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Platforms Featured Global

Media platform Digital Turbine announces acquisition of AdColony

California, USA – Global media platform Digital Turbine has announced that it has recently entered a signing of definitive agreement in acquiring mobile game advertising platform AdColony, through its mother company Otello Inc.

The acquisition value was disclosed to a total of US$400M, and will add value to Digital Turbine through AdColony’s brand and user acquisition, as well as its publishing businesses to expand its collective experience, reach and suite of capabilities to benefit mobile advertisers and publishers around the globe.

“We look forward to welcoming the AdColony team to the Digital Turbine family and believe that this strategic transaction accelerates our growth and is a positive for our partners, advertisers, employees and shareholders. AdColony saw the secular tailwinds toward mobile, video and high-speed networks like 5G before most and has been able to capitalize on its vision,” said Bill Stone, CEO of Digital Turbine.

Meanwhile, Jude O’Connor, AdColony’s chief revenue officer commented, “Digital Turbine offers many complementary and additive solutions to AdColony’s performance business, while we bring an industry-leading SDK footprint and a mature and thriving brand and agency team to the partnership. When you combine the reach and capabilities of both companies, you have a powerful platform that will drive growth and outcomes for any buyer that participates in the mobile app economy.”

AdColony has a large presence in the Asia Pacific, also recently partnered with blended in-game advertising platform Anzu.io to expand presence in the region in November last year. AdColony has also recently won an exclusive sponsorship deal with mobile game Mobile Legends.

“We believe that Digital Turbine, with its massive user base, extensive global relationships and distribution, will be uniquely positioned to benefit via the seamless integration of AdColony’s mobile video advertising expertise and global brand advertiser awareness. The combination will yield a highly-differentiated and more vertically-integrated solution for the mobile advertising industry. We look forward to joining Digital Turbine to help navigate this innovation,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Otello and AdColony.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

FWD kicks off new podcast series to bring ‘a change of perspective’ on insurance

Hong Kong – Insurance group FWD is launching a podcast series titled ‘Changing the way people feel about insurance…with FWD’, in an aim to freshen peoples’ perspective towards insurance. 

The podcast will offer insights into FWD’s innovative approach and areas of expertise as well as the exciting trends in Asia’s dynamic insurance industry by means of expertise from FWD’s leadership team across Asia.

Its CEO, Huynh Thanh Phong is the first guest for the pilot episode of FWD’s podcast series. The episode centered around his personal philosophy that inspired his work, revealing what his customers have taught him, and describes how FWD is taking a new approach to a legacy industry.

Huynh-Thanh-Phong-FWD-CEO
Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD Group CEO

Hosted by broadcast journalist and writer Fiona Mattesini from podcast production group The Podcast People, FWD’s future podcast episodes will be focused on FWD’s customers, business partners, and employees and will cover topics ranging from FWD’s brand and culture, to its customer-led approach, to technologies and industry trends that are driving business initiatives.

“We’re delighted to announce our first-ever podcast series which is designed to bring powerful stories and helpful insights and information to our customers, partners, and employees located all across Asia. FWD is a digital-first insurer that prides itself on innovation, so launching a unique and educational podcast is a very logical step and aligns with our ambition to engage and inspire our customers in new and exciting ways,” said Azim Mithani, FWD chief of staff.

He added, “Today’s audiences are looking for original, on-demand content that sheds new light on old topics. This is exactly what our new podcast series is all about and we hope it will allow us to illuminate trends and leading-edge solutions in insurance to our audiences throughout Asia.”

Meanwhile, Bernadette Stevens, FWD Vice President for Brand and Marketing, said, “Our new podcast series will enable us to start a fresh conversation in what is a largely unoccupied space in the Asian insurance industry. Our aim is to stimulate interest in insurance and explain complicated subject matters in a creative and accessible way. At the same time, we are providing access to deeply candid conversations with FWD executives that illustrate exactly why we’re different and ahead of the curve, and ultimately changing the way people feel about insurance.”

FWD’s future podcast episodes will be released every two weeks, and are available on online platforms Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

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Platforms Featured Global

Shutterstock has now extended its brand to offer full creative services

Sydney, Australia – This is probably what one would call a “plot twist” – everyone’s beloved stock images and videos collection Shutterstock has now extended its brand to launch an end-to-end custom creative services for brands called Shutterstock Studios. 

The new creative division will offer brands custom, high-quality content matched with production tools and services at scale. Services will provide data-driven content strategy, full-scale production, brand storytelling, and amplification

With Shutterstock’s network boasting of over 1 million contributors in photography, cinematography, and production across 100 countries, the new studios aims to provide custom content across various creative storytelling measures, from brand storytelling, full production services, creative ideation, storyboarding, script writing as well as talent booking, influencer management and post-production.

“The launch of Shutterstock Studios is a milestone moment for our company. Through our talented global network of photographers, cinematographers, and contributors who provide an unending catalog of premium content, we’re able to build this global production studio and expand our services,” said Shutterstock CRO Jamie Elden.

Alongside the service launch, Shutterstock also announced the service’s head of global production, Aiden Darné. Prior to his new appointment, he was senior vice president of production at Vice Media Group and vice president of production at Viacom, a mass media conglomerate.

“I’m thrilled to join Shutterstock at such an exciting time for the company, since now more than ever, there is huge demand for a global production infrastructure that’s underpinned by a hyper local point of view. Shutterstock Studios is uniquely positioned to succeed within this marketplace with it’s vast and varying global network of contributors and creatives. It has a bright future and I’m honored to have been brought on to build out Shutterstock’s best in class production offering,” Darné said. 

Elden commented, “Under the helm of our new Head of Global Production, Aiden Darné, we’re looking forward to creating innovative content to all of our valued partners, brands, agencies and entertainment industry.”

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Platforms Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s pre-owned car dealer brand SDAS ties up with myTukar platform to widen consumer choices

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – In its plan to revolutionize the trading experience for its pre-owned car customers, Sime Darby Auto Selection (SDAS), a subsidiary of Sime Darby Motors Malaysia and has partnered Malaysia’s used car trading platform myTukar to boost its customer experience

Sime Darby Auto Selection is a Malaysia-based corporate multi-brand pre-owned car dealer. 

The collaboration between SDAS and MyTukar would not only enable SDAS customers to access a wider procurement grid which would present more choices for them, but would also improve transparency and accuracy on every used car transaction.

In addition, SDAS is looking to enhance its inventory management by leveraging myTukar’s big data analytics.

Jeffrey Gan, SimeDarby Motors Malaysia’s managing director for retail and distribution said,   “We aim to become the largest and most trusted certified pre-owned car dealer in Malaysia.The digitalised process that Tukar provides ensures that our customers will receive the highest trade-in value, through a seamless and transparent experience for peace of mind in selling their cars and buying used cars”. 

Fong Hon Sum, CEO of myTukar said, “myTukar is excited to begin this journey with Sime Darby Auto Selection and we welcome their inspectors onto myTukar’s technology-enabled 2 platform. I strongly believe that this partnership will reinforce our mutual vision of giving customers a seamless and transparent process of purchasing and selling their cars.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Free Bee launches new online series for Filipinos overseas

Manila, Philippines – Mobile application Free Bee, powered by Filipino technology services provider PLDT Global Corporation, recently launched an online video series for overseas filipino workers (OFWs) which will air a lifestyle talk show.  

PLDT said that the project is aimed to keep OFWs entertained and informed amid the COVID pandemic. Called Rated Global Pinoy, it will feature famous guest stars and topics that will help them  “feel closer to home.”

Its most recent episode features Filipino singers Yeng Constantino and Erik Santos as they serenaded Filipinos with their favorite mellow, or as per Filipino culture, “hugot” songs and talked about how music can be a source of strength, hope and inspiration.

According to the Chief Commercial Officer at PLDT Global Albert V. Villa-Real, they hope that through this series, they help Filipinos everywhere feel less alone.

“This online campaign is meant to make our kababayans feel that they are not alone. We are going beyond connectivity to creating a venue where we can help Filipinos worldwide find ways to support their emotional needs while they are in a long-distance set up,” said Villa-Real.

“Through this video series, we hope to deliver meaningful content that hopefully will make our OFWs feel closer to home,” he added.

Apart from the online series, Free Bee also aims to bring connections closer to reach via their services enabling longer and ad-free calls in key migrant destinations such as the United States, Canada, India, South Korea, among others, at affordable rates.

Since its launch in 2017, Free Bee has partnered with other companies and organizations all over the world to provide OFWs services such as load top ups on communication services Smart, TNT, and Sun, as well as online bills payment, and application for insurance and loan products.

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Main Feature Marketing Global

Facebook unveils analytics exec as CMO replacement

USA – Social media giant Facebook has named a new chief marketing officer, its vice president for analytics Alex Schultz.

Last August, the news on the resignation of then CMO Antonio Lucio made headlines with Lucio making the announcement on a Facebook post, revealing his desire to focus on advocating for diversity and inclusion.

Just like his predecessor, Schultz took to the platform the official announcement. He said that Lucio left a great team behind as well as some huge shoes for him to fill.

“Gracias, Antonio for being a great friend, colleague, creative leader and voice of experience and wisdom for this company. I am sorry to see you go and grateful for your support through this process,” wrote Schultz.

“You have strengthened our ability to tell meaningful, culturally relevant stories with our family of brands. I hope to build on this and bring my experience in segmentation, targeting, and measurement to bear as we work to reach people more meaningfully through our product,” added Schultz.

I am super proud to be Facebook’s next cmo. Antonio Lucio has left huge shoes and a great team behind and I’m really…

Posted by Alex Schultz on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Schultz has been with Facebook’s analytics team since 2007, where he started as an analyst before eventually rising the ladder to become vice president. Prior to Facebook, he was marketing manager for eCommerce platform eBay.

In the post, Schultz took the liberty to make a deep backtrack of his background. He shared that his expertise has been specially built around direct response online marketing and analytics.

“My background is direct response online marketing and analytics. I did that as a hobby at high school, helped pay for college with it,” shared Schultz.

“I have grown up in online marketing and believe deeply in the economic empowerment it can bring, its ability to show people more tailored, relevant, less annoying ads, and the fact it allows us to serve everyone by offering our products for free,” he added.

Schultz also touched on the growing criticism towards technology and stands firm on Facebook’s positive mission.

“I believe deeply in the good Facebook’s products do. We have all seen it through this pandemic as billions of people have connected with family and friends socially online while staying physically apart and slowing the spread of the virus. At the same time, I think scrutiny of any new technology is appropriate and there are ways we can, and should, improve without losing all the good.

In the concluding statement of his post, the new CMO took the opportunity to reveal that he is “openly gay,” to which he said is something that he “couldn’t say” when he moved to America and joined the industry.

“Facebook is the first place I have felt truly safe to be gay and be open about it. I’m really grateful for that and the fact Mark [Zuckerberg] built a company where that was possible. The bar, of course, keeps raising on this but the difference from [15years ago] when I started out to today, is truly remarkable.”

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Platforms Featured Global

Netflix launches new content category “One Story Away”

United States – Movie streaming app Netflix has launched on September 10 its global campaign “One Story Away” and with it, adds a categorization feature on the app which classifies movies and documentaries according to the experiences and memories they inspire into viewers.

For example, Bill Gates’ three-episode documentary, Michelle Obama’s memoir-based program, and Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance are all grouped into the collection “One Story Away From Meeting Your Heroes.” And there are a whole other “One Story Away” collections on the app. 

The collections, since yesterday, have been available for browsing, in tandem with the release of the campaign at large, according to a blog post by Vice President for Brand Eric Pallotta

Under one “One Story Away” collection, users can now easily find content that makes them feel like a teen again. Another grouping has gathered movies and shows that stimulate in viewers the value of standing up for something, while comic type and mellow genre movies have also been rounded up for each of its special “One Story Away” collection. 

The inception of the campaign is mainly attributed to the platform’s celebration of the power of storytelling.

“The TV shows and films we watch bring out all sorts of different emotions, give us perspectives we’ve never seen before and even make us feel closer to each other,” wrote Pallota.

He shared that it was a couple of years ago when he heard the phrase “we’re only one story away” from a colleague in a hallway, where the thought has stuck with him ever since, knowing that it would resurface one day into something valuable.

“These words perfectly encapsulate the passion for storytelling that lies at the heart of what Netflix – and the creators we work with all over the world – are trying to bring to our members,” Pallota said. 

Netflix has released a short video ad on its YouTube channel, the first in the campaign, where throughout the video shows the proverbial moving line or streaming indicator that appears at the bottom of every movie watched, simultaneously progressing from start to finish as the ad plays along.

A consistent voice-over of the phrase “Maybe you don’t know what it’s like…” is played, enumerating different examples of unlived experiences, where at the end, is capped off with the campaign’s message, “but that’s exactly what makes a story worth watching.”

Pallota said, “People have very different tastes and moods. But no matter who you are or where you are, we’re all only one story away from seeing, feeling, and connecting more.”