Hong Kong – Japanese beverage brand Asahi has teamed up with dentsu Hong Kong for an omni-channel campaign to promote its new beer, Dry Crystal, aiming to drive brand experience for the beer product and boost consumer conversions.

The campaign’s goal is to bring users to a new discovery by unlocking new ways to experience beer. 

Recognising Asahi’s offline-focused competitors and the evolving cookieless landscape, dentsu leveraged its data-driven expertise and first-party data to navigate the digital environment, precisely engaging target audiences throughout their purchase journey.

The campaign seamlessly integrated outdoor programmatic digital out-of-home (pDOOH) advertising, strategically placed at prime locations across Hong Kong, with captivating interactive formats across video and display channels. Additionally, dentsu’s data partnerships with The Trade Desk allowed Asahi to leverage retail data, precisely targeting and converting users.

This multifaceted approach successfully captivated audiences, significantly increasing brand awareness while seamlessly driving conversions both online and offline. It not only enhanced Asahi’s full-funnel communication but also drove results in terms of awareness, engagement, and ultimately, conversion among its consumers.

The campaign had garnered 13.6 million impressions and 4.3 million video views. It continues to gain significant traction across Hong Kong, with plans to boost its reach by 87% moving forward. Asahi’s message has effectively reached the right consumers at the right time, leading to a remarkable 392% increase in conversions on Asahi’s flagship store on HKTVmall just three weeks after the campaign launched.

Mag Lai, regional head of brand at Asahi Super Dry, said, “We are thrilled to once again collaborate with dentsu Hong Kong on this effective omnichannel campaign for Dry Crystal. Dentsu has empowered Asahi to break through the competitive landscape and achieve remarkable success in both brand awareness and conversions.” 

Kitty Kwan, planning director at dentsu Hong Kong, added, “This omni-channel campaign for Asahi showcases dentsu’s commitment to delivering impactful solutions that drive meaningful growth for our clients. By seamlessly integrating data-driven strategies across channels, we’ve created a campaign that resonates with consumers and clients, helping to maximise the brand’s reach and engagement.” 

Simone Tam, the Group & Creative CEO of Dentsu in Hong Kong, clinches an award to be one of MARKETECH APAC’s ‘Empowered Women in Agency’. The recognition initiative, Empowered Women Awards 2023, is an inaugural effort to honour empowered women leaders in the industry. 

Simone is an advertising and marketing veteran, having started her journey in agencies way back in the 90’s. Her creative expertise is nothing short of commendable as she sharpened her agency prowess with some of the most respectable firms. Her early career saw her serving in FCB and then the DDB Group. She spent a number of years at mcgarrybowen before finally landing her current position at Dentsu Hong Kong.

Distilling 13 creative outfits into an integrated division of 6

From the period of 2012 to 2019, Dentsu, the renowned global advertising agency network, began an aggressive growth journey where it made more than 200 acquisitions, twice the trajectory in the market. Whilst the group was continuously acquiring new talents, it became a compilation of many different companies working in silos. For Hong Kong, this meant 13 individual agencies.

The said agencies all had different management teams with 13 P&Ls, all operating without any relationship to one another. Enter Simone in the picture. In 2021, her focused leadership as one of the CEOs of the 13 units quickly escalated when she was tapped to be the Group CEO of the entire Hong Kong division. 

The year 2021 saw Simone driving the network’s transformation agenda and restructuring the organisation into six agencies; most importantly, she created a single leadership team and one P&L across the group of 6 agencies. In 2022, for the first time ever, Dentsu Hong Kong was ready to operate as one integrated agency group.

Operationalising a growth strategy – one that’s sustainable 

There’s growth, then there’s sustainable growth. The former is less elusive given the right mindset of a team, but the latter – much more challenging to achieve with the incredible need for strategic foresight. With Simone’s impressive leadership direction and approach, she’s built a team structure for Dentsu Hong Kong that is thriving and sustainable. 

She knows that in order for talents and clients to be well taken care of, value must be afforded from the inside. Just like with any great culture, the building blocks are effective practices — and this is exactly where she drew her influence from.

To breathe life into the ‘one dentsu’ vision, Simone leveraged town halls, sharing sessions, and workshops in order to create excitement for employees for the said company maxim. In addition, she scheduled bi-weekly one-on-one sessions with all 14 direct reports to share leadership wisdom and ensure alignment with management. 

Ultimately, she fortified this unity in leadership and shaped a high-performing culture by introducing the ‘Care to do Better’ motto to the entire organization This eventually turned into practice that awarded teams and individuals who championed their ‘Care to do better’ attitude.

Empowering the industry as a true advertising ally 

Simone’s passion and expertise for advertising transcends her drive to perform excellently in one entity, but to contribute to the betterment and evolution of the entire industry.

For the past six years, she sat on City University’s Advisory Committee for the Graduates Program to provide career guidance and design internship programs for undergraduates. As a guest lecturer at HKU Business School, she taught in its MBA class on creative effectiveness.

More notably, because of her belief in the power of the industry to create meaningful influence and change society, together with her creative partner, she led a 100% pro-bono project that produced a game helping autistic children build social & problem-solving skills.

With insights gathered from autism advocates, parents, therapists, and educators, the project ‘Critical Core’ enabled players to develop and adopt a magical character and work through a series of encounters with teammates whilst role-playing the adopted persona.

She commented, “I believe every industry, every leader needs to work on women empowerment until glass ceiling is no longer a term we use.”

Aside from Simone, check out who else made it to Empowered Women Awards 2023 Winners’ list.

Hong Kong – dentsu International Hong Kong has elevated Nathan Petralia as managing director of Merkle, dentsu’s recently launched CXM (customer experience) Service Line. In his new role, Petralia will be accountable for Merkle’s operation and yield a competitive advantage for the agency network as an integrated service provider and drive strategic growth for the CXM business in the market. 

Petralia first joined Isobar Commerce Hong Kong in 2018, and afterwards, stepped up as general manager when the group launched Merkle Hong Kong last year. In just one year, the network said he has already demonstrated impeccable passion and determination in setting Merkle up for success and contributed to the group’s overall revenue growth. 

“This promotion signals our commitment that Merkle is our key strategic growth pillar for the overall Hong Kong operation, it also demonstrates our trust in Nathan, knowing that he is the right captain in leading Merkle for us,” Simone Tam, CEO of dentsu International Hong Kong said. 

“Nathan will bring together the customer experience capabilities Merkle owns and drive synergies and integration across the entire agency group and for our clients,” Tam added. 

Petralia commented, “I have always been passionate about customer psychology and data. Like any other person, I get pretty annoyed when I get irrelevant advertising because it tells me this brand does not know what I want and is wasting money on irrelevant advertising.” 

He aded, “With Merkle, I can help dentsu clients capture and leverage valuable data to increase their marketing effectiveness with predictable and measurable results, bring brands and customers closer together, and maximise the customer experiences and brand loyalty.” 

Just recently, John Riccio was named president of Merkle for whole of APAC.