Allowing Hong Kong's marketing messages echo in the Greater Bay Area and beyond
Recognised by British luxury lifestyle brand Debrett’s as one of Hong Kong's top 100 most inspirational and influential individuals, over the past decade Spencer Wong—Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of McCann & Spencer, has guided his team to an impressive list of marketing achievements.
Wong joined the firm – then known as the McCann Worldgroup – in 2006 as its Creative Director for Greater China. And he soon led the team that won the first Grand Prix at Cannes, with a marketing campaign for Nike; the Grand Prix was a first for a firm from the Greater China region.
Created by Wong's team in Hong Kong and paying homage to the silk screen process that dates back to the 10th century, the Nike "Paper Battlefield" posters campaign was designed to capture the energy of basketball competition as well as promote the games. The Grand Prix design jury applauded the campaign for its simplicity, its culture-spanning communication power and for embodying the marketer's brand values.
In his role as agency boss and creative chief, Wong has been credited as the key driver behind McCann & Spencer's globally-recognised creative prowess, a strength, Wong says, emulating from its talented staff, which is one of his company's defining offerings. The experienced agency chief was also invited by the British D&AD, the organisation that represents global creative, design and advertising communities and celebrates brilliance in commercial creativity, to become the foreman for their professional award.
Similar to his own firm, Wong sees the culture-spanning abilities and strengths on display throughout Hong Kong's marketing sector, where he says there are numerous examples of pushing the boundaries of marketing design and innovation. "Hong Kong is a city of integration," Wong notes, "it is at the heart of Asia and a melting pot for East and West influences." A case in point, he says, is Hong Kong's unique position as the conduit for trade and business flowing in and out of mainland China, which helps to connect the mainland to the rest of the world and connects the world to the mainland.
Coupled with Hong Kong's business-friendly environment, marketing experience and knowhow, Wong believes Hong Kong is strongly positioned to provide marketing solutions that tap into the potential presented by the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative. "As a vibrant regional hub, Hong Kong is in an advantageous position to leverage the influx of investment from the mainland and to be the springboard for companies in the Bay Area to expand overseas," says Wong.
As the possibilities offered by new and emerging technology to the marketing profession proliferate, the 26-year veteran of the advertising and marketing industry says he is excited by the prospects. At McCann & Spencer, for instance, Wong explains how the firm is using the latest technologies to forge ahead in its endeavours to provide clients with new and effective marketing solutions. "Embracing technology enables us to enhance our creative marketing role across different business sectors; including retail, banking, property and transportation," says Wong. It is this commitment to innovation and creativity that has seen McCann & Spencer become the most awarded agency in Hong Kong, a title the firm has held since 2007.
As technology redefines and adds scope to the marketing industry through personalisation and one-to-many marketing channels, Wong says McCann & Spencer views digital marketing as a new arm for expanding traditional marketing through online communication including websites, social media, and apps. Meanwhile, offline technologies, which Wong says can be compared to scientific innovation, allow marketers to produce eye-opening solutions for clients.
During the full-day MarketingPulse conference and exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) held on March 21, Wong joined fellow panellists during an "Innovation Shaping New Marketing Frontiers" plenary session to offer his expert insights on how innovation and creativity are shaping the future of marketing together with cutting-edge technology. The plenary session provided the audience with an opportunity to hear renowned advertising figures such as Wong tell the stories and challenges behind their award-winning campaigns to engage audiences and win brand loyalty through immersive, interactive experiences.