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Looking back on Vero’s Landmark 2019

2019 was a big year for us here at Vero – one in which we made investments that expanded our capabilities considerably, while also putting our energy into a slew of excellent campaigns and building relationships with exciting new clients

We opened new offices in Vietnam and Indonesia, moved to a bigger and better office in Myanmar, rebuilt our website from the ground up, won our second and third regional awards, and added 24 people to our team, for a total of 88.

We also experienced further regionalization of our agency – working with more clients on multimarket PR and digital campaigns than ever before in the large and generally fast-growing markets of Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and (via agency partners) the Philippines and Malaysia.

Our Shiny New Site

Vero’s website has been completely re-designed to better reflect where we stand as an agency, with a magazine-style “knowledge sharing” approach, digital marketing and influencer focus, content-first organization, and more prominent space for blogs and headshots to give our consultants a place to shine. Besides improved aesthetics and navigation, the site is optimized for SEO and lead-building to make us easier to find. So far it seems to be working: Vero is ranking well across the region, and people are spending 40% more time on the site. We’re still improving the site day-by-day and will be ramping up our insights in 2020.

Vero in Thailand

Vero in Thailand continues to move ahead with our mission of providing great local and global brands with fully-integrated consumer and corporate campaigns, featuring a combination of PR, digital, creative, and influencer marketing.

As always, we seek out highly-skilled and forward-thinking people, and in 2019 we improved our capabilities by bringing in SEO whizzes, in-house motion graphics designers, media relations experts, content creators, client service specialists, and brand journey strategists.

We also added several exciting new clients to our roster, including Under Armour, Electronic Arts, Jetts Fitness, LINE, Intel, Kingston Technologies, and True Corp.

Vero supported Sennheiser in the launch of several new products in Thailand, including soundbars and innovative headphones targeting both lifestyle and gaming consumers. Through the launch of these products at press conferences organized by Vero, 50+ journalists, influencers, and online media attended and provided coverage for Sennheiser. Vero also organized media trips to spark conversations between Sennheiser and key influencers in the tech, lifestyle and travel industries. 

We worked with Jetts Fitness to generate leads for their fast-growing 24/7 gyms around Thailand. The ongoing lead generation campaign has resulted in over 2,000 leads so far, and we are continuing to improve SEO and maintain a solid content marketing strategy for Jetts Fitness’s social media channels in Thailand. 

Gaming computer brand Alienware sought out Vero to tap into new audiences by establishing a campaign in conjunction with multi-label Thai streetwear brand Carnival. This collaboration between a tech and lifestyle brands brought together a diverse and engaged crowd during a launch event which saw the attendance of 60+ media representatives and 20 influencers.

Vero in Myanmar

Prettiest things first: Vero opened a new street-level office in Yangon. This has helped us build local recognition, and made a lot of our employees – including five new hires – even more excited to come to work every day. And they needed to be, since we’ve been busy working with new clients like Heineken, Samsung, Tencent, WD-40, Investing in Women, and Under Armour..

We’ve also done a lot of work with social organizations in Myanmar, including &Proud, a local LGBTQ NGO, which we helped to engage top tier international and local media for their Yangon Pride festival events, organized throughout pride month in February. We arranged PR activities for the three events that we expected to engage journalists the most, which resulted in over 200 clippings and a PR value of USD 300,000.  

In a continuation of our work with Save the Children and Bridge agency, we partnered with StC’s SHIFT platform to support a group of local youths under the name Air Quality Yangon. AQY’s Know What You Breathe campaign used their mascot, Dr. Air Bear, to raise awareness about the dangerous effects of air pollution. We engaged with local media, governments, key stakeholders, and the general public to convince people to speak up and take action about the growing problem of air pollution in urban Myanmar, and the resulting campaign gained a lot of organic interest from journalists and the public.

For sports apparel company Under Armour, we organized their first ever brand shop launch in Myanmar, overseeing everything from concept creation to execution, with a PR amplification strategy and KOL/influencer management. It was a huge success, with over 70 media houses and 20 influencers showing up unpaid to support the launch.  

Finally, while the campaign took place in 2018, we were very proud to win South East Asia PR Campaign of the Year and Cause-related public awareness Campaign of the Year by Campaign Asia at the PR awards in Hong Kong in May 2019, for our work on the the “6 Months Mother’s Milk Is All You Need” campaign, which we co-created with independent Myanmar agency Bridge for Save The Children, UNICEF and Alive & Thrive.

Vero in Vietnam

2019 was the year that Vero relaunched in Vietnam, starting from zero at the beginning of the year and moving up to an all-new, fully owned street-level office in Ho Chi Minh City’s central District 1, with 15 employees (and counting!) by its end. Our Vietnam office has already landed a lot of excellent new clients – Intel, Air Asia, Leroy Merlin, WeWork – and completed some fantastic campaigns.

For Japanese air conditioner manufacture Daikin, Vero developed an integrated marketing communication strategy to re-establish their brand positioning following the construction of their new state-of-the-art factory in Vietnam. This involved a wide range of communication platforms including Social Media, Influencers, PR, and TV, but the most attention-getting element was the dance video we conceptualized, which took place inside the factory and involved both Japanese and Vietnamese dance teams to symbolize the company’s modern spirit of unity. The campaign gained over 5.8 million combined views more than 40 pieces of media coverage from top-tier publications.

Vero officially introduced Mixed Martial Arts organization ONE Championship, a long-time international partner of ours, to Vietnam, hosting the very first Vietnam media exclusive interview with Chairman & CEO Chatri Sityodtong to spread awareness of the brand entering the country, leading to the publication of 48 pieces, and we handled promotion for ONE’s first event in the country.

Central Group Vietnam, a branch of the Thai real estate and consumer goods giant, came to Vero for our pan-ASEAN focus that allowed us to position their brand as a gateway between the two countries in both business and lifestyle media. With planning assistance from Vero’s Thailand office, we brought Vietnamese journalists to their press conference in Bangkok and arranged exclusive media interviews with brand partners to strengthen the concept. We also organized an online challenge event with Vietnamese influencers in the Bangkok shopping mall where Central Group Vietnam was holding its annual trade show.

To draw some local attention to our new Vietnamese presence, we decided to show off our modern, humorous sensibility and challenge ourselves to create buzz from nothing. Based on our own research into Vietnamese youth trends, we brainstormed and came up with the concept of GetBone, a Tinder-style dating app for pets. From an input of just $5000, we created an accompanying promotional video and received coverage in 18 business publications, shares across 25 Facebook groups, showcases in 12 Facebook business and tech communities, 40 published articles, 300k views, 150,000 engagements, and over 200 applications to become app testers. Of course, we later published articles taking responsibility for the prank.

Onward to the Future

As part of our overall investment in regional expansion, Vero entered the Indonesian market this year with a talented small team in Jakarta. It’s a market with huge potential for us, and we expect big things in the future as the team continues to grow!  We’re excited about the opportunities to invest, build, and serve great brands and companies in Indonesia.   

One of our goals for the coming years is to be recognized among Southeast Asia’s best agencies to work for. We understand that this is a major challenge, and 2020 will certainly be a year of investment on that front. Not only do we want Vero to continue providing great local and regional career opportunities, we also want it to be a place for a forward-thinking work culture to thrive, with burgeoning creativity,ground-breaking ideas, and industry-leading consultants.

We will also continue to invest in thought leadership, as we aim to become a top-of-mind creative innovator and communication consultant throughout ASEAN. Our campaigns and industry-leading culture deserve to be talked about, and we’ll aim to do that more than ever through outlets like industry events and our site blog.

As we think about the year(s) ahead, we continue to be thankful to our clients and the opportunities that Southeast Asia presents.  We believe the ASEAN region offers greater promise and opportunities than any other part of the world today, and it’s hard to imagine a better place to operate.

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