Staff Reporters
Nov 8, 2022

Campaign's Game Changers 2022: Highlights of sessions

Campaign's ongoing coverage of Game Changers happening in Singapore on Nov 9, 2022.

Campaign's Game Changers 2022: Highlights of sessions

Campaign’s second annual Game Changers event is taking place today (Nov 9, 2022) at Marriott Tang Plaza in Singapore. The event—featuring high-profile brand marketers, agency leaders, platforms, and more—will cover topics including how to reach large and attentive gaming audiences at scale; leveraging NFTs and the metaverse; and creative monetisation strategies.

Peek the day’s agenda here. Speakers include McDonald’s Asia CMO Eugene Lee, Unilever’s global digital director Triveni Rajagopal, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of brand and marketing Edward Bell, Twitch’s director of insights and measurement Jan Bojko, and CMO for HP Siew Ting Foo.

Throughout the day, Campaign’s editorial team will be noting highlights from panel sessions and relevant case studies in a live blog. Save this link and stay tuned for more. 


"When you look at our category there’s an obvious connect to gaming. Our consumers expect when they place the order that they don't want anything getting in the way of their order and the pizza. Our focus is on making it really easy for them to place their order. Yes, we would like to make it more fun, but if we had to make a choice, it will be focused on ease. Because if they're browsing through the menu and it’s taking too much time or it's too complicated, it takes away from their concentration."

- Pankaj Batra, VP and chief brand officer, Pizza Hut

"It's about going back to your core values and the core purpose of why you exist as a company. We wouldn’t gamify just for the sake of it. We gamify because it helps the customer and the business. If you don't have a lot of resources and cannot afford the tech needed to create your own module, then you have to look at gamification creatively. My advice [for marketers] is to be pragmatic, but at the same time, don't try to kill yourself by trying to achieve the impossible. Look at incremental and quick wins through simple test-and-learn."

- Jaslyin Qiyu, head of clients marketing, channels and content, Citibank Singapore


In this session from Twitch, Gemma Battenbough, APAC brand partnership studio lead, and Jan Bojko, APAC director of client insights and measurement explain how a new gaming generation of millenials, Gen Z and Gen Alpha are changing consumer behaviours and rewriting the rules for brands.  

The five key shifts:

  1. From curated to authentic experiences: New gaming generations are unapologetically human and laugh at flaws. “Best practices is to show your human side and embrace the human element of livestraming” 
  2. From fixed to fluid: This generation moves more freely between real and digital worlds and 72% say interactive tools make advertising more interesting.  “Brands need to create more fluid and engaging experiences.”
  3. From exclusivity to inclusivity: Previously, VIP experiences were highly sought after. New generations want to see equal access to art and culture. “Best practice is to build brands by being open to all and highlighting diverse campaigns”
  4. From passive to collaborative: New gaming gerations seldom want to sit back and receive information.  They seek a sense of collective experience. “Interaction is everything, so brands need to go beyond aligning their values and engage with communities which involves giving up a little bit of control”
  5. From disengaged to purposeful: Brands are expected to purposefully stand for something. “Invite engagement with creators that share your sense of purpose.”


“One of the [best pieces of] advice that I can give to marketers in the room is that if you don't get it, don't get into it. That is very critical because gamers can, pardon my French, smell your bullshit from a mile away. You don't want to get in there and just place an ad to try to make a quick buck from them. I always say the gamers today are like skateboarders from 20 years ago when the skateboarding culture came up. Nike tried to penetrate that segment a long time ago and they failed miserably because they were not authentic when they were going into it; it could be seen as a threat by the skateboarders.”

Eugene Lee, regional chief marketing officer for Asia, McDonald's


“This is controversial, but fan-first strategy and player-first values actually sit contrary to the requirements of brands.  Brands think in campaigns and target audiences. Players don’t think like that at all. If you look at publishers, they think in seasons and drops and ways of activating into values of the community. I think there’s a huge requirement to shift our mindset.” 

-Jamie Lewin, managing partner, Mana Partners; consultant, Publicis Groupe 

“How do we take the learnings from influencers before and not keep repeating the same campaign mentality. The biggest challenge will be around how a lot of gamers are resistant to brands to such an extent that that they’ve effectectively build their own Internet.  When we talk about web3 and metaverse, gamers are the current architects of that, partly because they want to create their own environment, places where they can share away from brands to a certain extent.“ 

-Oliver Spalding, chief strategy officer, media & digital, Singapore, Publicis Groupe

“We need a partner who first and foremost understands our brand, its values. We need partners who understand our language and who understand gaming campaigns have to be measured. Because, believe me, the battle I have internally is way tougher than the one we’re facing outside.”

-Essy Cinta, senior global brand manager, Unilever (Clear Men) 


“It is not about using every strategy out there. Omnichannel is how we look at it. For example, I'm over 40 and I have a teenager, where both of us are consumers. It is like an onion because my products need to appeal to both my teenager as well as myself. Our strategy is to do both. If we partner an influencer or an IP, then that gets a very small scale. We know that we must go in with our eyes open and it's a very small scale.”

Triveni Rajagopal, global digital director at Unilever

“At this point in time where gaming and esports is still growing, I appreciate everyone who can help them grow the pie. So, anyone who can put their foot forward for the food delivery industry is very welcome. KFC and McDonald's are doing a great job in various countries. I would look at them at my frenemies because they have a delivery service like us. However, without McDonald's, we wouldn't have anything to serve. It is a limited pie now and a healthy competition is more or less welcome.”

Jan Harling, director of brand media and performance for APAC at Foodpanda


“In this web3 world, you can be anyone, anywhere, anytime.  This fluidity of identity is not something we live through, so we can select the preferences of our lives that we want to put out in the world. In web3 the possibilities exponentially increase” 

- Dorothy Peng, SVP, managing director, Asia, RGA

“The song Somewhere Only We Know is about a secret place where people escape to and find a sense of belonging... If you think about it, architects have long been designing spaces based on this thinking. They design our spaces like our homes, parks, and playgrounds for the sense of belonging they foster.  If the metaverse is just another space, what should we have in it as a space that fosters a sense of belonging. If you look at Twitch, what many love about the platform is you can just be yourself, where you can just hang out. There’s a sense of belonging in a community of gamers who can choose to participate or not. One of the reasons for the longevity of Fortnite is actual a sense of belonging where users can customise their own battlegrounds.” 

- Ed Cheong, executive creative director, RGA 


"Our campaign last year for our maternal milk product, Anmum Materna, takes an honest look at the different problems Asian women experience during pregnancy—like their body changes—because nobody is talking about that. When we launched our campaign, we actually worked with influencers and creators to empower them to share their story. The narrative needs to come from the consumer or from these creators now."

- Kartika Guerrero, digital and media director for Southeast Asia at Fonterra

"It is important to facilitate the bridge for [influencers] to transverse seamlessly [between social media and Web3]. Why we decided to pay them in fiat dollars is because we identify them as creators we want to create content [with]. However, they are not Web3 creators. We must take them through a process of how we want to work with Web3 creators and what the process will look like. This also allows us to continue a relationship with them."

- Ivan Teo, director of digital, Sentosa


"It's true that the wider opportunity of gaming is as safe if not more safe than many other media opportunities out there today. The gaming environment doesn't contain a lot of user generated content. So advertisers can be sure of the context in which their ads are appearing."

- Jonathan Mackenzie, managing director, Publicis Media, Precision APAC

"The scale of [gaming] is actually massive. And it means that you should be able to find the audience that vibes with you considering the scale. If you just look at Southeast Asia alone, it’s 263 million online players across Southeast Asia. And if you look at markets like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, and Malaysia, the coverage is almost 100% especially for millennials, Gen Z, and halfway down."

- David Vu, head of product strategy, Mana Partners; Consultant, Publicis Groupe


“We were very selective in different markets with who we work as collaborators, content players and esports teams. We worked with esports players that believed in us. Once the value alignment is there and they really love our products, then it’s really easy to create stories around them. So I think alignment of values is important from the start and also buy-in to the brand, utility of the brand. They need to like our PC. They need to like our products and we’ll make sure that the usage of the product really helps them win in competition.” 

-Siew Ting Foo, CMO, Greater Asia, HP 

“Companies like Hershey and Nestle are more than 150 years old. Brand safety is the topmost priority. But there is fundamentally a shift in the way we think and that’s the beauty of Web3. Brands are now more open. They’re giving far more space for creators to talk about the same brand values in their own way. That openness in happening. And we will learn in this whole process how it evolves. A celebrity influencer is no longer the biggest thing.” 

-Abhishek Kumar, head of marketing, Asia Pacific & China, The Hershey Company 


"There are some airline brands who like to ‘speak loud and speak early’ but that’s not Cathay’s style.  We only come out when we have something we love. What we’re thinking about is what can we do that’s going to enhance the customer’s experience. We have not wanted to go out there and have a Cathay airport in the Sandbox just yet. Maybe it would help us make Campaign’s pages." 

"No one wants their airline to be too experimental. They want it to be quite sure of what it’s doing. But web3 could help solve a problem in this agile world where you do need a way to flex your muscles in a low consequence environment. So that could be where we experiment with things."

-Edward Bell, general manager, brand, insights and marketing communications, Cathay Pacific 


“We’re testing and learning because the case cycle for the metaverse is around 8 to 10 years away. We see web3 as a great way to expand our brand and our real life experiences into the virtual world." 

"My favourite example is in the world of inclusion and self-expression. So we sponsored a pride march and extended that in partnership with the Decentraland Foundation into Decentraland where we sponsored Pride Plaza. But this was not just about entertainment but authenticity, so we partnered with LGBTQ+ designers to create avatars and entities so people could go to Decentraland, get dressed without anyone judging you and write letters to your former self.”

-Kaveri Khullar, vice president, consumer marketing & sponsorships, Mastercard Asia Pacific 


“From a gaming perspective, we need to have one listening tool for gaming forums, blogs, tech press, etc. A search tool that helps you understand behaviors, internal and external. The tool also helps us identify which influencers we should work with and how they match our brand values. This gives us a good sense of what is going on in the market.”

- Sahaj Khunteta, head of marketing analytics, Asia Pacific and Japan at Intel

Campaign Asia

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