First PCK, now Mark Lee: Why Shopee SG is banking on a hyper local marketing strategy

Shopee Singapore has named local actor Mark Lee as its new brand ambassador for the upcoming 6.6 - 7.7 Great Shopee Sale from 6 July to 7 July. The e-commerce platform has taken on a hyper-localised marketing approach inviting the media artist to work with Shopee across a wide range of initiatives across TV, radio, out-of-home (OOH), and online campaigns. According to its press release, Lee will also be making a livestream appearance on Shopee Live on 6 June 2021.  Lee said that his approach to his audiences was in line with Shopee's, and is looking forward to the partnership.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, chief commercial officer of Shopee, Zhou Junjie, shared that the partnership with Lee is an exclusive partnership only in Singapore, with Lee helming responsibilities of content creation through Shopee's live streams. The music video in collaboration with Lee released today will be executed on various platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, local radio stations, and television channels such as Channel 8, Channel 5, and CNA. Shopee also expects to see this campaign reach a wide range of viewers and is expecting livestream engagements. 

Zhou added that Lee is seen as someone who Singaporeans have grown up with, and that he united Singaporeans across all ages and races, further emphasising its heartland approach. Zhou referred to Lee as a "household name who requires no introduction". Lee has also appeared in a variety of collaborative works with different brands and organisations.

This is not the first time Shopee has made the news for having a hyper localised strategy. Last year, Shopee brought on board Singaporean cultural icon Phua Chu Kang (PCK), played by Gurmit Singh, as its first local brand ambassador for Singapore. Shopee said PCK’s ability to resonate with and unite local communities aligns closely with Shopee’s long-term vision of connecting with Singaporeans, a trait that makes him a perfect fit for the brand. Like Lee, PCK worked with Shopee on a wide range of initiatives and campaigns as part of the year-end shopping season and appeared on exclusive Shopee Live sessions and marketing campaigns.

A spokesperson from Shopee also said that Lee was chosen as he has a fun and quirky comedic personality which is what Shopee identifies its DNA with. While Lee is known to resonate with the more Chinese speaking audience, he is however also a well known face with the Malay and Indian communities. Additionally, Shopee believes that localised content brings users together as it is closer to the heart, and a lot more relatable.

Early on this year, Lee also collaborated with Singtel and Lazada as a host for its Singtel Prepaid LazLive online event that was held on 19 March. Lee hosted the event that entailed interesting offers and phone give-aways. 

Over the years, Lee also worked on several local initiatives such as the "Keep SG Clean" initiative and National Council on Problem Gambling's ad that tapped on his life story to tell Singaporeans to avoid getting a gambling addiction. 

Prior to this, Shopee also engaged Cristiano Ronaldo as its regional brand ambassador in 2019, which was nearly a year after it tapped South Korean girl group BLACKPINK as its first-ever regional brand ambassador. Ronaldo worked with Shopee on a wide range of initiatives to engage and inspire people in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, starting with the 9.9 Super Shopping Day. Under the partnership, Ronaldo starred in Shopee's 9.9 TV commercial which premiered on 16 August 2019 and aired in all Shopee markets. Fans in the region got up close and personal with the Portuguese professional footballer via a range of exclusive content that was available only on Shopee LIVE.

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