Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s tourism dept. launches campaign encouraging halal dining discoveries

Manila, Philippines – As part of the country’s move for the eventual resumption of the tourism industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines has launched its Halal Culinary Heritage Series, a campaign that encourages dining discoveries for our Muslim counterparts, as well as highlights the country’s food traditions.

Launched in July 2021, the initiative showcases unique food finds in Mindanao through a video series posted on the Department’s social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

“Food is an important part of a tourism experience. It gives us a glimpse of a place’s culture and heritage. Through the development of our Halal Culinary Tourism, we are encouraging the discovery and familiarity with the culinary traditions of our Muslim brothers and sisters in the Philippines,” says Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat.

Said campaign is part of the Mindanao Halal Culinary Tourism, a project of the DOT with the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Aside from promoting the heritage of Mindanao and familiarity with its culture, the project also aims to document culinary practices of the area through food mapping. 

“With this initiative, there will be more knowledge and a better understanding of Filipino Halal cuisines and cooking traditions. The Philippines is creating new experiences and attractions in its different regions, so there is always more to explore,” the tourism department said in a press statement.

Through the campaign, tourists visiting Manila will be able to find restaurants and eateries that offer Halal-certified food, ranging from the stalls located at the area known as Muslim Town near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo that offer culinary delights such as ‘bakas’ or Bamboo-smoked tuna and a glutinous rice cake called ‘dodol’. 

The campaign also showcases El Prado dining outlet of the Berjaya Hotel Makati which offers dishes such as tinolang Manok (chicken in ginger broth with vegetables), a halal ‘nilagang baka’ (boiled beef with vegetables) and ‘sinigang na baka’ (beef simmered in a clear sour soup with vegetables).

The region of Mindanao offers a rich trove of halal Filipino items, ranging from dry curry ‘beef rendang’ or its fusion version as a ‘beef rendang penne’ at a restaurant called Torogan Kape in the city of Cagayan de Oro, ‘sinina kambing’ or goat meat stewed in spices and served with crab rice from Hashy’s Cuisine in Cotabato, ‘buntot (tail) ng tuna’ in curry sauce and ‘palapa’ (sweet and spicy Filipino condiment) by Tambilawan Kamayan Restaurant in General Santos City, to name a few.

The tourism department adds, “There are even more food discoveries to be found in the Philippines, with a culinary heritage that has been passed down from generations. While there are new dishes that have evolved from the basic recipes through the years, the flavors are just as rich and exciting.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

UX firm Quiddity, MullenLoweTREYNA launches joint venture ‘Qairos’

Philippines – Quiddity Usability Labs, the UX and UI consultancy firm based in the Philippines, has partnered with integrated marketing communications agency MullenLoweTREYNA, to launch its new joint venture, Qairos.

In August this year, MullenLoweTREYNA announced its acquisition of a controlling interest in Quiddity Usability Labs. Under the binding terms of the agreement, Quiddity’s UX/UX expertise will complement MullenLoweTREYNA’s hyper bundled business solutions.

The JV was officially launched on 21 October 2021, and the name takes inspiration from the Greek word Kairos, which translates to ‘right time for the opportunity’.

Qairos aims to create human-kind experiences that are not only usable but also delightful. It also seeks to improve overall experiences through designing and running experiments to solve problems. In addition, the company will be offering services that encompass user experience, customer experience, accessibility, and software development.

Denise Haak, Qairos’ chief executive officer, stated, ”This new joint venture company propels us to reach a larger world of users in continuing to help make things better, one usable product at a time.”

Qairos has recently launched a proprietary Virtual Conference Platform that was used in IMMAP’s DigiconPop 2021, a virtual conference held last 11 to 15 October this year, featuring global keynote speakers and renowned experts.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Live commerce network Shoppertainment Live opens seven new ‘Livestyle’ studios

Philippines – Amid the rise in adoption of live commerce both from brands and consumers, the Philippines ’ first livestream shopping network, Shoppertainment Live, opens seven diverse and fully functional studio sets which it calls ‘Livestyle’ studios to bolster its virtual activation.

The ‘Livestyle’ studios will be catering to different categories of fashion and beauty, with kitchen studios for cooking and home appliances, lifestyle studios for talk shows and homecare, as well as technology studios for mobile and gadgets, and music studios and recreation studios for entertainment.

The kitchen ‘Livestyle’ studio

Shopepertainment CEO Hiyasmin Neri-Soyao, who was a former host of local shopping channel O Shopping, shared that the types of the studios were based on the product categories they have identified to be on the rise and in demand. 

Shoppertainment is a tech-enabled network for e-commerce and social media, enabling advertising agencies, companies, and e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee to properly sell their products in an online broadcast setup. These are produced at the said studios inside their Quezon City headquarters, with in-house presenters from their talent pool.

“With more studios, we expect more action for the market. The team’s confidence stems from handling the smallest local businesses to the biggest global brands as part of our roster of clients. Shoppertainment Live’s strength is making products sellable, handling diverse products such as cosmetics, clothing, electronics, and everything in between,” Neri-Soyao said.

The live e-commerce network has also launched a new incubation program for livestream presenters through its Shoppertainment Academy. The Academy is a company initiative that aims to educate and equip Shoppertainment Live presenters with skills to be sale-centric, entertaining, and engaging to the market.

Grooming the next generation of marketers, which it uniquely calls ‘influensales’, is within the network’s goal to make its Livestyle activation effective in the virtual realm.

Neri-Soyao said, “Not all presenters can produce the same numbers for every lifestyle. That is why Shoppertainment Live brought together a diverse group of presenters whom we trained to do Influensales™ as opposed to simply producing buzz and engagement for the brand. This follows the company’s philosophy wherein we believe that content is king but they like it better when the cash register rings.” 

Along with new developments, the company has also revealed that it eyes to spread its roots nationally and to also expand internationally. The company aims to install regional offices in three years’ time to open up the opportunity for regional speakers to sell in their own language. 

Internationally, the network is also working on its Southeast Asia and global expansion plans, citing the potential of Filipino livestream presenters because of their strong communication skills and infectious enthusiasm. 

Marketing Featured Global

COMCO SEA expands to Middle East & Africa

Philippines – COMCO Southeast Asia (SEA), the Integrated communications agency headquartered in the Philippines, has announced that it will be expanding to the Middle East & Africa (MEA). This was revealed in the ‘Blazing Sapphire’ main event to mark its fifth-year celebration, where the agency unveiled several major initiatives including its master plan for the next 10 years. 

The agency said that the launch of COMCO MEA aims to bring COMCO’s brand of meaningful storytelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the rest of the MEA region. The expansion also makes it poised to open doors of opportunities for COMCO’s client partners to take advantage of the multi-cultural team’s knowledge and network of both flourishing and fast-moving markets and to unlock the gateway to launching inter-regional campaigns.

The expansion to MEA is especially momentous to the agency as UAE plays host to the World Expo, which deems to be one of the first and largest international events in the world, taking place every five years and lasting six months. With the COMCO team’s local presence, the agency aims to guide brands that are aiming to get a foothold at Expo 2020 which presents a truly global audience.

COMCO MEA will be spearheaded by Tricia Cusi-Jimenea, COMCO SEA’s business development director, partner and co-founder, and communications professional with over a decade of experience in the MEA market.

Cusi-Jimenea commented that it is an honor and a huge responsibility to bring this brand that they co-founded to MEA, and that as they expand their operations, they are guided by the company’s values of using the power of communication as a tool to not only serve their clients but also the community. 

“From igniting brand love to executing impactful and meaningful campaigns that improve and enrich the lives of our stakeholders, our COMCO MEA team is committed to continuing the trailblazing path that our COMCO SEA family has paved for us,” she said.

During the event, COMCO also gave a glimpse of its 10-year master plan which includes the formation of the COMCO AOX League of Enterprises, the umbrella group for all of COMCO’s existing and upcoming ventures, initiatives, and advocacies. Forming the COMCO AOX League are COMCO Southeast Asia, COMCO Middle East & Africa, SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine, and Citizen COMCO Advocacy Group, as well as Camp COMCO Alumni Society, and upcoming ventures Taro Digital AOX and COMCOffee Club, with more in the pipeline to be unveiled in the next couple of years.

The ‘Blazing Sapphire’ event is part of COMCO SEA’s year-long fifth-anniversary celebration, which also includes the virtual town hall and digital unveiling of COMCO SEA’s brand evolution and the inauguration of the Camp COMCO Alumni Society ‘Unity Games’, among others.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

SM launches package for MSMEs to easily set up shop in malls

Manila, Philippines – SM Supermalls, one of the largest shopping mall chains in the country, has launched its latest initiative for MSMEs which entails providing ‘The SM StartUp Package’ that will give support for 100 local small business owners to set up physical shops across its select prime mall locations across the country.

Through ‘The SM StartUp Package’, SMB owners will be offered with affordable rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge, marketing assistance to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls as well as financial assistance with retail bank BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.

This package will be available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have a shop inside SM or any other physical store in general.

The program, which was first announced last 15 October, coincides with the birthday of SM’s founder, the late Henry Sy, who started SM or ShoeMart as a small shoe business store in 1958. SM said that such small beginnings of the late Filipino businessman has been deeply ingrained in their DNA, understanding the potential of each Filipino to be a successful business owner.

The Start Up Markets, as they will be called, will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.

Steven Tan, the president of SM Supermalls, commented, “We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year. Very much true to the spirit of Henry Sy, who always said he worked harder during bad times, many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products — even from their own homes.” 

He added, “We want to give them a chance to further grow their businesses and brands, and enable them to start their own SM shops which they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder once did.”

Interested MSMEs may visit the SM Supermalls website and SM’s social media pages to find out how to sign up for the package.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Jollibee’s famous short film brand ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ to feature Hidilyn Diaz’s story

Philippines – Jollibee has been known for its heartwarming ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ (Jollibee story) series, its brand of short films that stirs audiences’ emotions through its relatable stories. Part of the appeal of the narratives is that they are inspired by true events – human stories by ordinary people.

This time, the top fast-food chain is taking a different route. For its latest ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ film which will be launched tomorrow, 15 October, it decided to bring front and center the story of a national personality – the first-ever Olympic gold medalist in the Philippines, Hidilyn Diaz, who recently brought pride to the country in the Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz attained the victory last July 2021 in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 for the sport weightlifting, besting countries China and Kazakhstan. From the momentous win, the untold story of the hardships she went through in training and in life came into the spotlight, and this is what Jollibee aims to immortalize through its latest short film titled ‘Ginto’.

Unveiled in a media launch Thursday, 14 October, Jollibee aimed through a creative narration to tell the story of Diaz – both her immediate journey leading to the gold medal and her humble beginnings before she became every Filipino’s pride today.

Partnering with a young actress who portrays Diaz, the film showed how Diaz grew her simple dream as a young girl to the national pride today that has now been imprinted in the country’s history. The film showed how Diaz used to work with improvised barbells in native gyms and also the experience she’s had in Malaysia just before the Tokyo Olympics 2020, where she found herself going back to dealing with improvised training due to limitations brought by the pandemic.

Francis Flores, JFC Philippines’ country and regional marketing head and Jollibee Philippines’ marketing head, said, “For Hidilyn, the road to gold at the Olympics has been full of ups and downs but what’s incredibly powerful about her story is that it brings the message of not giving up and working hard for your dreams.”

Flores adds, “Aside from being proudly Pinoy, Hidilyn embodies positive values that we at Jollibee also stand for. We are very proud to welcome her to the Jollibee family.”

The film also marks Diaz’s signing with Jollibee as an official ambassador.

Translated from Filipino, Diaz commented, “Of course I feel honored to be a part of the Jollibee family because when you say Jollibee, it’s a trademark for Filipino. As I was growing up, Jollibee has already been there and now that my life story is now part of ‘Kwentong Jollibee’, that’s a big thing for me.”

She adds, “I am very happy that my story will be able to give inspiration to every Filipino especially during the pandemic.”

The film was developed together with creative agency McCann Worldgroup Philippines, who hopes that the new ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ would make a mark in the hearts of Filipinos just as its previous works have.

“The Kwentong Jollibee films have always been about hugot feelings. It capitalizes on making the Filipinos cry, laugh, go ‘awww’ by using unexpected story narratives about romance, family, and relationships. In this new ‘Kwentong Jollibee’, we tried to capture a different kind of hugot – the feeling of pride for the accomplishment of a fellow Filipino,” said NJ Mijares, creative director of McCann Worldgroup Philippines.

Narratives of ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ usually revolve around commemorative themes such as Valentine’s Day and Independence Day. The fast-food chain has also launched in May its first-ever global campaign with a story set in the future, narrating the story of a migrant Filipino family in New York City to send across the message of hope.

Everyone can catch the premiere of Hidilyn Diaz’s special Kwentong Jollibee film on Jollibee’s official Facebook page and Jollibee Studios YouTube channel beginning 15 October.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Influencer agency Gushcloud ties up with Lazada PH to launch Korean wave-oriented LazLive series

Manila, Philippines – The popularity of ‘Hallyu’, or the Korean Wave, has deeply taken Filipino fans by storm today, and with this, influencer marketing agency, Gushcloud, has recently partnered with e-commerce platform Lazada in the Philippines, to launch a new LazLive show titled, ‘Reel K-Hauls’.

Jessica Lee, which is a talent of Gushcloud, will be hosting the series. She is a content creator that has over 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and 73,000 followers on Instagram.

Reel K-Hauls aims to ride on the hallyu wave, showcasing popular Korean brand products and the beauty of Seoul, South Korea. With weekly themes highlighting Korean beauty and Korean cuisine, the LazLive series seeks to be the gateway for Filipinos to shop and see the city from the comforts of their homes. The show is set to run for 12 weeks, every Friday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm PHT on LazLive.

Shynne Santos, the regional operations head of live commerce at Gushcloud, noted that as people are now embracing the new platform of selling, which promotes live streaming here in the Philippines, the agency is helping to connect with the needs of the people who are working and staying at home and the brands.

“With more than 14,000 views and it being the pilot episode of Gushcloud’s Live commerce Project, it is safe to say that this weekly LazLive, featuring our very own Jessica Lee, will be a hit to the Filipinos,” said Santos.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lim, Gushcloud’s country director for Korea, commented, “We are truly excited to be pushing the cross-border envelope from Korea to the Philippines by partnering with the Lazada Philippines team. We hold strong conviction in live commerce as a cross-border sales and marketing tool, and will continue to invest in this emerging business.”

Jamie Paraso, Gushcloud’s country director for the Philippines, said that over the years, they have seen how Filipinos have ridden the Hallyu wave, making this a very strategic partnership with Lazada. 

“Leveraging on our globality as a firm, we are now able to bring viewers from the Philippines to Seoul virtually through Reel K-Hauls with Jessica Lee. Alongside this strategic approach is Gushcloud’s promise to enrich our talents’ versatility in the digital space,” said Paraso.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

AirAsia PH taps homegrown talent to lead new web series

Manila, Philippines – Top player in the Asian travel industry, AirAsia, in the Philippines, has released a new content series for the web, just in time as the region gradually opens up for travel. 

Interestingly, the airline has tapped into the influencer culture, roping in its very own First Officer Rod de Lara and Senior Cabin Crew Bien Geronimo to host the said web series. The series is titled ‘airasia Thrills’ and will be taking viewers to captivating landscapes and uncharted territories as hosts set foot in local destinations such as Zamboanga, Bohol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao and General Santos.

The series also aims to boost viewers’ excitement and adrenaline as the show will feature extreme activities such as Vinta racing, cross-country motorbiking, scuba diving, and free diving, among others. 

De Lara and Geronimo who are both avid triathletes will be testing their limits on the show, taking on different challenges related to the different destinations.

Steve Dailisan, AirAsia Philippines spokesperson, said, “Now that COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) and some provinces have gone down, we are sure that most Filipinos are eager to travel but don’t know where to start. airasia Thrills will give them a sneak peek of what to do and where to go. We hope that AirAsia Thrills will not only thrill them, but fire their enthusiasm in completing their bucket list.”

Dailisan adds, “We believe that traveling is good for our mental health, and rediscovery of activities, food, and places will complete your thirst for traveling in the new normal. And for those still staying at home, we got you covered as airasia Thrills will take you virtually to different tourist destinations in the Philippines.”

The series has already started 1 October and will run until January 2022. The series can be viewed on its Facebook page ‘airasia Super App’ and its Youtube channel of the same name. 

At the end of the season, lucky viewers can get a chance to win tickets and other exciting prizes from AirAsia partners Samsung, The North Face Philippines, Grind, ROX, and Monster Energy Drink.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Globe’s new campaign for mental health spotlighted the power of everyone’s favorite hobby this lockdown

Philippines – More time indoors during this period gave birth to a trend of new hobbies, and one of these is growing plants at home. In fact, in the Philippines, people who have taken interest in the activity have earned the name Plantita and Plantito, where Tita and Tito are Tagalog for auntie and uncle.

Local telco giant Globe, for its latest campaign for mental health, took the tending hobby as a theme to encourage people to immerse oneself in helpful recreation to ease one’s anxiety. Called #PlantHappinessPH, the campaign is no less a TikTok challenge which encouraged audiences to enjoy dancing and planting and revel in the simple pleasures amid the difficult situation everyone is in right now.

The campaign went live last 27 September, and according to Globe, it has already received over 1,400 video entries from people from different backgrounds such as medical frontliners, delivery riders, work-from-home moms, and office workers. The challenge, which featured the song ‘Better Days 2.0’ by Filipino rapper and songwriter Quest, also gained support from several entertainment and social media personalities.

Yoly Crisanto, Globe’s chief sustainability officer and SVP for corporate communications, shared that the challenge has also inspired others to show other hobbies beyond planting and dancing.

“We are very happy with the public response we received, and at how our message resonated with such a wide audience in the country. We got over 1,400 entries from TikTokers who danced, showed off their plant collections, sang along, documented their COVID vaccination, and showed their other simple joys such as cooking, working out, and taking care of their pets to promote mental health and well-being. The campaign exceeded the anticipated support of the community and showed how important mental health is in today’s generation,” she said.

As part of the initiative, Globe gave away thousands of free native tree seeds and seedlings to those who joined the challenge in order to add to their recreation. According to Globe, the challenge has amassed 207 million views on TikTok in just two weeks.

Crisanto adds, “We are always proactively seeking out ways to bring uplifting experiences and solutions to help our customers have good mental health. Healthy hobbies and the pursuit of simple joys are some ways to stay mentally healthy. We want to remind everyone that they are not alone in the fight against stress and anxiety. Globe fully supports their mental health wellness journey.”

Globe said its mental health advocacy is part of its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 3, which ensures healthy lives and promotes the well-being of all ages.

The campaign’s launch was just in time for the World Mental Health Day which was celebrated last 10 October. Globe has consolidated the TikTok videos from the challenge which can be viewed on its official Facebook page.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mediabrands PH elevates Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao to CEO role

Philippines – Media and marketing agency Mediabrands in the Philippines has announced the elevation of Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao, former chief growth officer for IPG Mediabrands Philippines and managing director for Initiative Philippines, to now assume the position of CEO.

Camarillo-Quiambao brings with her 27 years of experience,  the majority of which within the IPG network including 20 years in business leadership, and executive committee roles for McCann Worldgroup Philippines. She is also an advocate of business growth through modern marketing.

Commenting on her appointment, Camarillo-Quiambao said that leading the organization at this time is a purpose she takes very seriously, and together with the strong client and partner network, they are on their way to an even higher trajectory.

“Mediabrands Philippines is built on strong capabilities; its consistently outstanding performance made possible by an extraordinary team bound by a unique culture,” said Camarillo-Quiambao.

Meanwhile, Leigh Terry, Mediabrands’ CEO for APAC, said, “It always makes me very proud to be able to elevate such quality leadership talent from within our own organization, and even more so to be fulfilling the plans and wishes of our much loved long-standing predecessor leader of Mediabrands Philippines, Venus Navalta.”