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We have 10 offices across 5 continents and help brands like adidas, Heineken, Google, Kimberly-Clark, Mondelēz, Intel, Heinz, Expedia and Lenovo.
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We Are Social Asia Midweek Mashup #189

by Wendy Yee in News

DeNA launches mobile gaming live-streaming app
Japanese mobile gaming giant, DeNA, launches new app for Android devices, Mirrativ, in the hopes of creating a similarly rabid fanbase as seen for online live video games – cue PewDiePie on YouTube – but this time, for mobile games. Mirrativ allows users to stream their entire device screen to viewers (similar to Periscope or Meerkat), watch live streams, and interact with gamers in real-time. Viewers can post comments and ‘likes’ on streams as they watch, and can also follow users. The free Android app supports English, Japanese, and Korean. DeNA didn’t specify a timeline for Mirrativ’s iOS launch, only that it’s coming soon.

MirrativSmall

Line halts plan for IPO
For the second year in a row, smartphone messaging app, Line, is putting off plans for IPO. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the company will be delaying the offering until “at least next spring.” A Line spokeswoman told the WSJ that the company did not have a definite timeline for the IPO.

“Regarding future prospects, we will make a decision based on market conditions and the evolution of our business performance,” she added. The app faces slow growth, with other popular messaging apps all combining to slow Line’s expansion. Line has also failed to take off in China – due to the Great Firewall – and in India, where people seem to prefer to juggle Facebook and WhatsApp. Read the rest of this entry »

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YouTubers Munah & Hirzi: brands ‘know what they’re getting into’

by Don Anderson in News
Munah Hirzi YouTubers

Controversy is their game: Singapore-based YouTubers Munah & Hirzi.

Among Asia-based YouTube celebrities with a defined local following and style, few equal the bravado and controversial reputation of Singapore-based creators Munah & Hirzi.

One of the first performers in Singapore to wade into independent online video creation, the duo has racked up north of 24 million views and close to 124,000 subscribers since setting up their YouTube channel MunahHirziOfficial in October 2008.

They’ve produced 335 videos in that time that range from comedy skits and music videos featuring other known YouTube stars including Narelle Khen, Sandra Riley Tang and Oon Shun An, among others. With a target audience of 18-30 year olds and a demographic of 60 per cent Singaporean, 30 per cent Malaysian and 10 per cent “other”, they have a slightly older following than other local YTers but some brand marketers could consider that an advantage.

Not afraid to challenge social conventions and racial stereotypes, the self-proclaimed ‘besties’ have drawn the ire of conservative Muslim groups for their brand of off-colour humour and criticism of a gender equality group around Munah’s appearance in a Nivea whitening deodorant video.

While other performers might try to shy away from negative publicity, the duo seems to bask in it, and they continue to demonstrate their desire to push the envelope for their fans and brands alike. Speaking at the final ad:tech ASEAN event in July, the duo shared the inner-workings of YouTube fame and what it’s like to push the boundaries of brand supported content.

Why did you get into producing YouTube videos?

Munah: We had just graduated and had always been doing crazy things and thinking that no one wants to take a video of us, so why don’t we do it ourselves. So that’s how we started creating content. It was really just for us to share with friends. When we started posting we didn’t realize that YouTube was going to be a growing medium. So when people who were watching (our content) and started asking for more we thought, “Okay. Let’s do it.”

Hirzi: Online media is far different today from what it was seven years ago. Nowadays when people start a YouTube channel they have this agenda to get a fan base or earn money from it. Seven years ago you never thought there was a possibility of making money from it. You were thinking more about how you were going to make a fool of yourself, share it with my friends. The difference for us was it took us seven years to see this gradual success rather than a lot of our counterparts in Singapore who saw overnight success. Singapore now has an infrastructure that cultivates the YouTube community.

How do you work with brands? Where do you start?

Hirzi: We’ve done this for seven years and a lot of people know our brand. It’s a very risqué brand particularly for a demographic like Singapore. A lot of time people come to us know what they are getting into. It really comes down to what the client is seeking to achieve at the end of the day. Is it views or more likes? There are different calls to action every time you come up with a video. I’m always conscious with brands of what they want to achieve and then when that comes out we need to come up with content that is honest and reflective of our branding.

At what point do you start talking to brands or they talk to you? Is it direct or through an agency?

Munah: Most of the time they come to us directly and say they have a campaign.

But how do you pick the type of content that fits with them, or is it a case of only a particular brand type that fits with you?

Hirzi: We are very open to brands. We will always figure out a way to work together. Unless they ask for anything that is way beyond normal.

Munah: So far we haven’t gotten any weird requests.

Hirzi: We have never gotten a client that is way out of our league. If anything, we were out of their league.

Munah: We have done (content) from insurance to government bodies like health promotion boards, and even property. It’s even serious issues or brands that are more serious that have come to us.

How do you look at your audience and how involved are they involved in what you create either for yourselves, or for them or for brands.

Munah: Social media breaks down the wall of “you are just following me and you just watch me”. We can interact with (the viewer) and we can talk with them. Even from the start it has been a relationship that we have always had with our followers and we know exactly what they expect from us and how to surprise them. It really becomes a fun relationship.

But isn’t there a fine line of how far you go with involving a brand?

Hirzi: Definitely. Brands give us guidelines also which I think is important  – they usually tell us what boundaries they hope to set for what we do. We have to respect that. We push as much as the fans want us to.

And brands are okay with your controversial background and reputation?

Hirzi: Most of our clients actually bank on that – they kind of like more risqué than safe viewing.

Munah: They know what they’re getting into, and we always make sure we have an honest relationship with our clients.

Did Nivea know what they got into? [Note: for more coverage, please see visit this link]

Munah: Nivea approached another company to work on that, so I came on board as an actress. Honestly, a lot of people ask me what I think about that whole thing. When I read the proposal I thought it could actually be funny. I saw the joke and the humor in it, but I think that sometimes with whatever you do you can’t always please everyone or gauge the reaction of every person. You may think, “Hey my audience will like this” but you might not think of the negative things that may come from it. But working in this business you need to go through that.

You tend to address a lot of racial stereotypes, particularly perceptions of Muslims. Some conservative Muslim groups have also branded you ‘inappropriate role models’. What do you say to that?

Hirzi: When we started the channel we always branded ourselves as ‘Munah & Hirzi The Individuals’. You cannot look at us and say these are Malay kids and therefore whatever they do will represent the flag for the entire Malay community. And I think that’s what people need to understand. We are independent – we are not mentored by someone or a big company who are telling us how to brand ourselves. All we want to be is ourselves online. Just because we don’t fit a certain mold, and by the sheer shade of our skin tone…I think it’s an unfair thing for any artist of, “You’re Malay so you have to behave like this.” I think there is more risqué stuff online that we haven’t done ourselves. We actually self-censor ourselves a lot but we still want to keep pushing that boundary. It’s that freedom of self-expression.

Munah: I think for online media, because there isn’t that one person or body to govern it, that you need to be responsible for (the content). For those who come to us asking how to start a YouTube channel, the best thing is that you can just go up there and experiment.

Real-Time Social For B2B Brands

by Simon Kemp in News

RBS COVER SHOT

We’re big believers in SlideShare for B2B and corporate marketing (as you may have noticed from our very active We Are Social account), but it’s rare that we see a brand seizing a relevant, timely opportunity in the way that RBS Economics did a few days ago.

First, a little context. The China stock crisis is a hot topic for news outlets and people on the street, but it’s also been the cause of some frenzied activity for institutional financial investors. It’s the banking world’s very own ‘trending topic’, and it’s the ideal opportunity for a brand to step in and assert its expertise at a highly valuable time.

The RBS Economics team has seized just that opportunity, so we thought we’d share our analysis of how they did it.

Read the rest of this entry »

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We Are Building the Future

by Don Anderson in News
we are social team pic

We Are Social, Singapore senior management team (left to right): Don Anderson, Sophina Smith, Shih Hoon Yong, Tuck Wai Yue, Nicole Ong, Sharim Gubbels and Simon Kemp.

Today marks a rather significant point in our (almost) four-year history in Singapore.

We are pleased to announce a number of key appointments among our senior leadership team, that signal our continued growth and maturity as a team in Singapore. As the media coverage suggests, we’re confident that we have assembled a leadership team with great breadth and depth of experience and a truly unparalleled understanding of how social thinking drives value for brands.

A core part of our foundation is Tuck Wai Yue, who joined us in January 2014 as business director. We are very fortunate to have Tuck as he keeps us grounded, stable and moving forward. Tuck assumes the role of  country head for our local office and will be overseeing ongoing operations, new business opportunities and driving growth.

Then there’s Sophina Smith, who herself is a pillar of strength and continues to demonstrate that no matter how much you throw her way, she somehow maintains a sense of calmness that you can’t help but admire. Sophina, or ‘Soph’ as we fondly call her, joined the Singapore office in early 2013 as business director and is moving into the role of client solutions director with a focus on delivering the level of business value clients now expect with their marketing and communications programs. As Soph will attest, this value starts with social.

At the heart of everything we do and believe in is the power of listening, which is essentially the essense of social thinking. Regional managing partner Simon Kemp continually reminds us how important it is for brands to listen first and look for those invaluable insights. We have new another ally in that quest – Shih Hoon Yong joins us as our new research & insight director. Shih Hoon, an adept qualitative research and analyst with over nine years’ experience, recently served as business intelligence director at migme, and will oversee our R&I team. We’re very pleased to welcome Shih Hoon, her quirky sense of humor and seemingly unboundless energy, to the team.

Then there is Nicole Ong, one of our longest serving members of the Singapore team. Having recently celebrated her third anniversary with the agency, Nic is being promoted to senior account director in an expanded role that will see her continue to work closely with our Lenovo and 20th Century Fox clients. Another force to be reckoned with, Nic gets it done. That is just what she does. Simon told me this on day one and, as usual, he was right.

Rounding out the squad is, of course, Simon Kemp, who will remain as regional managing partner and continue to guide the overall strategic direction for the business in the region, and Sharim Gubbels, our brilliantly verbose creative director.

Concurrently, I am taking the role as a regional managing director focusing on leading our regional offering and partnerships with clients and solutions providers, its overall strategic growth of the agency and ongoing marketing communications.

So, here we are – a solid team of senior leaders who will take the agency further as a team and business, and ensure that our clients continue to receive best in class social insights and solutions.

Let us know what you think, and how we may be able to help: gs.laicoseraewnull@ollehyas

Digital, Social & Mobile in India in 2015

by Simon Kemp in News

It’s been another year of bumper growth for all things digital in India, with the latest in We Are Social’s series of studies into Digital, Social & Mobile usage around the world revealing that over a quarter of the world’s second largest nation now uses the internet on a regular basis:

Digital In India, Aug 2015

Here are the key data headlines:

  • Internet Users: 350 million, up 44% since our last report in July 2014
  • Social Media Users: 134 million, up 26% in the past year
  • Unique Mobile Users: 590 million – a penetration rate of 46%
  • Mobile Internet Users: 159 million – 45% of all internet users
  • Mobile Social Media Users: 97 million, up 5% since July 2014

You can read the full report in the SlideShare embed above (and download it here), but India’s internet story isn’t just about the data, so read on for our analysis of what these numbers mean in context.

Read the rest of this entry »

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