Opinion | Features
So I’ve been watching Girls for the majority of its 3 seasons. It’s the kind of show that I don’t technically enjoy, but somehow when a new episode is released I find myself watching it, wondering at its conclusion why I continue to do so. It has won Emmy’s and Golden Globes, and has enough nudity for it to not seem out of place on HBO.
On 7 April, Robin Li started a campaign on Change.org that called on Stomp, Singapore Press Holdings’ gossip site, to be closed down. The campaign has drawn significant support, with more than 22,000 people signing his petition.
In this interview with Mumbrella, Li, who some believed was a pseudonym for Howard Lee, the commentaries editor of independent news site The Online Citizen (Lee has denied this), talks about his motives for wanting STOMP to be shut down, the worst stories on the website, and whether he thinks his campaign will actually work.
Cannes is an award show for the best of the best. This is what the show is about.
We want our locals to do well in this show. This is the objective.
If the locals can’t do better than the global community working in Singapore, then what hope do they have in Cannes?
In this guest post, blogger and activist Kirsten Han ponders why Stomp, a Singapore citizen journalism website that the campaigner who wants it closed down says is a platform for cyberbullying and snooping, is allowed to exist in a country with a government intolerant of anything that threatens social stability.
In a country as wired as Singapore, it’s easy to see why media outlets would want to capitalise on our addiction to sharing (and over-sharing) on social media. “User-generated content” is a God-send to any media organisation hoping to maximise content and eyeballs with minimal investment and in-house manpower.
The week in review: Singapore bans foreign talent from Young Lions contest | SingTel or STB, which ad was worse? | Adstream sells LBB | Publicis enters Myanmar | Campaign to close Stomp | Chinese journalist pulled off air for criticising officials
In a week in which a Singapore tourism ad went viral after its creators tried to delete it, a campaign launched to close down Stomp, a Chinese TV presenter was taken off air for calling officials ‘corrupt’, BBDO held on to the Philippines tourism account, Adsteam sold Little Black Book and merged with Asia On Time, Singapore blocked foreign talent from entering the Young Lions creative competition, and Publicis became the latest agency to enter Myanmar.
So, this is the second year that the Mumbrella Awards, now in their fifth year, have opened up the competition beyond Australia to invite the rest of the region to test their mettle in what we believe to be the hardest awards to win in Asia.
In this guest post, Simon Kearney suggests that we might have been too quick to trash Singapore Tourism Board’s three-minute promotional video that was called ‘so bad it will go viral’.
We should all be a little ashamed of our reaction to the recent Singapore Tourism Board (STB) debacle involving that film promoting inbound tourism from the Philippines.
The film wasn’t designed for a Singapore audience, or even a Western audience.
I remember having the same reaction the first time I saw Bollywood content. Just because it is different doesn’t mean it is wrong.
It is a curious irony that a government that has been gyrating its hips to attract creative businesses as it looks to become Asia’s most powerful advertising hub, is itself a producer of advertising that is often unfathomably terrible.
Yesterday, we saw an ad for Singapore’s tourism board get so much grief in social media that the authorities deleted it from their YouTube channel in the hope that it wouldn’t go viral. Which, of course, helped it go viral amid a blaze of headlines such as ‘The ad STB didn’t want you to see’.
But the three-minute STB video wasn’t the worst ad the Singapore government has ever made. It wasn’t even the worst ad it’s made this year. So we thought we’d take a look at some of the other howlers to come out off the production line of Asia’s richest government in recent times.
In this 25-minute video re-cap from the Festival of Media Asia, Jason Hill, director of international advertising and content at General Electric, talks about why his company has stopped using display web banners, why advertising is no longer agile enough for many brands, and how “the world’s oldest start-up” uses content marketing to humanise itself.
Hill also gave an example of how General Electric works with The Economist to drive content marketing programmes.
So how does a numbers-driven environment like a media agency foster creativity? What role does data play in creativity? And are media agencies becoming as obsessed with awards as their creativity agency cousins? Blakeman had a word with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks.
In this half-hour video re-cap from the Festival of Media Asia, the heads of Asia’s top agency trading desks talk about how much money is being spent on programmatic buying, obstacles to adoption and predictions for the future for programmatic trading.
The speakers were Grace Liau, Asia Pacific general manager of Vivaki’s Audience on Demand trading desk, Michel de Rijk, APAC MD of WPP’s Xaxis, Yean Cheong and VP of market solutions at Interpublic Group’s MAP, which operates Cadreon.
The week in review: 'We are all guilty of scam' | What was the best April Fools' stunt? | Foreign talent told: 'adapt to local culture or leave' | Singapore clamps down on another news site | Nike kicks off World Cup ads | PR agency closes
In a week that began with brands playing the fool on 1 April, PR agency CommunicationsDNA closed down, another Singapore news website felt the weight of regulation, foreign talent was told “adapt to our culture or leave”, DDB Singapore won HPB (but lost APB), and Omnicom’s agency trading desk Accuent lost its second senior executive inside a fortnight.
Xaxis Asia Pacific boss Michel de Rijk on what success looks like in an exploding market, arbitrage and the day TV will be bought by machines
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, de Rijk talks about a business that has grown by 700 per cent in two years, the tricky issue of arbitrage and the not too distant future when television will be bought by machines.
In this interview with Mumbrella, Baker talks about how brands can use wearable technology, how people will start to trade their personal data in the future, and why the biggest obstacle for the sector is its name.
Hegarty: Asia will never be a dominant force in advertising if it doesn’t cut out scam
Advertising legend John Hegarty has hit out at the “endemic” level of scam advertising in Asia.
In an interview with Mumbrella at the Cannes Lions festival today, the Bartle Bogle Hegarty founder and creative chief said that there was no signs that scam – the practice of ad agencies creating work purely to win awards – was diminishing in the region.
“There have been no statements from agencies that they won’t do it,” he said.
Client are in on the act too, Hegarty said.
“They’re trying to beat each other in the rankings to take awards home. It’s a disgrace.”
“If you focus on scam – which a lot of agencies do in Asia – you’ll always lack proof that creative work actually works.”
“You can con yourself by calling it ‘proactive’ work. But that’s just another word for scam.”
“We’re proactive every day by trying to solve client’s problems, not pretending we can produce pretty ads that never run anywhere.”
“If Asia is to become dominant force in advertising, it must kick this habit,” said Hegarty.
Scam is not difficult to spot, he added.
“Just look out for the beautiful piece of art, with a tiny logo in the bottom corner.”
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- Timothy Tang on Why you shouldn’t be so quick to judge STB’s ‘so bad it will go viral’ video
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- Turner takes over operations of WarnerTV in Asia
- Havas Media Ortega hires Jan Lorraine Cui as business director
- Mobile Marketing Association launches Vietnam chapter
- Y&R China promotes Shelby Lee to group account director
- We Are Social releases snapshot report on social media in China
- Leo Burnett Singapore makes three strategy hires, Nigel Tribe joins as global planning director on SKII
- W+K Tokyo wins global brand brief for Citizen
- Dentsu Young & Rubicam names Michael Atkins as executive director as Bob Kerwin retires