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SME Featured East Asia

DBS, CLP Power partner to make sustainable financing solutions accessible to SMEs in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – In line with their commitment to providing sustainable financing solutions to SMEs, consumer bank DBS in Hong Kong and investor-owned power business company CLP Power Hong Kong have partnered to help companies, regardless of their scale, transition to more sustainable business models.

Both companies have recognised the need to make sustainable financing solutions more accessible to SMEs, as sustainable financing tends to be rarer amongst SMEs, who are often constrained by the lack of resources, time, expertise, and funds. This also applies to energy audits, which often require expertise and additional funding.

To help alleviate these challenges, DBS Hong Kong and CLP Power will be offering flexible and innovative financing loan solutions to businesses. These solutions are pegged to CLP Power’s energy-saving services, which include sustainability performance targets (SPTs). SPT performance is measured with reference to the assessment methodologies under CLP Power’s present energy-saving funding schemes. 

By combining CLP Power’s comprehensive energy expertise with DBS’ extensive experience in strategic green advisory and financing, the two companies will be able to deliver comprehensive support and capital for clients, allowing them to invest in enhancing energy efficiency and expanding their businesses sustainably.

Jolynn Wong, head of business banking at DBS Bank Hong Kong, noted, “This marks DBS Hong Kong’s first SME banking package that comes with a pricing discount upon the completion of [an] energy audit with CLP Power.”

Meanwhile, Lena Low, senior director of customer success and experience of CLP Power, commented that as a trusted energy partner for business customers, CLP Power has introduced different energy management solutions such as energy audit service and offers different subsidy schemes to assist their customers to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. 

“We are excited that these initiatives are being recognised to support the assessment of the sustainability performance for customers which we believe will further motivate our customers to save energy and help Hong Kong achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Low.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

Lalamove HK mounts indoor ‘CAR-nival’ to promote cross-district food delivery

Hong Kong – On-demand delivery platform Lalamove in Hong Kong has launched an indoor ‘carnival’ called ‘Lalalicious CAR-nival’ which aims to showcase four top Lalamove F&B merchants and promote the platform’s cross-district food delivery. The on-ground activation is slated to run for seven days at the K11 Art Mall in Hong Kong,

Lalamove has teamed up with four popular online businesses and transformed them into a Lalamove Food Van. The line-up includes Monsoon Baking Atelier, a popular online bagel store, Nuttie B, a healthy handcrafted nut butter specialist, Heng Fook Bakery, an artisanal cookie baker specialising in home-backed chewy cookies, and Hong Kong Whistle, a Hong Kong-style craft beer brewer. 

To make the event more memorable, Hong Kong Whistle, Nuttie B, and Heng Fook Bakery will also be offering exclusive crossover products at the ‘CAR-nival’, including a passion fruit flavoured ‘CAR-nival’ NEIPA wrapped in a poster design of a vintage local movie, a brand-new Genmaicha Pistachio Butter, and limited-edition Orange Earl Grey Mochi Soft Cookie.

Meanwhile, the Lalamove Food Van is painted in the bright orange colour of the brand and adorned with ‘CAR’ elements. It features a 2-meter-tall truck photo frame where guests can instantly transform into a Lalamove driver-partner to take photos with fun handheld props for the gram. The ‘CAR-nival’ also offers fabulous prizes, as participants are invited to download the Lalamove app, and become Lalamove Rewards members, to redeem coupons with designated promotion codes for the lucky draw at the mega capsule toy machine.

“Through our curation of the ‘Lalalicious CAR-nival’, we are set to usher in a new delivery trend for the local F&B industry by encouraging Hong Kongers to break through the geographical barriers of traditional food delivery and take advantage of Lalamove’s service for cross-district delicacy delivery. Moreover, our merchant partners could enjoy free promotion opportunities to expand their customer base at the CAR-nival,” said Kristie Cheung, head of marketing communications at Lalamove.

She added, “We also hope to continue to elevate the user experience for our loyal users, especially members of the Lalamove Rewards Program, by providing prizes and perks at the CAR-nival. Currently, one in every four users on the platform is already a member of the program.”

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Platforms Featured East Asia

Hivestack launches Uber Taxi’s first pDOOH campaign in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Programmatic digital out-of-home (pDOOH) adtech Hivestack has launched the first pDOOH campaign for Uber Taxi in Hong Kong through their agency Mediacom Hong Kong. The ‘Go your way, Live your way’ campaign ran from July to September 2022 on multiple channels, including bus shelters and large format digital billboards.

Mediacom Hong Kong has selected Hivestack to deliver on Uber Taxi’s core proposition in empowering target audiences to be in control of the way they travel around the city. According to Hivestack, one of the challenges that come with launching a pDOOH campaign in July and August is the heavy rainfall. It shared that in order to enable the ride-hailing brand to launch its campaign, it had to leverage its advanced weather trigger and Moment Targeting capabilities so that Uber can activate its contextual ads during changing situations. 

Troy Yang, managing director for North Asia at Hivestack, shared that by utilising the agility of the platform, the brand was able to more effectively alter campaign parameters in-flight, plan dayparts, adjust ad spend, and evaluate the campaign effectiveness by understanding the audience concentration rate, performance breakdown by screens/locations and more actionable campaign insights. 

“The campaign ensured Uber Taxi was able to resonate stronger with their target audiences at the right location, with the right ad, at the right time,” said Yang.

Meanwhile, Kenny Ip, head of investment at GroupM, commented that they were excited to partner with Hivestack to deliver their omnichannel marketing campaign via programmatic DOOH for the first time, and as the pioneer of programmatic DOOH, they trusted Hivestack to raise their brand positioning in the market and drive consideration for Uber Taxi. 

“We were delighted with the ease of trading DOOH in this way, in comparison with traditional planning and Hivestack were able to provide the full scope of services for campaign setup, optimisation strategy, weather/moment targeting and post-campaign reporting just like what we are seeing possible on other programmatic media channels. Through programmatic DOOH, we were able to deliver more scale and precision than ever before in this channel,” said Ip.

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SME Featured East Asia

DBS Hong Kong, GS1 HK adopt HKMA’s CDI initiative to power digital ‘one click’ trade financing for SMEs

Hong Kong – Consumer bank DBS in Hong Kong and non-profit organisation GS1 Hong Kong have joined hands to further enhance their innovative SME trade financing solution with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Commercial Data Interchange (CDI) platform. 

The move is part of DBS Hong Kong’s commitment to providing enterprises with tailored, efficient financing services while also supporting the fintech ecosystem development led by the HKMA in Hong Kong.

DBS Hong Kong said that it plans to leverage CDI’s platform capabilities to further enhance its recently launched trade financing solution and accelerate its ecosystem strategy in Hong Kong.

Alex Cheung, managing director and head of Institutional Banking Group of DBS Hong Kong, said that the latest trade financing solution enhancement demonstrates the bank’s strong commitment to developing Hong Kong’s fintech ecosystem. 

“As a leader in SME banking, DBS is proud to be a part of HKMA’s CDI platform. Since launching our innovative digital trade finance solution with GS1 Hong Kong earlier this year, we have successfully provided SMEs with enhanced and simplified access to working capital. DBS Hong Kong is proud to be an early adopter of CDI and we look forward to working on additional use cases that leverage the platform and find new ways to increase access to funding for SMEs,” added Cheung.

In June 2022, DBS Hong Kong and GS1 Hong Kong launched a digital post-shipment trade financing solution powered by alternative data. The solution enables SMEs on GS1 Hong Kong’s ezTRADE platform to utilise their trade data to access trade financing in a digital and straight-through manner.

With the new solution, SMEs can access much-needed working capital with just one click via the bank’s corporate banking platform, DBS IDEAL. This means that SMEs no longer need to manually submit hundreds of invoices and supporting documents, reducing time and effort through the adoption of a more digital and sustainable way of doing business and seeking financing. 

Moreover, the solution redefines the trade financing journey for SMEs with DBS availing financing through a streamlined credit assessment process. Through DBS’ predictive analytics capabilities, invoice data is used to assess the financial health of SMEs, with the amount of financing available to SMEs updated on a dynamic and recurring basis.

Anna Lin, chief executive of GS1 Hong Kong, shared that the collaboration between GS1 Hong Kong and DBS Hong Kong on digital trade financing has borne fruit to many SMEs enjoying trade financing in a much simpler and digitised manner already. 

“With the CDI, I look forward to unleashing the full potential of more alternative data, enhancing SMEs’ access to financial services and nurturing the trade financing ecosystem in Hong Kong,” said Lin.

Meanwhile, Sandy Tan, head of ecosystems for Institutional Banking Group at DBS Bank Hong Kong, noted that their digital solution has redefined the trade financing journey for SMEs on GS1 HK’s ezTRADE platform, and via their collaboration, they have enabled a digital ‘one click’ transaction experience and greatly reduced the time and effort needed to acquire working capital.

“DBS Hong Kong is committed to taking an active role in further developing and growing Hong Kong’s robust fintech ecosystem. Building on the launch of CDI’s capabilities, we expect to bring our solution to the next level in customer experience while providing more offerings to support the business growth of the SME community,” said Tan.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC launches new duo real-world and metaverse music show experience ‘DuoVerse’

Hong Kong – Financial services giant HSBC in Hong Kong has launched ‘DuoVerse’, a new duo music show experience that seeks to take audience interaction to the next level, featuring the first collaboration of two local artists Tyson Yoshi and Serrini.

The first-ever duo real-world and metaverse live music show will be happening on 11 February 2023 at Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre and the HSBC Metaverse Stadium, allowing the audience to feel the powerful performance while enjoying the zero-distance interactions.

Moreover, audiences can switch up their avatar’s outfit whenever they want, and also get a chance to enter the ‘Metaverse best dressed’ competition during the show to win special prizes.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Essence named as integrated media partner of Segway-Ninebot China

Beijing, China – Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency under WPP’s GroupM, has been awarded integrated media duties for smart short-distance transportation and robotics company Segway-Ninebot in China. This partnership will be led out of the agency’s Beijing and Shanghai offices.

In 2015, Segway-Ninebot was formed in a strategic merger and acquisition by Ninebot. As a global enterprise in the fields of intelligent short-distance transportation and service robots, Segway-Ninebot’s perspective and mission are to simplify the movement of people and things and make life more convenient. The company’s extensive product line includes electric self-balancing scooters, electric kickscooters, electric mopeds, electric gokarts, and all-terrain vehicles and service robots, catering to various aspects of life, from daily commute to entertainment and point-to-point delivery.

As part of the mandate, Essence’s scope of work includes strategy, creative, content innovation, media planning, and media activation for all of Segway-Ninebot’s products in the market. Additionally, Essence’s first initiatives with Segway-Ninebot include the launch of an integrated brand campaign and tagline, as well as a partnership with Chinese celebrity Jackson Yee as the brand’s global spokesperson to reach out to consumers across generations. 

Essence said that the communications plan, covering strategy, creative, media, and content marketing would propel Segway-Ninebot’s awareness and generated positive discussions amongst audiences across platforms since its launch in the early third quarter, effectively positioning the company as a breakout brand in the market.

Benjamin Wei, Essence’s CEO for China, commented that they are greatly excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Segway-Ninebot to make the brand more valuable to consumers.

“With our full-service media offering, strategic and creative expertise, as well as cutting-edge use of data and technology, we look forward to helping Segway-Ninebot create new innovations to meet the evolving demands of modern transportation, and drive enhanced growth for the brand and business in the market,” said Wei.

Most recently, Essence has also been appointed as the integrated media agency of record by online restaurant company Rebel Foods in India. The agency’s scope of work includes strategy, analytics, media planning, and media activation for the internet restaurant company’s brand marketing activities.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

American clothing chain Eddie Bauer expands Japan presence via Itochu tie-up

Japan – Eddie Bauer, US-based leisure and outdoor clothing brand under Authentic Brands Group (ABG), has partnered with Japanese retail group Itochu, to further expand its presence in Japan. 

The partnership will see Eddie Bauer roll out across the country, launching new stores, wholesale accounts, and an official branded e-commerce site in Spring 2023. Moreover, Itochu will be partnering with Mizujin, a fashion wholesale and retail company, to design, manufacture, and distribute Eddie Bauer products.

ABG said that for nearly three decades, Eddie Bauer has offered a curated selection of outdoor and lifestyle products in Japan, where it has captured a loyal following. The brand will now broaden its offerings with a full assortment of performance and lifestyle apparel and accessories for men, women, and children.

Jarrod Weber, group president of lifestyle and chief brand officer at ABG, commented that they are pleased to grow the Eddie Bauer brand in this important market and to expand on ABG’s relationship with Itochu.

“Through the agreement, Itochu becomes a marquee partner for Eddie Bauer as we further the global strategy across strategic markets and engage with outdoor enthusiasts around the world,” said Weber.

Meanwhile, Yoshinari Nakamura, president at Mizujin, noted, “Eddie Bauer is a pioneering American heritage brand known for quality products, performance technology and style. Our aim is to build on Eddie Bauer’s strong foundation and rich heritage to enhance its presence in the Japanese outdoor and fashion markets.”

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Platforms Featured East Asia

livi Paylater, iProspect launch new Youtube audio ads to bolster user engagement

Hong Kong – As audio-driven platforms are growing exponentially all over the world, and Hong Kongers have shown a ‘listen-first’ behaviour even with video platforms like Youtube, livi Paylater, a Hong Kong-based BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) service under virtual bank livi Bank, has partnered with dentsu’s digital-first end-to-end media agency iProspect to launch the industry’s first audio ads on Youtube, in an aim to grow with their audiences.

According to consumer insights conducted by Google, 63% of consumers spend the most time listening to music digitally on Youtube, and 81% of the measured campaigns have proven to lift brand awareness when launched in Youtube Music. Youtube thus reacted swiftly to support users who are opting for audio-based experiences, including music lineups expansion for audio and podcast targeting, amongst others. In response, instead of investing solely in the mass video, livi Paylater has refined its marketing strategy to launch four sets of audio. 

Moreover, the voiceover is conducted by Jay Fung, Hong Kong’s popular singer, who has given the audios a great deal of relevancy and familiarity for his listeners. With this, the results include accumulating 130% total impressions on top of standard video buy, about 82% completion rate of audio ads and created an ad-recall for audiences, and over 100% relative search lift on the ‘livi bank’ search term.

Eric Lin, CMO of livi Bank, shared that livi Paylater enables a smarter way of spending that allows customers to have greater control of their spending and create the financial flexibility to help them to live life to the full.

“Whether it is for those just released trainers, furniture for a first flat, a gift for a loved one, the phone upgrade, a rent deposit or the course fees for advancement, they can all benefit from livi Paylater. As an innovative brand, we are always looking for new ways to engage our customers and create meaningful relationships with them,” said Lin.

Meanwhile, Kitty Kwan, associate planning director of dentsu international Hong Kong, commented that this is definitely an insight-driven media breakthrough and they’re glad that it brings incremental reach on top of the standard video buys.

“Leveraging the growth of audio platforms, we believe audio ads are one of the great potential formats to reach out proactively to our target audiences under a fragmented media landscape. Based on the audiences’ insight report powered by dentsu’s proprietary tool, the target audiences of livi PayLater are fashionistas, digital savvy and pursuing quality of life, hence we transformed this insight into 4 sets of audios, including Luxury, Gadget, Home-moving and Travel, with merchant offer support in a personalised approach,” said Kwan.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

GroupM’s EssenceMediacom appoints Jin Choi as new CEO for South Korea

Seoul, South Korea – EssenceMediacom, GroupM’s newest media agency that combines Essence and MediaCom, has appointed Jin Choi as its new CEO for South Korea. Choi, who has been heading MediaCom as managing director in South Korea for over three years, will be leading the merged agency, which launches in January 2023.

Reporting to both Michael Beecroft, GroupM’s CEO for Northeast Asia, and Rupert McPetrie, EssenceMediacom’s CEO for APAC, Choi’s appointment will be effective from January 2023. Meanwhile, Jay Lee, who has been heading Essence as managing director in South Korea for over four years, will take up leadership of GroupM Nexus in the market.

The EssenceMediacom merger, which was announced in April 2022, will blend the digital strategy, data, analytics and creative technology DNA of Essence with MediaCom’s scaled multichannel audience planning and strategic media expertise, to create an advantage for clients. The ambition is a technology-driven, scaled agency with a performance mindset designed to excel at what a future-facing agency should do.

Commenting on his appointment, Choi said, “I am thrilled to take on the leadership of our new combined agency, and evolve our innovative thinking and best-in-class solutions, in line with consumers’ lifecycles today and in the future. I look forward to leading our phenomenal team in South Korea, and continuing to partner with our diverse and ambitious clients in delivering excellent work, with an agile and proactive approach.” 

Meanwhile, Beecroft said, “Jin is a modern agency leader, with a great balance of deep technical experience, and a proven track record of building and leading high-performance teams. Since he joined the agency in 2019, MediaCom has grown by over 40% through bringing new clients into the agency as well as expanding scope with existing partners, including an e-commerce assignment with P&G.”

“Jay has done an incredible job working with GroupM agencies across markets for more than 16 years, and whilst leading Essence South Korea, has spearheaded the group’s performance marketing, analytics and consulting capabilities. I am excited to continue working with him in his new role,” he added. 

McPetrie said, “Over the last years leading MediaCom, he has put people at the heart of the operation, built strong and sustainable partnerships with our clients, as well as developed new capabilities and products to help solve clients’ business challenges. With Jin leading our merged business, I am confident that our progress will further accelerate.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Manulife elevates HyounJoo Choe as new chief customer officer for Hong Kong, Macau

Hong Kong – Insurance company Manulife in Hong Kong has elevated HyounJoo Choe, former regional head of customer experience and design at Manulife Asia, to be its new chief customer officer for Hong Kong and Macau. 

As a member of the senior management team, Choe will now be leading all customer experience and strategic marketing functions including marketing, customer relationship management, advanced analytics, insights, and corporate communications. She will also play a pivotal role in driving Manulife Hong Kong’s branding and corporate social responsibility efforts.

In her previous role at Manulife Asia, Choe oversaw the CX transformation agenda, driving strong customer engagement and delivering strong results in the relationship and transactional CX scores. She also succeeded in leveraging human-centred design principles to drive CX excellence across various digital platforms.

Choe has more than 25 years of professional experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining Manulife, she was the head of digital at MetLife Korea, where she was instrumental in driving digital transformation and developing enterprise digital strategies. Before that, she also held various leadership roles at AIA Korea, including as head of strategy, head of direct marketing, and head of operations and technology. 

Pankaj Banerjee, the interim CEO for Manulife Hong Kong and Macau, commented that they are thrilled with the appointment of Choe as their chief customer officer, as she has played a leading role in driving forward their customer experience agenda in Asia since joining Manulife in 2021. 

“An outstanding and highly experienced leader in the industry, HyounJoo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our franchise expansion in Hong Kong and Macau. Her proven track record and leadership credentials will add tremendous value to our winning team as we continue our journey to help make customers’ lives better and decisions easier,” said Banerjee.

Manulife Hong Kong said that the appointment of Choe highlights its ongoing commitment to promoting talent who can leverage customer-centric and market-leading strategies to benefit the people of Hong Kong and Macau.

Just recently, Manulife Hong Kong launched a multichannel marketing campaign to highlight how to increase the chances of survival against critical illness. This aims to promote Manulife’s two new critical illness plans, namely ManuPrimo Care and ManuPrimo Care.