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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

HEINEKEN kicks off music-celebrating campaign with concerts in Malaysia, Vietnam

Singapore – As part of its campaign to celebrate music versatility, HEINEKEN has officially kicked off its ‘Refresh Your Music, Refresh Your Nights’ campaign in Asia with two concerts done in Malaysia and Vietnam. 

Launched Asia-wide, the campaign was developed by Le Pub, BBH Singapore, Leo Burnett Vietnam and Leo Burnett Malaysia, while Iris Singapore led the regional PR and influencer strategy.

Both concerts featured the world-famous electropop duo, The Chainsmokers, as well as local artists from both countries. Over 85,000 music fans attended the concerts in support of the featured artists.

The Malaysia leg of the concert was held on December 9 with homegrown artists Yunohoo and NYK, while the Vietnam stop was held the day after, featuring artists Thu Minh and Karik.

Prior to the concert series, HEINEKEN encouraged fans to vote for their favourite renditions of The Chainsmokers’ hit songs created by the local artists.

According to Rajeev Sathyesh, HEINEKEN’s brand director for APAC, the campaign was targeted at echoing HEINEKEN’s belief that life tastes better with an open mind, regardless of social situations or music preferences. 

“The fans’ incredible energy and willingness to break out of their music bubbles affirmed our belief that music does transcend all boundaries,” he added.

Heineken has also previously released a global campaign to promote work balance while enjoying a cold bottle of beer.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam e-retailer Greenoly partners with Beautizon

Vietnam – Greenoly, a Vietnam-based health supplement e-retailer invested in by Blueseed Group, has recently signed a strategic partnership with beauty product distributor Beautizon. 

With the partnership, Greenoly will be acting as a key online retail platform for Beautizon’s brands and products. Blueseed Group, on the other hand, will be supporting its marketing efforts to boost Beautizon’s brand awareness and adoption in Vietnam.

Beautizon’s Founder and Director Steven Stoddart shared his excitement over the partnership, stating, “As a distributor of leading Australian and New Zealand brands we see Greenoly as a great online retail platform to connect our products to customers throughout Vietnam.”

He also added that the Blueseed Group’s market-leading marketing experience will help Beautizon take its brands to new levels in the marketplace. 

Greenoly’s CCO Thao Tran also said, “We’re so happy to be partnering more closely with Beautizon and their brands like Sukin. Already in the lead up to this formal agreement we’ve been seeing great growth in the customer demand for high quality, natural and more gentle beauty products compared to what has traditionally been available within Vietnam.”

Meanwhile, Bill Crang, head of partnerships at Blueseed Group, also shared his excitement over the said partnership. “I’m even more excited that via this partnership we will be able to reach out to support other top Aussie (and Kiwi!) brands enter the fast growing Vietnam market.”

It was January this year when Blueseed Group made an investment in Greenoly in an effort to build the latter as Vietnam’s next retail champion.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Techcombank to hyper-personalise banking experiences in partnership with Adobe

Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank, also known as Techcombank, has announced its multimillion-dollar and multi-year partnership with Adobe. The partnership will be seeing the launch of the first end-to-end customer experience technology platform in Vietnam.

Techcombank will be using Adobe Experience Cloud to deliver hyper-personalised banking experiences in real-time across offline and digital touchpoints. The launch will also mark a significant milestone in Vietnam and Southeast Asia’s banking industry.

Techcombank’s investment in Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP), will form part of the integrated technology platform that will help determine the best personalisation format for its customers. This will be done by analyzing customer browsing behaviours and deploying persona-based discovery paths.

“Today’s consumers are banking across multiple online and offline channels, and it is critical that we meet their expectations wherever they choose to engage or transact,” said Jens Lottner, chief executive officer at Techcombank

He added, “With Adobe’s successful track record of working with leading financial services organizations around the world for the past decade, we are excited to partner with Adobe on our ongoing five-year transformation strategy, and accelerate our journey of being the leader in the customer-led digitization of the Financial Services Industry (FSI) in Vietnam.”

Simon Dale, managing director of Southeast Asia and Korea at Adobe, also said, “We are thrilled to be part of Techcombank’s journey to enable the digital transformation of Vietnam’s finance and banking industry.”

He further commented, “Using Adobe Experience Cloud, Techcombank will be able to deliver better and faster experiences for customers, advancing its long-term vision to inspire a more robust digital skills economy and workforce reskilling in Vietnam.”

As Vietnam aims to accelerate national digital transformation efforts in the finance and banking industry, Techcombank and Adobe will also be building the digital skills economy by unveiling an inaugural Center of Excellence (CoE) to upskill teams and develop digital talent.

To this, Dale commented, “Our CoE will develop the digital capabilities of teams within Techcombank to leverage the tools within Adobe Experience Cloud. This will simultaneously accelerate the bank’s digital transformation journey and enable the development of industry-leading digital talent within the bank.”

Adobe has also previously made updates to its Adobe Substance 3D suite to help brands be more metaverse-ready.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Want a Carlsberg? This AI rewards you with a free beer when pronounced correctly

Vietnam – As Vietnamese find themselves having a hard time to pronounce the brand name ‘Carlsberg’ locally, the popular beer brand has teamed up with Happiness Saigon and BLISS Maker Studios to launch an AI that rewards bypassers with a free beer if they manage to say Carlsberg the right way. 

The AI was built using voice inputs from hundreds of people pronouncing ‘Car-z-berg’ and was trained to distinguish the most accurate entries possible. The Carlsberg AI doesn’t just power the voice activated tap, it also powers the campaign website.

In addition, a social video of the on ground activation, billboards across the city of Ho Chi Minh, YouTube pre-roll, and Spotify ads all lead to the microsite carlsberg.com.vn/vn where anyone in Vietnam can attempt to nail the difficult name themselves and win some ice cold beer.

“Carlsberg is one of the leading brewing companies in the world today. This year they are celebrating 175 years as ‘probably the best beer in the world’. But before doing that, the brand needs to properly (re)introduce themselves to the Vietnam market. A market where their unique name is practically unknown,” according to a press statement.

Meanwhile, Hoàng Vũ Hải, brand manager at Carlsberg Vietnam, commented, “Working on carlsberg for all these years, our team realised something: it is so difficult to pronounce. So difficult in fact, we want to reward anyone who can pull it off with a complimentary beer. We think it’s a fun and smart way to increase brand recognition and product trial, especially for the launch of the new product in Vietnam.”

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Mastercard, Grab launch new regional programme to scale small business growth

Singapore – Global financial services company Mastercard and superapp Grab have joined hands to launch the ‘Small Business, Big Dreams’ regional programme to digitally upskill gig economy workers and small businesses in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This collaboration is part of Strive Community, a global philanthropic initiative developed by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Caribou Digital that aims to support the resilience and growth of five million small businesses around the world.

The new regional programme includes the launch of two online business courses for Grab’s driver and delivery-partners aspiring to start new businesses, and small business owners seeking to grow in a competitive digital economy. It aims to enable small businesses to reach their full potential by supporting them to digitise their operations, unlock their access to financial services, and more effectively participate in the digital economy.

The two new online courses, namely the ‘Driver Entrepreneurship Toolkit’ and the ‘Small Business Toolkit’, were created based on survey insights from over 34,000 driver-partners and 600 small businesses in the region. Although almost all small businesses surveyed use smartphones for their businesses, 42% still rely solely on paper and pen to manage their businesses.

“Many Southeast Asians working in the informal sector aspire for more, but the reality is that a lot of them do not have the means or the opportunity to access quality training programs. Through our partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, we hope to give gig workers and small businesses a boost to get started. Our ‘Small Business, Big Dreams’ programme will equip them with business knowledge and practical skills through a structured learning journey tailored to their needs and interest areas,” said Cheryl Goh, group head of marketing and sustainability at Grab.

Meanwhile, Payal Dalal, SVP of social impact, international markets, and centre for inclusive growth at Mastercard, commented that they are delighted to work with Grab on this initiative that will boost digital capacity and inclusion amongst aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses post-pandemic.

“Mastercard has globally committed to bringing a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025. Today’s announcement follows the success of Mastercard Academy 2.0 in Indonesia, Business Cell in the Philippines, BSR’s HER Project Digital Wage in Cambodia, and Care Ignite in Vietnam, which have empowered millions of small businesses to access technology, training, mentorship, and financial services,” she said.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam-based digital bank Timo announces new leadership appointments

Vietnam – Vietnam-based digital bank Timo has announced two new key leadership appointments. These include Henry Nguyen, the new executive chairman, and Jonas Eichhorst, the new CEO and will retain his position on the board of directors. 

As executive chairman, Nguyen will continue on working on strategy and planning, as well as regulatory and external relations, including partnerships and strategic alliances. In addition to Timo, Nguyen also serves as chairman of Phoenix Holdings, whose portfolio holdings include strategic partners of Timo, including VietCredit and Kredivo, Viet Capital Securities, and Viet Capital Bank.

Meanwhile, in Eichhorst’s new leadership role, he will continue to work closely with Nguyen and the senior leadership team at Timo. Over the past 15 years, Eichhorst has supported the development of a wide range of high-scale products and businesses across various emerging markets. Having first joined Timo’s Board in 2020, he took on the CFO position in 2021 before now being promoted to CEO.

Timo said that the change also marks the two-year milestone of Timo’s relaunch of service under its long-term partnership with Viet Capital Bank.

Commenting on his appointment, Nguyen said, “While my work at Timo will remain unchanged and uninterrupted, I am extremely excited about Jonas’ promotion to CEO. It reflects all of the hard work and leadership he has exhibited at Timo so far while also expressing the potent and high expectations we all have for him.”

Meanwhile, Eichhorst said, “Timo has had an incredible journey since its founding seven years ago to become the most trusted digital banking brand in Vietnam. We have a unique opportunity to really set the benchmark for digital banking in a market that is quickly developing. Ultimately, our customer’s success in moving, managing, growing, accessing and protecting their money drives our success.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

VMLY&R appointed by Vietnamese mattress brand Everon as strategic brand partner

Vietnam – Global brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R has been appointed by Vietnam-based fabrics manufacturer Everpia Joint Stock Company, as its strategic brand partner for its flagship mattress and bedding brand, Everon, in Vietnam.

Working with VMLY&R, Everon hopes to relinquish its status as a leader in the market – maintaining the brand’s core values that consumers already know and trust, whilst introducing new values to enhance its connection and appeal to Millennial consumers. 

In addition, VMLY&R will also be tasked with helping the brand to expand its product portfolio, creating product differentiation and improving market competitiveness, whilst also helping Everon to become a home fashion brand, using its textile experience to develop its own range of home textile products.

The announcement follows a six-month process by Everpia to find the right fit in brand experience (BX), customer experience (CX), creativity and reputation to reposition the Everon brand and provide the company with guidance and counsel around the overall direction and long-term vision of the business.

Lee Jae Eun, CEO at Everpia Joint Stock Company, said, “We are excited to be working with VMLY&R, who stood out to us due to their experience in building truly connected brands. We were keen to work with a partner who can help us to understand the market, consumers and new industries as the basis for building a robust and comprehensive brand strategy for Everon.” 

He added, “This will involve every aspect of our business from product R&D and distribution, through to marketing, communications and point-of-sale, and we are confident that we have chosen the right partner to help us do this effectively.”

Meanwhile, Ha Nguyen, CEO at VMLY&R Vietnam, commented, “Everon is an exciting brand with a lot of potential. Their ambition to reform their brand and expand the business beyond their current product portfolio is inspiring and we are committed to helping them to realise their vision – every step of the way.” 

She added, “At VMLY&R we believe in harnessing creativity, technology, and culture to create truly connected brands that resonate with consumers in real and authentic ways. This means bringing together brand experience, customer experience and commerce to create brands that stand the test of time by continuing to meet the demands of today’s ever evolving consumer.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Havas Group reestablishes Vietnam operations, announces key leadership

Vietnam – Global communications company Havas Group has announced the reestablishment of its fully-owned village operations in Vietnam. It has also appointed Alexandre Sompheng as group CEO and Thanh Bui as managing director.

Earlier this year, Havas ended its partnership with its local affiliate and decided to re-establish its full-service Village offering, as Havas Group Vietnam. Havas Group Vietnam will therefore house the following businesses for the group, namely Havas Creative, Havas Media, Havas Health, RED Havas (PR) and Ekino.

Having been part of Havas for 10 years and previously overseeing the operations for Ekino in Vietnam, the Village’s digital arm, Sompheng’s extended remit as Group CEO will see him responsible for all aspects of the business operations and championing the group’s vision. 

“This is indeed an exciting opportunity to extend our future-forward vision. Our Havas Village model of collaboration and integration is exactly what clients are looking for. Our local and regional teams provide quality service at international standards for our clients, making Havas a force to reckon with in the Vietnamese market as well as in SEA,” Sompheng said.

Meanwhile, with over 15 years of experience working across large client portfolios, Bui will be responsible for leading integrated solutions, strategic client management and new business for the agency. 

“Havas’ Village offering is truly unique and allows us to be innovative, agile to adapting business challenges and create the most meaningful experiences as well as drive growth for our clients. I am extremely excited to be part of the team and looking forward to taking Havas Vietnam to its next phase of growth and expansion,” Bui said.

Meanwhile, Alberto Canteli, CEO and chairman at Havas Group, Nordics CEE & Middle East, SEA & NA, said, “Our success as a network is determined by the strength of our people and leadership. Vietnam is a significantly important and growing market. Alexandre and Thanh have the proven expertise coupled with extremely strong leadership skills to build on what we have within the network and will help to set us up for renewed success.”

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Technology Featured APAC

Bidmath names Rakesh Singh as new country manager for Vietnam, commercial head for APAC

Vietnam – Transparent programmatic and data-driven agency, Bidmath, has appointed Rakesh Singh, former head of digital, destination marketing and marcom at Hoiana, to be its new country manager for Vietnam and commercial head for APAC.

In his new role, Singh, who will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, will be responsible for leading the new business and solutions in Vietnam, as well as commercial partnerships across the APAC region. 

Aside from his previous role at Hoiana, Singh has also served as the managing director at Havas Media in Vietnam. In his career span of more than 18 years, he has always been associated with the large media and communications companies in the industry, having worked with agencies like Group M (Mindshare and Mediacom), Omnicom Publicis, and Havas Media Group across Asia and Africa markets, with more than 10 years in senior leadership roles. 

On his thoughts regarding the largest opportunity for brands in Vietnam, Singh commented that the share of programmatic advertising in several emerging markets in APAC is much lower than that of mature markets where more than 80% of the digital spend is bought programmatically, and the primary reason for this is the lack of exposure of brands to the several benefits of programmatic advertising and this is largely due to inefficiency and lack of capabilities prevailing within the industry primarily driven by traditional media agencies who are struggling to move from the traditional media buying approach to the new audience buying approach driven by data and technology.

He said, “With the advancement of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), programmatic is now playing a significant role in the digital marketing ecosystem and with our huge expertise in this area, Bidmath is well placed to spearhead the growth in the region.”

Moreover, Singh also shared the key game-changers that he believes to be the future of online, which includes AI in marketing, the Metaverse, livestream commerce, AR, voice search optimisation, programmatic advertising, chatbots, and marketing automation, as well as micro-influencers, and shoppable content. Meanwhile, lack of resources, skills, and knowledge are amongst the key barriers for brands to achieve personalisation goals.

Singh noted, “I consider myself an emerging market specialist having had the opportunity to work across several emerging markets like India, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, and Vietnam. With the rapidly accelerating technological advances in digital marketing, the recognised value of data and increasing data literacy amongst brands and marketers, I’m looking forward to many more interesting experiences in the near future.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Mindshare announces three new leadership appointments in Singapore, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – WPP’s media services company Mindshare has announced new leadership appointments namely Shankar Rajagopal as chief client officer for APAC; Ashish Thukral as managing director at Mindshare and m/SIX Vietnam; and Preeti Mascarenhas as head of strategy and product for APAC.

Rajagopal was previously the CEO of Mindshare and m/SIX Vietnam, and a media veteran with two decades of experience leading client accounts from Unilever to L’Oréal and HSBC, as well as helming business divisions in India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Commenting on his appointment, he said, “I am looking forward to my new role – the fourth within Mindshare – where I will focus on driving the business transformation agenda for our clients in the region. I am excited to lead the Mindshare Asia-Pacific Client Leader community and will partner our account leads to continue nurturing our client relationships as well as ensure seamless integration and sharing of best practices across all markets to ultimately benefit our clients.”

Meanwhile, Thukral brings with him extensive brand-side experience from Standard Chartered and Diageo. He has also led agency client accounts including Levi’s, Nike, Lenovo, Nestle, GSK; and was most recently, the Managing Partner for Unilever, leading the global strategy and content for Mindshare’s long-term client. 

Lastly, Mascarenhas has returned to Mindshare where she previously spent eight years as the GSK APAC lead, handling numerous client accounts and winning new businesses across the CPG, FMCG, fintech and edutech sectors.

Rajagopal will be reporting to Helen McRae, CEO of Mindshare APAC, while Thukral will report to McRae as well and to Himanshu Shekhar, CEO of GroupM Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Mascarenhas, meanwhile, will report to Rohan Lightfoot, chief growth officer of Mindshare APAC.

Speaking on the new appointments, McRae said, “Shankar, Ashish and Preeti boast excellent track records driving Good Growth and award-winning innovation across APAC. These are some of our brightest talents whose intimate knowledge of the region and deep domain expertise set them apart as forerunners in the ad tech industry. I’m confident they will continue to deliver exemplary work for our clients in their new roles.”