Four out of five Hong Kong consumers said they will use the internet to research non-consumable products, or even make the transactions online, in the next six months.

The findings, from a global e-commerce study by Nielsen, shows compared to three years ago, Hong Kong consumers want a good product at a good price and are willing to buy it online.

“The lightning-fast pace of change in digital has ushered in a consumer mind-set that is adventurous and exploratory, especially on e-commerce,” said Eva Leung, managing director of Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau.

“Hong Kong consumers want a good product at a good price, and the seemingly limitless options available in a virtual environment provide new opportunities for both merchants and consumers. The market for fast-moving consumer goods is no exception.”

In Hong Kong, the key three items that consumers will shop and purchase online for the next six months are airline tickets reservations (32% shop online vs. 57% purchase online), hotel reservations (32% vs. 56%) and event tickets (30% vs. 53%).

The online market for buying groceries—while not as strong as non-consumable categories—is starting to show promise. Since 2011, there is a 7-percentage-point growth in terms of Hong Kong consumers purchasing food and beverages online, from 18 percent to 25 percent.

The higher percentages of online buying versus browsing in Hong Kong suggest that more respondents are going online to make the actual transaction rather than using the internet for research purposes only.

Not surprising, China exceeds the global average in all categories, while online purchase intentions around the world have doubled in 14 of 22 categories over the past three years.

The Nielsen Global Survey of e-commerce polled more than 30,000 internet respondents in 60 countries. The survey sample size for Hong Kong was 501.

The Tipping Point for Hong Kong Online Shoppers

Knowing what drives the behaviour of Hong Kong consumers is vital to increased engagement, and of course not all shoppers want the same things.

According to the survey, Hong Kong consumers tend to be researchers when engaging in e-commerce.

Three-out-of-five respondents will check out products in the store before purchasing them online (61%), or they will often look at products online before purchasing them in the store (60%).

Fifty-eight percent of the respondents will read online reviews prior to purchasing a product, and nearly half (49%) will spend considerable time researching products online prior to buying. Nevertheless, most of the Hong Kong respondents (63%) will think of convenience when talking about shopping or purchasing online for consumable products like personal care, health and beauty, food and beverage, pet food and baby supplies.

“While these categories are still in the early stages of online adoption in Hong Kong, the increase in online browse-to-buy conversion rates for fast-moving consumer goods is good news,” said Leung.

“For retailers, now is the time to create omni-channel experiences for consumers who are actively using both digital and physical platforms to research and purchase, as consumers increasingly don’t make a distinction between the two.”

Marketing Magazine held its inaugural Spark Awards Hong Kong last night at The Mira Hong Kong to recognize marketing excellence in the media industry.

Watch this video to see highlights of the great night!

Macau casino and resort industry is undergoing a turbulent period as more VIPs are withdrawing from gambling tables in Macau mainly due to anti-corruption measures in China.

MGM Macau marketing and communications vice president Toby Leung, talks to Jennifer Chan on how MGM enhances its diversity with art and culture programmes moving forward.

Not sure what Marketing's latest PR Awards is about?

Find out from this Cantonese video hosted by Marketing's Jennifer Chan and Apple Lam.

Crystal Wilde has been appointed Coconuts Hong Kong's managing editor.

She will oversee editorial content for the online publication's Hong Kong website and manage one full-time editor, interns and four freelancers.

Wilde had previously worked as online media site Localiiz's digital content editor for a year and a half.

"I wasn't looking for a job but I was head-hunted for the role.  It was very flattering.  I had been following Coconuts ever since I lived in Thailand and I liked their style.  It's a big company that is always looking to expand," she said.

For her, the move is a step back towards traditional journalism, which is oriented towards hard news.

"Coconuts has more of a focus on hard news.  Localiiz is a hybrid - it is an online marketing platform that also has editorial content and we did a lot of advertorial writing.  At Coconuts, the editorial team doesn't have to think about advertisers," Wilde said.

"It's a step back towards pure journalism as opposed to the public relations and marketing type of journalism."

She hopes that once the Hong Kong office becomes more established, Coconuts Hong Kong will be able to hire more staff members to gather hard news rather than sourcing them from large news organisations.

Her vision for the future of Coconuts Hong Kong is to maintain a breadth of editorial coverage and not to obsess over clicks and page views.

Wilde said, "I want to make sure we don't become too niche.  We need to cover as big a range as possible, including hard news, features, reviews and guides."

"While we will create viral content, it is our responsibility to cover important and hard news even if it's not going to bring lots of traffic or go viral."

FOX Sports has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for the UEFA Europa League in Hong Kong for three seasons, starting with the 2015-16 season, and ending with the 2017-18 season.

This is the first time FOX Sports has acquired the rights to the UEFA Europa League in Asia.

The multimedia platform deal covers linear channels, IPTV, internet and mobile with access to all 205 matches over 15 match-weeks.

The UEFA Europa League has also increased in significance as the winner from the 2014-15 season onwards will gain direct entry to the UEFA Champions League for the following season.

This key acquisition is another step in the network’s road to being a household name in sports and its aim to make sports viewing more locally accessible.

The news follows the FIC’s recent re-launch on August 15 of an all-new FOX Sports network, which saw the introduction of 3 new channels – FOX Sports, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports 3 - complemented by FOX Sports News, a 24-hour sports news channel, and non-linear platforms FOX Sports Mobile and FOX Sports Play.

The re-launch also sees more local language commentary and a more locally-focused acquisition strategy, all to cater to the differing tastes of sports fans across countries, such as with the UEFA Europa League.

This latest acquisition also strengthens FIC’s portfolio of sports properties in Hong Kong which includes exclusive rights to three of the four tennis Grand Slams (The Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon), all the golf majors (The Masters Tournament, The Open Championship, The US Open, The PGA Championship), Formula 1, MotoGP, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Major League Baseball and the Bundesliga from the 2015/16 season.

“Our acquisition of the UEFA Europa League rights is another great win for us and helps us be an even better partner to our affiliates,” said Cora Yim, SVP, Head of Chinese Entertainment and Territory Head for Hong Kong at FOX International Channels.

"We look forward to working with them to bring great football to fans in Hong Kong,” said Cora Yim, SVP, Head of Chinese Entertainment and Territory Head for Hong Kong at FOX International Channels."

Source: Press release

Nest, a Hong Kong-based startup incubator, is on the hunt for entrepreneurial talent to help them see their ideas come to life.

Known as Nest Pitch Day, it gives talented startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply for support and capital investments from some of the city's leading executives.

The next Nest Pitch Day is planned for the 6th September with seed money ranging between HK$200,000 and HK$500,000 on offer for early stage investments.

But Simon Squibb, founder and CEO of Nest Ideas, says it is more than just money.

"We empower them with capital, mentorship, advice and network support," he says.

"We can help take startup founders not just from a financial investment perspective by putting in seed capital, but more importantly, we help these companies make their business go all the way with our hands-on help system."

With millions of apps and startup ideas out there, Squibb says these ideas often don’t win based on technology alone.

Branding and marketing uniqueness gets them ahead of others more than ever, he says.

"Pitch Day is where we make this decision to invest our full resources, time and money into the founders and the companies they pitch."

How it works

As part of Nest Pitch Day, each company has 10 minutes to present to the NEST team before moving into 20 minutes Q&A.

If we like your pitch, and want to invest, we’ll provide you and your business with up to HK$500,000 in capital as well as hands-on mentorship, marketing, legal, and accounting support.

Pitch Day is not open to the public.

"We want to empower entrepreneurs and aim to be the leading light for talented entrepreneurs in Asia," Squibb adds.

To find out more about follow the link to Nest.

Hong Kong Disneyland has appointed independent agency Anonymous and Cheil to lead creative duties in Hong Kong.

Anonymous, a creative startup founded by former Ogilvy and M&C Saatchi ECDs Simon Handford and Sandy Chan in November 2013, will work with Cheil on campaigns and strategy, with the breakdown of work between both agencies varying on a case-by-case basis.

Anonymous was the creative agency behind the Summer Playtime campaign for Hong Kong Disneyland Resort launched in July.

Disney is believed to have shortlisted several agencies for its Hong Kong business including Saatchi & Saatchi.

And while you could assume that a small outfit like Anonymous would be the underdog in a pitch against bigger agencies, Sandy Chan added this was not the case for the Hong Kong Disneyland.

"The win proves our model has potential," she said.

"Big agency presentations are often fragmented, dull and repetitive, or worse - contradictory, no matter how much they practice. We can have fun."

Jenkin Ho, director of marketing at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, told Marketing the resort was always looking for new and different perspectives.

"Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is constantly looking for new and creative ways to do marketing in the fast-changing environment," Ho said.

Ho added that Disney has adopted an integrated approach, with a view to promoting innovation and excellence in communication strategies and executions.

"The Resort has an experienced in-house team to understand the consumer insights in deep sense and formulate integrated marketing communications strategies for different markets.

"We have at the same time engaged agencies’ support as an integral part of our marketing strategies, as it helps provide new and different perspectives along the process."

Hong Kong Disneyland has launched the "It's Summer Playtime - Game On!" campaign with four TVCs, out-of-home and print ads to promote its 20 retro games featured at the theme park for the summer.

The campaign, which targets mothers and will run until 31 August, plays on retro games familiar among the older generation.

"Hong Kong parents are often said to be "monster parents" and parenting relations can tense. Kids can hardly enjoy playtime with their parents," Jenkin Ho, director of marketing at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort said.

"The beauty of retro games is their simplicity and creativity. Parents were once children too and good at playing games."

He points out that retro games help parents recall happy childhood memories, which they will want to share with their kids.

Through retro games, parents can compete with their kids and impress them through games they are familiar with.

"Mothers come to Hong Kong Disneyland no longer just to accompany their kids, but they can also have their share of playtime with their kids," Ho said.

For example, this "What time is it Mama Bear?" video gives a new twist to the "What time is it Mr. Wolf?" game popular in the playground.

The two videos below feature the Flights of Fantasy Trivia and Rhythm Ruler games:

The TVCs were aired on TV, YouTube and the theme park's official website and Facebook page.

"The videos serve as an easy way of connecting to parents through their childhood memories. By building on this relevancy, we hope the videos will drive parents to visit the Park with their families," Ho said.

"Having several short-duration videos allows us to feature more of our offerings and better engage our target audience, while multiple and unexpected endings enrich the content."

For instance, in the Action Figure Statues video, a child competes with his mother to see who can post as an action figure and remain still for the longest.

The video has two possible endings, which means that even if you think you are watching the same TVC you watched last time, you might be in for a surprise.

Also part of the campaign are out-of-home ads placed at Kowloon Tong MTR station and advertorials in weekly magazines.

Below are out-of-home ads that serve as puzzles in themselves:

[gallery link="file" ids="60784,60785,60786"]

Meanwhile, these out-of-home ads were inspired by the TVCs:

[gallery link="file" ids="60789,60787,60788"]

Ho believes static ads and print advertorials are essential touch points in an integrated campaign.

"While video is a good medium for grabbing people's attention through striking visuals and sounds, static channels like print advertorials with key opinion leaders can help us reach our target audience at relevant touch points in their lives," he said.

"No matter through which touch points audiences are being reached, they will be linked to other channels. For example, if an audience comes across our billboard in the MTR station, he or she is encouraged to find out more on our official website by scanning a QR code on the billboard."

TVC Credits:

Creative Agency: Anonymous

Executive Creative Directors: Simon Handford and Sandy Chan

Art Director: Noah Ho

TV Production: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Media agency: Mindshare

Hong Kong’s consumer confidence index reported an eight-point decrease over the previous quarter, from 111 to 103, the biggest regional confidence declines, according to Nielsen's latest consumer confidence survey.

Within the region, consumer confidence in Hong Kong is higher than that in Taiwan (75) and Singapore (98), but lower than China (111).

Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

As of May 2014, all key index drivers including job prospects, state of personal finance and readiness to spend, have recorded a decline in optimistic level this quarter.
Consumer confidence
“Retail sales figures reported by the government showed a decline of 4.1 percent in May over a year earlier, reflecting economic uncertainty is still an underlying concern.” said Eva Leung, managing director, Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau.

“A slowdown in mainland visitors, believed to be related to tightened control, is likely affecting the sales decline. Consumers are more concerned about job security, which is reflected in a job outlook decline of 9 percentage points in the latest Nielsen consumer confidence results.”

The biggest declines, however, goes to out-of-home entertainment (36%) and holidays/ vacations (23%), which dropped 6% points accordingly. Putting spare cash into savings is still the favourite choice for most Hong Kong consumers, with 70% in this quarter.

Consumer confidence 2

So what are consumers concerned about?

Economy continues to be the top of the list (16%), followed by job security.

Consumer confidence 3

“Hong Kong GDP growth was revised to a slower 2.5% in the first quarter, as merchandise exports decelerated markedly,” Leung said.

“Together with the slowdown in growth rate in mainland visitors, consumers are getting more concern on the economic performance which may have a direct effect on their job security level.”

Notably, Hong Kong respondents indicate a greater concern regarding political stability (8%) compared to the first quarter, due to the different attitudes towards Occupy Central and protests.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted May 12 – 30, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Sample size for Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Index is 502.