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

1938 Singapore.
March 27, 2009, 6:32 am
Filed under: Comment

[Thanks to James for pointing this out to me]

The Illiteracy Of The Marketeer …
March 26, 2009, 6:21 am
Filed under: Comment

Alan Goh – director of SMU’s office of undergraduate admissions – says:

“We think we have been the catalyst in redefining how branding ought to be done in the tertiary sphere; we do not see ourselves merely competing against the local universities but universities within Asia, where attracting top quality talents to study in Singapore remains our focus.”

“In our quest to jettison ourselves from being a Singapore-based university into a world-class university, our strategy is to embrace new media – websites, blogs, chats, social networks – which are emerging to be powerful channels of communications that are part of youths’ lifestyle.”

“We thought out of the box and rationalised spending in the print medium while espousing a medium where we can become the media owner – the web. This is culled from our findings that the top three sources of information gathering by university-bound students are word of mouth, newspapers and SMU websites.”

I need add nothing more except to say SMU is a much better place than this campaign will do for them.

At its heart, it’s a university for entrepreneurs … people who want to create something with their life rather than simply follow the masses up the corporate ladder of a pre-exisiting, foreign, faceless organisation.

It’s more of the same bland bollocks every other Singapore University spouts and so as much as Alan say’s this is going to help them compete across Asia, the reality is its going to make them blend even more into the background.

If you want to attract youth – speak and think like them – what hope has the young generation got when their educators are focused on churning out even more brand consultants and investment bankers.

It’s Not Big, It’s Not Clever … But It’s Bloody Funny!!!
March 25, 2009, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Comment

Click here.

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Paintings In The Sky …
March 25, 2009, 7:02 am
Filed under: Comment

One of the things that always stops me in my tracks is when I’m working and I see a plane flying overhead.

Despite spending an inordinate amount of time at airports, there is still something magical about seeing that white plume of smoke rising ever higher in the sky.

I wonder where it’s going. I wonder who are the passengers. I wonder how excited the people going on holiday are feeling.

It’s a little moment where regardless of what I’m doing, I sense a tinge of jealously.

Below is a video that shows how many of these journeys take place every day.

The video is a 24-hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to just over a minute.

What a beehive of activity …

I love how you can see all the planes leave the US and swarm towards Europe before heading back again.

I love how there seems to be more planes leaving Sydney than arriving and more planes arriving in South Africa than going.

I love how you can tell when the airports are open and when they are closed.

I love seeing how bloody Asia seems to be in a constant state of activity and how Singapore seems to be Asia’s key stopover hub.

I love watching the flights between Oz and NZ … it’s as if they’re in battle of who can get rid of the most people.

I love how you can tell it was recorded when it was summer in the Northern hemisphere by the sun’s footprint over the planet. [it didn’t quite set in the extreme north and it didn’t quite rise in the extreme south]

I love how you can see how Earth works.

If we open our eyes enough, we can see there’s real beauty in information, not to mention the fact we can make information, beautiful.

The Relativity Of Truth …
March 24, 2009, 6:26 am
Filed under: Comment

It’s long, but it’s worth every second – especially if you want to see how social manipulation goes way beyond just adlands pitiful attempts.

Infact, in the big scheme of things, what the advertising industry produces in a bid to change mass habits and opinions is strictly 3rd division … not that that’s an excuse … just a reminder that there’s a lot more that drives our decisions/feelings/attitudes than a 30″ ad.

Adland needs to remember that interms of what it takes credit for [Fallon and Cadbury’s 30% sales growth for example] and people need to remember that interms of what they end up thinking/believing. Hell, I reckon the media has had a huge influence in the speed of decline of the global economy. Sure, they weren’t the ones that poured billions into stupidity in an attempt to make ever-outrageous profits, but their one-dimensional coverage helped seed fear and doubt into the masses, which ultimately helped create the self-perpetuating myth of financial ruin.

I am under no illusion how tricky a job it is and I know a lot of the journalists out there feel inner turmoil between what they want to report and how they are told to report it … but it has come to a point where the ‘rules’ that govern journalistic quality need updating and – as far as I am concerned – the majority of that needs to be focused on who actually ‘owns’ the news rather than what is written.

As Mr Mortimer has said many times, there’s more guidelines for what adland can say than the media and given ‘news’ – even in its current state – has more influence than adland could ever dream of in a thousand lifetimes, that seems to be out of whack.

Saying all this – and it is an easy cop out – I don’t know what the answer is.

John Pilger slags off the BBC and they are probably more ‘independent’ than most of the competition given they are perceptually, owned by the people [yes I know that’s not really the case, but it’s not part of FOX or CNN who celebrate their corporate ties at almost every opportunity] so maybe the future of quality news is going to be more about aggragation than corporation … where people have to determine the ‘truth’ by seeing/reading multiple viewpoints of the same story or by filtering each article after being told who are the broadcaster/publishers major owners/advertisers.

News is incredibly important – whether it is World events, business or just the local soccer review – people need it far more than they probably realise, however if it is allowed to continue in such an influenced state, then it’s in danger of becoming more like a horoscope than anything of fundamental value.

Just like adland!