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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singapore Airlines launches new global campaign, reignites excitement of ‘flying again’

Singapore – With borders reopening across the world, Singapore Airlines (SIA), the flag carrier airline of Singapore, has launched a new global campaign, which is its first since the beginning of the pandemic, marking a significant step forward for the airline industry’s path to recovery.

Created in collaboration with creative agency TBWA\Singapore, the new campaign aims to capture the ‘freedom’ and ‘weightlessness’ of being able to finally travel again, encouraging people to turn their anticipation into action.

Titled ‘Look forward to flying again with Singapore Airlines’, the campaign features travelers literally floating through their day, leading up to their first flight out with SIA, from the moment they wake up to traveling to the airport and boarding the plane. 

In order to capture an authentic flying experience on camera, the airline shared that its team worked alongside a professional stunt crew who are masters in coordinating gravity-defying performances.

Lau Hui Ling, the general manager, brand, and marketing at Singapore Airlines, shared, “The campaign highlights how SIA’s renowned world-class service and experience allows customers to enjoy their first post-pandemic flight and start looking forward to being in the air once again.”

Andy Grant, TBWA\Singapore’s ECD, said that they wanted the ‘blissful liberation’ on screen as travel resumes.

“We made the magical and distinct experience of flying with SIA visceral throughout the film – focusing on the sense of warmth, calm, and peacefulness people encounter from the moment they wake up to when they step onboard,” said Grant.

Beyond Singapore, the campaign was also launched around the world in high-profile media placements such as New York Times Square, Japan’s Shibuya Crossing, and London Cromwell.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

UX firm Quiddity, MullenLoweTREYNA launches joint venture ‘Qairos’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

theAsianparent marks Project Sidekicks’ first year anniversary with webinar series on pregnancy health

Singapore – In conjunction with the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which was celebrated on 12th October, theAsianparent (TAP), the content and community platform for parents in SEA, has recently hosted a region-wide webinar series, to mark the first anniversary of Project Sidekicks, the platform’s corporate social responsibility initiative that aims to raise awareness around stillbirth in the region and promote real action to support families through their pregnancy journey.

The webinar series, which was hosted and moderated by Nadine Yap, theAsianparent’s chief product officer, was launched available in six countries, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as the Philippines, and Vietnam, with topics of pregnancy health habits, post-pregnancy recovery, and coping with pregnancy loss.

In Singapore, the event welcomed Minister of State (MOS) Xueling Sun from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and Ministry of Education as the keynote speaker. Sun noted that in August this year, the Singapore government had amended the Child Development Co-Savings Act to better support parents of stillborn children, allowing working parents of a stillborn child to benefit from government paid leave, as well as maternity and paternity leave and shared parental leave. 

“This move would help support parents who would have undergone the trauma of a stillbirth. It would give them time, space, and help to recover physically and emotionally during such a difficult period of their lives,” said Sun.

Apart from benefit schemes for parents of stillborn Singaporean children, MOS Sun also highlighted the revised definition of stillbirth by the new Registration of Births and Deaths Act, which states that stillbirth is one delivered after the 22nd week of pregnancy and not after the 28th week as previously defined. 

Sun commented, “Through this amendment, we hope that more parents can be supported in terms of Government paid leave and benefits. We all know that parents struggle after the loss of a child, including after stillbirth. It is gut-wrenching to send off a young child, a baby, and the grief can have many downstream effects.”

Meanwhile, Roshni Mahtani-Cheung, theAsianparent’s group CEO and founder, commented that they are incredibly proud of what the government has done and their tremendous progress in helping to ease the suffering of parents who have suffered a stillbirth and provide them with the time and the space to heal and to return to daily life in a healthier way. 

“Here at theAsianparent, our mission has always been about making better parents, better children, and through that a better tomorrow,” said Mahtani-Cheung.

During the webinar, TAP has also launched ‘Project Sidekicks’ official video titled ‘A letter to Hope, a message of hope’, featuring the mascot, Hope the Penguin, to send a powerful message about finding hope in the mid of grief.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Carousell acquires niche marketplace Ox Street

Singapore – Carousell Group, the classifieds group in Greater Southeast Asia, has announced its acquisition of Ox Street, the end-to-end marketplace for authenticated sneakers and streetwear, in the aim to deepen its reach and scale to become a market leader for fashion and luxury goods in the region.

Ox Street will continue to operate as its own brand, retaining its name, platform, and team. The acquisition will be driving a synergistic partnership between the marketplaces.

The group said the acquisition reflects Carousell’s deep commitment to reimagining the classifieds experience, with a focus on trust and convenience, to make secondhand the first choice. The Ox Street team inspects and authenticates every pair of sneakers before it reaches its buyers. Carousell’s advanced and intuitive technology, extensive reach, and marketplace liquidity across a wide range of categories, combined with Ox Street’s authentication capabilities will further propel the mutual goal of creating an experience where transacting secondhand is as convenient and trusted as buying first hand.

Quek Siu Rui, the co-founder and CEO of Carousell, commented they are excited to acquire Ox Street in their mission to inspire the world to start selling, and they share common values in being user-first and in building communities, as evidenced by the brand love they have created among their dedicated community of sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts, especially among the Gen Z.

“They have also built trust by authenticating every pair of sneakers that gets transacted on the Ox Street marketplace. We see immense opportunity in bringing that capability and their learnings to double down on our recommerce efforts. Most of all, we see this acquisition as joining forces to accelerate our shared vision of making second hand the first choice,” said Rui.

Meanwhile, Gijs Verheijke, Ox Street’s founder and CEO, shared that they initially started a conversation with Carousell on partnering up to provide authentication as a service for sneakers, but as discussions progressed they found so much common ground in how they see the future, that they decided it would be much more powerful for Ox Street to fully join the Carousell group.

“With Carousell’s reach and technological capabilities, we can supercharge Ox Street’s ability to innovate and reach more buyers and sellers. Last but not least, we have a lot of shared values and found a very strong cultural fit, and I cannot be more excited to partner with Siu Rui, Marcus, Lucas, and the entire Carousell team,” said Verheijke.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Grab, EMTEK, Bukalapak launches new program to accelerate digitalization for Indonesian MSMEs in small cities

Jakarta, Indonesia – Understanding that health and digitalization are the foundation of the society and economy, Grab, together with telco EMTEK and e-commerce Bukalapak, has recently launched an accelerator program called, ‘City of the Future’, aimed at targeting 10,000 MSMEs in small cities throughout Indonesia and help them on vaccination, adoption of digital platforms, and empowerment through training and mentoring for business development.

‘City of the Future’ will start in Kupang and East Nusa Tenggara, and will continue gradually in Solo, Gowa, and Malang, as well as Pekanbaru until the end of December 2021. MSMEs who will be joining this program can reach millions of Grab and Bukalapak consumers in the country. They will also be getting new income opportunities by having digital stores so as to maintain the stability of their business even during the pandemic. 

Through the program, Grab, Emtek, and Bukalapak will combine their expertise to train and assist MSMEs in order to improve their ability to be ready in joining the digital economy. Around 100 selected MSMEs in Kupang and Solo will also receive special training on business management mentored by Grab and Bukalapak, free assistance for one month from the design, packaging to marketing through social media and influencers, and free advertising on Grab and Bukalapak platforms. Moreover, five selected MSMEs will be receiving publication on the Emtek Group media network.

Neneng Goenadi, the country managing director of Grab Indonesia, commented, “We believe big futures also exist in small towns. We hope that the program can open the door to a wider market for MSMEs in small cities without having to move locations, and in the end, will have a comprehensive impact on the regional economy.”

Meanwhile, Sutanto Hartono, EMTEK’s managing director, said that the digital ecosystem collaboration owned by EMTEK and Grab will provide more complete access to MSMEs on our platform, from logistics to financial inclusion, through the Mitra Bukalapak and GrabKios platforms, for example.

“The EMTEK media network will play a role in increasing awareness for both customers and MSME players on the maximum use of digital platforms,” said Hartono.

Rachmat Kaimuddin, Bukalapak’s president director, noted that this joint collaboration continues their commitment to support the development of MSMEs in Indonesia through digitalization. 

“The Future City Program, which prioritizes tier 2 and 3 cities throughout Indonesia, is in line with our mission to create a fair economy for all with the main focus on empowering MSMEs and serving underserved segments.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

The Trade Desk appoints Rajesh Sheshadri as GM for SEA

Singapore – Global adtech company The Trade Desk has appointed former Google’s head of advertising agencies partnerships for APAC Rajesh Sheshadri as the new general manager for Southeast Asia, where he will be leading the company’s business and growth strategy in Southeast Asia, with a focus on building agency, client relations and industry partnerships.

He brings in more than 20 years of media and advertising technology experience in Asia-Pacific.

Aside from his role at Google, Sheshadri was the general manager for Hong Kong and APAC vice president of advertising sales for Fox Network Group.

“The industry is at an inflection point, where increasingly, marketers are seeking greater impact from their media strategies and looking to work with partners who are open and transparent. In addition, the growth of Free Ad Supported TV (FAST) has driven publishers to find the right value for their content,” Sheshadri said regarding his appointment.

He added, “This is a small indicator of the enormous value that The Trade Desk brings to the region. I am delighted to be a part of this organisation that is committed to building a better media ecosystem for everyone.”

Sheshadri will report to Mitch Waters, senior vice president for Southeast Asia, India, Australia and New Zealand at The Trade Desk.

“Rajesh’s deep industry experience in broadcast will be a valuable asset as we continue to connect brands to the immense opportunities offered by the fast-changing world of streaming TV. While consumers in Southeast Asia are exponentially increasing their digital time, only a relatively small portion of advertisers’ media budgets is spent on digital channels,” Waters stated.

He added, “We are here to help brands make the right investment decisions that align with consumers’ changing habits, and Rajesh will play a critical role in leading our business in this area.”

The Trade Desk has also recently expanded their operations in India, and has appointed Tejinder Gill as its general manager as he will be leading the company’s business and growth strategy in India.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia South Asia

INSEA consumer expenditure on e-commerce apps reached US$106.7m in Q2 2021

Singapore The expenditure across India and Southeast Asian e-commerce app users for Q2 2021 has tallied at US$106.7m where US$60.6m coming from India and US$46.1m in Southeast Asia, the latest insights from mobile advertising platform MAAS of Affle and mobile app store marketing intelligence company Sensor Tower show.

Southeast Asia’s e-commerce expenditures are based on data from Indonesia (US$18.8m), Malaysia (US$11.9m), Thailand (US$8m), and Vietnam (US$7.3m).

The study noted that e-commerce apps registered peak in-app activities, with the consistent upward growth resulting in an 18% Y/Y increase in average daily active users (DAU) for India and 20% Y/Y increase in Vietnam and Indonesia, for Q2 2021. India’s shopping app installs surged in July 2021, surpassing 80 million that month, up more than 15 million M/M. 

In terms of which product categories were popular on e-commerce shopping, they were groceries, grooming/beauty products, apparels, electronics, school and household items, furniture among others. 

Shopping behavior also indicated an increased preference for mobile-based transactions, with retention for first-time app users and after a week of using the top shopping apps in India reached their highest average since 2020 in Q2 2021. Longer-term retention for the top shopping apps in India peaked in Q3 2020, and while retention decreased in the following quarters, it still showed positive growth Y/Y. 

Meanwhile, retention for top shopping apps in SEA has trended slightly downwards since the start of 2020 during the turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retention for e-commerce apps after a week of usage decreased by 1.4 percentage points Y/Y in Q2 2021, and a month of app usage retention fell by 0.4 percentage points Y/Y.

According to Viraj Sinh, co-founder and managing partner international at MAAS, India and Southeast Asia are projected to be one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, by 2025, as its unique demographic and fast-changing consumer behavior trends creates a paradigm shift towards e-commerce in the region, which is certain and it continues to happen at a rapid pace

“New verticals, niche players continue to spring up across the region that further drive the adoption and penetration of e-commerce, which is still relatively low. The measurement of success has evolved and the approach to user growth has changed. Having the right partner to help one through this journey has become paramount and a crucial first checkpoint and often the difference between success and failure,” Sinh stated.

Meanwhile, the average time spent in top shopping apps increased during the pandemic, peaking in Q4 2020. While it decreased from this peak in the first half of 2021 in both India and SEA, it remained above Q1 2020 levels. 

The increase in time spent was largely driven by more sessions per day, perhaps due to people having more time stuck at home during the pandemic. The average session duration for top apps in India and SEA hovered around 2 minutes for the past six quarters.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

In-app purchases across SEA see 240% average growth: report

Singapore – The change of consumer behavior into tapping into digital purchases has pushed the average growth of in-app purchases across Southeast Asia to 240% this year, with the Philippines tallying the highest growth at 371%, new insights from marketing analytics company AppsFlyer’s report show.

The region has seen a 13% to 35% rise in in-app revenue from March to July 2021, despite global in-app spend falling 2.05%. In order to capture and convert these first-time users, e-commerce marketers have also doubled down on their ad campaigns after March 2020. 

This has resulted in an overall uptick in year-over-year non-organic installs (NOI) in the region, with Philippines (215%), Indonesia (104%), and Malaysia (69%) noting the highest growth. Meanwhile, marketers in Singapore dialed back on marketing campaigns due to user acquisition cost, with NOI increasing just 28%.

“Up until March last year, Southeast Asia was still a significantly offline market – at least when it comes to the mobile app space, and the majority of people did not have online banking or contactless payment options. Now, just 1.5 years later we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift as Southeast Asia is poised to experience a digital shopping wave; what businesses do now can determine their market share over the next few years,” said Sam Chiu, senior director of marketing for APAC at AppsFlyer.

Meanwhile, app remarketing on iOS saw growth in 2021 across all six SEA markets, even after Apple introduced new privacy rules and disabled Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) in April 2021. In fact, Indonesia – an Android-dominant market – saw the most robust growth, with remarketing conversions on iOS shooting up 98% from April to July 2021, and Android remarketing conversions falling 4.4%. This contrasts with global figures, where iOS remarketing conversions dropped 22.4% and Android observing an 8.2% increase during the same period.

“This is why it is crucial that marketers advocate for higher budgets to invest in ad campaigns to acquire new users and remarket to existing ones. Companies should focus on increasing brand awareness and building customer loyalty now, before they miss the boat,” Chiu added.

Despite all of this growth, brands should be more wary in executing ad campaigns, as the report found that e-commerce apps’ exposure to fraud was US$58m in APAC between Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. Although this number is high, it is improving: Malaysia and Indonesia both saw an almost 80% reduction in year-over-year fraud rates when comparing January 2020 to January 2021 – reiterating the importance of vigilance and anti-fraud solutions.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mediabrands PH elevates Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao to CEO role

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

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

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

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

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