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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.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Adtech Criteo partners with MediaDonuts for Vietnam market expansion

Singapore – Adtech Criteo has announced a strategic partnership with advertising and technology company MediaDonuts to expand its market in Vietnam through providing performance marketing solutions among Vietnamese brands.

Through the partnership, Criteo is expanding its services in the country through the Ad Sales Partner Program within MediaDonuts. The said program provides brands with performance marketing solutions which include funnel marketing solutions, aimed at driving profits and sales for retailers and brands. By connecting shoppers to products and services that appeal to them, it delivers performance at scale while working with its Ad Sales Partners. Furthermore, the partnership provides Criteo a unique platform to cover broader market segments in this fast-growing country. 

“This exclusive partnership will help us to expand our coverage in Vietnam. For Criteo, Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing markets in SEA. And shoppers in Vietnam have a variety of choices when it comes to e-commerce platforms, millions of products and services to choose from, and multiple devices to engage with and discover,” said Taranjeet Singh, managing director of Criteo SEA and India.

Pieter-Jan de Kroon, managing partner at MediaDonuts, noted that the Vietnamese internet economy has reached USD14B in gross merchandise value (GMV), and is expected to grow to USD52B by 2025.

“The digital media landscape is evolving fast in Vietnam and we’re seeing a very interesting opportunity, especially in the performance space. Therefore this partnership will be a game-changer for all companies eager to exceed their media and business objectives by implementing sophisticated campaign strategies through the world-class technology developed by Criteo,” de Kroon stated.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia East Asia

Tech platform Foursquare appoints new regional head for SEA, HK operations

Singapore – Location technology platform Foursquare has appointed a new regional head for its Southeast Asia and Hong Kong operations, former head of sales of martech Playground XYZ Tim Castle.

His new role will revolve around working closely with brands, agencies, and advertisers in this region to further the expansion of Foursquare across Southeast Asia, following the company’s recent rebranding stage, and various strategic acquisitions for the past two years, the companies namely Placed and Factual.

Prior to his new role, Castle spanned multiple roles among regional hubs, including in the UK and Australia, where he led new business initiatives at GroupM, AOL, which is now Verizon Media, and most recently at Playground XYZ, where he was responsible for expanding the business’s mobile rich media and measurement solution into new markets across Asia.

“Location services are critical to any enterprise’s technology stack. Foursquare has continued to push the boundaries of what’s possible with location technology with their full range of capabilities to help businesses scale, and create better customer experiences and business outcomes,” Castle said, commenting on his recent appointment.

Castle will report directly to Aditi Kohli, managing director of Foursquare Asia-Pacific.

“Tim’s appointment marks an exciting new step for Foursquare in the region. As we continue to gain momentum with our innovative enterprise products and proprietary location technology and data, we will deeply benefit from Tim’s years of expertise in driving new business growth across multiple markets,” Kohli stated.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s ‘Eve’s Drop’ podcast producer afoot on SEA expansion after US$750k seed funding

Manila, Philippines – Podcast Network Asia (PNA), a Philippine-based media and technology company, has recently concluded its seed funding round, valued at around US$750k.

The funding round has seen participation from Lisa Gokongwei, president of Summit Publications, multi-focus venture capital firm Foxmont Capital, and Jakarta-based VC firm Venturra Discovery, as well as Filipino live-streaming platform Kumu.

Commenting on her participation, Gokongwei said, “I think podcasting is still in the early stages of growth in the country, and that PNA has put a stake in the ground ahead with a scalable business model. The team knows the industry well and they are quite passionate.”

Funds collected from the investment round will be used to expand the company’s presence in the Southeast Asia region, particularly in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Since its establishment in August 2019, PNA has helped podcast creators have access to production support and monetization opportunities. Over the course of the pandemic, PNA has since grown its roster to 93 shows. With four Spotify-exclusive shows, PNA is also home to the top podcasts in the Philippines, including ‘Boiling Waters’, ‘Eve’s Drop’, ‘Kool Pals’, and ‘Walwal Sesh’.

For Ron Baetiong, CEO and co-founder of Podcast Network Asia, podcasting is already entering its ‘golden age’, as statistics from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and consulting firm PwC, podcast advertising has grown exponentially along with the increase of podcast shows which is estimated to be at 1M. From 2015 to 2020, podcast ad revenue grew exponentially from US$69M to US$659M and is forecasted to reach a value of US$1B in 2021.

“We are very excited with what this investment allows us to do – with the Philippines as the sixth fastest-growing country in terms of listenership plus our own listenership, which already stands at 10M; we can scale up and continue the momentum we’ve built in the Philippine podcasting industry and replicate it across the region,” Baetiong said.

PNA will also leverage its data analytics and ad marketplace platform Podmetrics.co, which allows monetization opportunities to the global podcast market. With the new funding, PNA hopes to grow its client network, which currently has 415 podcasts signed to Podmetrics. 

As the client numbers of Podmetrics Marketplace, a feature within the Podmetrics.co platform, is slated to grow, users will now be able to take advantage of viewing total podcast analytics, applying to affiliate marketing campaigns, brand collaboration for episode sponsorships, and viewing campaign impressions, conversions, and other podcast metrics.

“Podcasting is still in its nascent stage in Southeast Asia. When we look at top-charting podcasts, [a] majority of them launched within the past year. The industry has strong momentum, as audio streaming platforms are doubling down on this segment. We believe we can empower creators to improve and commercialize their content through data analytics and production support,” said Raditya Pramanay, partner at Venturra Discovery

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

New survey shows Philippines among highest in online piracy in Southeast Asia

Manila, Philippines – In a new study about the online content viewing behavior of Filipinos, it was found that 49% of Filipinos online admit to using streaming piracy websites or torrent sites. The results also showed that the numbers spike to about 53% within the 25-34 age demographic.

Commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov, the survey found that out of the 49% who do use streaming piracy websites or torrent sites, 47% of consumers who accessed them have cancelled their subscriptions to both local and international content services.

In comparison to neighboring countries Malaysia and Indonesia, who have seen a decline in online piracy over the past year, online piracy in the Philippines is rising. Indonesia’s YouGov survey showed a 55% reduction in Indonesians accessing piracy services while Malaysia’s found a 64% decline. 

This decline in both Malaysia and Indonesia is due to the government’s proactive piracy site blocking initiatives which has helped in the reduction of online piracy. 

Currently, the Philippine government is looking into doing the same. A bill before the Philippine Senate (Bill #497) entitled the ‘Online Infringement Act’ proposes a regulatory site blocking mechanism which would empower the authorities to ensure that ISPs take “reasonable steps to disable access to sites whenever these sites are reported to be infringing copyright or facilitating copyright infringement.”

The survey results showed that the majority of Filipinos think that these initiatives will deter the rise in online piracy with 53% of them agreeing that a “government order or law for ISPs to block piracy websites” would be the most effective.

According to Atty Teodoro Pascua, Deputy Director General, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), Filipino consumers should not patronize pirated content because of its risks and consequences. 

“The wide variety of legal services in the Philippines which provide premium entertainment content are reliable and importantly are legal. The piracy alternatives fund crime groups, put consumers at risk of malware infection and are unreliable. Piracy only benefits the criminal organizations who are behind these illegal websites.”

Neil Gane, the General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) also commented, encouraging the legal consumption of content.

“We are confident that Indonesia and Malaysia will rise to become market leaders in video IP protection in the region, as a result of their site-blocking strategies. We are also confident that other countries in Asia, such as the Philippines, will take note and follow suit, boosting the growth of legal consumption of Filipino and international content.”

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Platforms Southeast Asia

Opportunities and challenges for Vietnam game industry post-COVID-19 era

HANOI, Vietnam — According to recent statistics from App Annie, an app data and analysis services platform, during the first 11 weeks of 2020, the number of mobile game app downloads before and after the 2020 Tet holiday in Vietnam increased by 40%. This is in contrast with the statistics from 2019, in which the number of downloads did not show any upward trend in the same period.

The impact of COVID-19 on the gaming industry

Recent research from Adsota shows that before the COVID-19 outbreak, gaming was projected to grow strongly this year with the number of active players expected to rise from 51% in 2018 to 71% in 2019. Another noticeable trend is how the increase in terms of graphics quality and user experience has become a key factor in expanding the gaming market during the last few years, especially in 2019.

In 2020, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has led to social distancing and quarantine policies being applied in many countries including Vietnam. The daily lives of consumers are going through massive changes with most activities taking place at home. Gaming suddenly became a safe and cost-effective means of entertainment. Along with social media, gaming has also become a perfect solution to keep everyone entertained and connected as the outside world has no longer been capable of doing so.

In addition, a variety of game genres available in Vietnam has brought about a diverse experience to players which have kept them from becoming bored even when staying at home for a long time. This very reason is an important factor for the significant increase in the number of players and the amount of time they spend playing games during the COVID-19 era.

Overall, the gaming industry has been a bright spot even in the worst periods of the pandemic. However, challenges remain for game publishers. “The global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has caused temporary suspensions from production partners from China, Korea, and Japan. Therefore, many projects from domestic publishers are unable to release as planned. Even on-air products are affected due to delays in technical support, while new products being postponed make companies unable to generate revenues for other activities such as marketing and communications,” stated Ms. Trang Vu, COO of GAMOTA.

Opportunities remain for Vietnamese Game Publishers

There are still more upsides for game publishers in Vietnam during the impact of COVID-19. The amount of new releases in the first quarter of 2020 has been slightly less than that of 2019. However, 2020 still has many potential opportunities to grow for the gaming industry especially when an increasing number of global players are entering the market and actively looking for credible local partners to release highly invested game products.

In the post-pandemic period, the market has seen the appearances of various new products in different genres such as Call of Duty, Vo Lam Truyen Ky 2, The Gioi Hoan My, Tuyet Dai Song Tu, Vua Bong Da 2020, Tuyet Dinh Tam Quoc Mobile, Ngao Kiem 3D, etc.

“Follow-up” services can also expect an upward trend along with new products being released. Live streaming is a favorite activity in which game streamers play the same roles as influencers. Recently Nam Blue, a streamer from OTA Network, set a record of 137,000 concurrent views with the number of followers on his channels reaching 2,000,000. To date, Nam Blue is the only streamer to have reached this record on Facebook Gaming.

“Basically, gaming is an industry that might be less affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared with other businesses. Recent market reports also show that the number of players in Vietnam went up by 30% after the emergence of COVID-19. As other means of entertainment, such as movies, sports, and outdoor entertainment, are only being re-open recently with careful health measures, gaming remains a safe means of entertainment, so overall revenue of the industry is rising steadily, though not too much because incomes of consumers are not yet fully recovered due to the outbreak impact on the economic,”  Ms. Trang Vu – GAMOTA’s CEO stated.

Nevertheless, the ability to capitalize on opportunities in the market after the peak of COVID-19 is going to depend on the publishers themselves. Building a large and loyal community of gamers is the stepping stone for domestic players. Product development in terms of both quality and quantity is going to help game publishers in Vietnam make the leap in the final half of 2020. The gaming industry will expect to have continuous but steady growth after the COVID-19 period.

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Technology Southeast Asia

Qualtrics launches XM Institute for XM Community

Singapore — Qualtrics, creator of the experience management (XM) category, has announced the Qualtrics XM Institute. A community and resource destination for XM professionals, practitioners, and leaders.

Bruce Temkin, the founder of the Temkin Group, former VP at Forrester Research, and one of the earliest customer experience visionaries, led the launch of the XM Institute.

It offers members around the world the opportunity to learn and share XM best practices. This includes thought leadership insights, networking opportunities, specialized training, curriculum, and more. 

As Qualtrics launches XM Institute, it provides members with resources for professionals along their XM journey. Often, it starts with a customer or employee experience program. The XM Institute provides guidance and resources to help members create and deliver differentiated experiences for their target audiences. The four core experiences of XM include: customer, employee, product, and brand.

Membership to the XM Institute is FREE.

“The insights and guidance provided by the XM Institute have been instrumental in guiding CenturyLink on how to deliver exceptional customer experiences.,” said Karen Russell, Director, Voice of the Customer, Experience Analytics, and Insights at CenturyLink. “Many of the reports they publish such as the CX Maturity Assessment, Market Research insights, and the XM Operating Framework have directly influenced our XM governance process that has positively affected our business.”

“The XM Institute was created based on one core belief… experience matters! The success of any organization is based on how effectively it interacts with people, whether it’s customers, employees, students, patients, citizens, suppliers, or partners,” said Bruce Temkin, Head of the XM Institute, Qualtrics. “Our team of experts helps organizations build the capabilities to continuously learn what their key stakeholders are thinking and feeling, propagate those insights to the right people in the right form at the right time, and rapidly adapt to those market signals. Experience Management isn’t about doing this once or twice. Instead, we help organizations embed XM as a discipline that’s woven across their operating fabrics.”

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Marketing Southeast Asia

Health communications firm SPAG opens new offices in SEA

Singapore – Health communications firm, SPAG, announced new job hires, business expansion in newer markets and fortified partnerships with life sciences and health-focussed companies in the region, further strengthening their position as a leader in health communications. 

“We believe in the immense potential that dynamic Asia Pacific holds and will continue to tap into the business opportunities and creative talents in the region. Our regional expansion is not only pivotal to our continued success and resilience as an organization, but also helps to create more jobs for local talents at a time where job uncertainty is high,” said Priyanka Bajpai, Regional Head, SPAG (pictured)

“Our focus is towards our employees’ welfare as well as developing strong relationships with our client partners which include both start-ups as well as global organizations, to deliver valuable impact on their businesses.”, Bajpai added.

SPAG has hired three communications and creative specialists within the Singapore team to meet the burgeoning demand for integrated communications support from health, nutrition, pharma and life sciences clients in the region. These specialists bring with them a wealth of experience from the healthcare communications, science communications and media relations sectors, to build SPAG’s capabilities and address client needs. 

As part of its business strategy, the firm has also launched offices and added teams in four additional markets – Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines and Thailand – to further cement its presence, fortify its influential network and build its in-depth knowledge of local markets in the region. In tandem, SPAG has strengthened and fostered partnerships with new clients to lead and execute impactful projects focused on health and life sciences. 

Commenting on the expansion, Aman Gupta, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, SPAG, expressed, “As Asia Pacific prepares for unprecedented change, health communications is all the more vital in helping organizations get through the damaging effects of the outbreak, retain trust amongst their employees and with industry partners, as well as protect their brands and reputation. This regional expansion is a testament to our commitment to our clients, partners and the industry as we work together to adapt to this new normal while continuing to drive impact, spearhead conversations and influence perceptions.” 

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Main Feature Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Kantar releases top FMCG brands chosen by Indonesian consumers

Jakarta, Indonesia — Kantar Indonesia, Worldpanel Division announces the launch of the 2020 Indonesia Urban Brand Footprint Ranking. Brand Footprint is an annual study by Kantar that measures which brands are the most chosen ones by consumers. Brand Footprint covers FMCG sectors, e.g. food, beverages, home care, dairy, health and beauty products. Indonesia Urban ranking covers 85% of total Urban households and represents 30 million within the urban areas of Indonesia.

“Opportunities for brands to grow is there; however, brands cannot afford to expect growth to happen organically. Brands will still need to ensure that they remain relevant to the consumer and earn their growth”.

Venu Madhav, General Manager of Kantar Indonesia, Worldpanel Division

Key findings of Brand Footprint Indonesia Urban:

  • Local brands manage to establish a stronger presence, where 4 of the top 5 brands are coming from local manufacturers. Local players’ ability to adapt fast to the latest consumer trends enable them to be more productive in launching new innovations to the local market.
  • Food category dominates the top 10 rankings, while top players from household products, beverage, personal care and dairy also manage to secure several positions as well.
  • Instant noodle is the most chosen category in Indonesia Urban. It has become a significant part of the Indonesian community’s daily life. Aside from the familiar taste, affordable price and vast nationwide distribution, also makes instant noodle an all-Indonesian favourite.
  • Indomie continues to be the number one chosen FMCG brand by consumers in 2019 with 7% Consumer Reach Point (CRP) growth. Almost all Indonesian Urban households have purchased this brand around 3 – 4 times a month. Indomie also holds a strong presence on the global level, in the 9th position in Global Brand Footprint 2019 ranking. It is also the only Asian brand among the Global Top 10 brands.
  • So Klin comes next – holding the second position in the list. Strong penetration and continuous innovations to offer new benefits become the primary factors for the brand to become the most chosen Home Care brand in Indonesia Urban.
  • Kapal Api keeps up its number 3 spot in the Brand Footprint. Kapal Api continues to establish its dominance to stay ahead of the market and be number one in the beverage sector by maintaining a large buyer base.
  • Royco is securing the 4th position within the top 10 brands through its large buyer base, making it as the most chosen food additive brand in Indonesia Urban.
  • Playing in several categories is one of the key levers that many players do, Indofood (6th), Frisian flag (7th) and Lifebuoy (8th) manages their positions in the top 10 by playing in several categories that help them to have strong brand awareness.
  • Downy and Sunlight are rising and successfully entering the top 10 list this year. They innovate new products with new benefits and are well received by consumers

“Brands need to engineer and fight the growth. For any brand, the best way to find new shoppers is to pull on as many strategic levers for growth as possible. It can be increasing buyer base through attracting non buyers, more geographic location, creating more categories and encourage shoppers to purchase more frequently.”

Fanny Murhayati, Marketing Director of Kantar Indonesia

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Main Feature Marketing Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

P&G and Shopee drive sales at the first-ever experiential online initiative

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  — Shopee and Procter & Gamble achieved strong performance for their first-ever experiential online initiative, Show Me My Home. The initiative recorded more than 15x increase in orders at peak day, and it is a key activation under the recently signed regional Joint Business Plan (JBP) between Shopee and P&G. The JBP marks a joint commitment between Shopee and P&G to improve the online shopping experience for users across the region, and to provide convenient and easy access to quality FMCG products on Shopee.  

Chris Feng (pictured right), CEO at Shopee, said, 

“As we transit into the new normal, e-commerce has taken on greater importance in people’s lives.” 

“Consumers are increasingly going online to fulfil their everyday needs, and it is important for businesses to remain agile and adapt quickly. The success of P&G’s online debut of the Show Me My Home initiative on Shopee is proof of that. By merging P&G’s portfolio of leading FMCG brands and retail expertise with Shopee’s wealth of insights on online shoppers’ behaviour and preferences, it allowed us to deliver a novel, experiential online home shopping experience for consumers across the region. This success has inspired us to continue innovating to provide the best for our users, and we are excited to work closely with P&G going forward, he added”

Shoppers enjoyed greater convenience with Show Me My Home

The Show Me My Home initiative was initially an offline concept which was well-received among both consumers and retailers. With a shared vision to serve the region’s increasingly savvy digital consumers at scale, P&G leveraged Shopee’s technology expertise and insights on online shoppers to optimize and scale the experience online. The Show Me My Home initiative offered greater convenience as shoppers could easily find what they needed as the microsite simulated the household environment. This novel way of shopping online successfully captured shoppers’ attention with an overall increase in traffic for P&G.  

Fostering meaningful connections with Shopee’s in-app engagement features 

As people spend more time online, brands are also increasingly finding new ways to interact and engage with their consumers. As part of the Show Me My Home initiative, P&G leveraged Shopee’s engagement features to foster deeper and meaningful connections with their consumers.

  • Shopee Live: P&G tapped on Shopee Live to engage consumers with a special series of live streams featuring popular local celebrities. The biggest stars, including Yuna, Iman Azman and Preston Kaw shared with fans and Shopee users their favourite P&G products, as well as provided tips on how to use them.
  • Shopee Throw: Users visited Shopee daily to play Shopee Throw, an in-app game where users can win exclusive P&G vouchers and prizes by throwing arrows onto a target on the Shopee app. The game was played over 600,000 times in 5 days, offering added entertainment and value to consumers while they shopped for their favourite P&G brands.      

Show Me My Home marks the first of many initiatives under the recent regional JBP between Shopee and P&G. The JBP aims to better serve and capture the hearts of online shoppers in the region by providing a seamless access to P&G’s wide range of leading brands and products. This agreement will see P&G broadening its multi-brand portfolio offerings on Shopee and tapping on Shopee’s big data analytics capability to provide a personalised customer journey via precise marketing. 

“At P&G, we are continually trying new ways to personalize and engage our consumers, be it offline or online. The encouraging results we have achieved from this campaign proves the partnership with Shopee to be very successful as we managed to engage more meaningfully with our consumers on digital platforms. We look forward to evolving with the customer as we work closely with Shopee to execute future innovations online, serving more regions and value-adding to digital transactions,” said Shankar Viswanathan (pictured left), Vice President, E-Commerce, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.