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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top Stories for April: New payment feature in SG nabs top spot

This April, we have a new payments feature, a fresh creative leadership as well as an empowering campaign on gender inclusivity coming out as our top stories.

For the first time, a story from New Zealand enters the list – a web code developed by a telco and shared through a moving creative campaign. 

A rewards and discovery platform in Singapore has also launched a new payment feature that offers something new through its fresh payment process. 

Meanwhile, the Indian arm of a global communications network has named a new creative leader.

Top 3: Spark to make the internet more inclusive with launch of web code campaign

Spark releases new web code to urge all websites to ‘see all genders’

To kick off this month’s Top Stories is a unique proposition to ‘see all genders’ online: a web code released by New Zealand telco Spark, with creative campaign done by Colenso BBDO. 

With our society being more open and inclusive, there is stronger call for every part of our daily lives to align with this inclusivity. One of those areas is the gender selection on forms online, where traditionally, they are fixated on the choices of male and female. 

Speaking about the campaign, Frith Wilson-Hughes, brand lead partner at Spark New Zealand, said that their campaign direction has been inspired by their company’s motive to use data in a much more healthy way, which will benefit New Zealanders in general, including promoting diversity and inclusion.

“It does seem to be like a simple thing, but one of the things that we have made clear on our [campaign] site is that it’s not just about changing the code, it’s about looking at how you treat people with different genders holistically,” she said.

She also noted that their campaign site featured resources that companies and organisations can use to integrate the code into their website. This is aimed at educating them on the importance of diversity and inclusion and not overwhelming them.

Top 2: dentsu India names new creative leaders for Isobar and Taproot Dentsu

Dentsu India unveils two new appointments in creative leadership

Coming out on our top stories is the fresh appointment of Aalap Desai and Titus Upputuru as its new chief creative officer and national creative director respectively for Taproot Dentsu. Desai, who will carry the role for both Taproot Dentsu and Isobar, sat down with MARKETECH APAC and shared what he thinks has been the biggest change in brands over the pandemic. 

Without a doubt, Desai said it’s them going digital. 

“In the past 2 years, I think COVID has expedited the interaction element in every brand. Because everyone is at home, we had to shift to digital, and that’s the biggest change in the brand narrative that I’ve seen,” said Desai. 

He shared that the good thing is, over at dentsu, ‘digital’ has been an ongoing conversation. Brands are now more open to exploring, however, Desai points that their understanding can be limited. 

“We’ve also started upselling things, and brands have also started buying them. For example, [something] like a legacy Indian brand getting into a metaverse conversation,” he shared. 

Top 1: ShopBack launches new ShopBack Pay

ShopBack unveils new payment feature in Singapore

Landing on the Top 1 is the recent launch of ShopBack’s cashless payment feature Shopback Pay, which at its core, eliminates the process of topping up funds, instead enables to directly pay in the ShopBack app with only the linked payment method.

In an interview with Julian Foo, head of payments at ShopBack, he shared that the main idea behind Shopback Pay is primarily overcoming the adversities that consumers and merchants faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I think in terms of what we saw, in our user base and surveys, it was that consumers actually had quite a fair bit of cashback, right, in the shop bank account. On average, we see about like, $200 worth of cash in every customer’s account, which is actually not doing anything at this point in time. So then we ask ourselves, hey, what can we do to help the users actually use their cashback? And for us, it was quite simple. What if we developed a payment method that allowed users to burn the cashback that they had earned online,” Foo said.

He added, “With this product innovation, I think it really allowed users to see an additional use case of earning cashback on shopping, where they can now use their cashback to burn at the merchants.”

Foo also shared that their primary goal has always been making the consumer experience convenient and rewarding.

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Top Stories, now live on our YouTube channel.

Rankings are based on Google Analytics from the period of 16 March to 15 April.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Spark releases new web code to urge all websites to ‘see all genders’

Auckland, New Zealand – When we fill out a form on a website, most of the time we get asked about our gender. But sadly, the large majority of sites use the same two classifications: male or female. For many people across all gender spectrums, they feel unrepresented and are forced to choose an identity that they know is not theirs.

In a bid to promote gender inclusiveness across websites, New Zealand telco Spark has worked with rainbow mental health organisation OutLine Aotearoa and creative agency Colenso BBDO to create a campaign where they developed a code that websites can adopt to their platforms to feature more gender-friendly options in their forms online.

This code revises the way organisations collect gender data by updating website forms and fields with gender-inclusive options so everyone can feel seen. In addition, the code comes with helpful materials to support businesses on their beyond binary journey, including guides on data privacy principles, how to get stakeholder buy-in and how to create safer spaces both on and offline for their customers and employees.

Claire Black, general manager at OutLine Aotearoa, said, “Often businesses default to asking for gender without considering why they need that information and how it might impact the people on the other end of the form. When trans and non-binary people are excluded, misgendered, or discriminated against during daily interactions with businesses, that contributes to an environment that is hostile to their wellbeing.”

However, the organisation pointed out that the code, known as ‘Beyond Binary Code’, is not just code, but rather a full tool that helps businesses understand, first and foremost, whether they truly need to collect gender data from their customers at all. If they do, an HTML code is generated based on their unique business needs, so they can ask in an inclusive way.

“OutLine sees this code, and its supporting resources, as a catalyst for creating better experiences that support and affirm the wellbeing of both non-binary people and rainbow communities more broadly in Aotearoa,” Black added.

Meanwhile, Matt Bain, marketing director at Spark New Zealand, notes that this campaign intersects two key ambitions at Spark – helping Kiwis have a better relationship with their data, and to champion diversity and inclusion within Spark and Aotearoa. He also added that in time and with the help of businesses adopting the code, they hope to build an internet with richer, more sophisticated datascapes that represent the true diversity of New Zealand.

“Ultimately, through publishing the code, we want to encourage digital equity at an enterprise level. By influencing big data systems in businesses to evaluate whether they need to collect gender data at all and if it is required, that they do so in a way that helps people from all genders feel valued and visible online,” Brian said.

Simon Vicars, CCO for Colenso BBDO added, “For lots of people, filling in an online form is a simple box-ticking exercise. But for people who identify beyond male or female, it can reinforce the feeling that society doesn’t acknowledge them. Beyond Binary Code has the power to rectify this – to help rewrite the internet to see more than two genders. We’re proud to finally see the idea out in the world, and excited to see the difference it can make.” 

Beyond Binary Code launched 21st February with a powerful film and digital campaign to support the website. 

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Spark Sport’s brand campaign invites viewers to ‘see sports differently’

Auckland, New Zealand – When we say something about sports, majority of us just think of the gameplays and tournaments that happen. However, there is much more about sports, ranging from making history and milestones to being a part of our modern culture. This is the message that Spark Sport, the on-demand sports streaming service of New Zealand telco Spark, shows in its newest brand campaign.

Conceptualised alongside creative agency Colenso BBDO, the new campaign shows the broadcaster positioning themselves as the entertainment provider that ‘sees sport differently’. Where in-match moments affect more than just the game, they change culture.

Moreover, the campaign’s 30-second TVC shows users how they can watch the cause and effect sport has on the identity of a single family, lived primarily through the eyes of its youngest son.

Speaking about the campaign, Chae Blewitt, marketing lead at Spark Sport, remarked that sports fandom and consumption is constantly evolving and as a broadcaster, it’s their responsibility to evolve with it.

“‘See Sport Differently’ represents our commitment to all New Zealand sports fans, to provide a platform to see sport on their terms. We’re really excited to continue to build on this brand position during a huge year of sport in 2022,” Blewitt said.

Meanwhile, James Tucker, strategy director at Colenso BBDO, commented, “Sport is so much bigger than just what happens on the field or during the game. Its influence on identity, connection and culture is undeniable. It’s exciting to see Spark Sport capture this and bring it to life.”

Spark Sport’s campaign launched 16 January on TV and rolls out across social, digital and online channels, where viewers can ask themselves how they see sports.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Telco Spark launches the most techie ‘Santa’ this Christmas

Auckland, New Zealand – When you think of a Christmas-themed campaign, data utilization is the least you would expect to be at the core of it. However, New Zealand-based telco Spark begs to differ. The telco has just released its newest ‘Santa’ for its campaign: a tech assistant called ‘Spark’s New Tech Assistant’ or ‘S.N.T.A’ which allows online users to come up with the ideal Christmas gift for the ones they love. 

Created alongside creative agency Colenso BBDO, ‘S.N.T.A’ is built from thousands and thousands of data points designed to find out what every type of New Zealander wants this year.

The experience can be accessed online and in Spark stores around the country, allowing shoppers to discover what their cousin, family member, or co-worker wants. The data collected by Spark and Colenso is purposefully granular, segmenting giftees by much more than age and relationship, but unique interests and attributes, which add charm to what could have been cold facts and figures.

James Henson, chapter lead at Spark, said, “In the past, our focus has been on Spark’s great range of gifts. But we don’t shop for products at Christmas. We shop for the people we love, which isn’t always easy. Knowing that is what inspired S.N.T.A,”

Meanwhile, Lucy Grigg, who was recently promoted to the role of general manager at Colenso BBDO, commented, “Spark is New Zealand’s leading technology provider – which now extends to Christmas. It’s a pleasure to work with them to sprinkle a bit of holiday magic on their tech and build a product that is both charming and truly helpful to Kiwi shoppers.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mondelez Kinh Do celebrates Mooncake Festival by bringing old family photos to life

Vietnam – In celebration of the Mooncake Festival in Vietnam, which is celebrated on 21 September, Mondelez Kinh Do, the Vietnam arm of snacking company Mondelez International, has partnered with marketing agencies Publicis, Spark, and Digitas, to launch a new genealogy platform that brings old family photographs to life for Kinh Do mooncakes, which is a brand that is synonymous with the festival.

The Mooncake Festival has been around for more than 2,000 years and is the second most important festival in the country after Lunar New Year. It is a time when families come together to celebrate the full moon.

The festival has been losing its sheen in recent years as Vietnam moves towards a digitally-driven economy, and with this, Kinh Do aims to take the responsibility for keeping meaningful Vietnamese traditions alive, which means reaching a new generation via digital and social channels. 

Through the new genealogy platform, consumers can now see their ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads as old photos come to life. The experience is made possible with deep learning artificial intelligence from D-ID, the technology company based in the United Kingdom and Israel and the creator of web services platform MyHeritage. 

In addition, the platform makes it possible to relive family memories amid the lockdown.

Simon Crowther, Mondelez Kinh Do’s marketing director, shared that Kinh Do stands for meaningful Vietnamese traditions that bring the family together and keep the culture alive, and with the pandemic lockdown situation in the country, the festival atmosphere that used to line up the streets with stalls of mooncakes was not attainable this year. 

“Through technology, we are able to bring the spirit of the festival online – a testament to the fact that nothing can stop Kinh Do in keeping cultural traditions alive,” said Crowther. 

Publicis Vietnam’s deputy managing director, Anish Kotian, commented, “This is a coming together of head, heart, and hand in one idea. Activating the Power of One, we formed a group of experts across Publicis Groupe from creatives, data, technology, and media to bring the magic of Trung Thu to life.”