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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.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam-based fintech Finhay bags fresh funding to bolster business growth

Vietnam – Vietnam’s digital investment platform, Finhay, has secured a US$25m Series B round co-led by Openspace Ventures and VIG. The round also counts Insignia, TVS, Headline,TNBAura, and IVC, amongst those who participated. 

Alongside this fundraising, Finhay has bolstered its market-leading position with the acquisition of a securities brokerage, making it the only licensed digital investment platform in Vietnam. The new capital will be used to invest in strategic business expansion, talent acquisition, and technology development.

Finhay aims to provide Vietnamese consumers with easy and convenient digital access to financial services. With a youthful and ambitious population now looking to invest, the market holds significant promise and Finhay has been able to capture users seeking to capitalise on this opportunity – amassing more than 2.7 million registered users. In 2021 alone, it gained 150% more users, buoyed by the release of four new products, namely cash-wrapped accounts with CIMB, gold trading, a 12-month saving product, and stock trading.

Huy Nghiem, CEO and founder of Finhay, commented that they are thrilled to welcome Openspace, VIG and other investors, and look forward to how their funding and understanding of Southeast Asian fintechs help accelerate Finhay’s growth.

“A large number of people are now looking for ways to start investing – often for the first time, and we are exploring different ways to enable them. It’s such an important inflection point,” said Nghiem.

Meanwhile, Jessica Huang Pouleur, partner at Openspace, said, “Finhay is already emerging as the clear frontrunner in Vietnam’s booming investment space. We believe a massive opportunity exists in Vietnam, which has an enterprising population hungry for the chance to invest smartly. Finhay’s recent developments have paved the way for continued growth as a broader wealth creation platform. We are thrilled to partner with Huy and the relentless Finhay team in their mission.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Entravision MediaDonuts inks partnership with Carousell Media Group

Singapore — Entravision MediaDonuts, a digital marketing performance and branding solutions platform in Asia-Pacific, has signed a partnership agreement with Carousell Media Group for Carousell in the Philippines and Cho Tot in Vietnam, as their official reseller.

Via the collaboration, brands can advertise on premium real estate in Carousell’s e-commerce space while leveraging its advanced contextual and audience targeting capabilities. Carousell Media Group has a database of 58 million registered users across Greater Southeast Asia through their different platforms namely Carousell, Mudah.my, Cho Tot, OneKyat, Ox Street, and Refash. Additionally, millennials comprise 70% of this targeted group of highly engaged consumers with buying intent.

Moreover, advertisers can leverage Connect, Carousell Media Group’s off-platform solution, to engage consumers across the open internet through millions of other publishers across mobile and web app inventories. Powered by The Trade Desk technology, an independent DSP, this feature allows brands to target and retarget users throughout their buying journey.

JJ Eastwood, MD of Carousell Media Group, said, “As we scale our media offering in the Philippines, we are excited to partner with Entravision MediaDonuts to connect advertisers with passionate communities and sustainability-conscious shoppers.”

Meanwhile, Pieter-Jan de Kroon, CEO of Entravision MediaDonuts, noted, “The Philippine internet economy has reached US$17b, and is expected to grow to US$40b by 2025. Entravision MediaDonuts is in the Philippines to provide on-ground support to all marketers expecting the best-in-class solutions for their digital media campaigns.”

On the partnership with Carousell Media Group, de Kroon shared, “We are very excited to represent Carousell in the Philippines, which will help advertisers achieve superior performance at scale. The digital media landscape is evolving fast in the Philippines and we’re seeing a very interesting opportunity, especially in the e-commerce space.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM appoints Nitin Kumar as chief investment officer of Vietnam

Vietnam – GroupM, a WPP media investment group, has elevated media agency veteran Nitin Kumar to the role of chief investment officer at GroupM Vietnam. Kumar will be based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and will assume the position on 1st July 2022, taking over the reins previously held by Huyen Trinh.

Formerly the Principal Partner of Products at GroupM Indonesia, Kumar has spent more than one and a half decades immersed in the media and marketing industry. From client leadership to trading, investment, general management and most recently, products development, Nitin accumulated a wealth of experience across key remits at the world’s biggest media investment company including significant tenures at GroupM agencies – Wavemaker and Mediacom.

Nitin has worked with a star-studded roster of clients including P&G, Heinz, Coca-Cola, Wipro, Airtel, Del Monte and many other brands across India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Nitin will report to both Himanshu Shekhar, CEO of GroupM Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam as well as Anita Munro, GroupM’s chief investment officer for Southeast and North Asia, who also chairs the APAC Investment Committee.

Commenting on his appointment, Kumar said, “I am thrilled to join GroupM Vietnam whose roster of local and global advertisers makes for an eyewatering portfolio. Together with my investment team, I look forward to leaning into our local and regional partners to create differentiated and market-leading advantage for brands. We will help our clients unlock even more premium content, data, and first-look rights as well as offer beta testing and priority access to premium inventories.”

Himanshu Shekhar, CEO of GroupM Indonesia, Thailand & Vietnam, shared, “Nitin’s all-round expertise in media strategy, planning, negotiations, trading and product development makes him a highly valuable leader to drive our investment vision and roadmap for Vietnam. This is one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia with latent potential, and I’m confident that with Nitin’s entrepreneurial skills and commercial acumen, he will be able to lead the team to extract maximum value for our clients in a rapidly evolving digital media ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, Anita Munro, chair of GroupM’s APAC Investment Committee, said, “GroupM Vietnam has built a strong investment legacy that will be further advanced with Nitin at the helm. As he focuses on enhancing the partnerships in-market and augmenting our investment capabilities across all channels, our clients will be able to enjoy far-reaching value.”

Munro added, “In partnership with our regional investment team, Nitin will lead the delivery of GroupM’s Responsible Investment Framework in Vietnam that entails building a diverse, sustainable and high-quality media ecosystem that our clients can invest in confidently now and in future.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Amazon’s annual Prime Day event returns globally this July

Vietnam – Amazon has announced the return of its annual Prime Day event this 12 and 13 of July, offering Prime members various choices of must-have products at big deals and promotions. This year, sellers across the globe, including those from Vietnam, will be able to sell their products to more countries during the event, as the 48-hour deals event kicks off on 12 July at midnight PDT (3 a.m. EDT) and runs through 13 July for Prime members in Australia, Japan, Singapore, and other countries. 

Prime Day has become a critical opportunity for third-party sellers around the world, including Vietnamese selling partners, to grow their businesses and build global brands. 

Since the announcement of Prime Day 2022 return, hundreds of Vietnamese sellers have registered to join the campaign, and this number continues to increase. In particular, Vietnamese sellers from home decor, kitchen dining, gifting and beauty categories have shown their eagerness and good preparation to capture this selling opportunity with various deal submissions.

Through the event, customers will be able to shop for products from top national brands and small and medium-sized businesses across every category. New deals from fashion and electronics to toys and home—will go live throughout Prime Day, offering savings on products across categories, including from ‘Customer’s Most Loved’, ‘Internet Famous’, and a selection of ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ products.

Gijae Seong, head of Amazon Global Selling Vietnam, said, “With the Vietnamese local businesses and household brands our members love and trust, we’re excited to offer our best Prime Day deals yet to even more customers around the world.” 

Seong added, “This year, we’re not only making it simple for members to find the best deals, but also trying to provide our selling partners with more features to benefit and maximise their selling.”

Beyond the expansion of the participating countries, sellers can get more benefits from new features designed to help members make the most of their shopping ahead of time. For example, Prime members can simplify their hunt for deals by subscribing to receive deal alert notifications related to their recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items. 

Besides, starting 21 June, busy Prime members can add products to their Wish List, Cart, or Save for Later, and Alexa can notify them up to 24 hours in advance of an eligible deal going live on those items. Members can then ask Alexa to remind them about the deal when it’s live, or even order it on their behalf.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Classifieds site Cho Tot launches new feature for safety of buying, selling second-hand

Vietnam – Cho Tot, an online classified marketplace in Vietnam, has launched a ‘Protected Payment’ feature to enhance the safety and convenience of buying and selling secondhand items. The company also has a solid plan to reshape the future of recommerce via building a comprehensive ecosystem.

Cho Tot is a part of the Carousell Group, a classifieds marketplace group in Greater Southeast Asia. Since launching in Vietnam in 2013, Cho Tot has become a well-known recommerce platform with more than 10 million unique monthly users and more than 1 million used items listed every month. Unlike the traditional consumption cycle, which comprises buying new items and then discarding them, Carousell and Cho Tot enable consumers to buy and sell used items, extending the life cycle of these items. Reinforcing the circular economy helps the community take steps together towards fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In order to increase trust in transacting on secondhand items, Cho Tot’s ‘Protected Payment’ feature is an escrow payment system that provides assurance to users by holding payment until a transaction is verified as successful by both buyer and seller. Supported by third-party payment platforms—mobile e-wallet platform MoMo and intermediary payment service Payoo, as well as on-demand logistics firm Ahamove—transactions via this method are recorded and ensured under Cho Tot’s protection policy. Buyers will be refunded in full if they do not receive items or if the items do not match the description. In addition, Cho Tot will assist in mediating disputes between buyers and sellers in cases of dispute, based on platform policy, to ensure transparency and the rights of both parties. 

Additionally, Cho Tot users can now experience much more convenience when buying and selling used items. Previously, transactions of used items would include multiple steps from contacting the seller, bargaining, making an appointment, verifying items, to making payment. Now, buyers only need to click ‘Buy Now’ and make payment, and the item will be shipped to their address as seamlessly as buying a brand new item on an e-commerce site. 

On the recommerce growth strategy, Hoang Thi Minh Ngoc, chief growth officer of Cho Tot, said, “With the feature of ‘Protected Payment’, we are reshaping the experience of buying and selling used goods to be safer and more convenient. We are planning to develop a comprehensive ecosystem for recommerce via working with strategic partners providing inspection, authentication, warranty and finance solutions; combining online platform and offline services to enhance the user experience for both buyers and sellers.

“In addition, Cho Tot also partners with organisations advocating for circular economy and sustainable development to encourage consumers to prioritize used items as their first choice, moving towards sustainable consumption,” Hoang adds.

On the partnership with Cho Tot to enhance the buying and selling experience of used items, Nguyen Manh Tuong, vice chairman and CEO of MoMo, shared, “We are proud to provide a secure payment solution and secure account for this pioneering feature of Cho Tot. MoMo believes that this partnership will help solve the ‘bottleneck’ for recommerce in Vietnam, remove barriers, and provide an outstanding experience in buying and selling secondhand.” 

Meanwhile, Quek Siu Rui, co-founder and CEO of Carousell, commented, “During the past 10 years, we have tirelessly made efforts to inspire people all over the world to start selling and buying secondhand items. Climate change and over-consumption have made us realise more than ever the importance and relevance of our mission.” 

Rui added, “With the introduction of ‘Protected Payment’ on Cho Tot, we are prioritising a safer, more reliable and more convenient experience in selling and buying secondhand items as the core focus of our growth strategy, directing towards serving the various demands of tens of millions of users in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Across these countries, Vietnam is our strategic market due to its largest user base and significant growth rate. We’re doubling down on our support for the Cho Tot team to accelerate growth organically, and we’d be keen to explore inorganic options too.” 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Linear advertising takes lion’s share of ad spend in Vietnam

Vietnam – In Vietnam, linear advertising still accounts for 62% of the country’s advertising budgets, according to data from Mediabrands’ MAGNA.

According to the report, this year’s advertising revenues in Vietnam are increasing by 5% higher than anticipated due to the pre-COVID situation, which has caused pullbacks in advertising activity since 2021.

Meanwhile, TV advertising revenues are still a huge portion of overall ad budgets in Vietnam. Even though television ad spending is decreasing by -4% it still represents 58% of the total budget.

In other mediums, print ad sales continued to decline this year by -3%, and will continue by -4% in 2023, representing just 5% of total advertiser budgets. Furthermore, spending on print will represent just 70% of the pre-COVID total in 2019 by the end of this year 2022.

Lastly, as the economy recovers from the COVID outbreak in 2021, out-of-home (OOH) expenditure is expected to increase by 20% this year.

For digital advertising, the revenue is increasing by +22% and represents 38% of total advertiser budgets. Digital spending is led by social media advertising, which will increase by +36% and represent 48% of total digital advertising budgets. By format, mobile +30%, video +15%, and search +13% are leading growth.

According to the estimate, Vietnam’s advertising revenue will bring the market to VND 32.8 trillion ($1.5 billion). On a real GDP basis, Vietnam’s economy is expected to grow by 6.0%. Worldwide, media owners’ ad income will rise by over 9.2% this year, reaching around US$828 billion, or approximately 32% above the pre-COVID level of 2019. In addition, advertising revenues in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to rise by more than 7% to US$273 billion, or 35% higher than they were before COVID, thanks to an increase of over 12% in digital advertising.