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Perspectives: Festival of Media Asia Singapore 2014

20 March 2014 No Comment

Festival of media Asia 2014 (Singapore)

The Festival of media, in recent years, has been among my favorite media related conferences/gatherings.

It does help to understand what is currently happening in the media/advertising sector, but more importantly, where is it all heading. You get to meet people of course, and that is always exciting. I am not too much of an extrovert, but do like meeting people and sharing stuff.

So I have been visiting this festival since the past 2 years (and have been blogging about experiences)- and this year was no different.

I must say that the Festival was well organized (with the exception of the conspicuous shortage of food for vegetarians)  - and I will take the help of the marketing material produced by the festival organizers to tell the story this year.

Festival of media Asia 2014- Shalabh Pandey

Festival of media Asia 2014 (That’s yours truly at the far right corner- tweeting away probably)

Oh! By the way- I ended up being the most prolific tweeter at the event. Basically the tweets were from brands or from people with some fancy titles, working for top brands. They definitely get a lot more attention, tweets get around a lot more and generally, tend to tweet more. I was the only one among the top with no brand affiliation.

So this was awesome:

Shalabh Pandey Digital Marketing Tweets


 Key experiences:

Wharton Future Of Advertising Research:

One of the better presentations- the kind that you could something back home and deploy in your marketing thinking right away was this presentation on insights into the Yahoo-Wharton Native Ads Framework on how to navigate the confusing landscape of Native Ads.

Wharton Future Of Advertising Research

Presentation by Rose Tsou, Senior VP APAC, Yahoo and Jerry Wind, Professor, Wharton Future of Advertising Program

“Native advertising has been around in the form of search advertising, but now it is much more visible. Think- sponsored tweets or feeds or posts or even sponsored content…”

Prof Wind also shared the RAVES MODEL for native advertising: I will share the presentation on this later (have requested for it)- but for now- here are the acronyms around the RAVES modeling:

  • Be Respectful
  • Be Relevant
  • Be Actionable
  • Be Valuable- both cognitive and emotional
  • Be Experiential
  • Tell a Surprising story 


Rita Nguyen, SQUAR



So- the claim to fame of Squar is- being an early (first) entrant to Burmese (Maynamar’s) Social media space.

Well, I was not impressed by that fact- but more by Rita- she is a prolific speaker and very clearly- a good marketer too- as you would have made out in this video above. Looks like she’ll kill it with advertising money in that market. Till the time Myanmar-ese people start getting into international SNWs.

Local language and cultures have not impacted social networks (exception of very closed markets like Russia, Japan, Korea, China) . Especially in SE Asia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia- all of them have strong local cultures and language heritage- and guess what are the most popular  social networks there? Facebook and Twitter of course. So best of luck to Squar- I really wish they make it work there- it will be an awesome case study.

 Twitter being “Live, Public and Conversational” :

Shailesh Rao from Twitter mentioned these three traits of Twitter. Honestly, even though I like Twitter and use it to great advantage (Of all social media channels, Twitter sends most traffic on The Whiz Times- at least for now) , in my opinion, it has not been a very conversational channel. That aspect has only recently started to come up with new products (like photos in feeds). Hopefully, the pace of change continues and we the see more conversational aspect of Twitter soon.

Programmatic buying in Asia  

Now, it is no secret that the programmatic buying space is getting murkier by the day. Media agencies have scrambled to open up their own media trading desks with RTBs/exchanges ( I myself tried to explore this, perhaps much before its time, in 2010)- directly in competition with third party RTBs/exchanged. Of course, programmatic is not limited to buying or RTBs, though that is a big part, as of now, and is sometimes used interchangeably, at least in this part of the world.

Some interesting quotes from the panel on Programmatic buying in Asia:

In Asia, things happen quickly, slowly. (Tech arrives early, but adoption slow) 

- on adoption of programmatic buying in Asia

Many advertisers in Asia are still struggling with ad serving (While we discuss programmatic buying)

Another interesting quote (from a different panel by Head of Marketing, Lenovo- on the recent WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook):

The WhatsApp value equation: 450-19-1-0=19

450 (no of users in M),

19 (no of employees),

1($ charged/year),

0 (marketing spend) = $19B


Is Youku the future of YouTube?

On the parting note, here is the inevitable China piece. I saw the presentation by Mr Leo Liang of Youku, and though the presentation started off in predictable  style, it went off to be an eye opener. The kind of things YouKu is doing- from sourcing and distributing original programming to sourcing and distributing professional productions- being the YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and what not- all wrapped into one- exploring and exploiting multiple revenue sources- makes Youku feels like the future of YouTube.

That is the thing with Chinese entrepreneurs- they take ideas from Western counterparts, roll out a product with similar concept- but then add on so many layers on top of that- that it becomes a multi-dimensional version of the original product. They have done this with IM, with mobile chat, with ecommerce, micropayments- and of course video.

So all in all, well spent two days. Look forward to next year again.

Get in touch with me on Twitter (@shalabhpandey) or send me a mail (shalabhpandey at gmail dotcom)