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Marketing Featured East Asia

We Are Social acquires HK-based ATL agency Metta Communications

Hong Kong – Global creative agency We Are Social has expanded its presence in Asia with the acquisition of Hong Kong-based above-the-line agency Metta Communications. 

With this, Metta Communications has been rebranded to ’Metta/We Are Social’ under its new ownership. Metta will work alongside We Are Social’s existing team in Hong Kong; together the agencies now have a team of 25 who will be combining their expertise in creative and social media. 

We Are Social and Metta’s clients in the region now include appliance and electronics maker TCL, global payment powerhouse Alipay, newly opened cultural landmark Hong Kong Palace Museum, pharma company Abbott Laboratories, travel and experience booking platform Klook, and the financial service Livi Bank. 

Donald Wong takes on the general manager role of Metta/We Are Social, reporting to Pete Lin, CEO of We Are Social in North Asia. Wong was previously general manager at We Are Social Hong Kong, a role he’s held since the office first opened in 2018. 

Matt Tse, formerly executive creative director at Metta Communications, is now ECD across all clients. All teams will work closely with We Are Social’s team of 135 in North Asia, and its network of 1000+ globally. 

Metta’s notable works include the award-winning launch campaign for IKEA Hong Kong’s Tsuen Wan store, and the famous cat mascot for retail giant Mannings. Meanwhile, We Are Social, which has 15 global offices, is known for its expertise in social media. The formation of Metta/We Are Social creates an integrated creative offering that aims to deliver best-in-class above-the-line and social campaigns for clients in Hong Kong.

Pete Lin, CEO of We Are Social North Asia, said, “Joining forces with the team at Metta creates an integrated offering which is positioned to offer the best-in-class campaigns our clients want, both above-the-line and on social channels. We Are Social is now in the best position to support brands looking to reach the Hong Kong market, as well as homegrown brands in Hong Kong looking to market to the rest of the world.”

Lin adds, “As we head towards 2023, we look forward to putting our foot down on the growth accelerator in Hong Kong once more.”

Donald Wong, GM of Metta/We Are Social, also commented, “Metta has consistently proven its creative chops so this deal not only increases We Are Social’s presence in Hong Kong, it adds a whole new level of street cred. We couldn’t be in a better position to serve the growing digital and integrated marketing demands in the market.”

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Marketing Featured ANZ

We Are Social Australia names Ben Clare as new executive creative director

Sydney, Australia – ​Socially-led creative agency We Are Social in Australia has appointed Ben Clare, former group creative director at independent creative agency Emotive, to be its new executive creative director.

Clare’s creative reputation has been built over a 15-year career working in Australia and the United States. Aside from his previous role at Emotive, Clare was the creative director at TBWA Sydney, Clemenger BBDO Sydney, and Johannes Leonardo in New York. Over his career, Clare has also worked with brands including Google, Qantas, Tourism Australia, and Amazon, as well as Optus, and Skittles, amongst many others, helping them tell their stories in meaningful ways across film, digital experiences, and branded entertainment, as well as PR, and social.

In his new role, Clare will be leading the development of We Are Social Australia’s creative vision, working with a team of editors, copywriters, art directors, videographers, and photographers, as well as designers, delivering social-first ideas and integrated campaigns for clients including Samsung, Audi, Foxtel, and TikTok, amongst others.

Commenting on his appointment, Clare said that the opportunity to join We Are Social and help define its next chapter proved impossible to pass up. 

“More importantly, We Are Social is filled with lovely and talented people eager to take risks. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” added Clare.

Meanwhile, Suzie Shaw, We Are Social’s CEO for Australia, commented that he loves Clare’s work, and his energy. 

“Having him join the business at a time when we’ve got so many great clients all looking for interesting ideas, I’m seriously excited about the next creative chapter for We Are Social,” said Shaw.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Singer composes songs around fans’ inspiring life stories in Samsung’s new campaign

Sydney, Australia – Global smartphone brand Samsung has unveiled Sabrina Carpenter, American singer-songwriter, actor, and producer, as its newest influencer partner and for a new activation campaign, Samsung aimed to spread cheer for the holiday season by picking three pairs of Carpenter’s fans, and allowing their unique inspiring stories to be the theme of Carpenter’s personally composed songs.

Created in collaboration with socially-led creative agency We Are Social Australia, the heart of the campaign are music videos directed by Gia Coppola, namely ‘The Long-Distance Diners’, ‘Dancing In The Dugout’, and ‘Panic! In The Treehouse’. Carpenter wrote each song using a story from her fans’ lives as inspiration alongside her producer and co-writer Leroy Clampitt. For each surprise as well, Samsung grants the fans with a Samsung Galaxy gift emblematic of their unique stories to inspire further holiday gifting between friends.

‘The Long-Distance Diners’ features best friends Lee and Sofia reuniting for the first time in two years, who have lived 400 miles apart in Sweden. Meanwhile, the ‘Dancing In The Dugout’ film highlights former softball teammates Erin and Ari who will be returning to the field where they forged their close friendship, while ‘Panic! In The Treehouse’ recalls a close encounter shared by sisters Annie and Jamie, reuniting for the first time since leaving for college. 

Edu Pou, We Are Social Australia’s executive creative director, commented, “These are real stories, turned into incredibly rich songs with an artist’s genuine creative team, brought to life with industry-best creatives and gifted back to the fans, who’ve generously shared their authentic, emotional responses with us.”

The campaign is now available globally across Carpenter and Samsung’s social channels.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

We Are Social names new head of strategy, editorial director

Sydney, Australia – Socially-led creative agency We Are Social has appointed new significant leads to its Sydney team. Caitlin Hislop (pictured right)  has been tapped to assume the position of head of strategy, while Sarah Macrae (pictured left) is appointed to become editorial director.

The two join the 55-strong Sydney team as the company continues to strengthen its strategic and creative capability amid a growing client base.

Hislop joins from Tribal DDB, where she helped shepherd a period of strong growth in the agency working with key clients such as Kmart, Westpac, and Volkswagen. Previously, Hislop was group strategy director at Mindshare, where she led strategic thinking for IAG, IKEA, and HSBC.

For the appointment, Hislop will be leading a team of six strategists, research, and paid media specialists. The agency said that as part of the leadership team, she will be contributing to shaping the future of the business.

Meanwhile, Macrae comes to the role of editorial director after five years at publishing company Are Media which was previously Bauer Media. At the company, she headed commercial content and was able to work with brands CommBank, Dyson, Diageo, and Google for digitally-led content solutions.

She also directed the digital output for the publishing company’s purpose-driven content campaigns on financial literacy, gender parity, and coercive control. Previously, Sarah was a beauty editor in the UK and Australia, working on titles including Cosmopolitan, Woman, OK! Magazine and POPSUGAR.

For the new role, Macrae will be directing We Are Social’s editorial team which consists of 10 content editors and social media managers to ideate and create planned and reactive branded content and establish effective creative partnerships with influencers.

Macrae said, “The appetite for branded editorial continues to grow at pace. I’m so excited to join We Are Social and lead a team of editors and experts that are as immersed in culture as they are in the platforms. The work they’ve created in recent years has been best-in-class and I look forward to building on that to ensure our clients are always at the forefront of cultural conversations.”

Meanwhile, Hislop commented, “I’m thrilled to join the agency, having watched the formation of their leadership team with jealousy from afar. Suzie has an unbelievable reputation for developing talent and our client roster is impeccable so I can’t wait to get stuck in. I’ve always had a passion for understanding how and why people make decisions and that is at the heart of what the agency does. After all, social isn’t about platforms, it’s about people.”

Suzie Shaw, managing director at We Are Social, said, “We’ve enjoyed strong growth this year, which has seen us bring in some exceptional new talent, like Caitlin and Sarah. Their skills and experience are outstanding, and are already helping us go from strength to strength.”

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Kathmandu, VICE Australia bring urbanites to be ‘one with nature’ in latest content series

Sydney, Australia – In a bid to encourage urbanites to go out and explore the aesthetic aspect of nature, outdoor brand Kathmandu and the Australian arm of youth media group VICE have teamed up in a latest content series called ‘Out There With…’, which is hosted on a new content platform conceptualized by creative agency We Are Social.

The content series focuses on exploring outdoor subcultures like foraging, dog walking, and bathing in extreme cold water, and aims to highlight the benefits of the outdoors on our mood, creativity, and overall wellbeing for younger audiences. 

Said series is in line with Kathmandu’s goal to bring its brand purpose ‘We’re Out There’ to life.

They have recently uploaded their first episode on both Kathmandu’s and VICE Australia’s YouTube channels, which featured Australian musician Nick Littlemore and eccentric guide Diego Bonetto, as they explore pine forests in southern New South Wales.

“We’re thrilled to team with VICE and We Are Social on this partnership. At Kathmandu we know that nature changes our brains for the better and we can’t wait to highlight just how many great subcultures there are in the outdoors,” said Eva Barrett, chief customer officer at Kathmandu.

A set of photographs documenting the experience will also be released on Kathmandu’s owned channels through a range of lookbooks, social shopping assets, and educational content.

“Nothing is quite like discovering a place first-hand. And “Out there” is a place,” says Edu Pou, executive creative director at We Are Social

“Exploring specific outdoor subcultures, we aim to go beyond the expected and inspire our audience to start their own journeys,” Pou added.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

We Are Social launches AR-powered pro bono campaign for The Kids’ Cancer Project

Sydney, Australia – Creative agency We Are Social in Australia has rallied its support for Australian independent charity The Kids’ Cancer Project with a new pro bono campaign encouraging people to support the charitable cause.

The Kids’ Cancer Project aims to raise money to fund scientific studies that look into better treatments and ultimately a cure for brain cancer, which is the biggest killer by disease among children.

To collect funds, The Kids’ Cancer Project has launched ‘Pirate Day’, a day where people dress up to raise funds for childhood brain cancer research, and was first observed during 2015.

We Are Social has partnered with visual effects company Alt.VFX and through its visual studio T&DA, have created an augmented reality (AR) filter for Instagram, which aims to provide an opportunity for people to virtually dress up as a pirate and show their support online using #PirateDay2021.

The ‘ARRRR filter’, a Spark AR Filter for Instagram and Facebook, lets users dress up as a pirate. After donating on PirateDay.com.au, users can also unlock the special parrot, Rosie, by entering the code in their donation receipt. The filter, developed by Alt.VFX’s visual effects studio T&DA, can be accessed via the @TheKidsCancerProject Instagram page.

The agency has also enlisted TV stars and social media influencers like Olivia Vivian, Ben Polson, and Mel Schilling to join the initiative and nominate their friends to do the same, helping spread awareness of the charity day among their followers and drive further use of the filter and donations.

“Childhood brain cancer is a horrible disease, and one that has affected my family directly”, says Ewan Harvey, copywriter at We Are Social

“We are incredibly proud to put our creativity towards a worthy cause and, with our partners at Alt.VFX, help The Kids’ Cancer Project raise much-needed funds for research,” he added.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Audi Australia’s new ad takes viewers on a cinematic journey with Woody Gooch

Sydney, Australia – The Australian arm of automotive brand Audi has released a new campaign promoting the all-electric Audi e-tron Sportback aimed at pushing the boundaries of local and sustainable travel.

Titled ‘Electric Eye’, the campaign is a film reel of six minutes and narrates the travel journals of Australian photographer Woody Gooch. The travel, composed of a 3,500 km, 10-day road-trip, starts from Rainbow Beach in subtropical Queensland, the journeyman and photographer drove across the New South Wales border through the laid-back town of Byron Bay, down to the Snowy Mountains region, and finally back up to Sydney via the South Coast of New South Wales.

For Gooch, it was the perfect way to reconnect with his native Australia after years spent in other parts of the world. Aligning with his own ‘tread-lightly ethos’, the road-trip gave the Sunshine Coast-based photographer the opportunity to rediscover the riches of the country, while catching up with old friends and making new ones along the way.

“Returning to Australia and exploring this place has opened up my imagination. There are so many things I had forgotten about this place – its sights, sounds, smells. This trip has literally reactivated my senses,” Gooch stated.

The campaign also saw people who Gooch had worked throughout the journey, including free surfer Josie Prendergrast, chefs David Moyle and Mark Labrooy, free diver Madison “Shark Girl” Stewart and marine biologist Lucas Handley, as well as riding horses with farmer Nick Kirschner.

‘Electric Eye’ is produced by creative studio Convicts, and is done in partnership with creative agency We Are Social, as well as with post-production studio Heckler.

“A short film like this serves two purposes for our brand. It perfectly aligns with the interests of our audience by focusing on relevant topics such as creativity, sustainability, and travel; whilst simultaneously working to showcase the charging infrastructure currently available around the country,” said Nikki Warburton, chief customer and marketing officer at Audi Australia.

Released coincidentally during the observance of Earth Day, Audi Australia’s campaign demonstrates that the Audi e-tron Sportback is ready to take on longer journeys this year, despite being an electric car.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

New stats show Hongkongers spend an additional hour online compared to last year

Hong Kong – Hong Kong internet users spent on average almost a whole hour more online each day in 2020 compared to the previous year, a new report from creative agency We Are Social and social media management Hootsuite shows.

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According to the report, time spent on the internet daily has increased from 6 hours and 16 minutes a year ago to 7 hours and 15 minutes today, following a year of COVID-19 related lockdowns, which curtailed many normal activities. This means Hong Kong’s internet users devote over a day more per month to being online versus a year ago.

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In terms of demographics, users aged 16-64 spend an average of an hour and 57 minutes a day on social media, making it the second most popular online activity for Hong Kongers after watching television. YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook are the most used networks but Snapchat is growing in popularity as parent company Snap reports its advertising reach in Hong Kong rose by 13% over the previous quarter.

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Of the same demographic, social media is mostly used for brand research with 44% of internet users, higher than for most countries, while 34% use voice commands in searches. 

The increase in time on the internet also shone a light on ad spend which the report revealed is in tandem with such leap. A year-on-year increase of 7% was seen in the amount brands spent on advertising on social media against a 4% rise in overall digital ad spend for 2020.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysian digital marketing agency Primal aids companies amid COVID-19 through its planning method RADAR

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Despite the global business turmoil brought on by a tumultuous year, digital marketing agency Primal is helping local companies emerge from the COVID-19 gloom with renewed vigor,

As companies continue to battle decreasing economic health and drastic operational changes amid the pandemic, Primal leverages sophisticated digital marketing strategies for businesses of all shapes and sizes using the RADAR method of strategic planning and implementation.

RADAR is an acronym which stands for Research, Analysis, Well-designed, Actionable, and Results. In following the method, the agency provides businesses with a viable and targeted digital marketing strategy. 

It first goes into research to understand a brand, then dives into analysis to set the goals of each brand’s campaign. From such information, the agency devises a digital marketing strategy that is well-designed and actionable, then the agency endeavors in campaign monitoring, to measure and quantify results from the campaign for further enhancement of the strategy. 

The company vouchers for RADAR as a unique approach as it is not a rigid set of guidelines, but rather an agile framework that aligns strategic intent with anticipating and evaluating campaign performance.

According to the agency, genuinely successful online marketing is about focusing on what’s important and tangible. A scientific approach like RADAR will ensure that data is collated and analyzed, best practices are followed, market trends are incorporated, and budgets are stuck to and targets are hit. 

As with most other developed nations around the world, Malaysia is seeing growth in the online sector, both for leisure and commerce. For marketers, a high volume of traffic represents a golden opportunity. Companies who are leveraging these platforms to reach, engage, and convert customers are poised to win big in the online marketing war. 

According to a report by media company We Are Social, the top four dominant social network platforms in Malaysia areYouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram with 93%, 91%, 91%, and 70% usage penetration respectively. 

Meanwhile, a Southeast Asia-wide report by digital insights research company DataReportal shows that Malaysia currently has a penetration rate of 80% for online shopping, the third-highest level in Southeast Asia, trailing  Indonesia (90%) and Thailand (85%). 

“The difference with Primal is that we have an optimized, enthusiastic, creative, and results-driven mentality. We don’t just do the work for clients, but rather empower them with the knowledge, tools, and processes required to effectively harness digital marketing for themselves” said Ronnie Chin, general manager for Primal Malaysia

“We enable them to create data-driven digital marketing campaigns across social media, SEO, Google Ads, retargeting, and outreach that drive business results,” added Chin.