Shanghai, China – Marking its 120-year anniversary as a global automotive manufacturer, Ford, in partnership with advertising company Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, launched the ‘Wild At Heart’ campaign, featuring its iconic vehicles such as the Ford Mustang, Ford Bronco, and the Ford Explorer Timberline.

In showcasing how Ford adds adrenaline to everyone’s wild side, Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai created a film centred around a human’s desire to move through the personal life stories of 3 characters who fall in love with movement – and everything that comes with it.

The film showcases a coming-of-age story told from the 1990s to the present day, following the characters who meet their match with a Ford vehicle, specifically highlighting each character’s desire to go wild, be free, and feel the thrill.

Zhong How, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, said, “We all grew up with the desire to move. From your first step to your first bike to your first car. These are moments filled with excitement and thrill. Ford really understands that and wants you to feel and embrace it.”

Meanwhile, Aier Xu, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, also mentioned,  “We have so many up and coming local vehicle brands in China nowadays, it’s crucial for Ford as a foreign brand to show its strong relevance with this market, that’s why we chose to go for an emotional approach as opposed to talking about functions and features.”

Japan McCann Worldgroup Japan announced the appointment of leadership within its agency brands, McCann and Craft. Takashi Aoki will join McCann Erickson Japan Inc. and Craft Worldwide Inc. as representative director and president, taking effect on October 1, 2023. 

Aoki will be under the direct supervision of Ji Watson, the CEO of McCann Worldgroup Japan. He will collaborate closely with the regional and global network to lead the Japanese teams in delivering impactful solutions to help clients expand their businesses.

Aoki brings over two decades of experience as a strategic thinker in the realms of marketing, branding, and customer experience from his previous position as managing director of Media.Monks Tokyo. Throughout his career, Aoki has contributed to a diverse portfolio of global and domestic brands in industries such as FMCG, luxury, cosmetics, tech platforms, automobiles, tourism, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. He has worked for Dentsu Y&R Tokyo, J. Walter Thompson Japan, J. Walter Thompson Shanghai, Publicis Groupe, and Saatchi & Saatchi Tokyo.

Speaking about the appointment, Watson commented, “I am delighted to welcome Takashi Aoki to our management team. His multi-market knowledge and expertise leading cross-functional teams make him uniquely suited for this role. I very much look forward to working closely with him and our existing leadership team, accelerating our transformation to become the irrefutable leader in the business of creativity.” 

Meanwhile, Aoki expressed, “I am very excited to take on this role leading McCann and Craft in Japan. Both agencies have a unique presence in Japan, being part of a global network, as well as having a deep understanding of the Japanese market and also a strong roster of clients. I look forward to continuing to develop creative and effective solutions that address the challenges our clients face in this rapidly changing world, working closely with the teams in Japan as well as the APAC regional and global teams.”

Hong Kong KFC Hong Kong has unveiled a series of billboards throughout the city to promote the release of their newest product, the “FING FING Cajun Chips,” with the goal of capturing the curiosity of bystanders and causing them to shake their heads in wonderment to discover the product.

The marketing campaign makes engaging reference to the product’s name and defining characteristic (where “FING FING” stands for “shake” in Cantonese). Customers are urged to combine the chips and the Cajun seasoning sachet for an improved version of the Finger Lickin’ Good flavor and overall experience.

The billboards use a creative optical illusion that requires viewers to shake their heads in order to see a hidden message hidden within black lines. The simultaneous publication of other announcements about FING FING Cajun Chips in various press and media outlets throughout the city takes place at the same time as this strategy.

Speaking about the advertisement, Ms. Janet Lau, marketing director of KFC Hong Kong, said, “Our mission for this product is to get the whole of Hong Kong in the FING FING spirit and what better way to get the ball rolling than with the ads.” 

“It’s a simple way to connect the ads with the product incorporating the fun spirit of our brand,” Lau added. 

Meanwhile, John Koay, regional executive creative director of Edelman Hong Kong, said, “We want to get as many eyeballs on the new FING FING Cajun Chips launch as we possibly can – and playing with the product identity felt like the perfect way to do this in a playful and engaging way.” 

China – Sunny Zhu has been appointed as the general manager of the Shanghai office of the international creative agency We Are Social. Zhu’s responsibilities in this position include managing daily office operations and leading clients’ strategic expansion initiatives.

She formerly held the position of business unit director, and is now a general manager. In her new position, she will continue to work with companies like Google, Ferrari, and Korean Air while also focusing on regional growth and working with a team of 40 people. 

She joined We Are Social in 2016, and Zhu now reports to Tristan Qin, China Region EVP, with an extended scope of responsibilities. This encompasses leading the agency’s strategic initiatives and managing internal training and development programs throughout the organisation.

Speaking about her new role, Zhu said, “The team in Shanghai has been growing in recent years, and I’m excited to be part of a dynamic business that’s making great creative work. There’s a great spirit of collaboration and innovation, and in this next chapter, I’m looking forward to leading the team and driving results for clients.” 

Meanwhile, Pete Lin, CEO of North Asia, said, “Sunny has always stood out as an ambitious and talented leader, and over the years she has become a driving force and positive influence within the agency.” 

He added, “We’re excited to see how Sunny will help accelerate the growth of the Shanghai office as it becomes a dominant force in the Chinese advertising landscape.”

Shanghai, China – WPP global design agency Design Bridge and Partners, has partnered with Kungfu Pu’er Tea, a producer of fine tea in Yunnan, to refresh its brand positioning, identity and packaging design system.

The partnership resulted in a new brand positioning and design system created by Design Bridge and Partners, which reinvents Kungfu Pu’er Tea as a wellness lifestyle brand made for ‘urban knights’ and designed for a new generation.

Furthermore, the rebrand aims to connect contemporary audiences with the ancient tea-drinking tradition. The new branding specifically celebrates the notion of tea as the “antidote” to the overwhelming, fast-paced lifestyle of modern society.

With the brand statement, ‘drink with the world and live a transparent heart’, the visual identity is inspired by the spirit of Chinese martial artists and  kung fu warriors, a symbol of living life with a pure heart dedicated to others.

The swordsman logo of Kungfu Pu’er tea has also evolved from the traditional Chinese Wuxia knight to a contemporary marque,  and the visual language for packaging and communications is formed as an artistic reinterpretation of Chinese traditional watercolor paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, rice paper and seal carving textures, reaffirming the spirit of ancient Wuxia knights and tea culture in the brand expression.

Kungfu Pu’er’s new identity will be adopted across communications and sales channels, and products with the new look and packaging are now on sale on TMall and JDMall stores.

Taipei,Taiwan – Interpublic Group agency DeVries Global has announced its appointment as low-cost carrier Scoot’s public relations agency for Taiwan.

In this partnership, DeVries Global is tasked with strengthening Scoot’s local resonance with consumers following the pandemic. 

Fortified by the agency’s extensive industry experience and data capabilities, the agency’s scope focuses on building media relations to strengthen demand for inbound and outbound flights, as well as consumer initiatives to create awareness and to reiterate the airline’s position as an innovative and relatable low-cost carrier.

Commenting on the partnership, Vivian Liu, managing director at DeVries Global Taipei, said, “We are proud to partner with such a well-loved brand – a future-forward leader that operates with fun, value and discovery at its core. Our team has crafted inspired, innovative programs to bring about a new chapter for Scoot”.

Meanwhile, Agatha Yap, director of marketing and new revenue at Scoot, mentioned, “At Scoot, we believe that travel connects people, destinations, and cultures. We look forward to our partnership with DeVries Global, especially as we ramp up awareness by creatively telling the Scoot story to local audiences in Taiwan.”

This appointment follows Scoot’s partnerships with other agencies, with global communications agency BCW being tapped as Scoot’s PR partner in their home base of Singapore, as well as brand and customer agency VMLY&R and Omnicom Advertising Group-owned network PHD being appointed to conceive creative strategies for the airline and to handle global media planning and buying respectively.

Shanghai, China – Wunderman Thompson has announced the promotion of Carter Chow to chief executive officer of Wunderman Thompson Greater China.

Previously CEO of Wunderman Thompson China, Chow’s promotion comes as the agency focuses on building a united approach and strategy in Greater China, as more client opportunities call for a consolidated response from agencies.

With 25 years of experience, Chow returns to lead the digital transformation of J.Walter Thompson as CEO where he modernised the entire service offering – driving the agency into a state of hyper growth.

In 2019, Chow notably led the merger of Wunderman and JWT in China by combining and elevating existing teams to bring new, unique and integrated capabilities to the China market.  Since then, the market has experienced significant changes and years of economic uncertainty, but Chow continued to remain consistent – growing alongside clients such as The Estée Lauder Companies, Volkswagen, HSBC, P&G, Danone and so on.

Speaking on his promotion, Chow commented, “We have exceptional teams and excellent capabilities in many of our markets, especially within the Wunderman Thompson Greater China offices. From Shanghai to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taipei, each office brings its distinct and market-leading expertise. We can achieve remarkable feats when we‘re all in it together, empower one another, and harness our collective synergy.”

Meanwhile, Ewen Sturgeon, international CEO at Wunderman Thompson, said, “Carter is known for building a robust and successful business with people at the heart of it all; encouraging a culture of creativity and growth. I have no doubt Carter will take our Greater China business to new heights with a united approach.”

Maggie Wong and Evan Teng, CEO of Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong and Taipei respectively, as well as Win Mak, CEO of Mirum Hong Kong (part of Wunderman Thompson), will remain leaders of their markets and will work with Chow to create a more consolidated response to the opportunities and challenges that present Greater China clients.

Hong Kong – PRHK,  a Hong Kong based public relations and communications services association, has appointed its new board and sub-committees for the year of 2023-2024,with the new board members complementing the continuity provided through the re-appointment of thirteen board and sub-committee members from last year.

The new board and sub-committees of PRHK are namely: 

  • Carol Yeung, managing director at Golin (chairperson) 
  • Penn Leung, account director at CCG (deputy chairperson) 
  • James Hacking, APAC brand and marketing leader at EY and Carbo Yu, regional executive director at Sinclair (digital co-chairs) 
  • Kevin On, general manager at Hoffman and Natalie Siu, HK general manager at Sandpiper (education & mentorship programme co-chairs)
  • Rachel Lau, PR director at MSL Group and Cody Roberts, partner at MCG Talent (events co-chairs)
  • Kiri Sinclair, founder and CEO of Sinclair (honorary secretary & ESG committee)
  • Stephan Engel, director and market lead at APCO Worldwide and Ben Evetts, head of brand at Cigna (membership co-chairs)
  • Jesa Amparo, account manager at CCG and Cheryl Pan, SVP and general manager at BlueCurrent Group (next gen co-chairs)
  • Elizabeth Lui, senior account manager at Sandpiper (young lion chair)
  • Fran Tam, associate director at Edelman and Katie Forster, managing director at Amara Communications (partnerships & sponsorships co-chairs)
  • David Croasdale, managing director at Newell (treasurer)
  • Adam Chow, senior executive at Sinclair and Camille Thoreau, former public relations associate at Sinclair (young professional representatives)

With its new board members, PRHK’s focus remains to enable active and emerging professionals to navigate the dynamic communications landscape of Hong Kong, while also supporting their members and the wider PR community to gain meaningful connections and facilitate knowledge sharing. 

PRHK’s agendas will also continue to be supported with initiatives including the Annual Hong Kong PR Young Lions Competition, as well as extensive engagement programmes with Hong Kong academic institutions and universities to support and nurture the next wave of professionals. 

Yeung, the newly appointed chairperson of PRHK said, “As the market opened up, we look forward to bringing back our signature events and knowledge sharing initiatives in the coming board year. In addition to innovation across the industry, we also set up an ESG Committee to demonstrate the evolving role of strategic PR and communications across various sectors.” 

“This year we see an even wider board representation with talent acquisition expertise joining us. We believe this will further elevate PRHK as the leading association for public relations and communications professionals in Hong Kong,” she added. 

Beijing, China –  Mastercard announced that its cardholders can link their cards to WeChat Pay, or as it’s known locally, ‘Weixin Pay’, a mobile payment service within the WeChat app, as a new payments option that further improves the digital payment experience of foreign visitors to the country.

Expanding on a partnership established in 2019 that offers enhanced digital payment solutions, the latest development gives Mastercard full access to WeChat Pay’s merchant network in China and provides a safe and convenient way for international travelers to pay when traveling around the Chinese Mainland.

The extended merchant network includes categories such as dining, transportation, shopping, accommodation, and more. International travelers with Mastercard cards can now utilize multiple payment methods through the app, such as QR codes, payment codes, mini programs, and in-app payments.

In their press release, Mastercard stated, “For merchants, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, the Weixin Pay-Mastercard tie up gives them more opportunities to transact with international travelers who now have access to one of the most widely accepted payment methods in China, allowing them to get around easily, without hassle.”

Taiwan – Golin, an Interpublic Group agency, has recently appointed Neysa Chou as the its new executive director for Golin Taipei. Neysa will be in charge of leading the consumer and digital teams in Taipei, with a focus on strategic advising, integrated marketing communications (IMC), social media, and digital project management. 

In her new role, Chou will report directly to Terry Chiang, managing director of Golin Taipei

Chou returns to IPG after previously working at Golin and DeVries Global in Taipei and Beijing, including experiences in PR, digital, and marketing in areas such as entertainment, tourism, cosmetics, and consumer electronics.

Speaking about the appointment, Chiang commented, “Neysa’s creative enthusiasm, acute business acumen and reputation as a trusted counsellor to brands across a multitude of industries will help us create real change and impact for our clients.”

He added, “Leading our dynamic, energetic and passionate team, I see Neysa’s well-rounded experience further elevating our talents’ skillset, strategic thinking and eagerness to make even bolder moves for brands.” 

Meanwhile, Chou expressed, “I couldn’t be happier to join Golin Taipei.  I’ve watched as the team has created meaningful, award-winning work, alongside truly progressive DEI programs.”

She added, “I’m keen for the experience I’ve accumulated across the past decade – especially insights into the travel and FMCG industries –  to benefit our clients and people, while becoming part of the fantastic workplace culture Golin is renowned for.”