Gone Global: 4 Southeast Asian Influencers You Need To Know About

Photo credit: Braden Jarvis

Gone Global is a Collabary series that aims to study the role of influencer marketing in regions outside of Europe and the West. By exploring influencers, campaigns, and trends in markets such as China, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and India, we can not only find inspiration from the exciting ideas coming out of some of the most lively and expanding economies in the world, but celebrate their cultures and the diversity of human creativity.

Southeast Asia is a subregion in Asia known for its cultural and ethnic diversity, tropical weather and as an enticing holiday destination. There are eleven countries in total that make up the region, with the most populated being Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. Having long played a role in the globalised trading economy, the economies of the nations in Southeast Asia have developed at a rapid rate in the 21st century due to foreign investment and tourism.

With a population of 664 million, appealing to the region’s media-savvy has never been more important. Not only are 63% of the population online, but 61% use social media, while 56% use social media on their phones. These are startling figures in comparison to Northern Europe, where while 95% of the population is online, only 67% use social media and 59% use social media on their phones.

In this post, the seventh in our Gone Global explorations of influencer marketing after the Middle East, China, Latin America, India, Russia, Africa and Australia, we have again chosen to cover four local influencers that we feel represent the most interesting and educational facets of marketing trends in the country and why they are worth paying close attention to.

 

1. Chi Pu, Vietnam

chi pu instagram Collabary Photo credit: Instagram profile Chi Pu

Chi Pu is a Vietnamese actress, pop singer, and influencer. She found fame after competing in a Miss Teen Vietnam competition at the age of 16 and later leveraged the exposure to propel her towards mainstream success. Chi’s online presence has long been instrumental with success – in 2016 she was the top followed Vietnamese personality on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram – where she currently has 3.5 million followers.

Chi Pu has gradually built a name for herself as a film star and an activist. While she has recently launched her own clothing collection, in the past she has collaborated with brands as varied as Pepsi, Google, and Heineken to promote their products online. More recent campaigns have seen her as a brand ambassador for Dove Vietnam and Adidas.

chi-pu-tiktok-Collabary

Photo credit: TikTok profile Chi Pu

While Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular social media sites in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, Chi Pu has recently embraced Tik-Tok, amassing 379k followers to her account. With an estimated 190 million users, Southeast Asia is home to nearly 40 percent of Tik Tok’s global users, making it the perfect place to share an influencer marketing campaign. As the platform is embraced globally, Southeast Asia’s relationship with the app is well worth studying in order to stay ahead of the curve.

 

2. Iqbaal Ramadhan, Indonesia

iqbaal ramadhan Collabary Photo credit: Instagram profile Iqbaal Ramadhan

Iqbaal Ramadhan is an Indonesian actor and singer who rose to fame as being a member of a local boyband. With a following of 9.5 million on Instagram, he is admired by his fans not only for his creative achievements but for being a role model in his academic achievements. Outside of his professional work, he has also been an ambassador for a local startup company that focuses on educating Indonesia’s students.

Iqbaal mostly collaborates with local or Asian brands, using his widespread fame across the country to endorse products that are unique to the region. Whether it’s by being the face of the Chinese smartphone company RealMe’s online campaign, appearing in coffee company Caffino’s campaigns or promoting the JoyDay ice cream brand through IGTV videos and posts, Iqbaal’s reputation for being kind yet sensible has made him the perfect ambassador for products with mass appeal. 

2019 is one of the most exciting times for influencers like Iqbaal based in Indonesia. This year, Indonesia has been highlighted as the fastest-growing digital ad market in the world, growing by 26% in 2019. Indonesia is also experiencing the fastest mobile advertising growth in 2019, with each market rising 34% year over year. On top of this, Indonesia will see programmatic video ad spend double in 2019, making it the fastest-growing market for the format in the world. As users in Southeast Asian countries are using online media more than tv and radio, Indonesia is spearheading the influencer marketing revolution.

 

3. Winter Chee, Singapore 

winter chee Collabary

Photo credit: Instagram profile Winter Chee

Winter Chee is a Singaporean fashion, beauty and travel blogger who has gained a loyal following of fans across her home country for her bubbly personality, beautifully considered Instagram feed – which has 23k followers – and her YouTube tutorials. While she doesn’t have as many followers as the other influencers on this list, Winter represents the important micro- tier of influencers that are gradually being embraced by companies for their higher engagement rates.

Winter often collaborates with well-known international and Asian beauty brands, frequently collaborating with brands like Loreal, Innisfree, and Sephora. More recently she has acted as a brand ambassador for Bose headphones, proving that her appeal is not just in the beauty sector but also lifestyle products.

A recent study found that buyers of beauty products in Southeast Asia prefer influencers to celebrities for beauty-related collaborations due to their higher engagement, ROI and credibility. Another survey of businesses found that 80 percent of respondents believed influencers are pivotal in shaping opinions and buying decisions of consumers, adding that for every $1.30 spent on beauty influencers, brands received an average return of $11.80.

With Euromonitor Research reporting that the region now accounts for 32 percent of global beauty and a personal care market that is projected to grow 6.7 percent in the next five years, influencers are more than likely the key to a beauty campaign’s success in the region.

 

4. Davika Hoorne, Thailand

davika hoorne Collabary

Photo credit: Instagram profile Davika Hoorne

Davika Hoorne is one of Thailand’s leading actresses, models, and Instagram influencers, having amassed a following of 10 million users on the platform. Davika rose to fame as a teenager, playing the lead role in a local television program. As her career and star power has progressed, she has caught the attention of international fashion labels whilst adding her voice to important philanthropic initiatives by UNICEF.

Her partnerships are varied, with both local and foreign brands utilizing her national appeal to sell their products. While L’Oreal, Nike, Gucci and Guess count themselves among Western collaborators, she has also been an ambassador for the aforementioned Chinese smartphone brand RealMe. Recently, she also helped promote Zilingo, a Singapore-based e-commerce website operating mainly throughout Europe.

The use of influencers with both low and high follower counts is important when appealing to Southeast Asian audiences. The region’s e-commerce market is currently valued at $38 billion, having grown at a tremendous rate since it was valued at $5.5 billion in 2015. With 10% of Southeast Asia’s population using Instagram compared with 8% of Europe’s population, the platform is one of the most powerful assets local and international companies have in advertising to local audiences. 

 

Summary

By taking note of influencer marketing trends in Southeast Asia, brands can ensure that their methods of marketing in the region are culturally relevant and effective. To summarize:

• 63% of Southeast Asia’s population of 664 million are online, while 61% use social media.

• Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are the most popular social media sites in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. However, with an estimated 190 million users, Southeast Asia is home to nearly 40 percent of Tik Tok’s global users. 

• Indonesia has been highlighted as the fastest-growing digital ad market in the world, growing by 26% in 2019. Indonesia is also experiencing the fastest mobile advertising growth in 2019, with each market rising 34% year over year. On top of this, Indonesia will see programmatic video ad spend double in 2019, making it the fastest-growing market for the format in the world. 

• Users in Southeast Asian countries are using online media more than tv and radio.

• Buyers of beauty products in Southeast Asia prefer influencers to celebrities for beauty-related collaborations. 80 percent of businesses believe influencers are pivotal in shaping opinions and buying decisions of consumers. For every $1.30 spent on beauty influencers, brands received an average return of $11.80.

• Southeast Asia accounts for 32 percent of global beauty sales. Its personal care market is projected to grow by 6.7 percent in the next five years.

• The region’s e-commerce market is currently valued at $38 billion, having grown at a tremendous rate since it was valued at $5.5 billion in 2015. 

 

Missed the first part of our Gone Global series? Find a collection of the most striking influencer marketing trends from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) states in our white paper here.