SME Featured Southeast Asia

BizSports Asia’s tourney debut spotlights new era entrep strategies

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – With an objective to showcase the rich diversity of entrepreneurial strategies of participating local businesses and talents, the recent conclusion of the debut of ‘I Got Talent’ Asia’s, the first BizSports Tournament by online show BizSports, saw a participation of 400 people, and learned new era talent strategies with remarkable entrepreneurs, enhancing their understanding of how essential it is to search for game-changing talents in order to be leaders of the industry.

Said tournament was made possible by partnerships with Malaysia-based agency DreamsKingdoms, collaborative software Vimigo, and financial education platform Finspark.

BizSports Asia aims that through this tournament, it provides a platform for top talents to unleash their potential in the real business world and solve real business problems. It’s also a place where entrepreneurs can discover talents with future-ready skills who can help them achieve new breakthroughs.

“A new era has begun and that calls for a new revolution, especially for the business industry. Game-changing talents have become the masterminds behind every successful business. However, it has been challenging for businesses to find the right talents. Could there be a shortage of talents? We believe not. Many talents could very well be a diamond in the rough, who just needs a little polishing to shine bright,” BizSports Asia said in a press statement.

Several top entrepreneurs were also invited to share their insights namely Shane Mun, founder and CEO of Vimigo & Big Bath; Spark Liang, founder of Finspark; Yens Chong, founder of DreamsKingdoms; Cody Hong, Malaysia’s top We-media creator; and Jeff Chin, founder and CEO of SocialMex.

The tournament includes various activities and programs done in the form of a survival reality show, where top talents are selected through observation by the panel of invited entrepreneurs. About 250 out of 1,000 participants from the pre-selection stage would then have the opportunity to submit their resumes. 

Then, 50 selected participants will be divided into 10 teams, each led by a corporate mentor. Talents and mentors will work together to advance through the stages of ‘I Got Talent’, in hopes of becoming Asia’s 1st BizSports Tournament’s top 3 teams. 

The champion team and MVPs that will come out of the tournament will be walking away with cash and prizes worth up to RM100,000. It will be recorded and edited into a 40-60 minutes show and shared across social media platforms.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Milk brand Lactel appoints Kingdom Digital for social duties

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Lactel, a milk brand based in France, has recently appointed Kingdom Digital to handle the company’s social duties for its Malaysian market, following a pitch concluded in June that three agencies vied for.

Through the appointment, Kingdom Digital will be increasing social media engagement and spreading awareness about the credibility and heritage of Lactel as a leading milk brand. Said work will start this December, and will last for a year of work.

“We’re focused on building trust with our consumers. There’s a need to increase regional brand awareness for our growing portfolio of top-quality products. Through Kingdom Digital’s social media strategy, we believe we can connect with consumers organically and make a meaningful impact as a lifestyle brand,” Lactate said in a press statement.

The company also added that the agency stood out with their strong, creative pitch and well-rounded teamwork. 

“Their consumer-centric and lifestyle-driven content strategy fit the kind of messaging we sought to put forward. Rather than a promotional or hard-sell approach, we aim to provide value in what is an integral part of our consumer’s everyday life — food,” they added.

Meanwhile, Mior Anwar, strategic planner at Kingdom Digital said, “Our consumer insights showed that yogurt plays multiple roles within the consumer’s lifestyle. Whether for the sake of health, satisfying a craving, or experimenting with recipes, it’s a versatile pantry item. Due to that, we wanted to emphasize how Lactel combines healthy goodness with convenience, making it a marvel addition to any meal, for any palate.”

Kingdom Digital has been winning several mandates this year, including mineral water brand Spritzer, Korean beauty brand MAKEHEAL, and Malaysian telco TIME dotCom, through its newest media subsidiary Rockstar Digital.

Sim Pei Xuan, senior digital content writer and Yee Sook Yan, digital art director at Kingdom Digital both further elaborated, “Lactel really is a mighty little marvel. We wanted to express how yogurt is one versatile ingredient that packs a punch full of nutritional benefits with endless possibilities to enjoy it. With a modern and minimalistic creative direction, alongside fresh and inspiring content, we are confident this approach will set the brand apart from industry competitors.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Astro taps CRM firm Evergent for streaming service sooka

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Multimedia broadcasting Astro has tapped customer relationship management (CRM) company Evergent, to activate monetization for its newest streaming service sooka, launched last June this year.

Through the partnership, Astro will use Evergent’s customer management and monetization tools to support registration and subscription management for sooka. Offering both free ad-supported content and subscription services, sooka unites live international sports programming with popular Malaysian dramas and entertainment programs.

For Euan Smith, chief executive officer of TV and group chief operations officer at Astro, the company’s mission is to provide Malaysians with entertaining and informative content, reaching as many customers as possible through the most popular platforms and devices.

“Through our partnership with Evergent, we are now able to offer multiple pricing options for our new sooka streaming platform while also retaining the ability to unlock new business opportunities as we scale the service. As a result, our customers can choose the pricing model and payment methods that best match their needs, allowing Malaysians to enjoy premium content and live sports anytime, anywhere,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Vijay Sajja, founder and CEO of Evergent, notes that Astro’s new flexible monetization options, powered by Evergent’s technology, will now make premium content more accessible to millions of Malaysians.

“Through Evergent’s global partnerships, we are able to work together with the most innovative media and entertainment companies in each country or region. Astro is the market leader for Malaysian entertainment and a leader in Southeast Asia, and we are proud to help them further grow their business through the launch of sooka,” Sajja stated.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

TNB honors MY’s National Day through local inspirational stories in new ad film

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – To celebrate the true spirit of Malaysia’s National Day, electricity giant Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has launched a new campaign film that aims to send positive energy to Malaysians in the face of adversity.

The new campaign film, which was created in collaboration with marketing agency Entropia, reflects one of TNB’s core values, which is ‘mindfulness’, as it reflects how Malaysians power through adversities to brighten the lives of others during the pandemic.

Titled, ‘Raikan Malaysia Kita’, which translates to ‘Celebrate Our Malaysia’, the animated film tells the stories of four Malaysians, namely Ridzuan Jamal, Yong Xun Ong, Paramesvary Munumsamy, and Nazirah Abd Rahman, who overcame the myriad challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also giving back to help others along the way.

In the first story of the film, Jamal, a former engineer from Sabah, started selling buns for RM1 during the pandemic, and with his bun business, he has provided job opportunities to others and fed hungry people. 

Meanwhile, in the story of Ong, also known as Zero Ong, who created the JomStudy mobile app. Despite not having any coding knowledge, Ong has managed to develop the app housing SPM subject notes, which is hugely beneficial to students, especially those adapting to the new normal learning process. 

The third story features the generosity of Munumsamy and her children, who worked together to cook and feed those in need, regardless of race or religion. And finally, the selfless act of Abd Rahman, also known as Mama Pinky, who is equally heart-warming as she willingly takes up two jobs to sustain the medical costs and provide meals for stray cats, despite having 50 cats of her own.

Zaheer Kaisar, the creative director at Entropia, commented that they need stories that will inspire and rally people together, so for this campaign, the team, director, and clients were all inspired to retell a more imaginative story as a way to pay tribute to the amazing Malaysians the film’s characters represent. 

“With illustrations and animation, we could beautifully capture the spirit and positive message behind this national holiday,” said Kaisar. 

Meanwhile, April Toh, Entropia’s principal, shared that by now they have all been stuck at home for more than 500 days, and while the pandemic robbed people of many things, there’s also much to be thankful for. 

“This National Day, we wanted to remind Malaysians that there’s good energy among us, and that spark of positivity will inspire us to soldier on. Because only in unity and kindness, we will prevail,” said Toh.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Petronas celebrates MY’s Independence Day via new animated film

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In celebration of Merdeka, the Independence Day of Malaysia, oil and gas company Petronas has launched a new animated film to remind Malaysians to face the challenges ahead with ‘resilience’ and ‘love’. 

The new animated film was created in collaboration with Ensemble Worldwide, the creative agency within media marketing solutions IPG Mediabrands.

Titled, ‘Demi Cinta’, which in English translates to “in the name of love”, the film features a song composed by renowned Malaysian composer Mohariz Yaakup and singer Vanessa Reynauld. It follows the stories of Malaysians from different walks of life, all of whom face their own challenges. Through it all, they are reminded of the ‘love’ they have around them, such as ‘love’ for their children, family, and country, lifting their spirits and getting them through their darkest times.

Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, PETRONAS’ senior general manager of group strategic communications, commented that they wanted to continue the storytelling journey through progressive means while staying true to their signature of evoking profound emotions to promote unity in Malaysia. 

“‘Demi Cinta’ is a love song we dedicate to all Malaysians, a theme song of our strive and strides in overcoming challenges to progress as one big family,” said Aziz.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Nazril Ibrahim, the creative director of Ensemble Worldwide, shared that ‘Demi Cinta’ is a message of ‘hope’, ‘resilience’, and ‘love’ for one another through tough times, and when thinking about this film, they will take a step back and look at the lives of Malaysians today.

“Regardless of our race, religion, or status in life, we have all gone through tremendous upheaval. Despite this, we wanted to show how far we’ve come to survive this pandemic. No matter the difference in our journeys, we all have hope for the same destination – a hope for a better Malaysia. And what better way to do it, than through song,” said Ibrahim.

The film was released last 29 August on TV, and PETRONAS’ official YouTube channel and Facebook page, reaching over one million views overnight.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

dentsu MY rings up Axiata account to be named its creative agency of record

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Multinational Malaysian telecommunications company Axiata has recently appointed advertising company dentsu in Malaysia as its creative agency of record, effective by December this year.

The agency was tasked by Axiata in building its brand equity aligned to its strategic purpose of ‘Advancing Asia’, which is the company’s objective of being the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent. Furthermore, dentsu will be providing end-to-end communications support for Axiata to strengthen its reputation with key stakeholders across the region.

Axiata’s appointment of dentsu Malaysia comes in retrospect of the need to elevate its growth as a trusted regional brand, its brand plans will require a targeted mix of campaigns focused on technology and innovation thought leadership, employer branding, good governance, credibility, sustainability, diversity, nation-building, and digital inclusion.

Kunal Roy, CEO of dentsu Creative, said, “We feel deeply honored and privileged to partner with a client that is so alike in our values and our purpose; we look forward to bringing alive Axiata’s purpose of ‘Advancing Asia’ with meaningful innovation and experiences. As Axiata continues to champion progress across Asia, dentsu is committed to partnering with Axiata using creativity as a force for lasting good everywhere, in every way.”

Meanwhile, Dato’ Izzaddin Idris, president and Group CEO at Axiata, commented, “As one of the largest diversified telco groups serving emerging markets in Asia, Axiata is well-positioned and anchored to support digital inclusion and progress in a time when governments, businesses, and societies turn to technology and digital innovation to drive recovery and growth. We look forward to dentsu’s best work to support our regional momentum and aspirations as The Next Generation Digital Champion by 2024.”

For Kien Eng Tan, CEO of dentsu Malaysia, they are thrilled to win Axiata’s mandate, which is not only a recognition of their creative excellence but a demonstration of how the agency can deliver impactful ideas, through a strong collaboration with their client.

“We look forward to leveraging our inclusive Consumer Vision 2030 to unlock opportunities for growth through integrated solutions that are real-time, data-driven and tech-enabled. I am proud of our team, the work we do is our people’s mission and pride — each employee at dentsu is fearless in embracing the invitation to the never before,” Tan concluded.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

MILO defines the Malaysian spirit of strength in latest film for Independence Day

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Nestlé’s classic energy drink MILO tries to define what it really means to have the ‘Malaysia Boleh’ or Malaysia’s can-do spirit in its latest animated ad for the celebration of Merdeka and Malaysia Day.

Malaysia will soon be celebrating its country’s independence on Merdeka day on 31 August as well as on 16 September, which is the country’s official independence day. In time for the commemoration, MILO has partnered with Reprise Digital, Mediabrands’ digital creative agency to create an animated film that would bring tribute to the Malaysian spirit of strength.

Titled ‘Tetap Di Sisi Walau Berganti Generasi’, or which means ‘always by your side’, the ad highlights MILO as a symbol of strength that has stayed with Malaysians over many generations, which is a parallel to the 64-long historic journey of the country since it became independent in 1957.


The ad answers the question, “So what would be the pillars of our strength be then?” The film shows that strength can be ‘given’ and shown in many different ways. It can be through the sharing in the happiness of each other and the fostering of a precious friendship. The ad also shows that strength can be passed on through random support from a stranger.

These were depicted through the cheers of a MILO cup, the sharing of blessings between friends and family through money that was carefully saved in a repurposed MILO tin, as well as the giving of food donations to those who need them the most.

Ultimately, the answer still lies in being able to have the ‘energy’ to overcome own challenges and to become a person for others, which has always been the brand’s slogan.

“Almost like a divine inner whisper, ‘We can;’ for within that energy, lies the strength to overcome challenges,” said in the film.

Reprise Digital’s Creative Director Eddy Nazarullah shared that what they wanted to convey in the film is the spirit of never giving up.

“Though the world has been put on lockdown, it is inspiring to know that nothing can stop creativity and the generosity of spirit which is Malaysians supporting Malaysians.”

“There are many who are struggling through hardships, Malaysians can and will get back up stronger. This film is meant to show the strength in spirit of Malaysians and serve to remind us that as a nation, we are unstoppable,” Nazarullah adds.

Meanwhile, Ng Su Yen, business executive officer of MILO, commented, “Although this year’s Merdeka and Malaysia Day is celebrated differently without the usual parade or fanfare, we want Malaysians to reminisce what we have accomplished together for the past 64 years and how we keep striving to create a better Malaysia.”

Ng Su Yen added, “The team at Reprise have managed to bring that message of hope that MILO brings of ‘staying by your side’ in special times.”

In addition to the film, MILO has also released limited-edition commemorative tins. MILO reimagines its classic tin with two new designs that have been customized by a local designer from ‘Loka made’ to portray the intrinsic culture of Malaysian’s heritage and lifestyle, “both in and out of home.”

Moreover, an augmented reality element has been incorporated by way of a QR code on the tins, with designs portraying the ‘Warung’ known as a roadside stall, and ‘Kopitiam’, a traditional coffee shop setting. 

As of writing, the film has already garnered over a million views since its official launch on 16 August. The digital-only campaign will be running until Malaysia Day on 16 September.

The limited-edition tins are available on both Shopee and Lazada.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Bigo Live’s latest initiative aimed to drive Malaysian social commerce growth

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Live streaming platform Bigo Live in Malaysia has announced the official launch of ‘Bigo Marketplace’, a new e-commerce initiative by the platform to aid local micro-enterprises and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) leverage the platform’s growing user base to increase brand exposure and facilitate sales conversions.

With Bigo Marketplace, Bigo Live has launched a new feature called ‘Shop’ on the Bigo Live app which users and broadcasters alike can access for an easier and convenient shopping experience. Said feature is currently available to vendors who have already signed on to the Bigo Marketplace program and enables them to direct Bigo Live users to their brand or product’s website during their live streaming sessions. 

As the feature is currently in its Beta stage, it is currently available to registered users, broadcasters, and vendors.

“Here at Bigo Live, we are committed to providing our users with engaging and meaningful content that not only entertains but also gives back to the community through curated content that helps Malaysian businesses through this difficult period. With Bigo Marketplace, we not only want to look after our growing ecosystem of content creators but also provide business owners with an additional platform to generate income and exposure for their businesses,” a Bigo Live spokesperson said.

The ‘Bigo Marketplace’ launch follows the success of Bigo Live’s first e-commerce online marketplace event, ‘Bigo Pasar Malam’, where Bigo Live users were able to participate in live stream sales sessions simulating the Malaysian night market experience. Held last 30 July and 6 August 2021, the event saw over 100 Bigo Live broadcasters offering products for sale from their own businesses. These products ranged from clothing, snacks, gadgets, accessories, homeware, as well as cosmetic and skincare products.

“Malaysia is among the top e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Following the success of ‘Bigo Pasar Malam’, where the event drew in between around 150,000 to 200,000 views for our vendors during each session, and observing certain vendors who managed to sell more than 100 items within 2 hours, we decided to launch Bigo Marketplace as we recognized the potential of live streaming as a key contributor to Malaysia’s e-commerce industry,” the spokesperson added.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Carlsberg Malaysia hands 1664 Blanc brand’s social media mandate to Lion & Lion

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Dynamic brewer Carlsberg Malaysia has announced the appointment of digital-first agency Lion & Lion to lead the social media accounts of its beer brand 1664 Blanc in the country.

Carlsberg Malaysia is part of the Carlsberg Group, which deems to be one of the leading global brewers with strong market positions across Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Asia. It is a brewer with businesses in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as an investment in Sri Lanka.

The partnership, which officially kicked off on 1 August 2021, will see Lion & Lion developing a comprehensive content strategy plan for the brand involving creative social experiences that relate to the brand’s global tagline of “Good Taste with a Twist.” The agency will also be focusing on elevating 1664 Blanc’s market penetration among its target audience by emphasizing the brand personality’s premium quality and trendy lifestyle.

Lion & Lion said that the campaigns will be entirely digital, spread out across the brand’s social platforms, namely Instagram and Facebook. It will also be complemented by tactical e-commerce marketing activities, consumer engagements, and collaborations with local influencers, to drive brand awareness and social media content.

Caroline Moreau, Carlsberg Malaysia’s marketing director, shared that they want to bring elegance and great taste to those wonderful social occasions of reveling in good company while enjoying 1664 Blanc beer. 

“With social media becoming a big part of everyone’s life especially since the pandemic started, we want to craft more relevant and sharpened content to reach out to our consumers and drive engagement,” said Moreau.

Meanwhile, Jeppe Carlsen, the managing director at Lion & Lion Malaysia, said that the strategy is to strengthen the brand by promoting its personality.

“The slogan “Good Taste with a Twist” offers ample opportunities to incorporate the beer’s French heritage into the local culture by emphasizing a trendy, upbeat lifestyle and creative visuals that challenge our expectations. It is not so much about selling a beer but allowing the drinkers to experience being part of a socially accessible yet stylishly chic community,” said Carlsen.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ogilvy Malaysia names Debdan Banerjee as new head of integrated strategy

Malaysia – Creative agency Ogilvy in Malaysia has just announced the appointment of Debdan Banerjee as the new head of integrated strategy. 

Banerjee brings with him 21 years of work experience on both the agency and client-side. Prior to joining Ogilvy, he worked at Entropia and spent a large part of his career at Leo Burnett as a business strategist. In addition, Banerjee has worked with brands such as Petronas, Tenaga Nasional, AIA, and Dutch Lady, as well as Samsung, and YES! Mobile, among others.

Ogilvy Malaysia said the appointment is part of its wider transformation agenda, and through the new appointment,  Banerjee will be acting as the ‘membrane’ between business, brand, and digital strategy. He will also be leading the office’s strategy department, ensuring strategic integrity and effectiveness across all clients and capabilities.

Jason Hill, Ogilvy’s chief strategy officer for Singapore, said that Banerjee will be ensuring that they deliver brand impact and effectiveness through the integrated strategy enablement team. 

“Not only to ensure we can deliver on the business and brand needs of existing and new clients but also to broaden our strategy purview to include aspects of experience which would include digital marketing, commerce, personalization, and more. To do this, Debdan will be working with our extended strategy team in Singapore and the rest of the Strategy Community in our network.”

Meanwhile, Nizwani Shahar, Ogilvy Malaysia’s chief executive, said, “We continue to position commerce, agile content, and data-driven marketing at the center of our offering, backed with the talent and creative firepower that produces results for our clients,” said Shahar.

Ogilvy Malaysia has also announced two recent hires, namely, Alicia Yap, the new executive group director, and Moheeta Tamrakar, the new director of experience and social.