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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Universal Studios Singapore breaks ground on latest ‘Minion Land’ venture

Singapore — The iconic character of Illumination is coming to Singapore with the creation of Minion Land, Universal Studios Singapore’s latest offering that is slated to open in 2024. The new venture broke ground at a ceremony graced by Alvin Tan, minister of state for trade and industry, culture, community and youth of Singapore.

The mischievous Minions joined in the celebration with their team of builders. Their dance performances, along with dramatic effects at the event, provided fun and entertainment to more than 120 guests from Singapore’s tourism sector who partook in the start of a new and exciting chapter for Universal Studios Singapore. The celebratory occasion signalled Resorts World Sentosa’s commitment to work with industry partners to prepare for the revival of travel to Singapore.

As one of the key components of Resorts World Sentosa’s (RWS) expansion plan RWS 2.0, Minion Land will strengthen Universal Studios Singapore’s offerings and is anticipated to be a popular draw for both local visitors and overseas tourists. With Universal Studios Singapore consistently rated as one of Singapore’s top attractions, Minion Land is set to lead Singapore’s post-pandemic tourism recovery when it opens.

The attraction will feature an exciting variety of rides, themed shops and restaurants, geared to entertain all audiences. Among the multiple rides available will be the world’s first original ride exclusive to Universal Studios Singapore. Additionally, there’s a Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, an immersive motion-simulator 3D ride where guests join Gru’s family for an unpredictable experience as they are transformed into Minions. Guests can also look forward to delectable Minion-themed treats and shopping for trendy Minions merchandise.

Besides enjoying the highly immersive entertainment in Minion Land, guests will also be part of a sustainable experience come 2024. In line with Singapore’s push for sustainable tourism, Universal Studios Singapore aims to attain the Zero Energy Building certification from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) when Minion Land opens. The zone will be powered by renewable energy and utilise a smart energy system. This is part of wider efforts to transform RWS into a sustainable tourism destination.

On the new venture, Tan, said, “I am very optimistic that with the easing of restrictions and the opening of travel, there will soon be more people coming into Resorts World Sentosa, to USS, and to Minion Land when it opens in 2024.”

Meanwhile, Tan Hee Teck, CEO of Resorts World Sentosa, said, “We are excited to break ground on Universal Studios Singapore’s newest themed zone, Minion Land. Even as we embark on our expansion plans, Resorts World Sentosa stays committed to ensuring that our developments are sustainable and in sync with Singapore’s larger sustainable tourism goals.”

In celebration of the upcoming release of Illumination’s latest movie, Minions 2: The Rise of Gru, Universal Studios Singapore’s Groovy Summer extravaganza was also launched following the groundbreaking ceremony to experience the timeline where the movie was set in and other fun attractions.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Amplitude launches Amplitude Analytics to expand insights deeper into marketing metrics

Singapore – Digital optimization software Amplitude, Inc, announced new campaign reporting tools with self-service insights into digital marketing investments. 

With the use of Amplitude Analytics, marketing and product teams can measure campaign and channel performance alongside downstream product metrics like user engagement and retention. Campaign reporting gives teams unprecedented visibility into metrics across the entire funnel, all in a single system. Additional new features include outcome-focused Metrics and Data Tables that empower teams to discover how their marketing programs and product usage meaningfully affect key business outcomes such as sales and revenue. Together, these tools empower cross-functional teams to quickly close the insights-to-action loop and make better business decisions.

Traditionally, there’s been a disconnect between product and campaign data. Organisations leverage product analytics for visibility into customer behaviours and product changes, but struggle to connect marketing performance metrics like attributing user growth to specific channels. According to Gartner, “digital analytics markets are colliding and converging as vendors blur the lines between categories such as product analytics and digital experience analytics (DXA) and branch into adjacent markets such as customer journey analytics.” 

Justin Bauer, chief product officer at Amplitude, said, “With these customer needs in mind, we’re doubling down on digital analytics and investing in new tools that will provide holistic product insights faster. The introduction of campaign reporting, outcome metrics, and data tables make it easier for teams to consolidate their analytics solutions while expanding the types of metrics they can track across the end-to-end customer journey.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Teads announces strategic partnership with Singapore Media Exchange

Singapore – Global media platform Teads has announced a strategic partnership with the Singapore Media Exchange (SMX). Said deal gives Teads access to one of Singapore’s biggest media houses that comprises two of Singapore’s media giants- Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings.

As a part of this partnership, SMX brings leading news titles such as Channel News Asia and The Straits Times, as well luxury and lifestyle sites including Her World, ICON and HardwareZone catering to technology fans amongst their 25 sites for Teads to deliver ad formats in video and display inread, Teads flagship ad format, including ‘inRead Smart’ and ‘Smart6’ – a viewable video format for high engagement in brand safe, premium environments.

In addition, this strategic partnership will enable SMX to leverage Teads’ array of monetisation solutions across devices and formats, with a reach to digital consumers across Singapore with quality content and impactful ad solutions for greater audience engagement.

Julian Fernando, VP publisher solutions for Teads in APAC, said, “The advantage of Teads being a preferred partner with a powerhouse media company like SMX who represent leading brands like CNA, SPH, Business Times and premium SPH magazines is it gives us access to audience scale (reach) in brand safe environments. Team SMX are knowledgeable, collaborative and always eager to go beyond the brief, we are proud and excited to grow our partnership with them.”

Meanwhile, Michael Chng, general manager at SMX, commented, “Teads has been a partner of SMX since the very beginning when we started operations in 2018. Through various market challenges we’ve faced over the last 4 years, Teads has remained consistent in their commitment to our partnership. SMX is proud to have a steadfast partner in Teads, and I’m confident our collaboration will strengthen further in the years ahead.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

foodpanda launches new meal donation feature in Asia

Singapore – As part of foodpanda’s efforts in supporting the fight against global hunger, the delivery platform has launched its new meal donation initiative in Asia. With a new micro-donation feature built into the foodpanda app, customers can now easily donate to those in need by selecting the ‘Donate’ button after checking out orders.

The feature will go live in Malaysia and Singapore this week, ahead of World Hunger Day on 28 May 2022. Beneficiaries of foodpanda’s meal donation initiative will vary by market. In Malaysia, foodpanda and ShareTheMeal have been working closely together to make it easy for customers to give back to their communities. ShareTheMeal is a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) initiative and app through which people are encouraged to make meal donations to help feed hungry families around the world. 

The donation function integrated into the foodpanda app allows for a seamless donation process for customers. All donations via the foodpanda app will be channelled to WFP’s food assistance projects and emergency programmes across SEA. Malaysians now have the option to donate between RM2.50 to RM17.50 to feed a child for up to seven days.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, foodpanda will collaborate with The Food Bank Singapore (FBSG). Customers in Singapore can choose to donate one, two, or three meals – at a rate of SG$2 per meal – that will go towards funding meals for FBSG beneficiaries. 

For interested users, The ‘Donate a Meal/ Share the Meal’ tab will be displayed on the order tracking page, and upon clicking it, they will be shown the donation options available. Once a user selects their donation, they will be directed to the payment page, and when the donation is confirmed, the user will be returned to the order tracking page.

foodpanda said that this meal donation initiative is an extension of the global partnership launched by parent company Delivery Hero SE with the WFP in September 2020, with the goal for Delivery Hero to donate 10 million meals globally by the end of 2022. 

Jakob Sebastian Angele, foodpanda’s CEO, said, “Food and groceries are at the core of our business, so we need to make food accessible to as many people as possible. By integrating meal donations onto our platform, we are encouraging our riders, merchants and customers to give back to society through using everyday technologies.” 

Elsewhere in Asia, foodpanda is also an active participant in programmes that address hunger and tackle food insecurity and wastage. In Singapore, foodpanda partners with OLIO to redistribute surplus food from pandamarts, while in Bangladesh, foodpanda partners with the Bidyanodo Foundation, donating unsold fresh produce from pandamarts and food from cancelled orders to vulnerable communities. Moreover, in Hong Kong, foodpanda has introduced a ‘Less Rice/Noodles’ option to decrease food waste.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singapore’s first Peanuts-themed snow house to come to Changi Airport this June

Singapore – As kids step into vacation mode, Changi Airport in Singapore is making the most out of the holidays by bringing Snoopy and friends to kids through an exciting and one-of-a-kind snow house. Winter arrives early at Changi Airport with a double-storey snow house at Terminal 3 (T3) where guests can take snow luge rides, zip down a snow slide, dig mini trenches with snow excavators and watch snowfall with an enchanting light and sound show.

Opening from 27 May to 11 July, the snow house is filled with recreational activities that let kids recreate winter memories. For one, the peanuts-themed destination comes with a mini snow slide that is complete with a snow luge. The house also features a snow digger site where guests can dig mini snow trenches. 

Moreover, guests can experience sub-zero temperatures at the snow pit and have a “magical time” watching snow float down the 7-metres-tall Peanuts Snow Hangout in a 1 to 2-minutes enchanting light and sound show.

One of the main attractions is the life-sized ice sculpture of Charlie Brown, hand-carved by local artist Jeffrey Ng, who has won numerous awards across his over 30 years of experience sculpting ice worldwide. 

Phau Hui Hoon, GM of Changi Airport Group for Landside Concessions, said, “Changi Airport is always on the lookout to delight our visitors and travellers in novel ways, whether it is through curating new activities and experiences or bringing in new retail and dining brands. This June, Changi welcomes the well-loved Charlie Brown and Peanuts gang to Changi Airport for the first time. The multiple facets of Charlie Brown’s character have resonated with fans over several decades and we also see this as a good chance for parents to reminisce their childhood memories with their children.”

Five Peanuts-themed photo spots are, in fact, situated across T3 including a 5-metres-tall topiary featuring Snoopy and his best pal Woodstock on a large-moving skateboard. According to the airport, the massive 350kg structure is made of over 2,500 hydrangeas and pom poms that took over two months to put together.

Those that are interested to experience the snow house can book their slots on the iChangi app from 20 May 2022. Peanuts Snow Hangout runs daily from 11 am to 10 pm from 27 May – 26 June, 1-3 July, and 8-11 July 2022. 

Aside from the new snow house, the airport revealed that it will also be launching 3 new F&B destinations in June; namely Husk Nasi Lemak, Matchaya, and Flash Coffee.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Redhill appointed as SO Sofitel Hua Hin’s PR agency in Singapore

Singapore – Full-service global communications agency Redhill has been appointed as the lead public relations (PR) agency for SO Sofitel Hua Hin in Singapore. This remit is SO Sofitel Hua Hin’s first partnership post-pandemic as Thailand reopens its doors to international visitors.

As part of the remit, Redhill will be working with SO Sofitel Hua Hin to raise awareness of the resort and boost its reputation with a scope that covers PR counsel, media, and influencer engagement, as well as media monitoring and analysis. 

Shubham Chandra, SO Sofitel Hua Hin’s cluster general manager, commented that they are delighted to have Redhill on board to support SO Sofitel Hua Hin as they open the doors to visitors from around the world.

“We are proud to partner with an agency that has deep expertise in the hospitality sector in Singapore, and one that truly understands our commitment to bringing unique, personalised and authentic lifestyle experiences to guests,” said Chandra.

Meanwhile, Marienelle Castelino, Redhill’s managing director, said, “We are honoured to be working with a high-end, fashion-led lifestyle brand like SO Sofitel Hua Hin. We look forward to a meaningful partnership and positioning SO Sofitel Hua Hin as a perfect destination for travellers who want fashionable and social luxury experiences.”

In April 2022, Redhill has officially launched Redhill Studio, a specialist division offering services for the designing of creative assets and web development. At the same time, the agency has also welcomed Aditya Menon as the division’s business director. He will spearhead the division and enhance Redhill’s broad range of services.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Comms consultancy RICE unveils slew of new partners

Singapore – Strategic communications consultancy, RICE, has added five new partners to its business. The new partners include Neil Mirano as director of client services; Donna Garcia as director and general manager for Myanmar; Mayda Jutahkiti is appointed to the position of general manager for Singapore; meanwhile, Agung S. Ongko is named as the director of strategy and insights; and Chai Zixin is appointed as the director for growth.

The long-term senior employees join Sonya Madeira, founder of RICE, and James Brasher, managing partner of RICE, as owners of the firm.

On the slew of new partners, Brasher commented, “Each of the new partners has been instrumental in building RICE into what it is today. We’re fortunate to have such exceptional people focused on the success of clients, and the team, every step of the way.”

He adds, “Ever since Sonya founded RICE, people have been at the heart of the business. A big part of that is recognising the sacrifice and contribution they’ve made. These five promotions are a significant step in expanding the ownership of the business as we enter our next phase of growth.”

RICE is a team of over 50 people across Asia, with offices in Singapore, Myanmar, and Hong Kong. Recently, RICE bagged tech firms UiPath and AI Rudder as new accounts.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

STB partners with Traveloka, Trans Digital Media to welcome Indonesian travellers in SG

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with Traveloka and Trans Digital Media to welcome Indonesian travellers in Singapore as part of its ‘SingapoReimagine’ recovery campaign.

To drive visitation, STB has undertaken these two Memoranda of Cooperation (MoC), which is their first key lifestyle and travel partnerships inked in Indonesia since the pandemic, to position Singapore as the holiday destination of choice with great offers following the city’s reopening to fully-vaccinated visitors with no quarantine and testing requirements under the Vaccinated Travel Framework.

In addition, STB has partnered with three Indonesian celebrities; Sarah Sechan, Marissa Nasution dan Denada Tambunan to showcase a different side of what the city has to offer, from exciting new attractions and novel dining concepts to wellness retreats and sustainable experiences for its 3-part SingapoReimagine video series.

John Conceicao, executive director Southeast Asia, of the Singapore Tourism Board, said, “With the strong rebound in the Indonesia market in recent months as a result of quarantine-free and test-free travel for the fully vaccinated, we are doubling down on our SingapoReimagine recovery campaign to maintain top-of-mind awareness and recapture mindshare amongst our target audiences. Through our partnerships with Traveloka and Trans Digital Media we hope to entice Indonesian travellers with a wide range of curated tactical offers such as flight and hotel packages and other lifestyle offerings to drive and sustain visitorship through to next year.”

The partnership with Traveloka will drive interest to a wider target audience and provide an easier booking experience for Singapore offerings across five markets in the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. STB Indonesia had previously partnered with Traveloka in 2019 before the pandemic, and with the improving travel situation regionally, this partnership is timely to reignite the pent-up travel demand and sustain the recovery momentum.

Shirley Lesmana, chief marketing officer at Traveloka, commented, “We are very excited to partner up with STB to offer many of Singapore’s reimagined experiences through our all-encompassing superapp. Before the pandemic, Singapore was consistently amongst the top 3 tourist destinations for Indonesians, and we are hoping that this partnership will continue the momentum, revitalising the wanderlust in Indonesians to travel to Singapore.”

Meanwhile, STB hopes its first of its kind partnership with the Trans Digital Media group will help to drive demand and actual bookings for leisure travel to Singapore. The partnership with Trans Digital Media will see AntaVaya – one of Indonesia’s largest travel agencies, creating new Singapore products supported by exclusive Bank Mega deals and promoted throughout their media and retail outlets nationally.

Abdul Aziz, president director at Trans Digital Media, said “We believe that people are eager to start travelling again as the global situation continues to improve and allows for safer travel. We are truly excited about the collaboration with STB to strengthen the appeal of its tourism offerings to the Indonesian market. With this partnership, we hope to be able to support Singapore’s tourism recovery to emerge even stronger than before.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

DWG launches the Smiles Remittance app in SG to assist foreign workers

Singapore — IT and fintech company Digital Wallet Group (DWG) has launched the Smiles Remittance application in Singapore. Its subsidiary, Digital Wallet Singapore, will manage the operations with local partner bank CIMB Bank Singapore. The initial outbound remittance corridors from Singapore are the Philippines and Indonesia, with other countries expected to be added by 2023.

Created by DWG’s subsidiary, Digital Wallet Corporation, Smiles is Japan’s first mobile remittance service providing a convenient and user-friendly mobile experience, low remittance fees, and 24/7 accessibility. The mobile app offers a simple, fast and transparent, six-step in-app remittance process. It also provides a range of payout options, including bank credits and cash pickup in thousands of locations globally. Besides English, Smiles offers language options in Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia, with Vietnamese and Spanish in the pipeline.

Eiji Miyakawa, founder and CEO of Digital Wallet Group, said, “Our purpose is to support foreign workers and ensure the lifeline to their families is timely and convenient by providing a secure, round-the-clock mobile remittance channel. We are confident that the extension of our Smiles network to Singapore will benefit the foreign worker community and further support our continued expansion across the Asia Pacific.”

On April 16 2022, the Philippine ambassador to Singapore, H.E. Joseph del Mar Yap, graced the opening of the Smiles Studio. He also met with selected foreign workers in Singapore who were recognized for their long-term support of families back home. The personal stories behind these long-time overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) exemplify the spirit of Smiles’ ‘Pride of OFW’ campaign, a platform for personal stories of challenges and triumphs shared by OFWs.

The global pandemic has impacted the cross-border movement of foreign workers severely affecting in-bound chances during their off days when they usually visit over-the-counter remittance services. However, mobile remittance applications like Smiles enable foreign workers to overcome such challenges and have full access to financial services to support families at home.

Roland Pagdanganan, MD of Digital Wallet Singapore, shared, “With the launch of Smiles in Singapore, I would like foreign workers to experience our innovative mobile remittance service, where the customer experience, service delivery, and community support are in our DNA. Additionally, a portion of our Singapore revenue will go towards Smiles donation campaigns to help organizations for disaster and humanitarian relief.”

The introduction of the Smiles app in Singapore follows and complements DWG’s acquisition of RediMoney Express in August 2021, commencing the conversion process of its retail and app assets to Smiles.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Basketball star Jeremy Lin launched as LingoAce’s first global brand ambassador

Singapore – Singapore-based education technology company and language learning platform for K12 students, LingoAce, has appointed Jeremy Lin, Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, and founder of the Jeremy Lin Foundation, as its first-ever global brand ambassador. 

As part of this ambassadorship, Lin will be collaborating with LingoAce to promote language learning and cross-cultural understanding through education technology. 

Lin knows firsthand the struggles of having to learn a second language – growing up in the United States, with a family living in Asia, he learned Chinese as a child through traditional experiences. Through working with LingoAce, Lin recognises the value of applying technology to create immersive learning experiences and wants to help more children learn languages in this manner. 

The announcement was made last week during Lin’s fireside chat at The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) Partner Summit in Washington D.C. During the chat, he discussed the upcoming documentary about the Linsanity phenomenon 10 years ago, 38 at the Garden. LingoAce will be partnering with TAAF to promote and bring awareness to the film.

Lin shared that growing up and playing basketball in California, he personally knew many kids that had to navigate through inequities in terms of access to education. 

“I am proud to be partnering with LingoAce to help children across the globe from all backgrounds to be open to new cultures and languages, perspectives and wisdom, friendship and connections, as well as futures and possibilities,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Hugh Yao, LingoAce’s CEO and founder, noted that Lin’s personal story, passion for education and bridging cultures, as well as his impact on society, make him the most ideal brand ambassador for LingoAce.

“We’re proud to partner with Jeremy who has shattered entrenched stereotypes through hard work, compassion, and no small amount of grit. We hope our global students learn from his example and aspire to dream like Jeremy,” said Yao.