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Tiger Beer: Still a strong Asian brand?

In 2012, when Tiger Beer appointed Irish agency Rothco as its global creative agency, the brand was criticised for moving away from its local heritage.

Wong Mie Leng, global brand director of Tiger Beer, says while Tiger Beer is proudly Asian, it does have global ambitions.

She admits the distance eventually affected the brand’s relationship with Rothco and why it looked closer to home for its new global creative partner.

More recently, the brand appointed Droga5 as its global creative agency. Addressing the concern of moving away from Singaporean roots, Wong said that while Droga5 is not based in Singapore, the brand will have a strong on-the-ground network.

“It is also important to remember that the conceptualization is not simply based on one creative agency or creative, but there is a whole team and network on ground in Singapore handling it,” said Wong. Meanwhile its new local creative agency BBDO Singapore will handle the localisation of its account.

Other Singapore-based agencies such as iris will handle its global digital assets, she said.

On a larger context, since Asia Pacific Breweries was taken over by Heineken last year, the question of Tiger’s Beer’s local heritage being diluted came increasingly into the limelight.

This could be why its newest campaign and rebrand emphasised strongly on its Asian roots.

Tiger Beer’s newest campaign “Uncage” features Singaporean director of Ilo Ilo Anthony Chen, who won four awards at the Golden Horse Awards last year. Other Asian personalities in the campaign will include Hong Kong calligraphy artist Joey Pang, Thai stuntman Charlie Ruedpokanon and Vietnamese hip hop dancer Vietmax.

Its new agency Droga5 is quick to emphasise that it has placed an onground representative, regional director Simon Lockyer out of its new partner IMG’s Singapore headquarters.

Lockyer was previously new business director at Tribal DDB in Singapore and will report directly to Droga5 CEO Sudeep Gohil.

David Nobay, creative chairman of Droga5 Sydney, said while all creative and strategic work will continue to be run out of its Sydney office, the past five months has seen a “fantastic bond” between the senior team of D5 Sydney and APB in Singapore.

“Neither of us plan on changing the chemistry,” Nobay said.

“For us ‘Uncage’ is more than just another ad campaign: it’s the platform from which we can start having a genuine conversation with our Asian drinkers, and ultimately, the world. It’s big, ambitious and will be realised across all media, not just traditional advertising spaces.

Tiger’s film with Anthony Chen:

Tiger’s film with Charlie Ruedpokanon:

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