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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Ogilvy Thailand elevates Jiravara Virayavardhana as chief executive

Bangkok, Thailand Ogilvy Thailand has elevated Jiravara Virayavardhana, formerly its managing director, to be its new chief executive. She will be overseeing all aspects of business performance, people management, and client relationships for the company, as well as implementing the strategic direction of creativity that will be powered by data and technology. 

Virayavardhana first joined Ogilvy Thailand in 1995 and has been promoted to various senior positions. She brings with her wide experience in handling various blue chip international and local clients across industries, from consumer goods, food and nutrition, retail, health, beauty, fashion, and technology, as well as cooperation with large government agencies and NGOs. 

Throughout the past 27 years that she’s been with Ogilvy, the agency said she has demonstrated a profound understanding of clients’ brands and businesses and has always been able to use creativity, data, and technology to turn challenges into achievements, enabling phenomenal success and impact on clients’ organisations, people, and society.

Commenting on her elevation, Virayavardhana said that she is very pleased and honoured to be at the helm of Ogilvy Thailand. She further shared that for her and all Ogilvy people, what makes them different is their unique ability to use creativity to solve their clients’ problems – from the way they discover insights to the way they produce their works.

She added, “What I aim to do under this new role is to spread this belief to our clients and partners. Faced with today’s challenges, we could not simply rely on the same strategies and tactics to help us get by. We need to differentiate ourselves through our work and transform the ways we do our business.” 

“To help our clients at a challenging time, we will focus on making works that create an impact in three, vital areas – Impact for People: showing how the products and services make people’s lives better and easier. Impact for Planet: demonstrating the brands’ contribution in improving our community, society, and the world we live in. Impact for Performance: while accelerating growth for brands and businesses sustainably. We will be the driver for positive change through this Impact Framework, and we will bring our people, our clients, and our industry forward with us,” said Virayavardhana.

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman of Ogilvy Thailand, noted that throughout her time with Ogilvy, Virayavardhana has devoted herself to the growth of the company and their clients’ businesses, and she has fully immersed herself to the challenges and risen above all with effective and sustainable solutions. 

“The works under her supervision did not only shape people’s affections, but also their thoughts and behaviours, and went on to create ripple effects that transformed our society for the better. She is a true female icon who is loved and respected not just within the Ogilvy network, but by the wider communication community. I believe that, with her new, well-deserved role, Jiravara will continue to empower her people and bring our company forward with her unmatched business and emotional intelligence,” said Srikieatikajohn.

In September 2022, MARKETECH APAC interviewed Virayavardhana for theseries ‘Agency Leadership Decoded’, where industry leaders share how they are innovating their strategies to keep the morale and engagement of their teams in tip-top shape.

“Leaders must have the courage – to embrace the unexpected, to try the untested, and to charter the unknown territory – and they will surely conquer the furious tides of change,” she said in the interview.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

KFC Thailand transforms iconic bucket into the ‘Bucket Basket’ this Christmas

Bangkok, Thailand – KFC Thailand transforms its iconic bucket into the new ‘KFC Basket the Bucket’ this Christmas to join Thai people in their obsession with gifting baskets. This is in collaboration with their newly appointed creative agency, Wunderman Thompson Thailand. The KFC ‘Basket the Bucket’ is made of locally sourced materials and handcrafted by local artisans, with the iconic chicken bucket packaging a perfect fit inside it. 

According to KFC Thailand, gifting during the festive season in Thailand is always an epic battleground of festive hampers or gifting baskets. The basket has been a symbol of well-wishing and gifting for Thai people. 

The 30-second commercial that came with the campaign shows Thai people receiving usual gifts given this Christmas as they sarcastically let out dry laughs before showing a man munching on KFC chicken and ends with lines, “when the bucket comes, its party on!”

Chief Marketing Officer Suhayl Limbada at KFC Thailand said, “Taking a global icon like the KFC bucket and infusing it with the locally famous gift basket depicts the richness and beauty of our country’s culture and is a very special project. As people return back to celebrating special moments with their loved ones, to be able to incorporate our iconic KFC Bucket as a gift in such a unique way is a perfect ode to our excitement at the prospect of a festive season that is full of cheer and Finger Lickin’ Good moments.” 

Park Wannasiri, chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson Thailand adds, “KFC is a leader that always wants to stay connected and culturally relevant. We are always looking for the opportunity to infuse our brand into the culture in the most distinctive way, not just driving sales but also building the brand. Although KFC is not always associated with end of year gifting, ‘Basket the Bucket’ changes everything. By turning our iconic bucket into a gift basket, a symbol of the Thai gifting season, we directly put ourselves into the centre of attention this festive season.”

KFC also mentioned gifting their friends clown, king, and dragon, with their unique bucket basket this Christmas, to show their generosity for the holiday season.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Defective face masks formed into a giant lung in this latest campaign by a Thai air purifier

Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand-based SCG Bi-ion, a tech solution for cleaning air indoors, has partnered with Wunderman Thompson to launch an innovative campaign that aims to encourage Thais, especially those living in the metro in Bangkok, to take the ‘extra’ step in breathing clean air. 

‘Bangkokians’ have been used to engulfing unhealthy air for a long time and may see intentional steps such as installing SCG Bi-ion’s tech as ‘vain’ rather than necessary. In order to prove its point that it’s just the opposite, the campaign, conceptualised by Wunderman, has developed a giant lung installation–made of defective face masks. 

The life-size art sculpture under the #CleanairMatters movement is formed through more than 60,000 defective face masks which aim to symbolise the number of Thais that have died from airborne diseases during the years 2019-2022. The huge installation bears a potent message at its base that says, ‘‘When was the last time you really breathed clean air?’’

Inside the monument gives an immersive sound experience of clean air areas such as a deep forest, beach, and waterfall. People can scan a QR code to learn more about the dangers of poor air quality, airborne inflicted illnesses, and ultimately, how to improve air quality with the SCG Bi-ion.

In addition to the giant lung installation, the brand’s campaign also launched another innovative on-ground initiative called the ‘Airbulance’, which is a mobile experiential space fitted with SCG Bi-ion. The mobile unit aims to let people experience breathing clean air effected by the brand’s tech. It reports a live monitoring of air quality index and passersby were invited to go inside it. 

The ‘Airbulance’

Wachirachai Koonamwattana, head of service solution business at SCG, said, “Under our axiom of ‘PASSION FOR BETTER LIVING’, SCG has always worked at our fullest capacity to integrate innovative solutions for living improvement. Especially, inside the buildings where we spent most of our time. Therefore, we have to ensure that indoor air quality must be clean and safe for everyone, so that our future generations can have the finest quality of life.”

Uraiwan Pongthavornsawat, associate creative director of Wunderman Thompson Thailand, commented, “Bad air is a life and death issue, with too many deaths caused by this. Thai people have silently put up with this problem long enough and I think it’s time we need to start a conversation and do something about it before it’s too late”

According to the agency, the campaign reached more than a million Bangkokians and dramatically garnered 1,300,000 THB in PR value. Social media also recorded above 30,000 social engagements, which triggered a lot of heated conversations on clean air.

The two initiatives have been followed by an original documentary film, ‘LIFE AND BREATH’, which tells the story of people working the most dangerous jobs and how they risk their lives from just breathing bad air.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Gumpon Laksanajinda elevated as Ogilvy Thailand’s new chief creative officer

Bangkok, Thailand – Ogilvy Thailand has elevated Gumpon Laksanajinda, its former executive creative director, to be its new chief creative officer, where he brings in craftsmanship and awards expertise.

Under the new role, Laksanajinda will be providing creative leadership, strengthening and diversifying Ogilvy’s creative capabilities, and empowering teams across all creative functions.

A true visionary who skillfully combined creativity, data, and technology to create breakthrough communication works, Laksanajinda is the creative force behind the company’s consistent wins at Cannes Lions and other prominent awards during the past few decades.

Laksanajinda noted that moving forward, he will focus on enhancing the agency’s creative capabilities in four key areas. 

“The first is Variety. Thanks to our comprehensive services that include Advertising, PR & Influence, Experience, Health, and Consulting, we are able to solve clients’ marketing problems creatively and innovatively. [The] second is Speed & Scale. We will utilise [the] latest technologies in Creative Cloud to make our creative process seamless and our creative works scalable in order to serve clients’ increasingly dynamic needs,” said Laksanajinda.

He added, “The third is Talent. We welcome fresh and seasoned talents from a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and interests, as long as they are passionate about using creativity to make big differences. The last area is Effective Impact. We are convinced that works with mere commercial results are not enough to grow and sustain brands in the long run. We will join hands with our clients to push forward projects that promote [a] positive impact for the people and the planet on top of business performance. We will make sure our clients walk with confidence toward the future with us by their side.”

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman of Ogilvy Thailand, said, “It is about time that Gumpon uses his accumulated experiences and expertise to bring our company to a new era of success and to pass on our unique DNA to the next generation of creative talents.”

In August 2022, Ogilvy also appointed Chatree Chokmongkolsatian as its newest chief strategy officer in Thailand.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Klook inks MoU with Central Pattana to drive travel recovery in Thailand

Thailand – Klook, a travel and leisure e-commerce platform, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Central Pattana plc, Thailand’s retail-led mixed-use real estate developer and operator of central shopping centres, residential and office buildings, and hotels, to boost inbound tourism to Thailand.

The partnership, which begins in October 2022, seeks to leverage the strengths of Central Pattana’s leading retail presence, which encompasses over 37 shopping centres across Thailand’s most popular destinations, with 19 branches located in 15 provinces, both in major and secondary cities, and Klook‘s digital reach and global user base, to position Thailand as the destination-of-choice for travellers from key Asian markets, including Singapore, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. 

Moreover, the partnership will also include a variety of digital marketing initiatives and online-to-offline (O2O) campaigns to increase the visibility of Thailand’s tourism businesses and exposure to international markets. Klook will also collaborate with Centara Hotels & Resorts, the Thailand-based hotel chain, to offer customers specially curated deals and seamless accommodation booking experiences.

Marcus Yong, Klook’s vice president of global marketing, commented that they are excited to be the first travel and leisure e-commerce platform to partner Central Pattana on an integrated marketing campaign to drive tourist arrivals and increase spending in Thailand.

He further shared that partnership enables them to tap into their respective strengths and innovate on offerings that combine travel and retail to help build travellers’ confidence and drive recovery.

“At Klook, we are ramping up to support and drive the next stage of travel recovery in Thailand, which will not only see tourists resuming their favourite pre-pandemic activities like eating local cuisines and shopping, but also branching out to discover more of what Thailand has to offer,” said Yong.

Meanwhile, Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, executive vice president of marketing at Central Pattana plc, noted this partnership will enable Central Pattana to leverage Klook’s digital capabilities, strong user base and presence in multiple markets to capture new audiences.

“We look forward to working closely with Klook to create joint offerings that will attract and help us welcome more tourists back to Thailand by launching exclusive promotions for foreign customers: get a free Starbucks e-Coupon worth 100 baht when spending 2,000 baht, a free Klook discount code worth 200 baht when spending 2,000 baht on shopping at Central Ayutthaya or 2,500 baht at centralwOrld and Central Phuket. Organising the ‘Pick Up & Drop Off One-Day Tour’ area for international tourists at both centralwOrld and Central Ayutthaya in addition to Klook Downtown Service Counter at centralwOrld, the first comprehensive tourism service in Bangkok,” said Tangpoonsinthana.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Chatree Chokmongkolsatian appointed as Ogilvy Thailand’s new chief strategy officer

Bangkok, Thailand – Ogilvy has recently appointed Chatree Chokmongkolsatian as its newest chief strategy officer in Thailand, where he brings in unrivalled expertise in modern marketing strategies to the local team.

Before joining Ogilvy, Chokmongkolsatian was previously the head of business and strategy group at Cheil Worldwide, specialising in digital and retail marketing – ranging from brand communications, media and data, experience, e-commerce, to new and emerging platform businesses. 

He has also been the vital force behind phenomenal successes of many leading brands in several industries namely Samsung, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Nestle, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thaibev, Beiersdorf, among others.

Speaking on his new appointment, he said that he is confident that he will be able to leverage his extensive experiences to build on Ogilvy’s creative leadership and continue to generate more impact for their clients.

“To me, taking on the new role at Ogilvy Thailand is both an opportunity and a challenge. Ogilvy is undoubtedly an industry leader with groundbreaking creative innovations that constantly excite the industry and produce real business results. However, every marketer nowadays has been challenged head-on by the rapidly changing social conditions, media consumption behaviours, as well as the technology landscape.” 

He added, “The marketing solution that worked 3 months ago may not be so effective today, and Advertising may not be the only solution to clients’ problems. Building exceptional experiences for products or brands needs an omnichannel approach, as each method has different purpose and way of reaching customers, and as we are living in the age where people are willing to pay fees for ads-free viewing and are super strict with their personal data and privacy.”

Meanwhile, Nopadol Srikieatikajohn, chairman at Ogilvy Thailand, commented, ‘Chatree is a great example of the new generation of leaders who set new standards for every work that they do, with profound knowledge and experiences in the ever-changing modern marketing strategies and tactics, paired with deep understanding of clients’ businesses. All of this makes Chatree the perfect person to lead our strategy capability and pioneer new strategic offerings for our company and clients’ growth.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thai tourism authority’s new ad takes tourists on a cinematic journey of its tourist spots

Bangkok, Thailand – With the tourism industry in Thailand reopening recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a new campaign via BBDO Bangkok which depicts a trilogy of cinematic trailers, from adventure, to romance to an action-packed sci-fiction, where the viewer follows the different characters on their unique, but thrilling journeys through Thailand.

Knowing that tourists love to share their travel experiences on social media, BBDO Bangkok wanted to build on this and simply invite people to come to Thailand and “Write Their New Chapter” in cinematic style, as Thailand writes theirs.

This campaign is just the beginning of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s marketing push. Furthering the promotion of this new campaign, BBDO Bangkok is releasing thematic key visuals, Instagram filters in the style of movie release posters, and tour packages to encourage tourists to come to Thailand to create and share their new chapters using hashtags like #AmazingNewChapters and #AmazingThailand.

Speaking about the ad concept, Thasorn Boonyanate, chief creative officer at BBDO Bangkok told TAT that they are not coming here to pitch against other agencies, but rather to pitch against other countries. For him, travellers need to revisit Thailand to see that nature, hotels, and restaurants have revived.

“People love to record special moments on their phones, whether it’s a story on Instagram or a video on Facebook. Just like movie genres, what they capture can be adventure, romance, or pure comedy. Drawing inspiration from our campaign, and using tools like our new filters, we want them to take on the role of film producers, create and tell their stories, and share this chapter of their lives with the world,” Boonyanate said.

Meanwhile, Yuthasak Supasorn, governor at TAT, commented, Representing film, this latest TVC is a new approach we are taking to communicate the ‘Amazing New Chapters’ message and to engage tourists around the world through a cinematic perspective to show them Thailand has a multitude of holiday possibilities in which there is something for all.” 

He added, “We want to inspire tourists to explore our wonderful country and to create their own amazing chapters during their stay and premier these films with not just friends and family, but the rest of the world.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thailand’s tourism authority launches collaborative initiative to promote stargazing tourism

Bangkok, Thailand – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced a collaboration with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) to launch a tourism initiative to promote dark sky tourism and raise awareness on light pollution and the preservation of quiet and dark skies.

The project, named ‘Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand’, will provide support on creating memorable astronomy travel experiences through stargazing tours based on user-friendly knowledge.

In addition, ‘The Amazing Dark Sky’ in Thailand project has thus far listed 12 locations up and down the country that pass the criteria to achieve a dark sky conservation area status. TAT has also launched a travel guide with recommended stargazing travel routes and all need-to-know astronomical knowledge in an easy-to-understand format.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor at TAT, said, “We are promoting astronomy tourism or dark sky tourism as another new tourist experience, that is in line with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign. Tourists who are fond of watching the stars, and astronomical phenomena like meteor showers and eclipses when they occur, can do so and combine this with other tourism attractions and activities at different locations around Thailand.”

Meanwhile, Saran Poshyachinda, executive director at NARIT, commented, “A dark sky conservation area needed to be an open space where the surrounding sky could be observed freely enough from light pollution, and where prominent celestial objects were visible to the naked eye. There must be personnel in the area able to provide tourists with basic astronomical knowledge, as well as facilities like restrooms, restaurants, and accommodation.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty marketing platform SoPa acquires Bangkok-based Thoughtful Media

Singapore – Society Pass (SoPa), the data-driven loyalty platform in SEA, has announced the acquisition of Thoughtful Media Group (Thoughtful Media), a social commerce-focused and premium digital video multi-platform network headquartered in Thailand which has an operating presence in the US, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

The acquisition of Thoughtful Media marks SoPa’s first foray into Thailand and adds to SoPa’s growing ecosystem of technology-enabled companies located in the SEA countries of Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Just recently, SoPa has also acquired Singapore-based Gorilla Networks, a next-generation Web3-enabled MVNO.

Thoughtful Media creates and distributes digital advertising campaigns across its MPN in both SEA and the US. Advertisers leverage Thoughtful Media’s wide influencer network throughout SEA to market and sell advertising inventory exclusively with specific placement and ‘effect’. 

Thoughtful Media’s social commerce platform will be amplifying the reach and engagement of SoPa’s e-commerce ecosystem and retail partners. With this acquisition, SoPa aims to increase customer engagement whilst also focusing on the quality of relationships through a campaign-based approach enabled by this synergistic acquisition.

Specifically, Thoughtful Media’s digital advertising tools and expertise bolsters Society Points, SoPa’s paradigm-shifting loyalty platform. Through data-driven marketing campaigns, advertisers of all types utilise Society Points’ proprietary 1st party data to improve the targeting, efficacy, and efficiency of their digital marketing spend. SoPa’s product offering is seen to uniquely position Thoughtful Media as a leading SEA retail marketing and advertising hub for international and regional consumer brands.

Dennis Nguyen, SoPa founder, chairman, and CEO commented, “We are thrilled to have Thoughtful Media join the ever-expanding SoPa ecosystem. Thoughtful Media’s social commerce-focused business model perfectly complements our future growth strategy for Society Pass as we drive consumer eyeballs and generate revenues for riveting consumer brands throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, Society Pass is excited to complete our first Thailand acquisition and look forward to launching our SoPa loyalty platform to the 65 million consumers in Thailand”.

Meanwhile, Dan Thorman, Thoughtful Media CEO, said, “Partnering with Society Pass allows Thoughtful Media to unlock strategic opportunities with influencers and advertisers as well as design cross-marketing synergies for companies in the SoPa ecosystem. In doing so, we expect to drive tremendous revenue growth in 2022 and beyond.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Thai food delivery app Robinhood ties with Accenture Song to drive ad creativity on the platform

Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand’s food delivery app and all-in-one travel service platform, Robinhood, has partnered with Accenture to drive advertising creativity and enhance brand experiences for advertisers on the platform.

Led by Accenture Song (formerly Accenture Interactive), the multi-year strategic collaboration accelerates Robinhood’s business transformation across various aspects of the company, positioning the platform as one of Thailand’s most compelling apps, enhancing its product management and strategy, and creating rewarding customer experiences. Key to this effort is an ad-suite platform powered by data insights and analytics technologies to support advertisers in multiple areas of digital marketing optimisation.

Moreover, the collaboration is a significant part of Robinhood’s new roadmap for sustainable growth, focused on helping businesses and communities thrive amidst disruption. It also furthers the platform’s ambitions to grow into a super app that provides services beyond food delivery, including travel, mart, parcel delivery, and ride-hailing in Thailand.

Thomas Mouritzen, Accenture Song’s SEA lead, said, “Robinhood is an important purpose-led company, offering pivotal support to the community. Our creativity, technology and intelligence will support Robinhood’s next phase of growth in Southeast Asia, adding more relevant experiences to their ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, Srihanath Lamsam, CEO at Purple Ventures Co., Ltd. (Robinhood), shared that the platform has now over 225,000 stores, over three million registered users, over 30,000 food delivery riders, an average of 180,000 daily orders, and over 16,000 hotels already listed. 

“Our collaboration with Accenture Song will extend this important work, paving the way for Robinhood to continue to deliver the best experience for our users,” said Lamsam. 

Patama Chantaruck, country managing director at Accenture Thailand, noted, “Accenture has been helping businesses in Thailand drive mission-critical transformational change. Our work with Robinhood continues this commitment as we support businesses looking for new ways to grow into the future.” 

Robinhood Advertising has started empowering early adopters across various industries such as fast-food restaurant Texas Chicken, furniture retailer Index Living Mall, electric vehicle lifestyle platform EVMe, vitamin-fortified beverage Vitza, and video streaming provider Viu, to take charge of their business and marketing goals through the tech-driven ad suite platform for greater brand awareness. Soon, merchants on the platform can look forward to growing their visibility through self-service advertising tools, allowing greater autonomy and management of ad inventory. 

Sarun Chinsuvapala, head of marketing at Purple Ventures Co., Ltd. (Robinhood), said that Robinhood Advertising gives them an edge to support their merchants, riders and high-value customers better. 

“Accenture Song’s experienced team support and its data-driven capabilities allow us to provide customised products and services for our diverse users. To reach more advertisers locally, Robinhood Advertising will be represented by GroupM, dentsu international Thailand, and Entravision MediaDonuts. Together, we are laying the foundation to redefine platform advertising,” added Chinsuvapala.

This collaboration follows the recent announcement of Accenture Song, a brand evolution that symbolises the company’s focus on helping clients accelerate growth through relevance.