Festival Intelligence: Ready for launch | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Ready for launch

With any new brand or product launch comes a fresh set of opportunities and challenges, as marketers strive to make the biggest impact in a short space of time. But it can’t be treated as a one-size-fits-all approach — the media mix needs to be carefully considered and localised in order to make a strong impression and create the buzz required to make it a success.

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched every year, and 95% of those fail. Arguably, a launch campaign has the power to make or break that reality. At the same time, even established global brands trying to break into new markets can pop or flop, but a lot of it comes down to how marketers’ engage and interact with their target consumer through relevant advertising.  

Looking at the shortlisted campaigns in the ‘Best Launch Campaign’ category for the Festival of Media APAC Awards 2019, we see a varied mix of brand sectors (FMCG, Food & Beverage, Retail, Film & Entertainment) launching new products, campaigns and services to a range of markets across the region (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and New Zealand).

That, in itself, throws up a number of consumer and cultural differences for brands to navigate. And while it might suggest that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to learn from these campaigns, there are a few recurring and consistent trends to draw from across these entries:

  1. A strong insight powers a great launch

Across all the entries in this category, deep and powerful insights lay the foundation for creating a range of marketing strategies that addressed a particular want or need in the market. Understanding the target consumers’ interests and pain points, while bearing in mind any cultural differences or restrictions, meant that the campaigns were tapping into their mindset and creating something that had a real purpose.

  1. Be local, familiar and relevant

To make a qualified brand impact on a local audience, brands need to recognise cultural nuances and implement a creative and strategic media approach. The Festival of Media APAC entries in the ‘Best Launch Campaign’ category show careful consideration of the individual needs of the market they are addressing, creating personal and emotional connections that add real value to the brand experience.  

  1. Traditional media boosts awareness

While engagement techniques via digital media (social, mobile, online video) were key to building direct connections with consumers, traditional media still has a vital role to play in creating awareness of a new product or service launch. High reach formats such as TV and OOH formed the basis of the majority of campaigns but a multi-dimensional approach achieved through digital integration such as QR codes, along with supporting cinema, print and PR activity amplified the message. The combination of paid, owned and earned media proved to be the recipe for success.    

Another element to appear across some of these entries was ‘Inclusion’ — to create mass awareness and broad appeal requires purpose by bringing together brands, people, media and technology to move for a greater cause. And technology is enabling that to happen in more meaningful ways.

While the goal for any launch is to create noise, buzz and stand out in the market, a powerful mix of old and new media is key to creating personal connections. Brands that consider specific cultural and local market conditions through a powerful campaign insight will emerge the real winners with any new launch campaign.

We put the spotlight on two Festival of Media APAC Awards 2019 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:


Rexona Movement for Movement | Rexona (Unilever) | Indonesia

Shortlisted for: Best Launch Campaign, Best Use of Digital Media, Best Use of Mobile, Impact Awards, Best Engagement Strategy


Rexona’s brand DNA focuses on helping people move. To extend this idea beyond physical exercise, the team examined “movement” with a different lens. Only 7 percent of Jakarta’s 4,500 miles of road have sidewalks. This creates such a poor environment for people to move around, Indonesians rank last globally in average daily steps. Going a step further, if people who have full physical capacity are having trouble walking around Jakarta, how much more difficult would it be for people with disabilities? To help Rexona bring to life its brand purpose, it looked to build a technology solution to help the underserved population of people with disabilities move more freely.

While globally voice search and chatbots are a growing trend, in Indonesia they are still not as popular. However, these digital tools are incredibly useful when people need a hands-free option to communicate. So despite not being widely adopted yet, Rexona developed a native mobile app using voice powered search with chabot capabilities. Rexona determined it could help solve the mobility problems for Indonesians with disabilities by building a custom app with voice technology to better help people find handicap accessible places and ultimately move more freely.

The entire campaign communication was meant to celebrate movement by empowering Indonesians with disabilities to move through the use of technology. With such a daunting undertaking, the best strategy was to strike strategic partnerships to leverage different areas of expertise. To launch the Gerak app, Rexona partnered with Grab and used an integrated approach of traditional PR and TV, mobile video, influencers, online display, and mobile search to spread the word.

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Crazy Rich Asians – Australian Theatrical Release 2018 | Roadshow Film | OMD | Australia

Shortlisted for: Best Launch Campaign


In an industry driven by All-Star casts and familiar franchises, Crazy Rich Asians’ culturally niche, based-on-a-book story and all-Asian cast represented studio risk which marketing was charged with converting into a rewarding box office outcome. The marketing challenge was grounded in volumetrics – despite a core audience of book fans and Asian Australians, it wouldn’t reach its Box Office target without broadening the appeal of a culturally specific story to a diverse, mainstream cinema-going public.

The strategy was to get Australian women 16-34, that may not connect with the product due to cultural differences, to believe Crazy Rich Asians will reflect their own experiences of displacement, love and family by forging familiarity in and around the fairytales they consume every day. Delivering a genuine sense of personal connection at scale is challenging. So while OMD invested in category norm channels like TV, Digital and outdoor to drive mass awareness, it planned media tactically within these channels with the intent of driving deeper engagement, and demonstrating the personal relevance Crazy Rich Asians has for her.

As a filter for all of its digital executions, the agency filtered its targeting via lifestyle interests through YouTube, Google Preferred, Mobile, Pinterest and Facebook. Women with a passion for travel, luxury, Weddings, or beauty were served video content that introduced the Crazy Rich Asians story and characters. It executed bespoke creative that would resonate during cultural moments and created a radio partnership with lighthearted and relatable content to bridge any perceived cultural gaps.

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