The third in our series of reports on the Spikes Asia 2016 seminar program.
Hakuhodo specialists working in the fields of innovation, media, and data marketing respectively report on the highlights of this year’s Spikes seminars.
Spikes, positioned as the Asian version of Cannes Lions, is on a smaller scale, but, attracting as it does many participants from China, India, and the ASEAN region, it has the advantage of giving the observer a better sense of Asia’s dynamism and capacity for new ideas. Last year there were many talks on the topics of social goods, startup partnerships, and the clash between data and creativity, particularly in India; but this year there appeared to be a shift to the more commercial, business-oriented subject of marketing transformation. The areas of VR, AI, mobile, and innovation, which are opening up the markets of the future, were all the rage this year as at Cannes, with the emphasis on branding and business results. Let me describe two presentations that gave me that impression.
The seminar “Creativity and Cultural Nuance in an Omni-Platform Marketing World” presented by Harris Diamond, Chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, described how the McCann Group was strengthening both global investment and marketing that respected local cultures. (Official website: https://www.spikes.asia/festival-programme/#/creativity-and-cultural-nuance-in-an-omni-platform-marketing-world)
Harris Diamond – Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup ©Spikes Asia
McCann conducted a global brand study worldwide that found that, as exemplified by Britain’s decision to leave the EU, nationalism and locally rooted music, fashion, family institutions, and cultural assets are becoming ever more important.
Globalization in the past aimed to increase efficiency, but today the impact on the local market is key. That necessitates a fresh approach to marketing, Mr. Diamond argued, in which the brand promise is globally unified but a balance is struck between the brand values and the local culture.
In a seminar entitled “The Marketing Holy Trinity For The New World: Creativity Technology and Partnerships,” Sam Ahmed, SVP Head of Marketing at MasterCard Asia Pacific, explored the question of whether it’s possible to be faithful to consumers and brand values without sacrificing the bottom line. He described the Indian campaign #Powerofone. (Official website: https://www.spikes.asia/festival-programme/#/the-marketing-holy-trinity-for-the-new-world-creativity-technology-and-partnerships)
Sam Ahmed – SVP Head of Marketing, MasterCard Asia Pacific ©Spikes Asia
The idea behind this campaign was to celebrate India’s Independence Day and growth not simply by glorifying the nation but by highlighting unsung heroes — individuals who deserve recognition for their social activities.
So far it sounds like just another social campaign, but in terms of actual output, the campaign involved not only offline strategies like TV and outdoor media ads but also real-time marketing based on social analytics and image analysis, digital creatives, and programmatic data. Profits rose 15 percent.
This was achieved through the digital & e-commerce engine established by MasterCard two years ago — a dedicated team that executes real-time marketing to increase e-commerce transactions. Mr. Ahmed characterizes it as a team that handles digital business, not digital advertising. The agency too thus has the capability to keep pace with this digital business unit.
Thus, alongside the shift to locally led marketing, which entails analyzing consumers’ culture, insights, and behavior, the adoption of real-time marketing mechanisms such as MasterCard’s tailored to the differing data and digital environments of each country is a transformation evolving in unique directions in Asia. Numerous examples of such unique directions are to be seen in China as well, though I have been unable to describe them here. The future evolution of marketing in Asia will be worth watching closely.
About Spikes Asia
Spikes Asia, held every September in Singapore, is Asia’s largest advertising and communications festival. It was inaugurated in 2009 as a regional version of the Cannes Lions Festival. The 2016 festival attracted a record 5,132 entries from 23 countries and regions in 20 categories, two of which, Digital Craft and Music, were newly added this year. A platform for the brightest minds in the business to connect and exchange ideas, Spikes Asia ranks alongside the Cannes Lions as a major industry event. Asia has recently been making waves in the global advertising industry, with three countries in the Asia-Pacific ranking among the top ten prizewinners at this year’s Cannes Lions.