Benjamin Li
Mar 29, 2012

PHD takes over Manulife media duties in Hong Kong

HONG KONG - PHD will handle media planning and buying for Manulife Hong Kong, the client's spokesperson has confirmed. The incumbent is MEC, which remains as the regional media agency for Manulife.

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The change took place after several rounds of discussion. MEC has been handling the account for more than 10 years.

Ray Wong, CEO of PHD Hong Kong said that given the competitive nature of the insurance category, PHD is looking forward to thinking outside the box to differentiate Manulife's position and sustain its brand campaign.

Last September, DDB Group won the creative business for Manulife, and DDB Hong Kong has been tasked with creating the low-key insurer's first branding campaign in three years under the positioning ‘For your future’.

Manulife is already a well-known name in the territory, serving a customer base of more than 1.6 million over the past century. Its Canada-based parent, Manulife Financial, was the first international insurer to list in Hong Kong.

Michael Huddart, executive vice president and chief executive officer for Manulife HK, aims to increase the market share of the company's Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) business in the territory above its current 17.2 per cent. Manulife ranks second among MPF service providers in Hong Kong, after market leader HSBC Insurance, in terms of MPF assets under management, according to Towers Watson.

Hong Kong is a net winner in both profit contribution and brand awareness in Manulife's Asian business. The firm's internal research shows the level of brand awareness in Hong Kong is at 90 per cent.

Huddart attributes that to the company's 115-year history in Hong Kong, but stresses the need to emphasise Manulife's brand attributes in today's busy insurance market, where the company facres strong competitors like Prudential and AIA.

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