Last Week Tonight: Sponsored Content

It’s been wryly observed that people are tuning in more to comedy shows for news. Well, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is a great example and this segment on “Sponsored Content” is especially pertinent for us communications and media professionals (Video NSFW – language).

Let’s call Sponsored Content what it truly is: monetizing one’s integrity and credibility. It especially becomes a problem when it is deceptive, pervasive and wantonly permissive.

In the words of John Oliver:

“The integrity of local news is crucially important, and there is real harm for everyone if that integrity is damaged.”

Rumah Netflix – Now Streaming in Jakarta

Our Netflix spokespersons together with Iko Wais. Source: IDN Times

I was really proud of the team for successfully carrying out our Rumah Netflix (or, Netflix House, in Bahasa Indonesia) in Jakarta yesterday! The experiential event was designed to build brand and product awareness among local media, policy stakeholders, telco and content partners, as well as social media influencers. It was a showcase of our product and service innovations told through the lens of our content offering in an emerging country like Indonesia.

We were also graced with the presence of Iko Wais, one of Indonesia’s top actors, who stars and stunt-coordinates our latest show, Wu Assassins.

Read more about our Rumah Netflix here.

The Hollywood Reporter: Netflix’s Strategy for Southeast Asian Originals Begins to Take Shape

I’m really pleased how this story landed.

Working cross-functionally, I set out to amplify how Netflix is a platform where the treasure trove of stories from Southeast Asia transcend boundaries and are shared with the world in diverse languages and genres. I was keen to highlight Netflix’s ambition in the region and how it is charting new territories by putting the spotlight on talented regional filmmakers and bringing them beyond their home countries.

The story landed very well, and I’m particularly thrilled at the ringing endorsements that came from our creator partners:

“Southeast Asia not only offers new frontiers for streamers in terms of creators and content but providers such as Netflix, which was launched across the region in 2015, are still only really taking root across the region. The idea of giving Thai content expansive global distribution through Netflix really excites me. It opens up many new possibilities in terms of the stories that we want to tell the world and also the kind of genres which we may have not had the opportunities to do either because of budget constraints or local market demands.”

Ekachai Uekrongtham, executive producer at Grammy, Thailand, as well as head of Bravo! Studios, GMM Studios International

The impact of this story went further as well, especially when it was syndicated to other key markets across Asia.

Building Reputation: Trust Deficit in the World of Fake News

With fellow panelists and moderator. Photo credit: PRCA Malaysia

Recently, I was invited to be a panelist to discuss Building Reputation: Trust Deficit in the World of Fake News.

Here are the notes I prepared for myself (with some elaboration, specifically for this blog):

Point 1: The marketplace of reputation is built on the currency of trust.

Reputation provides the shorthand of trust – and becomes the lens by which we view the brand/company. 

However, communication doesn’t occur in a vacuum – this is where the of the media becomes vital. However, there is much to be discussed regarding the role of media as The Fourth Estate.  Which leads to:

Point 2: Fake news is possible because it is possible to distrust the media.

So, in that vacuum, bad actors fill the void with misinformation.

Media plays a key role and it’s why I have a keen interest in the survivability of the media industry. My concern is that with increasing overheads and budgetary pressures, some are veering very close to pay to play models.

Point 3: So what are we doing about this?

  1. Building & Safeguarding our reputation and building trust has become far more important amidst the noise and fake news.
  2. We are also exploring models of becoming our own media channels – owned channels (I.e. newsrooms).

More pics here.

Entrusted with a Thai national treasure: the Tham Luang cave rescue story

Right now, I’m feeling very grateful and humbled to be part of the team entrusted by the amazing kids and Coach, the government, as well as the people of Thailand with a national treasure: the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue.

Earlier today, Netflix announced we are joining forces with SK Global Entertainment (of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Delhi Crime” fame), Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), and Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya (“Bad Genius”) to bring the dramatic story of the 2018 Thai soccer team rescue to audiences around the world.

The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local, but globally-resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences.

On a more lighthearted note, there picture above depicts Netflix and SK Global team members – all of whom obediently adhered to the dress code, to wear something yellow in view of the Thai King’s upcoming coronation. Let’s just say that we look calm and dignified here, but there was much hustle over the weekend looking for yellow-colored ties!