Hakuhodo Seminar at Spikes Asia 2019

Oct. 21, 2019
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How ASEAN society evolves as technology gets smarter

Hakuhodo hosted a seminar at Spikes Asia 2019 in Singapore on September 27. This year, researchers from Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN) presented findings from its research on the topic “How ASEAN society evolves as technology gets smarter.” In an ASEAN region where the smartphone market is still expanding rapidly, HILL ASEAN considered how the technologies that will follow the smartphone will change sei-katsu-sha*, predicting future society and sei-katsu-sha behavior and explaining the importance of making preparations, with suggestions for marketers.

* Sei-katsu-sha insight is the foundation for Hakuhodo’s thinking, planning, and brand building. It reminds us that consumers are more than shoppers performing an economic function. They have heartbeats. They are individuals with distinct lifestyles. Hakuhodo introduced this term in the 1980s to emphasize its commitment to a comprehensive, 360-degree perspective on consumers’ lives.

From left:
Goro Hokari, Dee Supataravanich (Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN)
Devi Attamimi (Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN and Hakuhodo Network Indonesia)
EJ Mangahas (Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN and Hakuhodo Vietnam Group)

The seminar began with Goro Hokari of HILL ASEAN taking the stage to ask the question, “How is Hakuhodo, one of the oldest advertising agencies, still able to leverage its strengths?”
One reason, explained Hokari, is the Hakuhodo Group’s sei-katsu-sha insight philosophy. It is important to understand both sei-katsu-sha’s voices and sei-katsu-sha behavior. The gap between the two is where people’s humanity can be seen; their complexity and contradictions. The ability to find new opportunities there is a strength of Hakuhodo’s, Hokari explained.

Next, HILL ASEAN Institute Director Devi Attamimi took the stage. Noting that the smartphone had radically changed sei-katsu-sha behavior in the last decade, she asked the audience what technologies would change their behavior in the future, and what kinds of new media those technologies might give rise to.

The IoT will drive global technology trends in the future

The number of IoT devices is projected to greatly exceed the number of mobile phones in 2021. The speed with which consumers accept technology is growing faster each year, and they are now beginning to respond to them faster than companies. Looking at how long it took for various devices to reach 50 million users, we find that it took 13 years for TV, one year for Facebook, and just 19 days for Pokemon GO. There is every chance that the IoT, which is still in its infancy, will spread very rapidly.

Assistive Media: The new media the IoT will bring

The spread of the IoT will bring three changes.

First, it will become possible to control things remotely anytime and anyplace. It will be possible to control things—home appliances, cars, towns and social infrastructure—anytime and from anywhere.

Second is the accumulation of big data called “Me Data.” In addition to your web activity history, all kinds of data from your everyday life will be collected from things connected to the IoT, and managed centrally as Me Data.

Third is the provision of optimal solutions through artificial intelligence (AI). The IoT is already evolving from simply being the Internet of Things, or things connected to the Net, to being the Intelligence of Things, or things with intelligent technology connected to the Internet. This will usher in the next media that will change the behavior of the sei-katsu-sha after the smartphone, which was a personalized medium.

IoT technologies will go beyond the interactive media provided up till now by the computer and personalized media enabled by the smartphone, giving rise to Assistive Media, a new form of media that will assist people in their daily lives by providing the right solution at the right time.

So how do sei-katsu-sha feel about such new technologies? Results from ASEAN-specific quantitative surveys conducted by HILL ASEAN show that the short answer is that people in ASEAN love new technology, but have some information fatigue. From this, we can glimpse their love-hate relationship with new technology.

What do sei-katsu-sha think of AI technologies? Looking at answers to the question “Is AI technology beneficial or a threat?” from each country, 90% in Vietnam see them as beneficial, while only 50% in Singapore do. Whether people see new technologies as beneficial or a threat varies by country, perhaps depending on the stage of development or national characteristics.

Examples of smart homes and users that make the most of IoT technologies

Next, Dee highlighted IoT users from HILL ASEAN’s home visit survey.

The photo below is of the most advanced smart home HILL ASEAN visited in Indonesia. It may not look all spic and span at first glance, but it is actually equipped with as many as 16 IoT devices.

The male IT engineer living here felt he’d rather live in a smart home than a beautiful one. He was delighted that by connecting various household appliances and the water supply pump to the IoT, he could operate them without the need to check on their status individually.

This Singaporean man uses the IoT to achieve a relaxed life with his lovely wife. He has connected home appliances and curtains to a smart speaker and created his own commands for them. As a result, he only needs to give the smart speaker one command to get troublesome preparations for bed, like turning off appliances, turning out the lights, drawing the curtains, etc., done.

In this way, life with the IoT does away with boring routines, allowing people to devote their time to the things they really want to do.

Technology shouldn’t be the end itself, but a means of enriching people’s lives

Finally, EJ summed up the presentation, explaining how Assistive Media, the new media that will result from the spread of the IoT, will impact sei-katsu-sha purchasing behavior, and what marketers and brands need to do in response.

Sei-katsu-sha will be freed from boring routines like shopping for the bare necessities, and instead will enjoy selecting from among products and services recommended especially for them.

As a result of these changes, marketers will need to adopt a Future-Forward attitude and create their own futures he said, explaining the importance of brands and marketers shifting their roles from simply providing products to providing platforms, and transforming their business model from selling products to selling subscriptions.

EJ concluded the seminar by emphasizing that in using new technology, the technology itself should not be the end. Instead, it should be used to make people’s lives more human.


Goro Hokari
Managing Director, Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN)
Senior Strategic Planning Director, Hakuhodo Inc.
Goro Hokari joined Hakuhodo in 1995. After secondments at Tequila London and Wolff Olins for on-the-job training in 2005, he has been based in Bangkok since 2013. In 2014, he was instrumental in establishing HILL ASEAN, seeing its localization as a Thai company in 2017. He provides marketing support to the Hakuhodo Group in Southeast Asia. Hokari served as a jury member at the APAC Effie Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Farhana E. Devi Attamimi
Institute Director, Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN)
Executive Director Strategy, Hakuhodo Network Indonesia
Devi Attamimi has always been fascinated with human behaviors and creative thinking. She maintains that there’s no better place to satisfy her fascination than at Hakuhodo, whose company philosophy is to see people not merely as consumers, but individuals with lives, aspirations and dreams—that is, sei-katsu-sha. She currently heads HILL ASEAN, Hakuhodo’s strategic think tank covering six ASEAN countries. HILL ASEAN maps out sei-katsu-sha trends through research and study for the benefit of brands and markets. Devi serves as sei-katsu-sha evangelist and has been spreading HILL ASEAN research widely through speaking engagements at creative events such as ADFEST, Spikes Asia, APMF and IDEAFEST.
Dee Supataravanich
Senior Strategic Planning Supervisor, Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN)
After graduating from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Dee was based in Japan for six years before returning to Thailand. She joined Hakuhodo Group company Products (Bangkok) in 2014, transferring to Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN in 2017.
Taking advantage of language skills in Japanese, English and Thai, she supports strategic planning and data marketing at Hakuhodo offices throughout ASEAN.
Emmanuel James (EJ) Mangahas
Researcher, Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (HILL ASEAN)
Head of Digital, Hakuhodo Vietnam Group
EJ Mangahas has always been at the center of campaigns and ideas where strategy, creativity, people, and technology overlap. He is currently the Digital Director of the Hakuhodo Vietnam Group and is responsible for the digital transformation of Group companies and their clients. With expertise honed over many years, he is also a part of HILL ASEAN. EJ believes in the promise of technology in the ASEAN region and how it affects the lives of its more than half billion inhabitants.


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