Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC transforms HK into an open canvas, launches metaverse gallery for local artists

Hong Kong Aimed at transforming and modernising people’s access to art and the way they experience various forms of art and culture, financial services HSBC has launched its year-long ‘Open to Art’ initiative in Hong Kong.

The initiative will be done via turning Hong Kong into an ‘open canvas’, plus the launch of HSBC’s Metaverse Gallery, which is targeted at giving local emerging artists more exposure.

Kicking off the campaign, HSBC has transformed a 3D digital billboard in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier into an immersive art experience. The art piece was done in collaboration with MSL Hong Kong and new media creator Henry Chu.

Meanwhile, the Metaverse Gallery is a new platform where local artists can showcase their work and transform traditional art into immersive digital experiences. Local artists showcasing their work include Flyingpig, Wong Ping, and Yeung Hok Tak.

“Stemming from our HSBC brand promise of ‘Open up a world of opportunity’, this will also serve as a long-term platform where HSBC aims to open up the community to more things, like Open to Sports, Open to Tech, and beyond,” said Brian Hui, head of customer propositions and marketing at HSBC.

Alexis Chiu, group managing director at MSL Hong Kong, also explained that the initiative was done to show the company’s support for the city’s local art scene and to make contemporary visual culture more accessible.

“This installation is part of the bigger picture of transforming the city into a canvas for people to access and appreciate art in a new way,” he added.

HSBC has also previously launched its duo real-world and metaverse music show experience titled ‘DuoVerse’, which featured two Hong Kong artists Tyson Yoshi and Serrini.

Platforms Featured Global

H&M launches new immersive gaming experience on Roblox

Singapore – Global clothing company H&M has announced the launch of its new immersive gaming experience called ‘Loooptopia’ on the popular online game platform Roblox. This follows the brand’s venture into the metaverse in November last year.

Made in partnership with metaverse studio Dubit, Loooptopia lets players experiment with materials and patterns in a playful way, creating the next virtual garment and wardrobe for their avatar.

In addition, it is an immersive 3D experience filled with social interaction, engaging environments, mini-games, styling sessions, alternate worlds, events and more. It allows users to experiment with their digital identity and learn about fashion and circularity in a fun, creative, and playful environment on the Roblox platform that’s connecting millions of people through immersive shared experiences, all while encouraging creativity and self-expression. 

At the heart of this interactive world is a vibrant city square which sets the stage for visitors to embark on play sessions in visually stunning alternate worlds like Rainbooow Fields, Neon Studiooo and Fabric Fooorest. In these environments, users can gather a variety of fashion ingredients by engaging in mini-games, styling sessions, live events and more. 

Users can style their avatar with newly created clothes, and compliment these with accessories, dance moves, music tracks and special effects to create an amazing performance on the runway. They can also catch up with friends to trade clothes, take selfies or just admire each other’s latest creations. When it’s time to change up a style, they can recycle old clothes to earn super-rare elements and become the star of the runway show.

Max Heirbaut, global head of brand experience for metaverse at H&M, said, “At H&M we want to encourage the emerging generation of digital natives to express themselves through fashion both off and on screen. H&M Loooptopia Experience on Roblox is an exciting new world that unleashes creativity and lets players create and evolve their virtual wardrobe on Roblox, so they can feel the most like themselves through their avatar.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Douthwaite, chief commercial officer at Dubit, commented, “We loved collaborating with H&M to build the H&M Loooptopia Experience on Roblox- the place on Roblox where anybody can be a fashion designer. H&M wanted to offer an experience that promotes fun and sustainability, in keeping with their brand DNA of style, creativity and culture. It’s been amazing to see the concept evolve from the initial design and workshop through to this iconic launch.”

Technology Featured Global

DEPT launches 300-person team to optimise Web3 experiences

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Global digital agency DEPT has launched its 300-person team WEB3/DEPT to support the fastest-growing segment of its business.

The team will be helping the agency’s clients experiment with blockchain technology, build immersive experiences in the metaverse, and deliver multi-layer strategies for launching NFTs.

The team will also introduce a new Web3 Labs platform to help both clients and employees better understand web3 fundamentals, including the difference between crypto coins and crypto tech, why decentralised tech is here to stay, and primers on wallets, NFTs, DAOs, marketplaces, and stablecoins, amongst others.

According to Isabel Perry, vice president at WEB3/DEPT, the launch will redefine how companies interact with their customers through Web3 and the metaverse. 

“But it’s hard for CMOs and CIOs to figure out where to start. Over the last two years, we’ve helped so many brands to redefine the way they interact with their customers that we feel it’s time to combine all this expertise and knowledge under the WEB3/DEPT banner,” she added.

Dimi Albers, CEO at DEPT, also said, “We want to lead the charge and help our clients navigate these transformational technologies for the next decade.”

He also said that what sets the team apart from others is the combination of its strong intellectual property, track record of delivering more than 60 web3 projects, R&D plans across EMEA, the US and Asia Pacific, and its diverse mix of engineers, creatives and strategies who get the web3 vision. 

The new team follows the launch of DEPT’s ‘Creative Automation Practice’, which was targeted at helping brands supercharge their creative output through technology.

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC delves deep into metaverse marketing activations in recent webinar

Singapore As it gains more traction and public knowledge, the metaverse space opens limitless possibilities for brands and businesses alike. But because many still seem to be intimidated by its concept, how will marketers be able to instil their metaverse activations in their consumers and audiences? 

MARKETECH APAC, in partnership with consumer intelligence platform Talkwalker, gathered industry leaders to give light to this question through its recent webinar titled, ‘What’s NEXT 2023: Metaverse Marketing Activations in APAC’. Benjamin Soubies, managing director for APAC and Japan for Talkwalker, delivered a keynote presentation that tackled how metaverse can be leveraged to effectively engage communities. 

In his presentation, Soubies shared that the metaverse has paved the way for people to create connections that are even further engaging and with it, brands may be able to reach their consumers and potential consumers in more ways than earlier imagined. He also shared about the metaverse conversation hotspots in the APAC region, different ways brands are engaging their communities in the space, key features of metaverse brand campaigns, and the metaverse-gaming connection, amongst others.

“As more players join in the game, it is extremely important to leverage consumer insights in order to identify the most promising opportunities in the metaverse that you should be investing in,” he said.

To further discuss the topic, a panel discussion was conducted which was joined by industry leaders Ramakrishnan C.N., managing director for SEA and metaverse lead at Accenture Song, Amrita Mallik, vice president of HSBC, and Chris Gurney, group creative director for APAC at Virtue Worldwide. Each of them discussed the trends, opportunities, and challenges, amongst others, that the metaverse space presents to the marketing industry.

The experts also shared their insights on how to activate marketing campaigns in the space through their perspectives from the brand and agency sides as well as some metaverse marketing initiatives that have proven to be successful.

The webinar was attended by 180 professionals from various industries such as marketing, advertising, banking, and technologies, amongst others. Brands and companies ePLDT,  Inc., Estée Lauder, Metrobank, Netflix, Nielsen, Philips, Publicis Groupe, TBWA, The Coca-Cola Company, and VICE also took part in the event. The top markets present were Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. 

Concluding the webinar, MARKETECH APAC’s Founder & CEO Joven Barceñas, who also hosted the webinar and moderated the panel discussion, remarked, “We began the discussion with the goal of discovering the different challenges and opportunities in the metaverse that await brands and agencies as we enter the new year filled with new trends. I am sure our audiences looking to adopt the virtual space are more than excited to explore the opportunities we’ve talked about.”

Soubies further commented, ”I hope the webinar gave some clarity to brands out there who are contemplating their own 2023 metaverse activations. After discussing the ways brands can engage communities in the metaverse, and hearing from our expert panelists on trends, opportunities and challenges in the space, it will be exciting to see how the newer players find their spot in the metaverse.” 

He also added that in order to succeed, brands and marketers must ensure that they have a solid understanding of their consumers to create “relevant and impactful” metaverse experiences.

Learn more about marketing leaders’ insights on metaverse by getting your on-demand access to the webinar here.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SEA metaverse agencies CGAME and INDEX GAME enter partnership to bolster robust Web3 solutions

Singapore – With the aim of empowering businesses and creators with robust Web3 solutions, Singapore-based metaverse agency CGAME, has announced its partnership with Hong Kong metaverse agency INDEX GAME.

The partnership was officialised in the Strategic Partnership Ceremony held at [email protected] Carpenter Street. Key stakeholders and industry players witnessed the signing of the partnership’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

CGAME and INDEX GAME will work on a project to help empower businesses and creators to evolve in the Web 3.0 era by curating a robust suite of commercial solutions. The project is accredited by the internationally acclaimed metaverse platform The Sandbox and will assist its creators and builders’ network for Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia markets.

“The Metaverse is an open platform that fosters a new digital economy which will drive millions of jobs and benefit both Creators and Players. We’re just starting to see the early potential of it and pioneers like INDEX GAME and CGAME show that the Web3 ecosystem is both collaborative and expanding rapidly to new regions of the world,” said Sebastien Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox in his opening speech at the ceremony.

The partnership also aims to spearhead strategic advancements and innovation in Singapore’s Web3 ecosystem in tandem.

Kriskay Choo, co-founder and CSO of CGAME, said “It is vital for Singaporean companies to accelerate their metaverse and Web3 capabilities to meet the needs of the future. With that in mind, our new initiative, The Sandbox Metaverse Experience (S.M.E.), will support 500 small medium enterprises in Singapore on The Sandbox by the end of 2023.”

“We look forward to more companies seizing these opportunities, and planting themselves here to establish roots for the future,” he added. 

Becky Wong, co-founder & COO of INDEX GAME, also said, “The metaverse will open boundless growth opportunities for designers and creators alike to interact and build their own experiences, artworks, and solutions to major issues. For that reason, we are collaborating with institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia to nurture 5,000 creators by the end of 2023.”

CGAME is the first Singapore-based metaverse agency to be officially appointed by The Sandbox and launched the latter’s first artwork in Binance. Similarly, INDEX GAME was also the first Hong Kong-based metaverse agency to receive investment and be appointed by The Sandbox.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Topics on metaverse, social commerce lead social media conversation in SEA

Singapore – Social media conversation within the Southeast Asian region has been focused on topics on the metaverse, social commerce, as well as sustainability–according to the latest report from consumer intelligence and deep listening company Talkwalker and digital-first customer engagement software Khoros.

The topic of the metaverse is trending amongst Southeast Asian audiences with more than 5.9 million conversations recorded on social channels over the past year. Indonesia recorded the highest number of mentions and engagement amongst the countries monitored, accounting for 60% of all conversations and one-third of total engagements on the topic. This is closely followed by the Philippines, which accounts for almost 24% of mentions and 29% of engagements across Southeast Asia.

In addition, brands looking to launch metaverse campaigns need to stay on top of the latest conversation trends, and ensure that these new realities connect with consumers’ real-world needs.

Meanwhile, in Southeast Asia, the pandemic drove more shoppers online last year, with e-commerce and social commerce accounting for more than 50% of online purchases in 2021.This trend is set to accelerate in 2023 and beyond, with social media platforms set on making the social shopping experience more seamless for consumers.

Furthermore, post-pandemic digital growth and rising costs of living are driving an increased demand for affordability. Consumers are becoming more willing to explore new shopping channels such as social as a result. However, some countries are more ready to adopt social commerce than others. 

Lastly, brands are learning to speak the same language as consumers, as both increasingly use the same keywords to drive sustainability conversations. This indicates a unified vision shared by consumers and brands, and suggests that more brands are determined to integrate sustainable practices in 2023, in order to make a genuine difference to the situation. 

David Low, chief marketing officer at Talkwalker, said, “Marketers are constantly playing catch-up with consumers given the rapidly evolving digital landscape. This is particularly apparent in the Asia Pacific region which is home to some of the world’s largest populations of digital consumers, and which leads the way in online spending globally.”

He added, “In this new environment, marketers must focus on forging symbiotic relationships through a better understanding of online conversations and taking quicker action. It’s this new understanding that will help brands create meaningful experiences and become closer to their consumers.”

Meanwhile, Dillon Nugent, chief marketing officer at Khoros, commented, “As marketers, we know the value of data and the importance of listening to our customers. But, we need to be more action-oriented and use those insights more effectively. Consumers’ comfort level for doing things online—shopping, researching, socialising—is not slowing down as the world opens up.” 

She added, “They also care more about their communities—global, local, IRL, and online. Marketers need to tap into these trends and behaviours more deeply to personalise customers’ experiences and create more impactful strategies that empower your brand to stay connected to customers and grow your presence in the market.”

Main Feature Marketing Partners APAC

MARKETECH APAC to help brands future-proof their marketing strategies in the metaverse with upcoming webinar this November

Singapore – The immersive space of the metaverse is all the rage now, but the said virtual world with its inherent wellspring of innovation keeps surprising brands and marketers with its capabilities as an interactive platform. With this, it is vital that we keep delving into conversations that would help keep us up to speed and maintain our competence in the metaverse.

MARKETECH APAC, together with consumer intelligence platform Talkwalker, is proud to present the latest industry discussion on marketing in the metaverse. The expansive virtual world gives way for multiple and diverse iterations in the business of marketing, and through a gathering of expert minds in the field, MARKETECH APAC aims to help brands wade their way through the different challenges and opportunities that await them as we enter the new year filled with new trends. 

What’s NEXT 2023: Metaverse Marketing Activations in APAC, which will be held this November 29, 2022, at 2 pm SGT, has roped in brand and marketing leaders that have walked the talk of marketing in the metaverse. Through the webinar, we are going to discuss what has been done, what was deemed effective and not, and what more can we do to keep our consumers engaged and be on top of our game as more players enter and amplify their presence in the metaverse.

This November, learn how you can future-proof your marketing strategies for the metaverse by hearing the insights of Benjamin Soubies, managing director of Talkwalker for JAPAC; Ramakrishnan C.N., managing director & metaverse lead of Accenture Song; Amrita Mallik, vice president of HSBC India; and Chris Gurney, group creative director of Virtue Worldwide.

Soubies will be giving a presentation on Metaverse & Social: How To Effectively Engage Communities where he will deep dive into the sentiment of consumers toward the metaverse: how they think, feel, and do in relation to the highly immersive space. Soubies will also be sharing the top metaverse activations by brands in APAC and how brands can make the best out of the fusion of the two most popular consumer spaces today: metaverse and gaming. 

The panel discussion, The Metaverse – Leading The Charge For Metaverse Marketing Opportunities, will be graced by Ramakrishnan, Mallik, and Gurney. Moderated by Shaina Teope, MARKETECH APAC’s regional editor, the three leaders will be picking each other’s minds and imparting their top insights on how to best launch marketing campaigns in the metaverse. The group of industry leaders will also uncover what consumers have been saying about the most recent trends in the space, and most importantly, enlighten viewers on what brands can expect to see in the virtual ecosystem this 2023. 

Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC, commented, “MARKETECH APAC has been leading the conversation on the metaverse, and after our comprehensive 3-episode series on the space, we are proud to bring the discussion much further through this industry webinar with our partner, consumer intelligence platform Talkwalker.”

Meanwhile, Benjamin Soubies, managing director of Talkwalker for JAPAC, commented, “As featured in Talkwalker’s latest Social Media Trends 2023 report, the next year will be a critical time for the metaverse. The possibilities for brands are endless, with numerous opportunities to experiment and innovate in the space.” 

He added, “To succeed, brands will need to fortify their tech stack and have a robust system in place to understand the aspirations of consumer communities and how they are engaging in the metaverse. With consumer intelligence, marketers will be able to create authentic and relevant experiences that resonate with their target communities in the virtual reality.” 

Do not miss this very important discussion on one of the pillars of Web 3.0. Gear up for the future developments within the metaverse, and equip yourself with future-proof marketing strategies for 2023. 

Register HERE to secure your spot at the webinar. 

Marketing Featured APAC

Redhill launches metaverse offering with Pixel Canvas

Singapore – Global communications agency Redhill has partnered with Pixel Canvas, a leading US-based enterprise metaverse platform, to deliver interactive and immersive brand experiences for clients and brands in the metaverse

With an aim to transform customer experience and deliver real business outcomes, Redhill will leverage Pixel Canvas’s platform and technologies into brand campaigns and communications strategies – adding a new dimension to omnichannel storytelling for clients.

Jacob Puthenparambil, founder and CEO of Redhill, said, “The Metaverse is a fast-evolving digital environment that could fundamentally transform how brands interact with their customers and communities at large. We’re already beginning to see the Metaverse open up many new opportunities for brands. Through our collaboration with Pixel Canvas, our Metaverse offering is designed to help our clients understand and capitalise on this next massive wave disrupting businesses and industries and arming them with the strategies and technologies they need to fully capitalise on these new virtual worlds.”

Formerly an award-winning virtual reality (VR) game company, Pixel Canvas began designing and delivering 3D virtual event prototypes to Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon and WarnerMedia. As interest in the metaverse rose and demand grew for immersive and visually appealing virtual experiences, Pixel Canvas pivoted to developing a full platform capable of delivering enterprise-grade metaverse experiences that were highly customisable, scalable, interactive, and accessible.

To date, Pixel Canvas’s library contains over 25 templated environments, 30 minigames and five escape rooms that can all be fully reskinned to meet a brand’s needs, complemented by a full set of networking features such as video and text chat, livestreaming and more. Additionally, these experiences are cloud-rendered for scalability and browser-based to be accessible by any connected device.

“Through our partnership with Redhill, our companies will be able to deliver best-in-class immersive experiences to transform how brands connect, collaborate, and communicate in a fully realized metaverse. With our photorealistic technology and gamified touchpoints, we can build deeply engaging experiences where users can interact with brands in entertaining ways, as well as where brands can use engagement data to inform sales and marketing strategies,” said Joey Lee, founder and CEO of Pixel Canvas.

Metaverse experiences for brands represent the most recent addition to Redhill’s ever-expanding portfolio of diverse end-to-end communications services. Most recently, Redhill acquired Singapore-based Vision Strategy Storytelling (VS Story) as part of the agency’s efforts to further strengthen its sustainability offerings. 

Earlier this year, Redhill has also established a new creative technology and design unit – Redhill Studio – that offers creative design, video and podcast production, and website and web application development. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Maxis delves into the metaverse to create new immersive experiences for customers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Communications service provider Maxis has delved into the metaverse as part of their ‘Rangkaian Kita Rangkaian Malaysia’ campaign which aims to serve every Malaysian in every possible way. Maxis aims to explore the future of living, working, playing and learning in the metaverse.

Through the platform, Maxis provides a glimpse into the possibilities of what the future may look like from multiple perspectives – from essential services, customer engagement, enterprise solutions showcase, gaming, attracting talent, immersive education and building an ecosystem of partnerships with multi-industry verticals.

As part of the metaverse launch, Maxis has unveiled Malaysia’s first Virtual Telco Store in Metaverse, Maxis Centre Decentraland, a connected retail experience on the metaverse to benefit customers with specific offerings. 

Users will be able to shop for Maxis’ products and services using the latest 3D technology, view and get ideas on how they can transform their homes with Maxis’ home devices powered by Maxis Fibre, and even purchase collectible NFTs through collaboration with Malaysian artists. 

Patrick Er, chief sales and service officer at Maxis, said, “The metaverse mirrors our brand purpose and our What’s Possible core value as it expands minds to the possibilities of what we can do in the digital future to continue serving our customers in the best possible way. This is just the beginning of an exciting digital journey and we look forward to more to come on this platform, so keep watching this space.”

There has been no shortage of brands and agencies regionally and globally tapping into the metaverse for other engagement, including HSBC, Wunderman Thompson, Salim Group, Millennium Hotels, Standard Chartered, Charles & Keith, Samsung, and Spotify.

Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC launches new duo real-world and metaverse music show experience ‘DuoVerse’

Hong Kong – Financial services giant HSBC in Hong Kong has launched ‘DuoVerse’, a new duo music show experience that seeks to take audience interaction to the next level, featuring the first collaboration of two local artists Tyson Yoshi and Serrini.

The first-ever duo real-world and metaverse live music show will be happening on 11 February 2023 at Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre and the HSBC Metaverse Stadium, allowing the audience to feel the powerful performance while enjoying the zero-distance interactions.

Moreover, audiences can switch up their avatar’s outfit whenever they want, and also get a chance to enter the ‘Metaverse best dressed’ competition during the show to win special prizes.