Opinion | Features
Lenovo marketer Sridhar Ramaswamy on judging the APPIES, Asia's strongest brands and why agencies should turn their backs on scam
Sridhar Ramaswamy is the Asia Pacific advertising and brand director for Lenovo. He is also this year’s chief judge for the APPIES, an awards show run by the Institute of Advertising, Singapore to find the best marketing campaigns in Asia.
In this Q&A with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, the former Tata Communications, Dell and Intel marketer talks about what he’s looking for in a winning entry for the APPIES, his favourite campaigns from around the region, and what he’d do if he caught his agencies doing scam - work created purely to win awards.
What would you say is your biggest challenge right now in your role for Lenovo?
The week in review: BBDO boss on scam: 'I trust my people to do the right thing' | A week of abrupt exits | SingTel's acquisition of Amobee 'put Singapore ad tech on the map' | The best 'I want Germany to win' parody | Some great Asian ads (real ones)
In a week of major people moves including the exit of McCann Singapore’s ECD, BBDO’s global boss said that agencies should be winning awards for real work for real clients “not local bike shops or dry cleaners”, Y&R won Land Rover and retained M1, former Amobee executive Harry Dewhirst joined a new Singapore-based ad tech firm, and another parody of Singapore’s much-derided anti-gambling emerged.
Following recent controversy surrounding entries to the Cannes Lions, Eaon Pritchard argues until we have a better way to evaluate the merits of agencies than awards, all agencies will be highly incentivised to do whatever it takes to win.
Advertising’s outcomes are notoriously hard to measure. Which is why in advertising agencies, we love to measure outputs instead.
Agency outputs (i.e. creativity, ingenuity, technical wizardry and planning cleverness) are far easier to evaluate than the contributions that the work agencies do has to actual business outcomes.
Harry Dewhirst on Asia plans for new venture BlisMedia, obstacles to growth, and why SingTel's acquisition of Amobee put Singapore ad tech 'on the map'
Harry Dewhirst is the former VP of advertising at Amobee, a mobile ad tech firm that SingTel acquired for $321 million in 2012. He recently joined location-based ad company BlisMedia, and is looking to expand the business from his base in Singapore.
In this Q&A with Mumbrella Asia’s editor Robin Hicks, Dewhirst, whose mobile ad buying firm RingRing Media was acquired by Amobee in 2009, talks about how BlisMedia differs to Amobee, his Asia expansion plans, and whether his former company was worth its hefty price tag.
With questions being raised over the integrity of some awards entries in Asia and Australia in recent days, former creative director Darren Woolley says scam can be as damaging for marketers as the agencies involved.
Scam awards entries have come to industry attention again, following the most recent Cannes Lions awards. In the process, several high profile advertisers have been associated with their agencies’ entries. But what are the implications for the advertiser?
It is a standard response that advertisers are not really interested in creative awards. But the fact is that marketers are human and those that have healthy and close working relationships with their agencies actually enjoy seeing them being recognised, especially for work they may have created together.
In a Q&A with Mumbrella’s Australia site, Terry Savage, chairman of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, defends the integrity of the competition and answers questions around scam ads following an investigation by Mumbrella into a series of ads from Australia and one from Asia entered into the Press category which ran just once.
What is your definition of scam?
We require the work to have been approved by the client and to have used paid Media in the execution, if there is a query we get validation via the agency the client and the Media schedule that the work has run and complied within our entry rules. In the case of self promotion and NGO that is not the case.
In this post, D. Sriram takes issue with those who say that success for marketers in China, in his case dealing with state-run broadcasters, is impossible because of bureaucracy, government interference and shady dealings.
I remember a hot afternoon in June 2012 – I was in Beijing, headed out to meet a major broadcaster to present the concept of a cloud based advertising delivery system. This was the very first time I was presenting the system to a broadcaster, so I’d rehearsed my presentation (in Mandarin) several times and I was on tenterhooks as people filed into the room, exchanged cards and sat down for the meeting.
The week in review: BBDO Singapore's Lion-winning Guinness ads ran once in I-S | Brand blunders around MH17 crash | CEO of Myanmar's first social network exits | Mindshare boss slams ad agency 'ego' | Agency surprised 'I want Germany to win' ad went viral
In a week in which the lid was lifted on ‘scam advertising’ in Australia, it emerged that a multi-award winning campaign for Guinness in Singapore may also have been created purely with awards in mind, although the campaign was vouched for by the client. We also saw the abrupt exit of the CEO of Squar, Myanmar’s first social network, Ogilvy launch a behavioural sciences unit in Singapore, Twitter and Facebook set social media records thanks to the World Cup, and the Singapore agency behind that ‘I want Germany to win’ anti-gambling ad voice surprise that the video went viral.
Ashutosh Srivastava on the agency of the future, the role of women in media, and rekindling Mindshare's entrepreneurial spirit
In an expansive interview with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, Srivastava talks about the region’s most exciting markets, the birth of Mindshare in Asia in 1996, the role of women in the agency’s development, and the challenge of rekindling Mindshare’s founding spirit.
You’re said to be one of the region’s most cerebral talents. Don’t you sometimes find media to be mentally unchallenging and a bit dull?
1. There are no more pure PR or advertising agencies. The industry has shifted and converged around Audience and Content. Everything else is channels.
Ranga Somanathan on why the talent crunch is not an issue, 'quick buck' publishers and the need to 'hustle'
In this Q&A, he talks about some of the big challenges facing the media industry, from finding talent to dealing with publishers, and explains why marketers are trailing agencies in keeping up with the consumer.
What do you see as some of the big challenges facing the region, and what keeps you up at night?
The week in review: Programmatic bosses on transparency | Singapore anti-gambling ad ridiculed | Google one in five mobile ads not displaying | New ads for HBO, DTAC, Samsung
In a week which saw Singapore host both ATS and Adtech issues around digital and programmatic took centre stage, with discussions around the lack of transparency in Asia, debate over clients taking their programmatic buying in-house and the lack of mobile optimisation among publishers. There was also an awkward moment for the Singapore government after an anti-gambling ad drew online ridicule following Brazil’s defeat at the World Cup.
Story of the week
Like many areas with the marketing communications sector public relations in Asia suffers from a talent shortage. In this Q&A Brian West managing director of reputation management, Asia Pacific for Fleishman Hillard takes talent, the impact of social and mobile on public relations and crisis management.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the public relations industry?
The week in review: iProspect boss 'industry must fight bots' | DBS chief marketer on being an expat | Possible 'scam' Cannes ads outed in Australia | New campaigns for Coke and Samsung
In a week which saw the APAC boss of Denstu’s search arm iProspect call for action to combat botting and click fraud, the chief consumer marketing boss for banking giant DBS talked about the experience of being an expatriate marketer and the challenges facing the banking sector, Samsung and Coca-Cola both release new campaigns with strong creative and Havas hired Sunny Hermano for a regional role.
Story of the week
Today she oversees the Singaporean bank’s consumer marketing efforts across the six countries of Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and India and in this Q&A Pascale talks about the challenges and opportunities of being expatriate marketer in Asia.
- What are main differences from a marketing perspective between the Australian and Asian markets?
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.”
- Gigi on Hong Kong political news site House News closes down amid ‘fear’ and weak ad sales
- Bubba on R/GA founder Bob Greenberg: Those who say digital agencies are bad storytellers are wrong
- Joe on R/GA founder Bob Greenberg: Those who say digital agencies are bad storytellers are wrong
- Joe on Lenovo APAC marketer Sridhar Ramaswamy: If I caught my agency doing scam it would be a short conversation
- Vladimir on Hong Kong political news site House News closes down amid ‘fear’ and weak ad sales
- wake up on Cannes Lions-winning Guinness Singapore press campaign ran once in free listings magazine
- haha on Cannes rules that BBDO Singapore’s Guinness Press winners that ran once are ‘legitimate’
- Eddie on BBDO global boss Andrew Robertson on scam: ‘I trust my people to do the right thing’
- Grey Japan hires Yasushi Ogata from DDB as senior creative director
- Criteo launches global performance ad solution
- Havas Media India wins digital brief for Businessworld magazine
- Saatchi & Saatchi hires two group creative heads for South China
- MediaCom appoints ex-LBBonline editor Gabrielle Lott as APAC associate marketing director
- APPIES unveils 2014 speaker line-up
- ActiveTV announces three appointments
- Google and IDA to offer Singapore students data analytics training
- Cannes Lions-winning Guinness Singapore press campaign ran once in free listings magazine - 19 comments
- Boss of agency behind lampooned 'I hope Germany win' anti-gambling campaign: We did not expect it to do so well virally - 11 comments
- Copycatting allegations emerge in Philippines over Y&R's 'It's in our nature' campaign - 7 comments
- Terry Savage defends debated Cannes Lions entries saying 'Super Bowl ads run once' - 7 comments
- 10 take-aways from Ad:Tech Singapore - 6 comments
- Shortlisted Australian Cannes Lions ads ran once, in local parenting mag - 6 comments
- Questions over whether Aussie Cannes Lions entries for Panasonic and McDonalds are 'scam' - 4 comments
- Mindshare boss: Ad agencies still see media agencies merely as executors of their strategies - 4 comments