Archive for the ‘General’ Category



Internet telephony company Skype has secured a landmark deal with mobile handset maker Nokia to preload Skype software onto some of its new smartphones, beginning in the third quarter of this year. Skype’s technology allows consumers to make cheap long-distance calls over the Web to land lines or cell phones; calls to other Skype users are completely free. The eBay company has been slowly moving into the mobile phone arena with deals with operators like Hutchison Whampoa’s 3. (Source: Reuters)


I wonder what this will do to the Nokia/Operator relationships which were so carefully nutured over the years.


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This evening, I decided to go through accumulated bills from the last two weeks. Each envelope I open is filled with other “stuff”. While some were interesting, I just did not have the bandwidth to go through all of them. Actually, some of them, I really was keen to find out.


1. Keep language brutally simple. We don’t believe marketing blah blah. Give us the facts and keep it at that. We’ll make up our own minds.

2. Keep the word count brutally minimal. We want economy and efficiency of language. We just don’t have time to plow through your marketing blah blah.

3. Layout. Keep it simple. No pictures admittedly is irritating but redundant pictures and complicated layout is even worse.

End result. Nothing caught my attention and both the marketer and myself are worse off for it.

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According to Marketing Interactive Singapore, Batey is out of the running for the Singapore Airlines pitch. This must be the pitch of the decade for Singapore… or maybe even the century!

35 years, they held the account. That’s probably longer than the average age of the creative team that’s going to work on future Singapore Airlines campaigns.

I personally think it’s a good thing. I see big brands starting to fray at the edges. Not looking tired yet, mind you, but I see the signs of future passe coming on. Coca-Cola IMHO is one (see their new campaign… trying too hard) and the other is Singapore Airlines. And the time has come none too soon. I have not been impressed with Bateys work at all.

It’s going to be a tremendous blow to them but it’ll probably do them good as for so long they have rested easy in the assurance that their bread and butter was taken care of, or rice bowl, in the Asian context.

According to the article, the shortlisted agencies are DDB, Publicis and TBWA. The agencies that didn’t make it were Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R, and the Bates-Ogilvy initative called Gold.

One thing I’m excited about is that one of the shortlisted agencies (I won’t mention which one) asked me to sit in on a “mock pitch” to give them my feedback/comments from a client’s POV. Looking forward to that.

However, don’t wait with bated breath for a completely fresh and radical approach. According to an alleged statement by Singapore Airlines, they said “Singapore Airlines takes this opportunity to reassure our customers and supporters the world over that the Singapore Girl icon will remain, and there will be no change to the hallmark sarong kebaya uniform”.

Incidentally, there are men in Singapore Airlines who work as stewards and they don’t wear the sarong kebaya uniform. Just a side note.

So long, Batey Ads.

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Breadth versus Depth

In the days before even telephones, I would imagine that relationships were more about depth rather than breadth. Due to the less developed nature of transportation and communications, any one person’s social circle, I would assume, would have been smaller than it is today.

Then came the age of basic transportation and telephony. Two things would have happened. One was the ease of accessing a larger social circle and second, would have been the ability to communicate without physical contact (only auditory).

Today and in the future, due to the digital media, we are able to cultivate a massive breadth of social acquaintances with much less depth.

Is this good? I’d personally vote for depth over breadth.

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Attention Span

Two characteristics of the future (or some would argue the present) is even more information overload and shorter attention spans.

And I mean really short attention spans. A 30second TVC ain’t going to cut it for two reasons; one is that no one is going to wait around for a TVC to appear; channel surfing effectively rules out the TV as a medium and the other reason is video sharing. In the past if I really liked a TVC, I would actually hang around a commercial break waiting for the spot to appear.

Now, I Youtube it ad nauseum until I get sick of it.

Another result of the combination of info overload and short attention spans is multi-tasking not as a virtue but a way of life. A guy focused on one thing will be known as a geek. It’s a different way of processing information. In fact, in the future a different type of knowledge may be preferred; width of information over depth. Or width to create depth.

We are now straddling generations. The generation who will read every word of a brochure or a newsletter and a generation which skims a variety of sources to form an opinion.

As a marketer, I need to straddle both types but I believe the days of a 4 page hard copy brochure, newsletters and such are out.

Instead of newsletters, a good option will be moderated wikis. This gives the depth of information while at the same time maintaining a certain neutrality. And an electronic format favours skipping, jumping and multiple-windowing so as to satisfy the  ever shortening attention span.

This suits me fine… I’m known to have attention span problems.

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I’ve got a personal blog here. But I decided to start this blog mainly as a record for my thoughts on my work, marketing and developments in the digital world. These developments will not be technical in nature but rather what the changing nature of the digital space is doing for society generally and marketing specifically.

I will also use this space to jot down my thoughts on marketing and branding generally but also, as it is a personal blog, I will take the license to have a category with “off topic” postings.

However, this blog will be significantly different from my other blog, Lemniscates are Forever.

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