By Emily Tan, Campaign Asia-Pacific
BEIJING – The inaugural Digital Asia Festival opened at the Grand Millennium Beijing today, where just under 300 delegates heard jury president Matias Palm-Jensen beseech the industry to adapt more quickly to digital change.
The festival was launched with an opening speech by Jeff Han, general manager of marketing for the Tencent Online Media Group who spoke of Tencent's rapid growth, and with it, the explosion of China's digital market.
Then, jury president, Matias Palm-Jensen, European chief innovation officer for McCann Erickson, took the podium to give his address on creativity and the industry's need to adapt faster to digital.
"The great ice-hockey player, Wayne Gretzkty said that he doesn't skate where the puck went, he skates where it's going—and advertising needs to skate where the industry is heading," he said.
Last night, Palm-Jensen led a team of expert jurors worked all day to choose from the shortlist of 105 entries the winners who will be honoured at the awards night, which closes the festival tomorrow.
The quality of the award entries surprised and delighted Palm-Jensen. “Asia is more a part of the business than ever before, during the judging we've seen beautiful cases and execution stemming from great ideas,” he commented during a one-to-one interview last night.
What surprised him most was the similarities Asia-Pacific and Europe share when it comes to great storytelling. “It reassures me about earth's future, that we stem from the same understanding,” said Palm-Jensen.
In the the first talk of the day, Nick Seckold, Mindshare's head of digital for Asia-Pacific, discussed how advertisers can move their mobile strategy from talking about 'why they should do it' to how.
Still coming up today, two Volkswagen case studies will be shared. The first, by Sudhir Nair, senior vice-president and head of digital for Grey Digital India explains how Volkswagen integrated digital into its overall marketing strategy and the second, by Georg Warga and Alex Csergo of Proximity Beijing, shares the details of Volkswagen's 'People's car project' which was the DMA's most awarded digital marketing programme in 2011.
Diederik van Middelkoop, creative director and managing director of MassiveMusic will demonstrate the value and strength of music in a digital age, after which, Paul John Pena, chief digital officer of Leo Burnett Manila will address the question of whether brands should pay for tweets.
Andrew Knott, vice-president of digital for McDonald's APMEA will then share how the fast food brand used digital as as strategic platform for growth. He's joined by Tribal DDB Asia-Pacific president Patrick Rona, who is also chief digital officer for DDB Group Asia-Pacific.
Isobar Asia-Pacific CEO Jean Lin then takes the floor to help marketers solve the “convergence 4.0 puzzle” and Bates Singapore's chief strategist, Patrick Leclercq closes the day asking, what's next after the 'post-digital mess'?
Follow @campaignasia on Twitter for provocative quotes direct from the festival, and stay tuned to campaignasia.com for more coverage. Or, pick up the Digital Asia Festival app, powered by Mindshare, for iOS or Android.