By Sam Scott, former employee

February 25, 2015 | 3 min read

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"In Asia social media is everywhere, it’s embedded in people's lives every single day; sometimes in very interesting ways, sometimes in quite bizarre ways.” Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Asia is home to some of the world’s most and least enabled nations when it comes to social media, and the most popular platforms are largely unheard of in the west. So it’s no surprise that many western marketers working in Asia are in need of some basic coordinates.

In the fourth episode of YouTube series Man About Asia, host Wayne Arnold takes us on a crash course of social media in the region, touching on platforms such as Line, WeChat, Weibo and QQ.

Speaking about Line, Arnold says “Why has it been so successful both from a user perspective and a brand perspective? They’ve mastered the art of visual sociability, using animations and pictures instead of just characters and text”.

The episode goes on to discuss the merging of e-commerce and social media in the region, with QQ’s Q-coin being the prime example of a social platform creating its down digital currency.

“What’s most impressive about these players is that they’re not relying on advertising, and this maybe the real reason why they win the long game globally as well as locally," says Arnold.

“So unlike with Facebook, where we reluctantly scroll past those suggested posts, these players don’t have that problem. Because they’ve mastered the art of social payments – think Candy Crush for gaming, social, stickers, pretty much anything,” he adds.

In the next episode of Man About Asia, Arnold explores the challenge of finding and retaining talent in the region.

Each of the videos, along with their corresponding marketer vox pops, will be available on the Man About Asia hub, in association with Lowe Profero.

To catch the entire series, subscribe to The Drum YouTube channel

The Episodes

  • Episode one, 'What Is Asia Anyway’, breaks the vast and complex region into chunks, focusing on the scale of the opportunities across Asia.
  • Episode two, 'Avoiding Air Miles Disease’, takes a closer look at the opportunities each sub-region presents and the issue of where to invest.
  • Episode three, ‘Same Same But Different’, tackles arguably the greatest opportunity, that of China.
  • Episode four, 'Social Asia’, explores the wonderful, staggering and sometimes bizarre world of social media in Asia.
  • Episode five, ‘The Talent Game’, explains why finding and keeping talent is a ongoing challenge for marketers in the region.
  • Episode six, 'Creativity & The Power of Celebrity', takes a look at the diversity of creative cultures across Asia.
  • The final episode, ‘Lost In Translation’, offers up some tips and hints for those adjusting to Asian styles of business.
Man About Asia QQ Line

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

We need to talk about Asia | Man About Asia: Episode One

“The biggest business mistake most people make is to presume there’s one Asia, the reality is very different", Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Episode 2

What you need to know about opening an office in Asia | Man About Asia

"When people first come here they often look like a deer caught in headlights, not sure where to focus or where to go." – Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Episode 3

Understanding the vast opportunities and challenges of China | Man About Asia

“The western media’s view of China is just one side of the story of what’s really happening in modern China right now," Wayne Arnold, chief executive, Lowe Profero

Episode 5

Finding and keeping talent in Asia: The challenge explained | Man About Asia

"Talent by far will be your biggest challenge, and while it may be a recruiter’s dream, it’s going to be a manager’s nightmare,” Wayne Arnold.

Episode 6

Creativity and the power of celebrity in Asia | Man About Asia

“While the west prides itself on strong strategic ideas, in the east quite often [creativity] is perceived as a copying culture, a direct response culture, or sometimes just wild and wacky, and sometimes a combination of all three," Wayne Arnold, CEO, Lowe Profero and chair of the Marketing Society South East Asia

Episode 7

How to avoid being lost in translation | Man About Asia

"The first lesson is that there’s no such thing as English – there’s only international English.” Wayne Arnold, CEO, Lowe Profero

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