Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Culture Group’s partnership with Spotify Studios, Wattpad aimed at aspiring authors

Singapore – Culture marketing agency Culture Group has announced a partnership with Spotify Studios and Wattpad in order to equip leading Southeast Asian writers with the resources necessary to extend their content through podcasting.

Culture Group is the agency of record for Wattpad and agency partner of Spotify.

Developed by Culture Group to amplify the voice of leading literary creators from across the region, the program will see 20 Wattpad creators from Indonesia and the Philippines use the medium to offer new perspectives to fans, creating an immersive storytelling experience that allows original characters, worlds, and narratives to leap off the page through the power of voice. 

In addition, a 2-day virtual ‘Spotify x Wattpad Podcasting Workshop’ will teach the basics of podcasting, podcast marketing, and digital audio storytelling. The sessions will also delve into the future of podcasting, analysing trends and predicting what’s next for the medium.

Overseeing the programme, Culture Group will be responsible for the final production of all podcast episodes. The partnership between Wattpad and Spotify builds on Culture Group’s creator economy credentials, including the creative and content-led partnership between Wattpad and livestreaming platform, kumu. 

Michael Patent, founder and president at Culture Group, said, “Leveraging the power of storytelling for commercial and creative purposes is the mission of Culture Group. Following previous initiatives with Spotify, and having led Wattpad’s collaboration with kumu in the Philippines, it is exciting to expand our remit with both partners. Benefitting from their combined expertise, we are confident that the incubator program will educate and empower our aspiring creators, elevating their content and expanding their reach through Spotify.”

Platforms Featured APAC

BTS is coming to Disney+ following major streaming deal

Singapore – Popular Korean pop boy group BTS is coming to major streaming platform Disney+ after its entertainment agency HYBE has scored a major streaming deal with The Walt Disney Company Asia. Both entities aim to showcase creative excellence from South Korea’s music and entertainment industry to the world stage.

The agreement includes global distribution of five major content titles from HYBE, which include two exclusive series featuring 21st century pop icons BTS that will launch on Disney’s streaming services.

Three of those content titles will be ‘BTS: Permission To Dance On Stage – LA’ which is their concert film in Los Angeles’ Sofi Stadium in November 2021; ‘IN THE SOOP: Friendcation’ which is an original travel reality show featuring BTS members; and ‘BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star’, an original docu-series on the journey of the BTS members.

This strategic collaboration will allow Disney to introduce a series of new titles from HYBE over the next few years, as the entertainment platform continues to produce high-quality content based on its music and artists IPs.

Jessica Kam-Engle, APAC head of content at The Walt Disney Company, said, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with HYBE to showcase their original content created with powerful artist IP on our global streaming services including Disney+.”

She added, “This collaboration represents our creative ambition – to work with iconic content creators and top stars in Asia Pacific so their talent can be enjoyed by mainstream audiences in multiple ways. We believe these new titles will captivate consumers worldwide and look forward to introducing more music content on our service.”

Meanwhile, Park Ji-won, CEO of HYBE, commented, “This will be the start of a long-term collaboration, where we present worldwide audiences a wide range of HYBE content for fans who love our music and artists. The Walt Disney Company has a long history of franchise-building and promoting musical artists, with its unparalleled brands and platforms.”

Platforms Featured APAC

ACE, piracy watchdog for entertainment, adds TH’s True Visions as ally

Singapore – The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, or ACE, the coalition dedicated to protecting the legal ecosystem for creative content, is expanding its global reach with the addition of the first two Asia-based media and entertainment companies. This includes Thailand’s leading cable satellite TV provider True Visions as well as Hong Kong-based video streaming platform Viu

Now in its fifth year, ACE, which is governed by some of the most notable media giants such as Disney and Netflix, has consistently grown its global membership base. The addition of True Visions and Viu brings the coalition to a total of 39 members, with more to join in the coming weeks, said the organisation. 

Charles Rivkin, chairman of ACE and the Motion Picture Association, said, “The addition of Viu and True Visions is the beginning of an expansion to include local media companies from key markets around the world. By growing ACE’s footprint throughout the APAC region, we are building new relationships with local law enforcement authorities and other key partners in our ongoing effort to shut down piracy operations around the world.” 

Sompan Charumilinda, executive vice chairman of True Visions, said that through its membership, they want to support Thai people as they compete in a globalized marketplace by protecting their work with strong intellectual property rights stewardship. 

“We are pleased to be the first member of ACE based in Thailand and look forward to helping drive important actions in this market that will improve the piracy landscape and pave the way for a brighter future,” said Charumilinda. 

Meanwhile, Janice Lee, CEO of Viu, commented, “As one of the leading video-on-demand services offering premium Asian content, we recognize the need to address the piracy that is widespread in our markets. We are committed to ensuring that consumers move from illegal piracy sites to legal options like Viu by providing an unparalleled viewer experience and investing in the creative ecosystem. By being a part of ACE, we hope to make an even more positive impact on our consumers and the industry at large.” 

ACE is supported by a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and law enforcement agencies around the world and international organizations like Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.

According to the organisation, its antipiracy campaign in North America has reduced the number of identified illegal streaming subscription websites from 1,400 in 2019 to slightly more than 200 today. 

According to the Global Innovation Policy Center, piracy amounts to between $29.2 billion and $71 billion annually in lost domestic revenues. 

Marketing Featured ANZ

The ‘Upside Down’ has reached Australia, the land down under

— Netflix’s popular sci-fi horror drama, Stranger Things, has caused a stir in the global consciousness. The 80s themed hit drama series has recently aired its fourth season, and alongside this, Netflix has created a portal to connect the audiences with a popular element of the show; the Upside Down.

Ever since 1983, when a test subject in a Hawkins, Indiana lab named Eleven ripped open a portal between Hawkins and the Upside Down, a terrifying alternate dimension beneath the surface of this small town. Now similar rifts have been opening up in the most unexpected places. In Bondi Beach, Australia, beachgoers have been baffled by otherwordly rift that sprung up on the sandy shores.

On the morning of May 27 on the iconic Australian beach, a mysterious and forbidding gateway to an alternate dimension opened up on the golden sands to the shock of onlookers. The large gaping portal appeared overnight, complete with deep vines and a glowing red core. Scientists in hazmat patrolled the area while lifeguards set up a safe perimeter around the scene.

In celebration of the return of Stranger Things, similar rifts in iconic landmarks all around the world also sprung up. Popular sites where similar demonstrations sprung up included the Empire State Building in New York City; the Gateway of India in Mumbai; Menara Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Cologne Media Park in Germany; and XBox Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles.

Eleven and her friends have captured the audience’s imaginations from the very beginning and Netflix loves putting fans inside the story, taking them through the Upside Down and into an alternate reality.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

KROMA teases ‘tradigital’ entertainment offering through XR event

Manila, Philippines – Local media and entertainment company KROMA has teased its so-called ‘tradigital’ entertainment offering through an extended reality (xR) event hosted by the company on 6 April. In it, they showcased KROMA’s immersive experience for its online audience by combining the physical and virtual worlds.

Far from the usual green screen execution, the xR disguise is a more dynamic and intense production. It allowed KROMA officials to interact smoothly with complex virtual effects and real-time computer graphics, resulting in more natural shots. Moreover, The xR disguise platform creates exciting live visual experiences based on augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR).

According to Denise Seva, head of KROMA’s full-service activation brand LiveMNL and Music, they will continue to evolve by integrating the live component and product and tech innovations in the digital space.

“We at LiveMNL are always on the lookout for something fresh and innovative in delivering our events – be it ours or for our clients. I’ve seen a lot of comments that people were very impressed and happy with what we produce, so expect more of that coming from LiveMNL,” Seva said.

Meanwhile, Ian Monsod, CEO at KROMA, said the launch production is not the sole proof that shows how KROMA is going beyond content to further enrich the audience experience. He added that by being part of the Globe Group’s telecommunications and technology ecosystem, KROMA can connect consumers to related interests and passion points, communities, brands, websites, apps, and services essential to their daily lives.

“We are a diverse team of passionate individuals who bring together varying perspectives and points of view to create something engaging, exciting, and trailblazing for the Filipino audience. We do this across our ecosystem of brands, creators, content, and experiences. We have something for everyone’s entertainment,” Monsod said.

Platforms Featured APAC

Fandom appoints Yamini Joshi as managing director for sales in APAC

San Francisco, USA – Fandom, a global fan platform, has appointed Yamini Joshi as its newest managing director for sales in APAC. She is currently based in Singapore and will report to Ken Shapiro, chief revenue officer at Fandom.

Through his new role, Joshi will be responsible for growing Fandom’s business in the APAC region, including the development and execution of revenue growth and monetization strategies and creating scalable, client-centric category solutions that utilise the full power of Fandom’s portfolio.

She brings into Fandom 20 years of experience in the media and digital industry. She has a keen understanding of media platforms in Asia across broadcast, digital and print, having worked with corporations like Fox, RTB House and Financial Express.

Prior to joining Fandom, she was previously the SVP for sales for APAC and Middle East at Fox Networks, where she built a multi-million dollar business driven through key partnerships with clients like Unilever, P&G, Samsung, L’oreal, Toyota, Canon amongst others.

Speaking about Joshi’s appointment, Shapiro said, “Fandom is in a period of explosive growth and our advertising organisation has seen increased market demand internationally – and specifically in our APAC territory. I’m pleased to bring in a strong leader like Yamini to take Fandom’s brand to new levels.”

He added, “Her impressive tenure in the media and entertainment industry will allow us to grow opportunities with our ad partners and build out our international business across multiple verticals in TV, streaming, gaming and film.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Mad Influence offers new studio to duo Surabhi, Samriddhi for ‘Twinterview’ show

New Delhi, India – Social media influencer marketing company in India, Mad Influence, has offered its newly opened platform Mad Studio to twin sister duo Surabhi and Samriddhi, who are popularly known as Chinki and Minki, for their new entertainment show ‘Twinterview’.

The newly opened studio provides a dance studio, VFX studio, photoshoots, and a variety of other first-rate facilities needed to generate content that will capture the attention of influencers from the represented brand’s intended audience.

‘Twinterview’ presents a diverse range of renowned TV and OTT celebrities providing amusing responses to some hot questions. Each episode is organized into three sections, namely promotion, confession, and confusion. The first portion will be soothing which would relax the superstars, while the second portion focuses on diving into the deep and personal lives of the famous visitors, and lastly, the third game includes the hosts asking visitors perplexing questions about themselves.

The sisters commented, “It is time to say goodbye to the quintessential celebrity interviews. This is not a regular interview – this is a ‘Twinterview’.” 

Gautam Madhavan, Mad Influence’s founder and CEO, said, “Mad Influence is all about new opportunities and providing a platform for every form, and with this, we have not only extended our family but also shown everyone what Mad believes in. We wish the twins very good luck for their future episodes.”

The show’s first episode featuring Indian comedian Bhuvan Bam has already aired on the duo’s YouTube channel last 12 January at 2:00 pm IST.

Platforms Featured APAC

Cartoon Network’s new brand experience invites kids to redraw their world

Singapore – Cartoon Network, one of the largest kid channels on television, has unveiled its latest brand experience called ‘Redraw Your World’ for its APAC market. This new brand experience aims to appeal to a wider demographic, as well as inviting kids to always be true to themselves, and be confident in their abilities to impact real change in both big and small ways. 

As part of the new brand experience, Cartoon Network will be donning new vibrant colors, music and design for its programming. In addition, the network will be premiering two episodes of ‘We Baby Bears’, a spin-off of the popular series ‘We Bare Bears’ on 8 January.

Moreover, Cartoon Network is looking to launch pop-up doodle stations and craft videos powered by Crayola, the regional campaign’s official ‘creativity partner’. Armed with inspiration and the right tools for creativity, kids are invited to express themselves and let their imagination run free by drawing or doodling their vision of the world they want to live in.

The video series, entitled ‘Craft Your World’, will launch on Cartoon Network Asia and Crayola websites and social channels in the coming weeks until the end of 2022.

Leslie Lee, head of Cartoon Network and WarnerMedia Kids in Asia Pacific, said, “Cartoon Network is committed to inspiring imaginations and empowering kids. It’s a vibrant and fun place where differences are always celebrated.”

‘Redraw Your World’ physical events are also taking place from February onwards in malls across the region, including in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. These will be complemented by a rich content offering including AR filters on Instagram.

Meanwhile, only in Singapore, Cartoon Network has teamed up with NTUC FairPrice and Plus! Programme in 2022 for a number of initiatives. Cartoon Network characters will be also on show in the build up to the Chingay Parade 2022 later this month. Cartoonito, a preschool programming block on Cartoon Network, will be launching in Asia later in the year.

Marketing Featured APAC

Global sports marketing firm CSM acquires digital agency Greenroom Digital

Australia – CSM, the global integrated marketing and brand experience firm for sports and entertainment, has acquired its long-time digital marketing and communications agency partner, Greenroom Digital, to bolster its digital offering in the sports marketing landscape.

For three years, CSM and Greenroom Digital have been working together to deliver digital and data strategies for a range of clients globally, including HSBC, AIA, and Alpine F1, among others.

The acquisition includes all Greenroom Digital operating markets, with the exclusion of business operations in Australia and New Zealand. This will continue to be headed up by Greenroom Digital’s co-founder, Nick Biggin. 

Biggin commented that the acquisition is an exciting step between the relationship of Greenroom Digital and CSM, and he looks forward to focusing on the continued growth and expansion of their businesses in APAC.

“It enables us to leverage the scale and strengths of the CSM business internationally while maintaining independence and flexibility in the developing Australia and New Zealand markets,” he said.

Meanwhile, Matt Vandrau, CSM’s group CEO, shared that CSM’s digital offering is a key differentiator for them in the marketplace and they are proud to deliver exponential commercial growth for their clients through their performance marketing platform. 

“We are committed to continued investment in our digital offering to provide the very best results for our clients,” said Vandrau.

Greenroom Digital’s Co-Founder, Tom Huggins, who will also become the group digital and data director, commented that he sees this enhanced relationship accelerating Greenroom Digital’s growth in the coming months and beyond. 

“This acquisition is the culmination of years of hard work and delivering results for clients in partnership with CSM and we are delighted to formalize our relationship,” said Huggins.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Kids’ entertainment giant Spin Master partners with media agency Nunn Media

Sydney, Australia – Australia-based independent media agency, Nunn Media, has been appointed by global children’s entertainment company Spin Master for its portfolio of brands in Australia, including Bakugan, PAW Patrol, Hatchimals, Kinetic Sand, and Air Hogs.

The remit will be a multi-year engagement, and Nunn Media will be managing the integrated strategy, planning, and buying across all media channels for Spin Master Australia’s more than 25 brands. 

Spin Master is headquartered in Canada and has 28 offices around the world. Its entertainment properties are viewed in more than 190 countries and it distributes toys in more than 100 markets.

Geoff Oliver, marketing director of Spin Master ANZ, shared that they have ambitious plans to continue growing its business in Australia and creating exceptional play experiences for children. 

Oliver said, “The team from Nunn Media showed a strong understanding of the market and how to best engage with our target audience to help realize our plans. We look forward to partnering with them as we continue to delight Aussie kids.”

Meanwhile, Chris Walton, the agency’s managing director, jovially commented, “Spin Master creates and manages some of the world’s most popular children’s entertainment properties, I mean who doesn’t love Ryder, Chase, Everest, and Rocky from PAW Patrol??! Starting in November, we’ll work closely with the team to amplify all of the Spin Master portfolio in Australia.”

The appointment by Spin Master follows Nunn Media’s recent acquisition of Australia-based performance agency, Alley Group. The two will be forming an integrated business proposition leveraging Alley’s capabilities in search, social, programmatic, e-commerce, and digital creative.