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Brands hijack old images of Shang-Chi actor on social media




Several brands in Singapore were quick to fashion past stock images of actor Simu Liu in a witty attempt to showcase his offerings. It comes after Liu allegedly modeled stock images in 2014, before his roles in Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings as good as Kim’s convenience. Since then, archival footage of Liu from the past has once again flooded the Internet, and Liu even tweeted one of his archival footage in response to people who thought the last one. Shang-Chi the film would fail. Here’s how brands got creative with Liu’s stock images.

Burger King Singapore

Burger King Singapore jumped on the hype to show off the power of its rings. The fast food restaurant posted a 10 onion ring meme on Facebook along with an image of Liu smiling and dancing, with the caption “The ten best rings you can have.” This was done by Tribal Worldwide Singapore.


Gilette used two archive photos of Liu in a chat with her colleagues to advertise her “GiletteLabs heated razor.” In an Instagram story, Gilette captioned the photos: “The best a stock model can be” and “A wonderful transformation begins with a close shave.” This was done by VaynerMedia Asia Pacific.

simu liu vest

Paya Lebar district

Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) decided to get people to visit the Shaw Theaters in her mall using one of Liu’s image photos. The photo, which was posted on the PLQ’s Facebook, shows him pointing at a laptop screen, which the PLQ then captioned: “See? I told you it was easier to surrender to the PLQ than to the village of Ta Lo “, referring to the film itself.

Singapore Cyber ​​Security Agency of Singapore

The hype over Liu’s stock images also saw the Singapore Cyber ​​Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) join the foray. In a Facebook post, CSA posted a side-by-side image of Liu dancing and a photo of Liu as Shang-Chi. The message was then captioned: “The antivirus that you have not updated” on the image of the bank and “Your updated antivirus” on the film. The post was an offer from CSA to encourage users to stay up to date with their antivirus software to prevent malware attacks.

Viu Singapore

The Viu streaming platform used an image of Liu in a dance routine to promote the Korean variety show Street fighter currently streaming on its platform. The Facebook post showed a still image from the show as well as Liu’s archive image to convey an “expectation vs. reality” scenario. The photo captioned “How I think I dance” in the still image and “How I actually dance” in the stock image. This was done by Tribal Worldwide Singapore.

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In addition, BMW’s product placement in Shang-Chi did not go unnoticed. The auto brand came to life by showcasing the BMW iX3 and while the company declined to comment on the dollar value of product placement, BMW Asia Marketing Director Daren Ching said the goal of this initiative and each Product placement for BMW in films is to create an affinity with the brand and to publicize the models presented. The brand also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the characteristics of design, performance and technology.

Although BMW is unable to quantify the global ROI at this time given the film only launched two weeks ago, Ching said he hopes to increase awareness of its featured models. locally. They include the competition BMW iX3 and the BMW M8 and end up driving sales. This is the next installment in BMW’s collaboration with Marvel Studios after the BMW X3 and BMW 2 Series Gran Coup appearing in Black Widow earlier this year.

Shang-Chi crushed the box office in the world and according to Reuters, it raked in US $ 90 million in the first four days of its release in the United States. It also grossed US $ 4.75 million during the opening weekend in South Korea, according to Variety. Meanwhile, other media also reported that Shang-Chi had made $ 1.9 million over the weekend since its launch on September 1, netting the top film spot in Singapore. According to Meltwater, the number of online mentions for Shang-Chi since its launch has jumped 168% to 36,700, from the previous period. Most of the threads came from Twitter, which had 35,500 conversations. As of September 5, #ShangChi had around 78.7,000 tweets in Singapore while Tony Leung had 3,687.

The pandemic has led to tighter restrictions around movie theater operations. Singapore, for example, reserved rooms for fully vaccinated clients last month. Last week cinemas in Malaysia were allowed to reopen in all states. However, theater operators, including GSC Cinemas, have been cautious about the immediate reopening. These restrictions and the cautious reopening raise the question of the value of product placements in films.

Ryan De Joya, Chief Strategy Officer, Media Group, Dentu Singapore said there is always great value in film product placements. Aside from the increasing attendance at movie theaters caused by the loosening of local regulations and the public appetite for escape, consider that films are also timeless in this platform distribution, as the number of viewers and the potential for replay is limitless, and so is product placement.

Furthermore, fame is one of the widely accepted levers for marketing effectiveness and there is no better way to build brand awareness by aligning with tentpole films with huge buzz potential, he said, adding:

The most important task will be to ensure that the unlocked value of product placement is fully maximized to provide better mental availability for the brand.

To do this, brands may consider integrating partnerships to reinforce the specificity of brands, taking advantage of the notoriety generated by the evocation of memories or emotions of the placement, particularly in the moments when consumers enter a market. buying mindset for the brand.

MediaCom Malaysia Managing Director Saurabh Chandrashekhar also agrees with him. citing how news channels often fit well into movies as a source of breaking news.

He added that the nature of movie consumption had changed even before the pandemic, as seen in many movies released on streaming platforms. “This ensures the longevity of the products incorporated into the film’s script,” Chandrashekhar added.

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Are the prices of product placements adjusted?

At the same time, the product placement agreements now encompass wider exposure as part of the film promotion plan, Chandrashekhar said. When it comes to pricing, adjustments always happen based on supply and demand. However, due to the proliferation of social media and streaming platforms, he said the value a product placement earns goes well beyond the few seconds of exposure during the movie.

On the flip side, De Joya said that a common misconception about product placement is that brands have to pay a fortune to guarantee an appearance on the big screen. “In many cases, a barter system is used instead where brands lend props to movie studios at no cost in exchange for exposure to the film,” he explained. That said, Kian Fong Wong, director of UM Studios China, said product placements are getting more expensive in China. However, since 2018, Wong has said that product placements in movies are only a small portion of the total content investment, compared to online content. He attributed this to the growing popularity of streaming platforms that offer an array of entertainment series and shows.

The streaming market is currently crowded with multiple platforms from Netflix and Disney + to iQIYI, Viu and Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video. Streaming investments have also become popular among brands. According to a SpotX report earlier this year, 47% of brands planned to increase OTT spending in Southeast Asia by 10% to 20% through May of this year. Meanwhile, Magna predicted this year that video ads will grow 24% to US $ 57 billion globally, as short and long form AVOD and OTT ad spend are all fueled by increased reach and viewing. .

The growth of streaming opens up the possibility for more product placements to move to such platforms instead of being limited to large-scale theatrical releases. Although product placement for television and film is not a new concept, De Joya said what has changed is the way that this content has been distributed following the emergence of the services of OTT streaming.

Although advertising opportunities within OTTs have so far been sporadic, there are signs of a possible shift towards these platforms.

Disney + has started adding paid product placement warnings to some of its recent titles, while Apple TV + has sparked intense speculation among fans about a highly anticipated new smartphone model that was once thought to be that he was seen in one of his streaming series, ”said De Joya of denstu. Explain. He added that the opportunity to speak and the gained media coverage seen in the latter typically only happens for viral content, and he expects this to inspire other OTTs to be even more open with strategic placements. brands and products.

Agreeing with De Joya, Chandrashekhar added that the growth of subscription content will naturally create a space for brands to find seamless opportunities for integration into content. “The advent of technology that enables product placement, post-production, will create opportunities for a multitude of product categories that have remained outside of this realm,” he said.

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