The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Here’s A Headline You Don’t See Very Often*
July 31, 2008, 8:53 pm
Filed under: Food For Thought

Nice to know that political scandals are not just limited to Western governments.

For those who want to know what the hell this is about, you can find out here.

* Unless you read the Sunday Sport ‘newspaper’.

Freedom Of Opinion Wanted …
July 31, 2008, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Comment

I am aware most of my blog posts of late have been bordering on being unmitigated shite [wait till you see tomorrow’s, it’s achieves new highs in lows!] but after a lovely chat with Professor Mark Chong – one of the best blokes in the Universe – I think I might actually be writing some stuff that could be interesting in the future.

No, that’s not a typo – I N T E R E S T I N G

Sadly, given it’s going to take some time for us to validate the trend we believe is emerging, you’re going to have to sit through alot more of my crap before you get to the gold [or at least, gold plated] however to get things rolling, I’d love to hear whether you think Asian business [especially in Singapore] is becoming [or will soon become] more Western in it’s attitude/approach or more Asian – and why.

All viewpoints gratefully received – especially if you live/work/deal in the region.

That’s it. Ta-ra.

[PS: Charles and Lauren are on fire at the moment – not literally, I’m talking about their blogs. One day I hope to be able to achieve 36.27% of the quality they write on a daily basis, the clever, smug bastards!]

Your ‘Spin’ Spins Me Right Round, Baby Right Round …
July 31, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Given most of my mates are at work [or at least that’s their excuse] I thought I’d turn to the newspaper … and even though it contravenes the trades description act of what a newspaper should be … I did come across a rather interesting letter that someone decided to write in …

Bad BA by you.

I know it is probably quite hard to read, but the basic jist is that this bloke, Steve Armstrong, is slagging off British Airways because [1] they have unhelpful call centres in India [2] the luggage gets lost and [3] they charge a fortune.

Now even though they are a totally shit airline, does anyone else think this whole thing smells abit funny?

OK, so Singaporean’s LOOOOOOOOVE to moan and complain but Steve Armstrong doesn’t sound a very Asian does it?

And his complaint sounds kinda weird – especially the fact that he sends his kids using an airline he say’s he vowed many years ago never to use again.

Alright … alright … he doesn’t say “I’m only going to fly Singapore Airlines in the future because they’re the best and the most competitively priced” so I appreciate I’m making abit of a conspiracy theory here, but this wouldn’t be the first time companies have used dirty tactics to try and obtain more business.

One of my favourites – apart from when SONY Pictures invented journalistic quotes for their movies [actually they invented the journalists as well but that’s by-the-by] – is back in 2002 when I was in Oz.

I was scanning through the pages of the terrible Daily Telegraph newspaper when I came across this supposed ‘readers letter’ …

Page 18 by you.

OK, so Aussie blokes love their cars – and there is this Ford vs Holden battle amongst the truly sad [ha!] – but who the fuck writes in about bloody television commercials?

Of course my cynic-radar told me that this was another example of the depths PR companies will stoop to to get their client some positive publicity so imagine my surprise when I turned the page and saw the promotion that the Daily Telegraph was running …

Page 20

Yep, that’s right, WIN A FORD XR6 … what a surprise!

Of course I can’t prove that The Daily Telegraph and Ford were in cahoots to pull the wool over the Aussie publics eyes … but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s quite a coincidence.

So for all those companies who want to try and get some additional – and positive publicity – I have an idea for you.

Rather than utilise the most transparent strategy since George Bush announced WMD’s in Iraq, why don’t you actually do stuff that people actually want/need rather than try and take the lazy route by attempting to make big news out of nothing or at the very least, the most miniscule evolution known to man.

I know you’re probably all jealous how Apple can get on news programs all around the World by banging out the same product with a bit more colour and memory, but they’re an exception [and even though they have a history of genuine, user-friendly innovation, that sort of behaviour won’t go unpunished if they try and do it too often] so stop your PR machines from fabricating illusion and do something that they can really get their teeth into … something good, interesting and exciting … because for all the money you spend on spin, I bet you could come out with something worthwhile if you re-directed some of those funds into finding out what your customers really want/need rather than interpret whatever they say to suit your own personal agendas.

It’s Not Business, It’s Personal …
July 30, 2008, 7:57 am
Filed under: Comment

A while back I wrote about how difficult it is to run global / regional brands.

The main thrust of my rant was that not only do you have to get a grip [and manage] cultural differences, but you also have to counter the various corporate attitudinal differences – which tends to mean that apart from a focus on ‘getting the money in’, there’s little consistency in approach.

To highlight my example, I discussed how SONY Malaysia were systematically destroying their corporate brands vision, strategy and goal by embarking on some terrible advertising for Vaio.

28/12/2007 I’d rather be an orphan!

Now I know I shouldn’t care because I left that account when I/we ended our WPP experiment – but the thing is I do care, I care alot – and what kills me is that it seems SONY Malaysia’s terrible attitude towards brand building and treating people with respect and intelligence is spreading to Singapore.

Normally when I go to the Funan Mall – one of Singapore’s dedicated technology shopping centres – I get very excited because I know I’ll be seeing/buying more pointless shit that will keep me happy for oooooooh, 10 minutes, however on this occasion, I felt sick before I even entered the doors because hanging proudly at the entrance was this …





So according to SONY [or should I say SONY VAIO … coincidence? I think not!] the colour pink makes you [1] more romantic and [2] more beautiful.

Well no offence, but Barbara Cartland was liberally coated in the stuff and she looked fucking terrible … though to be fair, she did write a load of soppy guff that sold in the millions.

And what the hell is luxurious pink?

Is that like ‘Tuscan Red’ … which is basically red with a poncy name? Designers have a lot to answer for I can tell you … 🙂

Now while I am sure there are some people out there who really, really, really want a pink computer [Emah for example!] I doubt even they would buy one JUST because of it’s fucking colour.

And if they did, would you really want stupid bastards walking around associating with your brand?

Well actually if you’re embarking on this sort of strategy, we know the answer to that – however selling your brand/product purely on the basis it comes in a particular shade of pink undermines any premium price you hope to achieve.

Look, I know that when iMac first offered different colour ‘flavours’, it was a novel approach because before that, computers had only been available in grey or black … however as I said previously, we live in multi-coloured ‘everything’ times, so this approach is particularly weak, especially when every other computer manufacture – including the super-cheap-and-nasty – offers the same option.

It is a very fine line between brand consistency and profit – however they are not mutually exclusive – and if SONY carries on letting it’s VAIO subsidiary fuck up their brand, then they only have themselves to blame if they go back to the wilderness they were so recently an inhabitant of.

I love SONY – not just because of what I/we did for them – but because I adore their products and when I see this kind-of activity, it makes me ill because it’s the actions of the desperate and/or totally misinformed.

I’m sure there’ll be someone who retort this approach has had a positive short term effect on sales, however to them I would counter by saying it’s the long-term ramifications you should be worried about – but then when organisations only focus on the end of the month, I’d only be wasting my breath wouldn’t I?

Brands keep going on about how hard it is to achieve consumer loyalty, but what do they expect when they subject them to lowest common denominator communication day after day after day?

Hmmmmn, I wonder how much of this approach is a byproduct of how the marketing manager/director is treated/respected by their boss?

As one client once said to me, “shit is handed down in direct proportion to what he is experiencing himself” – which means if the CEO isn’t getting laid, we all suffer 🙂

Drink And Drive … It’s Fun!
July 29, 2008, 11:23 am
Filed under: Crap Marketing Ideas From History!

27/07/2008 by you.

Formula 1cocktails? Formula 1 cocks more like …

And the copy … “Getting you revved up for the Formula 1 season. It’s our pleasure. Please approach our ladies or gentlemen for more information” … could easily be misinterpreted as a theme night at the local brothel.

Another gratuitous attempt to jump on the Singapore Formula 1 bandwagon. What next, Formula 1 bog roll? For when you have to ‘shit and go’ in a hurry?