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Marketing Featured East Asia

Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong names Maggie Wong as new CEO

Hong Kong – Creative and CRM agency Wunderman Thompson in Hong Kong has announced Maggie Wong as its new CEO. Wong is formerly the managing director of Publicis Worldwide and Leo Burnett Hong Kong.

The move comes after former managing director Matthew Parry makes the move to Australia, joining Wunderman Thompson Sydney to assume the same MD role. 

Wong brings with her more than 17 years of experience. She has worked with established international brands across various industries, including Expedia, Lexus, and Pizza Hut, as well as HKT, and Standard Chartered.

Aside from her previous role in Publicis, Wong has also worked as the managing partner at marketing communications agency The Gate, and the business director at architectural design firm Alan Chan Design Co.

Commenting on her appointment, Wong said, “Wunderman Thompson HK has established an excellent base with a diverse blend of talents and capabilities to turbocharge the next chapter of growth. I’m hugely excited to be joining the wonderful team and by the prospect of what we can achieve together.”

Meanwhile, Ewen Sturgeon, Wunderman Thompson International’s CEO, shared they are very excited to see Wong join them and bring her own brand of leadership, as she has the right focus on creativity, data, and experience to continue growing the Hong Kong office.

“Matt leaves to Maggie a strong and successful agency, with a great team and clients. And I’m thrilled that Matt continues to grow his career in the Wunderman Thompson network,” said Sturgeon.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

BMW China’s new ‘The Convenience Store’ seeks to make buying car as easy as buying sneakers

Shanghai, China – Automotive manufacturer BMW in China has launched ‘The Convenience Store’ on its flagship store in e-commerce TMall, in order to deliver a completely new brand and product experience for a younger generation of car enthusiasts. 

The concept, which was created in collaboration with creative agency TBWA’s Juice Beijing, has been designed to remove traditional barriers associated with purchasing a car, making the experience as seamless as buying the latest pair of sneakers. 

Moreover, ‘The Convenience Store’ integrates popular culture, technology, and service with a brand-led approach, which includes door-to-door delivery, online bidding, car customization, and lifestyle collectibles.

Through door-to-door delivery, customers can now view a model and reserve a test drive with door-to-door delivery without ever stepping into any physical store, while the online bidding is for limited edition cars, where customers can bid to get hyper limited-edition models immediately, avoiding a long waiting list. 

Furthermore, the car customization will enable customers to customize exterior color, wheels, and interior materials for key models enabled by BMW Visualizer tech. And lastly, the lifestyle collectibles will allow customers to purchase a full set of limited edition designed collectibles.

In addition, the initiative includes the BMW pop-up ‘The Convenience Store’ in Huaihai TX, which is the latest street culture landmark in Shanghai. The real-world pop-up provided a complementary sensory experience including Yee’s crafted miniature art cars and collectibles on display, and different art installations to represent the different service experiences in an avant-garde style, mirroring the virtual store.

BMW China has appointed Chinese singer Jackson Yee as its new-generation ambassador to introduce ‘The Convenience Store’ across phygital channels Yee’s creative process in crafting unique miniature BMW art cars, T-shirts, and paintings became the highlight of the lifestyle collectibles.

For customers to gain access to the pop-up, they will simply register at BMW TMall Store to become members.

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SME Featured East Asia

HDcourse launches free online SEO courses for SMEs

Hong Kong – HDcourse, the SEO optimization services and training provider, has launched free online SEO courses to help SMEs increase their organic SEO traffic.

HDcourse offers courses that cover SEO, WordPress, email marketing, and digital marketing. It supports short video teaching and is suitable for people who are studying on mobile phones and busy with work.

HDcourse shared a case study where one of its students from Malaysia had only 53,500 impressions and 1,240 clicks on Google, and following its classes, said impressions have grown to 583,000 and clicks to 15,000.

HDcourse said that through the free SEO teaching courses, anyone can have a jumpstart, promoting its classes to have 10 integrated factors that can improve the SEO of the clients and obtain organic traffic.

One of the factors is ‘Search Intention’, that helps businesses to know consumers’ intentions behind inputting certain keywords. Second is ‘Index’, which is having the search engine index the content of the customer’s website one by one. Next is ‘Backlinks’, which mainly refers to how many other people’s website links point to the customer’s website.

Meanwhile, ‘User Experience’ is the time the user stays on the website, and ‘Uniqueness of Content’ is the deep and rich content, allowing content optimization. ‘E.A.T.’ or ‘Expertise, Authority and Trustworthy’ is also a factor to improve SEO, which is enabling experts to write content to increase authority and professionalism, while ‘Freshness of Content’ is writing up-to-date news.

Furthermore, the ‘Click-Through Rate’ is adding numbers or attractive words to the title, which will help the search engine, while ‘Website Speed’ is the time to load the website should be within 2-4 seconds. And lastly, ‘Responsive Design’, which allows users to easily browse the same website regardless of the computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

China’s Nantou City undergoes brand transformation to boost presence in GBA

Hong Kong – Nantou City, the ancient city of Xin’an located at the center of Nanshan District in Shenzhen, has announced its complete brand overhaul, as part of its effort to build a cultural landmark in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Nantou City is positioned as the capital of Eastern Guangdong and the cultural origin of Hong Kong and Macau. It strives to be the melting pot of design, culture, and creative industries.

According to Nantou City, after Vanke, the town developer and city service provider, took over the renovation of the city, it has evolved into a landmark location embedded with four major parts – cultural and creative retails, trendy art experiences, and high-quality and innovative F&B, as well as cultural residencies.

The rebranding, which will be managed by creative brand agency Superunion, includes strategic brand, experience, and communications planning, alongside a total revamp of visual identity.

Nan Huang, the general manager of Shenzhen Nantou City’s Renovation Project, shared that their aim is to activate Nantou City, bringing out the best in both Chinese traditions and modern creativity, organic and sustainable development vitality to the town. 

“As we see the Greater Bay Area continue to thrive and develop, our goal is for Nantou City to retain its original architecture, which is reminiscent of Lingnan/Cantonese styles from the Ming and Qing dynasties but injects modern elements to build the city toward a young and collaborative melting pot,” said Huang.

Meanwhile, Maggie Chien, Superunion China’s business director, commented that it is both exciting and challenging to curate a brand strategy and positioning that addresses the delicate balance between maintaining the history and making it relevant for contemporary times, and the Vanke team has demonstrated astonishing execution and sensitivities in revamping the old city.

“We want to reveal that hidden charm of Shenzhen Nantou City and build an innovative and consistent visual system that communicates the city’s values. In our view, Nantou city is not just a historical landmark that you visit once, but a place that you want to come back to time and time again, to relax, to stay, and to grow with. Instead of commercializing, we want to build the city into a sustainable cultural center and integrate it with the local lifestyle,” said Chien.

The city’s new brand revamp is set to be revealed at the end of 2021.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

HK’s Harbour City ties up Disney, Pixar to unveil new mega event ‘Pixar Fest’

Hong Kong – Harbour City, the premium shopping center in Hong Kong, has partnered with Disney and Pixar to launch a mega event ‘Pixar Fest’ developed through a new marketing strategy and with a new event format.

‘Pixar Fest’, which will run until 15 August 2021, aims to enhance the consumer experience, create noise, and maximize social shares.

Harbour City is taking the extra mile to introduce something innovative to the audience. Mainly, the mega event has taken full advantage of Harbour City’s layout, installing 12 photo spots at every corner across different zones and levels. For example, the 5.2 meters high Pixar Ball and Lamp has been installed at Ocean Terminal Deck, while enlarged versions of Pixar movie characters have been set up in the atrium.

Apart from taking pictures on-site with the movie characters’ statues, the mall has also leveraged the technology of AR to entice visitors. Harbour City has selected five AR checkpoints in the consideration of mall layout. By downloading the mobile app ‘Harbour Cityzen’ for free, customers can experience ‘AR Fun’ in the onsite installations.

Furthermore, in order to keep the customer-generated content and maximize organic shares, Harbour City has released weekly new surprises to customers, such as limited-edition souvenirs and exclusive products. 

And lastly, Harbour City has created a series of interactive activities, including an online game connecting the real and virtual world across offline and online platforms. The mall has also partnered with booking platform KLOOK for online pre-registration of Pixar’s movies and shorts, to promote the mega event to targeted audiences with its big data.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Hong Kong superstar Keung To stars in new campaign by HSBC’s PayMe

Hong Kong – HSBC’s mobile payment platform, PayMe, has just launched a new campaign, featuring today’s most popular actor and singer in Hong Kong, Keung To.

The new campaign, which was created in collaboration with creative agency Ogilvy, stems from PayMe’s pride in being the only e-wallet designed specifically for the people of Hong Kong.

Titled, ‘Hong Kong’s Wallet’, the ad centers around a music video showing Keung To in ‘PayMeow cat ears’, singing the catchy PayMe song that highlights the message ‘dine-shop-play anywhere, anytime’, and dancing with PayMeow, the brand’s chubby feline mascot, and his group of dancers.

Furthermore, the campaign includes a series of print and social executions, directing people to ‘PayMeow Spin and Win’ – the in-app game in PayMe that gives users a chance to receive rewards of up to HK$500 in their PayMe wallet and other prizes when they spend HK$100 or more at PayMe for Business merchants. It also includes a PayMeow dance challenge on Instagram with special giveaways signed by Keung To.

Jaslin Goh, HSBC’s head of marketing, CX, and design, said that PayMe has become a part of Hong Konger’s lives, where for instance, they often hear people say ‘pay me lar’ among friends, becoming the country’s wallet. 

“So we asked ourselves who’s best to collaborate with our adorable mascot PayMeow with the magic of bringing people together to enjoy the PayMe cashback promotion?” said Goh.

Meanwhile, Buji Ng, the group creative director at Ogilvy, commented that Keung To is undoubtedly Hong Kong’s favorite singer who is making a strong influence in peoples’ lives.

“Therefore, we paired him up with PayMeow to make a music video debut, creating an unprecedented performance for our audience. More fascinating activities are coming up to engage everyone in town,” said Ng.

HSBC’s PayMe said that the campaign will be running until 30 September 2021.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

SCMP launches new global subscription for enterprises, corporate orgs

Hong Kong – Global news company reporting on China and Asia, The South China Morning Post (SCMP), has launched today its new Global Subscription product to provide unparalleled intelligence and insights on China, tailored for enterprises and corporate organizations.

The new Group Subscription packages offer holistic solutions that combine comprehensive news reporting and industry insights, that illuminate global trends as the epicenter of global economic growth continues to shift towards Asia. 

Through SCMP’s new product, group subscribers can access all the latest news coverage on international trade, finance technology, geo-economic policies, as well as the environment, sustainability, and governance trends. Meanwhile, exclusive member benefits will include policy briefings, research and industry reports, access to flagship events and conferences, and invite-only conversations with a community of globally influential senior executives, China experts, and SCMP editors. 

Ang Jin, SCMP’s senior vice president, said that it is increasingly essential to understand nuances in global trends to keep ahead of the competition in a fast-changing environment.

“SCMP’s Group Subscriptions are designed for professionals to make well-informed decisions with customized news and industry intelligence and to help navigate complex economic, business, and political issues. As a product aligned to organizational needs, we believe it is an investment that will see invaluable benefits in return,” said Jin.

Just recently, SCMP has also launched a global brand campaign to communicate its ‘Understand China, Understand the World’ value proposition, demonstrating its mission to lead the global conversation about China. It aims to position itself as an important resource for readers looking to acquire a more complete understanding of global trends.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

7-Eleven HK to donate 1,000 7-SELECT chicken legs as store marks 40-year journey

Hong Kong – The global convenience store chain, 7- Eleven, has pledged to donate 1,000 7-SELECT chicken legs for 40 consecutive weeks to be distributed to Hong Kongers in need, marking its important 40th year in the industry.

The new initiative, which is done in partnership with Food Angel a local NGO, is part of 7-Eleven’s effort to be in the daily lives of Hongkongers. The donations will be delivered to recipients via Food Angel’s Community Centre, Community Food Assistance Service, and Automated Food Dispenser Service – an innovative initiative that allows for the flexible collection of chilled meals.

In addition, Food Angel will distribute the donations across its 180 charity partners. It is expected to help over 10,000 recipients including the elderly, low-income families, and people recovering from mental health problems, as well as cage home residents, and disabled people.

According to 7-Eleven, during the height of the pandemic last year, they have initiated several activities to help those most impacted by the outbreak. They have donated and delivered 70,000 food items to local neighborhoods and launched the ‘Charity Meal Voucher Program’, which raised over 550,000 vouchers to provide hot meals to disadvantaged people and low-income families. 

“Although the pandemic situation in Hong Kong is starting to stabilize this year, we remain committed to showing care and support to the most vulnerable in society,” said 7-Eleven.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

WATCH: Korea’s first-ever virtual influencer comes to life, thanks to this insurance company’s campaign

Seoul, South Korea – The majority of brands are turning to the power of technology in an effort to attract more consumers as through its leverage brands are able to cook up out-of-the-box marketing campaigns, and one that’s been emerging as a trend lately are influencers – no not the human ones – but the highly resembling, and animated counterpart of the breathing face of the brand – the virtual influencers. A lot of countries are seeing their brands jump to the bandwagon, but here’s what’s hot as of the moment – Korea has just launched its first-ever virtual influencer through a campaign by Shinhan Life, the newly established insurance company in South Korea.

Being fresh to the market, Shinhan Life has launched its first brand campaign titled ‘Shinhan Life adds surprises to life’, unveiling ‘Oh Rozy’, the country’s virtual human.

Done in collaboration with advertising agency TBWA\Korea, the campaign aims to target the country’s Millenials and Gen Zs, who are reshaping the conventions of the financial investment markets. By featuring virtual human ‘Rozy’, the company seeks to break down the traditional codes applied to financial communications to appeal to the targeted audience, as Shinhan believes that this demographic is responsive to trends and they prioritize personal values including individuality and preference when choosing a brand or a product. 

‘Rozy’ is designed with 3D technology by analyzing the face and characteristics which Gen Z in Korea prefers the most. She currently has over 21,000 followers on Instagram and like ordinary influencers, uploads photos of her daily life and actively communicates with her fans via comments.

Throughout the brand film, ‘Rozy’ is dancing to the music in various locations including the forest, city, and subway with the message – “That surprising life begins when you meet Shinhan Life.”

According to Shinhan Life, the music used and Rozy’s dance moves were specially created for the campaign after analyzing the most popular music and dance content from the short video app TikTok for those in their 20s and 30s. 

“As the brand ambassador, Oh Rozy has given Shinhan Life new and exciting ways to communicate and engage with Gen MZ, who are rising as the major consumer segment in the financial market,” said TBWA\Korea’s spokesperson.

The new campaign will be airing across TV, digital, and social.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

China’s mobile-first ad platform Nativex revamps mobile marketing initiative, ‘XploreChina’

Guangzhou, China – As complexities within the Chinese business landscape and the shift in consumer behavior toward e-commerce continues to increase, Nativex, the mobile-first advertising platform that helps brands drive sustainable growth through universal access to digital channels across the east and the west, has launched its revamped ‘XploreChina’ initiative a one-stop mobile marketing solution.

‘XploreChina’ initiative is designed to help clients achieve success in the Chinese market, offering acquisition, monetization, and creative services at scale and across multiple verticals. It provides a wide range of transparent tools and solutions tailored to all lifecycle stages. 

Under the ‘XploreChina’ umbrella, Nativex offers three distinct solutions for brands including China Top Media, KOL Marketing, and Android Solutions, as well as customized marketing solutions for public relations, and social media, among others.

The China Top Media solution grants advertisers instant access to premium inventory across China’s closed mobile ecosystem through strategic partnerships with ByteDance, Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba, as well as Kuaishou, while the Android solution provides clients with the required documentation for launching their app in China’s Android ecosystem. It also includes support for app management and monetization on China’s mainstream Android app stores.

And lastly, the KOL Marketing solution helps brands run successful influencer campaigns in China by connecting them with over 40,000 Chinese influencers and more than 200 Multi-Channel Networks, including XingTu (Douyin), Magnet (Kuaishou), and HuaHuo (Bilibili). 

According to Nativex, the country’s US$14.28T economy continues to present a broad range of business opportunities for companies, especially those from emerging markets such as SEA, but without a strong understanding of market characteristics and knowledge around consumer preferences, companies seeking to enter China may encounter difficulties in building brand awareness and engaging with local audiences. As a result, leveraging the expertise and connections of a partner such as Nativex will help brands across various industries scale quickly and effectively in China. 

Irene Yang, the managing director at Nativex, shared that breaking into the Chinese market can be incredibly complex for marketers who do not have boots on the ground or localized expertise to lean on, due to its unique media ecosystem that’s dominated by domestic tech giants and its fragmented mobile audience. 

“Here at XploreChina, our unrivaled understanding of the Chinese market and strong connections to China’s top media platforms allow us to make the transition into this unique media ecosystem for brands seamless and effective. As more brands look to break into China, we are able to guide marketers every step of the way,” said Yang. 

Nativex has also announced that as part of the ‘XploreChina’ rebrand, advertisers also have access to ‘Nativex XMP Media Buying’ tool, which allows companies to reach hundreds of millions of users across the country’s leading ad platforms such as Wechat, Douyin, and Bilibili, as well as Nativex’s in-house creative studio TopWorks, which offers premium creative services. 

In addition to XploreChina’s three distinct solutions, brands will also have access to public relations, search engine optimization, and social media services to ensure brands of all shapes and sizes have the right online presence in China’s massive mobile market.