Scindya Datt, Associate Strategy Director, PHD Singapore

Scindya Datt, PHD Singapore’s Associate Strategy Director, talks to WARC and outlines the key shifts in Southeast Asia’s media consumption patterns, and looks ahead to how brands can move beyond pandemic conditions.

It was meant to be a great year, an exciting one. It was the year we all wanted to leap into, eyes wide open. But then the world was struck by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and almost immediately, everything changed. The world reacted and words such as ‘unprecedented’, ‘isolation’ and ‘social distancing’ became commonplace in our vernacular.

2020 quickly lost its allure as the global population went into lockdown. Consumers weren’t ready for this. Brands weren’t ready for this, and neither was media for that matter. But amidst all the turmoil, the impact that this pandemic has had is expected to be a lasting one, and in a good way.

As consumers in Southeast Asia (SEA) were forced to make immediate changes to their daily lives, the media industry will need to be agile enough to adapt to changing media consumption habits to remain connected with consumers and continue connecting brands with their intended audiences.

Some takeaways from Datt’s article for WARC include:

  • Many brands have focused on boosting saliency or engagement for stronger connections with the consumer through creativity, and this will likely continue while the region remains in flux.
  • There’s opportunity for brands willing to take a risk with newer digital platforms where limited competition and the ability to pioneer creativity can deliver greater campaign effectiveness.
  • Investment in brand-building activities over short-term sales gains can establish consumer trust and better position a brand for when spending improves, and restrictions are lifted.

For more from Datt on the challenges brands in SEA are facing; the rise of online touchpoints; and how a pandemic changes human behaviour and ultimately changes media, read Datt’s full article on WARC.