Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

This Thai ad for a skincare brand openly ‘admits’ to not able to understand teenagers

Bangkok, Thailand – In spite of hours of research and profile-building, advertising and brand marketers aren’t always able to get it right. This is the message the latest ad for skincare brand Clean & Clear brings to its Thai audience, delivered in a quirky and straightforward way.

Conceptualised alongside BBDO Bangkok, the ad starts by featuring all the things advertisers expect teens to like: slang, rap music, vibrant streetwear, and skateboards. Then the twist appears, revealing that the ad doesn’t appeal to and get teens at all, but the product does. 

Prior to the campaign release on June the 15th, BBDO Bangkok also released content further highlighting the topic that it doesn’t understand teenagers. From a social post that claims to get you, an Instagram filter that you just want to mock, to a new esports skin that you don’t know what to make of.

Speaking on the campaign release, Thasorn Boonyanate, chief creative officer at BBDO Bangkok, said, “Let’s not pretend that we understand this new generation of kids and admit that we don’t, by making an ad that doesn’t understand them at all. Thai teenagers love brands that speak sincerely to them, who aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves.”

Categories
Platforms Featured APAC

ACE, piracy watchdog for entertainment, adds TH’s True Visions as ally

Singapore – The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, or ACE, the coalition dedicated to protecting the legal ecosystem for creative content, is expanding its global reach with the addition of the first two Asia-based media and entertainment companies. This includes Thailand’s leading cable satellite TV provider True Visions as well as Hong Kong-based video streaming platform Viu

Now in its fifth year, ACE, which is governed by some of the most notable media giants such as Disney and Netflix, has consistently grown its global membership base. The addition of True Visions and Viu brings the coalition to a total of 39 members, with more to join in the coming weeks, said the organisation. 

Charles Rivkin, chairman of ACE and the Motion Picture Association, said, “The addition of Viu and True Visions is the beginning of an expansion to include local media companies from key markets around the world. By growing ACE’s footprint throughout the APAC region, we are building new relationships with local law enforcement authorities and other key partners in our ongoing effort to shut down piracy operations around the world.” 

Sompan Charumilinda, executive vice chairman of True Visions, said that through its membership, they want to support Thai people as they compete in a globalized marketplace by protecting their work with strong intellectual property rights stewardship. 

“We are pleased to be the first member of ACE based in Thailand and look forward to helping drive important actions in this market that will improve the piracy landscape and pave the way for a brighter future,” said Charumilinda. 

Meanwhile, Janice Lee, CEO of Viu, commented, “As one of the leading video-on-demand services offering premium Asian content, we recognize the need to address the piracy that is widespread in our markets. We are committed to ensuring that consumers move from illegal piracy sites to legal options like Viu by providing an unparalleled viewer experience and investing in the creative ecosystem. By being a part of ACE, we hope to make an even more positive impact on our consumers and the industry at large.” 

ACE is supported by a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and law enforcement agencies around the world and international organizations like Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.

According to the organisation, its antipiracy campaign in North America has reduced the number of identified illegal streaming subscription websites from 1,400 in 2019 to slightly more than 200 today. 

According to the Global Innovation Policy Center, piracy amounts to between $29.2 billion and $71 billion annually in lost domestic revenues. 

Categories
SME Featured Southeast Asia

Fintech Credit OK launches new ‘Protect Now, Pay Later’ program for Thai SMEs

Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand’s fintech startup for SMEs, Credit OK, has launched the ‘Protect Now, Pay Later’ program for SMEs, corporations, and individual customers. This program aims to be an alternative for SMEs in managing their risks and accessing the right SME insurance packages plus payment plan options.

Credit OK helps to provide credit facilities for insurance premium payments (premium financing). This aims to serve the requirements of corporate customers and make SME insurance purchases not only convenient but also a friendly experience.

In collaboration with insurance company Chubb Samaggi Insurance in Thailand, Credit OK has designed and developed insurance products to fit the needs of Thai SME operators, including health insurance, motor insurance, compulsory motor insurance, group personal insurance, credit/loan protection, and construction insurance, as well as inland transit/carrier insurance, and machinery insurance.

Phuwarat Norchoovech, CEO of Credit OK, said, “There are 2 factors that contribute to the sustainable growth of SME business, one is cashflow and another is the ability to reduce the risks.”

Credit OK made instant instalment plans for SMEs possible through machine learning, data analytics, and verification systems to make credit assessment simple yet accurate and effective. Customers can choose to have instant coverage from the straight-through purchasing process with 6 instalments with a 0% interest rate. No credit history, guarantors, or bank statement is required.

Moreover, the fintech also houses an online community for SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs called ‘OK Partner’, where small business owners or even individual customers can participate to earn cash back whenever they or their friends purchase on the platform by simply registering on OK Partner and sharing their unique referral links. This will allow their friends to get a cashback discount when buying insurance on Credit OK, and the referrers will also earn extra money through a successful referral.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thailand’s Central Retail Corp amongst top SEA retailers

Bangkok, Thailand – Euromonitor International, the global independent strategic market research provider firm, has revealed its ‘Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2022’ report, with three retailers from Thailand entering the SEA rankings, including omnichannel retailer Central Retail Corp with US$5.06b in 2021 sales, which ranked seventh amongst the other 25 retailers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The other two are conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group with US$4.44b in 2021 sales, landing at 10th place, as well as hypermarket chain operator Big C Supercenter PCL with US$2.53b in 2021 sales, ranking 15th. The list was topped by Shopee’s parent company Sea from Singapore, with US$16.06b in 2021 sales.

In last year’s report by Euromonitor, Big C Supercenter PCL was ranked 12th in SEA rankings, while Central Retail Corp and Charoen Pokphand Group did not make the cut. 

The ‘Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2022’ report found that retail performance in 2021 reflects the pace of channel shifts, and e-commerce players outperformed other distribution channels, especially in markets with lower online penetration. It also revealed that pricing, marketing, and customer service also need to reflect individual market dynamics. When well-executed, localised approaches give retailers and manufacturers a steadfast and longer-term competitive edge. 

“SEA is home to more than 500 million people with diverse ethnicities, cultures, and religions, as well as online shopping habits. Conquering this market is complex. Regional e-commerce players must create localised strategies like search engine optimisation for respective countries and languages or product lines catered to various cultural needs,” said Euromonitor.

According to Euromonitor, retailing current value sales in Thailand fell for the second year in a row in 2021, with the rate of decline accelerating into double digits. Due to lockdowns, non-essential retail outlets, such as department stores and variety stores, underwent closure for an extended period. However, retailing current value sales were supported to an extent by an increase in welfare payments and subsidies by the government.

This 2022, retailing current value sales will begin to expand again, with the rate of growth accelerated over the course of the forecast period. However, in constant value terms (2021 prices), retailing value sales will not surpass their 2019 level until 2025. Growth will be supported by an anticipated post-pandemic economic rebound, with a revival in inbound tourism playing a significant role in this.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Trip.com’s ‘Trip.Best’ list first features Thailand

Singapore – Online travel provider Trip.com has selected Thailand as its first country destination that will be featured on their ‘Trip.Best’ list, which enables its global users to choose from the best hotel experiences the country has to offer.

The new Trip.com feature for users exclusively curates an extensive range of hotels to provide them with the best options available to make the best of their trips – faster and easier. ‘Trip.Best’ will be rolled out to include the most popular destinations around the world but has begun by taking on Thailand to showcase its ease of use.

The ‘Trip.List’ for Thailand introduces the country’s top hotels to Trip.com’s global users from the country’s four most popular tourism destinations of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Samui. They are also arranged into eight specially chosen themes – luxury, upscale, family, Instagram-worthy, scenic, local experience, villas, and gourmet & shopping.

“As one of the world’s favourite holiday hotspots, exotic and beautiful Thailand has recovered rapidly since the country eased its travel restrictions earlier this year and Trip.com data shows there is soaring demand from its users wanting to travel to it for family holidays and trips for couples,” Trip.com said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at Trip.com, commented, “We want everyone to get the very best from Trip.com, which is why our new ‘Trip.Best’ feature will focus on Thailand – a world-renowned destination. We’re confident this will provide the best places to go, where to stay and what to experience throughout Thailand for all Trip.com users – and we look forward to making this feature a firm favourite for many more top destinations around the world.”

Among the top hotels included in the new ‘Trip.Best’ feature include The Peninsula Bangkok, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, and the exclusive Sinae Phuket Luxury Hotel in Phuket.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Crypto firm Huobi shuts down Thai operations by July 1

Bangkok, Thailand – Cryptocurrency exchange company Huobi has announced that it is shutting down its operations in Thailand by July 1 this year after failing to secure a licence in the country, as well as a new statement from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission delisting Huobi.

In an online statement, Huobi said that by 1 July, the Thai operations are no longer legally affiliated with the Huobi Group and its affiliates. It also encouraged its local users to withdraw their funds from the exchange.

“Since September 2021, we have been trying to contact all clients to withdraw their assets,” the statement said, while also urging other users to contact the exchange via email or Telegram for refund requests.

According to the newest statement from Thailand’s SEC, Huobi was found to have ‘flawed management structure and system’ between February and March 2021. Which, as per the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission, was not sufficient to ensure compliance with required regulations, leading to its licence suspension’.

“The SEC, at its meeting No. 15/21, held on September 2, 2021, therefore resolved to recommend to the Minister of Finance. to consider revoking the licence to operate a cryptocurrency exchange trading centre and Huobi’s digital token trading centre, and ordered Huobi to suspend its services as a digital asset trading centre,” the SEC statement read.

The update is in line with Thailand’s recent strict guidelines on cryptocurrency use, stating that they are meant to avert potential impacts on the country’s financial stability and economic system.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Centara Hotels & Resorts ties with Thai Vietjet Air to offer travel rewards, discounts

Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand’s hotel operator, Centara Hotels & Resorts, has partnered with airline Thai Vietjet Air, to bolster its growing airline partnership network, which already includes Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines.

The new marketing partnership offers Thai Vietjet Air passengers a great way to travel, with an exclusive 19% off the lowest publicly available online rates at all participating Centara Hotels & Resorts. 

Travellers have a choice of 13 beach and urban destinations across Thailand, including Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Trat, Koh Chang, and Udon Thani, as well as Hat Yai, and Bangkok, amongst others. Guests can also enjoy a tropical escape to an overwater villa in the Maldives or take a family holiday at a themed resort with water parks and playgrounds park in Dubai or Southern Vietnam, as well as a choice of staying at participating hotels in Qatar Oman and Sri Lanka.

Moreover, under the Centara and Thai Vietjet Air promotion, guests will receive over 19% discount when logged in as a CentaraThe1 member. This is lower than any publicly available rate and exclusive to airline customers. Travellers who are not yet members of Centara’s loyalty programme can sign up for free in less than a minute, and immediately start enjoying benefits and earning points.

Tom Thrussell, Centara Hotels & Resorts’ vice president of brand, marketing, and digital, commented that as more passengers return to the air, they are excited to partner with Thai Vietjet to welcome travellers back to Centara, The Place to Be.

“With six distinct brands ranging from luxury beachfront retreats to family resorts and affordable lifestyle hotels, we are able to meet and exceed the needs of travellers of every age and lifestyle, and we are delighted to offer exciting benefits to Thai Vietjet’s customers through their communications network,” said Thrussell.

Meanwhile, Pinyot Pibulsonggram, director of commercial at Thai Vietjet Air, said, “With the uplifting of travel restrictions in many countries, Thai Vietjet is more than ready to welcome our passengers back to the skies, with the latest establishment of the partnership with Centara, offering extra benefits and special deals exclusively for Thai Vietjet’s passengers to travel and discover the ultimate beauty of various destinations in the region.”

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Linear advertising represent majority of ad spend in Thailand: report

Bangkok, Thailand – Linear advertising remains the majority of advertising spending in Thailand, accounting for 72% of total advertising budgets for the local market, according to data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the report, linear advertising revenues in Thailand are growing by over 3% and represent just 81% of their pre-COVID level, attributed to the delayed recovery from the COVID crisis. This, in turn, creates a significant drag on total market growth going forward.

Meanwhile, television ad spend is stagnant and represents only 53% of total advertising spending. Television spending is still short of the pre-COVID total. Because spending will continue to erode, TV will never reach its all time high. 

In other mediums, print spending is still declining, and is falling by 17% this year and represents just 3% of budgets. There are only a few core spending industries that still deploy budgets on print: real estate, finance, autos, and consumer packaged goods (CPG). 

Lastly, out-of-home (OOH) spending is seeing a strong rebound of 20% this year as the economy recovers from the COVID outbreak in 2021.

Digital advertising spending will grow by over 13% in 2022 and represents 28% of total budgets. Growth is led by mobile device spending, which will increase by over 15% and represents 78% of total digital spending. By format, growth is led by social at over 15%, search at over 14%), and video at over 13%.

It is also noted that media owners advertising revenues are increasing by over 5% in Thailand in 2022 to reach THB124.3b (around US$3.9b). At a global level, media owners’ advertising revenues will grow by over 9.2% this year to nearly US$828b or about 32% above the pre-COVID level of 2019. Meanwhile, APAC advertising revenues will increase by over 7% to US$273b, which is 35% above the pre-COVID spending level, driven by digital advertising growth by over 12%.

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Robinhood, Google Cloud collaborate to develop Thailand’s first super app

Thailand – Robinhood, a Bangkok-based food delivery and all-in-one travel service platform under SCBX Group, Purple Ventures Co., Ltd., has announced a multi-year strategic alliance with Google Cloud and MFEC Public Company Limited (MFEC) to advance its mission of building a homegrown super app that delivers inclusive growth opportunities to small business owners, delivery riders, and diverse users in metro and non-metro areas. Robinhood had already started planning late last year.

A super app is basically a unified app that has everything a person needs. This includes ride-hailing services, food delivery, payment wallets, flight and accommodation bookings, groceries, and many more. Currently, there are over a dozen super apps in Southeast Asia, each with its unique offering apart from integrating the other services that are offered in the app. In Thailand, super apps are available for consumers as well. However, there still isn’t a homegrown super app. The current super apps available in the country are from enterprises that have a strong business presence in the country.

April Srivikorn, country manager, Thailand at Google Cloud, pointed out that pandemic-driven shifts in consumer behaviour are expected to have a lasting impact, with food and transport, e-commerce, online travel, and digital financial services the key growth verticals in a resurgent internet economy that’s set to be worth US$57 billion by 2025.

Adopting a zero-commissions stance to give small businesses and riders a larger share of earnings, Robinhood was launched to alleviate the financial hardships faced by local food and beverage operators during the height of the pandemic and support the local tourism sector’s economic recovery. The three organizations will join forces to strengthen Robinhood’s culture of innovation, modernize its IT infrastructure, elevate user experiences using data-driven intelligence, and co-create new digital services.

According to Thana Thienachariya, chairman of the board at Purple Ventures, Robinhood’s differentiated business model enables them to generate revenue from other independent services, such as providing loans to individuals in their ecosystem, instead of charging smaller restaurants and hoteliers platform fees that erode their earning.

Thienachariya added, “With a fleet of 30,000 riders supporting 225,000 eateries, and 16,000 hotels already listed on our platform, Robinhood has become the food and travel application of choice for 2.8 million users. Together with Google Cloud and MFEC, we hope to build on the very warm response to our platform in the past 20 months and supercharge our expansion into the tour, car rental, flight bookings, and grocery and express parcel delivery services. This super app vision is an extension of our steadfast commitment toward assisting smaller players and revitalizing the grassroots economy.”

On the partnership with Google, Srihanath Lamsam, CEO of Purple Ventures, shared, that this was due to Google’s superior data cloud infrastructure which runs with net-zero operational emissions, and its rich experience in mapping the world and building open platforms and ecosystems. These capabilities, along with MFEC’s technical consulting and implementation expertise, will amplify Robinhood’s ability to create value for society, while contributing to our sustainability commitments.

The strategic alliance will encompass five core pillars including: 

  • Cultivating skilled talent and a culture of innovation – the three companies will establish a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE) consisting of cloud architecture, data management, and application modernization specialists.
  • Enhancing the quality of digital services – the CCoE will tap microservices and extended Google Play Store support to ensure Robinhood’s customer and rider applications remain robust, reliable, and lightweight – even as new services are added and accessed by a high volume of users.
  • Serving hyper-personalized user engagement – the CCoE will build and manage an intelligent data engine using Google Cloud’s leading analytics, AI, and ML technologies. The data engine will also engage Robinhood users with hyper-personalized product recommendations on behalf of small businesses, to boost these merchants’ revenue streams.
  • Increasing income opportunities for riders – Robinhood will explore using Google Maps Platform’s software development kits to fast-track the creation and integration of on-demand mobility features. Potential use cases include providing riders with in-app, turn-by-turn navigation after identifying the shortest or fastest routes, so they can ride safer, fulfil orders quicker, and earn more.
  • Making financial assistance easily accessible – Robinhood will explore co-innovation initiatives with Google Cloud to embed virtual banking and microlending services into its application. This would allow small business owners to seamlessly apply for financial assistance to purchase new equipment and hire staff, or for prospective delivery riders to rent electric motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Siriwat Vongjarukorn, CEO and President, MFEC, commented, “With our newly formed CCoE imparting critical cloud skills, adopting an open cloud architecture, implementing data governance best practices, and automating application deployment, Robinhood can achieve performance at scale, optimize IT costs, uphold the highest data security and privacy standards, and empower its developers to release continuous software updates – without downtime – to enrich its entire digital ecosystem.” 

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Thai food company CP throws fan meeting in the metaverse

Thailand – CP, Thailand-based food company, has launched a new metaverse campaign in March for its product Sausage. CP Sausage used to have a fandom strategy every year in order to reach a new generation of consumers, this time, metaverse is making an entry. 

According to CP, they didn’t open the free verse in the hope of gaining traffic and selling their products, but instead, they used the power of fandom to acquire fans in the verse by using their product as a ticket to attend a Metaverse event. They predicted that more than 10,000 people would attend their Metaverse event on the day. 

The company said Asian fans are passionately devoted to their idols, as seen by the group’s long history of success. Because of the exclusivity of their product or event, especially if it is a limited edition. With this campaign, CP is looking for fans not just from Thailand, but also from China, Korea, Japan, and other ASEAN countries.

This year’s plan was the same as last year’s. One of Thailand’s best-known male idols, with more than a million Facebook fans, Mew Suppasit, has been tapped as a presenter. Gather, the 2D Metaverse platform was used to create his Metaverse world. Because Gather is the most practical platform, with over 10 million users worldwide.

The company said, “Apart from choosing a presenter with a strong fan base, building relationship with them is also delicate.”

“It’s not about marketing or advertising, it’s about telling the details that fans want to know, helping to solve the problem, answering their questions clearly and listen to the needs of the fans. Because they are people who have most influenced in campaign success,” CP added.