Staff Reporters
Jun 3, 2021

Highlights from Campaign Connect 3.0

Memorable statements and other highlights from Campaign Connect 3.0. See what caught our ears.

Highlights from Campaign Connect 3.0

Here our editors are sharing real-time highlights from Campaign Connect 3.0, taking place online June 2 and 3. This page is presented in liveblog style, with the most recent items being added at the top. You can see the full agenda and register here.

Thursday June 3

Posted at 5:03 pm

"For Asian consumers, the purpose of brands remains to convey status and reputation. The big global conversation, the big global marketing moment around purpose isn't yet reflected in Asian consumers’ attitudes towards brands. And so to connect with Asian consumers, you've got to remember that the data is telling us that purpose is not front-of-mind.”

—Christopher Stephenson, chief strategy officer, Omnicom Media Group

Posted at 4:50 pm

“In Asia Pacific we see people exploring many different apps and websites before they buy. The reason I'm sharing this is because this actually translates into a lot of opportunity for startups, new businesses and new brands to make a mark, because people haven't honed in on one specific app or website that they want to buy from. They're willing to look at as many as five before they decide what to buy.

"The top marketplace in the USA is Amazon, and the second best is almost 6.6X behind. But in our region, and this is true across APAC, we find that the difference between the first and the second player in terms of relative market share is quite low. This kind of screams opportunity when you think about emerging disrupting brands and marketplaces.” 

—Dhruv Vohra, industry director, digital natives and technology, Facebook

Posted at 4:17 pm

"Social culture is the engine of creativity, and it shapes how tech and media changes. The basic five tenets of social culture are symbols, language, norms, behaviour, and values.

"One example of how symbolism changed is the beauty industry: the fairness obsession in Southeast and South Asia. Symbolism is a very good way to think about how most fairness products used to be communicated: fair skin equals more beautiful skin. The symbolism of beauty has changed within this decade, which shows the shift in culture."

—Dhiren Amin, CMO, Asia, Kraft-Heinz:

Posted at 3:35 pm

“We don't believe that a brand can earn trust solely through marketing spend. Ultimately trust needs to be from the board and the CEO all the way through the organisation. It's a long-term investment. You don't address it through marketing alone. I'm sure marketing can help, but it would almost be unfair to put this on the CMO. Trust has to be something that's tied to the mission and the vision of the company.”

—Ken Mandel, Grab Ads

Wednesday June 2

Posted at 6:10 pm

"Of course, consumers have enormous power to shape the market. But it is really marketing that steers the direction of consumption. So marketing is a power that can bring about massive behavioural change."

—Midori Paxton, head of ecosystems and biodiversity with the United Nations Development Programme

See full story: "UN rep to marketers: You can set off the change the world needs on sustainability"

Posted at 4:55 pm

"I think it's easier to say what ways is has not affected people's mental health. I think the phenomena of a pandemic is just one that's going to grab people's anxieties on every level. … From a clinical perspective, what I'm noticing in the patients that are coming through the doors of the private practice where I work tend to be at a more significant level of need now. We’re quite overwhelmed with the number of people that have come through the doors recently."

—Hannah Reidy, CEO, Mind Hong Kong

"Across the board, all our survey data showed that people felt extremely cared for by either the company or by their managers. But that takes a toll when you're going through something yourself, but you're also giving care to others. So we've tried giving managers support with how they navigate all these tools that are there for people in terms of leaves, or managing adjusted performance expectations if someone's struggling a lot, but also helping them figure out how do they look after themselves."

—Rachel Burton, HR Director, APAC, Facebook

See full story on this panel discussion: "How companies can address mental-health concerns in the pandemic"

Posted at 4.22 pm

On supporting the games: "At the end of the day what we, we are supporting our athletes. We support our partners ... it's really about how do we create a positive impact when there are so much that our consumers are going through. We decided to go ahead into our storytelling (and) invest in this window despite a lot of uncertainty that is still out there... it's going back to who we are and it's really connecting with our consumers."

Yoe Gin Chang, senior brand director, Global, SK-II

On the future of large-scale live events such as The Olympics: "We do see that movement from physical to digital. At the same time there is much need, especially for category like skin care to have that relevant experience in tactical physical world. Of course, we will put all our safety measures in place, but we do see the power of physical, digital sometimes combined omni channel approach, and to build that flexibility to build a unique experience that you can not only get for your mobile. We just had a big pop up events in Hainan in China, where we brought together a physical space, but married with social experience, where consumers who are there physically can get an immersive experience."

Posted at 3:58 pm

“I would like to really stick my neck out. If I was just getting into advertising...then I believe that the clock is ticking, because I strongly believe that the 30-second advertising format will have a shelf life.”

— Aditya Bhat, head of Jio Creative Labs, Reliance Jio

Bhat's presentation looked at many ways that brands will use different forms of storytelling to embed themselves into commerce, including click-to-shop OTT content, virtual influencers and interactive experiences based on hologram technology. 

"They're telling interesting stories, stories which go beyond the 30-second format, stories that don't literally force-feed the brand, but stories that are giving an experience to the viewer, which is a seamless experience, and the brand is a part of the viewer’s emotion process," he said.

Posted at 3:15 pm

"What is now emerging is what we call ‘double dates’, as we see many retailers not stopping at 9-9, 11-11 and 12-12. But this is becoming a much more frequent habit, and they are now also activating campaigns such as 6-6."

— Alexandra Vogler, Senior e-commerce director for APAC, Middle East and Africa at P&G, in a session that shared P&G's thinking and tactics around how to run ecommerce as a full-fledged business with marketing of its own  

Posted at 2:35 pm

"Just because agility is a requirement and is very center-stage now, the brilliant basics still stay the same. So for example, consumer insight and staying close to your customer and consumer is super critical, like always. … And similarly, to my mind, sustained visibility and some sort of dialogue and engagement with your consumer. Some of these things continue to be gold standard. And I think agility, while it is key, it doesn't necessarily mean that the fundamentals of the businesses have changed."

— Anupriya Acharya, CEO South Asia, Publicis Groupe

"We spend money on behalf of the business. And, you know, at the start of the pandemic, I noticed many brands just started taking their brands off air. What we realized through the course of the year is that we shouldn't be cutting ruthlessly all of these investments. But we should be taking the approach of pivoting ruthlessly, to support the business. So in our case, as a payment brand, we pivoted very quickly to supporting our partners when communicating to consumers about shopping online. ... [But we did not want to] just throw out every marketing investment we've made because brand, brand purpose, brand value, brand health continues and will continue to be important. But we have to keep our eye on the bottom of the funnel activity."

—Anita Kanal, Vice-President, Consumer Marketing Asia-Pacific, Visa


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