Festival of Media Asia 2013, Day 1 Highlights

Festival of Media

Festival of Media Asia 2013, got off to a rousing start on March 4th, yesterday. There was a bevy of speakers from Financial Times, Volkswagen, Diageo, Manchester United, Google, Sina Weibo, Dentsu,  [a•mo•bee], JWT and Baidu, ensured a series of sessions that is remarkably different from the other conferences. I do feel that the relevance and “current-ness” of information makes the conference worth more than what the attendees paid for.

From most of the presentations, China seems to be country that is frequently mentioned. It is definitely a major market, especially with a population of 1.3 billion. That alone. Check out the image below for a comparison with the rest of the world.

100 Million Club

With the three major mobile operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, between them already capturing two thirds of China’s population with 1 billion mobile subscriptions. This represents a huge opportunity for advertisers, who are willing to work within the tight of regulations of the administration of China and work with clients from within and without.

From China, we move on to football. Manchester United represents a brand. The brand of fast, attacking football. The brand that is always winning major medals, like the English Premier League, English FA Cup, UEFA Cup and so on. Manchester United has 659 million followers globally, and out of that, 325 million comes from Asia. Forty nine million view a Manchester United game and they usually have two games per week. That makes it on par with the Superbowl who captured 110 million views. Seventy percent of web traffic related to Manchester United comes from outside the United Kingdom. They also have 31 million followers on Facebook. Imagine the huge opportunities for advertisers.

Manchester United works with the various Asian countries to launch co-branded campaigns. Even when it is not football related, people turn out in full force to support events if they know Manchester United sanctions the event and feature several players from the team of the past and present.

Diageo presented the luxury market with Johnnie Walker. While the luxury market can be seen as niche, it cannot be ignored or overlooked. Not when it partners with other brands. Not when it has content that was aired for 10 hours. Not when that content was seen by 1.5 million people. Diageo believes that both physical and digital content are able to drive scale and change the perception of luxury. With the basic formula of Scale, Creativity, Audacity, Luxury and Execution (SCALE), Diageo is driving socially shareable content using paid media to amplify versus advertise.

It is exciting to look forward what Day 2 of Festival of Media Asia 2013 has to offer. Please follow me @mhisham or @FestivalOfMedia as well as #FOMA13 to catch up interesting tweets for Day 2.