Now is the time for gaming. Now is the time for Asia. Now is the time for any marketer seeking to expand into this new form of entertainment, connect with young audiences and drive new revenue streams. – Jasper Donat on the 2018 All That Matters Conference.
Riot Games has recently announced Jennifer Poulson will be joining the Los Angeles based company as their Head of Growth and Launch of Southeast Asia. Poulson comes from BANDAI NAMCO and was working there as the Senior Vice President of Marketing. Bandai Namco has certainly reached legendary status amongst game developers. The company is behind such titles as ACE COMBAT, DARK SOULS, PAC-MAN, and TEKKEN.
Poulson’s move to Riot comes at a time when gaming and eSports is seeing a massive expansion in Asia. In 2017 alone, China accounted for US$27 billion in gaming revenue and is expected to reach $35 Billion by 2021. This is on top of the $4 billion that is expected to be generated from Southeast Asia’s 400 million gamers in 2021.
Tapping this corner of the market becomes crucial for game developers like Riot. That’s why they broke out the big guns and hired Ms. Poulson! At BANDAI NAMCO, Poulson worked to lead the regional marketing, publishing, digital sales and eSports efforts at the interactive entertainment publisher. She worked for BANDAI NAMCO for almost three years and took a lead position on their digital marketing team. It was here that Namco sharpened her craft of growing sales for PlayStation, Xbox Live and PC Digital/Steam communities.
When working with Bandai, Poulson worked on the company’s first regional campaign. The mission of Bandai and together with VMLY&R Singapore, was to personify the populations they served. The two company’s under Poulson’s guidance went about creating an interactive video that challenged consumers to voice who they wanted to become through video games. As gaming is such a new construct, it is important to keep the pulse of the communities that these games propel. Working in a virtual medium, so much of what we do is malleable. We have the power to make the industry and the gaming communities into what we want. Figuring out what that is, is a crucial first step. Speaking on this initiative, Joaquim Laurel, creative director, VMLY&R Southeast Asia and India said:
We were looking for a fun way to capture how every BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment game is immersive for the player, while seamlessly featuring all the various titles that make the brand so great. We were inspired by the in-game character selection screens because that’s where players have the chance to be someone new and become part of all the epic worlds BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s franchises offer.
This regional campaign by BANDAI NAMCO and VMLY&R Singapore gives a clear picture of the marketing synergies that can be found through gaming. These synergies can only be unlocked once we have determined the direction of the industry and Riot seems to be sitting in the driver seat when it comes to eSports. With clearly stated directives such as increasing diversity and inclusivity in gaming, Riot Games is setting the standard for independent game developers all over the world. Now let’s see how Poulson implements these worth-while ideals.
Before Poulson worked with Bandai, she was cutting her teeth on the agency side of marketing. Starting with Edelman in 2005, Poulson worked public relations for Xbox and Games for Windows. There she increased monthly media coverage for Xbox by three times. After Edelman, Poulson worked with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to enhance several global brands. It was here Poulson expanded her knowledge base by propelling consumer marketing brands like Square Enix, Seiko-Epson and Dell, to Nestlé and PepsiCo. After Ogilvy, Poulson became the deputy managing director of Thailand for H+K Strategies. There she managed an office of 50 and lead new business development and creative strategy. With such a broad understanding of the gaming industry as well as the leadership skills to implement elaborate global marking campaigns, Poulson is sure to do amazing things with Riot.
Not the only change up to the Riot roster, Poulson will be working in tandem with James Lewin the new head of strategic partnerships, eSports, Southeast Asia. Lewin was Mindshare APAC’s former head of innovation and previously worked for the GroupM family. What these two will do for Riot’s Southeast Asia operations is sure set the bar for gaming developers to come.
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