With the only certainty in 2020 being uncertainty, there’s never been a more challenging year to be a marketer. Original plans for the year were thrown out as lockdowns throughout the region and world saw physical campaigns, events and activities moved online, postponed, or shelved indefinitely.
Of course, it’s very often in times of adversity that we see the greatest resilience — and despite these challenges, leading brands have stepped up this year, reimagining advertising to help inform, support and entertain their audiences during an objectively chaotic year. Whether tapping into Twitter’s conversational insights, creating a meaningful connection with their communities or using Twitter’s product suite to completely revamp their launch plan — marketers across Southeast Asia displayed exceptional creativity in using the platform to help their brand stay agile and relevant this year.
From campaign pivots to at-home content creation, marketers across Southeast Asia brought all the feels and really got to the heart of what Twitter’s all about — connecting people and brands through conversation.
As Arvinder Gujral, managing director, Southeast Asia, at Twitter, notes, “In this time of upheaval, there was no rule book to go by, or tried and tested method to keep audiences engaged. Instead, brands and marketers have had to roll with the punches and learn as the year evolved. This meant really listening to and connecting with their communities, before reaching out in an authentic and genuine way. We’ve been humbled and inspired by how brands throughout the region have leveraged Twitter to tap into conversations and cultural moments. And as we look to the New Year, it’s clear that community building will only increase in importance."
In recognition of this extraordinary way brands have been using Twitter to engage with their consumers, and as we reflect on the toughest of years, we are introducing the #BestofTweets 2020 Southeast Asia Awards.
These are the eight campaigns and brands worth remembering from a year we’ll never forget.
Best campaign for driving positive change in society
OUR PICK: @McDo_PH
Awarded to the brand that best used Twitter to effect positive societal change, McDonald’s Philippines (@McDo_PH) is recognised for one campaign in particular - National Heroes Day, which traditionally celebrates and commemorates the heroes who fought for the Philippines' independence.
McDonald's Philippines saw the opportunity to put the focus on a different kind of hero in 2020 - frontline workers. On National Heroes Day, @McDo_PH showed its appreciation for frontline workers by gifting free meals in its app. People on Twitter were inspired by the act and joined in to share their gratitude for these essential workers and unsung heroes of 2020. This is one of many efforts McDonald's Philippines has made to consistently give back to the community during the pandemic.
Agencies: OMD Philippines & Leo Burnett Philippines
Best brand voice
OUR PICK: @UberEats_JP
Celebrating brands that consistently and strategically define and leverage their own voice, the award goes to Uber Eats Japan (@UberEats_JP).
'Tonight I'll Be Eating' is a yearlong campaign that rolls out every quarter on Twitter in Japan. Each quarter, Uber Eats Japan reveals the unique pairing of influencers to drive across the messaging that no matter who you are, everyone can use Uber Eats to order what they are craving for dinner. With humour, unexpected influencers, and a consistent brand voice, @UberEats_JP made a global campaign uniquely Japanese. The work made us hungry for more.
Agencies: MediaCom, Special Group & Ultra Super New Tokyo
Best virtual event
OUR PICK: @ciscoapac
With social distancing and travel restrictions here to stay, virtual events have now become the default mode of bringing people together.
Converting a flagship tech conference (with record attendance) to a virtual event could throw any marketer. But Cisco APAC’s (@ciscoapac) pivoted flawlessly. Following the cancellation of the physical Cisco Live 2020 event due to be held in Melbourne, Cisco demonstrated extreme agility by pivoting to a livestream event, broadcast across the whole APJC region - including multiple country handles covering Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India simultaneously. It kept the conversation going by leveraging Twitter's takeover product and running a Spotlight trend at the end of the event.
Agency: Merkle DWA
Best use of video
OUR PICK: @disneyplusID
Online video is the only advertising format to have its 2020 growth estimate upgraded - and is expected to lead the way in 2021.
The secret to #TheMandalorian2 launch? Fan hype with video front and centre.
Following Twitter’s best practices, Disney+ Hotstar Indonesia created a sub-15-second video filled with unrivalled localised creative. The video received an eye-popping 9.1M views and turned up the anticipation for #TheMandalorian2. Excited fans lapped up a custom Like to Remind Twitter solution that sent additional video snippets before every episode.
Most Tweeted-about brand
While 2020 has been a challenging year for many, there’s no denying that 2020 fast-tracked e-commerce in Southeast Asia. But it also fast-tracked the shopping conversation on Twitter — with Shopee at its centre.
Shopee takes the crown for Most Tweeted about Brand. With many successful campaigns across several Southeast Asian markets (including @ShopeeSG, @ShopeeMY, @ShopeeID, @ShopeeTH, and @ShopeePH ), Shopee leveraged the biggest shopping days in the calendar to keep its brand top-of-mind.
Best launch on Twitter
OUR PICK: @PringlesJapanCP
2020 was a tough year to launch anything new, but Pringles Japan (@PringlesJapanCP) launched a renewed flavour with popular Japanese personality Fuwa-Chan on Twitter — and you can taste the results.
How’d they do it? By following our three phases for a launch: Tease, Reveal, and Reinforce.
Pringles teased fans with giveaway contests and Tweets that built curiosity. With the hype at its peak, Pringles revealed brand ambassador Fuwa-Chan in a hilarious video.
To reinforce momentum and keep fans talking, Fuwa-Chan hosted a special takeover of the @PringlesJapanCP account. She set up a “consulting” session and addressed fans' troubles, driving even greater brand engagement on Twitter.
Agencies: ADK Creative One & A-Bridge
Best connection to culture
OUR PICK: @NetflixID
This award looks at the most effective latch on to a cultural moment - and Netflix Indonesia (@NetflixID) knows this best, using K-Pop as their cultural connection to the young and passionate audience. Indonesia is in the top three countries in the world for conversations around #KpopTwitter - so in anticipation of the launch of K-pop group Blackpink’s new documentary Light Up The Sky, Netflix Indonesia connected with the local fandom community (or Blinks) and the wider #KpopTwitter community to supercharge conversations. Netflix Indonesia additionally used a custom branded emoji, taking Twitter Indonesia by storm and achieved an impressive engagement rate of 6.5%.
Agencies: UM Singapore (Regional - APAC) & Tommy
OUR PICK: @SpotifyKDaebak
The K-pop Multi Playlist Campaign started with a question: How can Spotify get K-pop fans to explore new music through Spotify’s curated K-pop playlists? @SpotifyKDaebak saw that fans love quizzes and social validation. So it partnered with Twitter to make something special: a quiz that matched fans’ personalities with curated Spotify playlists.
Using Twitter’s Post-Click Experience, a microsite that acts as an extension of the Twitter platform, fans answered five simple questions to receive playlist recommendations that they could share with their friends. Fans took to Twitter to share their playlists and Spotify stood out from the competition as a credible source for discovering new K-pop music.
Agencies: UM Singapore (Regional - APAC) & Juice Network