How Tiger Malaysia & dentsuX uncaged Malaysians from lockdown through Metaverse. A Malaysian first.

This piece was first published in MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 351

The Real Story Behind Creative Metaverse-Culture in Malaysia.

At the end of 2020, the third wave of Covid-19 cases surged in Malaysia, resulting in an extended lockdown. While Malaysians were exasperated by another call to continue ‘staying at home’ they were also bracing for the fact that live events and year-end festivities will no longer be an option.

But Tiger Malaysia and dentsuX weren’t ready for another period of sombreness.

“We refused to let Malaysians wither away just like that and we were also not in favour of jumping into the bandwagon of livestream events”, said Joyce, Marketing Manager of Tiger Malaysia.

Together with dentsuX and their creative partners – Tiger Malaysia went on a mission to create an ecosystem that enables the different layers of Tiger’s stakeholders. The challenge was however to reconnect Malaysians with the brand.

“We mutually agreed that we should not be jumping into the bandwagon of ‘livestream events’. Malaysians were glued to their digital devices to stay connected, and entertained, but also exposed to the same type of content,” said Hemanth Jayaraman, Partner and Agency Brand Lead of dentsuX.

“Malaysians at large suffered the hit of the pandemic, consumers were hungry for social engagements, most food traders were not able to sustain their businesses, it was a tough time for all of us,” Joyce added.

All the brand wanted to do for Malaysians is to bring back the excitement.

Leveraging the single unifying factor that brings Malaysians together – and Tiger Malaysia’s strong hold in the Asian Street Food – dentsuX took up the challenge to craft the first of its kind solution, a diverse media architecture that connected internal and external stakeholders.

To avoid the on-going ‘media fatigue’, dentsuX devised a plan to not only dominate attention but also keep the audience engaged to the brand. Together with Reprise Malaysia, the team brought together Tiger’s partners – from logistics, entertainment, e-hailing, and food into an omnichannel of possibilities.

For 5 months, the radical collaboration crafted a seamless architecture that encompassed a multiverse of experience, simulation, AR, and commerce that connected consumers and traders.

In November 2020, Malaysians were introduced to Tiger’s First Virtual Street Food Festival.

From left to right: Prabhat Taneja, Joanne Wong, Joyce Lim, Hemanth Jayaraman

“Some also called it the world’s first fully-immersive, 3D online street food festival experience – where consumers customized their very own avatar, played online games, and interacted with other players – while indulging in delectable street food varieties and ice-cold Tiger Beers from the comfort of their homes, it was an omniverse of gratification,” said Joyce.

“The excitement was back, in the form of Metaverse – before it was even termed as the metaverse,” Hemanth joked.

The first-ever interactive Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival in 2020 eventually went on to set a benchmark, reaching over 38 million people, 280,000 virtual visits, and a 41% uplift in e-commerce sales.

However, the success of 2020 brought the team a brand-new challenge.

“Interactive virtual events became a ‘thing’, and the challenge, which was actually within us, was to be bigger, bolder,” added Joyce.

In 2021, the partnership identified an epic collision between street food and an integral part of street culture – streetwear. 

As the only Asian beer brand in the category, Tiger took the lead to engage and indulge consumers by connecting their passion points to deliver a 360 experience of Malaysian street culture – which this time included a collaboration with renowned local streetwear brands to curate street food inspired streetwear apparels that were sold in the Hype Store within the virtual event.

The campaign captured the imaginations of the masses: Tiger Virtual Street Food Festival 2021 sales increased by 53.3%, with over 130 million impressions delivered digitally.

While the Metaverse is still a mystery to many, we know there are endless possibilities to reach. We know the powerhouse of Tiger and dentsuX, is capable of continuously set benchmarks in the industry.

“We are not about just being pioneers at something, we collaborate with our brand partners, share their values and work towards continuously exciting the market with data driven solutions,” said Hemanth.

“At dentsu, we focus on solutions to solve our client’s business challenges and we celebrate the entrepreneur spirit. This a classic story of never giving up when faced with adversity and how breakthrough creative ideas can only be formed through true partnerships with great clients. Through our focus on the futurescape and understanding people and their behaviour, we’ve managed to connect people with brands on a deeper, emotional level. Our partnership with Tiger has given us the opportunity to push the boundary beyond traditional digital and advertising to create the never before,” said Kien, CEO of dentsu Malaysia.

Tiger’s Street Food Festival was recognised and awarded by the Malaysian Media Awards (MSA) this year

Best use of Influencer
Marketing for
Tiger Beer   

Best use of Media
Collaboration for Tiger Beer

Best use of Innovation in Media for
Tiger Beer

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