New Mumbrella360 Asia sessions: Industry lie-detector test, Mastercard, Grab, creativity

A polygraph test on leading industry figures to find out how effectively they are spending ad dollars is among the latest sessions to be announced for Mumbrella360 Asia. The three-day media and marketing conference will take place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on November 7-9.

The sister event in Australia attracted more than 3,300 people when it was held in Sydney in July and has just been shortlisted again – for the seventh consecutive year – in the ‘Conference of the Year’ category at the Australian Event Awards – having won the award on two occasions in 2016 and 2012.

So with viewability, brand safety and transparency being number one on the agenda of all those working within media and marketing, what better way to find out how effectively your ad dollar is being spent than a lie detector test with key industry figures participating?

In somewhat of a conference first for Singapore, a panel of media and marketing leaders will be connected to a polygraph machine and face questions from moderator Dominic Powers – in a session titled: ‘The lie detector test: where did my ad dollar go?’ Powers is a strategic advisor to the board at ad-tech company CtrlShift and a 20-year industry veteran, as well as being an investor and consultant. He was previously Epsilon global managing director.

The session will be an in-depth examination of the digital advertising ecosystem, the premise being that it is optimised for intermediaries – big agencies and ad tech purveyors – to benefit from programmatic, for example, at the expense of marketers and publishers. Live polygraph results will be shown on the big screen as proceedings unfold before the audience in this session curated by CtrlShift.

Li will be among those gamely taking a lie detector test on the effectiveness of ad dollar spend

Powers will expose the stark reality of how each media dollar is sliced and siphoned by the various parties along the advertising supply chain as he sees it, leaving a mere 30-40 per cent for the publisher.

He will also highlight the necessity of each party in the chain and, ultimately, throw the gauntlet to each member of the panel to prove that they provide real value and use client media dollars efficiently and effectively. To each panelist, he will pose the question: “Where do your clients media dollars go?”

The panel – which will also explore revenue streams, the programmatic supply chain and media agency scrutiny – will include OMD Worldwide CEO for APAC Stephen Li, Pixels Asia CEO and co-founder Kevin Huang, Mediacom Australia chief operating officer Willie Pang, Media Publishers Association of Singapore president Olivier Burlot (also CEO at Heart Media) and CtrlShift CEO Deepika Nikhilender.

Next up is an interesting case study from a global player in the session ‘Creating brand credibility outside of your natural space’. The Mastercard brand story with the IPO, major sports sponsorships and ‘Priceless’ advertising campaigns will be familiar to many. However, most people will be unaware that the company has in recent times moved to an agile mindset. With the ‘Internet of Things’ and technological disruption, it had no choice but to innovate and build brand credibility outside the natural ‘payment function’ space.

Goldingham will set out how Mastercard marketing has moved to an agile approach

Learn the lessons from leveraging sponsorship assets, segmenting content based on consumer passions, the adoption of social media influencers and creative that embraces storytelling above and beyond the ‘Priceless’ tagline. How difficult is it to align B2B product platforms with brand promise? And how do you maintain consistency and coherence of messaging in a market as diverse as Asia? All will be revealed when Deborah Goldingham, Mastercard head of marketing for South East Asia, delivers her presentation during this session curated by Mumbrella Asia.

Moving to another brand with plans for further global expansion, less than five years ago the app-based taxi company Grab was an unknown start-up on a mission to improve transportation and take on the big players in that space including Uber.

Today, it is the market leader in South East Asia and one of the region’s most valuable home-grown brands. The firm recently announced a US$2.5bn funding round – the largest ever such deal in this part of Asia.

Goh “left a cushy corporate job” to join Grab back when nobody had heard of it four years ago

And as of August, Grab had more than 55 million app downloads and 1.2 million drivers across 87 cities in seven countries – and was still expanding quickly.

But how did they grow so fast? And what marketing strategies were employed to spread the word like wildfire? Did traditional advertising play a role? How about content marketing? Or influencers? Find out in the session titled ‘Grab: The journey from start-up to billion dollar unicorn company in just four years’.

Hear from the Grab group vice-president of marketing Cheryl Goh, who in her own words “left a cushy corporate job” to join the company back when nobody had heard of it four years ago, as she takes us behind the curtain to reveal the recipe for success – in this session curated by Mumbrella Asia.

Meanwhile, Havas chief creative officer for South East Asia Valerie Madon plans to evaluate the sea change in the media landscape and consumer attitudes over the last decade thanks to the dominance of mobile, data and social media platforms. These elements have become mainstream while the television, print and radio gatekeepers of yesteryear have witnessed a decline in their power and prominence.

The creative thought process in the advertising industry has not changed in the last 150 years, argues Madon

Consumers are now time-poor more so than ever before and millennial behaviour is fickle when it comes to brands. Despite these developments, the creative thought process – to capture people’s attention – in the advertising industry does not seem to have changed over the last 150 years.

What does it mean to have a ‘big idea’ today when attention spans are short? Perhaps, the creative that is smaller in scale but faster in execution is more relevant than a campaign that is in development and planning for six months to a year. Is testing even relevant now when everything is in beta-mode? And how can marketers change approach to keep up?

Through analysis of campaigns and deep-dive case studies, this session – ‘Don’t forget the data: It’s time to rethink the creative process in advertising’ – will recommend strategies to bring the creative process screaming and kicking into the 21st century. This session will also be curated by Mumbrella Asia.

Further content announcements will follow in the coming weeks and months so keep an eye on the website for updates and sign up to our daily newsletter to ensure you are among the first to hear of new speakers and sessions.

For further information on the conference and to take advantage of our earlybird ticket offer – a three-day conference pass for just $940 (including a saving of $195 on the normal ticket price) – go to the Mumbrella360 Asia website here.

And for information on the sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at the event, contact the publisher Dean Carroll on or the head of sales Kris Chan on


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