Brand blogging in Asia

25 August 2005

A couple of contrasting blogging stories from companies using blogging to create community around their brands in Asia.

In Malaysia, Sunsilk is running a mini TV series to promote the brand to teens and young adults. Impian Illyana, a 5-minute programme to be run daily over 13 weeks, follows student Illyana, who works part-time in a book café run by her older sister, as she deals with problems like rivalry and another girl for the affections of a boy.

The series is supported by an SMS campaign which invites viewers to suggest what Illyana should do next, and offers prizes for spotting the moral of the episode’s story. Online, viewers can download ringtones and wallpapers for their mobile phones, and can access the fictitious Illyana’s blog, where they can post comments.

Time for another debate on the pros and cons of character blogs, I fear. Looking at the number of comments (unfortunately my Malaysian English slang is not what it used to be, so can’t comment on the comments, as it were), there certainly seems to be a lot of interest, but at the end of the day it’s a character blog created to support an advertising campaign.

Mars, on the other hand, is doing some great things with the Cesar brand in Singapore, having launched My Cesar, “Your companion to online blogging”. This blogging community encourages Singaporean dog owners to “create your own personal doggie blog where you can impart your thoughts about your favourite pooch.”

I have always thought there is huge value to FMCG brands from creating blogging communities for their consumers, and Cesar shows how much fun you can have on a limited budget, yet still reap the benefits for your brand.

There are just 24 blogs in the community so far, but I expect this to grow quickly over the coming weeks.

Cesar could have done the same thing as Sunsilk. They could have set up a blog for the dog in the adverts, turning him (or her) into a canine character blog. But they didn’t. They understand that consumers no longer want brands to talk at them, but give them the tools to talk to others.

Welcome to the conversation.

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One Response to “Brand blogging in Asia”

  1. Paul Chaney

    Just an FYI – Susannah Gardner, author of Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies, and I are doing what we understand is the first business blog conference to be held in Asia. The dates are September 21-22 in Singapore.

    I’m currently researching asian blogging and your article was extremely helpful in giving me a better understanding of what’s happening over there.

    Interestingly enough, one of the topics we touch on is character blogs.

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