Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

TM unites tradition and technology in riveting Hari Raya film

Malaysia — Telekom Malaysia (TM), has produced a heart-warming Hari Raya film that incorporates Kufi, a type of early Arabic calligraphy, in an innovative way to unite the cultures of the past with the technology of the future. The campaign was created, handled, and executed by brand and customer experience agency, VMLY&R.

The short film entitled ‘Dari Hati’ or From the Heart, is part of the TM’s wider Festive Campaign for 2022 – which encompasses all the main festive celebrations in Malaysia, including National Day.

The short film revolves around a young man, Iqbal, and his ruminations on life and his purpose. His mum then rings, asking for help clearing out the workshop of his deceased father, who was an artist. By revisiting the workshop and being inspired by his father’s art to create tech Kufi versions of his own, Iqbal reconnects with his family, his heritage and above all his father’s values of doing everything with wholeheartedness and sincerity.

VMLY&R’s proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ insights helped shape the idea, that Malaysians have one intangible heritage that is passed on from every generation: Words of wisdom. This is an important pillar of the Malay community as it forms and guides everything that they do in life. Through this, the agency found a way to turn this intangible heritage into a tangible end product with the Kufi generator.

Kenni Loh, CEO of VMLY&R Malaysia, shared, “Our proprietary ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ provided a valuable insight that inspired us to find a solution that could convert the intangible, a heritage passed down through the generations, into the tangible. Our goal was to honour and celebrate Aidilfitri in a unique and interesting way and get our audience to not only enjoy the touching and meaningful Raya film but also share their own words of wisdom thanks to the world’s first Kufi generator.”

Together with TM, VMLY&R co-created a proprietary platform, Artificial Intelligence Visual to Extralinguistic Experience (A.I.VEE) that allows users to key their words of wisdom into a special page on the TM website that then converts their submission from text into beautiful Kufi. They can then customise, download their personalised Kufi design and share them with their friends and family.

KC Aui, executive creative director of VMLY&R Malaysia, said, “Many brands just produce a TVC for Raya, but we wanted to build on that in an innovative way. We wanted to celebrate the culture of sharing words of wisdom from our elders by converting them into another form of Malay heritage: turning Jawi (the traditional way of writing Malay script based on Arabic letters) into beautiful Kufi art.”

Commenting on the project, Shanti Jusnita Johari, CMO of Telekom Malaysia, said, “We want to highlight and celebrate Malaysia’s many cultures and heritage during a festive season when people are more attuned to the idea of how culture connects our humanity and brings families closer together. We also want to demonstrate TM’s role as the enabler of technology, by empowering Malaysians to use technology to create art pieces.”

Since its launch for Hari Raya, the film has garnered over 2 million views, and over 700 pieces of original Kufi art have been created. VMLY&R developed the first of its kind Kufi generator using A.I.VEE technology and building the microsite.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lazada celebrates Raya with ‘Add to Cart, add to Heart’ campaign

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Southeast Asian eCommerce platform Lazada has released a video campaign in celebration of this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia.

In collaboration with creative and media agencies Ensemble Worldwide and Universal McCann under IPG Mediabrands network, the integrated campaign “Tambah ke Troli, Bertambah-tambah ke Hati” (Add to Cart, Add to Heart) has been localised to make it convenient for Malaysians to shop for their Ramadan and Raya essentials. Each item added to cart represents their needs, interest, passion, and hopeful aspirations to add value, happiness, meaningful moments and elevated experiences when receiving and using it this festive season and beyond. 

The campaign also encouraged customers to extend their generosity through digital giving via Lazada4Good by donating to the NGOs distributing Ramadan assistance to communities in need. In addition, the ‘Lazada Roadshow Bertambah-Tambah ke Hati’ created a unique omnichannel O2O experience through its campaign touchpoints via the use of QR codes to link items featured in the film, videos and roving roadshow to be scanned for real-time purchase on the Lazada app. 

Phang Mei Jeng, managing director of Ensemble Worldwide, said, “We saw a big opportunity for this year’s Ramadan and Raya to be more meaningful and engaging, especially as most have missed out on big celebrations and social gatherings for the past two years. 

According to Jeng, the campaign is more than the sum of its parts as it has managed to connect and build brand affinity with the local Malay community and the younger generation in a way that has been truly missed over the past two years.

For the first time, a Ramadan and Raya offline-to-online (O2O) shoppable showroom on wheels was introduced as part of the Lazada roadshow, featuring displayed items to be purchased. Similar to the campaign videos that feature QR code leading to Lazada’s Raya campaign page, visitors to the bazaars were able to physically touch and feel the products before scanning the code to make a purchase of limited Raya deals on the Lazada app. The roadshows included a host of on-ground activities for the public, and livestreaming for the online audience.

The integrated campaign also featured bite-size videos created to spread awareness on the ongoing Ramadan offers, radio spots, Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH), and interactive quizzes through Lazada livestream.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

These are the top Raya ads from Malaysia this 2022

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The celebration of Hari Raya in Malaysia has concluded, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. And with such festivities, there is always a rise of ad films centred around the values and teachings of the Raya festivities.

In line with this, YouTube in Malaysia has round up the top 10 Raya ads released by local and international brands in the country.  Presented in alphabetical order, the list is based on a mix of relatable festive situations that touched the hearts and funny bones of viewers, collaborations with well-loved local personalities, and nostalgia for the good ol’ days, while continuing to explore the creative formats of past campaigns.

  1. Astro Malaysia – Senandung Hari Raya Untukmu – Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza & Aliff Aziz 

Through an original track sung by Malaysian singer Siti Nurhaliza and local-based Singaporean artist Aliff Aziz, this campaign from the Malaysian satellite TV provider aims to communicate the values of the Raya season, from keeping in touch with loved ones or supporting local businesses for any Raya needs.

  1. Celcom Malaysia – Iklan Hari Raya Celcom 2022 – Syukur 1 Syawal

Duit raya or tokens of money given during Raya are great and all: but have we actually thought about where we ought to spend them? In this heart-warming campaign by this local telco provider, we see a kid named Danish going around houses with his friends to collect duit raya. Among those kids is Aishah, who later on we learn that she gives all of her duit raya to his ailing father. Touched by this scene, Danish thinks of an act of kindness to Aishah’s father.

  1. HongLeong Bank Malaysia – HLB RAYA 2022 – Lebaran Penuh Kesyukuran

This fun and quirky campaign by banking institution HongLeong Bank in Malaysia centres around the festive days despite instances being not the most ‘perfect’ celebration. In spite of obstacles along the way, like the camera falling over a swamp while taking a family picture or meals getting delayed, there is still a glimmer of hope and genuine happiness around family members to be together as always.

  1. Julie’s Biscuits – Raya 2022 | Ini Iklan Raya baru, tau? [Full] | Julie’s Biscuits

Conceptualised by independent agency GOVT Singapore, this hilarious yet eye-opening campaign by the local biscuit brand invites Malaysians to explore traditional definitions of stereotypical roles and see how antiquated expectations no longer hold in today’s day and age.

  1. PETRONAS – PETRONAS Raya 2022 ‘366’: Hari Ke-123 | Full Film

“Find peace within that disappointment”: It is within one of these lines within the ad that sum up the message of the campaign. This Raya-centric campaign is part of Petronas’ ongoing original series called ‘366’, aimed at tackling stories of fortitude, resilience and togetherness among Malaysians during these difficult times. Said campaign is conceptualised under Ensemble Worldwide of IPG Mediabrands.

  1. Saji Malaysia Official – Iklan Raya SAJI 2022 | Raya Dulu – Dulu

This fun campaign by local cooking oil brand Saji focuses on cherishing the Raya festivities, even if it feels like it will never be the same as last year. In this film, we follow a male character cherishing past Raya celebrations, while being mindful to always remember such important moments from past Raya festivities into the future.

  1. Samsung Malaysia – Raya 2022 | Rezeki Memori

Centred around the theme of fun and nostalgic memories, this film by tech company Samsung focuses on a story of Adik and his father cherishing some great memories–which is actually an emotional representation of missing sharing those moments a long time ago. The film, shot on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra phone, invites viewers to cherish time with their parents, one of the values being focused during the Raya festivities.

  1. Spritzer Group – Raya 2022 | Iklan Raya Paling Berseri

On a more hilarious route, this Raya ad by Spritzer focuses on doing the festivities, alongside with your full-out relatives, in this ad signifying Auntie Vivi. Despite the stereotypical nature of the ad, it teaches viewers to just remain calm and enjoy the festivities.

  1. Taylor’s University – Sadaqah | Hari Raya 2022

If there is one saying to embody this ad from Malaysia’s Taylor’s University, it’s the adage of “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” The ad follows the story of a beggar named Amin, who asks one day for free food from a food stall owned by Kak Zaiton. Despite the ad’s initial impression of Zaiton being angry always, we see a different side of her story, as being compassionate towards the poor. In all, Zaiton’s character teaches viewers of not just getting something but rather having the opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

  1. Tenaga Nasional Berhad – TNB Raya 2022 – Raya Macam Cara

The perfect ad to close this entry, this ad from Malaysia’s multinational electricity company focuses on the diversity of emotions–and antics–during the Raya festivities. After a long time where Raya meetups have been hampered during the pandemic, said ad communicates the long-yearning of families to meet up during these festive times.

Said ad list showcases the most engaging ads that people watched during this period, and are determined in no particular order by an algorithm that factors in watch time, organic views, paid views, and audience retention. This list was pulled on 5 May, 2022 and captures data from 3 April to 3 May 2022 inclusive.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sun Life MY resorts to special song, music video to celebrate Hari Raya

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — As Malaysia edges closer to ushering in the long-awaited Raya celebrations without strict COVID-19 restrictions, Sun Life Malaysia, the life insurance and family takaful provider, released a special Raya song and music video, entitled ‘Lagu Raya Buatan Malaysia’, to add on to the festive cheer.

The track holds contemporary elements and features lyrics inspired by the sentiments of Malaysians about things that make their Raya more meaningful. The production starred renowned Malaysian singer-actress, Nabila Razali.

Raymond Lew, CEO, president and country head of Sun Life Malaysia, said that with the lifting of restrictions and borders re-opening, this coming Raya season is set to be abuzz with positive vibes and anticipation.

“Just like our brand tagline, Life’s Brighter Under the Sun, we champion making life brighter and healthier. Music is the best mood-booster and we hope to make this 2022 Raya brighter and happier through this feel-good groovy Raya song. At the same time, we want to remind our Clients and all Malaysians of the goodness of spending quality time with our loved ones,” Lew said.

To gather insights from Malaysians, Sun Life Malaysia earlier launched a contest in March where they asked the public what makes their Raya meaningful – with some of the popular answers being Balik Kampung, donning new Baju Raya, spending time with Saudara-mara and feasting on Kuih Raya.

The participants that shared their thoughts through the contest were not aware that their comments would be turned into a Raya song, making it a delightful surprise for those who were selected!

Commenting on the collaboration, Razali said, “Apart from food, Raya song captures the best of the Raya spirits. I am honoured to be teaming up with Sun Life Malaysia to bring on the festive cheers and happiness. It is my hope that ‘Lagu Raya Buatan Malaysia’ will become an evergreen Raya tune that will be top of people’s mind every Raya season.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Astro’s Raya movie chronicles deep coming of age story

Malaysia — It is the time of the year again with a heightened interest for IklanRaya and brands and agencies are tinkering to create entertaining videos to capture the attention of audiences. Due to this, Astro embarked on a grand plan to launch a Hari Raya movie instead.

The movie was done in collaboration with Naga DDB Tribal and is entitled ‘Tujuh Hari Di Bawah Matahari’. Directed by acclaimed film director Razaisyam Rashid, the film will be premiering nationwide exclusively on Astro GO on the evening of Hari Raya at 8.30 pm and then on the 3rd day of Raya at 8 pm on Astro RIA, PRIMA, WARNA, CITRA, CERIA. The film will be released on the 6th of May on YouTube as well.

Having a runtime of 21 minutes, the movie is breaking away from the usual formula of Raya TVCs. The movie chronicles the Ramadan journey of the protagonist through hardships; a mirror to the production of the movie which was fraught with hurdles due to the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, like a famous adage once says; most things that are worth doing are hardly ever achieved easily. The arduous journey depicted in ‘Tujuh Hari Di Bawah Matahari’ is a story of perseverance, a celebration of human will, and coming of age.

Erman Basiron, creative group head of Naga DDB Tribal, points out that a story that communicates good values is a story worth telling and that has always been the guiding principle when we work on our festive communication for Astro and any other clients for that matter.

“These days, it is common for the younger generation to gauge success simply through material success and seek validation of their self-worth from peers and society via social media. Caught up in material-world pursuits, it is all too easy to forget the true spirit of Ramadan and Hari Raya,” Basiron said.

Shiraz Faruqi, creative director of Naga DDB Tribal, commented, “This coming-of-age road trip story of a young guy who Balik kampung by cycling 500km with a cat while fasting during Ramadan and learns that “the most important things in life are not things” presents a rich storytelling opportunity that deserves more screen time on a much bigger platform. It simply makes sense for Astro, as the premier Malaysian entertainment content provider, to entertain its audience with a Hari Raya film.”

According to Tammy Toh, director of group marketing and communications of Astro, “Astro has a tradition of harnessing its multiple platforms to open minds for a brighter future. This mission to do good and contribute to the social engineering of the country is an ongoing effort. And the approach is to entertain, enlighten and empower.

Toh adds, “While insightfully tapping into the zeitgeist to entertain our audience, Astro also enlightens and empowers viewers with nuggets of wisdom to shed light on issues and remedy ignorance that currently affect society at large.”

According to an intelligence website platform, there was a marked increase in consumption of content during the period of Ramadan-Raya from April to May 2021. Users also tend to spend longer durations on those sites during each visit. Therefore, it made for a strong case to create content rather than a commercial for the benefit of Astro’s brand equity and business objectives.

Another driving factor behind the decision to ‘upsize’ a Raya TV commercial to a short movie is to appeal to a younger audience. Youth-oriented content is well received on Astro and this gave Naga DDB Tribal the confidence that a coming-of-age story would strike a chord and resonate well with a younger audience. So, instead of running the usual Raya greetings on TV and social media, this year those spots will be filled with trailers to promote the movie.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PermataBank sends out message of saving goodness in latest Raya ad

Jakarta, Indonesia – In the spirit of the upcoming Hari Raya festivities, Indonesian financial services company PermataBank has released an ad showcasing the importance of saving goodness amidst the long-celebrated festive season.

Conceptualised alongside creative agency M&C Saatchi Indonesia, the film titled ‘#NabungKebaikan’, roughly translated to #SavingGoodness, follows the story of interactions between a father and son and teaches viewers the values of giving, sharing and caring, and how goodness comes back to people who have given.

Speaking about the ad release, Anish Daryani, founder and president director at M&C Saatchi Indonesia, said that they wanted to send out a message of goodness instead of being ‘preachy’, adding on spreading the core essence of Ramadan, while still subtly establishing the idea of savings with PermataBank.

“The #NabungKebaikan theme for Ramadan applies to an integrated campaign that extends to banking products, promotions and offers, across the PermataBank portfolio. Through this, we’d like to demonstrate how we translate how brand purpose translates to commerce, enhancing brand affinity and actual revenue for the brand,” Daryani said.

Meanwhile, Glenn Ranti, division head of marketing communication at PermataBank, commented, “Saving is not simply about how much money we save, but also about creating and maintaining the good habit. The Holy Month of Ramadan, is the right moment for us to spread the spirit of #NabungKebaikan.With that in mind, PermataBank is committed to continuing to provide various benefits and conveniences for its customers to fulfil their needs in this blessed month.”

Ranti added, “We present a variety of attractive promotions in a series of PermataBank products and services that can be enjoyed by all customers and their families.With these promotions, we are looking forward to providing added value to our customers during Ramadan, while still living up to the spirit of #NabungKebaikan.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

BigPay’s Raya ad invites to embrace the festivities genuinely

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Local fintech BigPay has launched its newest Raya-centric campaign which invites viewers to embrace the festive season amidst feeling that the tradition is ‘just a cycle’.

The ad follows the protagonist Aliya, played by Bunga as a teenager who dreads Hari Raya and the traditions associated with it – the family portraits, the praying, the eating, visiting relatives, and a strange neighbour, Mak Dodol. Throughout the ad, it shows the growth journey of learning how to embrace Raya after being stuck in a never-ending loop of the first day of Raya.

For Chris Manguera, chief marketing officer at BigPay, this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be especially meaningful for those celebrating since the easing of restrictions and the return of a sense of normalcy. He added that they are excited for their Muslim brothers and sisters to celebrate to the fullest, and with BigPay’s features, it will be a much added convenience during this period.

“The team is incredibly proud to finally unveil this short film that took hard work to bring to life. With this short film we wanted to portray a perspective less-commonly shown, one that showcases the different emotions and experiences when it comes to celebrating Raya. We understand that this year’s Raya celebration is a special one. We are so excited to see families finally being able to spend time together after a long while,” Manguera said.

He added, “With that, we’ve also been working hard to ensure that we continue to create a brand and a product that supports our users across all walks of life that allows them to enjoy different moments as we help try to make things simpler, better for everyone.”

BigPay’s short film is available on BigPay’s Facebook and YouTube and Instagram page starting 27 April.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Retail chain Guardian launches a music video to celebrate Hari Raya with a twist

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Retail chain company in Malaysia, Guardian Malaysia, has launched a one-of-a-kind campaign through releasing its first-ever music video. The music video aims to evoke the ‘much-missed feeling’ of returning to one’s hometown for Hari Raya with a modern twist. 

The music video was designed and produced by digital-first agency Lion & Lion Malaysia to celebrate the return of family reunions after two years of restricted travel due to COVID-19. The heart-warming video was shot on location in paddy fields and a rustic village, and features local celebrities Noorkumalasari, Wani Kayrie, and Sofea Shaheera in the lead roles. 

Titled ‘Kembalikan Kemeriahan bersama Guardian’ (Bring back the excitement with Guardian), the music video tells the story of four sisters as they make their long-awaited journey back to their hometown together, riding colourful Vespas to surprise their mother for Hari Raya. The sisters travel to their childhood home, stopping along the way to help fellow Malaysians on the road. 

The video is anchored on the song itself, ‘Pulang Di Hari Raya’ (Home on Hari Raya). Widely regarded by Malaysians as a classic staple of the festive season, the song was originally performed by Noorkumalasari, who makes a cameo as the mother. Actress and singer Wani Kayrie performs the updated version of the song in addition to playing the lead role as the sister dressed in orange, while social influencer Sofea plays the second sister in pink.

Combining tradition with modernity to engage a new generation, Wai Sim Liew, business director at Lion & Lion Malaysia said, “Guardian Malaysia has established itself as the trusted leading pharmacy and health and beauty retailer of choice for the community. Many of today’s young shoppers grew up shopping with Guardian. We wanted Guardian’s debut film to truly resonate with those who have been anticipating celebrating Hari Raya with their families in person, and we know that Hari Raya music videos are something Malaysian millennials look forward to every year.” 

According to Hans Lee, creative director of the agency, , every element of the music video was designed to bring out the nostalgic experience of balik kampung, while also making it relevant to Guardian’s younger audience. “We came across ‘Pulang Di Hari Raya’ by Noorkumalasari and knew that this was the perfect song, with a catchy feel to it, to capture our storyline. To further resonate with our audience, in particular the younger ones, we updated the lyrics and had Wani Kayrie cover it,” said Lee. “We also came up with the idea of using Vespas instead of cars. This allowed us to incorporate beautiful outdoor shots as the sisters journey across the city to their hometown,” he said.

Meanwhile, Angela Teo, head of marketing for Guardian Malaysia and Brunei also commented, “’We felt that the heart-warming tale of the four sisters’ neatly-hatched plan to surprise their mother, only to find it back-firing on them in a joyful way, captures the essence of what most Malaysians are feeling this Hari Raya. It does not matter how long and winding the journey home is, as long as one gets to celebrate Raya safely with loved ones.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

What VMLY&R Commerce’s pilot campaign is working with new ‘Muslim Intel Lab’

Malaysia – Global creative commerce company VMLY&R Commerce has recently unveiled its innovative data unit – the ‘Muslim Intel Lab’ – an insights hub catered to helping brands understand the needs and behaviors of Muslim consumers particularly in the Southeast Asia region – the Malaysia and Indonesia markets. 

The agency has officially shared one of the first campaigns it developed leveraging the agency of the Muslim Intel Lab; a campaign that is none other than for leading car e-commerce and Malaysia-headquartered Carsome, and for no less, the Hari Raya celebration. 

The end of Ramadan was celebrated by Muslims around the world last May, and the campaign for Carsome is a short comic that asserts both the values of Raya as well as Carsome’s brand promise. This also comes on the back of the agency being officially appointed as the company’s agency of record for Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. 

Carsome_Muslim lab

With the film titled ‘Setelus Raya Carsome’ or when translated, ‘Make It A Transparent/Honest Raya with Carsome’, the agency brought a humorous tongue-in-cheek narrative to reinforce Carsome’s proposition of being a ‘hassle free’ partner, providing a service based on ‘honesty,’ ‘trust’ and ‘transparency’.

The story revolves around women in the family boasting and competing which among them has a more glamorous and luxurious delivery, showing off to each other whenever a new item arrives for them. In the end, the elder woman in the family ‘wins’ revealing that the delivery she had is none other than a big-purchase car, brought at her doorstep by Carsome. 

The creative is one of the first projects the agency undertook using the capabilities of its new Muslim Intel Lab which aims to give brands an authentic as well as an accurate representation of the culture of Muslims by bringing to light nuances among members’ practices and beliefs.

Chan Woei Hern, VMLY&R’s ECD for Malaysia and Southeast Asia, shared that a central theme that emerged was around the importance of transparency.

“That was the connection with Carsome’s purpose of transforming the used car industry, an industry traditionally marred by distrust. Add in a little dose of good old Raya family rivalry, and we have Setelus Raya Carsome!” Chan Woei Hern said. 

Meanwhile, Derek Tan, chief brand officer at Carsome, commented, “We are delighted to be working with the team at VMLY&R Commerce, who have succeeded in bringing the Carsome ethos to light in a way that is fun, relevant, meaningful, and authentic to the true meaning of Raya.”

The digital brand campaign spans film and radio, along with a full social media campaign, engaging influencers across Instagram and Facebook, along with the creation of digital ads for Grab, Facebook and Carousel to spread the message. 

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for June: A platform’s top Hari Raya ads list comes out on top

This month’s top stories which were sourced from Google Analytics from the 16th of May to the 15th of June were a combination of local and global stories.

First off, Malaysia is taking the spotlight where two come from the market – a leading agency unveiling new leadership appointments, and also a platform’s rundown of top Hari Raya ads in the country. 

Southeast Asia country Philippines also made it to the top with an esports company and a media giant partnering in the country to change the game in advertising in esports. 

Two global ad tech companies have also joined forces to provide marketers a new way to measure their campaigns, while a global communications agency has also announced new managing directors. 

Together with our exclusive interviews with the brand spokespeople, read on to find out which stories made noise this month.

Top 5: PH’s Tier One ties up with GroupM to open esports advertising to mainstream brands

Tier One and GroupM

Tier One Entertainment, the Philippines-born esports talent agency for Southeast Asia, has partnered with media and communications giant GroupM to achieve a common goal: to bring in more mainstream brands in the advertising landscape in esports.

Advertising in esports remains to be an exclusive arena for endemic brands, and Tier One, which has been in operations for four years now, has always eyed to be an agent in bridging the gap between gaming and mainstream.

In an exclusive conversation with Joanne Llavore, the CCO of Tier One, she shared that as the audience penetration in esports continues to grow, the company has always been cognizant that the time will come when the standardization of media advertising metrics will become a requisite among clients.

GroupM being the leader in the industry, it is but inherent to seek out and forge this partnership as we work together with them to bring esports and gaming in the forefront of media advertising.

Joanne Llavore, CCO, Tier One Entertainment

Llavore adds, “It’s a blue ocean of non-endemic brands out there. And we know the potential is really huge to be able to scale the business.”

Aside from its headquarters, Tier One currently has offices in Myanmar, Japan, and Vietnam and had just opened an office in Malaysia. 

Top 4: dentsu malaysia unveils three key senior hires

dentsu Malaysia

Media and communications network dentsu in Malaysia has announced new leaders within its Media division. Asha Nair will become the new managing director of media investment and platforms, Jing-Wen Foo has been appointed as the new e-commerce director, while Hemanth Jayaraman has been unveiled as the new partner and agency brand lead of DentsuX

Dheeraj Raina, CEO of Media at dentsu malaysia, said that the new hires go under dentsu’s continuous transformation journey which started last year when it was announced that dentsu will now be organized into three main business lines including Media. 

Raina, who himself, has also been recently appointed as the inaugural CEO of Media in January, said that it has been an “intense 6 months”, looking at simplifying internal structures and how they create solutions for clients. It has also been, Raina bared, quite a year of subsequent pitches. 

The new lineup that you’re seeing of the leaders [is] primarily [for] creating capability centers of excellence within the organization so that as the agency partners with our clients, we are in the best position of solving their marketing challenges.

Raina said in a MARKETECH APAC interview

Raina also shared that the division will be more product-focused as an agency, such as into its e-commerce practice, where the vision is to provide clients beyond the performance marketing aspect of it but to be an end-to-end e-commerce service that touches on strategic consulting as well as on-site and off-site optimization, among others. 

“Obviously, it’s been a very, very challenging one and a half year for everybody in terms of forecasting and looking at how the future will be, and therefore, [being] an agency partner for us [means] to be able to then deliver really integrated growth solutions for our clients [which] is going to be very, very critical; and for that, I think, we need to have a very strong product focus, and that’s where I think is we are going to be spending a lot of our time as an organization in the next coming few quarters,” said Raina. 

Raina also remarks, “And obviously, e-commerce is one of the key products that is no more [treated as a] luxury [for brands].”

Top 3: Global communications agency Redhill announces two new MDs


Singapore-headquartered global communications agency Redhill has unveiled two new managing directors, Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel

Both Castelino and Cussinel have been homegrown executives of Redhill, being part of the company for a long time, even during the time it was operating out of its headquarters in Singapore, in an attic-like office with no windows, as CEO and founder Jacob Puthenparambil describes it. 

Puthenparambil, in a MARKETECH APAC interview, shared why it’s important to build and stick with its people for a long time. 

It’s extremely vital for our growth that we have people who stay with us for a very long time because it’s a people-based industry, especially PR. A lot of the company culture is based on the long-term people that we have. You can’t write those things down or learn from a textbook.

Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and Founder, Redhill

Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.

The communications firm started in 2014 as a boutique agency and in the interview, Puthenparambil shared how at the beginning, they had always been firm in their goal that they wanted to grow into being more than that. 

“We knew from day one that we didn’t want to be a boutique agency. We’re going to fight the big boys,” he said. 

He shared that along the way, they found that a boutique agency’s lifeline is mostly dependent and stuck to how long its founder is active or relevant to the market and that in the end, said agencies aren’t able to hold on to the talent or to the clients. 

“So that’s what pushed us to establish this presence in all these countries, even if it’s one [to three] people; [we] just go plant the flag there and start doing work,” he said.

Redhill currently has a global presence in 17 markets. 

Top 2: InMobi partners with The Trade Desk for a new brand lift solution

InMobi and The Trade Desk

Global marketing cloud InMobi has announced a new partnership with global technology company The Trade Desk to integrate InMobi’s mobile-first consumer intelligence platform – InMobi Pulse – into the latter’s demand-side platform (DSP).

As more and more brands seek to find additional and effective ways to measure their brand campaigns across all digital media, the two ad tech platforms come together to offer in-app brand lift surveys to be delivered programmatically, enabling brands to measure metrics such as brand awareness, favorability, intent to purchase and other metrics that determine campaign effectiveness.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Vasuta Agarwal, managing director of InMobi for the Asia Pacific, said, “This partnership is a first of its kind between InMobi and The Trade Desk, and it provides brands and marketers the ability to deterministically measure the incremental brand impact of their campaigns across digital media by web, desktop, and in-app.” 

It allows them to deliver in-app surveys, both to an exposed group and a controlled group of users which are users who have seen the ad and have not seen the ad, and then measure the difference in the brand lift metrics between these two groups.

Agarwal explaining how the integration works

She adds that the metric is deterministic because brands can use mobile ad identifiers to identify the end-user who’s seen the ad or not seen the ad. 

Agarwal also shared another benefit, “And any advertiser using the [The Trade Desk’s DSP] while running their campaigns, can do a lot of [other] stuff like in-flight optimization, and change in brand messaging, [among others].”

Top 1: YouTube’s top 10 Hari Raya ads in Malaysia

YouTube Malaysia Top Hari Raya ads

Finally concluding the Hari Raya, or the celebration of the end of Ramadan in Malaysia, YouTube, through its ads leaderboard, has rounded up the top 10 ads on the platform that came in celebration of the festivity. This is MARKETECH APAC’s top story for June. 

The list included a mix of international and local brands in Malaysia. Some of the local names on the list are Tenaga Nasional, Petronas, and RHB Group. Meanwhile, Asia retailer Watsons also made it as a top ad, with leading e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee also entering YouTube’s picks. 

YouTube’s ads leaderboard is usually based on metrics such as organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention, but we spoke with Lars Anthonisen, Google’s head of marketing for Malaysia, to give us an insider on what other factors said Malaysian brands were able to hit right to get into audiences’ radar. 

Anthonisen said there are three key themes: brands that stood out stayed in tune with the values of Hari Raya, showed empathy, and took a stand on societal norms. 

More Malaysians, unfortunately, are unable to celebrate with their loved ones. I think ads that stood out were from brands who leaned heavily to the core Hari Raya values [such as] family, compassion, and hope, providing Malaysians the Hari Raya spirit.

Anthonisen on brands showing the values of Hari Raya

With Empathy meanwhile, he said that brands are starting to recognize the importance of acknowledging the struggles people and communities are facing. 

“Brands have realized the need to engage the audience on a deeper level by leveraging real stories and also [to] add [the] human element and build this deeper connection,” he said.  

And finally, Anothisen’s insight on brands challenging societal norms: “It can be daunting, I know, for a lot of brands to take a difficult topic on and turn it into something of value, but I think brands who were there to do it really got the support and the engagement from audiences.” 

And of course, he himself has a favorite from the list, and this is what he had to say, “The one that stood out for me was the one from Petronas. First of all, they used animation to tell the story a bit differently, but I think also the whole campaign centered around how many Malaysians missed home during Hari Raya, and I think that was a really lovely story.”

Watch our live interviews with the newsmaker themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.