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Insight
Feb 29

Redefining Search: How Gen Z is Choosing TikTok Over Google

Redefining Search: How Gen Z is Choosing TikTok Over Google

The evolving digital search landscape is witnessing a significant shift with Generation Z’s growing preference for TikTok over traditional search engines like Google. This trend, fueled by the rapid growth of TikTok’s global user base, which reached 1.922 billion in 2023, highlights a shift in how younger generations seek information and make purchasing decisions.

The United States leads in TikTok usage with 143.4 million users, reflecting the platform’s widespread appeal, particularly among the 18 to 34 age demographic.

Gen Z’s Search Preferences

A survey conducted by Her Campus Media displays this shift, revealing that more than half of Gen Z, and specifically 51% of Gen Z women, choose TikTok over Google for search purposes. This preference is largely attributed to TikTok’s video format, offering more relatable and personalized content. An impressive 74% of Gen Z use TikTok for search, indicating its significant influence on their buying habit.

TikTok’s success as a search tool can be credited to its engaging and personalized user experience. The platform has become a hub for various topics like DIY tutorials, fashion, and beauty tips, making it an attractive source for discovering new products and trends. However, TikTok’s approach to content, focusing primarily on user engagement and popularity, raises concerns about the accuracy and reliability of the information shared on the platform.

Source: Survey – 51% of Gen Z women prefer TikTok, not Google, for search

Google’s Enduring Strengths

Despite TikTok’s rise, Google remains a critical player in the search engine landscape. Known for its trustworthiness and ability to provide in-depth, geographically specific information, Google has built a solid reputation over two decades.

Google recognizes the competitive threat posed by TikTok and is evolving its features to offer a more visual and dynamic search experience, thereby maintaining its relevance in the face of changing user preferences.

Source: Gen Z is using TikTok as a search engine. Is this the end of Google?

Implications and Future Outlook

The shift in search preferences is reverberating across various industries. Traditional marketing strategies are being reevaluated in light of these changes, with different sectors experiencing unique impacts. For instance, the retail sector is seeing a shift towards social media-driven purchases, while educational resources are still predominantly sought on Google.

Looking ahead, this trend is expected to evolve further. Emerging technologies like AI and AR/VR could redefine search behaviors yet again. It’s crucial for businesses and marketers to stay ahead of these trends, continually adapting their strategies to align with shifting user preferences.

The preference of Gen Z for TikTok over Google in certain aspects of online search represents a significant shift in digital behaviors. While TikTok offers a more engaging and personalized experience, Google continues to be a reliable source for comprehensive and accurate information. This trend highlights the importance for brands and marketers to adapt to the evolving digital landscape, using the strengths of each platform to engage effectively with their target audience.

If you’re interested in exploring how TikTok and Google can be integrated into your digital strategy to maximize reach and engagement, feel free to contact us. Our team offers detailed insights and guidance to help you navigate the dynamic world of digital marketing. Together, we can unlock new opportunities for growth and success in this changing digital age.

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Insight
Feb 23

Threads vs X: A Comparative Analysis

The Social Media Evolution – Threads and X

Social media is an ever-evolving giant, with the emergence of Meta’s Threads and the transformation of Twitter into X (formerly known as Twitter) representing one of the most pivotal moments. These platforms redefine digital communication, influence public discourse, and reshape marketing strategies. This article aims to provide a deeper, more engaging comparison of Threads and X, offering insights for businesses, marketers, and users alike in understanding and leveraging these platforms’ unique capabilities.

X’s Advantages

X, emerging from Twitter’s well-established roots, boasts a vast user base, with 253 million daily active users, significantly overshadowing Threads’ 10.3 million. This extensive reach offers X an undeniable audience engagement and brand visibility advantage. X has weathered numerous changes, including leadership transitions and platform modifications, yet it has maintained its dominance in media and sports.

Its content discovery tools, particularly hashtags, remain central to its appeal, enabling users to track and engage with trending topics and breaking news easily. Moreover, X offers a variety of advertising formats, allowing brands to target audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, making it a versatile tool for tailored marketing strategies.

Source: X (Formerly Twitter) vs. Threads: What Brands Need to Know

Challenges Faced by X

Despite its strengths, X faces significant challenges, particularly in content moderation and trust. The platform’s approach to freedom of speech, coupled with minimal content moderation, has led to issues with harassment, cyberbullying, and the presence of bots.

These concerns, alongside controversial leadership decisions and policy changes, have led to a decline in trust among some users and advertisers, impacting the platform’s reputation and advertising revenue.

Threads: An Emerging Contender with Unique Offerings

Threads, distinct from its parent app Instagram, positions itself as a more personal and intimate social networking platform. It extends the character limit for posts to 500 and allows users to share videos up to five minutes long. This focus on longer-form content and the integration with Instagram makes Threads an appealing platform for sharing more detailed and personal stories.

However, Threads lacks certain features that X offers, such as direct messaging, expansive search functionality, and a comprehensive ‘Explore’ page, which limits its discoverability and user engagement. This relative lack of features may present both a challenge and an opportunity for the platform as it evolves.

Source: https://dataconomy.com/2023/07/10/threads-vs-twitter/

User Experience: A Tale of Two Platforms

While X and Threads share similarities in their user interface, emphasizing multimedia and interactive elements in posts, there are notable differences. Threads, being more mobile-centric, reflect the shift towards mobile internet usage.

In contrast, X offers a robust desktop platform catering to a broader range of internet users. This distinction in accessibility and platform design plays a crucial role in how users engage with each platform.

Privacy and Safety

Both Threads and X require users to make certain compromises in terms of privacy. Threads, following Instagram’s privacy policy, collects extensive user data. X, despite its different ownership, also has its privacy considerations.

However, Threads offers safety features like automatic private accounts for users under 16 and content guidelines similar to Instagram’s, potentially offering a safer environment than X.

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Digital Strategy

In conclusion, the choice between Threads and X depends on specific marketing objectives, target demographics, and the desired level of audience engagement. X’s vast user base, advanced content discovery tools, and versatile advertising capabilities make it attractive for brands seeking broad reach and dynamic engagement. On the other hand, Threads’ emphasis on personal and private interactions caters to brands aiming for deeper connections with their audience. Understanding and leveraging these platforms’ strengths will be key to successful digital marketing strategies as social media continues to evolve.

Interested in exploring how Threads and X can be integrated into your digital strategy? Contact us for detailed insights and guidance. Together, we can navigate the dynamic world of social media, unlocking new opportunities for growth, engagement, and success.

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Insight
Jan 26

TikTok: Myth versus Fact

In today’s rapidly changing digital world, TikTok has emerged as a social media juggernaut, transforming the way content is consumed and created. However, myths and misconceptions about the platform persist, often leading businesses and marketers to underestimate its potential.

Which is why we are aiming to debunk some of the myths regarding TikTok, shedding light on the platform’s true capabilities and how it can be harnessed effectively.

TikTok’s Global Impact and Growing Influence

In a few short years, TikTok has become more than just a platform for entertainment; it has evolved into a global phenomenon influencing culture, trends, and consumer behavior. With its unique algorithm, TikTok offers an unparalleled ability to amplify content and create viral sensations.

This influence extends beyond entertainment, impacting sectors like fashion, technology, and even politics. Understanding TikTok’s global impact is crucial for businesses and marketers aiming to stay relevant in an increasingly digital-centric world.

TikTok: Myth versus Facts

Myth #1

Myth: TikTok’s user base is too young for most marketing purposes.

Fact: TikTok’s audience is diversifying rapidly. In 2021, a report showed that 36% of its users were between 35 and 54 years old, a notable 10% increase from the previous year. This evolution signals that TikTok’s appeal spans beyond the youth, reaching a more mature and diverse demographic.

Brands that traditionally target older demographics should reevaluate their stance on TikTok. The platform offers a valuable opportunity to engage with an audience that has both spending power and influence.

Myth #2

Myth: TikTok cannot compete with established search engines like Google.

Fact: Contrary to popular belief, TikTok is making strides in search engine functionality, especially for specific queries. Its increasing popularity for searches related to fashion, beauty, automotive, and finance indicates a shift in consumer search preferences.

Users are gravitating towards TikTok’s dynamic and visually engaging format for quick information and advice. Brands looking to optimize their search engine strategy should consider TikTok as a viable platform, especially when targeting younger demographics who favor its interactive and visual content.

Myth #3

Myth: TikTok is not a suitable platform for serious or traditional brands.

Fact: TikTok’s versatile content format makes it a fitting platform for a wide range of topics and brands, including those with a more serious undertone. The success of platforms like NPR’s Planet Money, which tackles complex economic subjects, illustrates TikTok’s capacity to engage audiences in diverse topics.

This versatility opens doors for traditional brands to reinvent and present their content creatively, making it more accessible and engaging to a broader audience.

Myth #4

Myth: High follower numbers are essential to go viral on TikTok.

Fact: TikTok’s unique algorithm levels the playing field, allowing content from accounts with fewer followers to achieve viral status if it resonates with users. This aspect of TikTok democratizes content virality, emphasizing quality and relevance over follower count.

This phenomenon is crucial for brands and content creators to understand. It means that with the right strategy and creative approach, even new or smaller brands can make a significant impact on the platform. The focus should be on crafting content that genuinely engages the TikTok community, rather than solely on growing follower numbers.

TikTok’s Role in Modern Marketing Strategies

TikTok’s unique characteristics – an increasingly diverse user base, emerging search engine capabilities, and content versatility – make it a valuable tool in modern marketing arsenals. Understanding these aspects allows brands to develop more nuanced and effective marketing strategies.

Whether targeting older demographics, optimizing for specific search queries, or presenting serious content in an engaging format, TikTok offers a plethora of opportunities for innovative brand promotion and storytelling.

Conclusion

TikTok’s unique characteristics – an increasingly diverse user base, emerging search engine capabilities, and content versatility – make it a valuable tool in modern marketing arsenals. Understanding these aspects allows brands to develop more nuanced and effective marketing strategies.

Whether targeting older demographics, optimizing for specific search queries, or presenting serious content in an engaging format, TikTok offers a plethora of opportunities for innovative brand promotion and storytelling.

TikTok presents an array of untapped opportunities for brands willing to explore its dynamic environment. By dismissing myths about its user demographics, search capabilities, and content suitability, brands can unlock new potentials for growth, engagement, and innovation.

Interested in transforming your brand’s digital strategy?

Contact us now to explore the dynamic world of TikTok marketing and stay ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape.

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Insight
Jan 19

Intelligent Loyalty: How Brands are Shaping Deeper Connections with Customers

The future of loyalty programs is poised for a transformation, leveraging the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) to evolve from traditional points-based systems to highly personalized, engaging experiences. This shift marks a significant opportunity for businesses to deepen customer relationships and drive brand loyalty in innovative ways.

Evolution of Loyalty Programs

Traditional loyalty programs, largely based on a points system, have served well to encourage repeat purchases. While effective in encouraging repeat purchases, this model often lacks the depth to create a truly engaging customer experience.

The digital era ushered in a more nuanced approach, with loyalty programs incorporating customer data to offer more tailored rewards. However, this approach still operates within the confines of a predefined reward structure, which can limit its effectiveness in genuinely understanding and responding to individual customer needs.

This landscape has been part of a broader, dynamic market. The global loyalty management market was valued at USD 5.29 billion in 2022. Showing the potential for significant growth, it’s projected to reach USD 28.65 billion by 2030, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.7% during this period.

In regions like Asia-Pacific, China has become a pivotal market. The rise in startups and online shopping there has driven the development of new loyalty programs. Similarly, in Japan, there’s been an increase in loyalty programs across various sectors, including telecom, e-commerce, and hospitality. This indicates a broader trend of integrating digital solutions and customer-centric approaches into loyalty programs.

AI’s Role in Personalizing Rewards

The integration of AI into loyalty programs represents a significant leap forward. AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data in real-time allows businesses to understand customer preferences, behaviors and needs at an individual level. This deep understanding enables brands to offer highly personalized rewards and experiences that resonate more profoundly with their customers.

For instance, AI can identify patterns in customer purchase history to predict future buying behavior and recommend rewards that align with those predictions. This level of personalization fosters a stronger emotional connection between the brand and its customers, transforming loyalty programs from mere transactional interactions to a meaningful part of the customer’s lifestyle.

Nurturing Deep Customer Connections 

At the heart of modern loyalty programs is an emphasis on having authentic connections with customers. This is where subtle, sophisticated data analysis tools come into play. They assist in discerning customer preferences and behaviors, helping brands offer more personalized and relevant experiences. By understanding each customer’s unique preferences and needs, brands can create a loyalty experience that feels genuinely personal and engaging. The final goal is to create a loyalty program that feels like a natural extension of the customer’s lifestyle.

The key to deepening customer relationships lies in understanding not just what customers buy, but why they make these choices. Sophisticated data analysis tools play a pivotal role here, subtly gathering insights from customer interactions and feedback. This isn’t about tracking purchases alone; it’s about comprehending the nuances of customer behavior, their lifestyle choices, and even their aspirations. This deeper understanding allows brands to not just respond to customer needs but to anticipate them, creating a proactive relationship.

Innovative Approaches to Loyalty

At Kingdom Digital, we envision leveraging AI to revolutionize loyalty programs. AI’s capability to analyze extensive data in real-time allows for a deeper understanding of individual customer preferences and behaviors. This enables us to offer highly personalized rewards and experiences, transforming loyalty programs into an integral part of the customer’s lifestyle.

While traditionally we haven’t utilized AI extensively, we are now exploring how AI can enhance our loyalty program offerings. For example, a future concept might involve an AI-powered e-wallet service. This service could provide personalized recommendations and exclusive offers to users based on their location and previous purchasing behavior, using the combined power of AI and 5G technology. Users will receive exclusive offers and discounts whenever they are in range of participating retail outlets. Returning customers will receive targeted discounts for their favourite products, while new customers will receive special introductory messages to welcome them to the club.

Future Trends in Loyalty Strategies

Looking ahead, the future of loyalty programs will likely see further AI integration, with a shift towards more experiential rewards. Instead of just offering discounts or products, brands will leverage AI to understand and cater to their customers’ broader lifestyle needs, offering truly unique and personal rewards.

Here, we are not just keeping pace with the future but also helping to shape it. Our team of experts collaborates closely with each client, ensuring that our AI-driven solutions perfectly align with their unique brand values and customer expectations. With Kingdom Digital, you’re not just adapting to the changing world of customer loyalty but leading the charge.

If you’re ready to transform your loyalty program and harness the power of AI for deeper customer engagement, Kingdom Digital is your ideal partner. Contact us today to explore how we can elevate your loyalty strategies and drive meaningful engagement in this new era of personalized customer experiences. Let’s redefine loyalty together.

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Insight
Jan 16

Tea For Two: Creatives Starting Their Relationships with AI

In the creative industry, there are high highs and low lows. Then, add in the fascination of AI and the stigma of Malaysians working in said industry, that’s a lovely cocktail for assumptions and self-doubt. So, we are raising questions on what it means to be creative or creative enough.

Here’s the scoop, relying too much on AI tools might dim the sparkle of our authentic creative touch and intuition. Picture it like AI having a favourite pattern it keeps using, potentially turning our creative mixtape into a one-genre wonder, missing out on the diverse beats we love. Oh, and hands-on skills? Don’t let AI hog the spotlight; we need that tactile, hands-in-the-paint, and experiential groove for our artistic journey.

Plus, AI can be a bit emotionally challenged—genuine feelings and personal stories aren’t exactly its forte. And watch out for the predictive side of AI; it might nudge us to stay in our creative comfort zones, missing out on the wild and wonderful unknowns. AI’s efficiency dance might skip our creative process’s messy, trial-and-error steps.

“Personally, I believe there’s no “enough” in creativity—it’s about constant exploration and growth”. – Content’s Cult Leader

“I knew at the beginning that I was not a very creative person. I just wanted to create more beautiful things”.- Video Team’s Vixen

So, with or without AI tools, there is no set standard for creativity. Now, what do we do with information? How do we navigate through our journey of being a creative oh dear Obi-Wan?

Well, there are 2 options, either we shield our juniors by harnessing their skills and decide when they’re allowed to use these AI tools (because we don’t want them to become too reliant). Or maybe… just let them use it.

“… I would use AI when I first learned how to be creative because I believe AI tools can enhance efficiency, and I believe it will be a leading trend in the future AI world, it’s important that we learn and utilise AI tools to enhance on our creativity”. -Design Diva

“… explore AI applications in their work and encourage cross-functional projects to enhance creativity together with their thinking/research, not replace it. As a lead, always ensure that AI integration doesn’t disrupt established creative processes but rather enhances them, as we can use Chat GPT/Mid Journey to generate a lot of ideas/artwork for us, but it won’t be our final artwork”. -Creative Connoisseur

If we believe that AI is just a tool, we as creatives should embrace it and show that nothing can truly replace the human touch.

Here’s a TL: DR on how to enhance that creative growth:

  1. Embrace collaboration between you as an individual, AI and other people (even those “not necessarily creative”).
    Explore how AI can be a creative collaborator rather than a solo performer. Work hand-in-hand with AI tools to enhance your ideas, drawing inspiration from the symbiotic relationship between human creativity and technological innovation.
  2. Experiment and iterate just because you enjoy it or it’s scary.
    Keep the spirit of experimentation alive. Use AI as a tool for trying out new ideas, but don’t shy away from the messy, iterative nature of the creative process. Embrace the learning that comes from trial and error, allowing for growth and discovery.
  3. Think of how you and your work can cultivate the human connection.
    Infuse your work with genuine emotions and personal experiences that AI lacks. Use storytelling and human connections to create depth and resonance in your creative endeavours, ensuring your unique perspective shines through.

A reminder that In the creative cosmos, there’s no “creative enough.” Embrace collaboration, experiment boldly, and infuse your work with genuine human connection. Whether shielding or letting juniors explore AI, remember, the canvas is yours to paint, and the journey, is an endless celebration of creativity.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Get in touch with us.

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Insight
Oct 11

Trendjacking: A Stroke of Genius or a Total Flop?

Written by Samantha Lim, Digital Content Writer

What is trendjacking?

Trendjacking (aka newsjacking) is a marketing move where brands or organisations jump on an opportunity to join a popular trend or conversation online. This helps to generate buzz and promote their products or services, which is a great way to increase brand visibility. By being relevant to what people are currently talking about, trendjacking aims to capture audiences’ attention and create a memorable impression.

Trendjacking can be done through social media posts, articles, videos, or any other form of content. It is important to get your content distributed across digital channels as these trends have a very short life span. While it can be a powerful tool when executed correctly, it also carries the risk of backfiring if done insensitively.

If you’re new to all of this and want to know more, continue reading!

Benefits of trendjacking

Leveraging trends is a dynamic way to connect and build strong relationships with your audience. To master the art of trendjacking, here are some key principles to follow:

1.  Keep an eye out for upcoming trends

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest news, topics, and social media trends in your industry. Utilise tools like Google Trends, Twitter’s ‘Trends for You,’ Reddit’s ‘Trending Today’ section, and social media listening tools to monitor mentions, hashtags, and industry-related conversations.

2.  Stay relevant to your brand and audience

  • Ensure that your content aligns with your brand values and products. Not every trend is worth jumping on. Authenticity is vital because consumers can easily detect inauthenticity, which can harm your brand’s reputation.

3.  Timing is crucial, be quick on your toes

  • In a crowded digital landscape, many other brands may also be looking to hop on similar trends. Acting quickly gives you a competitive edge, allowing your content to stand out before others saturate the space. However, speed should not compromise authenticity and alignment with your brand values.

How have brands leveraged on trendjacking?

Barbie Trend

The Barbie movie was a long-awaited delight for millennials, creating quite a buzz online ahead of its release on July 21, 2023. This excitement reached a pinnacle with the recent release of a new trailer and a set of movie posters.

To enhance the film’s promotional efforts, Barbie’s team introduced a marketing initiative called the “Barbie Selfie Generator.” This innovative tool allowed fans to immerse themselves in Barbie’s world by inserting pictures onto a Barbie-themed background with customised taglines. This initiative sparked a wave of memes and user-generated content, boosting the film’s online presence.

The Barbie Selfie Generator quickly spread across social media, catching the attention of brands looking for creative collaboration opportunities. They harnessed the Barbie craze to showcase their products and services in an entertaining and interactive way. This feature not only strengthened the bond between the movie and its audience but also sparked creativity within the Barbie community.

For instance, United Overseas Bank (UOB) joined the Barbie Selfie trend, promoting individuality and empowerment on its UOB Lady’s Card Instagram page.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by UOB Lady’s Card (@uobladyscard)

Airbnb x Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse

Besides that, Airbnb also managed to bring back Barbie’s iconic Malibu DreamHouse for an unforgettable experience, hosted by Ken! The collaboration between Barbie and Airbnb has created an opportunity for fans to indulge in a staycation while relieving their childhood dreams. Both brands leveraged this partnership to genuinely connect with their audience, capitalising on the excitement and forging meaningful interactions.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by airbnb (@airbnb)

Oreo – “Dunk in The Dark”

Oreo, the renowned American sandwich cookie brand famous for its chocolate and vanilla cream-filled treats, made a game-changing move in 2013.

During a high-stakes third-quarter battle between American football teams, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans suffered a 34-minute power outage, plunging the stadium into darkness and leaving people confused.

Oreo’s team seized the moment for real-time marketing, crafting and posting a simple tweet on their Twitter account. The tweet featured a dimly-lit Oreo cookie with the words, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The entire concept was designed, executed, and published within just 10 minutes!

Within a day, this tweet garnered around 15,000 retweets and approximately 20,000 likes on Facebook. The “Dunk in The Dark” image also garnered an astounding $525 million in earned media impressions.

Coldplay Trend

When you try your best but you don’t succeed~

Earlier in May, Coldplay (a popular British band) confirmed that they will be having their first concert in Malaysia. However, to the dismay of many, there would only be one show. Amid the rush to grab Coldplay concert tickets, several brands, including Durex, McDonald’s, and others, jumped on the Coldplay bandwagon by creatively incorporating song lyrics or highlighting the challenging ticketing process in their advertisements.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KyoChon 1991 Malaysia (@mykyochon)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KyoChon 1991 Malaysia (@mykyochon)

Bad trendjacking

Leveraging trends and current events can boost your brand’s visibility, but it can go wrong when it becomes distasteful. Here are some situations to avoid:

1. Exploiting tragedy

  • Using tragic events, deaths, polarising politics, or racial sensitivities for marketing can be in poor taste unless your brand genuinely aligns with a related social cause.

2. Inauthentic engagement

  • Joining sensitive conversations solely for promotion is not advisable. It’s better to participate when it serves a meaningful purpose and raises awareness for a cause.

3. Forced trend integration

  • Not every trending topic fits naturally with your brand’s identity. Pushing trending topics into your content can make it seem low-quality and irrelevant, discouraging audience engagement.

Here are some examples of trendjacking that did not work:

luiga

Iuiga, a local homeware and lifestyle retailer, faced public criticism for a campaign featuring porcelain teapots named after Inuka, Singapore’s last polar bear. Many found it insensitive for the company to profit from Inuka’s name and legacy, given that Inuka had been euthanised by the Singapore Zoo.

In honour of the joy and delight Inuka has brought us, we’ve decided to name our porcelain tea series after him….

Posted by IUIGA on Thursday, 26 April 2018

Cinnabon

Actress Carrie Fisher is best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars. More iconic still was her hair rolls, resembling two giant pastries. Shortly after her passing, Cinnabon attempted to associate their product with her by tweeting, “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” This move backfired, casting the company in a negative light. They proceeded to apologise and deleted the post.

Final Thoughts

In summary, trendjacking can serve as a valuable tool for brands to engage with their audience and boost their visibility. However, it should always be approached with authenticity, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of your audience’s preferences. Before you hop onto it, it is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Discover how we helped our clients trendjack! Time Internet, EVA Airways Malaysia, and Hair Care Bear Malaysia.

Want to help your brand jump on current trends?

Get in touch.

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Insight
Aug 30

AI Image Generators: Allies or adversaries to creatives?

Written by Karmen Lee, Senior Digital Content Writer

AI stands as the enigmatic guest within our digital realm, a topic that continues to captivate our conversations. Last month, my fellow colleagues explored ChatGPT. Now, allow me to unravel the world of AI image generators—are they allies or adversaries to the creative minds in Kingdom Digital? Read on to find out.

To begin, I asked ChatGPT to introduce its generative AI counterpart.

There we go! ChatGPT basically summarised it.

AI-generated images are hard to miss due to the availability of various AI text-to-image generators like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, and more. These generators can fashion photorealistic images from text prompts in mere minutes. A single text prompt unlocks boundless visual ideas for creatives—providing inspiration, expanding imagination, introducing novelties, and bringing visions to life.

The Kingdom on AI Image Generators

AI image generators can be a potent tool that augments human creativity, opening up a world of new possibilities for creatives who craft brand ads. However, the question persists: Can they entirely replace creatives?

Our designers view AI not as adversarial, but as collaborative. In fact, they are already integrating these generators into their creative workflow, and here’s what they think:

Designers embracing AI will surpass those who don’t in this ever-evolving advertising industry. By letting AI handle the drudgery, we can focus more on creative ideation.

Leong Wai Cheng,
Sr. Digital Designer

AI is like our virtual sidekick. It can simplify the technical aspects, but the true creativity in ads—the big ideas, the emotional resonance—all of this originates from us, humans.

Harris Daniel,
Sr. Digital Designer

AI is only as creative as we are because we’re the prompter, the designer. So instead of perceiving that AI will replace us, we should take advantage of it.

Adrian Low,
Motion Graphic Designer

Designers embracing AI will surpass those who don’t in this ever-evolving advertising industry. By letting AI handle the drudgery, we can focus more on creative ideation.

Leong Wai Cheng,
Sr. Digital Designer

AI is like our virtual sidekick. It can simplify the technical aspects, but the true creativity in ads—the big ideas, the emotional resonance—all of this originates from us, humans.

Harris Daniel,
Sr. Digital Designer

AI is only as creative as we are because we’re the prompter, the designer. So instead of perceiving that AI will replace us, we should take advantage of it.

Adrian Low,
Motion Graphic Designer

  • AI image generators are regarded as a valuable tool for kickstarting and streamlining the creative process.
  • They create different images each time, aiding creatives in crafting unique visuals that bolster brand identity and competitiveness.
  • AI image generators can help to create storyboards, mood boards, and visual aids for brainstorming sessions.
  • They can rapidly transform conceptual ideas into lifelike depictions.
  • Although AI is proficient in generating images, achieving perfection is not guaranteed, often requiring the use of other image editing software for refinement.
  • Creatives are encouraged to train AI using their own work, unlocking further possibilities in image generation and addressing ethical considerations.

AI Image Generators vs. The Kingdom

To demonstrate the capabilities (and limitations) of AI image generators, I’ve enlisted the help of Cheng, Harris, and Adrian to conduct an experiment.

Each designer will create their visual from scratch. Then, challenge their chosen AI image generator to recreate the same visual concept they aim to achieve. Our Head of Creative, Alicia Thein, Sr. Digital Art Director, Anson Chiam, and Digital Art Director, Sook Yan, will comment on the visuals as if they are overseeing work.

Alicia’s Comment:

Cheng’s visual effectively captures isolation within the doughnut-filled cosmos, whereas the AI-generated version presents a sci-fi galaxy with enhanced detail and depth. This highlights the potential collaboration between our designers and AI, where AI can play a part in bringing forth new perspectives.

Anson’s Comment:

The AI-generated visual caught my eye at first. Yet, Harris’ version emphasises the car’s uniqueness better. The beam emanating from the headlights effectively showcases its ability to drive on rugged beaches. The overall look also appears to be more realistic.

Sook Yan’s Comment:

Adrian’s visual cleverly blends two distinct styles for the castle’s look. In contrast, the AI-generated version lacks Adrian’s envisioned concept and appears to be more generic, but its intricate landscape details are impressive.

Final Thoughts

New tools bring forth new power. Yet, AI image generators don’t replace discernment. They are not yet mature enough to make judgments. These generators rely purely on databases of pre-existing text and images to make decisions. Hence, the onus still rests on creatives to decide which ads require a human touch and which can be entrusted to AI.

The marvel of our era lies in human-AI collaboration, with AI image generators as our creative allies, amplifying our capabilities within the realm of advertising. To unleash AI’s creative potential, it’s essential that we embrace it and evolve alongside its development to advance the advertising industry.

Check out Projek MY Malaysia, where we assisted our client CelcomDigi in bringing Malaysians’ visions for the nation to life this National and Malaysia Day with generative AI.

If you’re eager to learn more about the utilisation of AI in creating creative visuals for your brand, get in touch.

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Insight
Jul 25

AI Takes Over Kingdom Digital:
How we don’t need writers… Or do we?

Written by two writers: Nadhine Teo & Audrey Tan

Introducing our competition, ChatGPT

Hello! I’m a writer. You may remember me from the article, Aesthetics & Marketing.

For this article, Audrey (who you may remember from the Communities article) and I are going to delve into the world of AI, specifically ChatGPT. But instead of me, I’ll get ChatGPT to tell us what it is.

There we go! Now that we know what ChatGPT is, let’s move on to the next part.

ChatGPT vs. The Kingdom

We have enlisted the help of a fellow Sr. Content Writer, Charmaine Loh, and our Head of Content, Celeste Song, to conduct an experiment.

Each writer will go up against ChatGPT in a challenge. Our Head of Content will then comment on the content as if she’s overseeing work that will be posted on our brand pages.

Let the challenges begin!

The Prompt:

Can you write a social media caption for a skincare brand. The product highlighted is a Vitamin C Serum infused with natural citrus and apple extracts. The caption should target women from the ages 25 till 45 years old. The tone of the caption should be fresh, charismatic, and knowledgeable.

Answer B is ChatGPT’s answer.
It’s too long-winded and repetitive. There is no need for the second paragraph.

The Prompt:

Please write a caption for a Korean fried chicken brand. The target audience are 18 – 45, the tone is K-Pop, exciting, and playful. The caption should talk about the brand USP: full-service restaurant, less batter to ensure crispy, tasty, less oily, and fatty chickens, and imported sauces from Korea.

Answer A is ChatGPT’s answer. Both sound good, but Answer A is too formal for any Korean fried chicken brand that normally targets the younger crowd whose main interests revolve around K-culture. Answer A is also too generic. Answer B is more layman and relatable to K-Pop fans. I doubt ChatGPT would know how to use the word ‘chikin’ in replacement of ‘chicken’.

The Prompt:

Okay, let’s say you’re a content writer in a digital media agency. You need to come up with taglines for an oat milk campaign made for Malaysian kids aged 7 to 12. It needs to sound fun, youthful, and energetic.
Give me three options please!

This is a hard one because each sentence is so short. I think Answer B is generated by ChatGPT because the sentences are lengthier than those in Answer A — and I have no idea what Oat Blast and OatZing mean.

And there you have it, but we’ll need a bit more insight than that, don’t you think?

The Kingdom on AI

Here are some overall thoughts from our Content Team:

  • ChatGPT is seen as a helpful tool for starting and structuring writing.
  • It can assist with checking and refining copy.
  • While useful for translations and expanding vocabulary, it may not always be completely accurate, requiring manual double-checking.
  • Our teammates have used ChatGPT for copywriting inspiration, overcoming creative blocks, and refining ideas.
  • Our team emphasises the importance of not becoming overly reliant on ChatGPT and maintaining their own creative abilities.
  • ChatGPT can be utilised for generating overviews, outlines, and long-form content.
  • It is viewed as an AI partner for conversations and prompt-based idea generation.
  • Our team finds value in using ChatGPT for formal emails, pitching ideas, gaining different perspectives, and eliminating repetitive copy.

Final Thoughts

Crafting attention-grabbing copy is a challenging task but with ChatGPT, it becomes easier to generate a large number of options to find the perfect one. Training ChatGPT to think like a writer and providing information on tone, manner, and prompts is tedious but will eventually prove to be useful in saving time and exploring ideas.

The overall verdict is that while ChatGPT is fast in generating copy, it still needs a writer to prompt and guide its output.

In summary, ChatGPT is a valuable tool in generating numerous options for copy and streamlining the creative process. However, it is important to note that it requires a writer to achieve the desired results.

If you’re seeking to learn more about the usage of AI in generating content for your brand, get in touch.

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Insight
Jul 14

New Social Media Features: Slay or Nay?

Article written by Elaine Leong, Digital Content Writer

In the fast-paced digital world, social media platforms are constantly evolving and introducing new features to enhance user experiences and keep them engaged and entertained. While some of these features are hailed as game changers, others may receive mixed reactions. Let’s face it, not all new features were quickly spread around the world, like the ‘Add Yours’ Instagram Story sticker which is still in use.

Now we’ll delve into some of the latest social media features and assess if they are worth a go or just a U-turn for your brand:

Community managers would love this! Instagram recently rolled out a new feature that allows users to comment with GIFs.1 This feature adds an extra touch of fun and emotional expressiveness to conversations, making it easier than ever to share reactions and engage with your fans. If your brand has a mascot or fictional character, like MyTOWN’s Goosey, this enhancement will definitely slay as it could humanise your brand’s tone even better to create a more dynamic community.

Source: Lactel Malaysia Instagram replied to a fan with a GIF to enhance the interaction.2

Pro tip: For brands that are eager to drive social media excitement, you can take it to the next level by creating a unique set of GIFs to make the interaction more memorable while reinforcing your brand identity.

Have you ever realised that some Instagram photo posts come with background music (BGM)? This feature3 has been available on Instagram since November 2022. Now they continue to push the boundaries of creativity by testing this enhancement with carousel posts.

Source: Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram announced the upcoming new feature.4

This feature allows us to pair visual content with music, enabling a more immersive and engaging viewing experience. Could you imagine Disney adding “Under the Sea” BGM to a photo post of “The Little Mermaid” movie poster or Paddle Pop adding the “Super Duper Yummy” jingle5 to a reposted UGC (user-generated content) photo? By making good use of this feature, you can definitely make your brand sound more light-hearted and fun! It’s also where the UGC opportunity comes in when people start to notice your brand and hop on the trends by using your unique BGM or advertising jingle.

Yet everything has its pros and cons. The volume of audio is at its maximum. Hence, it might give your fans a heart attack even though it stops their thumbs from scrolling.

Source: Users commented on the announcement post of Instagram’s @Creators.3

Traditionally, Instagram limited users to include a single link in their bio. However, with the introduction of multiple links in the bio (maximum 5 links), brands and influencers can now direct users to different destinations without using a third-party landing page that can contain multiple links. This enhancement is worth a try to simplify navigation, enhance user experience, and enable better conversion opportunities!

We can see that not only us have already made the first move:

Do you ever wish you could control video speed in social media apps? Well, a little bird told Twitter! They recently introduced video playback speed controls, allowing users to adjust the playback speed of videos on their feed.8

Source: There is a range of playback speed options to choose from via the video player on Twitter.9

This enhancement is undoubtedly a fun feature for brands to make good use of as it offers greater control over the viewing experience, enabling users to watch videos at their preferred pace. It can help to improve engagement and community communication with some interesting interactive content.

Pro Tip: Utilise this enhancement to create multiple viewing experiences with only one video. For example, a ‘What You Think VS. What Really Happened’ campaign from a logistic company to show audiences how effective their dedicated customer service team is. The video includes some hidden messages that can only be seen when watching it at 2x speed.

For those actively using Xiaohongshu, did you realise there is an exciting new feature called 咻咻 (Xiu Xiu)?10 This innovative feature allows users to share moments with others in real time by taking photos. It’s similar to the AirDrop feature but without any limitations of the operating system.

With this enhancement, brands or influencers can engage with their communities through real-time interaction, especially at an exclusive event or on-ground campaign. It could bring a new level of engagement and authenticity, fostering meaningful connections between brands and audiences.

Conclusion

As social media platforms evolve, new features emerge, presenting both opportunities and considerations for brands. However, it’s essential to carefully evaluate each feature’s relevance to your brand and audiences before diving in.

If you’re looking for help leveraging these features strategically to unlock new opportunities for community engagement and brand awareness, get in touch with us.

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Insight
Jun 26

Modern-Day Aesthetics
& Marketing

Article written by Nadhine Teo, Digital Content Lead

What are aesthetics?

First things first, we are not referring to aesthetic procedures that usually come up when you search the terms ‘aesthetic’ and ‘marketing’ together. We are talking about the aesthetics recently popularised by TikTok1, defined as a particular style or visual appearance that people adopt and appreciate.

Image Source: Pinterest

Aesthetics have been a significant part of human culture for a long time. Many have emerged throughout history although recently, there has been a surge in the popularity of various aesthetics among Gen Z. This is partly due to the pandemic. Lockdowns have given them the time to explore their identities with minimal influence of immediate friend groups and having access to the internet, an open world of information.1

Besides influencing style/fashion choices, aesthetics can also affect the surroundings and personality traits of someone dedicated to an aesthetic, curating their spaces and interests to suit them. Aesthetics can also influence the world views of an individual. For example, Cottagecore2 romanticises and promotes the simplicity of domestic labours and self-sufficiency.2,3

To give you a better picture of aesthetics and the culture that surrounds them, here’s some information on the most popular aesthetics:

Dark Academia

The Dark Academia4 aesthetic is characterised by a love for classic literature, art, and intellectual pursuits. It is usually associated with a moody, introspective vibe and often features vintage clothing, dark colours, and elements of Gothic and Renaissance styles.1,4

Image Source: Pinterest

Y2K

The Y2K5 aesthetic is inspired by early 2000s fashion and pop culture. It is characterised by bright, bold colours, futuristic elements, and a playful whimsical vibe. It often features chunky platform shoes, mini skirts, crop tops, and bold makeup and accessories.1,5

Image Source: Pinterest

Cottagecore

The Cottagecore2 aesthetic is characterised by a love for the simple and natural pleasures of life. It is inspired by rural living and traditional crafts. It also often features flowy and comfortable clothing, soft colours and floral prints, and cozy and rustic interiors. It emphasises a connection to nature and is usually associated with domestic activities like gardening, baking, and mushroom foraging.1,2

Image Source: Pinterest

Other popular aesthetics include Retro/Vintage, K-pop, Vaporwave, and E-girl/E-boy.

How can my brand leverage on aesthetics?

First, you must understand the community surrounding these aesthetics. Learn what appeals to them and why they choose these aesthetics to represent themselves. Then, analyse your brand and determine whether the aesthetic aligns with your brand’s vision, beliefs, look, and feel.

Once you’ve determined the aesthetic, you can create marketing content and campaigns inspired by that aesthetic, building a strong brand image and increasing consumer loyalty.

For example, if you have chosen the Dark Academia4 aesthetic for your brand, you can create content and ads that incorporate elements such as tweed, vintage styles, and classic literature references. This can create a sense of affinity with the aesthetic and attract consumers who are interested in this style.

However, as simple as it may seem, it is crucial for you to be genuine in your use of aesthetics. Avoid appropriating or commodifying certain styles or cultures as consumers can pick up on the inauthenticity. Using an aesthetic in a way that is forced or insincere can damage a brand’s image and reputation.

How have brands leveraged on aesthetics?

Lirika Matoshi

Lirika Matoshi6 is a fashion designer who has gained popularity for her whimsical and dreamy designs, incorporating elements of the Cottagecore aesthetic. Her designs appeal to those who appreciate the gentle and ethereal qualities of the Cottagecore aesthetic. Her viral Strawberry Dress7 has been seen as a symbol of the Cottagecore aesthetic with its soft colours and romantic, whimsical design.

Image Source: Pinterest, Lirika Matoshi (@lirika.matoshi, Instagram)

Selkie

Selkie8 (not to be confused with Selkiecore) is a fashion brand known for its whimsical and playful designs that feature bright colours and unique textures. Its designs are inspired by vintage fashion with a modern and eclectic twist. This brand is also known for its signature wrap dresses, puffed sleeves, and ruffled details—elements that are often associated with several aesthetics like Royalcore and Cottagecore.

Image Source: Pinterest, Selkie (@selkie, Instagram)

Aesop

Aesop9 is known for its minimalist and apothecary-inspired aesthetic. Its packaging is simple and understated. Their brown glass bottles and black-and-white labels act as a tribute to traditional apothecary bottles. Overall, the brand appeals to those who appreciate minimalist design and natural, high-quality ingredients, gaining a loyal following among skincare enthusiasts.10,11

Image Source: Pinterest

NewJeans

NewJeans12 is a Korean girl group composed of five members. Their debut in 2022 created waves with its strong Y2K influence. From the songs to their looks and concept visuals, the group maintains an early 2000s feel—mixing nostalgia with modern elements. This helped differentiate them from the oversaturation of K-pop girl groups (often criticised for looking/sounding the same).13

Image Source: Pinterest, NewJeans (@NewJeans_ADOR, Twitter)

Final Thoughts

Aesthetics have the potential to be a powerful tool for brands, not just beauty or fashion related ones but anything that has a lifestyle surrounding it. For example, a coffee brand can leverage on the Dark Academia4 aesthetic—linking it to late night reading or studying sessions.

Aesthetics can be used to connect with consumers and build a strong brand identity, but it is important to approach the use of aesthetics thoughtfully and with respect to the cultural and historical contexts of which they originated.

A downside to consider when associating closely with an aesthetic is that you may be limiting a brand to one identity, look, and community. If your brand is too closely associated, audiences might not be able to view your brand image and products outside of the aesthetic. So, you must be smart with the structure and variety of your content.

Want to see how your brand can leverage on aesthetics?

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