Platforms Featured APAC

Social listening report reveals Thailand tops volume of social media conversations on luxury brands in 2022

Asia Pacific – Social media conversations on shopping are expected to shift now that the way people purchase has changed once again with the ushering of the post-pandemic. This has been evident in social media listening company Digimind’s latest report which revealed that within APAC, internauts have produced over 8 million online mentions of luxury brands in the year 2022.

We need not go too far on this occurring reality when the recent viral TikTok incident supercharged the conversation on ‘luxury’, where a Singapore-based Filipino teenager drew backlash for calling her first Charles & Keith bag purchase as ‘luxury’.

At present, the interest of consumers in conversations on luxury shopping persists. The report by Digimind monitored the public posts of online users from four APAC countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines – that mentioned the top 10 luxury brands namely Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Tiffany & Co., and YS. 

Within the overall 8 million social and web mentions in the region, the report showed that Thailand tops the volume of these online mentions, accounting for 37% of it, or in particular, 2.9 million. This was followed by Indonesia with 1.94 million and the Philippines contributing 1.92 million. Meanwhile, Malaysia and Singapore recorded 867,000 and 295,000 mentions, respectively.

Since the four countries do not have the same population numbers, the data was based on the number of active social network users per country.

The report also explained that there may be several factors on why these luxury brands were being talked about online. First, there is a 79% positive sentiment recorded behind the brands amongst APAC consumers. Another factor is the collaboration of K-pop artists with the said luxury brands. Iterations of these would be artists wearing custom-made outfits during their concerts or events. Furthermore, luxury brands are getting a lot of attention due to venturing into newer technologies, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), the metaverse, and cryptocurrency for payment purposes.

Olivier Girard, head of Digimind APAC, said that the luxury culture in Southeast Asia is very much alive because of loyal customers, with fans adoring the ambassadors of these products. Girard also added that they noticed the continuous interest with great average of monthly mentions and sentiments from the people in the region.

He added, “When it comes to high-profile events, social media coverage is a critical area of monitoring, where a single blunder can potentially have massive repercussions on multiple stakeholders. Social media monitoring tools like Digimind Social offer brands the ability to spot the hottest trending discussions and extreme shifts in sentiment in real time, turning actual public perception into concise, actionable reports to activate the right escalation chain.”

Platforms Featured East Asia

HK-based industry body for PR PRHK launches toolkit to help promote work-life balance amongst industry teams

Hong Kong Taking overtime at the workplace is sometimes inevitable, most especially now that the work-from-home set up has blurred the lines between work and rest – this practice can be a challenge for most. PRHK, an industry organisation for public relations and communications professionals in Hong Kong, has come up with a solution to this problem by launching a toolkit called ‘Working Smarter for the Future’ which aims to help industry leaders and working teams to practice better workflow processes and combat overtime. 

Initiated by the next-gen sub-committee of PRHK, the 27-page toolkit gives ample recommendations on planning tools, policy updates, and working tips that industry leaders can use to facilitate a healthy working environment amongst team members, whilst making the work-life balance possible. Meanwhile, resource planning and additional support are also presented for individuals and working teams.

The committee that initiated the toolkit includes Karolis Adomaitis of Fleishman Hillard, Carol Yeung of Golin, Penn Leung and Jesa Amparo of Creative Consulting Group and Sara Cheung of Edelman. 

The said toolkit is also an answer to PRHK’s latest research data which revealed that the top three causes of overtime are tight deadlines and last-minute requests, lack of manpower, and various meetings. The same survey also showed that 75% of respondents from the industry perceive overtime as normal with another 70% having experienced physical or mental health issues, considering overtime as a factor.

Carol Yeung, co-chair of the PRHK’s next gen sub-committee said, “The launch of our ‘Working Smarter for the Future’ toolkit is another step in moving towards making work-life balance a reality for Hong Kong PR and communications professionals. We especially want the profession to overcome its inertia on the issue of unreasonable overtime.” 

Meanwhile, Carbo Yu, chairperson of PRHK added, “PRHK’s mission is to represent, champion, promote and grow the PR and communications profession in Hong Kong. This project has achieved just that, gaining significant positive response from professionals across the industry. PRHK will continue to be an enabler for working smarter as we help people navigate Hong Kong’s dynamic communications landscape.”

With the toolkit launch, PRHK said it commits to delivering more resources such as conducting workshops to help in drawing boundaries, managing hybrid work, and time management. 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Global report reveals Filipinos clock most hours in consuming vlog content, playing video games

Philippines – With most of our attention now veered towards digital content, a new global report reveals the average number of hours each audience in a country spends in navigating social media. The said data, which was gathered via a partnership between social media intel Meltwater and creative agency We Are Social, revealed that it’s the Filipino internauts that are the most invested when it comes to vlog content and video game consumption.

The annual report on social media and digital trends uncovered that the Philippines ranked first in terms of the average time allotted for watching vlogs and playing video games. Particularly, 95.8% of internet users in the country play video games on any device, and this cohort is found to spend an average of 1 hour and 29 minutes on gaming each day. This is a few minutes more than the global average of 1 hour and 14 minutes. 

Meanwhile, 55.6% of the country’s digital consumers – those aged 16 to 64 – stated that they watch vlogs each week, and in terms of consumption, the market also bested all markets, ahead of the global benchmark of 25.5%. 

In the same report last year, Philippines also emerged on top with the highest count of users that watch vlogs each week with 60.4%, and likewise topping the global charts with the highest percentage of consumers that play video games on any device (96.4%). 

Overall, from the current year’s data, the country landed in fourth place in general social media consumption, with consumers spending an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes for such activity.

Alexandra Saab Bjertnæs, chief strategy officer at Meltwater said that competitive brands should stay ahead of trends to understand their impact on any industry. She also highlighted that as consumers invest more time on social media, it will affect the decision-making process in their customer journey.

Bjertnæs added, “With more than 5 billion internet users today, it’s becoming more crucial than ever that brands deliver relevant, impactful, and purposeful content to capture attention and create value across digital channels.”

Nathan McDonald, group CEO and co-founder at We Are Social said that social media’s influence affects people’s lifestyles and it continues to grow. McDonald also expressed that users consider the discernment in internet usage, making sure that it’s a time well spent.

However, McDonald also had thoughts for marketers. He added, “Marketers and creators will have to work even harder to attract and retain people’s attention in 2023 – it’s never been more important to understand online culture in order to reach people in a relevant way.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Lion & Lion launches film production studio

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Southeast Asian agency network Lion & Lion will be expanding its offerings through the launch of a Film Production Studio, which will connect its integrated creative, social and digital experience solutions. Through the new studio, the agency charges its capacity forward on brand remits that require full creative to digital-film content production solutions, including but not limited to full-service video production, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, and music creation capabilities.

The studio will be led by Johnson Ling as head of production. Ling brings with him a decade of experience in production houses and in-house creative teams and most recently served as the Video Team Lead at AirAsia. 

“I believe that a holistic approach to production is essential to create truly jaw-dropping visuals. This entails seamlessly blending creativity, technical competence and social relevance to create content that not only satisfies client goals, but also elevates the brand via captivating narrative – when all of this is in sync, magic happens,” said Ling.

Asher Cheelip Ong, the agency’s regional chief creative officer, describes the new studio as a ‘natural next step’ for the business. 

“My past three years have been about driving transformative growth for our organisation and clients through innovative digital and creative solutions; building our cast of talents. A natural next step for us to expand our creative service offerings is to launch a Film Production Studio, that can help our clients meet the demand for entertaining film content across diversified platforms in today’s digital-centric world,” he said. 

Johnson will report directly to Ong and will be supported by a skilled, expanding team comprising Rachel Lian, Senior Producer, and Mohamad Khairul Shafit, Videographer, alongside a team of motion graphic designers.

“I am thrilled to join Lion & Lion and work with some of the top creative minds in the industry,” says Johnson. “I believe that a holistic approach to production is essential to create truly jaw-dropping visuals. This entails seamlessly blending creativity, technical competence and social relevance to create content that not only satisfies client goals, but also elevates the brand via captivating narrative – when all of this is in sync, magic happens.”

Ong added, “I cast my net far and wide, interviewing multiple film directors and talents before selecting Johnson for the role. He is experienced and dedicated; has a great sense of cinematography and visual storytelling, with a deep understanding of every stage in the film and video production process. I look forward to seeing the department flourish and grow under his direction, and hopefully, pick up a few film awards along the way, too.”

In 2022, Lion & Lion has also launched an in-house content production studio in Kuala Lumpur to expand its integrated creative offerings for brands that also require full creative to digital-film content production services.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Bumble gives a low down on today’s dating scene via heart-to-heart talk between mother and daughter

Singapore – Women-first dating app Bumble has released a new campaign that is quite a mash-up celebration of the back-to-back festivity of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. The brand released a short film that features a heartfelt conversation between a mother and daughter inquiring about each other’s opinions on different musings on dating. 

Called ‘Breaking Barriers: Getting Real About Dating During CNY With Mum’, the short shows content creator Chow Jiahui and her mother open up about their thoughts on different reflections such as the convenience of meeting someone in each of their generations as well as their feelings about ringing in the Chinese New Year as a single.

As part of the campaign, from 23 January, Bumble users will be able to claim a complimentary tin of Bumble Love Letters by Kele Confectionery via an in-app link and have it delivered to them personally.

Lucille McCart, APAC communications director of bumble, said “The love letter is synonymous with both Chinese New Year festivities and Valentines’ Day. Much like the modern love letter, the love letter snack was originally used to relay messages of affection. Bumble Love Letters is our contemporary spin on this age-old practice. We want to revive the tradition of initiating a date with treats but also encourage singles to show love to the ultimate date – themselves.”

In addition, a nationwide survey by Bumble revealed that more than 1 in 5 singles (21%) feel pressured to be coupled up during CNY and/or Valentine’s Day, where top reasons include, “I don’t want to deal with family and friends asking why I am still single” (57%), “I feel self-conscious about being single” (47%),” and “I feel pressured by friends and family” (46%). 

McCart added, “Our findings in Singapore indicate that cuffing season occurs around Chinese New Year to Valentine’s Day, owing to social pressures around being coupled up during this period.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee makes third round of layoffs, affecting SG team

Singapore – Leading e-commerce platform Shopee began another round of layoffs last Monday which affected some employees in Singapore, according to a report by The Straits Times

According to ST, sources shared that the latest layoff was subdued and not many people knew about it, but that there had been rumours of plans to let people go.

Shopee said in a statement to ST, “We continue to carefully review our business projects and priorities to ensure we are optimising operating efficiency, in line with our goal of achieving self-sufficiency.”

“We are also working to support our affected colleagues during this transition,” Shopee added.

Shopee is one of the tech giants that made mass layoffs this month, including Meta and Twitter.

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter introduces new feature ‘Twitter Circle’

Singapore – Social media platform Twitter has announced a new feature called ‘Twitter Circle’, which allows users to send tweets to select people, and share their thoughts with a smaller crowd.

Twitter users can now choose who is in their Twitter Circle, and only the individuals they have added can reply to and interact with the Tweets one shares in the circle.

The feature was first tested to select users in May, and is currently rolled out to everyone on iOS, Android, and globally.

“With Twitter Circle, people now have the flexibility to choose who can see and engage with their content on a Tweet-by-Tweet basis. This makes it easier to have more intimate conversations and build closer connections with select followers,” Twitter said in a press statement.

Tweets sent to one’s circle will appear with a green badge underneath them. They can only be seen by those they have selected to be in your circle and cannot be Retweeted or shared. Additionally, all replies to circle Tweets are private, even if your Twitter account is public. 

“We want to ensure everyone on Twitter has the choice, control, tools, and transparency to join the conversation how and when they want, and Twitter Circle is another important step in that direction,” the company added.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok launches online marketplace, TikTok Shop, in PH

Manila, Philippines — TikTok, the popular short-form video platform, recently launched its online marketplace, TikTok Shop, in the Philippines. Through this brand new e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop aims to open up more business opportunities for brands and small- to medium-sized enterprises. All these, whilst providing a fresh new shopping experience for users and opportunities for local content creators alike.

TikTok Shop in the Philippines aims to provide local businesses with a new avenue for reaching out to customers. It also aims to make purchasing possible and more accessible for Filipinos without leaving the mobile entertainment platform. At TikTok Shop in the Philippines, users can purchase items from various categories of products including fashion, home and living, beauty and personal care.

Meanwhile, merchants will be able to enjoy zero commission fees on the platform for selected products whilst payment service fees are capped at one per cent to payment service partners. TikTok Shop products can be purchased through product anchors embedded in short videos, live streams, and the TikTok Product Showcase tab of a merchant’s TikTok page, making it easy for users to be entertained and yet shop at the same time.

Last June 15 to 21, TikTok Shop held its maiden mid-year sale in the Philippines, highlighted by super deals and users enjoyed up to discounts and subsidised shipping and first-time buyers received coupons and discounts.

Celebrities and top content creators joined the very first sale, including actress Glaiza De Castro, TV host Macoy Dubs, and content creator Alfea, who did key live sessions and short video posts via TikTok Shop.

Kimberly Duyag, CEO of local cloth and garment brand KILY.PH, shared her experience, “Many sellers have been surprised by the platform’s support, especially the free shipping vouchers and discount promotion. Plus it also enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell their products directly on TikTok via feed, content or live stream.”

The week-long mid-year sales campaign saw TikTok Shop Philippines gain a 33% growth in its daily gross merchandise value. The e-commerce platform’s number of daily orders likewise jumped by 29%, while the volume of live stream climbed 36% compared to the previous week.

Marketing Featured Global

Shutterstock Studios expands into documentary filmmaking

New York, USA — Shutterstock, a leading global creative platform for transformative brands and media companies, has announced that Shutterstock Studios, the company’s creative and production arm, is broadening its offering to include original documentary films and series.

Led by Aiden Darné, VP and global head of Shutterstock Studios, formerly a VICE Media executive, one of the first projects is a docuseries featuring Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion and American professional racing driver. This docuseries was produced in partnership with Carvana, a Fortune 500 company that fosters an intuitive and convenient online car buying, selling, and financing experience.

The eight-part series, titled ‘Reinventing The Wheel,’ gives global viewers an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at Jimmie Johnson as he navigates his second INDYCAR season after an exceptional career in NASCAR racing.

Darné said, “We are so excited that our first entry into the high-demand world of documentary storytelling is in partnership with Carvana. It’s been amazing to capture the intimate moments of the career switch of Jimmie Johnson – one of the greatest race car drivers of all time.”

‘Reinventing The Wheel’ is just one of several shows that Shutterstock Studios currently has in production. A second show, titled, ‘The Money Shot’ follows celebrity photographer Miles Diggs, the man behind famous images like Rihanna’s pregnancy photos. Both ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ and ‘The Money Shot’ will be hitting TV and streaming services soon.

Shutterstock Studios has other shows in various stages of development and production like ‘Behind The Lens,” which chronicles Diana, Princess of Wales and the ‘History of Boy Bands’ – a unique look into the 90s biggest boy bands.

Jamie Elden, chief revenue officer at Shutterstock, said, “Since Shutterstock Studios’ inception in November 2020, the team has rapidly established itself as a key player in the industry, and as a premier end-to-end creative content solution partnering with some of the world’s biggest brands and companies like Amazon, ITV, BBC and Microsoft.”

He mentions that what’s unique to Shutterstock Studios is that their content is powered by one of the largest archival collections in the world, including exclusive access to the Condé Nast Collection, A+E Networks Archive, the LIFE Collection and more, enabling producers to create compelling content for all platforms and production mediums.

Meanwhile, Ryan Keeton, chief brand officer and co-founder of Carvana, commented, “We continue to be inspired by Jimmie’s commitment as he’s forged this new path in his racing career. Our team was excited to collaborate with such talented partners on the Reinventing the Wheel docuseries to bring such unique and exclusive access as Jimmie faces this exciting next chapter. Carvana has always stood for challenging the status quo and we see that same drive and passion in Jimmie.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab launches new enterprise service, GrabMaps

Singapore Grab announced its new technology GrabMaps, a new enterprise service that Grab can leverage to capture the US$1 billion market opportunity in Southeast Asia per year for its mapping and location-based services. First developed for in-house use, GrabMaps was created to address Grab’s need for more hyperlocal solution to power its services.

Currently, GrabMaps offers location-based services for all Grab verticals in 7 out of 8 countries it operates in, and Grab expects to be fully-sufficient with GrabMaps by Q3 2022.

Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder, Grab, said, “Grab’s focus is how we can always deliver technological innovations that address the needs of every Southeast Asian region appropriately, and GrabMaps is one example.”

According to Ling, the narrow roads and alleys commonly found in Southeast Asian cities, frequented by their driver and delivery partners often do not appear on conventional maps. “We have invested in turning this intelligence into a competitive advantage, enabling us to serve our customers and partners with the best possible experience, while driving efficiency and cost savings for the business. We are very pleased that soon we will be fully using our own mapping technology,” added Ling.

Mapping, pick-up point technology such as points of interest (POI), and route intelligence are vital parts of the core features that platforms like Grab rely on. Currently, GrabMaps supports more than 800 billion API calls per month across various Grab services. 

Internal data also shows that for countries that have made full use of GrabMaps, the ease of finding the right pick-up point for transportation bookings has increased by an average of 3%, while the accuracy of estimated travel time (ETT) has increased by 1% regionally, with some countries experienced an increase of up to 7.8 percentage points.

The growth of street images in GrabMaps in a span of a year in Jakarta.

The main advantage of GrabMaps lies in the principle of community-based mapping that involves consumers, business partners, and Grab’s fleet of driver and delivery partners.

The GrabMaps solution draws on new data from millions of orders and rides served every day, where feedback from partners is obtained directly real-time information, from road closure information, business address changes, and more. Driver-partners and delivery-partners also have the opportunity to contribute to developing our maps, collecting pick-up points and other data such as street images, street names, traffic signs and more to earn additional income. With this, GrabMaps is not only superior in terms of accuracy, coverage and updates but also cost-efficient.

Philipp Kandal, head of Geo, Grab, said, “As superapp The leading company in the region, GrabMaps supports Grab to serve the daily needs of millions of consumers every day. With our track record and deep understanding of Southeast Asia, we believe GrabMaps can be the best mapping platform of choice for Southeast Asia.”