AirAsia Media Group inks slew of partnerships as it enters the new year

AirAsia Media Group, a unit under AirAsia.com launched last September, has inked a slew of partnerships with Chek Hup, Arabus Coffee, Tourism Johor, Department of Tourism Philippines, Walch, and Ormond Group. This is done in collaboration with PHAR Partnerships, which are the exclusive physical media partner for AirAsia Media Group.

AirAsia Media Group is working with Chek Hup, Arabus Coffee, Tourism Johor, and Ormond Group for a year until December 2021 while its partnerships with Walch and Department of Tourism Philippines end in June 2021. Through the partnership, Chek Hup aims to increase consideration and sales for its coffee and will leverage AirAsia's inflight menu, radio announcement and wifi, as well as meal tray backs and programmatic direct. Similarly, Thai coffee maker Arabus Coffee seeks to increase brand awareness and drive sales, and will tap on AirAsia's inflight menu, meal traybacks, half livery and programmatic direct to achieve its goals.

Meanwhile, Tourism Johor will use a full livery on AirAsia to create awareness for the state and Southeast Asian hotel brand Ormond Group will tap onand managed services under AirAsia Media Group to increase hotel bookings, F&B and events at The ChowKit Hotel and Momo's. At the same time, Walch will make use of digital display, physical sampling and shop listings on AirAsia.com to grow awareness and recognition for its products in Malaysia, while Department of Tourism Philippines will tap on content, programmatic direct and audience extension to grow awareness for the country. Some of the work for these six brands have gone live while others are lined up for the first quarter of 2021.

(Read also: AirAsia unveils new marketing solutions group, parallels the likes of Amazon)

CEO Sumit Ramchandani (pictured) told A+M that it was chosen as a partner for growth as it helps solve challenges related to media efficacy and attribution. "Our offering drives business results as opposed to vanity KPIs for our advertising partners. We want to provide measurable business outcome for our partners," he added.

According to him, AirAsia Media Group is fortunate in that with its "unique offering which includes online and offline media as well as its first-party audience solution", it does not have a direct competitor to pitch against. "Our RedCarpet Channel partnerships are a result of our strategic outreach and relationships," he added.

AirAsia Media Group consists of five pillars - content and creative, media, data and adtech, talent and celebrities and channels - with more than 100 employees overseeing ASEAN. Other key leaders include Rudy Khaw, head of content and creative, who also doubles as chief brand officer for AirAsia Group, as well as CEO of RedRecords Hassan Choudhury.

Ramchandani previously told A+M that the closest parallel to AirAsia Media Group he can think of in terms of offering is Amazon Advertising. "We launched the AirAsia Media Group with the vision to be a one of a kind marketing solutions partner integrating ad tech/data with content and publishing channels, focused on travellers and the pop culture in ASEAN," he said last year.

Ramchandani first joined AirAsia late last year as CEO of AirAsia Ads, the media, data and adtech arm. Back then, AirAsia Media Group had yet to come to fruition. He explained that the new media group has been constantly evolving and the consolidation of adtech, content and channel into one integrated media group took place only recently.

Plans for 2021

AirAsia Media Group piloted its omnichannel media partnership programme during the fourth quarter of 2020 and intends to double down on it in 2021. Ramchandani said this will be done by enriching its channels and attribution solution to drive measurable business results for advertising partners. It also aims to drive home first-party advantage by experimenting with privacy complaint data partnerships.

Additionally, the launch of AirAsia.com as a super app will help expand the media group's offering both on ad inventory and first-party audience solution, Ramchandani said, which will now be enriched with travel, eCommerce and fintech segments.

"The three trends we are keeping an eye on include the evolution of 5G, identity solutions, the cookieless world and what shifts in the consumer behavior are here to stay in the post pandemic era. We’ll look to learn and adapt our offering accordingly," he said.

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