior Producer, and Mohamad Khairul Shafit, Videographer, alongside a team of motion graphic designers.

“I am thrilled to join Lion & Lion and work with some of the top creative minds in the industry,” says Johnson. “I believe that a holistic approach to production is essential to create truly jaw-dropping visuals. This entails seamlessly blending creativity, technical competence and social relevance to create content that not only satisfies client goals, but also elevates the brand via captivating narrative – when all of this is in sync, magic happens.”

Ong added, “I cast my net far and wide, interviewing multiple film directors and talents before selecting Johnson for the role. He is experienced and dedicated; has a great sense of cinematography and visual storytelling, with a deep understanding of every stage in the film and video production process. I look forward to seeing the department flourish and grow under his direction, and hopefully, pick up a few film awards along the way, too.”

In 2022, Lion & Lion has also launched an in-house content production studio in Kuala Lumpur to expand its integrated creative offerings for brands that also require full creative to digital-film content production services.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Dentsu Creative India boosts creative team with new leadership hires

India – Dentsu Creative India has announced the appointment of Dalip Daniel, as the new group executive creative, and Tulika Seth, as the new group creative director, to bolster its creative team. Both will be reporting to Joy Mohanty, chief creative Officer of Dentsu Creative India.

In their new roles, Daniel and Seth will be focusing on boosting the agency’s creative competence for its existing and prospective clientele. They will design ideas that ‘Create Culture, Change Society, and Invent The Future’ by keeping modern creativity at the heart of the business.

Daniel is a seasoned creative leader and has held leadership roles across agencies and radio stations like Ogilvy & Mather, GroupM ESP, and BIG 92.7 FM. He has worked for brands like Airtel, Nokia, Limca, Dabur, and Pepsi, as well as SONY, and Honda, amongst many others. In addition to this, he has also created branded content for TV shows and launched BIG 92.7 FM in North India.

Meanwhile, armed with over 16 years of experience, Seth has led creative teams at agencies like Lowe, TBWA, Grey, Innocean, and Humour Me in Delhi and Mumbai. Some of the brands she has worked with include Hyundai, Dunzo, LG, and National Geographic, as well as Henkel, and Anne French, amongst others.

Commenting on his appointment, Daniel said, “This is an exciting opportunity, and I am thrilled to be joining dentsu at such a pivotal time.”

Meanwhile, Seth also commented, “‘Wholly integrated’ is the key descriptor that has really got me excited. The work that has been coming out of the agency is truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to dive right in.”

Mohanty said, “Together with a superb body of work, Tulika & Danny bring with them a wealth of experience across formats. They will both play a key role in driving our agenda of creativity beyond silos. It is great to have them on board.”

Just recently, Dentsu Creative India announced the appointment of Benny Augustine as its new chief operating officer, where he will oversee the agency’s operations in India. His objective will be to build various frameworks, platforms, and business processes that promote efficiency and effectiveness for clients using modern creativity.

Marketing Featured ANZ

BMF bolsters creative, strategy team with new hires

Australia – Creative agency BMF has announced four new appointments, in an aim to double down on the agency’s creativity, effectiveness, content, and social capabilities. These include Hannah McHard, the new head of effectiveness, Phoebe Carden, the new content and social strategist, and Alister McCann and Joe Mallett, the new senior creatives

Before joining BMF, McHard has a four-year stint as insights and strategy manager at supermarket ALDI Australia. In addition, McHard also has held a 14-year position at Kantar. As new head of effectiveness, McHard will be harnessing data, analytics, and insights, to further BMF’s culture of effectiveness. 

Meanwhile, Carden has been appointed after working as a content social strategist and writer for recognised brandings including Disney, the ABC, Optus, Universal Sony, and NSW Health. In her new position, Carden will be working in a hybrid role with both BMF and its content production arm Bantam, which has worked with clients including ALDI Australia, MONA, TAL, Gumtree, RMIT University, and UN Women. With the recent wins of Lounge Lovers and George Weston Foods’ social account, Carden will be driving both Bantam’s and BMF’s social capabilities and identifying new opportunities to inform brand and content strategy, working across key clients.

Adding to its creative team is Mallet, who has spent six years at Lucky Generals London and has worked on world-class clients including, PlayStation, Hostelworld, the co-op supermarket, and most recently Amazon’s Super Bowl commercial, featuring Scarlett Johansson.

In addition, McCann, who also joins as a senior creative, has worked at agencies including AnalogFolk, CX Lavender, The Works, M&C Saatchi, and The Green House on brands including Westfield Australia, Westpac, CommBank, McDonald’s, Optus, Woolworths, and Curtin University, as well as Coke Zero and Coors Beer.

“Alister and Joe have only just got through the door and they’re already making a big impact, not only on our client’s business but on the culture of collaboration and kindness that BMF is so proud of. With their talent and experience in non-traditional thinking, both here and overseas, they’re going to do great things and we’re all very happy they’ve decided to call BMF home,” said Alex Derwin, chief creative officer at BMF Australia.

Meanwhile, Christina Aventi, chief strategy officer at BMF, commented that they’re thrilled to have Carden and McHard join their motley crew of planners, as both are believers in creativity and effectiveness that will help them navigate the metrics that matter in a world of data overload. 

“Phoebe will be working closely with Irina, Executive Director, Digital and Direct Strategy across our clients and our content unit Bantam. Hannah will be working across ALDI and government and any client that expresses an interest in unlocking even greater effectiveness in their communications (like everyone?). In a tight talent market, we feel really lucky to have these two dynamos join us,” said Aventi.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Howatson+Company appointed as MYOB’s creative lead

Melbourne, Australia – Advertising agency Howatson+Company has been appointed by Australian-based business management platform MYOB to be its creative lead on its new brand advertising across Australia and New Zealand.

While MYOB works with several external agencies, as well as their in-house agency, Howatson+Company will be taking the lead on their brand advertising. The remit spans strategy and creative for internal and external audiences across the region.

Belinda Watson, MYOB’s head of design, agency and brand, shared there was a true sense of partnership and shared ambition for the business, that stood out during the tender process.

“Howatson+Company understood our strategy and the direction of the business. It was clear they took the time to really listen to our challenges and have applied critical strategic thinking and creativity to position MYOB for success,” said Watson.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Robertson, managing partner at Howatson+Company, noted that MYOB is a household name with a proven history of helping Australian and New Zealand businesses succeed. 

“We are thrilled to partner with MYOB to help support them in their next stage of growth. The MYOB team acted with such openness and integrity during the pitch process, we can’t wait to bring our shared vision to life,” said Robertson.

In May 2022, Howatson+Company has also been appointed by Sydney-based university UNSW as media agency of record. The agency was appointed following a competitive tender process to service UNSW’s domestic and international recruitment.

Marketing Featured Global

dentsu international launches new global creative network, ‘Dentsu Creative’

India – dentsu international has created an entirely new global creative network, ‘Dentsu Creative’, which unites its creative agencies, including DentsuMB, 360i, and Isobar, and expands its entertainment, earned attention, and experience capabilities. 

The new global creative network is part of a broader strategy aimed at simplifying client engagement and injecting creativity in everything dentsu international does, all backed by a depth and breadth of creative capabilities that are unparalleled in the market. It seeks to transform brands and businesses through the lens of modern creativity, which looks to deliver ideas that create culture, change society and invent the future.

Led by Fred Levron, chief creative officer at dentsu international, ‘Dentsu Creative’ will be comprised of 9,000 creative experts in 46 markets connected to 37,000 media and CXM experts across dentsu international and collaborate closely with the agency’s creative team in Japan. In the near future, further leadership announcements will be made as the new network brings in the next generation of strategic, production, business, and creative leaders.

Levron noted, “Clients, talent and the industry at large are craving for a change: in the way we build brands, in the way we collaborate and in the role we give to creativity. If the current players have set the rules of the previous century, we have the ambition to set the rules for the decades to come.”

‘Dentsu Creative’ blends dentsu’s unique DNA of 120-year-old Japanese heritage and craft with its rich experience of building brands in the modern media landscape. Using customer intelligence to deliver ideas that are big enough to live anywhere, bold enough to chart new executional territory and rich enough to connect personally with millions. 

Moreover, a striking visual identity has been crafted as a creative expression of East meeting West, a signal of the network’s dedication to craft and the transformative power of creativity and to help ‘Dentsu Creative’ attract and retain the best creative talent.

Wendy Clark, global CEO at dentsu international, said that they are fortunate to draw from their Japanese heritage steeped in a relentless focus on craft, innovation, and creativity. 

“This legacy inspired our vision for modern creativity that was born in Japan and raised in a connected world. ‘Dentsu Creative’ offers a simplified, modern creative proposition that answers clients’ needs for us to break down agency silos and inefficiencies and seamlessly connect our talent around the right client opportunities at the right time,” added Clark.

Meanwhile, Amit Wadhwa, Dentsu Creative’s CEO for India, said, “With ‘Dentsu Creative’, we will unite our creative talent under one brand; this will further simplify client engagements and strengthen our creative prowess. Moving with times is important and now is the time to transform brands and businesses through the lens of Modern Creativity. ‘Dentsu Creative’ ensures the best output for our clients and the best opportunities for our people, which is the most exciting part for me.”

Ajay Gahlaut, Dentsu Creative’s group chief creative officer for India, said, “With ‘Dentsu Creative’, we will transform the creative face of dentsu as a network. As we add modern creativity to all the disciplines within the network and combine them, we will create a new-age powerhouse. Our aim is to bring profit and purpose together for our clients and our people. This is what the industry has been waiting for, and we are the forerunners of this breakthrough. Exciting times ahead!”

This launch follows Dentsu Group’s February 2022 announcement of a JP¥ 250 to 300b acquisition investment fund for 2022 to 2024.

Marketing Featured APAC

The One Club announces the four APAC agencies to host Portfolio Night 2022

New York, USA  – The One Club for Creativity, a global nonprofit organisation whose mission is to support the global creative community, has announced the four APAC agencies in Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei to host The One Club’s Portfolio Night 2022.

Portfolio Night has long been known for reviewing advertising portfolios since 2003. Creatives from all around the world get together on the same day each year for a fast-paced evening of advice, networking, and recruitment to aid the next generation of creatives. It serves as a stepping stone for younger talent to enter the advertising profession, allowing hundreds of renowned international creative directors to meet and train the future leaders in industry centers around the world.

The following cities and hosts for APAC at Portfolio Night 2022 are; Mumbai – BBDO India, DDB Mudra Group, TBWA\India, June 2 in person, Pan-India – BBDO India, DDB Mudra Group, TBWA\India, June 1, online, Seoul – Re-Be, June 2 in person, Singapore BBDO, June 2 in person, and Taipei – ADK, June 1, online.

As the advertising world tunes in to this one-of-a-kind event, it has also become a critical tool for agencies in attracting top young talent, providing a platform for recognition from local industry peers, and giving agencies a presence on the global stage.

In addition, Portfolio Night All-Stars, where each city host selects one young creative in their market with the finest portfolio. The All-Stars will then work together for a week this summer on a creative project for a large global brand.

Kevin Swanepoel, CEO at The One Club for Creativity, said that Portfolio Night is a unique global event that serves as a high-visibility opportunity for agencies and creative directors to give back to the industry by guiding the earliest steps of future copywriters, art directors and technologists.

 “We are very grateful to these agencies for making this important global event possible in APAC,” Swanepoel said.

Platforms Featured APAC

Snap bolsters creative team in APAC with new hires

Singapore – Camera and social media company Snap has announced the appointment of two new senior creative leads, namely Gareth Leeding, the new head of creative strategy for APAC, and Haran Ramachandran, the new head of creative strategy for ANZ, aimed at driving its commitment to creating best-in-class creative campaigns on the platform.

Leeding has previously held the role of executive creative director at socially-led creative agency We Are Social’s UK office where he built a creative department, co-founded WAS Sport, and won over 70 global awards for work across leading brands including Adidas, Audi, Google, and YouTube, as well as Lego, and Lidl, among others. In his new role, Leeding brings over 18 years of experience, and he will be the first dedicated creative leader in Snap’s APAC team.

Meanwhile, Ramachandran has also relocated from London where he was most recently the creative lead for telco Three Mobile and PR agency The Academy. In his new role, Ramachandran will help develop breakthrough creative campaigns for the ANZ region.

Commenting on his appointment, Leeding said, “I am excited to be joining the Snap team at a time when the APAC community is experiencing such growth. As Snap continues to push the boundaries with AR and the camera, there is immense creative opportunity, so I’m pumped to be leading the APAC region as we redefine what’s possible.”

Ramachandran also said, “We know local consumers are typically cynical of brands, which is why we need to look at ways to engage them in new and exciting ways. The chance to do that on a platform like Snapchat with a great audience and great tech is super exciting.”

Kathryn Carter, Snap’s general manager for APAC, said, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome both Gareth and Haran to our APAC and ANZ teams. Their visionary creative strategy will continue to help our partners create campaigns at a scale that millions of Snapchatters across the region love.” 

In 2021, Snap has launched its first-of-its-kind environmental pledge in AR to protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has brought the Hyundai Kona small SUV into millions of Australian living rooms and even partnered with Common Ground to create a series of immersive sleep stories from First Nations storytellers using AR.

Marketing Featured ANZ

BMF charges creative department with two new teams

Australia – Creative agency BMF in Sydney has announced two new teams to further strengthen its creative department. Within the teams are four new hires. 

Joining the senior creative team are Josie Fox, former senior art director at creative agency Special Group Australia, and Harry Stanford, former senior copywriter at Special Group Australia. On the other hand, Erica Mallett, former radio host at radio station Triple J, and Angel McMullan, current art director at BMF, will be joining the new junior creative team. 

For more than 10 years, Fox and Stanford have worked at various agencies across Australia and London. Both have previously worked at Special Group for the past five years, and some of the duo’s most notable work includes their Uber Eats campaigns – Australian Open ‘No Repeats’ and ‘Tonight I’ll be Eating’ with Simon Cowell and the Wiggles.

Fox and Stanford commented, “BMF has such a wide range of exciting and iconic clients and is full of lovely people. Who wouldn’t want to get stuck into some juicy new briefs and make some work that both we and Australia love?”

Meanwhile, the agency is beefing up its creative force with Mallett bringing with her a multi-faceted background as a musician, content creator, and podcaster, while McMullan carries with her credentials in literary creatives as a book designer and picture book illustrator.

Mallett and McMullan said, “We can’t wait to get our grubby little fingers all up in BMF’s pies. We’re looking forward to using our experience to bring to life some big, meaningful ideas – and to learn from the incredibly clever team at BMF.”

With the new appointments, Alex Derwin, BMF’s chief creative officer, noted that the agency prizes its open and collaborative culture above everything.

“Josie, Harry, Angel, and Erica are top-drawer creative thinkers who offer an even more diverse skill set to our creative department,” said Derwin.

Just recently, BMF has also appointed three new hires to strengthen its planning department, namely Anna Bollinger, the new head of planning, Jessica Sutanto, the new senior strategic planner, and Benjamin Yap, its new junior planner.

Premium Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Marketing experts, creatives majorly thumb down Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad ft. Jackie Chan

Singapore – In August this year, top e-commerce platform Shopee unveiled its newest endorser, probably its biggest ambassador to date – global superstar Jackie Chan. 

Following the announcement, Chan’s first visibility was for the platform’s 9.9 sale, and now the renowned action celebrity is back to grace Shopee’s campaign for 11.11. 

Both advertisements with Chan were nothing short of the e-commerce’s creatives DNA – a cheerful and upbeat mood, animated movements, and of course, Shopee’s staple soundtrack. 

Screencap from Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad

However, on the back of the recent release for 11.11, some marketing and creative professionals on social media gave their verdict on the ad – which leaned towards disappointment and frustration over its creative execution. 

On Monday, October 25, Richard Bleasdale, a specialist advisor at media investment analysis firm, Ebiquity, shared an article about the ad on a LinkedIn post with the comment, “Is it just me? Or is this without doubt the worst ad ever made? I challenge anyone to nominate better (worse).”

The post attracted other creative experts and advertising leaders to share opinions of their own, which had a resounding rejection of the ad’s conceptualization and overall direction. 

“The bar is very low…”, one ad leader wrote, while one marketing leader pointed out how the ad made him “lost for words.” 

Another agreed to Bleasdale, commenting, “I know what [you] mean. Very disappointing. Was hoping for more [Jackie] action.” 

MARKETECH APAC‘s Inner State reached out to some of the marketing executives that jumped on the post for their official insights on the ad.

A common sentiment among the marketing executives was how the brand failed to leverage Chan’s superstar imprint of action coupled with comedy. 

Shopee’s 11.11 platform-wide sale is running from October 25 to November 11, and the campaign was launched on October 18 on the platform’s YouTube channels across its covered markets.

The ad showed Jackie Chan on the street, being slowly approached by dangerously looking men. With an impending fight scene, Jackie is seen mustering his strength to prepare to defend.

Throughout the 30-second ad, Jackie is able to fight off the men with Shopee’s ‘Big Sale’. Using only his phone, Jackie magically defeats the men by powering through Shopee’s ‘big discounts’, where for every press of a button, discount bubbles pop up, such as “$60 CASHBACK ALL DAY” and “$6 OFF EVERY $50” off the phone and beat the men down. 

Anand Vathiyar, managing director of Cheil Singapore, describes the ad as an ‘orange mess’, a reference to the platform’s orange branding 

“Jackie Chan’s brand equity is action-comedy…Shopee could have done something [on what] we’ve come to love Jackie for instead of the orange mess they’ve rolled out,” said Vathiyar.

Echoing this, Rob Sherlock, advisory board chairman at martech solutions DAIVID, said, “I do think they could have taken Jackie Chan’s trademark antics and dialed them up into something even crazier, more ‘action’ exaggerated – and still have Shoppee fully integrated into the story.” 

He adds that instead of handing Jackie a mere phone in an attempt to inspire action to the ad, Shopee should have had “some whacky martial-arts impossibility performed by Jackie.” 

“And make the Batman & Robin pow-wow cartoon bubbles more integrated into everything we love about the man,” continued Sherlock. 

Meanwhile, Bleasdale, the one who published the LinkedIn post, shared to MARKETECH APAC that he thinks the ad has been “devoid of any idea.” 

When asked what Shopee could have done better, Bleasdale said, “Start with a real brief – with a clear objective and a compelling consumer insight. Anything that responded to that would be better and more effective than this.”

On one hand, executives were also quick to poke on the past Shopee ad with professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that the e-commerce brand had been underperforming with its campaigns even before when it signed the Portuguese sports personality in 2019. 

Shopee’s 9.9 ad in 2019 with Cristiano Ronaldo

The two-year-old ad puts Ronaldo on a football field where shortly after scoring a goal, audiences in the stadium start changing into an orange-wearing army with the trademark Shopee pop-ups coming out of each one. At the middle to the end of the ad, Ronaldo performs the Shopee dance together with his team. 

According to a survey done by consumer research Milieu, 24% of audiences in Singapore ‘dislike’ the 9.9 ad with Ronaldo in 2019, with 56% ‘liking’ it. Of those that disliked the ad, stated reasons were they found it “silly” (60%), made them cringe (60%), and was “annoying” (47%), and lacked product information (37%).

For Sherlock, Ronaldo was the worst use he’s ever seen of a mega-celebrity and thinks if Shopee had done a low-quality ad the first time, it would be difficult to redeem itself.

“It probably worked, drove sales, and tattooed the brand in the consumers’ brains. But, like any sequel, it’s hard to improve on the original – or in this case, be intentionally ‘so bad it’s good’,” said Sherlock.

MARKETECH APAC has already reached out to Shopee for a comment. 

Shopee’s presence expands Southeast Asia and Taiwan. For the latest 11.11 ad, the Thailand market paid the ad a staggering 30 million views on YouTube as of writing. 

The e-commerce platform continues to be the top platform in Southeast Asia with the most visits by consumers in 2020, trailed by Lazada. 

Inner State is MARKETECH APAC’s dedicated platform for industry deep dive.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Activation agency Traffik to now aid brands in sponsorship strategy via new practice

Melbourne, Australia – Following its recent brand repositioning to cater to the theme of ‘Everything Activation’, activation agency Traffik has announced the roll out of its new sponsorship offering, which offers marketing and creative expertise to client businesses.

As part of the sponsorship offering roll out, it has appointed Mark Edney as Traffik’s head of sponsorship.

Through the offering, Traffik will be working in tandem with the wide expertise of the Clemenger Group to offer business, marketing and creative services to clients, which includes sponsorship strategy, portfolio evaluation, contract negotiation and servicing.

For Edney, there has been an evident lack of transparency in sponsorship consultancy that is blurring the motivation around recommendations. He added that the aspect of sponsorship is one of the biggest and most powerful decisions the modern-day marketer has to navigate.

“Unlike other areas of marketing, sponsorship decisions at times lack strategic rigour and are disconnected from the broader business and marketing objectives. We are a proud, brand-side only sponsorship consultancy product which provides clients with objective, commercial and strategic support, without rights-holder biases,” he stated.

Meanwhile, James Neale, CEO at Traffik, commented, “We know that there’s been a real need for a change in the sponsorship industry that is more transparent, more focused on commercial outcomes and ultimately, tied in with recommendations around how to activate that sponsorship across the full gamut of channels, which is what Mark and his team have created. We’re thrilled to see it come to life and the positive impact it’s having with clients already.”