Marketing Featured East Asia

Wunderman Thompson HK announces key appointments in creative, strategic leadership

Hong Kong – Wunderman Thompson in Hong Kong has announced new appointments in its creative and strategic leadership teams namely Wilson Ang as executive creative director and Anant Deboor as head of strategy.

Ang was previously the group creative director at JWT while Deboor had spent more than a decade within the agency.

Ang joins the agency as one of the first creative leaders applying creativity and innovation into digital transformation for clients. In the past 20 years, Ang has worked on Hong Kong and regional accounts as varied as AIA, Disneyland, HSBC, IKEA, McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble and Samsung with over 10 of these years in digital and traditional leadership roles. 

Speaking on his appointment, Ang said, “2022 is destined to be a year of transformation. There are a few things at the core of this celebrated agency, and network at large, that strongly resonate with me. Whether it is an unabashed love for ideas or the wonderful management team one gets to learn from. WT is bubbling with opportunity, and I’m looking forward to working with WT’s creative force to explode its massive potential.”

Meanwhile, Deboor brings a wealth of varied experience, previously working client-side as a global head of strategic marketing, independent board-level marketing strategy consultant and advertising/branding agency-side business leader and planner across Asia-Pacific.

On his appointment, Deboor commented, “As someone who cut his teeth in the ‘thinking, planning’ Thompson world, it gives me immense pleasure to return to the family. New name, newer more advanced capabilities but the same awesome people, and still the same culture and feeling. Wunderman Thompson is home. And really looking forward to doing my bit to help WT Hong Kong return to being the biggest, baddest, most lusted after agency office in all of Asia-Pacific.”

Speaking on the appointments, Maggie Wong, chief executive officer at Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong, said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Anant and Wilson back to bolster our strategy and creative teams. Wilson brings with him the passion and expertise in fusing creativity and technology to deliver innovative and meaningful solutions. Anant is an accomplished strategist with decades of experience. I’m confident that they’ll inspire fresh perspectives and collectively take Wunderman Thompson HK to new heights.”

Meanwhile, Sheung Yan Lo, regional chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson, commented on Wilson Ang’s arrival, “Wilson used to work with us in JWT and it’s great to welcome him back to our new family, Wunderman Thompson. He is one of the very rare creative talents in Asia who embraces data, technology and creativity in work to solve clients’ market challenges.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Wunderman Thompson India launches Wunderman Thompson Health

India – Wunderman Thompson India has officially launched Wunderman Thompson Health (WT Health), which is a new specialized practice, offering a unique suite of services which will help health and wellness brands connect more meaningfully with consumers across all platforms of communication.

WT said this is in response to the healthcare sector witnessing exponential growth in recent years. With a multidisciplinary team of 100 plus, WT Health composes of experts across creative, medico-legal, compliance & public health to ensure that technology, creativity & data are drivers of humanizing the healthcare & wellness experience.

Commenting on the launch, Wunderman Thompson Health’s Global CEO, Patrick Wisnom, said, “The launch of Wunderman Thompson Health India is a proud moment for our network. It’s a recognition that our India business has evolved to become a key global healthcare hub. Not only serving the needs of local clients, but also working with our international network agencies, to efficiently deliver dynamic omnichannel content to our global clients. This is an important next step in the expansion of our international healthcare network.”

With vast experience across renowned health and wellness brands such as GSK, Zydus Wellness, Sanofi, Unilever, Pfizer, Bayer, and Abbott, amongst others, WT Health said it will be focused on driving excellence in an evolving healthcare sector and delivering products that are insight-driven and innovative to make a positive impact with key stakeholders.

James Hammond, Wunderman Thompson’s head of healthcare for APAC, commented, “The launch of Wunderman Thompson Health in India is a major milestone for our healthcare business in this region. We’re very proud of our what our team in India has accomplished in a relatively short period of time. We see this as proof that our unique offering, fusing data, technology, science and creativity is producing real results for our healthcare clients.”

Shamsuddin Jasani, CEO of Wunderman Thompson South Asia, also said, “We couldn’t have chosen a better time to launch our specialized practice of Wunderman Thompson Health as the healthcare market is poised for exponential growth owing to an unprecedented demand for robust health and wellness solutions. Health and wellness brands are on the lookout for a partner that understands the specific nuances of healthcare marketing, and we believe we can provide business solutions to brands and can unlock growth by leveraging our core strengths of creative, strategy and martech.” 

Marketing Featured Global

Wunderman Thompson launches beach metaverse activation to mark the start of Cannes

USA Wunderman Thompson has launched the WT Inspiration Beach, an immersive metaverse activation to celebrate the start of advertising’s biggest festival in Cannes together with the metaverse platform, Odyssey. The virtual beach would allow people from all over the world to experience the agency’s unique take on creativity, content, and connectivity. 

The WT Inspiration Beach has been custom-built from the ground up in partnership with Odyssey. The virtual beach features collaboration spaces, a networking lounge area, as well as a creative showcase of Wunderman Thompson’s most inspiring pieces of work. Later this week additional features including an interactive shopping space and a DJ booth will also launch to keep visitors engaged in new ways.

‘Inspiration Kiosks’ have been placed throughout the beach to present Wunderman Thompson’s take on key industry themes including Sustainability; IE&D; Data and Technology; Brand Creativity and Effectiveness; Talent; and Business Transformation. 

Gareth Jones, SVP of global marketing at Wunderman Thompson, said, “At Wunderman Thompson we’re always looking for innovative ways to create a more inclusive customer experience. This is why we’re excited to launch the WT Inspiration Beach, a virtual activation in the metaverse to allow our clients and colleagues around the world to experience our take on creativity in a unique and highly immersive environment.” 

Reid Santabarbara, CEO of Odyssey, commented, “As brands seek to enter the metaverse, many are looking to Wunderman Thompson who are thought leaders in this space. Through our collaboration, we’re able to provide these ambitious brands the most accessible, highest-visual-fidelity streaming metaverse platform on the market today. In creating the WT Inspiration Beach, our product team, led by Odyssey CTO Maxime Long, has captured the creativity and inspiration of advertising’s biggest festival and delivered an experience that demonstrates the limitless opportunities of the metaverse.” 

Wunderman Thompson was one of the first agencies to launch their own metaverse, debuting the space at CES 2022. The global network has published two original reports about the rise of this new frontier of customer experience: ‘Into the Metaverse’, launched in September 2021 and the follow-up report, ‘New Realities: Into the Metaverse and Beyond’, launched in May 2022, which found that awareness of the metaverse has more than doubled in less than a year.

Marketing Featured Global

KitKat launches an AI-powered staring contest for its latest campaign

London, United Kingdom – As many people are turning to social media to break up their day, the global chocolate brand KitKat has launched a new interactive campaign on Instagram called the ‘Blink Break’, a fun distraction from the mundane every day that gives people the chance to have a break from what they are doing and go head-to-head in an AI-powered staring contest.

Built by integrated marketing agency Wunderman Thompson and using MediaPipe’s cutting-edge Face Mesh technology, the online game is enabled with a single camera input that uses machine learning to recognise a face and detect blinking, returning results literally within the blink of an eye. Participants face off against progressively more absurd animals the further through the game they get, from a lemur to a snowy owl. With a pause in the action between each level, those who play are also encouraged to compete against each other and share their results using #blinkchallenge.

Wael Jabi, KitKat’s global strategic marketing and communications lead, said, “KitKat has famously encouraged people to have a break since 1957, and this campaign shows a whole generation of digital natives the benefits of taking a break in one of the most relevant contexts for them.”

Meanwhile, Paul Shearer, Wunderman Thompson’s global chief creative officer, noted, “Developing cutting-edge AI technology that responds within the blink of an eye is an unexpected move for KitKat, but gives the brand a chance to show up and show off their legendary positioning in a fresh and relevant way to a new audience.”

This new interactive game is now available on KitKat’s global Instagram channel, with posts coinciding with the infamous mid-afternoon slump when people are most in need of a light-hearted distraction.

Marketing Featured Global

This website is only ‘kept alive’ through user’s visits

London, United Kingdom – To mark the 21st International Missing Children’s Day, which was celebrated last 25 May, Child Focus, a Belgian foundation that supports the prevention and investigation of missing children, has launched a new campaign built around a website that can only be kept alive by the general public – just like the collective hope for the return of missing children.

The new website, which was created in partnership with Wunderman Thompson Antwerp, features moving portraits of missing children that demonstrate exactly what happens when those children disappear from the public eye – they gradually fade from view. Based on the number of visitors to the website and the number of missing person notices that get shared by using its ‘share now’ button, the portraits of seven children, all of whom have been missing for years, will either fade or become more visible.

The campaign also partnered with French illustrator Nabil Nezzar, who converted the original pictures from the children’s missing persons notices into lifelike, hand-drawn portraits. These children featured on the site are Liam Vanden Branden, Nathalie Geijsbregts, Théo Hayez, Antoine Plomteux, and Ken Heyrman, as well as Vincent Lamouris, and Gevriye Cavas.

Inevitably public attention for the website will decrease after a while but according to Kasper Janssens, Wunderman Thompson’s creative director, that is precisely the strength of the campaign. He said, “Keep Hope Alive acts as a lasting motivator to keep hope for missing children alive. And if the day does come that the children fade entirely, website visitors will instead see a relevant message that will motivate them to rekindle that hope, however small it may seem at the time.”

The campaign is available across social media and digital billboards, bearing the line ‘Don’t let missing children disappear’, to remind people that as long as they keep thinking about these children, they keep hope alive.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Akira Suzuki named as CEO of Wunderman Thompson Tokyo

Japan – Wunderman Thompson Tokyo has appointed Akira Suzuki as its new chief executive officer. Suzuki joined the agency from TikTok For Business Japan where he was director and head of Global Business Marketing.

Suzuki is one of the youngest CEOs of the company in APAC, and Wunderman Thompson believes that with his background in technology and advertising, he is well-positioned to integrate the company’s strength in creativity and digital capabilities to redefine the agency’s offering.

As a part of TikTok For Business Japan’s leadership team, Suzuki was in charge of shaping the future of the business through the intersection of business, creativity, and engineering. Facilitating growth through people-focused strategies, Suzuki built a diverse team across functions and launched multiple fast-growing business units, including Creative Labs, the Marketing Strategy team, and the B2B Marketing Communications team in Japan.

Before TikTok, Suzuki had both creative and strategic positions in Dentsu Japan, starting as a Strategic Planner in 2007, before eventually joining the leadership team as Creative Director and leading a team of 20 creatives in 2016. Suzuki’s vast experience covers many industries such as automobile, FMCGs, consumer tech and more. 

Ewen Sturgeon, International CEO of Wunderman Thompson, said that with the evolving nature of the industry in Japan, Wunderman Thompson will greatly benefit from a leader who is unafraid to explore the intersections of our capabilities, and who seeks out opportunities for growth for our clients.

“I am delighted to welcome Akira to Wunderman Thompson, to lead our Japan office. Akira is a new age creative technologist, strategist and business leader,” said Sturgeon. 

Suzuki commented, “In addition to its traditional agency functions, Wunderman Thompson Tokyo’s strength lies in its digital capabilities, particularly in the CX, Data, Tech, and EC domains. By leveraging these strengths, we will redefine Wunderman Thompson as the best Growth Partner for solving business challenges and leading business transformation for brands in Japan and beyond.”

Suzuki said that today, digital means that everything is measurable, which means transparency of results and accountability for the work delivered to clients.

“It is no longer acceptable to take a one-step-back approach to client work. Instead, we seek to be a partner, more proactively involved in the conception, implementation, and validation of their business and commit to increasing sales, profits, and corporate value as the common goal of both parties. We look forward to becoming the Growth Partner for our clients striving for ambitious growth,” he added.

Across the region, Wunderman Thompson has also recently unveiled new leaders within the year. The China division has announced Joyce Ling as its chief transformation and strategy officer, while in the Philippines, Joe Dy returns as CCO.

Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC Premier celebrates all families that make bold decisions in latest campaign

Hong Kong – In a bid to support families in Hong Kong in every step of their way. HSBC Premier has launched a new campaign called ‘#ThisIsMyFamily’, whose core is all about the belief that a family can be however the family defines it, and that the future of families lies in their determination to make bold moves.

Conceptualised alongside Wunderman Thompson Hong Kong, the campaign features three stories, where three celebrity actors encapsulate three distinct Hong Kong families who face various life changes. The celebrities who played the characters were also carefully selected based on their personal stories to better connect with Hongkongers.

In addition, the stories were delivered through a series of thematic videos followed by a number of functional ads, depicting how each family has embraced change and made bold life decisions with HSBC Premier.

Brian Hui, head of customer propositions, international and marketing, wealth and personal banking for Hong Kong at HSBC, said, “Since its rollout in 2007, HSBC Premier has been a market-leading proposition to support the wealth aspirations of families in Hong Kong. As their banking needs continue to evolve with time and the changing concepts of family, we have reimagined our service offerings by leveraging HSBC’s global presence and connectivity, as well as solid wealth credentials.” 

He added, “Under the service reinvention, we have significantly enriched our wealth and international banking services to drive wealth creation for customers and support their children’s overseas education needs.”

The campaign started with a teaser video to arouse public interest on 21 January 2022. The three thematic videos were launched in 3 phases via TV, digital and social media channels, spanning from late January to early March 2022, to touch the hearts of our target audience. 

To maximise awareness among the mass affluent audience, specific locations were strategically selected for out-of-home ad displays in Causeway Bay, Admiralty, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central as well as digital dominations to take over the city

Meanwhile, SheungYan Lo, APAC Regional Chief Creative Officer and HSBC Global Chief Creative Officer, commented, “To enlighten Hongkongers with the warmth and hope that “family” can bring in a time like now, has given this campaign a bigger purpose. Everyone in the client, agency and production team has put in a lot of love to make sure people feel it.”

Marketing Featured East Asia

Joyce Ling elevated to Wunderman Thompson China’s chief transformation and strategy officer

China — Creative and CRM agency Wunderman Thompson in China has announced that Joyce Ling has been promoted to chief transformation and strategy officer.

In her new role, Ling will take on additional responsibilities to drive client growth and innovation through digital and business transformation opportunities. Working closely with Wunderman Thompson’s global network, Ling’s vast understanding and the role will allow brands to fully maximise growth opportunities and impact future developments.

Ling will continue to report to Carter Chow, chief executive officer of Wunderman Thompson China.

Ling shared her thoughts on the essence of her new role, saying that in this ever changing market, where customers’ behaviours evolve with the change of hyper ecosystems, and their experiences alter with the speed at which touchpoints appear and disappear on daily basis, it is of no surprise that cookie-cutter marketing solutions can no longer work for brands.

“This is the perfect opportunity where Wunderman Thompson can tailor solutions for brands in order to achieve sustainable marketing and business results. This is already a reality in our industry and I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead this conversation for Wunderman Thompson here in China,” Ling said.

Commenting on this new appointment, Chow said, “We are all extremely pleased that Ling will be leading our business transformation. There is no one in the industry more suited or qualified than Ling to elevate Wunderman Thompson China’s current offerings of strategy, data, and experience, and inspire design-thinking mindsets in our team to create tailored solutions for our client.”

Recently in January, Wunderman Thompson saw the return of Joe Dy as its new chief creative officer for their Philippine division.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Digital loyalty platform The 1 launches new app, unveils new campaign

Thailand – Thailand’s digital lifestyle and loyalty platform, The 1, has launched its new app that allows its members to check, redeem, and claim rewards swiftly. 

According to The 1, the majority of its members are unaware of the huge loss of exclusive privileges they are missing out on the new app. The new app will help educate and encourage its members to make full use of this app. 

Nutthapong Wannakovit, Wunderman Thompson’s client service director, shared that interesting data from The 1 revealed that over 19 million members had their points and privileges expire, with over 15 million privileges worth THB200m. 

“This means there are about 80% of members that lose their privileges every year without knowing it. The brand challenge is for us to communicate The 1 App’s key benefits, build more app engagement, and establish ‘The 1 App’ branding,” said Wannakovit.

Following the launch of the new app, The 1 has also launched a new spot titled ‘The Internship Day’, which was created in collaboration with creative and CRM agency Wunderman Thompson Thailand. The spot centres the story around a fictionalised ‘lost and found department’, which represents ‘The 1 App’. It features an innocent, young intern’s tasks to hunt down its members, educate, and convince them to use the privileges. 

Moreover, the spot breaks down the three key benefits of ‘The 1 App’ for the different consumers’ needs, including the best deals for consumers who want to choose how to utilize their benefits, convenience for those who like flexibility, and personalized benefits for every unique member to encourage those who are still using family members’ accounts to switch to their own.

Park Wannasiri, Wunderman Thompson’s chief creative officer, noted that they had to share the benefits of ‘The 1 App’ in an interesting way, avoiding too many technical jargons, hard selling and making the spot relatable and highly entertaining. 

“‘The Internship Day’ spot is an entertaining storyline that fused its key product messages to differentiate The 1 branding and truly connect the brand with customers,” said Wannasiri.

The campaign is now available on Youtube and Facebook. It was also adapted into multiple formats to support different social media platforms, as well as a 15-second TVC.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Tra Mongkut aims to look after farmers’ welfare–one signboard at a time

Bangkok, Thailand – Tra Mongkut, a fertiliser brand in Thailand known as Terragro Fertilizer, has launched its newest campaign that aims to look after the welfare of the local farmer population–by giving them signboards as a way to combat heat.

Called ‘Shelter Signboard’, the signboard is custom-made and researched to reduce heat from the scorching sun by 3°C – 4°C. Its reflective paint reflects back direct sunlight allowing shelter for farmers whilst they work on the fields.

This campaign, conceptualised alongside creative agency Wunderman Thompson Thailand, kicked off with 20,000 signboards being handed out to farmers nationwide within 1 month. Sales representatives from Tra Mongkut joined the fields to greet the farmers and provided demonstration and education on the usage of these Shelter Signboards. 

In addition, to share their sincerest gratitude to all these farmers feeding the nation with their sweat and tears, these signboards were printed with messages of cheers and appreciation for their hard work.

Jakkrit Charupong, product group manager, Tra Mongkut, said, “Thailand is one of the leading rice producers and one of the dominant food-producing countries of the world. Thai farmers play a major role in the agricultural sector which has long been the real backbone of the country. That is why we at Tra Mongkut are committed to providing insights and solutions that will inspire and enable a better living for Thai farmers to achieve a healthier and more sustainable living in Thailand’s agriculture industry.”

The campaign generated positive news that even the Thai government also joined in to support their innovation by taking this initiative nationwide and focusing more on the health of farmers.

Meanwhile, Park Wannasiri, chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson Thailand, added, this campaign is interpreted as a whole new way to look at innovation: being a new, simple solution but truly helped and embraced by real users. 

“As a brand leader, we need to build more than just awareness but go for brand action that shows our support to the local farmer community. When we launched the campaign and consumers started to create their own version of our Signboard, we knew then that this made the right impact. Thank you to the brand and research team for knowing what their consumers really need,” Wannasiri said.