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foodpanda reassures support towards HK arts scene after flak over film awards sponsorship

foodpanda reassures support towards HK arts scene after flak over film awards sponsorship

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foodpanda Hong Kong has reassured its support towards Hong Kong's arts and culture scene amid conversations around its sponsorship of the 42nd Hong Kong Film Awards being an aggressive approach to outshine competitors in the local food delivery market.

In a conversation with  MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from foodpanda said the sponsorship not only aims to support the Hong Kong arts and culture scene, but also to spread the joy of “萬歲” with its customers, empowering them to experience the local film industry’s norm with foodpanda.

In the film industry, the term "萬歲" refers to the tradition of the entire film crew applauding when the director, producer, or actors treat them to a meal.

"foodpanda is always dedicated to bringing consumers the relevant choices and widest variety of food and groceries conveniently, including many producers to directors to actors and film runners, to feed all crew and fuel their hard work with wholesome meals throughout film production,” the spokesperson added. 

On 14 April, the red carpet session featured hosts conducting interviews with nominees and presenters in front of a foodpanda-branded food truck. Throughout the session, the hosts consistently highlighted that the guests were welcome to enjoy the food and drinks provided by the food truck, even offering them drinks personally.

During the awards ceremony, local actress Angelababy, and actor Stephen Fung, who previously starred in foodpanda’s branding campaign that highlighted its ability to "serve millions” in October last year, presented the award for the best Asian Chinese language film. Angelababy mentioned that the entire film crew would applaud when the director, producer, or actors treated them to a meal. She then asked the audience if they were feeling hungry and invited Fung to treat the live audience to a meal.

Don't miss: foodpanda HK highlights its ability to 'serve millions' with new branding campaign

Fung then took out his phone and said, "Let me use this app that can 'serve millions' to order delivery for everyone." He asked Derek Yee, chairman of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association, what he would like to eat. Yee ran back to his seat, repeatedly raising a foodpanda paper bag, causing the whole audience to burst into laughter.

Media intelligence firm CARMA saw over 202 mentions about foodpanda sponsoring the Hong Kong Film Awards across social platforms since the awards, with 17.1% positive sentiments and 5.7% negative sentiments. 

Netizens, especially those on LIHKG, wondered about the cost of Foodpanda’s sponsorship for the event, according to Charles Cheung, CARMA Hong Kong’s general manager. “Some speculated that foodpanda’s aggressive approach was a strategic move to outshine competitors in Hong Kong’s highly competitive food delivery market.”

Some LIHKG users also believed that such marketing tactics would not be allowed if the event was broadcast live on other TV channels, Cheung added. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to foodpanda for a statement. 

Back in 2015, TVB came under public criticism for featuring its artists eating KFC fried chicken during the TVB Anniversary Awards, with many considering it to be product placement advertising.  

The Communications Authority (CA) ruled in 2016 that TVB violated regulations and fined HK$150k. While TVB TVB appealed the decision and sought a judicial review, the high court ruled TVB's defeat in 2020, stating that the CA had the authority to regulate and safeguard the viewing experience of audiences.

Join us this coming 26 June for Content360 Hong Kong, a one-day-two-streams extravaganza under the theme of "Content that captivates". Get together with our fellow marketers to learn about AI in content creation, integration of content with commerce and cross-border targeting, and find the recipe for success within the content marketing world! 

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