Ho was previously marketing director for media, digital and consumer engagement for Greater China, and a search for his replacement is currently underway.
In the new role, he will be responsible for Oreo brand equity and base business across the Asia-Pacific region. He will continue to be based in Shanghai, reporting to Bryan Rakowski, director, marketing biscuits equity, Asia Pacific.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific about his new role, Ho said that his immediate priority is the rollout of the next instalment of the brand’s global 'Wonderfilled' platform 'Open up with Oreo'.
“As children we are naturally free from biases and judgment or preconceived notions, but as we get older we tend to default to the familiar and close ourselves off to others,” he said. “As a cookie that values imagination and openness, we developed a campaign for fans everywhere to open up to those around them.”
In Asia, the campaign will be multi-dimensional, linking from communications through to in-store with strong activation elements.
“The programme also heroes our limited-edition embossed cookies that we'll leverage as a way to open up imagination and interaction with the cookie through targeted digital activation as a portal to unlock additional content and brand experiences,” he added.
Ho said in the longer term, the focus will be on building the Oreo brand across Asia Pacific as well as strengthening the brand and product-range presence.
“Oreo is a ubiquitous cookie and available across all Mondelēz International's key Asia Pacific markets from of China to India and everything in between,” he said. “I have huge ambitions for the brand, which has already got strong awareness amongst consumers, and has a rich heritage to draw upon in creating relevant snacking occasions for Asian consumers.”
Asked about how the brand will stand out in its very crowded and competitive category, Ho said creating relevant moments of connection for consumers and ensuring the brand's relevance within a local context is key.
“Oreo already enjoys high brand awareness across markets, and the cookie-and-cream, as well as twist, lick and dunk routine are strong and distinct assets that clearly resonate with consumers—ensuring the brand stays true to its core is a focus,” he said. “Innovation that is both relevant for and adapts to local needs and tastes will also be important. We have many exciting projects in the pipeline across the region this year, so there is no shortage of opportunities.”
Ho said that the diversity of the markets as well as cultural and language differences across Asia add together to make managing a regional portfolio extremely challenging, but also stimulating.
“It is both exciting and daunting," he said. "I am fortunate to have had both recent Asia Pacific and global brand equity experience. I am also an advocate for driving new approaches to marketing and digital innovation, and will continue this in my new role.”