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Platforms Featured APAC

Cartoon Network’s ‘Cartoonito’ launches across SEA, JP and KR

Singapore – Cartoonito, the preschool brand of Cartoon Network, has been launched across Southeast Asia, as well as in Japan and Korea. The Japan launch of the brand was made on 1 March, while the Korean and SEA launch was made on 28 March. ‘Cartoonito’ offers a modern approach to preschool programming, built to support each child’s unique potential with its educational framework called ‘Humancentric Learning’.

Tentpole shows in Southeast Asia and Korea include Lucas the Spider, Dino Ranch, Monchhichi and Esme & Roy. These sit alongside a growing slate of new and library series in a line-up that celebrates individuality and originality, while championing creativity, compassion and inclusion. These shows will also sit in a dedicated Cartoonito programming rail on the regional streaming service HBO GO in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. A launch event is scheduled in Singapore in April.

Meanwhile in Japan, the line-up includes Thomas and Friends, Pingu, and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Celebrity singer Kaela Kimura sings the theme song during the daily block. Cartoonito will launch in Australia and New Zealand in early July, and in South Asia later in the year.

All ‘Cartoonito’ shows follow a curriculum designed by early childhood education expert Dr. Laura Brown to support the four pillars of ‘Humancentric Learning’: creativity, caring, curiosity and courage. The brand aims to inspire kids to use their imagination, to learn from their mistakes and to treat others with empathy and respect.

Leslie Lee, head of kids for WarnerMedia in Asia Pacific, said, “When we introduced Cartoon Network’s new brand promise ‘Redraw Your World’ earlier this year, the channel shifted to become more inclusive to boys and girls. Now with Cartoonito, our demos are even wider – creating a safe environment for even younger children to enjoy every morning with their parents and caregivers. While the content and on-air packaging are extremely appealing to youngsters, it is how the block is carefully curated and programmed which makes it stand out.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

Edelman announces new slew of digital hires to strengthen APAC offering

Singapore – Global communications firm Edelman has announced a new lineup of digital hires as part of strengthening its digital offering in the Asia-Pacific region.This includes expanding the firm’s existing offerings in content creation and production, as well as adding talent in the areas of social commerce, paid and performance marketing, martech, AI, VR and 3D capabilities, among others. 

In South Asia, Saurabh Kulkarni has been appointed as the head of Edelman Studios in India, where he is tasked with building a regional hub for content creation. He will partner with India’s managing director for digital, Kunal Arora, on leveraging AI to create data-centric content production capabilities that will serve the region.

At Edelman China, in addition to Justin Teo joining the firm in August as the new chief digital officer, Yuliani Setiadi has come onboard as head of digital for Hong Kong and Taiwan. With Setiadi’s extensive experience in building shoppable e-commerce experiences across different touchpoints, she will aid in establishing Hong Kong as a B2C regional hub.

In Korea, the firm welcomed Rebekah Lee as its new head of digital earlier this year, bringing rich experience in data-driven performance marketing and web analytics that complements Edelman’s digital newsroom capability in the Korean market.

Jonathan Wong and Henry Taylor also joined the teams in Malaysia and Australia respectively this October to serve as head of digital in those markets. Wong brings extensive technical and automation experience, as well as a proven track record for e-commerce and digital transformation, while Taylor is skilled in content, SEO, newsroom and platform growth strategies, given his background as a data journalist.

To manage the growing team’s operations across the region, Debra Ng returned to Edelman this year to take on the role of regional digital operations manager. She is tasked with delivering digital upskilling and competency development programs for clients.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen our clients take significant steps to accelerate their digital capabilities, knowledge and skills. With these hires, we are doubling down on specialisms across the region to match the evolving needs of our clients, helping them create more compelling content, facilitate digital transformation, and leverage the growth of e-commerce and digital storytelling,” comments Stephen Kehoe, Edelman’s CEO for APAC.

He added, “Each of these hires brings a deep specialism to the firm, allowing our clients to benefit from the industry’s most advanced and comprehensive practices, irrespective of which market they are in. By removing the silos of markets and specialisms, we are building a more client- and solution-centric operating model, setting ourselves and our clients up for success in a post-pandemic world.”

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Technology Featured APAC

Microsoft to train tech employers across APAC in hiring PWDs, launches enabler program

Singapore – Leading tech company Microsoft fortifies its diversity & inclusion advocacy through its latest initiative across APAC, the Microsoft Enabler Program.

Said to be the first of its kind, the program partners non-profit organizations (NPOs) who will provide training to organizations to become inclusive employers, who in turn will provide job shadowing, internships, mentoring, and opportunities in tech jobs for PWDs identified by the NPOs.

The program will be piloted in five markets: Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, before expanding to the rest of the region by the end of 2020.

Within the program, Microsoft will also see the direct training to PWDs themselves, where sessions will circle engineering and programming and cloud computing on Microsoft Azure as well as application development in GitHub. 

For the employer partners, alongside offering inputs on workplace modifications, workshops by NPOs will teach inclusive design and assistive technologies enabled through artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure.

Chief partner officer of Microsoft for APAC Vivek Puthucode said that as 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, tech roles and digital skills will be the backbone of the economic recovery in every country.

“In today’s workplace, it is imperative that we include everyone, and accessibility is the vehicle to inclusion. It is a responsibility and an opportunity. There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” said Puthucode.

He says of the program, “At the heart of the Microsoft Enabler Program is a comprehensive accessibility model that will not only improve inclusion of people with disabilities across Asia Pacific for years to come but [also] connects local talent from underrepresented communities and improves our society.”

Microsoft said that in addition, it will be providing a platform for all three parties to better collaborate on the program.

There are a total of Six NPOs, all dedicated to promoting inclusion in the workplace, and 14 tech organizations that are part of the program.

To expand the talent pipeline for employer partners and connect job-seeking PWDs to tech roles, the program will also feature a virtual job fair, which will be held at the end of the second quarter of 2021.