AOY Insights: Red Ant Asia named ‘Influencer Marketing Agency of the Year’ in Greater China amid bumper trophy haulFebruary 17, 2023
Focusing on ‘Generation Now’ through ‘creator-led, commerce-centred partnerships’ between brands and social media’s shining lights reaps rewards.
AOY Insights is a new content series celebrating some of the top wins from Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year awards. Join us as we take a closer look at the entries that struck gold this year.
Category: Influencer Marketing Agency of the Year – Greater China
Key clients: Creed, Realisation Par, Supergoop!, Agent Provocateur, Birkenstock, Omorovicza, Lush, Giuseppe Zanotti, Mother Denim
New clients this year: Tarte, Amika, Reima, Glow Recipe, Carrière Frères, Cire Trudon, Steelcase, Briogeo, Necessaire, Under Armour
Highlights: Red Ant Asia has pioneered creator-led, commerce-centred marketing for China’s ‘Generation Now’ — tech-savvy, well-travelled millennials and Gen Zs. They have delivered their ‘digital-first’ 360-degree approach in their role as the agency for international brands who want to enter the market.
Recent years have seen the wave of digitalisation build, which, coupled with the increased use of social media during Covid-19, has made Red Ant Asia uniquely positioned to capitalise on the increase in demand for influencer marketing. Their team of young, socially conscious Chinese nationals embodies ‘Generation Now’ in many ways, while many are micro-influencers or key opinion consumers (KOCs) themselves.
This insider knowledge is key to Red Ant’s approach to influencer partnerships, and its carefully cultivated pool of creators offers brands a wide variety of options, depending on campaign strategies and objectives.
Local knowledge also aided Red Ant Asia’s agile response to clients’ ongoing financial challenges, including uncertainty over China budgets and reluctance to invest in hard advertising, large-scale campaigns, and offline events. The agency helped clients obtain maximum value from their interactions, even on reduced budgets, and worked closely with partners to reallocate spend, reorganise plans, or offer flexible contracts.
Amid the growth of overall social media usage in China and the rise of domestic algorithm-based platforms and sponsored content, Red Ant Asia uses methods of measurement such as media impact value to help clients better assess their ‘share of voice’ (SOV) built through social media marketing, rather than solely relying on metrics like followers and engagements.
Looking to the future, Red Ant aims to build its capacity to support what it calls ‘Future Brands’ — mission-driven businesses — adding to its existing roster of ethical clients such as cosmetics company Lush and plant-based food brand Impossible.
The agency’s successes are reflected in its impressive growth — with a 54% increase in revenue year-on-year recorded in 2022— as well as high levels of employee satisfaction and retention.
Case studies: Red Ant partnered Australian fashion brand Réalisation Par with influencer lu.meng for a number of campaigns, including their one-year anniversary of entering the China market. The campaign, which featured influencer-led RED content, resulted in sales 366% above target.
“Red Ant is genuine and enthusiastic about our brand and helps us to promote our business keeping our core values in front of mind in a market where we rely on their expertise,” said Réalisation Par’s head of sales and e-commerce Jen Guberek.
Premium suncare brand Supergoop!, luxury fragrance brand Creed and premium denim brand Mother were other brands that have seen a positive impact on their KOL and KOC campaigns curated by Red Ant Asia.
Judges say: Red Ant Asia’s attention to detail for their clients was singled out by the judges who also found time to praise the agency’s commitment to community and charity projects.
Red Ant Asia also won two silver awards, one for ‘Independent Agency of the Year’ – Greater China, and one for ‘Social Media Agency of the Year – Greater China,’ and a bronze award for ‘Content Marketing Agency of the Year – Greater China’.
This article originally appeared in Campaign Asia-Pacific.