written by: Huang Jingyi, Mikaela

100 Most is not new but yet, disruptive to the traditional media industry. Starting from a small magazine to a sophisticated media company with multiple channels within only 4 years, 100 Most is a great example showing how the industry boundaries are getting blurred when the seller’s market is transforming to buyer’s market. When the competitive advantage of traditional media owner is vanishing, transient advantage has become the key factor for content creator to stand out from the crowd: to catch the trend and to produce related content instantly. Rather than passively receiving information, the audience has become the alpha. The biggest challenge every media company is facing is how to seize their interest immediately.

100 Most starts to insert advertising into its own content since last year and most of them have received very positive comments. Leon Lai’s Nescafe online commercial has become one of the most successful campaigns in Hong Kong last year (got over 3m views within 24 hours). I would say this campaign is a milestone in Hong Kong’s advertising industry because this is definitely a warning to those traditional advertising agencies who used to rule the industry. When a media company can provide creativity/production/channels/influence and even celebrity for a brand, all in one go, the role of traditional media agency is obviously diminishing. As the industry boundaries are getting blurred, owned media has become a new star to advertisers. Some agencies may still regard these media/people as a channel or KOL(Key Opinion Leader), but these media actually have sufficient potential to replace the role of agencies in the future.

If we look back to 100 Most’s development strategy, it started from magazine and spoof of TVB drama and TV shows. These actions extend its audience base quickly by “standing on the shoulders of giant”. The spoof didn’t only help 100 Most to attract attentions but also increased the exposure of their artists and helped to build up certain channels with stable audience base such as its own website and its Facebook page. At this stage, 100 Most has evolved into a popular channel owner with its own magazine, website and Facebook page. Its next steps, logically, is to use the advantages and influence of its present channels to produce more phenomenal campaigns and creative content, like the Nescafe commercial. The success of 100 Most is not accidental, the company has clear vision and target and it knows how to maximize its transient advantage under the new media ecosystem, and more importantly, it never forgets its down-to-earth brand image, which is the main reason why it gets so popular under the new Internet era.

Porter, M. E. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. : Free Press. Mcgrath, R. (2013). Transient Advantage. Harvard Business Review, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-md7DPTxUA