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Marketing Featured East Asia

Miki Tsusaka appointed as new president of Microsoft Japan

Tokyo, Japan – Tech giant Microsoft has appointed Miki Tsusaka as its new president for Microsoft Japan. In her new role, Tsusaka will lead the company’s engagement with its customers and business partners, and be responsible for all its product, solution, service, and support offerings in Japan.

She will be reporting to Ahmed Mazhari, president of Microsoft Asia. Mazhari previously served as the interim president of Microsoft Japan prior to Tsusaka’s appointment.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Tsusaka was previously a senior partner and managing director at management consulting company Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During her time at the company, she led the company’s expansion of service areas and established strategic consulting groups specialising in marketing, sales, and pricing strategy development.

Speaking on her new role, she said, “I am delighted to be appointed president and representative director of Microsoft Japan. I decided to join Microsoft because I believe in the company’s mission of empowerment and its tremendous growth potential in Japan. I look forward to working with the experienced leadership team, employees and partners to help solve our customers’ challenges and accelerate the digital transformation of Japanese society.”

Meanwhile, Mazhari commented, “We are extremely excited to welcome Tsusaka-san to Microsoft Japan. She has over 30 years of consulting experience working with clients in a wide range of industries both domestically and internationally. I am confident that her robust global experiences in supporting business transformation will propel Microsoft Japan’s proposition to the next level as a leader of Japan’s technology industry.”

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Technology Featured East Asia

Moving Walls, jeki team up to meet growing local demand for media assets

Tokyo, Japan – Adtech solutions provider Moving Walls and local OOH company jeki have teamed up to see jeki screens light up across Japan as the country caters to an influx of inbound and outbound demand on a global scale.

The partnership will build and strengthen a seamless system to meet a growing demand for media assets. Moving Walls will leverage itself as a global media solution partner to bring global buyers to jeki media. 

Meanwhile, jeki will have access to a global network of clients from which they can tap into global and regional digital budgets to execute campaigns in Japan. Jeki will also work with Moving Walls to run overseas campaigns for Japanese clientele.

Srikanth Ramachandran, group CEO and founder at Moving Walls, said, “This is a historic partnership for Moving Walls. We are proud to partner with a forward thinking and innovative media owner such as jeki – whose ideals for both Japan and beyond are admirable. This is the first of many more steps to come.”

Meanwhile, Atsushi Takahashi, managing director and CDO of jeki, commented, “Jeki noticed the increasing momentum of Japan-bound tourism in Southeast Asia with the easing of Corona-related entry restrictions. We are confident that networking OOH in Southeast Asia will be a powerful boost for our clients, especially as we specialise in tourism promotions for local governments and other clients throughout Japan.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Aerospike appoints Sharon Koay as new marketing director for APAC, Japan

Singapore Real-time data platform Aerospike has named Sharon Koay as its new marketing director for the Asia Pacific region and Japan

According to her LinkedIn profile, Koay will be handling Aerospike’s marketing process and campaigns from research and planning to execution and analysis. She will also be managing the marketing budget and goals for APAC and Japan.

Moreover, she is expected to bring her skills in market planning, enterprise solutions, sales, channel management and go-to-market strategies to her new role. 

Koay has sales and marketing experience of about 20 years and has held managerial roles at technology company Dell and software development company One Identity.

Prior to joining Aerospike, she also worked as a marketing consultant for Silver Linings Consultancy. Her clients included Aerospike, Proofpoint, EnterprizID, DT Asia, and Hoonartek.

Aerospike is a data platform that enables organizations to act instantly across billions of transactions while reducing server footprint.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

impact.com to open Japan office, appoints Ryo Matsuzaki as country manager

Asia-Pacific – Global partnership management platform impact.com has announced the opening of its new office in Tokyo, Japan to further expand its business operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Japan team will be led by Country Manager Ryo Matsuzaki, who brings in a decade of technology, marketing, and sales experience to his new role. Matzusaki previously held senior sales and technology leadership roles at Appier Group and Google/DoubleClick. He was also Media.Monks’ first country manager in Japan for three years before moving to impact.com.

The expansion allows their platform and clients to create new partnerships worldwide, gain further traction in key verticals like fashion in Milan, and hire diverse leaders and market experts all over the world.

“impact.com’s roster of customers in Asia continues to grow at a rapid pace. Our expansion across Asia-Pacific over the last few years is further strengthened by the growth potential we see in the region. This is part of our commitment to broaden our local presence to effectively enable and support the creation and expansion of partnerships in these markets,” said impact.com Managing Director for APAC Adam Furness.

He also added, “We are excited to continue building innovative partnership technology solutions that support the forward thinking brands and creators we work with on a global scale.”

The new Japan team is expected to manage impact.com’s local customers and actively develop a network of top regional publishers and new businesses in the market. The company also aims to further its investment in additional resources to customise and localise its solutions in the new markets.

Furthermore, the APAC team will be assisted by impact.com’s recent senior hires: Country Manager for Indonesia Myre Gustam and Partner Development Manager for Southeast Asia Cris Tan.

With the Japan office launch, impact.com is now represented in 20 locations worldwide – seven in Europe and seven in Asia, including the newly opened offices in Milan, Italy, and Paris, France. The company is also seeing regional growth over the last three years after entering the Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia markets.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Carro marks Japan expansion through SoftBank partnership

Singapore – Southeast Asian used car marketplace Carro is expanding its presence into Japan via a partnership with Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank. Through the partnership, Carro Japan aims to introduce its full suite of services, such as subscription-based services and car leasing in the local market.

The market expansion follows a local increase in demand for used cars and subscription-based services, resulting from the backdrop of rising prices of new vehicles and a growing need for car ownership. And yet, there has been difficulty of accurately assessing a used car’s valuation due to the inconsistent and lack of credible evaluation criteria.

With Carro’s Japan entry, it aims as well to support existing car dealers with leasing services and provide a highly competitive subscription-based service. In addition, Carro’s AI technology will be incorporated to accurately predict the valuation of used cars based on their history and data.

Meanwhile, SoftBank’s key role in Carro Japan will be to tailor services for the Japanese market, including marketing, sales, and collaboration with partner companies.

Aaron Tan, CEO and co-founder at Carro, said, “Japan is one of the leading automotive markets and most digitally-savvy countries in Asia. Our entry into Japan is the next natural step in growing our regional presence and helping traditional dealers expand their market reach across the country using our AI-technology-backed capabilities.”

With Carro’s entry into Japan, corporate clients can apply for the subscription-based service by stating their requirements for a used car via Carro Japan’s website, including vehicle size, mileage, non-smoking or smoking options, and more. A list of suitable used cars available for hire will be automatically generated for consideration

Tan added, “Over the next few years, we plan to capitalise on the growth of the used car market. We’ll start by providing car subscription services with SoftBank as a first step, and eventually plan to work with thousands of dealerships across Japan to play an active role in offering consumers a hassle-free buying and selling experience.”

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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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Marketing Featured East Asia

Rui Nago promoted to chief strategy officer role at Grey Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan – Grey Tokyo has announced the promotion of current executive planning director Rui Nago to the role of chief strategy officer. He first joined the agency in 2010, and has since then been responsible for developing the brand, creative, and overall communication strategies across the agency’s clients.

Some of the campaigns that he has worked on include P&G Pantene’s brand campaigns: ‘#More freedom in job-hunting hair’, ‘The Hairy Tale’, ‘#PrideHair’, and Domino’s Pizza Sanchoku (farm-fresh), to name a few.

Speaking on his new role, he said, “The world is changing with increasing speed, and we cannot see what the future holds in these times. I believe that strategy once again redefines a brand’s reason for existence, guides the brand in the right direction for their future, is creative, and is becoming more and more crucial. I am excited to help create many clients’ future whilst leveraging Grey’s strength of seamlessly connecting strategy with creativity.”

Meanwhile, Yukiko Ochiai, president and CEO at Grey Tokyo, commented, “Rui is an exceptional strategist, successfully driving Grey’s effectiveness agenda to bring success to our key clients. He has been a fundamental contributor to our recognition as Spikes Asia Agency of the Year 2022, alongside our 2021 APAC Effie wins.”

She added, “He will be instrumental in relentlessly playing different combinations of strategic skills from within the group to enhance our creative solutions and help our clients navigate their way through a challenging and changing world.”

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Platforms Featured East Asia

AnyMind’s ¥4b funding to strengthen e-commerce enablement 

Singapore – Japan-based end-to-end commerce enablement company AnyMind has raised ¥4b in funding, around US$91.7m, to strengthen the company’s advancement in the e-commerce enablement space and fund future acquisitions.

The Series D funds were raised from new investors including JIC Venture Growth Investments, Japan Post Investment Corporation, Nomura SPARX Investment, and PROTO Ventures Inc., along with existing investor Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.

In addition, the funds raised will be used for future acquisitions both in Japan and internationally. To date, AnyMind Group has acquired seven companies from various parts of the region including Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and India. The reasons to make these acquisitions were either to acqui-hire a company’s leadership, expand into new businesses or regions, acquire additional sales channels, or all three. 

Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group, said, “Despite COVID-19 and geopolitical situations impacting the world, we have still been able to achieve solid growth as a business. On the other hand, we are seeing economies across Asia, including our operating markets of ASEAN and India, rapidly regaining growth momentum.” 

He added, “We will continue to grow our business at a pace that matches our ambitions, look towards expanding our capabilities through M&A, and strengthen our investment and profit structure for growth, as we continue to become the next-generation infrastructure for commerce in Asia.”

In March this year, the company launched AnyChat, a conversational commerce platform, and in April, the company launched e-commerce management platform AnyX, which optimises e-commerce operations through central management of multiple e-commerce channels. Funds from this round will be used to further enhance existing platforms and strengthen market share across the company’s operating regions. 

On the company’s various business and product movements, Sogo said, “We will continue to make it exciting for everyone to do business by enhancing and expanding our innovations that form the infrastructure for the next generation of commerce. Over the years we have developed platforms across the end-to-end spectrum of commerce that can be used individually, and can now also be used as part of an integrated suite of tools to deliver more effective and efficient commerce for businesses.” 

He added, “We are just at the start of our journey, as we power some of the most exciting enterprises and forward-thinking publishers and influencers in this part of the world.”

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Technology Featured APAC

PubMatic ties with AlikeAudience to offer sell-side audience targeting to media buyers in Indonesia

Sydney, Australia – Programmatic digital advertising company PubMatic has partnered with audience intelligence platform AlikeAudience to enable advertisers in Indonesia to access quality audience data on the supply side.

Aside from Indonesia, the partnership is also for key markets Australia and Japan. It aims to expand the reach of Connect, PubMatic’s differentiated audience solution that leverages addressable signals from across the internet to help data owners drive monetisation and help media buyers drive performance. Connect allows media buyers to leverage a portfolio approach to addressability.

AlikeAudience offers bespoke demographic, interest, and transactional data and has more than 7,000 audience segments in the US, Australia, Japan, and SEA, across a wide range of industries, including FMCG, automotive, and financial. The company has substantial operations in APAC and the U.S. and assembles its audience data from exclusively consumer-consented CRM data, billions of unique mobile signals, and transaction data from multinational credit card companies.

Moreover, AlikeAudience has been operating in the APAC market for the past five years, working primarily with demand-side platforms (DSPs) across the region, and this partnership makes the company’s high-value audience data available on the supply side for the first time.

Brandon Lee, PubMatic’s director of data and audience for APAC, commented, “We believe that working directly with PubMatic gives media buyers greater control over data, along with higher match rates and better campaign performance. Our proximity to publishers and consumers means fewer hops around the ecosystem, making SSPs uniquely positioned to help brands reach audiences at the right place and time.”

Meanwhile, Bosco Lam, AlikeAudience’s founder and CEO, believes that advertisers will benefit from access to PubMatic’s quality mobile app media inventory, coupled with unique audiences created through packaged deals from the supply side.

“Advertisers are seeking to ensure their digital advertising campaigns are privacy-compliant and do not utilise personally identifiable information, and that has been our competitive advantage. We believe brands can reach the right audiences with all of the right data privacy practices in place,” said Lam.

In June 2022, PubMatic has announced that all of its global data centres are now powered by fully renewable energy. The company achieved this significant milestone as it embarks on a comprehensive, multi-pronged sustainability plan by the end of 2022.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

SHISEIDO marks 150th anniversary with ‘From life comes Beauty’ campaign

Japan — Cosmetics company SHISEIDO celebrated its 150th anniversary with the launch of the ‘From life comes beauty’ campaign that started on June 1. The campaign conveyed to the world SHISEIDO’s enduring focus on life as the essence of beauty and its ongoing pursuit of uncovering the mechanisms that connect beauty and life.

No matter how much times change, people continue to seek beauty. Based on this conviction, SHISEIDO has been pursuing the essence of beauty for 150 years, driven by its mission to create products that add a healthy vibrance to your life.

Ryota Yukisada, chief brand officer of SHISEIDO, said, “In today’s era of uncertainty and hesitation, what kind of beauty are we seeking? Our conclusion? Life. If people around the world, regardless of age, gender, and region, continue the conversation about how beauty and life are related, we believe it will inspire changes for a better world.”

The campaign conveyed the enduring spirit of SHISEIDO, which has been handed down in an unbroken line for 150 years, and its hope for the future, embodied in the phrase “From life comes beauty.” Additionally, SHISEIDO launched three limited-edition products to mark its 150th anniversary, the fruits of its unique Life Science research conducted in its ongoing pursuit of the relationship between beauty and life.

The three limited-edition products individually symbolize ‘Heritage,’ ‘Living Innovation,’ and ‘Future’ to signify the company’s past, present, and future. Their designs use an arabesque motif featured on wrapping paper created in the Taisho era of Japan by Sue Yabe, a member of the design department at that time. Using 3D software, that original design was turned into a three-dimensional form, then photographed from a variety of angles and used to decorate the containers and outer cartons. The designs express the dynamism of life that opens up a new future while harnessing the assets of the past bearing 150 years of history.

A special website was also created consisting of three content themes: ‘STORIES’ in which seven people active in various fields talked about beauty; ‘INNOVATION,’ which introduced the spirit of scientific inquiry into life as the essence of beauty; and ‘HISTORY,’ which presented SHISEIDO’s 150-year history. The website conveyed how the brand has continued since its foundation to pursue the link between beauty and life.

In addition, advertisements were rolled out featuring professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada, and actress Ursula Corbero, and campaign messages were posted on social media from celebrities with connections to SHISEIDO.