Ad Asia 2023: Ujaya Shakya charts the digital race

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Ad Asia 2023: Ujaya Shakya charts the digital race

Outreach Nepal’s founder, Ujaya Shakya (above, second on right) shares his experience from his time in Seoul at the recently concluded AD ASIA 2023.


Ad Asia, a biennial advertising event with a rich history dating back to its inception in Tokyo in 1958, recently took place in Seoul from October 24th to 27th, 2003. Organized by the Asian Federation of Advertising Association (AFAA) and the Korean Federation of Advertising Associations (KFAA). Over 2400 attendees from 27 countries representing the advertising, digital marketing and content industries attended the event. This Pan-Asia Ad Congress provided a platform for industry experts to explore the future of advertising in the digital age.

The theme for Ad Asia 2023, “The Digital Race”, emphasized the importance of adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of advertising in the digital age. Throughout the event, speakers and industry leaders discussed new trends and their implication for the consumer journey.

Key Takeaways for the Creative Leaders

Embracing AI
Miki Awamura, Google’s VP of Marketing for Asia Pacific, emphasized that the way consumer navigates the digital landscape is constantly changing. To succeed in this evolving world, she highlighted the vital role of AI. She also stressed the power of short form contents on platform like YouTube Shorts. These platforms are thriving because they provide content tailored to local audiences. The takeaway is clear: to stay relevant, we must embrace AI and make the most of short form contents.

Local culture is a winning formula
Kentaro Kimura highlighted the irreplaceable value of creativity that AI can’t replicate. To build a strong connection with consumers, he stressed the need to acknowledge and respect local culture. Brands that truly resonate with local audiences by creating authentic, culturally sensitive experiences stand out, fostering trust and loyalty.

Data driven approach brings precision
Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising connects screen owners and advertisers using real time mobile data for precise audience targeting. This aligns with the trend of data driven marketing, underlining the power of data to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of advertising campaigns.

Adding heart to data
Bharat Avalani highlighted storytelling’s significance in the data driven era, urging industry leaders to “Digitize to Humanize”. Amidst data overload, storytelling gives facts meaning and context, making information relatable and unforgettable. He stresses the enduring impact of storytelling in successful marketing campaigns around the world.

Awards fuels creativity
Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club for Creativity in New York, emphasized how awards like The One Show and ADC can elevate agency reputation, attract talents, fuel business growth and inspire industry. Jo Jackson, CEO of D&AD, encouraged the industry to infuse humor, authenticity and brand relevance in their campaigns.

Showcase power of culture
Prof. Samuel from Penn State University stressed that Asia dominates this era. He underlined the importance of highlighting each country’s unique culture. Success lies in celebrating what makes us different, not imitating others. For instance, K-Pop’s global success like “Gangnam Style” is rooted in authenticity. And Bollywood shines with its colorful, culturally distinct dancing style.

Ad Asia continue to serve as an invaluable opportunity for professionals across Asia to connect, share knowledge, rekindle friendships and explore the future of advertising and creative industry. The digital race is well underway, with a primary focus on creative intelligence, expanding media reach and integrating AI to enhance the consumer journey.

As the industry looks ahead, the insights and takeaways from Ad Asia 2023 highlight the need to stay agile to the ever-changing landscape. Embracing AI, respecting local culture, leveraging data, encouraging creativity, prioritizing storytelling and showcasing unique culture will be essential to success in the creative world.

The future of advertising and the creative industry is full of promise, offering opportunities for innovation and growth. Keep an eye on your calendars for Ad Asia 2025 in Macau, where the industry will embark on a new journey with fresh horizons.

Ad Asia 2023: Ujaya Shakya charts the digital race