5G has been rolling out in countries worldwide and Malaysia launched its first 5G network earlier this month. Rolled out in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya in the first year, The Star  reported that the 5G service will be expanded in stages until it reaches 36% nationwide coverage. Minister of Communications and Multimedia Annuar Musa said the 5G services would be "a game-changer" for Malaysia's economy and will result in the creation of job opportunities in various high-tech activities.

Annuar also said last weekend that Sarawak will be offered priority under the National Digital Network plan and the Malaysia Digital Economic Blueprint. This includes being one of the first states to roll out 5G network in 2022, The Star reported. Meanwhile, Ernst & Young predicted in a recent report that the adoption of 5G technologies will increase Malaysia’s GDP by 5% or RM122 billion. In addition, 5G will also support the creation of 148,000 jobs across the economy and will contribute to an increase in the proportion of high-skilled jobs.

Aside from job creation and connectivity, 5G is also expected to supercharge the advertising industry too. Mark Melling, Yahoo's head of RYOT, told A+M in a previous interview that 5G is “a revolutionary new foundational tech” that will unlock existing technologies that are unable to scale bigger for mass consumption, such as AR, VR and AI. As Malaysia enters into the 5G space, industry players share how this new technology can be a game-changer for creativity. 

Prashant Kumar, founder and senior partner of Entropia Malaysia 


5G is the gateway to the future. For society, the economy as well as creativity. I see the ultra-low latency revolutionising the business of experience across the board. Whether it’s extended reality content and experiences, adoption of metaverse by brands, or Web 3.0 applications in the field of crypto, NFTs, connected things, and data self-ownership driven by AI, edge computing and distributed data architecture. Let us just say that people’s ability to live more life per life will move up a few notches as brands bring powerful content, solutions and experiences informed by AI.  

Brand creativity will have a new canvas and new vocabulary to okay with - something that Entropia XR has already done lots of pioneering work in.

Brands will have an opportunity to bring higher relevance, greater enablement, and deeper immersion to their customers, thus opening new horizons of customer value and differentiation.

Shaun Tay, co-owner of FCB Group Malaysia 


Having better technology to execute a creative idea is always a good thing. That said, one should not equate swiftness of speed to the soundness of strategy.

Investing more time in laying the fundamentals will be the best way to utilise the progress made in execution, I say.  

Sean Sim, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Malaysia  

The arrival of 5G will be exciting and it definitely will change the way creativity is done. Currently, the expression of AR is clunky, where we have creative overlays on the surroundings. However, imagine a supercharged AR environment where one is unable to tell the difference between a physical storefront and an enhanced one. While mobile phones are necessary now to experience AR and VR, I am sure that we can expect improvement on mobile devices in the future when it comes to seamless experiences. Remember the Google Glass? While it is still available, I personally think it was commercially launched ahead of its time. 

Now, let us take the subject of AR in OOH, it would be interesting to see how the Malaysian skyline will change creatively. Not just display ads, but storefronts and buildings will also experience changes - design expressions will come into more play, with no structural, expensive, or regulatory handcuffs. With constantly improving AI and VR, the consumer experience will become much more immersive and interactive.

Think hyper-realistic avatars that interact with you at point-of-sale, with immediate responses, then we have tactile feedback.

Not just applicable to the medical field helping doctors, that’s another area where we can get truly creative. Haptic responses will add an interesting sensory layer to the whole costumer XP beyond audio-visual.  Imagine ads that allow you to “touch and feel” the brand or the result of using the product.

Nizwani Shahar, chief executive of Ogilvy Malaysia 


I am incredibly excited and I cannot wait for 5G to finally launch in Malaysia. 5G will provide enormous strategic and creative opportunities for brands and businesses. It will reshape the industry, enabling marketers and creatives to forge new relationships between brands and end-users. Not only will 5G improve the transfer speeds and collection of greater volumes of data, but it will also lower latency in data response. Together, low latency and high system capacity will improve consistency, helping to bring seamless, immersive experiences into a mainstream reality that offer a plethora of marketing opportunities.

Mobile advertising will be the biggest winner. 5G will enhance the mobile experience and provide a more instant, enriching space for creativity to thrive.

All of our creative comms and marketing will also be purely data-driven with messaging that is delivered to individuals, not the masses. We can truly see micro-marketing in action and deliver affinity at scale. Ogilvy has already seen the power of truly leveraging 5G.

All of this excitement doesn't come without caveats. A lot of groundwork has to start from now to build fundamentals. Devices and backend must be 5G ready. Customer experience, adtech and martech must be improved. More importantly, clients must be open to new, radical ideas from their creative agency partners who are nuanced and ready to take them to the next level with 5G.

Emir Shafri, executive creative director at Publicis Groupe 


5G will definitely change the landscape of creativity and marketing in more ways than just “faster YouTube videos”. For one, 5G opens up more immersive storytelling opportunities. With lower latency allowing for data to be rendered in real-time, we can expect seamless experiences on AR, VR, and of course, Mark Zuckerberg's favourite place, the metaverse, which means more immersive opportunities for brands to engage with the consumer. Beyond virtual worlds, lower lag times open us up to more mixed reality and actual reality experiences, where every physical surface could be a connecting point of interaction with barely noticeable delays.

As hardware improves alongside 5G’s potential to communicate simultaneously to multiple devices and sensors at lower latency, we’d also be able to tap into more precise location services.

This means more opportunities to track and analyse richer data from multiple sources in near real-time, and with it, the opportunity to deliver personalised experiences from online to offline as well as at events.

The significant potential of 5G also means a significant increase in consumer expectation, where even the tiniest in delay or disruption would be unacceptable. Consumers will expect seamless, hyper-personalised, lag-free experiences across virtual and real-world touchpoints that simply work well together. Yes, including “faster videos”.

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