TBWA Hong Kong, along with US-based Omnicom sister agency The Integer Group, is launching TBWA Commerce, an ecommerce offering that will focus on helping brands succeed on popular local ecommerce platform HKTVMall.
The agency said it is the first 4As agency to launch such an offering in the market.
HKTVMall is a business of publicly traded HKTV. For the six months ended June 30, HKTV reported HKTVMall's GMV (gross merchandise value) reached HK$3.04 billion (US$391 million), representing 10.7% growth relative to the first half of 2020. Its revenue increased by 13.3% compared to the first half of 2020, reaching HK$1.52 billion (US$195 million).
"Surprisingly, the Hong Kong ecommerce landscape is less advanced than most developed countries because of its prolific and highly concentrated retail presence, which previously provided the unchallenged shopping convenience," Jan Cho, managing director of TBWA Hong Kong, said in a release. “But Covid upended the landscape and gave rise to a late, yet rapid, ecomm boom."
Marketplace commerce remains "unfamiliar territory" for many Hong Kong brands, and HKTVMall has "its own layers and set of rules that feel foreign to most marketers", which can be intimidating, according to TBWA.
“HKTVMall is a fantastic platform for brands," Anne Chan, head of digital and commerce at TBWA Hong Kong, said in the release. "Its volume of traffic, diversity of customers, promotion support and online-to-offline (O2O) presence are second to none in the region."
The company's recent release of OBD (Open Data Bank) is "a treasure filled with very valuable data" for brands, and the agency has spent a great deal of R&D time to understand the "inner workings, hidden codes and rules" of the platform, she added.
HKTV recently changed its official name from "Hong Kong Television Network" to "Hong Kong Technology Venture". The original name reflected the firm's initial designs on building a broadcast television business. After it was denied a free-to-air license in 2013, it started an over-the-top service in 2014, but also leaned hard into ecommerce with HKTVMall—notably blanketing the entire MTR system in a splashy, pun-filled campaign in 2015. The ecommerce service became a go-to for many people during the pandemic.
Integrer's clients include AT&T, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Nestlé, P&G, PepsiCo and Starbucks.
“We’re in a fortunate position to have the expertise of Integer in our family to fast track and elevate our capability, knowledge and our Hong Kong specific skill set," said Cho.