Eastern Standard Times (EST) has appointed brand communications agency Manifest Group as its creative agency of record.
Following a successful launch announcement in the United States, EST next tasked the award-winning agency with launching the media platform in Australia to press, curating events as well as overseeing brand and content partnerships in the region.
Manifest’s Melbourne studio hit the ground running with a local campaign resulting in national coverage as well as two packed-out launch events in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Tailored to Gen Z and creating premium web content unlocking real stories told by real people, the “Asia to the world” media group was founded by the team behind 88rising and VICE.
The purpose-driven all-Asian female editorial team and all Asian global production teams aim to increase Asian representation and understanding in the West across media for Asian youth at home and throughout the diaspora.
The publication boasts an all-Asian editorial team based in Los Angeles and New York, and production teams spread across Australia, the United States and Asia — in countries like China, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
At its helm is Hong Kong-born, Australian-raised, Keshia Hannam as editor-in-chief, bringing over a decade of experience in media, having worked with Fortune, National Geographic, Forbes, CNN and Vogue.
Leading the Australian arm of production are producers and twins Andrew Yee (previous collaborations have included with The Art Gallery Of New South Wales, The National Gallery of Victoria, 4A Centre For Contemporary Asian Art and Korean Cultural Centre) and Chris Yee (former work has included for some of Australia’s best-known brands including VIVID Festival Sydney, Apple, Sony Australia, Vans and Estée Lauder).
Both EST and Manifest have plenty of reasons to celebrate their partnership already. The pair have already conquered the Australian launch with Manifest generating national coverage including features in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and on ABC News National breakfast new radio as well as two media launch events in separate capital cities.
Partnering with famed chefs, Kylie Kwong (Lucky Kwong) in Sydney and Victor Liong (Lee Ho Fook) in Melbourne, EST celebrated in both states with notable media and creatives with an intimate sit-down dinner, screenings of EST documentaries and Q&A discussions with the restaurateurs about their heritage, identity and culinary inspiration.
Jessie Bowers, Manifest Melbourne’s co-founder and creative director, said: “Eastern Standard Times’ mission to make the East as standard as the Western lens is exactly the kind of positive change we are all about supporting at Manifest.”
“Aside from the seriously impressive team behind the publication, it is filling a much-needed gap in what can be quite a binary media landscape in Australia.
“There is a real need to elevate minority voices and spotlight stories from across the Asian diaspora and from Australian-Asians; younger generations are craving more diverse stories and they want to hear them from the people that have lived them.
“The launch response was overwhelmingly positive which just goes to show what a pioneering publication and production house Eastern Standard Times is in this part of the world,” Bowers added.
EST’s Hannam said: “Our decision to work with a global agency such as Manifest means we can focus on different regions seamlessly without the complication of having to source new agencies for each territory we decide to launch in.
“Our Australian debut has proved to be hugely beneficial to our work in this part of the world which geographically is tied very closely to the continent. Not only have we almost immediately reached national audiences, but we are also starting to have some really important conversations that have directly been impacted by the successes of our launch screening events which were produced with the help of Manifest’s Australian-based team.”
“Ultimately, our goal is to build a bridge from East to West so that Asian youth in Australia see themselves reflected in global media stories – something we never saw growing up as third (fourth, fifth) culture kids. With Manifest on board as our key creative and communications partner, we already feel like our message is cutting through the landscape here with lots more to come from a brand partnerships perspective.”
Content drops three times a week on easternstandardtimes.com, as well as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and is currently free to view.
EST Media Holdings has received investment from key firms driving the future of media and community, including Galaxy Interactive and Blue Run Ventures.
Manifest Group’s clients include global infant accessories brand Tommee Tippee, Reckitt’s Dettol Pro Solutions, Airtasker, Diageo’s Bulleit Bourbon, Logitech, Hotels.com, and more.
Top image pictured left to right is the EST team: Joy Jeong (S Korea), Manal Ahmed (Pakistan), Maggie Teng (Taiwan), Ruolin Luyo (China), Ella Chi (China), Stephanie Tangkilisan (Indonesia) and Keshia Hannam (Australia/Hong Kong/India)