Marketing Featured APAC

Electrolux launches a ‘Sustainability Squad’ to advocate for more sustainable living

Singapore – Global appliance brand Electrolux is jumping into the powers of influencer marketing by launching a dedicated group of ambassadors that would aim to strengthen the advocacy on sustainable practices amongst communities in APAC and MEA. 

To be aptly called the ‘Sustainability Squad’, the brand has roped in 10 influencers from the region, with the initiative officially kicking off in April with a virtual sustainability event.

The Squad members, each of whom brings a unique perspective on what sustainability means to them, have been carefully selected by Electrolux from countries all over the region including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.

“With the formation of the Electrolux Sustainability Squad, we partnered with influential personalities across the region who are just as passionate about sustainability as we are. Together, we want to inspire our consumers and our communities to make more sustainable choices and shape living for the better,” said Joe Oram, director of brand & product marketing of Electrolux for APAC & MEA.

The Sustainability Squad initiative is set to run for nine months starting from April. During this time, Squad members will be completing challenges and activities divided into three main themes: 1) Eating and kitchen habits, 2) Laundry and dish care, and 3) Healthier homes.

Each theme will have activities and challenges for the influencers to participate in, varying from sustainable eating to cleaning habits. Their progress can be followed on Instagram using #ElectroluxSustainabilitySquad. Three industry mentors will also be joining the squad who will help guide them on their sustainable lifestyle goals.

The brand said that the entire initiative is built on the idea of making better choices for the environment, and how these better choices can become second nature with good habits and having the right appliances in one’s household.

“The end goal is to inspire collective action from the whole community, coming together and contributing to a better future,” said Electrolux. 

Technology Featured APAC

AnyMind Group amps up influencer platform with new fan management feature

Singapore – AnyMind Group, an end-to-end commerce enablement company, has today launched new features on AnyCreator, a platform for influencers and content creators, including functions for the management of fans, chat and email communication, and creating and delivering surveys.

The features come at no cost but are available by invitation-only. Among the new features is the new chat function where the group’s conversational commerce platform, AnyChat, has now been integrated into AnyCreator, enabling communication across connected messaging apps and platforms.

New functionalities also include those for email and surveys. Users can now create, schedule, and deliver emails as well as track email performance. For surveys, creating survey forms is now enabled where users are able to view and export responses and deliver these forms. Most especially, a new capability allows users to map, manage, and view people who have purchased a product from the influencer’s own brand – through the integration with Shopify – and also those that have communicated with the influencer through chat or email, and/or participated in a survey created by the influencer. 

The new features, together with the ‘link in bio’ feature launched last month, look to advance AnyCreator from being just a platform for influencers to join influencer marketing campaigns and glean social media insights, into an all-in-one platform for influencers to grow.

Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group, said, “We are looking to make it exciting for influencers and content creators to do business and grow – from content monetization and strategy to creating, launching, and growing their own brands and products – providing influencers with the technology to do just that. With influencers interacting with their followers across multiple channels in addition to social media, we can now power this engagement out of a single platform.”

The company first started working with influencers for brand collaborations on its influencer marketing platform AnyTag, and in 2019 expanded into content monetization and distribution with the acquisition of Thailand’s Moindy and the launch of its own influencer network.

In 2020, the company launched a program that enabled influencers to create and launch their own brands and products by tapping on platforms such as AnyFactory for manufacturing and AnyLogi for logistics, and in 2021, launched PopBox, an online retail store for influencers to sell their products.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Carousell HK’s campaign encourages users to sell more amid 11.11 craze

Hong Kong – Online sales festivals are known for encouraging users to spend more across various e-commerce platforms. But for this time, classifieds platform Carousell did the opposite: inviting Hong Kongers to sell their underutilized items and earn some spare cash.

The campaign, which will roll out for a month from 12 November to 9 December, takes visual inspiration from the ubiquitous Sau Mai Lo, a local term for a rag-and-bone man, to remind everyone that they already have a ‘Sau Mai Lo’ in the palm of their hands anytime, and can easily list their items and earn back some spare cash.

“They can channel whatever remorse they may feel about overconsumption into selling, and create more shared possibilities where everyone wins,” said Kevin Huang, managing director at Carousell Hong Kong in a statement to MARKETECH APAC.

Huang also told MARKETECH APAC that the local campaign launch is timely with the upcoming Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) charging scheme in Hong Kong, adding that they hope to encourage more conversations about mindful spending and a culture where buying secondhand is the first choice.

“11.11 is an important date to most e-commerce sites, but as a classifieds marketplace whose vision is to make secondhand the first choice, we wanted to continue to drive the key message about sustainability and reducing overconsumption. We have seen how buying and selling second hand has helped everyday Hong Kongers to make extra cash and reduce waste at the same time,” he stated.

Huang further added, “In addition, acceptance of preloved products are becoming increasingly accepted in Hong Kong, and we see this as a continuing trend as we become more conscious of becoming more environmentally friendly.”

As part of the local campaign, Carousell has also launched a three-day onsite activation at Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay featuring 903 DJ Bonnie Wong (Ah Jeng) and 70 micro influencers.

Passersby can meet and take photos with Ah Jeng, and take part in activities to win a limited edition Samuel Ashley tote bag. To encourage more people to list their items, users with the highest number of listings stand a chance to win autographed gifts from Ah Jeng, including her T-shirt from “be ON game”, Nintendo Switch Controllers, speakers and coffee from Ah Jeng Coffee Club.

“We have seen good results so far in the first weekend. Our teaser video featuring Ah Jeng had over 15,600 views on Instagram, and Ah Jeng’s two Instagram posts had over 23,000 likes,” Huang noted.

The campaign has also rolled out in Singapore, in which according to Cassandra Leong, head of regional marketing at Carousell, had actually materialized last year when they ‘took to the streets to boycott 11/11’. She added that for this year, while other brands were busy shouting about their 11/11 sales last week, they reminded their users that they can consume sustainably, even while shopping for 11/11 sales.

“We understand buyer’s remorse deeply, and we’re reminding users that we’ll be here for them long after the flash one-day sales, not just for the lowest prices and deals all year around, but we’re also here for them to earn their money back from purchases or any decisions they may regret,” Leong added.

The Singapore rollout of the Carousell campaign was made possible by 72andSunny Singapore, to whom they appointed as creative partner during March this year.

Daniel Ko, creative director at 72andSunny Singapore, commented, “As a self-confessed chronic shopaholic, I must admit that this was inspired by what people like me need – I’ll definitely be turning some of my remorse into Carousell listings.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

This dog food brand’s latest promo stunt involves three-course meal – for humans

Singapore – Singapore dog food brand Furry’s Kitchen’s main value proposition is high quality, fresh, and human-grade dog food, and in its latest marketing stunt, it went out of its way to prove just that. 

In collaboration with creative agency Ogilvy, Furry’s Kitchen enlisted the culinary prowess of celebrity chef Justin Quek to conceptualize a 3-course degustation meal using none other than Furry’s Kitchen’s products, to be put to the ultimate taste and quality test with some of Singapore’s top food influencers. 

The results were just as Furry’s Kitchen expected – not knowing it was dog food, all of the invited influencers loved the dishes and gave their own favorable comments.

Food influencer Sihan Lee described the food as “velvety” in texture and even likened the experience to that of her grandma’s cooking. 

Another food blogger Alain, who goes by the social media name “Alainlicious,” although could not make out the ingredients, commented the food to have “a lot of surprises and a lot of layers.” 

Founder of Furry’s Kitchen Stephen Chua said, “This experiment challenges the perception that food for dogs tastes unpleasant and is made with undiscernible ingredients and preservatives unfit for human consumption.”

Furry’s Kitchen prides itself on delivering dog food that is without preservatives and additives where ingredients are said to be sourced from the same suppliers of restaurants in Singapore. 

Chua added, “Just like how we love to indulge in a delicious meal and feed ourselves and our loved ones with only the best ingredients possible, our furry friends deserve the same and can enjoy the same quality and freshness in their diet.”

Explaining further the experiment, Chef Quek said, As with any social experiment, we had to keep certain variables under wraps to ensure the most unbiased results. We wanted to know if by removing the negative perception of dog food, we would discover that human-grade food made for dogs could taste both delicious and nutritious too.

“The dishes the food influencers enjoyed have all been taste-tested and quality-checked by me personally. You have my word that I only serve my guests food that I believe in, and food that meets my standards,” he added.

Furry’s Kitchen assured in a press release that participants of the experiment were informed thereafter, where participants understood that ingredients were sourced from the same Singapore Food Agency (SFA)-certified suppliers used by Singaporean restaurants.

Technology Featured APAC

INCA to adopt “Sophia the Robot” to its network of influencers

Singapore – GroupM’s influencer marketing solutions INCA has struck a partnership with Hanson Robotics, creator of Sophia, an advanced human-like robot, to make her available as an influencer partner to brands in the APAC region.

Sophia’s collaboration with INCA was officially announced in a virtual presser Aug. 26, where CEO David Hanson introduced Sophia, alongside granting a peek to Hanson Robotic’s Hong Kong-based laboratory.

This will be Sophia’s first ambassadorship work with an agency. Having launched in 2016, the robot has already worked with international brands such as Etihad Airlines and Audi among others.

INCA APAC lead Atique Kazi believes that as an advocate for scientific education and sustainable development, Sophia’s persona will be a natural fit for many brands looking to create compelling engagement around such topics.

“She has the capability to generate facial expression, mirror people’s posture, and discern emotions from the tone of voice, all of which help people to identify and form a connection with her,” said Kazi.

Meanwhile, Hanson Robotics CEO David Hanson commented, “Sophia is our pride, and we trust that her wealth of experience as a global influencer will pave the way for INCA to reach many more milestones in the future.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top 10 Influencer Marketing trends to look out for

From the rise of the micro- and nano-influencers to the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in ensuring brand safety and delivering data-driven insights, new influencer marketing trends continue to emerge this year.

While exploring the ins and outs of influencer marketing space, we have observed the top 10 trends that will be huge this 2020. These trends are anticipated to guide brands in strategizing for campaigns that are sure to generate ROI.

1. Expect more influencers across content, experiential, and social media marketing strategies.

Since audiences see influencers as more authentic and credible, 89% of marketers think ROI is comparable or better with influencer marketing.

Brands will turn to confluence marketing strategies to amplify campaigns and social commerce by boosting or repurposing influencer-made content for example.

Brands are also expected to expand influencer marketing budgets and we can expect more exclusive invite-only influencer events.

2. No longer will micro- and nano-influencers be underestimated.

With a more dedicated niche following, micro- and nano-influencers are more engaging than celebrity and top influencers. More brands will plan campaigns with a mix of nano-, micro- and macro-influencers.

Brands can reap the benefits of both worlds. While one targets a specific niche audience, the other has a wider reach and potential to spark large conversations.

3. Brands will seek deeper, long-term influencer partnerships.

No longer do brands think a single influencer post or story is an effective conversion strategy. More are opting for long-term influencer partnerships through custom product lines or ambassador programs.

This helps brands achieve business outcomes, build authentic audience loyalty, and identify the marketing strategies that work best for them.

4. Industry will be streamlined by tighter regulations and pressures on influencers to comply.

Past controversies and issues on fake followers have motivated brands and audiences to demand more influencer transparency. To ensure compliance, social channels are stepping up such as, Instagram putting up a ‘Paid Partnership With’ feature.

Following these new regulatory measures will enhance an influencer’s perceived authenticity and strengthen campaign performance.

5. More airtime for audio-based content.

Audio content, especially podcasts, has risen in popularity. Audio influencers hold listeners’ attention for extended periods, allowing native ad formats to be easily integrated.

In 2020, it is estimated that podcasts alone will account for $863 million in ad revenue. While the market for audio influencers is still blossoming in APAC, advertisers and brands should anticipate, appreciate, and plan for audio in future marketing strategies.

6. A growing fascination with CGI-Influencers.

Virtual computer-generated Instagram (CGI) influencers are shaking up the industry. Uniquely, CGI- influencers give brands full creative control over campaigns.

Appealing to techy Gen-Z audiences, CGI influencers like digital AI-avatar Lil Miquela are shown to have engagement rates almost 3x higher than real human influencers. Evidently, users are fascinated by this blend of fantasy and reality.

7. eSports influencers uniting fans and brands.

With ½ of fans being millennials, ages between 25-39, and more than 1/3 are women, eSports influencers have an especially wide and engaged following.

It is not surprising then that the number of influencer campaigns with eSports athletes has tripled in the past five years, with non-endemic brands increasingly getting in on the action.

With the eSports industry predicted to exceed 1.62 billion in revenue in 2021, advertisers and brands should consider eSports influencers in their marketing strategies if they want a piece of this winning streak.

8. Brands are recruiting employees and customers to build advocacy.

Audiences believe employees have a deep understanding of a brand’s culture. This makes their endorsements seem more reliable and authentic.

Brands like H&M, L’Oreal, Reebok, Starbucks, and MasterCard have launched advocacy programs motivating employees to become influencers. Social Media Today reports that these employee advocacy programs result in an average 26% increased revenue YOY.

For this same reason, customers are also being recruited as brand ambassadors. For advertisers and brands looking to amplify both retail and social commerce efforts, leveraging existing employees and consumers effectively capitalizes on the power of word-of-mouth to raise brand awareness.

9. AI is helping brands ensure brand safety.

Advances in AI are allowing marketers to derive more meaningful insights about campaign performance from vast data sets. Performance-based metrics like unique reach, actual impressions, and video views can now be verified and consolidated onto all-inclusive influencer marketing solutions that help streamline campaign workflow with image recognition and natural language processing (NLP).

Allowing social listening and the flagging of inappropriate content, brands can also shortlist the best influencers to fulfill campaign outcomes. Facilitated by automated booking tools, these developments let brands better optimize marketing strategies and ensure brand safety.

10. New highly shareable platforms and content are emerging.

Younger generations want engaging, authentic, and rapidly consumable content. With the adoption of technologies like drones, 360 video applications, AR and VR, influencers can enhance their storytelling abilities and produce higher-quality, innovative content. Rising social platforms such as TikTok and Twitch have also adopted these trends.

This article was written by Madeleine Mak of INCA APAC.

INCA is an influencer marketing solutions which helps brands to run brand-safe content campaigns through creators and influencers across digital platforms. It is owned by media company, Group M.