Three Trends I See in 2023: Amandeep Singh – VMLY&R Thailand

We ask industry leaders to give us their take on what’s to come in the year ahead and reflect on the year passed.

With Lunar New Year having just passed, the world is well on its way into another journey around the sun as 2023 is officially in full swing.

As part of a special series we’ve asked industry leaders to offer up their take on the year passed, and what they predict might come in the year ahead.

Next up is Amandeep Singh, VP, of Client Engagement, CX & Commerce at VMLY&R, offering up his insight on the year ahead with some thoughts on the year past.


 

Looking Ahead – Three Trends I See in 2023:

How agencies leverage generative AI

We have been hearing about advances and applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in field of marketing and advertising for years now. But the last few months have revealed a major shift, thanks to apps like ChatGPT showing us exactly what is possible. The level of evolution we are seeing in OpenAI is mind-blowing.

The application of these technologies has kept many of us in the industry on our toes – from writing copy, emails and tweets to building inspiration for brand websites. We will see many more applications in 2023. Some of the ones I really liked are:


 

What I am really interested in is how agencies choose to work with AI, and it almost goes without saying that the agencies most likely to succeed are those who learn how to work with AI.

Retail Media Networks will grow and become more sophisticated

There has been a lot of buzz around retail media networks and CPG brands investing big bucks into retail media. Although Amazon has been the biggest player until now, we have seen retailers like Walmart, Tesco, Costco and others paying a lot of attention to this.

With the economic slowdown, and huge pressure on CMO’s to drive profitability, retail media provides a great opportunity to reach out to the consumer at the point of sale. In Southeast Asia (SEA), this is a huge opportunity for big retailers like CP, Central and Watsons to leverage their own RMNs. While a lot of western retailers have announced their retail media networks in collaboration with ad tech partners, SEA is yet to see a big announcement.

With millions of customer footfalls and rich data from the loyalty programs, the opportunity to provide partners with access to advertise to their customers could prove to be next big thing in the media domain, and definitely worth keeping an eye on in 2023.

For further reading, check out this report on retail media.

Reset in performance and brand marketing (Long & Short)

The concept of investing in brand marketing in the long term has been well known for decades. But over the past year, a lot of focus has shifted towards short-term performance marketing only.

Notably, last year, Airbnb admitted the benefits of their sustained investments on brand, rather than just buying customers via search and performance. As D2C brands increase in scale, many are coming to the same realisation. Although, 2023 will put a lot of pressure on immediate returns and short-term gains, I expect to see a lot of brands making use of brand investments which can give them a competitive edge.

Looking Back on 2022

Your favorite trend:

  • New Epoch in Technology: AI

As mentioned before, we have been hearing a lot about “AI trends” going mainstream for many years now. But the most important trend which took a formidable leap in 2022 was the release of ChatGPT. The technology is built on OpenAI’s GPT3 AI platform and looks to be the best AI based chatbot ever released.

Your favorite campaign of 2022?

  • Volvo Street Configurator: Belgim

I love this campaign as it showcases how you can leverage technology and creativity to deliver real business impact. When the Brussels Motor Show was postponed during the pandemic, the agency FamousGrey developed a mobile app that turned streets into showrooms.

The auto industry is in an evolutionary phase where sales continue to move online. This campaign contributes to that seamless evolution, whilst at the same time providing an innovative solution to a real-world commercial problem.

Read more about the campaign here.

  • The Killer Pack: India

These days, agencies are doing much more than just creative communication campaigns for brands. This campaign showcases how agencies can go beyond the brief and drive innovation to solve real world problems.

Maxx Flash, a mosquito coil brand that helps fight mosquitoes inside homes, wanted to go further – working to fight the mosquito menace in its wider breeding grounds.

To do this they introduced The Killer Pack, their usual high quality product with one addition – 100% biodegradable packaging lined and printed with 5% active probiotic Bacillus thuringiensis (sereotype H14,) which kills mosquito larvae when disposed of in garbage dumps, dustbins, garden ponds, stagnant water and stormwater drains. Now that’s innovation!

Link to read more here.

  • Line Shopping: Thailand

I am a firm believer in the role creativity plays in commerce. Commerce tends to be very transactional, but creativity can unleash its power to drive exponential results.

This campaign empowers small business owners to have a fair fight with bigger players – which tend to have an unfair advantage with their scale and resources. In partnership with VMLY&R Thailand, LINE SHOPPING’s exciting ‘Free Superstar Endorsers’ initiative armed small businesses with big superstars, who promoted their products free of charge, achieving never-done-before endorsements.

What was your 2022 New Year’s Resolution and did you keep it?

One of my resolutions was to get back to reading 2-3 books a month. I’m happy to say that I was able to keep it.

Two of my favorite ones were:

The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World by Tim Marshall

Being married to a political analyst, I got pulled into the world of geopolitics few years ago. Tim Marshall talks about different countries around the world and explains how geography plays a role in history, politics and the future shaping them.

This book offers a fresh perspective for looking at what is happening around the world – from the refugee crisis in Europe, to why the middle east needs to look beyond oil for its future.

12 Rules of Life by Jordan Peterson: Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist from Canada.

He has become a global celebrity with his YouTube videos, podcasts and controversial interviews. His writing is multi-disciplinary, and the rules he talks about are simple, honest, practical, and well worth a read.

Amandeep Singh

Amandeep Singh

Amandeep is VP, of Client Engagement, CX & Commerce at VMLY&R Thailand

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