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​WKW Engage Conference 2017

Published on: 25-Sep-2017


The WKW Engage Conference was another a rousing success as over 350 attendees including students, alumni and industry professionals heard from communication honchos of leading companies such as Facebook, Grab, Spotify, Visa, as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Amsterdam-based creative agency Superheroes, at the second edition of the conference that took place on 31 August 2017 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Recognised as disruptors in their respective industries in today’s digital age, they shared how technology has changed the creative, media and digital landscape and revealed their communication strategies that have helped them win the hearts and minds of their consumers.

Themed “Harnessing Technology in Communication”, it was an engaging afternoon of light-hearted banter as these senior leaders candidly shared their insights. Sharing tips to fight boring advertising, Django Weisz Blanchetta, co-founder and Managing Director of Superheroes, who delivered the keynote session with partner and Executive Creative Director, Rogier Vijverberg, had this to say, “Technology is everywhere and it has become such an important part of our lives, like breathing. If you are in communication, you cannot ignore technology. Also, do not sit still. Look around because a lot is happening. If you sit still, you will have no idea how things are evolving.”

Some of the key takeaways that resonated throughout the conference included finding common themes and emotions that connect consumers, developing authentic content, using storytelling to engage with your audience, and harnessing data analytics to really know your audience and when to reach them at moments that matter. Most importantly, always be interesting.

More insights were exchanged when the speakers gamely took on live questions from the audience, discussing a wide range of topics from what makes a good ad, how to maximise reach and augment consumer engagement, to trends in the changing media environment. Issues such as data privacy and creativity infringement in the limitless digital space were also tackled.

“What I found interesting was hearing from the speakers what their stories are. I was impressed by the global brands presenting at the conference, sharing their marketing stories, what drives them and how they have built their successes in the region,” said Desiree Mohindra, founder of communications consultancy, Creative Stories.

Before the conference started, there was also an exhibition showcase by local companies – Hiverlab, food, travel and lifestyle blog XLBCR, and Our Grandfather Story, started by the school’s own alumni – which have harnessed technology to create their own form of innovative storytelling.

The evening ended with an industry mixer where attendees got to network with other professionals from the creative and communication industry as well as meet with industry experts from Edelman, TBWA, Saatchi & Saatchi and SGAG. The WKW Engage Conference is planned, organised and curated by a committee of undergraduate student leaders from WKWSCI and supervised by Ms Wong Pei Wen, a lecturer with the school.

Here are the key takeaways from each speaker:

Superheroes’ Django Weisz Blanchetta, Managing Director & Co-Founder (lef) and Rogier Vijverberg, Executive Creative Director & Co-Founder (right) dished their tips on fighting boring advertising: Look for human recognition, use variation over repetition, believe in data and technology, and trust your gut!

Spotify’s Head of Business Marketing (APAC), Joanna Wong, demonstrated how Spotify leveraged moments-based marketing to reach their audience at moments that matter, and how it has helped other brands connect with their consumers at the right time and when they are in the right state of mind.

Angeline Poh, Assistant Chief Executive (Industry Development) at the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), who is also a WKWSCI alumna, encouraged storytelling using virtual and augmented reality and how the new frontier of storytelling is by handing control over to the audience.

As Visa’s Digital Content Director (APAC), Kris Leboutillier said that while short isn’t always good, it is all about the content; and if you have to be anything, be interesting.

Grab’s Head of Marketing (Singapore), Ershad Ahamed, shared the brand’s recipe for impactful product launches – generating conversations, letting people experience the product and creating quality online content.

Matthew Drury, Facebook’s Agency Development Lead (APAC), discussed the art of mobile storytelling using emojis, trending words and live videos, and to always keep in mind the '3 second audition'.

Over 350 students, alumni and industry professionals from advertising, public relations, marketing and other media and creative sectors picking up valuable tips on improving their communication game from senior leaders of some of today’s leading companies at the WKW Engage Conference 2017.

The evening continued with an industry mixer where conference attendees mingled and networked over good food and drinks, as well as met with industry experts from Edelman, TBWA, Saatchi & Saatchi and SGAG.Industry Mixer.jpg

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