From branded mascots to audio touchpoints, the transmedia strategies that can be implemented in APAC.
10 January, 2024
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According to a survey conducted by Sitecore on the consumers in Singapore and Hong Kong, 40% of APAC consumers prefer brands that have agreeable values and less than 25% of them are loyal to specific brands. As consumers love the brands that produce fictionalised storytelling, brands have to position themselves as businesses that support franchises in media. With this, they can differentiate themselves from others and can collect loyalty from consumers.
According to ClickZ, around 70% of the Millennials and Gen Z prefer the brands to have perceptible sound such as mood-driven music and sonic logos. Campaign Asia estimated that 93% of people in Singapore listen to podcasts every day. Domestic shows in the Philippines recorded over 60% increase in listenership for the podcasts on Spotify in 2022.
Brands can incorporate sonic branding which uses audio and songs to prop up the brand identity by curating certain sets of music and sounds that convey the emotions and thematic moods that the brand carries. Brandmusiq is one of the first sonic branding agencies to be found in Asia. It has worked with various brands including Raymond, and Himalaya Herbals to create their musical logos. Shopee from Singapore used pop jingles during its musical campaigns.
Inviting celebrated personalities who align with the brand’s values and vision for the podcasts can convey a unifying message to the label’s followers across all media forms. These types of podcasts will lead new messages, and move the culture and tradition forward. With this, brands can harness fans who are trendsetters. Louis Vuitton domesticated its podcast series Louis Vuitton [Extended] by releasing a Chinese edition with a correct cultural reference. It featured talents from Shanghai.
Campaign Asia has found that the brand mascots can support the brands to increase sales and connection with its consumers by almost 41%. Brands can create mascots that correlate with their values or rework the old mascots. Fendi debuted its monster mascots in its Fall/Winter 2013 show. The label collaborated with Oscar Wang to create the Fendidi virtual playground, comprising the panda avatars Fendina and Fendino for the Chinese New Year in 2021. The Fendidi stickers were available on Kakao, WeChat, and Line. In 2018, Louis Vuitton launched its doll mascot, Vivienne. Burberry introduced its animated deer in its video game, B Surf. For the year of Ox in 2021, Doraemon collaborated with Gucci to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Gucci and the 50th anniversary of Doraemon with a special collection. The fictional robot cat acted as the official digital and in-real mascot for Gucci that year.
The mascots have to be relevant to the pop culture in the APAC region such as meta-characters, anime, and visually appealing cute characters. All the key features of the mascots have to be brand-centre - be it colours, behaviours, or other attributes. Coherent to that, it gives a new opportunity to establish new capsule collections and merchandise plans to hype the consumers.
In China, McDonald's collaborated with Crocs to show its Grimace mascot wearing the brand’s limited-edition footwear. The collaboration’s hashtag - #McDonald’sCrocsjoint# - reached 20,1 million users on Weibo. It also partnered with Hong Kong-based streetwear brand CLOT for the CLOT X McSpicy collection.
Brands can engage their customers who are franchise audiences by developing a virtual world that can let the shoppers enter into the plot. It will support the consumers to feel like protagonists. Apart from implementing an educational campaign and games, labels can choose transmedia strategies among games, TV, film, and IRL. They can use AR, VR, and 4D technology to offer a tactile phygital experience to consumers.
Bulgari introduced Bulgari Sunset in Jeju, a virtual pop-up resembling the store in Jeju Island in South Korea, on Zepeto. There was an event conducted at the digital venue with Blackpink’s Lisa attending it and interacting with the users using her avatar. She also took virtual selfies with her fans there.
Sony Group launched a VR event in Tokyo where it recreated the fictional arenas of famous games and anime shows such as Demon Slayer through a 4D experience that included sensory elements like vibrating floor, and breeze-creating systems.
Webtoons are mobile-optimised, vertically integrated short comics. It is a popular anime category among Gen Z. Influenced by the Hallyu phenomenon, the webtoon market was valued at $4,7 billion in 2021 and it is estimated to reach $60,1 billion by 2030, with a CAGE of 40,8%. The leading webtoon channels are entertaining 70 million users per month and garnering 100 billion views in a year.
Brands need to make an investment in developing brand mascots that can be featured in the webtoons. They can encourage the followers to brainstorm new ideas and concepts for the plot by conducting contests and hashtags on social media platforms. This will build the fan community by keeping the users engaged with the brands. Animating and humanising the brand values and its key products through webtoon campaigns will enhance consumers’ core emotions towards the brand. Collaborating with existing famous webtoons can be an ideal option too.
Windbreaker and Lucas are webtoons featuring characters with a high fashion sense. They were seen in Louis Vuitton outfits and many other branded clothes and accessories. Bugcat Capoo, popular in Chinese-speaking locations in Asia, has transformed a simple messaging sticker into a profitable IP in its webtoon series. This webtoon has been converted into a short series on Bilibili.
Cover Image: Fendi and Oscar Wang's Fendidi Family, courtesy Iconic Men.