World record in innovation by Etika with first personalised magazine cover!

By: Malati Siniah

It was the anniversaries of two brands, Etika Holdings, which carries Malaysia’s most beloved beverage brands and Malaysia’s key trade publisher MARKETING Magazine. Together both brands created publishing history which bridged the divide between digital and print recently.

It all started with a brave and bold idea from Etika who posed the question, “What if we could wake  up the industry by creating something that has never been attempted before, the world’s first personalised cover delivered to 3,000 of the movers and shakers in Malaysia’s advertising and marketing ecosystem?”

Not afraid to push the envelope, a bold idea such as this is not uncommon for Etika who has made several innovative media innovations of late. Including the partnership with The Star to create a special jacket with an LED botton that you could switch on, a game changing Drone Hunt mobile game for Mountain Dew and who could forget the constant stream of videos online which came from surprised 7-Eleven customers who heard the Wonda Coffee jingle when opening the store’s fridge door.

Spearheading this bold initiative from Etika was Santharuban, Vice President of Marketing who shared,
“It’s never been done before, but I am sure we can find ways around it” were the exact words from Ham when I first asked him if a personalized cover was possible. Sure enough, he and his team did find a way around it! Kudos to the marketing magazine team for rolling this out, it surely was not easy and required a lot of hard work and resources which Ham and his team put into this project!”

This transformative marketing idea by Etika, a world publishing first, was executed by MARKETING, magazine and supported by Etika’s agency ENTROPIA.   
The initiative was kick-started by a massive industry-wide recruitment campaign to source the right visuals and personal information making each reader smile when reading their personalised letters from Etika. Upon receiving their personalised copies, pictures of these special edition covers went viral.

“This is the first time in our 20 years of publishing we have undertaken a project of this scale, from content to production and distribution. Etika inspired us to bring the art of personalised marketing to life to thousands of our readers. A true world record in publishing history. It took us more than 3 months and a dedicated team of 15 experts working almost 24/7 to create this unprecedented record, which would not have been possible without Etika’s quest for excellence,” declared Professor Harmandar Singh, Publisher of MARKETING magazine Malaysia.

Readers were thrilled, and the phone has been ringing off the hook at MARKETING’s offices in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur for more than a month now. 
A catchy caption on the cover gives it all away to the recipients: Image sourced from public domain platforms. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Rest assured this issue you are holding in your hands is the only copy in the world, and for your personal collection. Enjoy!

“Personalization is the key to unlocking brand love but doing it using a conventional medium and at this scale is the Holy Grail.  We, at ENTROPIA  , are proud to be a part of bringing this path-breaking idea to life for Etika, who have always pushed the envelope in innovation and we extend a heartfelt thanks to MARKETING for their painstaking work and patience.  A huge congratulations to ETIKA and MARKETING for their anniversaries and this will be remembered for a long time to come,” said Ramakrishnan C.N., Partner at ENTROPIA.

We also spoke to some industry leaders who shared their thoughts on this groundbreaking initiative…..

“MARKETING’s personalised cover has taken the industry by storm. It is a brilliant idea, and not only showed how relevant individualised content can trigger massive response on social media, but also that impossible is nothing. If there is a will, there is a way. If there is an idea, there is an execution. And with that, hats off to Etika and MARKETING for being brave enough to do the impossible. I love  the way they weaved their brand stories into the narrative. ”
Andreas Vogiatzakis, CEO of Havas Media Group Malaysia

“Another brilliant sleight of hand….and special thanks to the gals and guys at Etika, for yet again pushing the boundaries of advertising and publishing innovation – keep up the great work!” Claudian Navin Stanislaus, Head of Advertising & Promotions,  BABA Products

“It’s funny that you always put the brands you work on in magazines but never expect to see the people behind the work being recognised. Kudos to Etika and MARKETING for recognising all those who pour so much of their heart and soul into brands and advertising.  I’ve always wanted to be on the front cover of a magazine and they made my dream come true.” VJ Anand, Executive Creative Director, BBDO Malaysia

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