Expo media expose on latest trend in advertising

In the last twelve months, our publication has received an increasing number of enquiries from Malaysians regarding a company called Expo Media.

It seems that select members of the public have been offered, “something for nothing” and in investigative style we wanted to look behind the scenes of this company to see what was really happening because as the old saying goes, “there’s no free lunch in this life”!

The Accounts & Regulatory Authority in Singapore record Expo Media as being incorporated just under a decade ago and registered as an, ‘Advertising Agency’. We were reliably informed that the company has expanded to Indonesia and Malaysia as well as other countries some time after. It seems that a growing number of companies large and small have turned to Expo Media in an effort to change their advertising strategy from mass media to Incentive and Sample Advertising. This hits the second rule of Economics, Cost vs Benefits – a person is more likely to take action if the benefits rise and the cost is reduced.

We were interested to find out more. Investigating further we discovered that Suzanne Zhang, head of planning at the internationally acclaimed behemoth agency McCann (and part of the dynamic duo with sister Heidi Zhang, CSO at Publicist China) sits as on the board as Senior Strategist. We reached out to her for some understanding.

We simply no longer believe what we see on television, but we do believe what we touch, feel and taste

-Suzzanne Zhang, McCann

Long gone are the days where even Fortune 500 Companies can sit back and rely upon television advertisement’s to reliably brand a company. Customers have become more educated and less naïve as the romance of television has lost its magic. We simply do not believe what we see on television just because it is indeed on television.

But we do believe what we touch, feel and taste. Using both traditional and sophisticated market research methods Expo Media profiles potential customers more likely to be interested in our clients offers. This is a two-fold benefit. Reducing irrelevant offers while focusing the same resources on a smaller group we can enhance gratuities per person and stay within our client’s budget.   

One example provided by Expo Media of Sample Advertising causing a stir on the streets of Boston in the United States was the launch of the Butterfingers snack by the confectionery company Pawngo. It seemed that while the public walked through the streets they came across a unique scene – huge golden heaps of Butterfingers in various locations in the middle of Copley Square. The public were in awe at the giant mounds of crunch candy. People at first were gingerly picking up candy bars here, there and everywhere. After about thirty seconds crowds of kids and adults swooped down, cramming piles of bars into their pockets in sheer ecstasy. This was no glorious miracle, but a clever advertising campaign for Pawngo after taking consultation with Expo Media. Most people had never heard of Pawngo before, but their name, literally, on the streets of Boston in such a clever and original way reach national newspapers and cable news network’s across the entire country. The Pawngo – Expo Media collaboration used national news to brand their product across the whole country for the cost of nothing more than their own produce and a couple of cardboard signs. Pure advertising genius.  (ref: Environment advertising magazine – December 2017 ed).

So, there is something for nothing? We asked Expo Media’s Head of Public Relations in the oil rich city of Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, Madam Angeline Grace.

“I think it’s common knowledge that all the costs of bringing a product to market is built into the retail price. McDonalds have given away tens of millions of dollars in their McDonald Sweepstake since ’87 which is probably the most well-known Incentive Advertising campaign of all time. We estimate their campaign made McDonalds around three hundred million US dollars per year in increased product acquisition. So, when I take my young children to Sunway Lagoon and love to have their favorite McChicken meals, right there I’m paying for that campaign and so are you”.

– Angeline Grace, Expo Media

Closer to home, Angel informs us that she spends her days heading up a team of customer care agents dealing with motivation-reward devices such as reserving weekends away and holding car and cash prize lotteries for local Malaysians that have attended events relevant to their interests.

So, there is nothing free in this life, attendees have to make efforts to travel to a venue and give up what is otherwise valuable time away from work or family. However, the latest trend in advertising will allow you to book a weekend away or luxury shop without cost, as a reward for trying samples of a company’s offerings rather than a thirty second mass media flash ad on television with no reward.

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