Mediacom held its third edition of Blink Live, its innovation event on Friday (May 31) at W Sentosa in Singapore, where more than 200 marketers were in attendance.
Mark Heap, the chief executive of APAC at Mediacom, kicked off the event, explaining that the full-day conference was designed to help brands navigate what’s next on the digital horizon by providing various viewpoints across different topics.
Keynote speakers for the event were Jeanne Lim, the chief executive of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, who shared the opportunities available for marketers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). She was joined on stage by Sophia the Robot, which was created by the company in 2016.
The second keynote speaker was Hugh Evans, chief executive of Global Citizen, a movement of engaged citizens who are using their collective voice to end extreme poverty by 2030. He gave insights into the Global Citizen Festival which brings together celebrities and influential figures from Beyonce to Bill Gates to raise money.
Here’s what you need to know.
Building relationships with AI
In her speech, Lim provided a glimpse into the future about the benefits for marketers and how AI can drive consumer experience.
The former marketer, who has worked for tech giants like Apple, Cisco and Dell, explained that AI can increase brand recognition and is omnipresent as brands can divide between channels and devices.
She said AI can also help brands collect data better and use it for real-time analytics and prediction. This will help improve consistency in experience and service delivery, and improve the longevity of brands in the long term, according to Lim.
“There is a lack of personality, which means engagement with users wears off rapidly,” Lim explained to the audience about the limitations marketers face today.
“Marketers are also missing out on verbal cues because emotional sensing is one directional, but human interaction is dynamic, two-way, and multimodal.”
The Drum sat down with Lim after her keynote and spoke to her in-depth about the lessons for marketers in technology and how can businesses use Sophia’s tech. Watch out for the interview next week.
“Don’t try to satisfy everyone”
The Drum met Sophia off-stage after Lim’s keynote and asked her a range of questions, from her favourite celebrity to the best piece of advice she has have ever been given. Watch the video below.
How the power of brands can save the world
The second half of the day saw Evans sharing how the role that the advertising community can play in helping to change the world.
With the goal of making poverty history, Evans explained that as people do not know how to act, marketers have a responsibility to educate them. He pointed to how Global Citizen is working with the likes of socially conscious brands like Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble for its ‘Like a Girl’ campaign.
Together with P&G and National Geographic, it has launched Activate, a six-part documentary series that will focus on extreme poverty, inequality and sustainability issues to mobilize global citizens to drive meaningful and lasting change.
Each episode delves into a different issue connected to the root causes of extreme poverty, following a specific Global Citizen campaign and organizers, amplifiers, grassroots activists and the people whose lives are being changed. Episode topics include clean drinking water and sanitation, racial bias and criminalization of poverty, girls’ education, responsible sourcing, plastic waste and disaster relief.
With J&J, Global Citizen launched a global campaign and announced the first-ever human trials of HIV vaccine across sub-Saharan Africa. The trials started this past year with 2600 from five Africans countries.
"In 2019, it is the major brands who hold the power to influence consumer trends and have the technological advantage to innovate, the supply chains for reach and the trust to galvanize millions of people to solve the world's greatest challenges," Evans told the audience.
The Drum also spoke to Evans after his keynote and found out how brands who are keen to participate in social causes can work with Global Citizen. Watch out for the interview next week.
Will e-commerce kill brands?
In a breakout session with marketers, Josh Gallagher, the chief strategy officer for APAC at Mediacom and Guy Munro, the global business director at voice experience agency Versa, explained how the relationship between consumers and brands is changing quickly.
That is because e-commerce has provided consumers with full access to brands and created a buying experience that poses a great opportunity for brands, but also a great threat, if not embraced.
They highlighted three big trends of conversation, community and convenience, which they predict will play a pivotal role in success as virtual reality, augmented reality and AI become more prominent.
Gallagher shared a campaign by nappies brand Huggies, which embraced the power of voice technology with the launch of a new voice experience for children and parents via Amazon’s Alexa.
Called Huggies Skill, Alexa will be able to play a curated library of audio content from songs, activities and games, for kids aged 0 to 24 months and above, when activated.
Leveraging the global attention on Japan for growth
In a session anchored by Unruly, Phil Townend, the chief commercial officer for APAC and Vijay Anand Kunduri, the managing director for Asia, explained how sponsors and non-sponsors harness video to drive engagement around global events like the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympic Games 2020, which will be happening in Japan.
They also shared with marketers how to harness emotion and culture to ensure their brands are at the forefront of the global conversation of these events.
Showcasing the example of Nike's ‘Dream Crazy’ ad which features the controversial Colin Kaepernick, they said ads the connect emotions to culture and have context do well because emotional videos do well on emotional sites.