“Media Innovation in Asia” – Festival of Media Asia Pacific #FOMA15

Has Asian Century arrives? Guiding from the innovative spirit of Asia’s media industry took centre stage at the first day of the Festival of Media Asia Pacific 2015 at the Capella Singapore, I will believe so.

The Festival of Media has invited industry players and promising startups to share their views on the use of media and technology to market their products. See the video for the Day 1 Highlights.

Omnicom Media Group APAC chief executive Cheuk Chiang led the charge in the morning, arguing that western breakthroughs over the past 15 years – such as Google, Facebook and YouTube – will soon be emulated by triumphs in the East.

“What if the focus was no longer on the West and instead we looked at innovation from the East? What if the East could equal innovation?”

Vivian Zhu, managing director, Starcom Media Group China, discussed the impact of Chinese consumers’ obsessive use of mobile devices, including the fact that the average WeChat user checks their account every six minutes.

“Mobile spending has grown three or four times over the last year,” she said.

Arthur Policarpio, head of Havas Media-owned mobile specialist Mobext, encouraged agencies to treat advertisers like venture capitalists in the pursuit of innovation.

“Why can’t these disruptive new platforms and businesses be built by agencies like ours?”

Brands such as McDonald’s, Microsoft and Google discussed the innovative potential of APAC, and how marketing is evolving in light of changes in consumer behaviour.

Google Singapore managing director Joanna Flint took it one step further, celebrating the rise of Asia and rise of the ‘selfie-stick’ by inviting delegates on to the stage for an Oscars-style mass selfie (see below!).

I have joined the Selfie with the #FOMA15 Delegates and Speakers! – Source: M&M Global


A more emotional tone was struck by Malaysia Airlines’ senior vice-president, head of marketing and products, Dean Dacko, who revealed how the brand has coped with the twin-disaster of two lost aircraft in 2014.

“We realised quite soon on we were on new ground. There was no advice, no guide, to show us how to do it,” said Dacko.

Delivering his first speech outside of China with the aid of an interpreter, Huawei’s chief marketing officer Jeffrey Yang offered a fascinating insight into how he believes marketers should nurture the “soul” of their brands.

“The problem with the market is that it only focuses on what is tangible, physical, but not what is invisible. There is a difference,” said Yang.

Nestle’s head of digital marketing and social media for Greater China, Hannelore Grams, said brands must be adaptable when marketing to younger, “Post-90s” consumers in China.

She also revealed why the brand continues to invest in its social media “command centre” in China.

Unilever Philippine’s chief executive and chairman Rohit Jawa told delegates cutting through to teenage consumers is the biggest challenge facing brands in the region today.

“When attention is split across so many options, it is impossible to get through to teenagers today – they are too busy Snapchatting and looking at their mobiles,” said Jawa.

And Diageo’s South East Asia marketing director Siew-Ting Foo spoke about the importance of engaging local influencers to drive advocacy in Asia.

The Festival continue  today with speakers including PepsiCo India chairman and chief executive Shiv Shivakumar, ZipDial founder Valerie Wagoner and Kiip founder and chief executive Brian Wong.

More photos here

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