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Marketing Featured APAC

Reprise announces new regional executive leadership roles in APAC

Singapore – IPG Mediabrands’ global performance marketing agency Reprise has announced new regional executive roles in Asia-Pacific, namely Parul Gautam as head of analytics for APAC, Caitlin Draper-Wheeler as experience director for APAC, and Sid Mehta as head of performance for media in APAC.

Gautam and Draper-Wheeler’s appointments take effect immediately, while Mehta’s appointment takes effect on 1 August this year.

In her new role, Gautam will be responsible for collaborating with Mediabrands agency partners and local market leadership to set the standard for excellence, driving growth in analytics across the APAC region. He was previously the vice president for Interactive Avenues India, a Reprise network company, where she developed the analytics function to lead more than 35 Global and Indian clients.

Meanwhile, Draper-Wheeler will drive the strategic direction for SEO and CRO crafts in the region to develop compelling solutions which inspire existing and prospective clients and deliver transformative growth. She joins from Stanley St, where she served SEO and CRO director. She also brings in more than 8 years industry experience including management positions across iProspect, Digital Hothouse and PHD.

Lastly, Mehta joins from his former position as head of paid media at NP Digital. He brings in 10 years industry experience specialising in digital marketing, having spent around 7 years leading search social and digital at Resolution Digital.

All appointees will report to Pippa Berlocher, president at Reprise APAC.

She said, “I am delighted to see our vision and ambition for Reprise APAC being realised. [We] have continued growing that traction and momentum through the key craft areas of our business – testament to the appointment of these three new leadership roles.” 

Berlocher added, “We identified expert talent from both within our Mediabrands network family and the wider industry, equipped with the ability to anticipate the pace of change by harnessing the skills and structure required to propel our clients business forward.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Listerine Malaysia’s new campaign shows why oral health should not be neglected

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Oral care brand Listerine in Malaysia together with Reprise, IPG Mediabrands’ performance marketing agency, has launched a new campaign titled, “Mulut Kosong Kosong: Mulut Sihat, Raya Penuh Berkat” (Clean Mouth: Healthy Mouth, Raya Full of Blessings), which aims to incorporate practical tips such as using mouthwash to improve healthy eating practises. The new campaign is in fact its special commemoration for the Ramadan and Raya festive period. 

The digital campaign features a series of three short films to personify attributes of a healthy mouth and encourage Malaysians to practice good oral care throughout Ramadan and help them attain a healthy mouth. The three short films also showcase different people’s unique personalities in celebrating Ramadan. The first personality is ‘Foodie Mouth’ the one who eats everything during Ramadan without any concern towards oral health, second personality is ‘Sweet Mouth’ the one who is the centre of attention because of good oral health and her dazzling smile, and lastly, Onion mouth, used colloquially, as someone who enjoys socialising and gossiping about others and confident about her oral health.

The overall campaign message is to keep a healthy mouth that is free of germs (‘kosong kosong’).

Kim Chew, client service director of Reprise, said the campaign was inspired by Malaysians who love a play on words. In this instance, the word mouth (mulut) is used alongside to provide a unique personality for each ‘mouth’ character, typical characters one would find around the Ramadan/ Raya dining table. 

“We wanted to personify attributes of a healthy mouth to encourage Malaysians to practice good oral care throughout Ramadan and help them attain a healthy mouth (mulut sihat),” Chew said.

Chew added, “Getting the mouths just right was extremely tricky but fun at the same time. When casting, we carefully identified actors in a very minute way. Interestingly, the actors too needed a few rounds of practice to get the right nuances of expression, limited to just the mouth, lips, tongue and teeth. We also worked closely with a very talented makeup artist who painted the characters very attractively. Essentially, the mouth becomes the body and the face simultaneously!”

As part of the campaign, an Instagram filter contest was launched, with a prize for the best responses to nosy questions asked during Raya celebrations. Users can record their best comebacks, manners in mind, along with the hashtag #MulutKosongKosong on Instagram reels. 

Meanwhile, Tracy Foo Swee Ki, senior brand manager of Listerine, commented, “Personifying the different personalities in this way, and really giving them characters, beyond just the verbal narrative was extremely important. The mouth is the main feature of the shots, and the Reprise team took great care to provide the right treatments to highlight mouths in a non-offensive, truly appealing way. 

“The message we want to leave you with is that swishing twice a day with Listerine doesn’t just help to keep your breath fresh, it helps you enjoy Raya with a cleaner, healthier mouth,” Ki adds.

The company also worked with sister agency Universal McCann, and key opinion leaders to engaged to drive the campaign message. The film was made available on all digital platforms.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Neha Tejuja named head of performance strategy for Reprise APAC

Singapore – Reprise, IPG Mediabrands’ performance marketing agency, has announced the appointment of Neha Tejuja to the newly created role of head of performance strategy for Reprise Asia-Pacific. Tejuja will be based in the agency’s regional headquarters in Singapore.

Tejuja holds an extensive understanding of strategic leadership and expertise in the industry with over a decade and a half of experience driving vision for clients’ businesses within creative teams across local, regional and global markets. Tejuja joins Reprise from her prior role as senior strategy director and e-commerce lead for Wunderman Thompson Singapore where she was responsible for delivering end-to-end strategies.

Other than Wunderman, Tejuja also held strategic roles in Grey Group in Singapore and Publicis Groupe in India. In her new role as the APAC head of performance strategy for Reprise, Tejuja will be responsible for establishing best-in-class performance strategy across the region, collaborating closely with the regional strategic leadership at integrated partner agencies UM and Initiative on driving growth, business performance and vision implementation for the growing Asia Pacific region.

Tejuja commented, “I was drawn to Reprise for its excellent performance marketing credentials and high-quality strategic process. I’m passionate about making that offering come to life for our diverse set of clients and elevate the strategic success that our teams are achieving across APAC.”

Pippa Berlocher, president of Reprise APAC, to whom Tejuja will be reporting, commented that Tejuja is a passionate leader with a proven track record of helping some of the largest global client brands reach their utmost potential across the APAC region.

Berlocher added, “In addition to this, she invests just as much care into helping her team around her reach theirs. Tejuja’s energy, creativity and expert experience make her a valuable addition to our growing regional executive team as we expand upon our established Performance Marketing proposition and reputation in the Asia-Pacific region.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

sooka’s new campaign features social media validation amongst millennials

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – New streaming platform sooka, releases its latest campaign together with Reprise in commemoration of this year’s Raya celebrations, the festival of the ‘breaking of the fast’ celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia. 

The film titled ‘Krisis Social Media Anis’ (Anis’ Social Media Crisis), directed by P. Prem Anand Pillai of ‘Love Child’, features the trials of social media wannabe, Anis, as she laments the loss of two followers the day before Raya. Her family, who happens to share a similar obsession with social media and calls each other by their social handles, rallies together with a social media guru for tips and insights to help her gain back lost followers, urging more followers for Anis through their own social media accounts. All to no avail.

Head of Brand & Communications of sooka, Hilda Shamsul Bahri, said, “The idea came from a series of real stories on the challenges of this generation who see ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ as their social currency. But it’s not always about the ‘Likes’. We want younger Malaysians to know that your self-worth is not dependent on social media perception. Rather, it is about giving thanks, and improving connections with our family and loved ones this Raya. We love the freshness of this festive film by Reprise for us as it falls very much in line with what we stand for as a brand.”

Kevin Le, executive creative director of Reprise Digital, said, “The film was inspired by millennials, who crave social validation. This quest to belong on the social sphere through the best content, more likes, and followers sometimes comes at the cost of what’s real. This Raya, we wanted to show that the best followers are your family, so embrace your true selves and appreciate the people who have always been supportive of you.”Le also added that the central character of Anis is relatable to the younger generation, whether they celebrate Raya or not.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bayer Malaysia launches new digitally-led campaign for a healthy Ramadan

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Immunity support brand Redoxon by Bayer Malaysia has launched a new campaign together with Reprise, the global performance marketing network under global advertising company IPG which aims to promote a healthy Ramadan.

This year’s Ramadan-themed film, titled “Kuatkan imuniti, rezeki Ramadan dinikmati,” is a Malay musical genre called Seloka which is commonly used in a witty way for the storytelling of folklore and traditions. The film emphasises the necessity of a robust immune system during the month of fasting in order to reap the benefits of Ramadan’s blessings. Lisa Surihani, Redoxon’s newly-appointed Brand Ambassador, is a well-known celebrity who is featured in the campaign.

Amir Faiz, group creative director of Reprise, said that the film was inspired by Malaysian Muslims who work their hardest to achieve the ideal Raya celebrations with family. This can be seen in the intense moonlighting during Ramadan to earn a side income. As expectations run high to have the best decorations, outfits, and homes, it is a time of long hours and intense pressure to fulfil familial obligations

“We chose to spread this message of health and boosting immunity in a light-hearted way through Seloka, embracing both the fun and pressures of the month, Faiz said.

Amir emphasised, “After a long hiatus of celebrations with the pandemic, there is an urge to make this year’s celebrations a huge affair. The campaign aims to show immunity as the currency to keep you going and extends its legs through social engagements with the Redoxon brand ambassador.”

Meanwhile, Junie H’ng, ASEAN brand lead of Redoxon, commented, “Ramadan is all about observing faith and practising moderation in eating and personal habits. We want Muslims to know that Redoxon is here to help them stay healthy as they keep hustling to seek their ‘rezeki’ (good fortune). 

“The Reprise team have successfully portrayed those messages by encouraging thought towards self-care this Ramadan. By taking Redoxon Triple Action daily which contains Vitamin C, Zinc, and now added with Vitamin D, one can maintain immunity and overall well-being to be empowered to find your blessings,” H’ng adds.

Alongside the film, the audience can engage with ‘Redoxon Petua Busters’ (Redoxon myth busters), highlighting common tips and solutions to strengthen immunity, without having to resort to typical traditional beliefs. To give back to the community and show appreciation to those hustling, the “Hustle Demi Idealfitri” activation allows AirAsia app users to exchange rewards points to sponsor a Redoxon Ramadan Care Pack for Air Asia’s riders. 

The film was directed by Esham Shahlin and produced by Artisia Productions. It was released on 5 April on digital channels.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

In this ad, cats mount an uprising against owners for proper seafood

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Our furry friends do so much for us, and it’s always an endearing imagination on what really goes on their minds, and if ever, have we wronged our pets one way or another.

In a very playful campaign by pet food brand ProDiet, cats divulge their real emotions towards their owners, who demand they be given real seafood.

Composed of a film and microsite, the campaign ‘Kami Nak 100% Makanan Laut!’ (We Want Real Seafood) showcases cats as though leaving threatening messages for their owners demanding real seafood and meeting in a cat parliament called ‘Parlimeow’. The campaign also sees cats raising protest slogans including ‘nine lives matter’ and spreading tips and tricks for their fellow cats to learn how to deal with owners’ non-compliance to real food requests.

Created together with integrated communications agency Reprise, its Creative Director Mandar Wairkar jovially said the agency flexed its ‘cathletic’ minds, even bringing cats in for ‘focus group discussion’.

Wairkar continues, “They meowed, we listened. Since cats are notoriously fussy eaters, we chose to give them a dissenting voice to demand for better food. And ProDiet’s proposition of 100% real seafood has allowed us to create a pet revolution of sorts. Something that is by cats, for cats.”

With a presence in Malaysia, ProDiet is an international brand that delivers pet nutrition for cats of all life stages. Its main brand promise is using 100% real seafood where its products offer real fish pieces.

The brand’s CEO PY Choy commented, “We were excited by the enthusiasm of the Reprise team to challenge this idea of 100% Real Seafood. What better way to show this off than through the cats? This quirky idea of cats not getting the real deal and standing up to their owners was very compelling, with the campaign having potential for further legs down the line to show the aftereffects of this cat uprising. A fun, bizarre, and comical campaign that we hope all cat and pet owners will enjoy.”

The quirky messaging of the campaign is bolstered through the campaign microsite which features commentary, posters, and a petition to join the uprising for real seafood.

Mandar adds, “By getting into the minds of cats, we played out these very real problems from their perspective and imagined how the conversation would go between them. The lingo, grammar, and spelling are all reflected in cat-speak, so to say. It was a tremendously fun process to reimagine things in this way, and we definitely hope Malaysians find it a-meow-sing.”

The integrated campaign is in Bahasa Malaysia and runs until March, with the film released across all digital platforms.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

WATCH: GMSV’s inaugural local campaign in ANZ

Australia – General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV), the GM venture operating within Australia and New Zealand, has launched its inaugural locally produced campaign via performance marketing agency Reprise

The campaign called ‘That’s Boss’ introduces GMSV’s Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss to the ANZ market, showcasing the ethos of ‘mateship’ and adventure which are key characteristics of Aussies and Kiwis.

The campaign’s 2-minute video, shot on location in Tasmania, creates a story of a few mates around a campfire reminiscing about the incredible things they’ve done during their day out and about, where their adventures are aided and abetted by the rugged off-roader vehicle.

Marcelo Andrade, national head of strategy for creative & content at Reprise, said the strategy was simply about telling a compelling story based on true and authentic people behavior to drive purchase intent.

Created with a humorous spin, friends in the ad look back on their energy-driven and scenic activities that have been both literally and figuratively done through Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss such as a trip to the countryside, ‘fishing’, a ‘bike ride’, and flying a parachute.

“Key to the campaign is the idea that LT Trail Boss is for adventurers who aren’t afraid to cut their own path and ‘Live Big, Roll Strong’ showcased by the vehicle itself doing what it does best; from tackling rocky landscapes to traversing water crossings and towing heavy loads,” said Andrade.

Jodie Lennon, GMSV’s general manager for marketing, CX, and communications, said, “The campaign highlights a variety of vehicle attributes throughout the videos, always doing so with a liberal dose of humor to give the story a genuine feeling of reality and truth.”

She adds, “We think the humor, set against adventurous backdrops and rugged activities will really resonate with enthusiasts who will relate to the various ‘That’s Boss’ experiences.”

The campaign is the first work created and produced by Reprise since being named GMSV’s creative agency of record in ANZ earlier this year.

Launching last week, the 2’ ‘Hero’ video is supported by more than ten variations of 6”, 15”, 30’’, and 60” spots; a series of comic feature-led videos; digital banners; social posts, and a series of teaser videos, among others. The campaign will feature across social channels including Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Reprise snitches SG’s GovTech social content mandate

Singapore – The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), which operates under the premise of delivering the government’s digital services to the public, has recently appointed Reprise, the global performance marketing network under global advertising company IPG, to be its social content agency, effective immediately.

Reprise, known for its full suite offering of crafts designed to deliver customer flow, will lead the strategic social content development for GovTech across their digital platforms. 

“At Reprise we are focused on providing a holistic Flow throughout the entire digital customer experience. We are beyond proud to partner with GovTech, an innovative and transformative brand that focuses on building effective solutions for both citizens and businesses across Singapore” said Karen Soo, head of Reprise Singapore.

Reprise has been active in various appointment and brand campaigns in the region. Just recently, in celebration of the upcoming Merdeka or the Malaysian Independence Day, they have worked with chocolate drink brand MILO for a new campaign. In addition, Reprise has also worked with Ford in Malaysia for a new video campaign about ‘seeking the outdoors’ soon.

All of these activities come after Reprise has also recently appointed Pippa Berlocher as the new APAC president at Reprise.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Online shopping, promotions and convenience: the trinity of the modern APAC shopping experience

Singapore – The shift in shopping behavior among Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers has been fixed in three factors: preference to online shopping, frequency of promotions, as well as convenience, new research from Reprise shows.

According to their report, regular ‘a few times a month’ online shoppers are now outpacing their offline counterparts by 42% vs 31%. Those who shop online ‘once every few months’ leapfrog offline shoppers by 66%. 

Meanwhile, promotions and sales are the best way to engage SEA markets, as 61% wait to shop online during the big sales days, vs the 39% ‘anytime’ shoppers. 

Lastly, convenience is the e-commerce ‘trump card’, with the reasonings of being ‘time-saving’ and ‘finding best prices’ are perceived as the two biggest advantages by 76% and 65% of online shoppers. 

“We have seen unprecedented growth in e-commerce in the last 12 months. Many markets in APAC have leapfrogged as much as 5 times, already meeting projections for 2025. This e-commerce acceleration is partly led by platforms that have fast-forwarded their interface roadmaps and advanced their technology. This, along with audience targeting via in-platform ads have played a significant role,” said Ritika Gupta, e-commerce director at Reprise APAC.

Despite pandemic restrictions, consumers’ desire to look and feel good weren’t dampened; as the top 3 most shopped categories online in APAC over the last six months were; clothing and apparel (67%), health and beauty (47%), and consumer electronics (40%). 

However, the shipping fee is the biggest ‘turn-off’ for shoppers. The top 3 perceived barriers to online shopping are ‘shipping fee’ (57%), ‘shipping time’ (55%), and the inability to ‘touch and feel’ products before purchasing (48%). Hence, good reviews go a long way, as the top 3 shopper motivators when purchasing online are ‘good reviews’, ‘promotion/sale,’ and ‘good star ratings’ as voted by 60%, 54% and 50% of online shoppers respectively. 

In terms of advertising relation to e-commerce, online ads are the key driver to engage new buyers. 1 in 2 online shoppers look to online ads for discovering new brands and products when purchasing online. In addition, social media is king, as it is now the top point of research for 42% of APAC shoppers.

“As e-commerce continues to blur the lines between international borders, it’s now more imperative than ever for brands to tailor their marketing strategy to the locality of the region and markets that it serves. It is time to re-think e-commerce as a one-stop-shop, an e-business and a data haven. And perhaps time to re-evaluate the function and value of brick and mortar retail as an experiential step in the e-commerce path to purchase,” the report stated.

The e-commerce economy in Southeast Asia: growth and challenges

Starting off with Indonesia, with being a promising e-commerce market in APAC with a very cluttered landscape encompassing several local and global players; marketplaces are the main online shopping destination for Indonesians. 73% of online shoppers prefer marketplaces to brands’ websites for making online purchases. Despite having tremendous competition, certain marketplaces have stood out as the preferred shopping destinations for Indonesians. Currently, the international marketplace, Shopee, shows the most success in terms of product discovery as 86% of online shoppers engage with a new brand on that platform, followed by 71% on Tokopedia.

Meanwhile, shoppers in Thailand began spending more time on social media platforms, making the country the only market in SEA where 62% of online shoppers prefer to research brands and products on social media. Millennials seek the convenience of returns when shopping online. However, across generations it is the cheaper prices found online that drive shoppers in Thailand to participate in e-commerce.

In Malaysia, product information is emphasized by 46% of online shoppers for making a purchase decision. Optimizing product content on marketplaces has become critical for brands to stand out in the cluttered environment. In addition, Every 1 in 2 Malaysians do their product research online using social media platforms and almost 40% of the online shoppers also refer to online search portals for the same. Shopee deems to be a clear winner in terms of marketplace platform of choice, 92% of online shoppers have used Shopee to discover new brands in last 12 months.

Coming to the Singaporean market, Singaporeans not only shop locally but are avid international shoppers, making convenience the primary purchase trigger for 73% of online shoppers. They are also very price-oriented with 63% of Singaporean shoppers choosing to buy online to access better promotions and discounts. 

The report notes as well that one peculiarity among Singapore shoppers is that 52% access brand websites to gather more information before making a purchase decision. This is almost 50% higher than other markets in SEA. With new restrictions coming in every few weeks, it is understandable that the best performing categories are groceries, restaurant and food delivery services in addition to work from home-focused products including monitors, webcams, and even home office furniture.

In terms of the Vietnamese market, 41% of shoppers in Vietnam shop online a few times a week, compared to 36% who buy online a few times a month. Vietnamese online shoppers spend a large amount of time on the internet, when it comes to researching about new brands or products, 65% shoppers rely on social media and 45% refer to brand websites.

Lastly, the Philippines is one market that has not kept up with the e-commerce growth momentum compared to neighboring countries in SEA. Poor internet connectivity, largely unbanked population and its unique geography all lead to a slower e-commerce growth. Filipinos are less brand loyal and highly price sensitive. Two out of three Philippine shoppers will try new brands they find online, and 57% online shoppers also wait for products to go on promotion or discount before hitting the payment button. 

“The growth we’ve seen from e-commerce in the last 12 months is not unexpected, the impact of COVID has merely accelerated an already apparent trend. This acceleration provides a strong opportunity for brands to engage with consumers in a different way – consumers have proven that they are more open to engage with new brands and products in an e-commerce environment, and brands who recognize this and adjust their digital strategy accordingly – will reap the rewards,” said Pippa Berlocher, president at Reprise APAC.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for July: Asian food delivery’s new offering bags top spot

For the month of July, the Southeast Asia region once again snitches the spotlight with stories ranging from K-pop research, a fast-food chain’s case study, to an app that aims to cater to a country’s long-standing culture in trading. 

This period, we see a very interesting study that has put an official percentage of how much a brand can benefit from web searches upon roping in K-pop group BTS as an endorser. Food delivery is also a highlight this month, with a leading food delivery platform in Asia launching a new offer, and a fast-food brand in Malaysia releasing its case study on a successful 2020 campaign that helped save its delivery business in the face of home cooking-loving consumers. 

In the Philippines, we see a live-streaming platform unveiling an ex-Gojek exec as one of its new heads, and from the same country as well as a top story on a commerce enabler that aims to bring digitization to a traditional type of minimart that has been around in the country for years. 

With rankings based on Google Analytics for the period of 16th June to 15th July, here are the brands that had you turning with a second look.

Top 5: BTS ambassadorships can boost brand searches by up to 50%, iPrice study shows

Celebrities have undoubtedly been the primary faces of brands, and the new wave of K-pop groups and personalities have just turned to be the novel key to impactfully lift their awareness among consumers. In particular, global superstars BTS; In their multiple stints as global and regional ambassadors, it is no wonder how the latest data from e-commerce aggregator iPrice shows the sheer impact BTS can have on brands when tapping the group as their brand ambassadors.

According to their data, search results for brands can jump up to 50% after signing on BTS as their ambassador, which has long been evident across brands three years ago when the prominence of K-pop brand ambassadors started to materialize.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Isabelle Romualdez, senior content marketing executive at iPrice stated that such affiliation can drive up web traffic of the websites of these brands, which can eventually help drive up their sales online. 

She also added that ‘BTS’ influence is so strong that they create a lot of ‘noise’ on social media.’

Citing the campaign for global fast-food chain McDonald’s, for instance, she notes that in Vietnam, the fast-food chain was able to sell 10,000 BTS Meals in one day, and that in the Philippines, they were able to sell 3.5 million pieces of chicken nuggets on the day of the launch.

The best possible outcome for brands which I think is also how BTS affects them is that their partnership [with them] can increase their sales. BTS fans are really devoted, they really spend on their merch. They spend around US$1,400 for their merch, tickets, and other things. And so for them to line up and spend for a special meal or product, it’s really no big deal for them.

Asked about what smaller brands can do who might not be able to afford to partner K-pop personalities, she states this:

“One of the challenges for these smaller brands is that they can’t afford big brand ambassadors, so they have this responsibility to be creative with their campaigns but they can still achieve as much success if they create creative campaigns. Another way is to create content that interests the K-pop fanbase, [such as] talking about their behavior.”

Top 4: Former Gojek growth leader Crystal Widjaja joins kumu as new chief product officer

Filipino live-streaming platform, kumu, has appointed the former chief of staff and senior vice president of growth at Indonesia’s Gojek, Crystal Widjaja, to now assume the role of chief product officer.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Widjaja to know more about what kumu products she is looking to develop and prioritize.

“We need to start building out products that really do unlock experiences, better than online and offline experiences,” said Widjaja in the interview.

Widjaja shared that the platform will be developing its creator base, building out the best creator tools so that content creators can host game shows, create amazing vlogs, and have fun, among others.

“I think what’s really important is to actually build an enablement platform, where people who want to be a community builder and to engage one another have the tools and [apps] to do that,” she said.

The core of kumu is beyond just a social network for content creators. It really is a social participatory network, and that means we are highly engaging and we allow users to reward one another.

Widjaja will be leveraging her extensive experience in helping startups with growth, data, and strategy, as well as bolstering the platform’s overall product strategy. 

In the same interview, Widjaja bared that building kumu has always been about creating opportunities for people to create their small social spaces and a safe environment, one where they can be themselves with people they admire.

Top 3: KFC turned every Malaysian Kitchen into a KEPCI Kitchen

At the start of the Covid in 2020, fast food brand KFC in Malaysia was faced with a dilemma – how does it maintain its delivery business, when consumers, even despite its initial surge, had easily grown tired of ordering take-out? In trying to find a solution, KFC soon found it was not other QSR brands that were the enemy, but the newfound love of home cooking. 

In partnership with digital creative agency Reprise, KFC released the campaign KEPCI Kitchen based on this insight, and turned the present trend in their favor – building the excitement of Malaysians to repurpose KFC items in their personal recipes, and therefore, turning their kitchen into a KEPCI kitchen. 

Due to a highly engaging integrated campaign which included a dedicated ‘KFC’ cookbook, consistent recipe sharing on Instagram, and also a sponsored cooking show, the campaign soon achieved its target and even more. 

In an exclusive chat with KFC Malaysia’s CEO Chan May Ling and Reprise’s Creative Director Eddy Nazarullah, the two both chalked it up to great teamwork and relationship between the brand and agency. 

“I think the lovely thing about this case study, I think, is the client-agency partnership, and how fast the team reacted because nobody knew how to react during a lockdown,” Chan said.

“[We’re] very close to our agency partner to uncover the insight and to have a common agreement on how we want to build the brand, and how we want to engage, and I think that’s very important in a relationship; and that’s how it sparked,” she added.

I think what’s key is the collaboration between KFC and [Reprise]. It’s the agency and client relationship that’s definitely made this happen. For us to achieve this, it’s definitely something we can’t do alone, and we definitely need the support from the team.

Nazarullah echoing Chan’s statement

Top 2: PH commerce enabler GrowSari secures US$30m funding for operation expansion

Philippine-borne business-to-business commerce enabler GrowSari has announced that the company has secured more than US$30m in funding from various companies and venture capitals, which include Gokongwei-led listed Philippine retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) and JG Digital Equity Ventures, as well as Wavemaker Partners.

Other funding participants include Pavilion Capital, Tencent, Saison Capital, ICCP SBI Venture Partners, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is a member of the World Bank Group.

For GrowSari, said funding will help fuel the company’s vision of tapping into sari-sari stores, the Filipino version of neighborhood mom-and-pop stores, which according to GrowSari, has the potential to be the biggest and most accessible distribution channel in the Philippines through driving efficiencies in route planning while collecting valuable insights on store behavior.

In an interview with MARKETECH APAC, Maimai Punzalan, chief marketing officer at GrowSari stated aside from creating more offerings and establishing bigger suppliers and market supply for their clients, they envision expanding from their current 50,000 store base across 100 municipalities in mainland Luzon to around 300,000 store bases in the next two years.

She also added that as they started GrowSari in the first place, there were two things that they needed to address in order to aid these sari-sari store owners: access to affordable goods and assortment of goods, ranging from dry goods to basic necessities. Such aspirations stem from the company’s observation of the current status quo of these local neighborhood stores in the country.

We recognize that the sari-sari store segment is such, maybe an underserved channel for the Philippines, despite it’s serving [about] 84% of Filipinos [who] would shop in a sari-sari store, and it makes it relevant for all of the Filipinos out there. There are about 1 million sari-sari stores spread across the archipelago. I think what’s tough for them though is despite being so important to the lives of the Filipino people, they’re barely making enough really to keep running their business.

GrowSari outfits Philippine sari-sari store owners with inventory, infrastructure, and tools to manage and grow their business while generating crucial data and market insights for manufacturers and distributors.

Top 1: foodpanda ties up with Unilever to now deliver on-demand ice cream products

For our top story for the month, we have the leading food delivery platform in Asia, foodpanda, and its recent partnership with Unilever. The digital change for all economies continues to accelerate, especially now that new consumers migrate online for shopping due to the pandemic, and with this, quick-commerce – the super fast delivery of anything to customers in under one hour or often much faster – is becoming the standard of service.

Unilever and foodpanda’s team-up is aimed at offering 24/7 on-demand ice cream deliveries through foodpanda shops and pandamart – foodpanda’s cloud grocery network. This move targets to reach a wider customer base via foodpanda’s q-commerce across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Abhishek Sahay, foodpanda’s senior director of new business, said, “We did find speed as one of the customer insights that [really] people want, and it wasn’t just food deliveries but in every aspect of life. They are becoming much more used to on-demand stuff.”

He adds that the intention behind q-commerce is to provide speed and choice for customers.

Aside from delivering a variety of ice cream, the partnership also includes new product launches, bundle deals, and promotional campaigns, as well as optimized digital advertising and customer engagement on the platform, such as strategic placements of digital banners on the platform, the creative use of in-app notifications, and campaigns on social media.

We are no longer just a food delivery company. We are expanding into new verticals. In terms of future plans, we definitely have a long way to go, specifically on quick commerce. And as we think of expansion, we have three different ways. One is we want more and more stores. Secondly, we think of new country expansion, launching in Japan, Cambodia, and Myanmar. And the third is category expansion,” said Sahay, regarding foodpanda’s future plans.

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This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.