Localising global media with Ken Matsumura

Recently signed on as the first media planning and buying agency for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Hong Kong (owner of brands like Pocari Sweat and SOYJOY Fruits Soy Bar), Media Palette president Ken Matsumura shows three ways in which media placement plays a huge part in localisation.

1. The global branding may not work locally.

Having taken over the social media account for Oreo Hong Kong for almost a year, Matsumura said the agency has been twisting its global “split, lick and dip” concept in the city to resonate with Hong Kongers.

“Globally, Oreo has always been associated with the ‘split, lick and dip’ concept, but it doesn’t quite work here. There’s a critical difference. So while sometimes we translate posts from the global English account, we also make locally relevant posts that are reflective of issues in the city,” he said.

2. Ads must be in Chinese

“A lot of foreign and Western brands believe that this is not necessary because English is such a common language in Hong Kong: but in reality, ask any consumer and they’ll tell you they feel slightly distant once they see an English ad, especially on Facebook,” said Matsumura.

“Not to mention that obviously a good portion of the population is not that fluent in English.”

3. Different mediums have different roles

While Matsumura said that social media channels are gaining more popularity in recent years compared to out-of-home placements, he said that digital channels are still more passive in comparison, despite that they offer a higher chance for personalisation.

“Out-of-home media stands out as an icon: some clients strategically use them close to their stores and outlets,” he said, adding that though interactive OOH ads have yet to gain traction, the least they can do is prove the brand is an innovative and forward-thinking one.

Media Palette officially starts work on Otsuka Pharmaceutical Hong Kong from next year.

(Photo credit: Oreo Facebook account)

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