Influencer Marketing in Asia It’s time for brands to regain their confidence

Influencer Marketing in Asia – Influencer can rebuild the balance of power balance which is inclined to the few people who have the ability to control the media, to open up new ideas and views on politics, culture or personal.

It seems that the optimism called “new year, wellbeing, prosperity” is still around. Or because 2019 is the Year of the Pig – the lunar year is associated with joy and serenity, so people tend to be more generous and open. Whatever the reason is, this article is meant to honor, not criticize, the promises of influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing: Not just the advertisements that are being exaggerated

The number of influencers rose to a high record in 2018. In Asia, influencer marketing exploded thanks to factors such as young demographics, high smartphone penetration and the growth of social platforms. Brands and businesses are attracted by the prospect of reaching more customers and at a lower cost, now they are spending more on influencers than ever.

Obviously, mixed reactions began to erupt. Because people started to worry about the lack of transparency, the purchase of followers to make the brand’s endorsement, the reliability and the long-term value of these “Z List celebrities” (according to the head of Facebook APAC, Neil Stewart) is being put into question. Unilever once warned about the dishonest behavior of influencers and the audience was smooth and bored with the Instagram image of check-in or posing body.

Influencer Marketing in Asia – Reshaping the belief from the influencer

Media has the power to influence the way we experience the world and express ourselves. In the age of #MeToo and Twitter President, we feel this more deeply than ever, whether in a more positive or negative sense.

The best part is that social media and information platforms take away the inherent power of mainstream media and give people the opportunity to speak out. It is coincidental that the rise of social media is accompanied by the rise of social movements.

Social media and information platforms have taken away the inherent power of mainstream media; give people the opportunity to express their voice.

From Time magazine’s selection of the “Person of the Year” in 2016 as “You – Yourself” with the logo image on the cover, to the Arab Spring campaign, which originated from “liberation technology” and our dependence on poll sites; Social media has changed the way individuals can impact the world around them.

As the spread and power of “netizens” is strengthened, influencers have the ability to influence in ways that they could not before. Similarly, brands not only use influencers merely to advertise, but also utilize them to bring about major changes in users’ psychology and habits, as well as the business activities of the business itself.

Empowering everyone

Last year, Saudi Arabia lifted the driver ban on women. Seven years earlier, in 2011, Manal al-Sharif, an Arab influencer, formed a Facebook group called “Women2 Drive” to gather followers to speak out in favor of women driving in the country. this. Despite the ban, she shot the pictures of herself driving and posted this clip on Facebook and YouTube. This is Influencer Marketing Asia.

This clip had a great influence in the community, but then she was imprisoned. The news of her arrest has stirred up a protest in this country and gained worldwide attention. In 2012, Time magazine put al-Sharif on the list of the 100 most influential people in the world. What she did really influenced the community.

It may seem a little redundant to say this, but influencers are the influencers. They have a great influence on others. They can rebuild the balance of power, which is favored by the few who are able to control the media. From here, it is the influencer or the community that can open up new, even groundbreaking dialogues of ideas and even breakthroughs, about political, cultural or even personal issues.

From “Lady Sticker” Samantha Lo from Singapore – a person working with stickers decals with unrelated messages on public places in this country, to “Period Instagrammer” to fight for women’s rights and women’s menstruation, to the Nike Da Da Ding ad showing the strong personality of Indian women, brands and influencers can give power to followers and users of social networks.

Nike: Leather Da Ding.

Influencer Marketing in Asia for Respect the truth

The worst thing that can happen is when influencers appear to be pragmatic and greedy. One day, you often believe that your internet idol is only offering tainted tea and some sweets to restrain eating more food, or the fact that she only takes photos of luxurious life and makes promises but she will never do.

The best scenario is the opposite – it is when influencers share genuine things, represent their own identities or to certain community groups. Their writings and content are sincere and genuine and provide real connections between authors and readers, readers and the community. These are the influencers who can turn the tables around to stand on the form of commercialized marketing by large corporations.

Papi Jiang, the China’s most successful and unbelievable internet star, is a typical example. With frank and ironic sharing and with the speed of talking “as fast as the wind” from his slightly messy bedroom, this vlogger paints a satirical picture of urban life, with topics such as unmasking the star’s culture. It was these attacks that broke all of these barriers that made her a phenomenon among Chinese millennials who no longer had an interest in politically-oriented celebrities. And then brands found themselves with people like Papi.


Chinese influencer Papi Jiang.

But authenticity needs to be understood in two ways: both in terms of influencer and reliability in their relationship with the brand. If Papi Jiang presents a Jaeger LeCoultre watch that costs 6 or more, the internet community will get up and boycott. In contrast, when Papi introduces New Balance’s new product line, there will be another wave, but this time it is a positive wave when everyone wants to hunt for her “play quality” toy.

Personal authenticity also gave Singaporean influencer Preeti Nair the nickname Preetipls. Through videos that ridicule Singaporean fashion styles, racial prejudice and even lash out at other influencers, she brings a new breeze to a country where people are so used to being restrictive. The brands have taken advantage of her candid and honest personality to convey the message to young Singaporeans. Singapore Bicentennial, a program that celebrates more than 200 years of founding Singapore, has partnered with Preetipls to convey her optimism and modern perspectives and integrate them with content of historical value.

Preetipls bring a breath of fresh air to a country where people are so accustomed to being restrictive. Image: The Straits Times.

Embody diversity and celebrate diversity

In an era of influencers and micro-influencers (serving a certain audience rather than reaching the masses), the biggest prospect of influencer marketing is to broaden the mainstream. While the mass media tend to spread the dominant views to attract the most viewers, influencers can come up with different ideas. This is Influencer Marketing Asia.

The most obvious manifestation of this can be seen in the beauty industry. Big companies have always followed a common beauty standard, which is to honor the slim shape and lines. However, the influencer community in the field of beauty throughout Asia has followed many different schools. Indonesian beauty blogger Ucita Pohan with more than 70,000 Instagram followers confidently honors her curves, fighting to protect her “oversize” in beauty and life.


Indonesian beauty blogger Ucita Pohan. Image: Her World Indonesia.

In Malaysia, where 92% of consumers follow bloggers as celebrities (based on Kantar TNS research), the generation of modern, trendy and well-dressed Muslims has changed the way they look. The fashion is inherent, humble and traditional in this country. Disappointed by the restrictions on the costumes for Muslim women, fashionista Vivy Yusof turned her blog into a fashion empire, where she sold trendy outfits of Southeast Asian designers. Thanks to the powerful followers on Instagram who supported and shared about her ecommerce site, Yusof created a perfect business circle. Follower’s awareness changes positively and happily to become Yusof’s customers.

In addition to beauty and fashion, influencers have also opened the door to many other lifestyles and values ​​that are “estranged” by conservative mainstream media. Hirzi Zulkiflie, a comedian dressed in the opposite sex – activist of the Malay LGBT community, is known for his YouTube channel. He represents the unique and diverse views of millennials of young Malays in Singapore.

Comedian and heterosexual activist, Hirzi Zulkiflie. Image: junkasia.com


Entering 2019, the glory of the influencers fades. The influx of transactional sponsorships and false tactics that do not bring real connection between brands and influencers has inflicted surprise attacks on businesses. It is time to remove prejudices. Both brands and influencers are responsible for broadening their vision and ambition, while reaffirming the power and meaning of influence. Perhaps this is a bit ambitious, but this could also be a goal for this Golden Pig year.

* Source: Ida Siow, Admap Magazine, February 2019

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Influencer Marketing in Asia It’s time for brands to regain their confidence

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