No Android, I will not skip your ad.

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Remember when your mother told you not to do something, and so – you did just that? Google got that rebel out in all of us with a 7 minute clip of 100 android characters telling us to just SKIP the ad.

They tried all sorts of hilarious techniques including hypnosis. But no, I didn’t budge and I can bet that you won’t either. The cute little Android characters told me about all the things I could do in those 7 minutes including – petting a pig and attaining Nirvana. Lol.

Click here to watch the unskippable-video:

These android characters are filling the hole in my heart that was once dominated by minions. The campaign ties in so well with Android’s – ‘Be together, not the same’ campaign inspiring uniqueness (& driving brand love).

Penny the Pirate

I don’t believe there is any ‘sector’ that lacks the potential to be creative and share a connection with their consumer. OPSM, a leading eye care provider in Australia/ New Zealand, made that connection in a very special way – a story book + eye check-up.

Children have to wear the pirate eye patch and spot sails in the distance, find the treasure and read the captains log in the interactive ‘penny the pirate’ book. Saatchi&Saatchi collaborated with illustrator/author Kevin Waldron, and the Department of Vision Sciences at Melbourne University, to identify three critical tests that would detect the most common vision problems for children.

Here is the video:

In terms of results – 300,000 children have taken an eye test, which has already seen a huge increase in kids eyewear sales since launch. But most of all, it has given mum’s and NGO’s the opportunity to test and take care of so many more eyes in today’s screen-addicted-world.

Live Streaming is making our world go Bazinga!

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Meerkat is big, but Twitter’s acquisition of Periscope is going to be bonkers! If you have no idea what I am talking about just know this : Next big thing = Live Streaming.

Live streaming happens in a fleeting moment. It creates immediacy for the user. One of the reasons Snapchat is so addicting for many people is because we are scared of missing out. Imagine what the scale of this will do to the information age – you are conducting a live session, you see a corrupt government official, your partner is having a baby, you find yourself in the middle of a riot – You live stream everything.

You literally have the potential to  ‘share your world’ in real time.

Here is what you need to know :

(A) It is live, but lasting — One of the features Periscope included after seeing Meerkat users become frustrated with clicking live streams links only to find they were gone was the ability to save videos. That way, the videos can be viewed again later. You could even later post that content to your site.

(B) It is extensible — People love feeling like they’re where the action is. Think of how you could bring the experience of a local event to life for people all over the world.

(C) It is powerful — Journalists are now scrambling to understand how they can leverage the power of real time information through such live streaming functionalities. The way we consume news today, might not be the way we consume news tomorrow. We might all become social-video-real-time news consumers. 

I believe that some apps are fads (do you really still play Candy Crush or Temple Run?), but some (like Periscope) have the potential to change our world. In this information age, that changes our thoughts, behaviours & preferences. Basically, it changes everything. Are you going to be part of it?

Vogue: It’s my choice

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We would all like to believe that none of us ever judge or stereotype people, things or places. But the truth is, we all implicitly do. Psychologists would argue that we are cognitively geared to categorise things to make the world easier to navigate through. But I think, we should try and make an extra effort to break those mental barriers and categories to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I recently came to terms with acknowledging one of my own stereotypes – My ideas about the Fashion/ Beauty world and how ‘shallow’ I though it all was. Brands like Dove have surely positioned themselves to break those barriers, but Vogue in India has truly touched every woman’s heart in a way that empowers her inner soul. Traditionally, a magazine that just talked fashion, beauty and celebrity has stepped up to represent the thoughts, feelings and emotions of an Indian woman in a society that is predominantly patriarchal and sexist.

Critics (mindless traditionalists) may well argue that Indian women are too influenced by ‘western ways’ but I believe that women need be empowered with the ability to alteast make a choice. If she wants to wear a hot pink bikini with a skirt much closer to her hips than knees or drape herself from head to toe in an Indian saree, it should be only and only her choice. This fundamental thought shapes the ideology behind #Vogue Empower. Click below to watch this thought provoking video:

I am so glad that today, brands don’t just ‘sell stuff’, but in-fact stand for a profound set of values that transcends beyond hollow names wrapped in pretty logos. I probably was never the type to spend my evening coffee hours with a Vogue magazine, but you never know – Maybe now I will.

Festival of Media 2015: Information v/s Inspiration

The Festival of Media 2015 has been close to my heart for 3 key reasons:

1) Re-connecting with folks from the industry

2) Getting selected for Twitter’s Young Promising Leader (#YPL)

3) But most of all, Getting Inspired. 

The Festival of Media was packed with great sessions from thought leaders across the industry – Joanna Flint (MD of Google Singapore), Shiv Shivakumar (CEO of Pepsi Co India), Cheryl Goh (Global VP, Grab Taxi), Rohit Jawa (CEO of Unilever Philippines) and Sunita Kaur (Managing Director of Spotify) to name of few.

I absolutely enjoyed myself learning more about the rapidly evolving media space that is increasingly being dominated by Digital, Social and Programmatic discussions. While a lot of these conversation were super informative and thought provoking, there were some sessions that really inspired me to ‘dream a bigger dream’ and imagine a marketing world so different from the one we live in now. My top 3 Inspirations are as below:

1) Jeffrey Yang, CMO China at Huawei

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Jeffrey asked deeper philosophical questions about what marketing really is. He drew parallels to ancient Chinese Philosophy such as how the five elements are relevant to marketing. He talked about how we are not targeting men or women but actually the masculinity and femininity in both (much like Yin and Yang). But something that will stick with me for the rest of my life is how the ability to analyse things (in this big data age) can sometimes cloud our long term vision and marketing strategy. He talked about how when we try to understand a tree, we look at the leaves, then analyse the leaves, understand chlorophyll and end up analysing that. But the question is, do we end up losing sight about the tree itself?

2) JC Oliver, Global Head of Innovation at Microsoft 

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Gosh. What a ball of Energy! JC Oliver is obviously extremely passionate about what he does and doesn’t give a damn about what anyone thinks. That is exactly what I love about him. JC Oliver talked about Innovation in a way no one has ever talked about – he didn’t break down complex equations (Yes, there are equations!), talk abstract things that no one understood or throw the word around like a Frisbee. He gave numerous examples and explained what Dragon Slayers really do. His example about Microsoft Cloud’s collaboration with Virgin Airlines to create a multi-sensory in flight experience during Christmas got me jumping in my seat. What we can do together is so much powerful than what we can do alone. Just imagine the possibilities!

3) Brian Wong, CEO at KIIP 

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This 23 year old CEO got everyone at the conference thinking – What have I done with my life?! Brian has a great sense of humour, is driven and talked about something that sadly no one talks about in the marketing world – (Real) VALUE. Often, we think we are adding value to the customer but the excessive conversation about programmatic (blah. blah. blah.) really just adds value to ourselves. Brian talks about capturing moments – specifically conquering the amygdala (the part of the brain associated with pleasure) when people ‘progress to the next level in a game’ or ‘check off a to-do-list’. The ability for brands to reward these crucial moments with delightful surprises (Ex: $20 Uber Ride) gives brands to the ability to maintain a really intimate relationship with the customer (& maintain a robust CRM Model). He urged the entire industry to not just bombard people with ads on every different screen but really engage with customers in a meaningful and respectful way.

Genius might be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but I think marketing is really 100% Inspiration (everything else will fall into place).

IKEA’s ‘Bed (Bad) Room’ Campaign

I hate doing this, but since I was forced to see BBH’s new campaign for IKEA – ‘Improve your private life’, I couldn’t help but feel sorry about how the world of advertising just regressed by 5 years. I am a believer in subtle humour and real stories. True, a large part of people’s happiness is dependent on their sex lives, so why not just say ‘sex’? Making the flimsy bed move to find out the husband is actually sleeping is a failed attempt at what I would called ‘poorly-tried-and-obviously-failed-humour’.

Here is the ad that I will not spend too much time or energy describing:

You might have noticed the same ‘shelf guru’ who has re-emerged as lead actor from BBH’s Book Book Video – the one that leveraged on tremendous ‘inspiration’ (read: most likely copied) from Sun Pharma’s ad.

But none of that annoys me as much as how ‘fake’ this whole set-up is. These are the top 3 Fake things about this video:

1) The fake love between the two people in the relationship (& the forced inter-racial set-up)

2) The forced IKEA products that come out of everywhere

3) Of-course, the forced humour all along the video

All the great things that marketers have been doing about ‘telling genuine and real stories’ just went down the drain with the force-everything-ad for IKEA.

I just want to put this out there in the world – Yes, I will still continue to shop at IKEA & no, that will have nothing to do with this ad.

Will We Live in a Customised Search World?

AutoWeb - Homepage

We have stopped saying ‘Search Engine’ long ago. At-least in the last decade, it’s been just ‘Google’. But, the question is will their world dominance last over the next 3 decades? Well, maybe not. Larry and Sergey recently sold their shares currently worth $4.4 billion (even resulting in a lack of dilution of control)*

Social Media, once highly dominated by Facebook – broke up into customised networks based on different needs, positioning and identities – Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram**. So the question is, will Search eventually breakup into customised platforms based on different needs, positioning and identities?

I believe technology firms are already beginning to disrupt this hyper-dominated Search Space. For example: AutoWeb, the fast-growing search engine designed to help car shoppers find and choose the right vehicle based on specific and intuitive search criteria, has reached over one million monthly new-car shopping searches, marking a tenfold increase in searches compared to Q4 year over year.

AutoWeb helps car shoppers make informed and budget-conscious decisions with its consumer-facing vehicle search engine and exclusive editorial content. Their search engine functionality is designed to simplify the search experience for a car shopper looking to purchase a new vehicle. The company serves relevant automotive ads across a select network of vehicle-related websites and apps, generating high-intent consumer traffic.

“Our search volume’s remarkable growth confirms the high-quality search traffic we are able to aggregate and provide to our advertising partners and move the needle for their businesses. Everybody wins,” said CEO Matias de Tezanos

Maybe, just maybe – a single search engine will not be a one stop shop any more. We might demand a customised experience and quickly adopt different engines for different needs. Afterall, don’t we all have that little-soft-spot for personalisation?

* Based on the article reported by the Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/dedaa524-b3d3-11e4-a6c1-00144feab7de.html#axzz3URlYlac4

** Based on the article reported by Social Times: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/largest-social-networks-worldwide/504044

Are you ready for Twitter’s Social Buying World?

Last year, Twitter announced that it would unveil its Buy Button in the first quarter of 2015, cementing the role social commerce will play in the way businesses must market their products to consumers. But are you ready for the social commerce world?

Here are 5 must do’s to prepare yourself and your business for the social-selling future:

1.   Follow the lead of the big players, then evolve: You don’t have to re-invent the wheel to be successful in the social commerce realm – Take the best of what they’re doing, and then personalize it for your business. A great example is Nordstrom’s integration of Pinterest into their stores. They showcase their most popular items on Pinterest in a “Top Pinned” section and shopping assistants are equipped with an iPad to stay up on trending items each day.

2. Capture and keep your consumers’ attention: One of the biggest issues facing businesses is figuring out how to keep consumers’ attention in the digital age. A great rule of thumb is to not throw too much distraction their way. Your consumer should be able to easily locate products they want to purchase and check out quickly without being inundated with “other items you may like.”

3. Constantly create “Calls to action”: Facebook and twitter are for engaging consumers, but they should also be utilized as a tool to help customers go directly to the product that interests them. Use these platforms to turn posts into calls to action. It’s important to recognize that when using social media to connect to your target audience, you need to make sure to keep your online and offline marketing and branding efforts connected as well. The message should always be consistent, and that means keeping your colors, visuals and business logos in line with your brick and mortar operations.

4. Hire the right marketing team: This is crucial for businesses to succeed in finding the right customers are the right time. Your competitors are going to use big data to analyze buying trends and needs instantly, and you’ll need to know who to market to and when. A good marketing team will also help you create trends of your own that will boost sales and keep you relevant. Remember Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke marketing strategy? During the campaign, they sold nearly three times as many Coke bottles in the UK as compared to Pepsi!

5. Never neglect mobile operations: Countless studies have shown that most people who go on social media do so from their mobile device. That’s why it’s imperative that you optimize your site and the content you put out for mobile consumption. Mobile users scroll through items quickly, so keep your lead forms short and to the point without overloading them with information.

Note: This article was written in collaboration with Tal Segalov,a marketing expert and the CTO at Mintigo

Why you have to be at the Festival of Media 2015

The Festival of Media Asia Pacific 2015 will host the biggest gathering of brands from the entire region. And, things are just about to get super exciting! It is the time of the year where the media/creative industry is buzzing with the latest trends, campaigns and strategies discussions about the key issues within the region.

Speakers at this year’s event include:

  • Seok Hian Tang, Head, Talent Management South, Starcom MediaVest Group
  • Sam Flemming,  Founder & CEO, CIC
  • Margot Torres, Vice President for Marketing, McDonalds
  • Arthur Policarpio, Head of Mobext, Mobext
  • Celia Tong, CMO & President for China, iClick
  • Cheuk Chiang, CEO APAC, Omnicom Media Group
  • Severine Charbon, Chief Talent & Transformation Officer – ZenithOptimedia Group
  • King.F Lai, CEO Asia-Pacific, Kinetic Worldwide
  • Cheryl Goh, Group VP of Marketing, GrabTaxi
  • Rohit Jawa, CEO and Chairman, Unilever
  • Anastasia Sutadji, CMO, Indofood
  • Hannelore Grams, Head of Marketing & Social Media, Nestlé China
  • Sunita Kunar, CEO APAC, Spotify
  • Olivier Legrand, Head of Marketing solutions, Apac & Japan, Linkedin
  • Brian Wong, Founder & CEO, Kiip
  • Deepak Ravindran, Co-founder & CEO, Innoz
  • Chris Dobson, Executive Chairman, The Exchange Lab
  • Jay Sears, General Manager, The Rubicon Project

Moo will be there at #FOMA15, so should you. See you at the Capella from 22-24 March. To find out more, check out the Festival of Media official website.

When LinkedIn worked its magic for ANA.

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, recently launched Flight Connections, a platform that aims to help modern business travelers turn their online connections into physical meetings. Using data from users’ LinkedIn network, the digital experience generates a visual representation of their global network contacts and overlays ANA routes to show users how they can easily connect with their business relationships in Asia. Users also have the opportunity to win one of five round-trip business class tickets to any ANA destination in Asia.

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“As the number of business travelers and tourists coming to Japan from the US continues to grow, we wanted to create an innovative way to visually map the connections our passengers have and show them how convenient it is to visit on an ANA flight. Our hope is that Flight Connections will spur the business community on both sides of the Pacific to visit each other more often and forge an even stronger bond for the benefit of both.”

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Visitors to the Flight Connections website will be asked to log in with their LinkedIn profile; the platform will then create a personalized ‘flight map’ visualization of the user’s LinkedIn network with ANA flight information overlaid where geographically applicable. Visitors to the site can then share the visualization if they wish, explore flight options to their LinkedIn network and discover highlighted connections throughout Asia.

005We all know that data is a huge asset, but it is really using the data creatively that conquers mind-share and creates a sustainable competitive advantage. I am sure you agree – LinkedIn and ANA were totally meant to be.

Durex has more than 50 Shades of Grey.

Valentine’s day is around. Like a risky stock, leveraging on such events can often be a high risk, high return decision.

Sex is a taboo topic in Asia and brands need to manoeuvre these issues quite sensitively. The pressure especially comes on brands such as Durex who can really increase brand loyalty and awareness when their target market is in the ‘mood for love’.

With the release of 50 Shades of Grey around the corner, Durex localised this (Malaysia) in an online game called ’50 ways of love’. By using the ‘social sign in’ feature and connecting with your partner online, you can have come to mutual conclusions about different ways to love in a ‘tinder-style’ game. What I find especially interesting is how Durex showed immense sensitivity in coming forth with such suggestions – Culinary Delights, evening stroll, home improvements.

Comparing this to their other campaign of #50 Games of Play which is of-course a lot more explicit and sexual, I believe Durex has really shown a lot of sensitivity towards the local Asian context. To get an idea, you can watch their ‘Reality, its better than fiction campaign’:

I personally believe that it is essential for brands to take ‘intelligent risks’.  Durex has smartly localised their global campaign to take into account cultural differences across the world. They surely seem to have a good plan to reduce (& probably mitigate) the PR risks that come with the launch of such campaigns. (Yes, we have seen horrors before!)

Seems like their sales figures will have a really good valentine’s day this year :)

Moo’in around the world

Question: What is common between Mooketing and Water?

Answer: They both cover 70% of the world.

Just within a year ( + few months), Mooketing has reached a huge readership of 85 countries. To brings things in perspective, this means that Mooketing is read in almost 70% of the world* (Based on 122 countries with internet penetration).

This really wouldn’t be possible without all you awesome-readers! Thank you so much for your love and support <3

If you guys have any feedback about how I can improve this blog, please do let me know. You can contact me on asthakalbag07[at]gmail.com (or view the about page for more details).

Till then, let’s continue to take over the world. One blog at a time.

Mooketing

Search On…

Google is part of our dictionary now. We don’t even use the phrase ‘search engine’ any more. It’s simply Google. Not only has Google built a great employer brand, but it has also built a fantastic consumer brand.

Google shares a heart warming story of an American who find love in Paris. Without any actors, fancy sets or long scripts, this ad gives you the melted-marshmallow-in-hot-chocolate-feeling:

Sometimes, Ad creators don’t need money. They just need a fuzzy heart.

The most Super of the Super-Bowl

The Super-Bowl-time is undeniably one of the most important ‘events’ in the advertising industry. The the average cost of a 30-second advertisement is around $4.5 million (Yeah, I know right?) makes it even more important for companies/ organisations to have a high R.O.I.

In fact, watching the super Bowl ads have become a cultural phenomenon with many viewers only watching the game to see the commercials (that list probably includes me).

The 2015 Super Bowl has been an exciting time in the advertising industry with increased prominence to campaigns with strong social messages. Of course, I have my favourites (& so should you):

1) No More: A simple voice-over conversation left a tremendously hard-hitting-message – ‘No more domestic violence or sexual assault’. Definitely gave me the chills:

2) Coke: Coca-Cola #Madeithappy for me too. I loved how they incorporated the new trend of using digital media to actually convert people’s sadness to happiness and bring a smile to everyone’s face. After-all, Coke does open happiness :)

3) Make Safe Happen: This video was super well shot and kept me gripped right until the end. Narrating a single person’s story and having an anti-climax in just a 30 second video needed tremendous amount of skill. This video surely moved me:

It is clear that the standards set at the Super Bowl are tremendously high. Let’s hope we see a new wave of inspired creativity in the Industry for the rest of the year :)

Festival of Media: Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award recognises the brightest young talent in Asia Pacific. It’s free to enter and open to those who are under 30 and working for media agencies, advertisers or media owners from any country in the APAC region.

First stage of entry is a simple written entry online along with a short video of yourself. Shortlisted entrants will have the opportunity to work on a client brief provided by Airbnb at the renowned Festival of Media Asia Pacific. Final judging takes place at the Festival, with the winner announced at the closing glittering awards ceremony.

In a nutshell, here are the awesome things to note:

1) The Festival of Media Asia Pacific (FOMAP) Rising Star Award rewards the brightest young talent in the region and is open to those under 30 and who are working for media agencies, advertisers and media owners.

2) It gives entrants the opportunity to work on a client brief (Airbnb) and to pitch their efforts in front of a final jury and the FOMAP delegates.

3)  The final winner will be announced at the prestigious FOMAP Awards ceremony taking place on Tuesday 24th March at Capella Singapore.

Note: Entry deadline has been extended to 6th Feburary 2015

To enter into the competition – http://link.csquaredholdings.com/m/1/96019977/b2615-4950fa9b-2359-493f-8564-f322edc38fa5/1/1/06372e97-082b-4d09-be1f-5e2d186ff04b

Lots of love and luck from Moo!

Are you coming to the Festival of Media?

The Festival of Media is back for another great round of insights, discussions and networks. The biggest regional event dedicated to the evolution of Media, the festival is slated to be on the 22-24th March 2015.

With topics high on the agenda such as APAC’s role in the global media landscape vs. the world, Regional expansion of local brands, Local penetration of global brands; the Festival of Media is sure to be a fantastic experience.

If you want to know the latest trends driving the media in Asia Pacific, come with Moo to the Festival of Media this year. Mooketing reader’s get a promotional 10% discount :

Code: moo10mpx

See you there! Until then keep moo’in.

Facebook for Work or Fun? (Or Both)

In my opinion, things are super-duper dramatic & exciting (with the twists and all) in just 2 places: Hollywood and Technology. You know the feeling when things change so fast and you end up like.. Whaauuutt? ( Think: Perspiration + High Heart Rate +Wide Open mouth)

Facebook just unveiled their ‘Facebook at Work’ enterprise social networking platform. Employers can create separate log-ins for employees to use with their Work accounts, or users can link these up with their other profiles to access everything in one place.

Collaboration is something that is on high priority for all organisations; and Facebook really has the potential to leverage on  its current capabilities to penetrate into the work place. However, a lot of financial institutions have banned Facebook at work and the ability to cross link their personal & work accounts might be quite counter-productive.

An Average American is reported to have spent 5 hours a day on television, I wonder if the tide will turn in favour of Facebook.

Either way, I guess we will all just Homer Simpson it out all the way :)

To Super Bowl or Not to Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year & in my world, is the most anticipated awesome-advertisement-genius season too.

We all know that the big game is big business. And yes, I mean business. (It costs approx. $4.5 million for a 30 seconds spot).

Fun Fact: 50% of the people watching the Super Bowl actually watch the Super Bowl just to watch the commercials. See the full interview clip with Ken Ungar here:

Ken Ungar is the president and founder of U/S Sports Advisors, a national sports and entertainment marketing agency. He is also the author of the book “Ahead of the Game: What Every Athlete Needs to Know About Sports Business”. This post has been written in collaboration with US Sports Advisors. 

Most Influential Ads of the 21st Century

Ad Age just published its own list of most influential campaigns in the 21st Century so far. (Yes, most of them ARE on Mooketing), but here is the list of the top 10 campaigns that you have to know about at the back of your head. (& front too!):

1.    Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty (2004, Ogilvy)
This was a bold move by a Unilever brand to challenge cultural norms. The idea was to start a discussion around the notion that the definition of beautiful had become limiting. There have been a range of award-winning executions, including a film in 2006, “Evolution” and a follow-up in 2013 with the moving “Sketches” work.
 
2.    Nike: Nike+ (2007, R/GA)
This campaign stretched the possibilities for marketing into a new realm — forget TV commercials. Now agencies could create platforms. In partnership with Apple, R/GA created this system for Nike to hook up shoes with a tracking device that could wireless connect with an athlete’s iPod, transmitting running stats that can be uploaded to iTunes. The site then let athletes track their own goals and hook up with a larger community or runners to compare performance. That evolved into another winning effort with the Fuelband a few years later, sparking the whole wearables trend. For an agency, it is the Holy Grail; to not just influence the advertising of a product but to be in on the ground floor of the development of it as well.
 
3.    BMW Films (2001, Fallon)
This campaign defined modern branded entertainment: eight short internet films, each conceived by a different filmmaker, with celebrity Clive Owen as the big star. And in each, BMW vehicles are integrated into the scripts (such as Chosen, Ambush, The Follow, The Star, Powder Keg). The movies were seen 11 million times in a matter of four months, and the carmaker saw its sales increase 12% in the span of a year.
 
4.    Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010, Wieden & Kennedy)
This effort revived an old-school brand for P&G. It was a feat of storytelling through digital, explaining how the handsome Isaiah Mustafah was the ideal man for women. The sheer scale of it and the ability to create the Responses campaign, which was customized tailored content in a flash, showed how brands could use social channels for CRM and interaction with Old Spice’s biggest fans.
 
5.    Red Bull: Stratos (2012)
There have been shows, concerts, sporting events but Felix Baumgartner’s stunt was the first and only sponsored leap from the edge of space. The 24-mile freefall jump broke 5 Guinness records and it also sold plenty of product. TV, radio and other news outlets everywhere tuned into the event via live stream and the brand earned tons of media mentions. In the first six months after the “Stratos” effort, Red Bull sales rose 7% to $1.6 billion.
 
6.    Burger King: Subservient Chicken (2004, Crispin Porter & Bogusky)
This approach took literally the idea of Burger King’s message to consumers: “Get Chicken the Way You Want It.” This interactive idea came with an intentionally lo-fi look — a man in a chicken costume in a simple living room setting. Users could submit commands and the human chicken would respond. It was a stunt that went viral and was so successful that it was used in future campaigns. Underscoring the campaign’s popularity, the chain has just brought the Subservient Chicken back after a decade.
 
7.    American Express: Small Business Saturday (2010, Digitas, CP&B)
Started the day after Black Friday encouraging shoppers to visit Main Street brick and mortar shops to help patronize them amid the shopping season rather than just big box or, increasingly, shopping online. The first year Amex bought Facebook inventory that it turned over to small merchants, and made a success out of the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday. It was an example of a campaign that started as a one-time promotion but had legs beyond that day, and is now still recognized. The campaign has solidified its reputation amid the very important small business community.
 
8.    Apple: Get a Mac (2006, TBWA/Media Arts Lab)
A rare example of an effective, palatable comparative ad campaign. Each ad, in which John Hodgman personified a PC and Justin Long personified Apple, managed to portray PCs (and thus Microsoft) in a brutal way. PCs were painted as inferior, unreliable and virus-ridden. Yet the ads were entertaining, making fans for Apple beyond just the fanboys. Market share went up. The series became so successful there were 66 ‘Get a Mac’ ads in all. And the consistency was uncanny, all overseen by the same director at Epoch Films.
 
9.    P&G: Thank You, Mom (2012, Wieden & Kennedy)
Rather than sponsor just the Olympics, P&G saw value in sponsoring those who make the games happen. Not the athletes, but the families and specifically the Moms who support the athletes all throughout their childhood. A series of emotional spots rolled out and as part of the campaign, and in an updated version for 2014, P&G sent $1,000 Visa gift cards to each of the 357 Olympic athletes’ moms to help them travel to Sochi. The masterfully edited spot “Best Job” won the Emmy for best Primetime Commercial.
 
10.    American Legacy Foundation: Truth (2000, Arnold, CP&B)
Inspired by a Florida state campaign, Truth, launched in February 2000, and is the largest national youth anti-smoking campaign. It’s also the only national campaign not overseen by the tobacco industry. Through unconventional methods including public stunts and bold billboards, the campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about the health effects and social consequences of smoking.
This article was written in collaboration with Ad Age. To deep dive into these ads, visit: http://adage.com/lp/top15/#truth

GPS Puppies

Simple Ideas [make] Great Brands.

Sometimes we get so caught in makes things sophisticated and measurable that we forget that often beauty lies in simplicity.

Passers-by are fascinated by a dog (a Hush Puppy) who directs them (read: drags them) to the Hush Puppies store where they redeem discounts on purchases.

On a side note, ads that constantly use cute/sad/happy/big-eyed/rolling cats should instead focus on using their own brand assets to strengthen their brand value; rather than just following the ‘herd’. There are a lot of other adorable little fur-balls out there.

Cannes Update: Industry Visionaries to take the lead as Innovation Jury Presidents

Cannes Lions is the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards. Cannes Lions has today announced Jury Presidents for the two categories at the centre of the new Lions Innovation festival. Y&R’s Global Chief Executive Officer David Sable will take the reins of the first ever Creative Data Lions while R/GA Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law will be at the helm of the expanded Innovation Lions.

Together, the awards will showcase the relationship between technology, data and ideas which, says Cannes Lions Chairman Terry Savage, has driven the industry forward and will continue to be instrumental in its evolution.

“As the home of creativity, we need to explore what the future of that creativity will look like through a dedicated festival like Lions Innovation. But with the Creative Data Lions and Innovation Lions we are celebrating the ground-breaking work which is already leading the charge.”

Entries to the Creative Data and Innovation Lions will open 22 January 2015. Further information is available at www.canneslions.com/innovation. Full category information will be available online from mid-December. The festival will be held from 21-27 June 2015 in Cannes, France.

 

5 things you need to know about Strategic Service Leadership

‘The culture of our company makes people feel so positively about Starbucks that, without being asked to. they want to convey the attributes, the characteristics, the aspirational qualities of what we do for the customer’ -Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks.

As business models evolve to become more customer centric, service leadership has never been more important. Today, service is a ‘logic’ of conducting business and spans far beyond our traditional understanding of providing customer service across a phone line. Here are 5 things you need to know about how Service Logic can be used to create a competitive advantage through value creation and integration of business resources:

1) Dimensions of Service Quality : There are 5 key dimension of service quality – Tangibility, Empathy, Responsiveness, Reliability and Assurance.

2) Value Co-creation: Customer dominant logic is essential for value co-creation for both businesses and consumers.

3) Technology Leverage: Technology (such as smartphone apps) can be used by brands to engage customers at a deeper level thus enriching the brand experience and increasing brand growth.

4) Service Design: It is essential to manage service clues (functional, mechanic and humanic) in the Service-scape for a sustainable competitive advantage.

5) Experience Economy: Today’s customers do not buy products or services, instead – they seek positive experiences.

‘Titans of Services’ is a book about building strategic service leadership in evolving customer centric business models. The book will be launched at Singapore Management University on 27th November 2014. (Click here to register).

P.s: I have worked hard to contribute towards the development of this book and will be there at the book launch. See you!

Is Outdoor just about to get disrupted?

Outdoor Advertising has always been something that only the ‘big guys’ could afford. Bill-boards have traditionally been just that – long, long ‘Bills’. But is there a way to make this accessible to everyone and level the playing field?

It seems that the founders at Zeus Vision found a way to disrupt this current outdoor advertising model – putting more interactive, multimedia board on wheels. These billboards are free to roam anywhere, not tied to a piece of expensive real estate, not tied to the same “billboard” regulations that the mega-media companies are saddled with.

Multimedia Interaction & Technology integration gives buses like Zeus Vision the ability to truly disrupt the current outdoor model. Yes, we are talking -GPS,cameras, inertial motion sensors, light sensors, eye tracking, gesture tracking, real-time, GPU processing, API Integration and so much more.

Think of Zeusvision as a huge iPhone™ on wheels that can position itself wherever a brand desires, delivering customized multimedia messages and experiences for as little as $99. Brands can now target their messages. through interactive media to the right audience at the right time.

You never know. You might be watching a personalised video in the middle of the city on a 31 foot video screen:)

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To know more, click here. 

The Most Interactive Catalogue Experience

My parents love IKEA so much that they assign an entire ‘sight seeing day’ to go around the store. #True Story.

For IKEA’s new catalogue, they used an experiential catalogue to take customers through an entire house. But they did not stop there. IKEA followed a young Scandinavian family’s morning routine to show how IKEA products are part of our daily lives.

The experience involves an interactive story where users can pause the video any-time to gain more information about the products in the screen and other details about the featured family. Media Monks, the production agency did a great job in making sure everyone could truly relate to the story.

To interact with the catalogue, click here.

Ikea1

Ikea2

The internet is a wonderful thing. & IKEA just made it awesome!

#Outdoor – Top of Mind Engagement

While we juggle through crossing busy streets and checking our beeping phones, we often subconsciously ignore outdoor ads. I think we have seen so many of them, our brains just stop processing it.

 

In my opinion these are 2 ads that have broken the spell of mindless advertising to actually engage with people and urge them to fill in the blanks.

1) Coca cola’s hands sharing a can – No need to say no-nothin’. We all know the perfect genius in this Ad for Coke without a Coke bottle. (P.s: This was created by a local student designer)

9136-cokehand-03

 

2) Kit Kat’s Have a break campaign – In line with their universal ‘have a break brand messaging’ to show that the painter has gone to have a break leaving the poster at the ‘perfect incomplete’.

haveabreakhaveakitkat

 

For outdoor advertising, I guess top of mind awareness is too old school. Welcome to the world of top of mind Engagement. #outdoor-is-not-dead.

Trick or Tweet? Will the ability to tweet money disrupt the social landscape?

Social Media just got more muscles. And this time, these are super-bold-nitro-packed ones. In the near future, just having a bank card and a twitter/facebook account will be enough to transfer money. Twitter has already partnered with a French Bank (BPCE) to allow money transfers. It seems that Facebook might also have a secret payment service waiting to be revealed. (Japanese bank, Rakuten already offers a transfer by facebook service). In September, even Apple launched a mobile wallet feature that allows in-store payments from a touch screen.

So what does this all mean for marketers? What does this trend means for brands? How will this all link back to social engagement?

Here are 3 key ways in which I believe this phenomenon could disrupt the social landscape:

social

1) Consumers could directly transact online from a brand page – Imagine consumers having a conversation about a brand on twitter and instantly tweeting money to the company to deliver their goods? Could social impulse buying become the next big consumer trend?

2) Consumers could painlessly share costs of good online – Imagine a group of friends buying a birthday gift for a friend online? We could just tweet each other our share of contribution and purchase a gift online instead of wasting time gathering everyone’s share of money.

3) Return on Online Investment could get so much more measurable – Social Media has often been seen as something ‘in the air’. Brands still don’t really know if their online conversations really result in offline purchases? In the future, it could be so much easier to truly see the impact of social engagement on the company’s bottom line. Especially with the power of dark posting, imagine the power of really measuring spend on products based on different conversations instead of just clicks and impressions? Could this change how we measure the true impact of social?

Well, for all those people who say engagement on social media does not reap any ‘real revenue’, just ignore them. You don’t want that kind of negativity around you. :)

Are you using your magic carpet to become humanly-awesome?

We often put ourselves in situations where everyone struggles to make conversation – Networking events, information sessions and super-extended family weddings. In our lives, we have all come across a lot of ‘professionally’ awesome people but ‘humanly’ boring people.

You know your conversation has come to a painful end when you start talking about the weather and criticizing the food. While you pretend to care more about the content of your conversation, you find yourself scanning through the room to identify that happy Aladdin whose laugh seems to be quite contagious. It seems he took his magic carpet and travelled to places you didn’t know existed.

Expedia, the travel company tapped into the one emotion we all feel but never confess to – Jealousy. While their competitors barked about how people need a ‘rejuvenating break’, Expedia abra-ca-dabra’ed itself by urging people to become more interesting people by travelling.

My favourite ad from the campaign is the one about Bulgaria:

‘Genie’us? Well, I am sitting on my magic carpet and travelling to Thailand next week. It so happens that I did book my trip through Expedia. So +1 for advertising effectiveness.

R.I.P Facebook.

Programmatic, Re-marketing & targeting are common words used in the digital marketing world (= my hopeful future world) and yet I find myself asking the primary question – Will this even be alive after 10 years?

Ello, the new kid on the block seems to have a rather harsh stance against all the 3 words that I used above.  Like a typical scene from the Scarlet Pimpernel, Ello’s website says ‘Your social network is owned by advertisers. Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.’ 

Taken aback? Yes, all the social networks today work on one basic premise – We volunteer to give all our data & cookies. So what if we stop? Or we say hello to Ello?  Well then, dinosaurs, telegrams and Facebook will all have one thing in common i.e. extinction.

The’ industry ‘ seems to be quite sceptical about Ello’s  current business model saying that ‘it won’t last’. But the question is, will the ‘industry’ even  be the same? If websites such as Ello gain popularity and are successful in persuading Facebook users to move away, then digital marketers will find themselves without the user driven data they need to harness into marketing insights. If Internet users become more concerned about their privacy policy with alternative solutions such as Ello, targeted ads might (scarily so) be a thing of the past. Get ready, digital-spacecraft-warriors, the revolution has begun.

P.s:  If people are paying $7.99 for a Netflix account, I am sure they will spare some change to know that their private information and data is kept in Vault 713.

The Emotional Play.

‘Cutting through the clutter’ is a phrase we have heard advertising and marketing professionals use a little too often. The new burden that consumers now feel is ’emotional clutter’ a.k.a We are just overwhelmed with brands trying to reach the insides of our hearts and rip it apart like terrorizing zombies.

I personally share a love-hate relationship with such ads. The truth is – I really do cry (& howl) over quite a few of such ads. Call me a sucker for it, or just the demographic they are ‘effectively targeting’, but I just can’t conceal my tears with imaginary foundation.

The top 3 ads that I feel really ‘zombied-my-heart-out’ + made me ‘cry-my-lungs-out’ are created for 1)True Move (Thailand)  2) Google (India)  3) Dela (Netherlands).

Let me just say, if they were coming after an audience like me, you got my attention baby. Just take care of my heart. Kthanxbye. <3

Moo’in at SPIKES Asia Pacific 2014

Get inspired by Graham Fink, Rei Inamoto, Amir Kassaei, David Mayo, Casey Neistat, Josy Paul, Stefan Sagmeister, Twitter, Facebook, Google Creative Lab and many more at the Spikes Asia Pacific 2014 in Singapore from 23-26 September 2014. (read: one of the biggest advertising festivals in the region).

Moo is looking forward to being part of the press team and meet thought leaders in the quickly-changing-creative industry. If you need some meet some cool people, learn more about the industry or just ‘Moooooooo..’ like me, do head down to Suntec next week.

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To know more about the delegate fees/ buy a pass: Click here. See you there :)

Is Book Book = Crook Crook?

We have all seen the new IKEA Catalogue Book Book Video. Cool eh? Strategically released on social media near about the time when the I-phone 6 was released, the video has gone viral.

Genius? Well, maybe… not. Check out the Cannes Lion Shortlist Video for Sun (2009):

Is Book Book ‘Incremental Inspiration’ or ‘ Einstein Genius’? You decide.

Just 3 Cans of Paint

Having lived in India for 18 years of my life, I surely feel the pain of portholes (read: craters) on everyday roads. As a child, during commutes, I would fake-believe that I was on a roller coaster ride while my mother would strap on her back-pain-support-belt. It was war: Our family vs the portholes. To some this might seem like an exaggeration, but to the rest of us – this is brutal reality.

Russia seems to have the same fundamental problems – roads full of holes and corrupt politicians who couldn’t care less. But in 24 hours, Ura.ru, a local newspaper got the politicians, people and ‘road filled portholes’ moving.

All it took was 3 cans of paint, digital presence and bravery. Yes, Bravery. It wasn’t just a smart-ass advertising campaign to change perception blah.blah.blah. This was a campaign for some real action, literally in people’s (politician’s) faces.

Can you believe it, it just took 3 cans of paint. Genius.

The Coolest Help Desk

Sometimes you don’t need wacky-insssaaannneee ideas, you just need to have a heart & empathize aka. really-really-really understand your end user as if you were him/her. As much as we harp about consumer insights blah.blah.blah, true beauty sometimes just lies in simplicity. 

DDB in India did something extraordinary for an NGO called Aarambh – they used card-boards to create a bag that could be used as a desk as vice verse. You have to see it to believe it:

 Brilliant isn’t it? Even Steve Jobs would be proud. 

Kotex: The Untouched Sanitary Turf

Let’s be honest: there are just some product categories where the scope for creativity is well- quite limited. When it comes to Sanitary Napkins, every brand has some stupid blue ink test, followed by happy women in white pants jumping around like the sky was raining rainbows. I have mentally shut out all that bulls*it. You know why? Because neither does anyone wear white pants nor jump around like a hippie on drugs. 

For once, Ogilvy tried to break the paradigm by drawing on different insights for the Chinese Market. The ad describes Edward Cullen personality traits – Good-looking, Multi-personality, Gentle & Tough a.k.a Every Girl’s Dream but no one’s reality. Kotex proposes that if you cannot find these qualities in a man, at-least you can find it in a Sanitary Napkin. 

Now, I might not share such intimate,tender loving feelings for my sanitary napkin, but at least they had a point to make that was both relatable and memorable for their target audience (= girls like me). P.s: I couldn’t help but love the man getting smacked by the huge napkin. Well, that was just awesome. 

Shushh: 5 Secrets of Being Boss @ Content Marketing

Content marketing is like a garden of prickly roses in the digital world : Everyone wants it but too scared to touch it. After-all, everyone isn’t an Apple or Nike right? The truth is, it doesn’t take much to be boss at Content Marketing. Below are quick 5 secrets to what it takes to be Boss @ Content Marketing:

  1. Define your objectives:  What is your purpose? Are you trying to increase brand awareness, drive more sales, or build a base of brand loyal customers?

  2. Attract, Convert, Nurture:  Research your leads to understand their industry, stage in the buying cycle, company size, needs, and more. Your leads are more likely to feel connected to your brand if you create customized content that speaks to them

  3. Strategize:  Push content out across a variety of different marketing channels to reach your target audience. Determine what the message will be and how you will convey it. Always keep your ultimate goal in mind when building a full 360 degree consistent marketing campaign.

  4. Invest in dynamic content: Dynamic content is when certain aspects of your landing pages or email marketing content change based on the user’s interests to create a relevant, tailored experience. You can garner information to implement this by requesting simple online surveys be completed by your website visitors.

  5. Stay organized:  Embrace a platform like marketing automation to keep your content marketing organized and segmented. Create a detailed task list to ensure you’re thoroughly covering all steps of the process and allowing time to test and review content before it is pushed out to the public.

Wrritten in collaboration with SalesFusion, a leading marketing automation platform headquartered in Atlanta.

Unicef – Outdoor is not dead

I have a personal bias to the exciting world of digital marketing. However, as soon as we look away from our phone screens, we realize that there is still some great stuff ‘out there’

Innovation has always been the game changer especially when traditional media is challenged. Here is a great campaign by Unicef to raise awareness about child abuse. This poster particularly highlights the child’s misery caused by the parental abuse when they come back home. 

unicefmakingtheinvisible

 

To watch the campaign video:

Branding War: LinkedIn v/s Google

Advertising wasn’t quite something that big technology firms traditionally focused on. With leadership coming from an engineering mindset, the belief was that – ‘If the product is good, people will use it’. 

However the merits of branding both from a consumer branding and employee branding perspective has made these biggies think about marketing in a whole new light. 

Moving from simple utility value – organising the world’s information or professional identities –  to a value proposition that is larger than themselves in many ways, tech firms are indeed creating love-marks. Through smart brand positioning, some technology firms are finally hitting consumer’s emotional sweet spot. 

Below are my two favourite campaigns by LinkedIn and Google respectively. Which one steals your heart away? 

 

 

 

Transform the Transformers

With the Transformers releasing this weekend, anticipation for the movie has been rising. Where there is anticipation, there is an audience and where there is an audience – there is ALWAYS a brand.

Big Red- one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America collaborated with Paramount Pictures- the global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment to create dramatic content built around the upcoming release of the Transformers – Age of Extinction.

Advertising is no longer about a pretty girl selling a can of soda. True value can really be derived through strategic partnerships such as Big Red – Paramount or Amex-Delta .

I am prepared for the Age of Extinction. The question is, are you?

 

 

 

Cadbury: The Un-Opinion Video

When I blog about campaigns – I usually have  extreme opinions. Either I love it or I hate it. But for the first time – I actually have no opinion. No reaction whatsoever.

“Viral marketing” has been a buzz word for a while now.  And, of course – It seems to become a core part of the client brief – ‘Please make us a viral video’. But, virality is more likely an outcome than an ingredient in itself.

Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai made an attempt at the dark art (with their dark chocolate) of ‘viral marketing’. Bournville is a dark chocolate and so the entire concept revolved around their unique positioning of being ‘not so sweet’.

Here is the video:

 

The unbranded video with it’s little branded hints – ‘the toy train’ and ‘I really though it was sweet’ gave away the true dark corporate intention behind the puppy love video. But hey, it would be worse if Cadbury invested money in making an unbranded video and no one even realized it was Cadbury.

In terms of ROI – the video had 3 million hits on YouTube within the first 4 days. It seems like they just wanted to get the ‘not so sweet’ conversation started. To think of it-  I might have just helped meet their objectives.

Signing off with ‘still no opinion’.

 

 

Whats your #GoTo?

‘Appification’ of the web is a wonderful thing. But when two companies build a strategic alliance and come together for a campaign(that also turns out to be wonderful) – that is truly fantastic!

The idea is simple –  Get people engaged with their local cities and see who wins – the Big Apple (NYC) or the Emerald City (SEA). Using Instagram as a platform, people posted different photos of fun sites, bit or activities. Voters simply voted for which one of the two photos they like in order to play their part in the $50,000 promised donation to the NGO ‘Junior Achievement’. Of course, the percentage of the votes will dictate the division of the funds.

 

AMEXDelta

 

Visit : https://gotoseaornyc.com/

To make my point, This campaign is so much better than the standard facebook photo contest because:

1) Instragram is a more intuitive platform when it comes to taking photographs

2) Complicating people’s lives with facebook tabs and useless contests just annoys people (and me) now

3) Sometimes a simple hashtag can just make everyone’s lives less complicated and more engaging

The campaign has currently hit 525,000 votes – a sign that people are truly engaging with the campaign. Hugh McIntyre from BoomBox, the creative agency says, “Both (Amex and Delta) have worked on social projects before, but this is their first foray into Instagram”.

Thank God for AMEX and Delta for taking a leap of faith and becoming part of their customer’s habits instead of trying to change their habits through some stupid facebook photo contest.

#SG: Portfolio Night 2014

Portfolio Night (21st May 2014)  is one of the most awaited world wide events for students and creative professionals.  It is a chance to display your creative skills to the genius brains behind the coolest ad campaigns.

32 of the top creative directors from firms such as Ogilvy and Mather, DDB, BBDO, BatesChi & Partners, BBH, TBWA etc. are going to be present during the evening.The event provides excellent networking opportunities for anyone who is interested in the ever-changing and exciting advertising landscape.

P.s: If they love you and your work, they will fly you on a all expense paid trip to New York to work on a real campaign :)

To know more about the event visit: http://www.portfolionight.com/12/singapore/

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Battle of the Drones

Drones are trending everywhere around us. Be it Amazon, Dubai , Brands or Tech geeks – Everyone wants to be a part of the action.

People speculate that drones are going to be a part of our everyday lives – be it transporting goods and love letters to actually launching targeted attacks on people.

Keeping the threats of drones aside, the fun stuff has already started. Of course, there will be innovative brands that take the leap in unknown territories and create immense brand Equity. In the Battle of the Drones, brands such as Sprite and Coke have already taken the lead. Sprite Zero connected with beach-goers while Coke addressed social issues.

Here are the two videos of how brands are redefining drone coolness:

1) Sprite Zero:

 

2) Coke:

 

Which brand do you think won the battle of the drones?

Battle of the Drones

Drones are trending everywhere around us. Be it Amazon, Dubai , Brands or Tech geeks – Everyone wants to be a part of the action.

People speculate that drones are going to be a part of our everyday lives – be it transporting goods and love letters to actually launching targeted attacks on people.

Keeping the threats of drones aside, the fun stuff has already started. Of course, there will be innovative brands that take the leap in unknown territories and create immense brand Equity. In the Battle of the Drones, brands such as Sprite and Coke have already taken the lead. Sprite Zero connected with beach-goers while Coke addressed social issues.

Here are the two videos of how brands are redefining drone coolness:

1) Sprite Zero:

 

2) Coke:

 

Which brand do you think won the battle of the drones?

#China: Words Can Be Weapons

Verbal abuse towards children can have harrowing effects. The psychological damage can be so intense that children resort to heinous crimes like murder and assault.

Ogilvy and Mather, China collaborated with the Centre for Psychological Research to tell the stories of 6 juvenile delinquents who were verbally abused by their parents and are now detained in jail.

“Verbal abuse is a kind of emotional abuse that is learned behaviour. Unless the cycle is broken, the lasting effects can extend into adulthood and the abuse will likely be passed on from one generation to the next”, said Dr. Jun He Jiang, Director, Center for Psychological Research, Shenyang.

The challenge for the campaign was that verbal abuse is often a taboo topic in China and is therefore not easily detected or discussed. Ogilvy had to start a real conversation and also ensure that parents and guardians saw the real life, destructive consequences of verbal abuse.

To me, the most innovative part of the campaign was how the ad literally showed how the abusive words were re-structured to form shapes that resembled guns and knives.  This really drove the point home – WORDS really can turn into WEAPONS.

This ad was not just run in isolation. Tangible results were reaped as micro-sites, phone helplines and We Chat helplines were set-up for teens to approach professional counselling anonymously.  Reports suggest that more than 300 phone calls were made just within two weeks of the website’s launch.  Additionally, more than 30 websites (including the Economist and Chinese Government Websites) carried reports of the project.

This campaign has undoubtedly reaped real life social benefits and definitely touched my heart . I hope that advertising continues to lend its creativity to creates more awareness, discussion and debate about social issues that impacts our everyday lives.

 

Singapore Tourism Board’s Controversial Video

Singapore Tourism Board published a video yesterday for its Philippines Market which aimed at promoting couples to come to Singapore. Other than the fact that the video was immensely draggy, it was obvious that the video was strange.  The end of the story was a girl gifting a pregnancy kit to her young (and rather handsome) husband saying – ‘I’m Pregnant. Happy Anniversary’.

Needless to say, this enraged audiences not just in the Philippines but all across the Asia Pacific Region.It seems like the Singapore Tourism Board has taken down the video but here is a link to the video another user uploaded:

Name of the Video: Singapore Tourism Board’s Horrid Video

(The user does not allow the link to be attached to other websites, so you need to watch it on YouTube itself)

Of course, Public Relations had to paint a rosy picture stating that ‘it (the video) had attracted 3,400 likes in the first week after it was posted on the tourism body’s Philippine Facebook page and prompted around 900 comments, “largely positive.” The video has (quite obviously) invited a lot of  jokes and parodies including this one:

Screen-shot-2014-04-08-at-5.42.44-PM   Honestly, I thought that if this video was an attempt at humor, I would laugh and also give it a ‘thumbs up’. But from the looks of it, I think the Singapore Tourism Board genuinely thought it was a great selling point -_- Well, the moral of the story is – Don’t sell a story that is hurts the sentiments of an audience. And, when it comes to Public Relations, at least be honest. A lot more people will appreciate that.

[2014] The best of brand hoaxes – April Fool’s Day

Yesterday, the Internet was full of April Fool’s Day brand Hoaxes.  Different brands tried their hand at humour and ‘awesome’. As expected, there are always going to be brands that are way on top of their game. Here are a few of my favourite campaigns:  

1) Dominos Pizza: 

The world’s first snacking box 

 

2) HTC Glove

Fake wearable technology glove

 

3) QLess

Qless created Line Ringer, an app that scans for the cell-phone numbers of the people ahead of you in line and calls them with fake emergencies that force them to sacrifice their place. Haha. Love this one!

 

4) Chilli’s

Everything you love about Chilli’s is put in the tub of joy!

Did you spot something that made you smile?

Mobile Apps in Asia : Where would you put your money?

Mobile Apps in Asia : Where would you put your money?

Of course we have heard – ‘Mobile is the future’. But the question is Where? How ? Why?
Line, Whatsapp, We Chat and Kakao Talk are the most prominent apps in the region.
But If you had the power to decide, where would you put your money?

Here is the quick rule of thumb to know which platform to be on. Do note that this analysis is just done on the basis of # of users and market capitalisation metrics (as of today):

1) China, Malaysia: We Chat
2) Japan and Thailand: Line
3) South Korea: Kakao Talk

Now, if you ask me where I where I would put money, I’d say, We Chat.

The reason is simple: When you put money in an ecosystem, people don’t leave. We Chat has been succeeding in creating a powerful ecosystem with virtual wallet integration.

In the region, We Chat gave users the opportunity to give Hong Bao (red envelopes) to their relatives through the app. The campaign was a huge success with over 5 million users giving gift envelopes with different amounts of money to their relatives.

We Chat is also looking at providing capabilities to pay for ‘taxis’ or go ‘dutch’ in restaurants. In spite of We Chat facing increasing scrutiny from banking regulators over their use of virtual wallets and payment apps, I believe that introducing money into the ecosystem will ensure that users don’t switch to other competing apps.

And of course, like all messaging apps, it is inevitable that we will be there because all our friends are there too!

Without a doubt, you don’t want to pay your friend 6 dollars and 45 cents in Cash when all your friends split the cost of the meal on We Chat.