APAC CMOs underline digital transformation as key role for marketers

Globally, eight out of 10 CMOs surveyed recognise the imperative to transform the business in the face of digital disruption, as well as taking more responsibility for product and service innovation over the next 2-3 years. This was found in Dentsu Aegis Network’s 2019 global survey of 1,000 CMOs and senior-level marketers in 10 markets – including Australia, China, and Japan in Asia Pacific – highlights a growing challenge for marketing leaders, as they seek to move beyond optimisation and drive business transformation through digital.

China, in particular, comes out leading this trend with 98 per cent and 96 per cent of respondents respectively prioritising these areas as key elements of the marketing function.

However, global CMOs are finding it difficult to achieve this vision with ‘Business Transformation’ and ‘Disruptive Innovation’ at the bottom of the list for the second year running in terms of functional priorities, and current capabilities beginning to lag behind future needs as short-term metrics dominate their focus.

Within APAC, CMOs are beginning to lead a shift away from this trend, with China, Japan and Australia ranking Business Transformation within the top 3 priorities for the marketing function today, as well as over the next 3 years. CMOs in China and Japan also notably outperform global counterparts in their expectations for Disruptive Innovation to rise among marketers’ top 3 priorities in the next 3 years, at 61 per cent and 47 per cent respectively, well above the global average of 36 per cent.

Across a spectrum of marketing capabilities, CMOs were asked what they believe to be important to future success, versus their current ability to execute. The data shows a significant gap emerging between the two:

– 85 per cent believe creativity is critical to future business success, 54 per cent believe they are delivering well today
– 83 per cent identify the importance of seamless customer experience and commerce across channels, yet only 60 per cent believe they are developing this capability well
– But the divide is most stark in data management and analytics, where 84 per cent identify these capabilities as important to future success, yet only 49 per cent are confident in these capabilities today

The divide between existing capabilities in data skills and the importance these skills will have on future business performance is perhaps the greatest risk CMOs must address as the growth of the global digital economy shows no signs of slowing down.

Digital transformation challenges emerge as key barriers in APAC rather than access to long-term investment

Globally, an inability to secure long-term investment is cited as the most significant barrier to delivering on marketing strategy (rated as a top three concern by 50 per cent of all CMOs).

At the global level, the outlook for the next 12 months is mixed with 41 per cent of CMOs reporting budgets as flat or declining, despite growing revenues (64 per cent of respondents reported revenue growth over the same period). China stands out as a rare exception here, with only 17 per cent of CMOs reporting budget as flat or declining (against 87 per cent of same respondents reporting revenue growth for their businesses).

In contrast with their global counterparts, top barriers faced by CMOs in APAC are linked to the challenges associated with digital transformation as opposed to securing long-term investment.

For Australia and China for example, the inability to transform the business quickly enough is the number one barrier to delivering on marketing strategy. Also cited among their top 3 challenges is insufficient control over digital investments or programmes across the company. In Japan, the lack of access to requisite talent emerges as the top challenge.

While globally, two-thirds (64 per cent) say they expect to come under further pressure to demonstrate tangible short-term results, marketers in China (84 per cent), Japan (71 per cent), and Australia (49 per cent) are more likely to plan their marketing strategy over the longer term, at least 2 years in advance.

Takaki Hibino, APAC Executive Chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network said, “Brands globally have invested heavily in digital but have yet to reap the rewards as short-term metrics rather than driving digital transformation continues to dominate the marketing function’s focus and priorities. In Asia Pacific, however, CMOs are leading the curve with business transformation now firmly positioned as function’s top 3 priorities, and CMOs in the region being more likely to plan their marketing strategies over the long term. This creates a real opportunity for CMOs in this region to truly embed the digital transformation agenda and drive the future capabilities the region depends on for growth.”

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Berjaya Sompo champions Malaysians wellbeing through music & laughter

Berjaya Sompo Insurance Berhad (“Berjaya Sompo”), a general insurance provider in Malaysia, is embarking on a long-term effort to promote health and wellbeing among all Malaysians through its strategically structured “Sompo Cares” approach that focuses on 5 pillars, which are: laughter, music, food, fitness, and nature.

The saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’ rings true as research shows that it decreases stress hormones, increases immune cells, and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease. One of the known facts is that laughter releases certain chemicals from the brain called endorphins. It stimulates multiple physiological system that decrease the levels of stress hormones, and increase the activation of dopamine, a chemical that not only enables us to see the rewards but to take action to move toward them. According to research, laughter not only transcends human cultural boundaries, but species boundaries, too. In fact, evolutionary origins of human laughter can be traced back to between 10 to 16 million years go.

“At Berjaya Sompo, we are strong believers in the saying that a healthy mind is a healthy body and this is why we are promoting preventative measures through our Sompo Cares approach. While we know that there are many ways to improve our wellbeing, we will however be focusing on Laughter. Studies shows that it not only releases feel-good chemicals, but also helps you burn 10 to 40 calories when you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes. Laughter is free, it’s easy and accessible and it’s even more special when shared with other people, with that in mind we want to bring back the joy of this simple life’s pleasures that is intrinsically what makes us human. Researchers said that laughter is also ranked as the second most attractive quality in a person,” said Mr Futoshi Hanahara, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of Berjaya Sompo.

In furthering its mission to promote laughter, Berjaya Sompo partnered with LOL Events (M) Sdn. Bhd. (“LOL Asia”) recently to unveil their inaugural Laughter Yoga Campaign – the first of its kind wellness activity in Malaysia by an insurance brand where they will combine the art of yoga and the joy of laughter in a free form exercise environment whether in a group or in pairs to induce and encourage happy and stress-free interactions.

“While Laughter Yoga is commonly practiced in other countries, it is still new in Malaysia and not many people understand what it is. One of the most motivating factors why people practice Laughter Yoga is the belief in the multiple health benefits they will gain from it. It is not about the concept or the philosophy which attracts them; it is about what they will get and how it will benefit their health, personal, business and social life,” Mr Hanahara added.

The Laughter Yoga Campaign kicked off on 21 July 2019 and will run until October this year, with 4 sessions of instructor-guided laughter yoga classes that the public can sign up for free and 1 session open to Berjaya Sompo staff. Public are required to register for one of the laughter yoga classes through the Berjaya Sompo website as early as possible, to avoid missing out on the fun and engaging sessions. Space is limited and availability is on first come first serve basis.

The company also understands the need to reach out to the millennials, Gen Y and Z, who are considered the first digital generation, as part of its strategy to capture the younger target audience. More than just rhythm and beats, younger generation use music to express their emotions. Listening to music can make you feel more relax and, in some cultures, it is used to ease pain. In response to this, Berjaya Sompo created six branded profile playlists on Spotify to such as ‘Chillax’ for relaxing, ‘Wanderlust’ for travel, ‘Vroom’ for driving, ‘Beats’ for workout, ‘LOL’ for laughter and ‘Asia’ for Asian songs.

“Laughter is not the only focus for us. An online music streaming service conducted a research recently asking what are the major triggers in life prompting them to seek music. Based on the findings, 84 per cent listen to music when feeling tense or nervous, 72 per cent believes that music helps them during recovery from illness, while 41 per cent seek music to build confidence. Music is a part of us and our lives is always evolving. We have curated six playlist on Spotify tailored to suit various lifestyles,” said Mr Hanahara.

Berjaya Sompo has also collaborated with local personalities; celebrity chef Nik Michael Imran and actress Chelsia Ng, to further amplify the importance of wellbeing and how simple activities such as laughing, listening to music, eating the right food, exercising and spending time in nature can help improve their overall mood and boost feelings of happiness. To capture these moments in their day-to-day life, Berjaya Sompo will be releasing two videos on what challenges and motivates them, and their passion in life on YouTube and LinkedIn in late August.

Berjaya Sompo’s mission towards better wellbeing does not stop there as the company will continue to bring more laughter through a Laugh-A-Mania, a comedy variety showcasing Malaysia’s multi-talented performers and their friends, whom you will recognise as TV personalities, theatre performers, singers and Youtubers. This star-studded event comprises of comedic songs, dances, sketches, and more to tickle each of everyone’s fancies. Tickets will be available for sale soon.

Early this year, Berjaya Sompo together with LOL Asia celebrated fearless women in conjunction with International Women’s Day by co-sponsoring “The POMPuan Comedy Show”. This campaign aims to empower Malaysian women to travel to their heart’s content without needing to worry about safety and at the same time – treat them to a good laugh.

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Havas Media Group launches new global operating system Mx

A desire to respond to complexity and a need to rise above the “how” of data and look at the “why” of human insight lie at the heart of Mx, which stands for Media Experience, a new global operating system from Havas Media Group. Built on a thorough understanding of the consumer and combining a new process with advanced tools, Mx capitalizes upon the most Meaningful Media to build more Meaningful Brands.

“The recent past shows media planning and buying as overly fixated on ‘platforms,’ ‘data,’ and ‘ad tech.’ These elements, while vital to success, must remain anchored in those truths that lie deep in the human language of consumers,” said Greg James, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Media Group.

Thanks to a decade exploring Meaningful Brands, Havas Media knows that consumers grant brand loyalty only to those companies that relate to their motivations, behaviors, activities, and intent. Mx forges that connection because it focuses on media that matters most to consumers and lives at the crossroads of connection, context, and content.

“Brands today face enormous pressure to deliver growth. Mx allows us to drive effectiveness for our clients around the world by building meaningful connections creatively – and at scale,” said Peter Mears, Global CEO of Havas Media Group.

In practice, the Mx system creates great media experiences through a four-tiered approach with a series of phases that carry through from client brief to business impact:

1. INTELLIGENCE: Throughout the world, Havas Media deep dives into the cultural context, broad competitive set, a robust understanding of the right consumer, and each brand’s greatest assets to find the right consumer for growth. CONVERGED, Havas Media’s proprietary global identity–based audience planning platform, powers this effort.

2. Mx BRIEF: Havas Media employs this critical new tool, the cornerstone of the Mx process, to improve the clarity, consistency, and creativity of its output, working with brands to build a systematized brief, consistent across its global network.

3. Mx DEVELOPMENT: Havas Media then employs a new set of tools to make better-informed investment decisions by helping identify the right Meaningful Media partners. This new toolkit covers all major touchpoints and includes:
• The Meaningful Digital Matrix, which uses 20 data points across connection, context, and content to make our digital choices more meaningful and impactful.
• The Meaningful Rating Point, which factors in attention and loyalty, as well as audience size, to determine optimal television buys.

4. MEASUREMENT: Using CONVERGED, Havas Media generates best-in-class modeling and optimization, with an eye toward innovation to help clients meet their growth targets, as well as greater accuracy in establishing and measuring KPIs.

These four phases work across a single Mx system interface to ensure a seamless workflow. A final unique element of Mx worth noting is the unity between Havas Media Group and Havas Creative Group: the INTELLIGENCE phase is powered by the Meaningful Brand Idea, a shared methodology across creative and media campaigns that aligns within Havas Villages.

“We have had six years of practice in building successful Villages for integrated approaches to drive meaningful business change for our clients. Mx shines a light on the positive impact that human insights, paired with the appropriate tools, can have on brands,” comments Yannick Bolloré, Chairman & CEO of Havas Group and Chairman of Vivendi.

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Dentsu Grant Group launches Amnet operations in Sri Lanka

Dentsu Grant Group has launched Amnet, the programmatic platform from Dentsu Aegis Network, in Sri Lanka. Amnet comprises a team of programmatic experts from the Dentsu Aegis Network, who specialize in programmatic buying, programmatic media planning, data analytics and audience data. Amnet’s mission is to build and leverage data, in order to deliver more meaningfuland personalized messaging insights.

With the launch of Amnet, Denstu Grant Group is once again set to disrupt the status quo of digital advertising through expanding local media inventory and offering more sophisticated, customized campaigns to clients. Among othermarkets, Amnet has a presence in India, USA, UK, France, China and Hong Kong. For the record, Dentsu Grant Group is the oldest serving advertising group in Sri Lanka that was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network, the global media and marketing communications conglomerate, in 2017.

Speaking on the launch, Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar South Asia and Executive Sponsor AMNET South Asia states, “Sri Lanka’s advertising trends have considerably shifted from traditional to digital advertising behaviour within a short span of time. As a leading global player in digital, we wanted our clients to get the best of global standards in this important area; hence, the decision to bring Amnet to Sri Lanka.”

“It’s been an incredible year for Dentsu Aegis Network in Sri Lanka…constantly innovating and disrupting the local advertising industry. After successfully becoming the fastest growing digital agency in the country this year, we asked ourselves, what could we do next? Embracing data is in the DNA of our network and what we have been spearheading here in Sri Lanka as a business. So, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Amnet, one of the premier programmatic platforms available in the world to-date. This is the next wave in media planning and buying in this country and is yet another achievement we can add to our long history of establishing industry firsts,” commented Neela Marikkar, Chairperson and Managing Director, Dentsu Grant Group.

“With client needs evolving for quicker turnarounds and data-driven marketing at scale, we needed to get the best of global standards in this important area; hence, the decision to bring Amnet to Sri Lanka. This is head-and-shoulders above anyone else in the market on Programmatic media buying,” said Chamith Buthgumwa, Director Isobar, Sri Lanka & Response at Dentsu Aegis Network.

Nisal De Silva from the Dentsu Grant Group will head the operations for Amnet in Sri Lanka and will operate from the Colombo office.

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Facebook tells brands to bring their best game for 2020’s sports events

Marking the one-year countdown to one of the world’s most popular sporting events, Facebook has launched a new digital campaign to help advertisers prepare for what is also one of the most competitive marketing moments for brands. The 2016 games for instance, saw an increase of $2.71 billion in global advertising spend.

The Give Your Game Everything campaign, which launched on July 24, 2019, provides a playbook of insights, inspiration and best practices to help brands achieve stand out marketing performance. The idea for the global campaign was born in Asia Pacific (APAC) and led by Facebook IQ – the digital insights and market research arm of Facebook. It is a cross-functional effort with APAC Business Marketing and Creative teams at Facebook along with RD Content, a leading video content agency that specialises in multi-format content and British director, Jack Weatherley, who directed the campaign’s anthem film.

Weatherley has directed commercials for Nike and UEFA and worked with some of the world’s most celebrated athletes including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Paula Radcliffe.

“When people seek connection, commiseration and community during international sporting events, they turn to Facebook’s family of apps and services. With the hype and anticipation surrounding the events, people will be expressing their fandom in ways that are newly possible. This presents a new world of opportunities for marketers, media planners and creative teams and we are excited to partner with them to build campaigns with impact,” said Sandra Marichal, Facebook IQ’s Marketing Insights Manager for APAC.

To understand how people use the Facebook family of apps and other social media during global and sporting events, Facebook IQ commissioned YouGov to survey 9,173 people aged 18-64 in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, United States and the United Kingdom in April 2019. The numbers reveal interesting shifts in the way that sports fans consume their favourite sports and the multiple apps and content formats they engage with during global sporting events.

Globally, more than one in three people surveyed, follow global sporting events on both Facebook and Instagram.  More than 50 per cent of people surveyed who are on Facebook globally, said they would be more likely to engage with brands that advertise around the games.

Of those who are on both Facebook and Instagram, about half of those surveyed also use WhatsApp (45 per cent) and Messenger (53 per cent) to discuss global sporting events, the survey found.

The top three activities that people surveyed said they hadn’t yet done but would do in the upcoming games are:

  •  Viewing stories on Instagram (13 per cent)
  •  Following their favourite teams/athletes on Instagram (13 per cent)
  • Posting News Feed posts related to the games on Facebook (12 per cent)

Multi-app behaviour during sporting events is also on the rise. Of those surveyed:

  • 22 per cent joined Facebook Group for a global sports event
  • 52 per cent view Instagram stories about live sporting events
  • 35 per cent use Facebook messenger to discuss global sports events
  • 70 per cent read sports event-related posts on their Facebook News Feed
  • 40 per cent use WhatsApp to discuss global sports events
  • 20 per cent watched global sports events on IGTV
  • 38 per cent used hashtags to search for event updates on Instagram

Rapha Vasconcellos, VP of The Creative Shop at Facebook said these shifts in consumer behaviour create a big opportunity for brands to build ideas that connect with real people’s behaviour on the platform. “The ‘Give Your Game Everything’ campaign takes inspiration from the rigorous preparation of athletes to share what we know with brands who want to be agile, responsive and adopt a multi-channel approach to truly build meaningful connections with sports fans and communities,” he said.

Weatherley, who directed the anthem film featuring athletes said the project was a strong idea from its conception. “Capturing real athletic performance often makes for beautiful, powerful imagery. Having the freedom to interpret and realise the concept in a way which would do it justice made for both a satisfying creative process and result,” he said.

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Wavemaker boosts Indonesia & South Asia teams

Wavemaker, the global media, content, and technology agency, has appointed Ajay Gupte (pictured) as the Chief Operating Officer for Wavemaker, South Asia, and Amir Suherlan, who will be the new Managing Director for Wavemaker Indonesia.

Gupte joins from Wavemaker Indonesia where he was Managing Director of the agency. He comes with more than two decades of industry experience, having worked across diverse brands and markets like India, Africa, and Indonesia. In his new role, Gupte will be located at Wavemaker Gurugram office and will report into Kartik Sharma, CEO – Wavemaker, South Asia.

Commenting on the appointment, Kartik Sharma, CEO – Wavemaker, South Asia said, “It is an absolute pleasure to have Ajay back in India. Under his leadership as MD of Indonesia since 2011, Wavemaker (erstwhile MEC) has grown exponentially and is now ranked as top 3 agency in the country. Ajay is a passionate leader and I am confident that he will be able to grow Wavemaker as an agency of the future.”

Commenting on the move, Rose Huskey, CEO – Wavemaker, South East Asia said, “Ajay has been instrumental in grooming and leading successful teams, accelerating the agency’s digital business, and putting Wavemaker Indonesia at the #2 spot in the country. I am sure he will be an asset to India and I’ll like to thank him for his great leadership.”

Gupte has successfully led the MEC-Maxus merger in Indonesia. Under his stewardship, Wavemaker Indonesia won several blue-chip clients and many global and local accolades for the agency.

Commenting on his new role, Gupte said, “I am very excited to be back in India. The media scene in India is vibrant and offers unlimited opportunity for marketeers. With our future-focused offering around Media, Content, and Technology, Wavemaker is uniquely positioned to deliver maximum impact for our clients. I am delighted that the next lap of my journey continues with Wavemaker where I can contribute to delivering this promise.”

In his earlier role in India, Gupte worked with Maxus (now part of Wavemaker) as General Manager in Delhi office managing clients like Nokia, Hero Honda and others. Prior to joining Maxus, Gupte held various roles in Sales and Marketing with TVS Motor Company.

Taking over Gupte’s reins as Managing Director of Wavemaker Indonesia is Amir Suherlan, a seasoned media professional with over 20 years of experience in the advertising and media industry and a passionate business leader with a strong network within the media and marketing ecosystem. He has worked on a wide variety of local and multinational clients from FMCG’s to Telco, E-commerce, and Fintech; incl Unilever, Nestle, XL Axiata, Shopee, Booking.com, Sampoerna Philip Morris, Konimex, Bank Danamon. Prior to his new role, he was a Managing Director at Mindshare Enterprise.

Commenting on his new role, Suherlan said, “I am truly excited to join Wavemaker Indonesia, to lead and collaborate with a bunch of bright talents. I am impressed with the agency’s transformation to a leading agency today – leveraging on the best use of media, content, and technology to deliver future proof solutions to client business challenges. My goal is to bring the agency to the next level within the rapid changes in the media ecosystem and consumers behaviour.”

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Japan Airlines picks Ogilvy Singapore as AOR

Ogilvy has been appointed as the Agency of Record for Japan Airlines in the Asia Oceania Region, following a competitive pitch.

The appointment will see Ogilvy responsible for integrated communications work in Southeast Asia, spanning the agency’s capabilities in brand strategy, creative, social and digital services. The agency will be tasked with delivering campaigns that will drive business results by combining creativity with technology, customer engagement, commerce and partnerships. Ogilvy Singapore will be the lead agency for five strategically important markets in Southeast Asia,

Sze Hunn Yap, Regional Marketing Manager, Japan Airlines, said, “Ogilvy’s deep understanding of our business coupled with their creativity, speed, precision and expertise in integrated work was a powerful combination. By tapping on Ogilvy’s strong network in the region, we can have seamless integration and execution of campaigns with a keen sense of local cultural nuances across the diverse Southeast Asia markets. Through this partnership, we aim to compel travellers in Southeast Asia to choose Japan Airlines as their preferred airline for travels to Japan and North America. We are confident that our partnership with Ogilvy will break new ground for us.”

Chris Riley, Chief Executive, Ogilvy Singapore, said, “We are deeply honoured to be part of this journey with Japan Airlines as it continues to modernise and transform its business. Through the development of innovative and engaging integrated work, we hope to bring Japan Airlines’ vision to life and forge stronger connections among travellers in the region, and in turn, further Japan Airlines’ ambition of becoming one of the most preferred airlines in the world. It is our job is to push boundaries with creativity and technology, and build a brand that will soar higher within local markets while achieving global impact.”

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UM closes offices worldwide for 2nd Annual Global Impact Day

UM, the global marketing and media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, has launched its second annual Global Impact Day. More than 80 UM offices worldwide closed their doors for the day as employees volunteered at philanthropic organisations around the world. Originally launched in 2016 under UM’s corporate social responsibility initiative, Better World, the agency’s annual day of service represents its core values of Care and Community.

The Better World platform unites the family of UM offices under a single umbrella to inspire each other, share best practices, and create connections across borders that lead to a Better World. Over a span of 36 hours and six continents, 5,000 UM volunteers will gather within their respective communities to restore parks, walk rescue dogs, paint orphanage walls, plant urban gardens, collect litter, visit the elderly, feed the homeless, donate school supplies and more.

“Impact Day is one of my favorite days of the year, and I am proud to be part of a global family that is committed to sharing our time, energy and love with communities in need around the world”, said Daryl Lee, Global CEO, UM. “From preparing adults to re-enter the workforce to restoring schools, facilities and parks, the inspiring projects we undertake are a critical part of how we collectively build a better tomorrow, today.”

Kasper Aakerlund, President UM APAC commented, “The collective force and sheer power of goodwill that is felt from our UM teams across the Asia-Pacific region when they unite to focus on helping create a better world each Impact Day never ceases to blow me away.”

He continues, “This Impact Day I joined our team in China, cleaning the shoreline to help mitigate the detrimental effect to the environment and local wildlife. As the stories and photos of local initiatives poured in across Asia I felt incredibly proud to be a part of this incredible network of people striving to reach out and make a difference where it matters most in their communities.”

UM employees will participate in more than 70 projects across the globe this Impact Day, across the Asia Pacific region more than 2000+ UM’ers volunteered their time to work for and with their local communities. Their activities included:

In Australia, UM partnered with the Wesley Mission for a second year running to deliver ‘Christmas in July’. Eight groups of UM’ers were deployed across various locations to volunteer their time and spirit to bringing smiles to those less fortunate. The clients Wesley Mission covers are aged care, disability and homelessness.

In China, UM partnered with the Rendu Ocean NPO Development Centre and Ocean Conservancy Program to organize an ‘International Coastal Cleanup’ which saw the UM teams working across the Shanghai coast collecting and disposing of trash.

In Hong Kong, UM partnered with Food Angel, a food rescue and food assistance program launched by Bo Charity Foundation with the mission of “Waste Not, Hunger Not, With Love”. The program rescues edible surplus food from different sectors of the food industry that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. Following strict safety protocols, the rescued food items were then prepped and prepared by UM’ers as nutritious hot meals and redistributed to serve the underprivileged communities in Hong Kong.

In India, UM adopted Knowledge Sharing as their over-arching theme for Impact Day. They focused their efforts on educating underprivileged men and women cleanliness, sanitation and hygiene. Teams of UM’ers visited 28 Government run and independent women shelters across Mumbai, Delhi & Bengaluru. In Mumbai, they also collaborated with a renowned NGO called Salaam Mumbai, and in addition to this visited 21 schools on Impact Day to talk to the students, provide insight into how ads are made via the Media Academy, and counsel on what to study if they eventually choose advertising or marketing as a profession.

In Indonesia, UM organised a special volunteer project to an elderly facility/nursing home ‘Elderly Social Institution Tresna Budi Mulia’ in Jakarta. In this home more than 70% of the residents are homeless elderly who have been rescued by local government social services from the road in Jakarta. UM Indonesia organized for the 10 finalist of KDI (Kontes Dangdut Indonesia – a popular dangdut talent search program in MNCTV) to perform and entertain the elderly residents through a selection of nostalgic and hit songs. The UM team spent a full day interacting and caring for residents in the home, delivering motivational conversation and gifts which were prepared by the whole UM Indonesia team.

In Japan, UM planned and delivered an Afterschool Club with organised activities ranging from craft, cooking classes, indoor and outdoor sports, and even yoga and meditation for the children in their community. All of the sessions were carried out by UMers themselves, and the full day culminated with the UM volunteers cleaning up a rugby field stadium.

In the Philippines, UM visited the Headstart Learning Center, which is situated in a densely populated community by the garbage dump-site of Payatas Quezon City. They held a “visioning” art workshop with the Youth Artists of Headstart, facilitated by the Professor of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines, Mr. Amos Manlangit. The workshop allowed the children to express their vision for a better future and a better world. Taking inspiration from their art pieces, UM arranged a fund-raising exhibition with the children’s artwork and profiles displayed at Centuria Medical in Makati City. The fund raising-goal is be able to convert the empty field at Headstart Learning Center into a soccer field by the end of this year, and provide them with all the materials to play the sport.

In Malaysia, UM worked in conjunction with the Global Environment Centre on The River of Life (ROL) Public Outreach Programme, a seven-year project to transform the Klang River into a vibrant and liveable waterfront with high economic value. The program aims at fostering meaningful partnerships and improve attitudes and behaviors to reduce pollution. At 8am, over 100 UM volunteers spent the day at Kampung Kasipillay, cleaning the riverside and the surrounding walking trek that is used daily by the local community. To beautify the area and to create awareness of the ROL project, a unique design was devised by the Ensemble team (a UM Studio’s company), and a large wall mural was painted using paints sponsored by client Nippon Paint to give the space a complete makeover.

In Singapore, over 100 UM volunteers spent the day at the Ang Mo Kio Community Centre having collected donations to source and package food ration hampers for the underprivileged elderly. Residents in this part of Ang Mo Kio are aged, often living in one-room rental flats, and surviving on government aided public assistance schemes. UM Singapore invited the 100 residents to a lunch buffet followed by an afternoon of interaction, games and activities.

In South Korea, UM visited the Chongeum Rehabilitation Center for hearing impared/disabled people, where they undertook volunteer education to best understand how to communicate and provide help, followed by a program of providing assistance and support.

In Taiwan, UM worked with an NGO to host a “Give Your Love to Africa” initiative, collecting and donating shoes, school bags, and clothes to children in need in Africa. A ceremony was conducted to commemorate the day of being able to give back and work towards a #UMBetterWorld.

In Thailand, UM planned a ‘Go-Green’ Mangrove planting activity at Bang Krachao, a man-made island formed by a bend in the Chao Phraya River. The traditionally agricultural island due to its green spaces and geographical shape, has been referred to as the “green lung” in the heart of bustling Bangkok.

UM employees across the globe will be sharing their Impact Day experience on social media using hashtags #UMBetterWorld and #UMImpactDay.

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Apple, GovSingapore lead ad rankings for H1 2019

With over 85 per cent of Singaporeans visiting YouTube monthly, brands and agencies are fully invested in adopting videos as their preferred digital canvas, producing attention-grabbing and engaging ads to earn and hold viewer attention.

Google released its YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the first half of 2019, showcasing a list of top 10 video ads that captured Singaporeans’ attention from January to June.

One of the themes that stood out from the ads on the list was tapping on festivities to capture hearts. Telling emotional stories in tune with the aspirations and beliefs during the celebrations proved to be a recipe for success, as shown by Apple’s cinematic Lunar New Year ad which shot to the top of the leaderboard. The value of keeping strong familial ties during the Holy Month of Ramadan were also illustrated through the Public Utilities Board’s tear-jerker, Kinship (#4) and GovSingapore’s Hari Raya with #HafandHaf (#10).

The leaderboard also shows that audiences paid more attention than before. Countering the narrative that audiences have short attention spans, 80 per cent of the leaderboard comprises ads that crosses the 90-second mark.

This includes the new subject-based banding by the Ministry of Education (#8), The Learning Lab ’s moving stories of a child’s life beyond grades (#7) and the Public Hygiene Council’s methods to ‘spark joy’ in a hawker centre (#9). Duration is no longer a limiting factor for content, but brands have to stay creative and authentic to keep viewers tuned in.

Eleanor Tan, Director, Marketing & Communications, The Learning Lab said, “At The Learning Lab, we’ve always believed that our ultimate purpose as educators is to impart on our students the lessons that strengthen their character. These are the lessons they will remember. For Tests, we wanted to tell stories that acknowledge the very real challenges every child goes through, and it isn’t just from trying to get good grades. Every child has had to face situations where their mettle is put to the test, whether it’s from learning to be resilient, to be brave, or to be confident in who they are. We captured these moments through our video by focusing on the little details, like the deep breaths taken before a presentation, or the glint of determination in the eye. All natural lighting, no scripts. We wanted our message to reach as much of our target audience as possible: parents with children at a schooling age, and in terms of maximizing our reach, YouTube is the unparalleled option.”

Soffy Hariyanti, Director, Campaigns & Production Department, MCI said, “The Merdeka Sayang music video features iconic Merdeka Generation personalities such as Dick Lee and Rahimah Rahim to convey the pride of their generation and their contributions in shaping Singapore’s progress. Meanwhile, our HafandHaf video is a light-hearted take on Hari Raya family gatherings, where conversations on marriage and parenthood often take place. We are heartened that both videos, with their different styles and treatments, have been well-received by Singaporeans. We will continue producing fresh, engaging and relevant content that brings across useful government information to Singaporeans.”

Here is the list below:

1. Chinese New Year – The Bucket – Apple

2. Merdeka Sayang Full MV – GovSingapore

3. What happens to my CPF savings when I turn 55? – CPF Board

4. Kinship – PUB Hari Raya 2019 – sgPUB

5. Rise With the Tide (Second Warrant Officer Rice Lim) – Republic of Singapore Navy

6. GOMO Travel SIM – Singtel

7. Tests – The Learning Lab

8. Explaining Full Subject-Based Banding – Ministry of Education

9. How to Return your Tray | Mary Chongo – Public Hygiene Council

10. Hari Raya with #HafandHaf – GovSingapore

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Hunliji hands AOR to OMD China

Hunliji, a Chinese wedding services online platform, has appointed OMD as its agency of record, overseeing its communications planning, strategy and media buying duties across all channels. The account will be serviced by a team of media, strategy and data specialists out of the network’s Shanghai office, leveraging integrated communications to deliver continued growth for the Hunliji app.

Launched six years ago, Hunliji has grown to become the most comprehensive online marriage service platform in China. Starting as a simple online storefront for wedding services merchants, the app has evolved into a vertically integrated one-stop portal for wedding-related planning and management, including services for banquet reservations, photography, video, wedding planning, dresses, jewellery, room layouts, car rentals, invitations, ceremonialists, makeup, as well as overseas wedding preparations.

“We are excited to partner with OMD and bring our brand slogan of ‘Perfect Wedding with Hunliji’ to life through our media communications,” says a spokesperson for Hunliji. “Throughout the pitch, the team at OMD demonstrated their integrated capabilities and superior understanding of today’s consumers, coming up with a bespoke approach for the Hunliji brand.”

Sadhan Mishra, Managing Director of OMD Shanghai, adds, “Hunliji is the perfect example of the digital economy companies thriving in China’s mobile-first consumer landscape. We look forward to working with the team to achieve their business objectives and take the Hunliji app to the next level.”

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