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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Publicis Groupe SEA, Mana Partners team up to form Publicis Play

Singapore – Publicis Groupe in Southeast Asia has partnered with Web3 marketing consultancy Mana Partners to form ‘Publicis Play’, allowing clients to find a single solution to work with from creation, production, and placement to measurement.

Publicis Groupe and Mana see the offering as critical for a generation whose preferred means of social networking, entertainment, and commerce will soon be grounded in Play. The offering does not see gaming and the metaverse as two silo solutions, but as one integrated offer as the content and fandom from gaming are the foundation for metaverse experiences.

In addition, the offering is not just about badging brand presence but a belief that the future’s most successful brands will master Play – behaving authentically and earning attention and love from their communities.

The new offering helps brands discover and define opportunities where they can play in the long term, execute a fan-first strategy by designing purposeful and immersive gaming and Web3 experiences, and establishing robust relationships with key publishers, developers, esports teams, and ad tech partners that ensure an advantage for brands, players, and fans alike.

Publicis Play has already been piloted with several Publicis Groupe clients, including Singapore Tourism Board, McDonald’s, and PepsiCo, among others.

Ian Loon, chief transformation officer at Publicis Groupe SEA, said, “Connecting our Groupe capabilities with Mana Partners, who are intrinsically plugged into this rapidly evolving economy, ensures all our clients are welcomed into the community with access to true expertise. With the launch of Publicis Play, we can immediately deliver new ways to integrate and deliver between Web2 and Web3, provide measurable value, and drive business outcomes for brands.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Lewin, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Mana Partners, commented, “The Play Economy is the new modus operandi. Publicis Play is the gateway for brands keen to explore the full spectrum of opportunities, from gaming, esports, creators, and content, to participative digital experiences underpinned by Web3 philosophies and concepts. Our decision to partner with Publicis Groupe SEA was a real meeting of the minds on how we collectively view the opportunity.”

Lastly, Matthew Zatto, co-founder and chief commercial officer at Mana Partners, said, “In 2021, consumers spent more time watching gaming content on YouTube than the total hours of content watched on Netflix. By the end of 2022, players will have also spent one trillion hours and $200 billion playing games and 25 billion hours watching gaming content. On top of this, ad spends are also forecasted to grow significantly in the coming decade to more than US$214b annually. It is a huge opportunity but one that needs the right partnership between brands, agencies, and fans to create true value.”

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Filipino actress Yassi Pressman launches influencer marketing platform, BrandNation.io

Manila, Philippines – Following Filipino actress Yassi Pressman‘s launch of a play-to-earn (P2E) platform, ‘Players Elite Guild’ (PEG), the actress has jumped next to influencer marketing, unveiling a platform in the space called BrandNation.io. The latest venture of Pressman is said to be backed by a ‘dream team’ of top investors and technologists.

BrandNation.io connects influencers, brands, and their fans all on a single platform that will serve as the hub for promotion, exposure, partnerships, and revenue-generating activities in the space. The features were said to be made robust and advanced for each stakeholder.

For example, brands will be able to automate the campaign creation process for influencer marketing in just a few clicks, gain access to real-time data about each campaign, and achieve mainstream adoption through collaborations with even A-list celebrities, including Pressman herself.

According to Pressman, influencers and celebrities will be drawn to BrandNation.io because it will be a channel to work in a future pillar of the economy, the Web3.

“There’s a lot of noise in the web3 space, so it’s difficult for influencers and celebrities to find legitimate brands to work with. Some in other markets mistakenly endorsed projects that were later proven untrustworthy. BrandNation.io eliminates this problem: We connect with only the best, most trusted brands in the industry,” said Pressman, who added that the core mission of BrandNation.io is to be a bridge into Web3.

BrandNation.io will be offering multiple features that benefit all stakeholders, such as complete integration with all social media platforms, such as Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter, as well as real-time rewards and payments via PEG Token, the native token of Players Elite Guild.

This PEG Token is notably backed by BLX, the native token of BLOX, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) registered in Wyoming, United States.

“Every country has its flagship startup. I think BrandNation.io can really represent Filipinos well on the global stage, as it plays to our strengths: Our country, after all, is the social media capital of the world. It’s about time that we show the world how brands, influencers, and consumers can more efficiently perform our influencer marketing,” added Pressman.

BrandNation.io is set to start in the Philippines during its phase one launch this fourth quarter of 2022, and expand into Asia Pacific as part of phase two.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Tier One Entertainment unveils new Web3 incubator programme ‘ALLIANCE’

Manila, Philippines – Tier One Entertainment, the Philippine-based gaming and esports entertainment company, will be launching its latest incubator programme ‘ALLIANCE’. This aims to gather a curated list of Web3 content creators and train them to be top-notch opinion leaders shaping the future of content creation in the global blockchain and crypto industry.

For this programme, Tier One Entertainment has appointed Tyrone Anthony Bretaña as the head of ALLIANCE. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in fintech and e-commerce for eight years. With an early adopter mentality, Bretaña has the vision to lead the ALLIANCE into becoming a global collective that will drive traffic and mainstream adoption of Web 3 while promoting the values of authenticity, relevance, and legitimacy.

The new programme’s initial list includes professional basketball player Jared Dillinger, holistic wellness coach Chris Tan, gaming content creator Crisostomo ‘Chibiby’ Tan Jr., multimedia creative John Sedano, and DJ and producer Patty Tiu, as well as architect and artist Timi Sky, and filmmaker and entrepreneur Janina Manipol. 

Also joining them are business executives like Block Tides founder Myrtle Ramos, Stock Smarts CEO Marvin Germo, and Tetrix CEO Emman Navalan who have etched their names in the Web3 community.

“As a company that has multi-millions in following in the Web2 space, our role is to be able to help bring the attention and the traffic and help contribute to the mainstream adaptation of Web3. We are confident that our future plans for Web3 will help bring a new generation of users to the exciting space,” said Tryke Gutierrez, CEO of Tier One Entertainment. 

Previously, Tier One Entertainment conducted its influencer programs such as AMPLFY, ARDENT, and ASCEND, which elevated the video game streaming careers of SB19’s Josh Cullen, Filipino actress Sharlene San Pedro, and streamer and content creator Khenji Saito. It also launched The Gaming House with ABS-CBN, a reality show featuring gaming personalities, the first of its kind in Asia. This is on top of managing athletes under Blacklist International, a world champion in mobile esports.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Uniquecorn Strategies launches new Web3 marketing arm, elevates Irene Manansala as new associate director

Manila, Philippines – Uniquecorn Strategies, a PR agency based in the Philippines, has launched a new PR and marketing arm called ‘Blockceler8’, as part of a larger effort to expand its offering focused on blockchain, crypto, NFT, Web3, GameFi, and Metaverse projects.

The new marketing arm began operations with a focus on communications and marketing for cryptocurrency businesses. It employs engaging long-term marketing practices to bring cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to the forefront.

Additionally, Blockceler8 offers services that revolve around educating the audience, including full-stack public relations services, thought-leader marketing, commentary, content marketing, and branding. The agency also provides social media and forums management.

Uniquecorn Strategies said that its genuine interest in disruptive technology motivates its team of marketing experts to employ engaging strategies that will allow companies to reach more customers, partners, investors, and other stakeholders. The power of storytelling is central to the growth of its clients, and it wanted to bring this to its existing web3 clients, such as Tetrix Network, Moneybees, and The Mega Maxi, which will be transferred under the management of Blockceler8.

Dean Bernales, CEO and managing director of Uniquecorn Strategies, said, “The blockchain space is fueled by innovation, so as much as we like to be tech-savvy, we still want to keep its human element. Blockcele8 uses the power of information and persuasive communication to relate crypto to the masses.”

Moreover, Uniquecorn Strategies has promoted co-founder Irene Manansala as its new associate director, a step up from her position as public relations manager. In this new role, Manansala will be leading all Uniquecorn Strategies’ communications, including building the company’s reputation, managing client relationships and long-term partnerships, and developing sustainable communication strategies.

Manansala brings nearly seven years of experience working in advertising and PR to the company. She has worked with companies across various sectors, managing their projects, events, campaigns, and relationships with clientele including Johnson & Johnson (Johnson’s Baby line, Modess, Trade & Marketing, Shopper Marketing, and Retail), Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi-Aventis Philippines, Cignal TV, TV 5 Network, and Reckitt Benckiser Philippines, as well as Mead Johnson, and Petron Corporation, amongst many others.

On her appointment, Bernales commented, “Irene’s extensive communication experience with a very open and collaborative approach to team building and management is something that is necessary and of great importance, as we execute on the next chapter of our company’s future.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Crypto wallet Coins.ph to amp up Web3 investment 

Manila, Philippines – Local fiat and crypto wallet services provider Coins.ph has raised US$30m in their latest series C funding to accelerate investment in its Web3 ecosystem, as well as expand its presence in Southeast Asia.

In addition, the additional funding will support the company by reinforcing the platform’s crypto-native credentials and adding new products and services. Current growth plans include adding more cryptocurrency tokens, upgrading and relaunching the Coins.Pro exchange, offering additional crypto-focused merchant and payment services, supporting GameFi and guild management products, and entering new geographies.

For Wei Zhou, CEO of Coins.ph, the new funding is a significant milestone for the platform, and will allow them to accelerate and scale faster, bringing them one step closer to achieving their vision of being the go-to platform for all crypto, Web3, and P2E gaming in Southeast Asia.

He also added that as the Philippines continues to witness the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, there is a real need for a secure, regulated, and user-friendly product in the market. Zhou also noted that they are solving that problem by delivering crypto and payment services that allow their customers to access, invest, trade, and spend their crypto assets seamlessly as a part of their daily lifestyles.

“We enable our users, even those without bank accounts, to easily access a wide range of financial services directly from their mobile phones. Our mission is to increase financial inclusion across Southeast Asia’s largely unbanked population of 650 million through our highly trusted brand and long track record of operating in full compliance with regulations. We see a massive opportunity to capture new users as engagement with Web3 surges in the Philippines and beyond. We will continue to build upon our leading market share and acquire new customers with a product that connects digital-first users with real-world goods and services,” he stated.

Coins.ph had been previously bought out by Zhou, who previously served as the chief financial officer at Binance, alongside Joffre Capital. Through the buyout, Zhou has been appointed as Coins.ph’s new CEO, as well as serving as CEO of the platform’s holding company that also operates Thailand’s blockchain-enabled platform, Coins.co.th.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Web3 creative agency Metacurio launches JV with HK-based VS Media

Singapore Web 3 creative agency Metacurio announced the launch of a new joint venture with, a digital media and social commerce network based in Hong Kong, built by and for creators across Greater China. The company will be headquartered out of Singapore and called Metacurio VS Singapore.

Metacurio VS Singapore will be the exclusive home for VS Media and its IP across segments like NFT creation, marketing, and distribution. Metacurio will provide to the new company its deep expertise in Web3 creative strategy, artist curation, crypto-native market services, NFT buyer curation, gamification, and collectibility strategies. 

The relationship cements Metacurio’s global reach, especially with creative millennials across Asia. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Hong Kong, VS Media has over 1,000 client relationships and more than 200 million worldwide fans, including over 150 million in Greater China. Investors in the company include Discovery Communications.

Founder of VS Media, Ivy Wong, said, “We want to give our extensive network of creators, influencers, and audiences the best tools possible to connect with each other and leverage value from creative work.” 

According to Wong, by leveraging VS Media’s deep relationship reach, in partnership with Metacurio’s deep expertise in web3, Metacurio VS Singapore is better positioned than any other company in Greater China to build up the creator economy in web3. “Together we are excited for the groundbreaking creation of this first-of-its-kind joint venture,” added Wong.

Metacurio Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Hood, commented, “We are incredibly excited to partner with our friends at VS Media, a world leader in their space. Metacurio VS Singapore cements Metacurio’s truly global reach, especially with creative millennials across Asia, a region which still remains largely untapped by the crypto community.”

Metacurio Co-Founder and Executive Chair Sophie Watts, commented on the expansion, “Having spent a decade of my career working with some of China’s most prominent investors and media entities, I have experienced firsthand how Asia is a cultural hub of art, music, film, and entertainment for the entire world, and we are excited to expand that reach even further in web3.”

Metacurio recently launched the historic NFT collaboration between Wladimir Klitschko and artist WhIsBe to benefit Ukraine, raising over $400,000. Metacurio has also launched the highest-selling athlete NFT campaign of all time, in terms of secondary trading volume, with Mike Tyson’s first official series of NFTs on OpenSea.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Yahoo to run Web3 explainer series with art curator Future Art

Sydney, Australia – Tech company Yahoo has announced the launch of an integrated campaign with their art curator project Future Art to release an explainer series about the concept and implications of Web3 technology.

As part of the integrated campaign, Yahoo has collaborated with crypto artists – Em!, Serwah Attafuah, and Coldie – to create and promote original NFT artworks for a series called ‘Future Shock’. In addition, Yahoo Creative Studios has built custom WebAR extensions of these NFTs through their immersive platform. By simply scanning a QR code, users can interact and explore the works in augmented reality wherever they are. 

Yahoo’s Head of Innovation & Yahoo Creative Studios, Zoe Cocker, explains how this campaign peeks into the future of digital advertising.

“Future Shock celebrates the changing face of the internet which is fundamentally what our industry is based upon. Yahoo has long been at the forefront of innovation and we’re committed to helping our partners navigate this new space,” Cocker said.

She added, “This project explores the intersection of art, culture and commerce that we’re seeing emerge in Web3. The creator economy is on the rise and raising huge opportunities for artists, many industries are facing disruption, and new communities are emerging as the internet evolves. There’s never been a more exciting time for advertisers to connect with consumers in an immersive way to offer real value.”

The NFT artworks will be on show at the ‘Future Art is Vivid’ event at Home The Venue on 27 May. Organised by Future Art as part of Vivid’s opening night, the event will showcase original artworks from 24 of the world’s leading crypto-artists. Guests will be able to interact with the works and the stories behind them, plus experience immersive shows, live music, theatrical performances, AR/VR lounges, and cocktail bars. 

Future Art is the brainchild of Sydney-based crypto art curators Sats Moon and Potbelleez Producer and DJ Dave Goode, two pioneers of the Australian digital art scene.

Moon commented, “Future Art is Vivid has been curated as a multi-sensory journey to remodel your experience of contemporary art. We’re so excited to be bringing the very best international crypto-artists onto the Australian stage. Digital art has boomed into a multi-billion-dollar global market. There’s no doubt this is the way of the future.”

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Marketing Featured Global

Starbucks announces ventures into NFTs

New York, USA – Global coffeehouse company Starbucks has announced that it is venturing into NFTs, as well as exploring other ventures in the Web3 space.

In a joint statement by Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer at Starbucks, and Adam Brotman, advisor at Starbucks, the company plans to create a series of branded NFT collections, the ownership of which initiates community membership, and allows for access to exclusive experiences and perks. 

The themes of these collections will be born of Starbucks artistic expressions, both heritage and newly created, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands.

“We plan to take a phased approach here, willing to move fast, experiment, learn and collaborate. We plan to start with our first NFT collection, membership and community later this year, based on coffee art and storytelling. It will come with a host of unique experiences and benefits, worthy of a genesis NFT collection from Starbucks. And this first collection will form the core digital community and backbone against which we hope to build future collections and collaborations – all building on the same new ecosystem,” Brewer and Brotman said.

The company also believes that its Starbucks Digital Community Web3 platform has the potential to pioneer the combination of an approachable, widely accessible front-end, backed by the right blockchain technologies that are fast and inexpensive.

“We believe NFTs have broad potential to create an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, the offering of unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement. And, while doing so also being a source of accretive business that can benefit a number of stakeholders in the process, while creating a new type of digital ecosystem to complement Starbucks current digital platform offering,” the company added.

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Platforms Featured South Asia

Xfinite, MAD Influence partner to aid influencers, fans enter Web3 economy

Mumbai, India – Blockchain technology firm Xfinite Ventures and influencer marketing agency MAD Influence have entered into a strategic partnership to help influencers and fans enter the Web 3.0 economy, including NFTs and the metaverse.

The Web3 economy refers to the iteration of the world wide web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation and token-based economics.

In the coming months, Xfinite and MAD Influence aim to provide a platform for influencers to transition to creator first digital communities in the metaverse, spread awareness about the potential for blockchain applications like NFTs in everyday life, and help fans gain exclusive access to their favourite personalities.

Speaking on the partnership, Swaneet Singh, CEO of Xfinite and Mzaalo, said, “The future of the digital economy will be built on the content, commerce, and community model. Creators and their fans are at the centre of this. In that regard, we’re very excited to partner with MAD Influence to make this future a reality. With their expertise and ecosystem of creators, we want to show what blockchain-powered tools can do.”

Meanwhile, Gautam Madhavan, founder at MAD Influence, commented, “We are really excited to partner with Xfinite on this new journey. With their expertise of the blockchain universe and our expertise in the Influencer universe – I’m sure we will be opening up a new economy for this market. NFTs and Metaverse not only will benefit our influencers but also to the brand ecosystem that are associated with us.”

Xfinite’s soon to be launched NFT marketplace, MzaaloNFT will connect consumers and NFT collectors to native and globally acclaimed artists, celebrities, athletes, millions of digital collectables, and more. The ecosystem is powered by the Xfinite Entertainment Token (XET) built on the Algorand blockchain.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Web3 community platform Metasky secures US$1.8m funding from Sequoia Capital-led token sale

Singapore — Web3 community platform Metasky has raised US$1.8m in a pre-seed token sale round led by Sequoia Capital India and Woodstock Fund. Metasky, founded in 2021 by Ankit Arora and Prakhar Sharma, positions itself as a bridge to Web3 and aims to elevate NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Metasky’s platform aims to convert people from being social media followers into engaged members of a brand’s digital world. The platform’s strategy is to work with influencers, creators, and brands closely to form a Web3 strategy for their followers with the help of its user-friendly tools for buying, storing, and using NFTs.

Metasky is launching a user-friendly Web3 Wallet that democratises access to the decentralised world by making it easy for anybody to buy and securely hold Crypto Assets such as NFTs and crypto tokens. Metasky’s wallet can seamlessly integrate inside an existing website or application, converting an existing app to a Web3 app. These assets can then be used to provide exclusive benefits to token holders. These benefits range from unlockable digital content of popular creators, exclusive chat rooms and live streams, to backstage access into their offline events.

Ankit Arora, co-founder at Metasky, said that Metasky itself is organised as a decentralised community, explaining that it is the most efficient way of aligning a group of people towards a shared goal.

“We want to walk the talk that decentralisation is important, but it is a means to an end. Concepts like NFTs only make sense if they are accompanied by a strong set of utilities, a passionate community, and real governance rights. We are building Web3 tools to serve this purpose,” Arora said.

Meanwhile, Shailesh Lakhani, managing director of Sequoia India, comments on Metasky’s potential, saying, “Ankit and Prakhar are accomplished company builders, and we are excited to work alongside them as they create a holistic platform for NFT communities.”

Metasky recently launched its first community-led project called “Tanukibles” – a play-to-earn game that has started its journey as an NFT collection. Tanukis are animals native to Japan, deeply embedded in Japanese mythology. Anyone can be a part of the production team of Tanukibles by getting one of 9999 limited edition Tanukis. Some Tanukis are rewarded to community participants on merit, others are scheduled to be up for public sale in April.