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foodpanda MY bets on branded OTT content with iQIYI original drama series

foodpanda MY bets on branded OTT content with iQIYI original drama series

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Foodpanda Malaysia is dishing out its marketing dollars on a partnership with iQIYI which will see the food delivery platform's branding be featured in the original drama series Sorry Naik Lori. The brand will be featured seamlessly in the form of a supporting character who is a foodpanda delivery driver and with incidental brand exposure, viewers will also be given subtle educational exposures to foodpanda's service and new offerings throughout the drama. These will be seamlessly integrated in various scenes contributing to the plot.

Its director of marketing, Bernard Chong, said streaming services have disrupted the traditional content industry. "With iQIYI’s capability to effectively target audience segments based on the type of content they are watching, we have decided to partner with them for the launch of the local original production Sorry Naik Lori," Chong said.

He believes that this collaboration will be able to further strengthen foodpanda's position among Malaysians and have a significant positive effect on its target market. We hope that with this collaboration, we are able to further educate viewers on the various services provided by foodpanda that goes beyond just food delivery," Chong added.

He also told A+M that foodpanda has built a strong working relationship with the team at iQIYI since the first day of production to ensure it is seamlessly integrated into the series. "While we wanted to showcase how foodpanda is incorporated into their daily lives, we wanted it to be done subtly and with finesse," Chong said. 

Although Chong did not reveal specific figures of its monetary investment in this collaboration and the ROI, he said that the company "firmly [believes] in launching moonshots while creating magical experiences". When asked how else foodpanda will be involved in the drama, Chong said it is important to be aware and research the latest marketing trends and understand how they can help elevate the brand.

"In this case, through the storyline there was a great deal of synergy to convey what foodpanda does best - delivering convenience, joy, and more to the doorstep of all Malaysians," Chong explained. Foodpanda will share a series of content from the drama on its social media channels and hope to promote a positive and engaging brand experience with viewers while increasing top of mind.

While foodpanda is winning in the brand awareness space, this also marks the first brand integration collaboration in a drama for iQIYI in Malaysia. Sukhbir Sidhu, iQIYI Malaysia's head of ad sales, said the continuous increase of digital consumption has propelled OTT platforms into becoming a highly effective tool for advertisers.

"With foodpanda being iQIYI's first brand integration partner, we are exploring more partnerships with other brands through upcoming Malaysian original dramas in the pipeline," he said.

The production of Sorry Naik Lori is part of iQIYI’s ongoing initiative to contribute towards the local content ecosystem, powered by Malaysian creative minds. Collaborating with local production companies, iQIYI’s slate of upcoming Malaysian original showcases the best of Malaysia beyond its home market. It also provides opportunities to local talents and content creators while supporting local brands, advertisers and marketers.

To celebrate the start of its first Malaysian original production, iQIYI is also running an "iQIYI Catwalk Challenge" on TikTok, granting five winners access to witness and make a special appearance in the drama. They will also have the opportunity to visit the production site and meet cast members including Nazim Othman, Ruhainies, Nafiz Muaz, and Sheila Mambo, among others in a local designer KL fashion show scene in the drama.

Streaming services have become popular nowadays and research firm Digital TV Research found that global revenues from OTT TV episodes and movies will hit US$224 billion in 2027, up from US$135 billion last year. In fact, about US$21 billion will be added this year alone. Subscription video on-demand revenues are expected to climb by US$48 billion between 2021 and 2027 to US$136 billion. Advertising-based video content revenues are predicted to jump by US$37 billion between the same period to hit US$70 billion. 

The streaming scene is also heating up with several players in the mix, from iQIYI and Viu to Disney+, Netflix, and HBO GO. According to Magna's latest ad forecast for the year this month, digital video will be the most dynamic format in 2022, with a +16% increase in ad revenue to US$68 billion. According to Magna, this reflects the continued shift of viewing away from linear TV and towards on-demand, addressable platforms (mobile devices and, increasingly, connected TV).

Long-form VOD has been mostly subscription-centric for the first 10 years, but as SVOD subscriptions are approaching saturation, big SVOD players such as Disney+ and Netflix are considering introducing cheaper, ad-supported tiers, which would bring more ad budget into digital video looking forward, Magna said.

A few months ago, Grab Indonesia also entered the streaming scene by creating a six-part series on Viu titled "Cerita Tentang Percaya" (Stories of Belief). The six-part series is an acknowledgement and celebration of Indonesians’ resilience and self-belief during the pandemic and features real-life stories of Indonesians who persevered throughout the pandemic. The series launched with the first episode premiering on 2 April, in conjunction with the first day of Ramadan.

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