PRHK Viewpoints: The power of trusted influence
Trust has always played an important role in brand purchase, but today trust is essential; across geographies, across every category, across all ages and across income brackets. On par with the usual product attributes of quality, value, convenience, and ingredients, four out of five people say a major consideration for brand purchase is, “I can trust the brand to do what is right”. A Trust Barometer study from January 2019 showed that two-thirds of people agree that a good reputation may get them to try a product, but will soon stop buying it unless they trust the company behind the brand. The challenge for marketers is building trust in their brands when consumers are steering clear of their marketing efforts. This year, with 74% of people saying they are actively avoiding advertising, my advice is to consider not only what your brand stands for, but the voices you use to tell that story. The top three most trusted spokespeople for a brand message are experts, company employees, and people like me – or influencers – voices that are authentic, interesting and relatable.Influencer marketing isn’t new but is growing fast – and the numbers are staggering. Instagram has become the strongest medium with users ‘liking’ 4.2 billion posts per day, China’s influencer economy alone is estimated at $116 billion and rising. Furthermore, in this region, 80% of influencers are micro-influencers, proving anyone with a camera phone and a point of view can build an audience.An online influencer survey of 18-34 year-olds found that 63% trust what influencers say about a brand more than what the brand says about itself, and size really doesn’t matter. Only 18% say they are attracted to influencers for their huge followings, cementing my belief that consumers will only continue to follow influencers as sources of information and inspiration if they feel trust is part of the value proposition.It’s not all good newsWith a lack of marketing regulation in this space, I’m increasingly concerned that we collectively find a way to protect consumers, influencers and brands. After a few months of posting my life dining, hiking, and exploring Hong Kong I received a sales message on Instagram: Did I want to buy followers, likes and views for a low price? 10K followers: 70$, 5K Likes: 40$, 20K views: 40$. All 100% guaranteed.From bots, fake followers, fake engagement, and fake comments, to fraud and missteps of well-known influencers, brand reputation and consumer trust is at stake.Influencers partnering with brands must be transparent and use #ad in their posts. Trusted influence – the thing that inspires taking action – is built on real relationships.It’s not just the relationships between consumers and influencers, but between influencers and brands35% of the consumers in that influencer study said they pay attention to and trust what influencers say because they share their values. When used effectively, trusted influencers earn sales and build advocacy. In fact, because of an influencer, over half bought a new product, a third talked about a brand and 40% said they trusted a brand.An influencer marketing strategy needs crafting with care. For when brands and influencers align, they have the potential not only to amplify influence and engage targeted audiences, but also to co-create cultural relevance for the brands they partner with.Annouchka Behrmann is head of brand at Edelman Hong Kong, an agency member of PRHK, Hong Kong’s association for PR and communications professionals
AD WATCH: A Jack Morton creative director’s most/least favourite ads
AD WATCH features marketing industry figures providing their opinions on what they think is some of the most inspiring and disappointing work they’ve seen. As long as it’s not their own!On this edition:Sarah WilliamsonVice-president, creative directorJack MortonHOT: LADBIBLE AND PLASTIC OCEAN: THE TRASH ISLESI just loved this piece of work when it came out last year and won big at Cannes, and as a pollution campaign, it is still so relevant. For me, it hit so many plus points on so many levels. One, it was an insanely cool idea to raise awareness on our current situation with pollution and waste by taking it to another level. Two, its beautifully crafted work, and simply gorgeous design.In essence, the campaign was about “giving rights to nature”, taking the huge trash patch currently amassing in the south pacific (three times the size of France) and petitioning the UN to seek recognition of it as an official country. The idea is to make it part of the UN’s environmental charters, thus, resulting in an obligatory clean up from all nations.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzXSsnFNAj0The requirements to become a nation are the same around the world which includes citizenship, currency and government, all of which were fantastically designed as marketing tools and PR stunts, used throughout the campaign.It is work like this that is truly inspiring and reminds me why the ad industry and the people who work in it can be so special.I don’t need to say much more as it speaks for itself, so take a look.NOT: HALIFAX: GHOSTBUSTERSThis ad is third in the series from Halifax following Top Cat and The Wizard of Oz. This one features the iconic Ghostbusters. When I say “features”, I mean a literal replay of a few of the scenes from the original Ghostbusters movie, with an insert of the Halifax character “Greg” and his contactless card, and voila, we apparently have the new Halifax ad.On a positive note, the idea to use Ghostbusters as the base was interesting and definitely caught my eye – I mean who doesn’t love Ghostbusters itself completely?! The technical expertise of editing people into these films was impressive.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYWXiS3ghg0However, there were also a few things I wasn’t a fan of. First, Ghostbusters completely stole the spotlight. After watching it, I barely remembered what it was promoting. There seems to be a lack of synergy between the product/brand and the storytelling.Second, there needs to be more creativity and originality in the ad. Can you imagine the amount of money spent on licensing the movie only to digitally insert Greg into it? Would have been great to see more originally branded content from Halifax.This article was produced for the June issue of Marketing Magazine. For more features and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your free monthly print copy here or you can read our digital versions in their entirety here.
Explore the future possibilities of 5G with HKT
HKT is launching the city’s first-ever carnival to demonstrate 5G communications technology.Located at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, the HKT 5G Tech Carnival will be held from 13-16 June. Spanning 101,000 square feet, the two-storey exhibition will be divided into seven zones: 5G & Smart City, Enterprise Solutions, FinTech, Global Network, Revolutionised Ecosystem, Mobile Solutions, and Smart Living. The carnival – in support of the Hong Kong SAR government’s Smart City vision – is positioned as an opportunity for visitors to discover emerging technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, data analytics, and cloud computing.“The carnival showcases how 5G and smart city solutions from HKT enable people to lead smarter, safer and healthier lifestyles in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, and how businesses may benefit from the latest technologies,” said Susanna Hui, group managing director of HKT.In the 5G & Smart City zone, visitors can learn how to apply 5G technology to various industries, while they can also try out specialist equipment and attend a live demonstration to sample the benefits of high speed and low latency via the use of a variety of devices and applications.As the 5G network will be the backbone of a smart city, the Smart City division of the 5G & Smart City zone will showcase – through strategically deployed sensors and smart-street furniture – the role it will play.The second zone, Enterprises Solutions, will demonstrate how technology changes our lifestyles and how to do business. It will also showcase end-to-end solutions designed for different industries, smart developments for the Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.As for FinTech, the dedicated zone will explore mobile payments, electronic payments for SMEs, O2O solutions, and insurance services.PCCW Global – the international arm of HKT – bridges the gap between Hong Kong and the world. In the Global Network zone, visitors will get a first-hand experience of digital platform solutions, cloud connectivity, network and data protection, unified communications, and security. PCCW Global will also help customers expand their businesses to foreign countries.Meanwhile, the Revolutionising Shopping and Leisure Ecosystem zone will demonstrate HKT’s rewards programme, online marketplace, and state-of-the-art travel experiences.As mobiles are inseparable from people’s daily lives, the Mobile Solutions zone will showcase the latest 5G smartphones and other flagship devices from leading manufacturers. Meanwhile, the Smart Living zone how innovative uses of smart home technologies – such as lighting, curtains, and various appliances – improve our daily lives. “With a futuristic spatial design, the exhibition enables visitors to get a first-hand impression of how we can help businesses improve operational efficiencies, sales, and customer relationships,” Hui said. In addition to the exhibition zones, a conference featuring prominent industry leaders and influencers – as well as device manufacturers and technology providers – will take place on 13-14 June to explore trends and aims to create a platform for innovation in Hong Kong.Last, but not least, HKT will organise the first 5G Tech Concert on 15 June. It will integrate the latest technologies into an on-site performance by singers, including Kay Tse, Louis Cheung, Canto pop group MIRROR, and Andy Leung and King Wu from Canton pop group C AllStar.This article was brought to you by HKT
5 ways AI can take a marketing automation strategy further
The field of marketing automation is growing at an astonishing rate. According to a recent study, this market will generate up to HK$60.57 billion revenue by 2025, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 9.26%.Statistics also show that 80% of marketing automation users experienced an increase in numbers of leads, while 77% saw their conversion rates were optimised. There is an increasing number of businesses investing in some type of marketing automation for repetitive marketing activities, in an attempt to increase productivity, and consequently revenue. Yet, there are still some challenges this technology fails to address: 95% of marketing automation users struggle to personalise, segment, or respond to customer needs in time.Thanks to technological advancements, AI has arrived and tasks that would normally require a massive commitment by multiple team members are now being performed by technologies that simulate human intelligence.In other words, when combining marketing automation tools and AI, businesses can cut down on risks created by inadequate segmentation approaches, and non-relevant marketing messages, while improving response times.Here are five ways AI can maximise your marketing automation efforts.1. Conversion rate optimisationBy incorporating AI into your web design, it’s possible to analyse data and gain actual insights into customer behaviour, to ultimately help with customer segmentation. With that information, personalising messages and customising offers to meet exact demand is possible, and thus optimise conversion rates.2. High potential leads acquisitionWhen segmenting using AI technology, a business can also group leads based on purchase intention. Additionally, these tools also identify determining factors that would affect the buying decision and provide real-time, well-suited recommendations to boost plans to acquire leads.3. Quality content creationThanks to the technological evolutions in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG), businesses can now easily create personalised content to drive engagement at a fast rate.4. Relevant visual elements collectionAI-powered automation tools can quickly gather the most relevant visual elements required — such as images or videos — while detecting potentially inappropriate content, strictly following a business’s visual identity and marketing messages.5. User experience maximisationBy personalising messages across channels using AI-powered agents — such as chatbots or virtual assistants — it’s possible to provide customers with a 1-on-1 experience at the early stages of conversation, to anticipate their needs and seamlessly solve basic problems.Linh Dinh is an artificial intelligence and business automation enthusiast who often writes about technology-related topics on Market Inspector, where she works as a communication assistant.
SK-II breakthrough hits 150 million views with extraordinary #BareSkinChat series featuring James Corden and Naomi Watanabe
Prestige skincare brand SK-II has utterly smashed a 150 million view count with its star-studded and hilarious Bare Skin Chat branded video series.SK-II’s campaign no doubt owes some of its success to the extremely savvy recognisable casting choices made to play well – especially with young viewers – in different regions. Respected actresses Moretz and Arimura have been paired up with beloved comedians Corden (known from The Late Late Show and Carpool Karaoke) and Watanabe (aka “The Japanese Beyonce”) respectively.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAKVBjnKn-0What’s really impressive, however, is how SK-II’s series goes way further than being a simple beauty demonstration video; the Bare Skin Chat videos are legitimately excellently made and very funny. It’s the kind of short, impactful content that younger audiences are looking for online.In both of the Bare Skin Chat plotlines, a well-known actress has a wild friend over for a bathroom visit where they exchange beauty secrets. Episodes present Moretz/Corden and Arimura/Watanabe engaging in an eclectic range of activities – from beatboxing, to tap dancing, and even trying to produce their own viral sensation brain-tickling ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) videos. It looks like they’re having a blast as they try out the bestselling SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, that’s infused with the power of PiteraTM.Using comedians over traditional models was a bold move for SK-II and indeed it’s the laughs that keep you watching each Bare Skin Chat till the end. And though it’s the short series format that gets viewers hooked onto the next episode, Bare Skin Chat’s other big draw is a solid dose of consumer myth-busting. While it’s a traditional view that products like Facial Treatment Essence only appeal to mature users, these videos say loud and proud this is simply not the case and champion the powerful skin treatment as perfect for women in their 20s. Arimura even shows Watanabe there’s no need for vigorous scrubbing with a side-splitting demonstration of the simple tap-tap method to use it.Corden commented on getting to know the product, “It was only a matter of time before I partnered with a skincare range. I’m now lathering my face in SK-II morning, noon and night!”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGLTD2m5Zl4Sandeep Seth, vice president, global at SK-II said about the campaign, “Over the years, beauty content has some become formulaic—glamorous ads, tutorials, how-to videos. Consumers these days don’t like being pushed product or sold to. We have to behave less like a brand that is trying to sell but a brand that creates a human connection with consumers. With our iconic PiteraTM Essence, we’re constantly reimagining what’s possible from a content standpoint to create this real connection and engagement.”This Bare Skin Chat series by SK-II has been a breakthrough past the stiff boundaries of beauty advertising. Bare Skin Chat is not just an ad. It’s an informative and entertaining way for SK-II to reinforce the superiority of Facial Treatment Essence. Even though their signature ingredient PiteraTM has remained the same for more than 39 years, audience engagement has only grown. The Bare Skin Chat video series easily shares the product benefits to more people and answers consumer questions, all while providing a laugh.SK-II is leading a trend within the beauty industry by daring to be different and allowing the brand to dive into a more fun side of beauty. We are certainly looking forward to finding out what the brand brings to the table next as it shatters tradition and brings more consumers to the 39-year old PiteraTM Essence in a postmodern fashion.The fresh, fun approach to the SK-II brand has obviously paid off with audiences with its likeness to a bite-sized Netflix miniseries, and we’re glad to say that more new episodes on the way. If you want to jump in right now, there’s an entire Bare Skin Chat playlist we advise you to binge on at this link to check out the internet’s biggest craze for young beauty fanatics.This article is brought to you by SK-II
Ad Fortune Communications snaps up Markies Awards for Elephant Club
Competition among players in the loan industry is intensifying. As a newcomer, Elephant Club has collaborated with Ad Fortune Communications to gain brand awareness and encourage its target audience to apply for a personal loan.It is not easy to stand out from competitors in the loan industry. There are plenty of market leaders who have been enjoying great exposure and brand awareness, and Elephant Club – as a P2P lending platform and online money lender, has limited recognition from the public. Meanwhile, the public still has doubts over online lending platforms.Ad Fortune Communications has created three TVCs, all starring actress Harriet “Hatou” Yeung imitating US singer Lady Gag, Hong Kong singer/actor Andy Lau, and Eason Chan. The goal being to engage its target audiences, namely shopaholics, couples-to-be or newlyweds, and startup or SME owners.The imitation of Lady Gaga (離地Gaga) was chosen to target shopaholics. In the TVC, the main character is addicted to shopping which results in a debt-ridden situation. With the help of Elephant Girl – the symbolic character to represent the Elephant Club – she eventually clears her debt.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFf27Sjr7YAs for the Andy Lau (樓華) imitation, the story presents a couple-to-be who have difficulties in sourcing enough money to buy a flat.The last story featuring the imitation of Eason Chan tells the story of a startup owner who doesn’t have enough money to materialise his business ideas.All these two stories have a happy ending as the Elephant Girl helps tackles their problems with loans.The entire campaign has received good results as the traffic of Elephant Club’s website has increased by 199%. Also, the number of visitors and new users has grown by 201% and 199% respectively.The campaign has helped drive Elephant Club’s sales as well, as it has recorded a growth of up to 58%. Last but not least, the drawdown amount has increased by up to 148%.This article is brought to you by Ad Fortune Communications.
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