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MARKETING MAGAZINE SINGAPORE EDITION

THE ART & SCIENCE OF CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS

SINGAPORE

MARCH 2014

marketing-interactive.com

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YOUR BUSINESS

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As a global leader in loyalty management, Aimia deploys a full suite of loyalty services across all industries, geographies and channels. We build and run loyalty programs for ourselves and for some of the world’s best brands. To see how our loyalty insights can deliver results for your business, visit us at aimia.com. Aimia, 1 Maritime Square #07-02, Harbourfront Centre (Lobby C), Singapore 099253 | T +65 6220 0005 Š 2014 Aimia Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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ALL STRESSED UP Editorial Rayana Pandey, Editor rayanap@marketing-interactive.com Elizabeth Low, Deputy Editor elizabethl@marketing-interactive.com Rezwana Manjur, Senior Journalist rezwanam@marketing-interactive.com Editorial – International Matt Eaton, Editor (Hong Kong) matte@marketing-interactive.com Oliver Bayani, Editor (Philippines) oliverb@marketing-interactive.com Production and Design Shahrom Kamarulzaman, Regional Art Director shahrom@lighthousemedia.com.sg Fauzie Rasid, Senior Designer fauzier@lighthousemedia.com.sg Advertising Sales – Singapore Che Winstrom, Sales Manager chew@marketing-interactive.com Mercy Soh, Senior Account Manager mercys@marketing-interactive.com Johnathan Tiang, Account Manager johnathant@marketing-interactive.com Trina Choy, Account Manager trinac@marketing-interactive.com Yuru Wong, Account Manager yuruw@marketing-interactive.com Advertising Sales – International Josi Yan, Sales Director (Hong Kong) josiy@marketing-interactive.com Events Yeo Wei Qi, Head, Events Services weiqi@marketing-interactive.com Marketing June Tan, Regional Marketing Executive junet@lighthousemedia.com.sg Finance Evelyn Wong, Regional Finance Director evelynw@lighthousemedia.com.sg Management Søren Beaulieu, Publisher sorenb@marketing-interactive.com Tony Kelly, Editorial Director tk@marketing-interactive.com Justin Randles, Group Managing Director jr@marketing-interactive.com

Marketing is published 12 times per year by Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd. Printed in Singapore on CTP process by Sun Rise Printing & Supplies Pte Ltd, 10 Admiralty Street, #06-20 North Link Building, Singapore 757695. Tel: (65) 6383 5290. MICA (P) 180/03/2009. For subscriptions, contact circulations at +65 6423 0329 or email subscriptions@marketing-interactive.com. COPYRIGHT & REPRINTS: All material printed in Marketing is protected under the copyright act. All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in part or in whole without the prior written consent of the publisher and copyright holder. Permission may be requested through the Singapore office. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in Marketing are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Singapore: Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd 100C Pasir Panjang Road, #05-01 See Hoy Chan Hub, Singapore 118519 198755 Tel: +65 6423 0329 Fax: +65 6423 0117 Hong Kong: Lighthouse Independent Media Ltd Unit A, 7/F, Wah Kit Commercial Building 302 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2861 1882 Fax: +852 2861 1336 Malaysia: Suite 11.7 11F Bangunan Yee Seng, 15 Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur 50200, Malaysia Tel: +60 3 2072 0355 Fax: +60 3 2072 0395 To subscribe to Marketing magazine, go to: www.marketing-interactive.com

There has to be a few solid reasons why PR has been voted as one of the most stressful jobs in the world for a few years in a row. While the methodology of such research can be debated, I know for a fact my PR friends seem to be in a firefight at work on a daily basis. Drawing the line on clients’ demands versus the risk of losing the account is the bottom line of nearly every dilemma they face. What’s making their job so tough? Second guessing Quite often the PR agency/manager has no inkling of what the client’s management wants. And this is more so in the case of bigger, multinational companies where the management is not easily accessible, leaving a lot of room for miscommunication, second guessing and, therefore, mismatched expectations.

Death of a PR manager’s career This one is a horror story and doesn’t happen often, or so is my hope. Clients call the PR agency’s boss asking to remove a consultant from the account on the grounds of under performance. Now this could well be true in some instances, in others it’s just a case of the client not providing the consultant with ample information. We are playing with someone’s career, guys. This comes across as a long rant against clients, granted, but these reasons are why PR is one of the world’s most stressful jobs. What are the other issues the business of PR faces? We explore all of that in this edition. Also don’t forget to check out the results of our first annual PR Awards on page 42. It’s about time we recognised the great work PR does. Enjoy the issue.

The dollar dilemma Budgets, as always, is another source of frustration. From shoe-string to nonexistent to simply bad budget management – the range is, well, disappointing. My sympathies are with poor account managers who are being pulled by clients on one hand asking for more with less and by account directors, on the other, who’s orders are to stop servicing the client. Perfection is a myth … Sometimes clients ask for perfection. Agency folks, this will ring a bell. You’ve worked very hard to get a media plan ready – releases, social media, press interviews, everything. A pretty creative PR campaign overall, but that one teeny weeny typo, which would have crept in thanks to auto-correct, is all that the client is fixated about. The entire work is ignored because of that one mistake. Now, that’s really asking for perfection, isn’t it? … so is the deadline How many times have you had a client come to you and ask for that report on Saturday morning? The team ends up working all night on Friday, hands the report to the client on Saturday and gets this million-dollar reply as a reward: “Oh! my boss just postponed the meeting to next week, but thanks for your effort, anyways!”

Rayana Pandey Editor W W W .MA R KET ING - INT ERAC TIVE . COM

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ASIA’S PREMIER LOYALTY EVENT RETURNS Building on the success of last year’s edition, Customer Loyalty 2014 digs deeper into the current issues facing the industry with an updated agenda and fresher topics. Over 120 senior marketing practitioners across the region are expected to attend, making it the ideal platform to share insights and pick up new knowledge that you could apply on the execution and running of your brand’s loyalty and engagement initiatives.

Find out how to cultivate brand loyalty and hear from thoughtleaders from major brands including:

Naomi Mizumura Vice president, international consumer cards, Singapore American Express International

Vijay Venugopalan Head of CRM and UC practice, AMEA BT Advise

Tanya Watia Director, CRM & partnerships (global) COMO Hotels & Resorts

Ajay Mohan Director of partner marketing and sponsorships, consumer marketing and sales Intel Asia Pacific & Japan

Santosh Katti Sudheendra Marketing director Johnson & Johnson Vision Care

Matthew Lloren Senior manager, customer and growth consultant PwC Consulting

and more...

27 – 28 March 2014 I Four Seasons Hotel Singapore 9.00am – 5.00pm (Registration starts at 8.00am)

Gold Sponsors

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CONTENTS FEA TU R ES 12 NEWS ANALYSIS: THE BIG BUSINESS OF FAKING IT Celebrities and businesses all have bought fans and followers just to gain clout online. But here’s what it will really cost a brand. Elizabeth Low reports.

14 NEWS ANALYSIS: THE TRUTH ABOUT REGIONAL ROLES Aiming for a regional role? Here’s what you’re really getting into, writes Rezwana Manjur.

28 PROFILE: SINGTEL’S JOHAN BUSE Elizabeth Low talks to the man behind Singapore’s easiest brand to hate – SingTel’s Johan Buse, as he discusses how he plans to win locals over.

36 FEATURE: PUBLIC RELATIONS VERSUS LEGAL Has the age-old tussle between legal and PR changed and if not, should it? Elizabeth Low finds out. There are a myriad of issues facing the PR industry. What are some of them and how can they be solved? Marketing finds out in this edition.

42 PR AWARDS The best PR campaigns and practices recognised.

OPINIONS

DE PA RT M E N T S

24 AD WATCH/WEB WATCH

4 NEWS

Hakuhodo’s Patrick Ng praises Heineken’s “Dance More, Drink Slow” campaign, while VML Qais’ Joshua Sim thinks online tailoring site Indochino.com has the digital experience just right.

Qatar appoints PR agency; Business Insider launches in the region; MAS pushes its digital strategy; and Zeno opens in Malaysia, plus more.

32 BRAND HEALTH CHECK: ABERCROMBIE & FITCH

25 DIRECT MAIL CASE STUDY

It looks like sexy models and controversy aren’t enough to keep a brand going, as Abercrombie & Fitch is finding out.

Instead of simply asking for donations for its annual fundraising, the Cancer Society sent out bear-themed postcards to potential donors.

SCAN TO SUBSCRIBE!

25 12 KEY TAKEAWAYS: >> What fake likes and clicks cost brands. >> The challenges of a regional role. >> The challenges of a senior role in PR. W W W .MA R KET ING - INT ERAC TIVE . COM

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NEWS

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WANT MORE BREAKING NEWS? SCAN THE CODE TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE INDUSTRY.

RainMan comes to Singapore Bangalore-based marketing analytics company RainMan Consulting ventured into Singapore. The company began operations in January and is in the process of hiring senior officials locally. V Balasubramanium (Balu) and Manoj Tadepalli will oversee the RainMan Consulting Asia business as directors. “A presence in Singapore has been a strategic expansion plan since the time we started RainMan India in September 2009,” V Balu said.

Revamping in style Lifestyle portal inSing revamped its movie and shopping channels, inSing Movies and Styl+. The changes serve up a heightened interactive experience for users. InSing Movies has HD movie trailers and movie review posts, while Styl+ has consumer reviews for beauty products. On top of the revamp, the portal has also introduced a responsive design, allowing users to view content across multiple screens. Heating up Dining and entertainment venue 1-Altitude appointed Heat Branding its PR agency. Heat Branding will offer marketing and branding services to 1-Altitude to strengthen the brand’s position in the Singapore market. The agency is also assisting in promoting the group’s event and wedding division with a special focus on weddings in the first quarter. The appointment is for six months.

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Mounting a new look Mount Faber Leisure Group (MFLG) appointed Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG) to help the rebranding and repositioning of its brand. The agency has been appointed for two years following a pitch. In 2014, MFLG will celebrate its Singapore Cable Car brand’s 40th anniversary. MFLG is repositioning its business and products to align and strengthen the brand identity of its service offerings. Drying up the ink Singapore club enthusiasts were recently shocked to hear that MBS’s new dance club Genesis is imposing a no-tattoo rule. Club goers with tattoos have been asked to cover up if they wish to be let in. The ban has been ongoing since its inauguration on 24 December last year. The club is situated where Avalon was once based.

Poking fun Budget carrier Scoot took a jab at the Anton Casey situation with its advertisement. The cheeky ad was posted on Scoot’s Facebook page following Casey’s decision to leave for Perth. “Escape Plan: Fly to Perth Cheap Cheap, Poor or not!” read the yellow ad with a sketch of Anton and his family, while giving a 50% discount on a return ticket to Perth.

A search star Starwood Hotels is looking to boost its search strategy, appointing Dentsu-Aegis agency iProspect for its search duties across all its hotels in the region. Isaac Poh, associate director of digital marketing for Asia Pacific, confirmed the appointment to Marketing. The American luxury hotel group owns hotels such as the Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton, The Luxury Collection and more.

Drink-driving campaign HELP University, a private university in Malaysia, launched an anti drinkdriving awareness campaign. It is strategically targeted at students because it was found college students are responsible for 28% of all alcohol-related accidents in developed countries. Created by BBDO Singapore, the campaign was launched keeping in mind the peak drink-driving season, which occurs around festivities such as the Chinese New Year. Schmoozing up Social media marketing agency Schmuzter set up shop in Singapore looking to expand further into Asia. Founded in New York and Manila in 2011, Schmuzter offers end-to-end solutions in online and social media marketing. Schmuzter Singapore is already working with regional dairy giant Greenfields Milk to revamp its Facebook page and microsite. Schmuzter Singapore also signed on 1-Altitude to manage its social media marketing.

Doing the math Digital media buying platform MediaMath is opening a regional office in Singapore to aid further expansion into the APAC market. In a press statement, the company said: “As one of the fastest growing markets globally, and a key focus for MediaMath’s business, the decision to open a regional office in Singapore, a hub for the APAC digital advertising industry, was the logical next step.” Across the border Zeno Group, a mid-sized agency under the Daniel J Edelman umbrella, has announced the opening of its office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The awardwinning global agency will be led by David Lian. He joins from Text 100 where he was the digital lead for the APAC region for three years, pioneering the firm’s regional social media and digital offering.

Football fever While neighbouring markets have already secured their broadcast rights to the 2014 World Cup, Singapore is still lagging behind in securing theirs. Less than four months from the opening of the FIFA World Cup, local telcos SingTel and StarHub have yet to secure a deal to broadcast the matches. Both telcos have told Marketing they are still discussing the matter with FIFA.

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NEWS

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A sharp eye Brand consultancy firm LynxEye opened an office in Singapore, making it its APAC hub. This is the second office globally for the Swedish company. It competes against management consultancies such as McKinsey and Bain & Company. The company is currently working with regional clients such as IKEA and Volkswagen. Christian Ihre (pictured), founding partner of LynxEye will be leading the Singapore office. Smart new system Vserv.mobi has introduced a SmartRewards ad format. With the ad format, advertisers can engage and cultivate brand loyalty among users by rewarding them for desired actions. This app also allows consumers to top-up their prepaid mobile account in exchange for engaging with ads, downloading apps and other actions. The topup that consumers receive via SmartRewards acts exactly like regular paid top-ups.

Getting sociable StarHub launched a social media listening lab. Called Social Hub, it is a customised platform that allows the use of social media monitoring to actively listen to and extract real-time conversations about StarHub across Singapore. According to Darren Choo, StarHub’s assistant vice-president of social customer relationship management, this will help StarHub overview its performance and build strong relationships with customers.

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A revamped strategy Skincare brand Fancl is closing its stores in Singapore and Taiwan from March 2014. Citing losses in both countries, the company has made a statement to the press that it will pull out of both markets. However, it said it still had plans to re-enter the Singapore market as a wholesaler after April 2014 and will also be expanding into the US market.

Another piece of the pie Software company Pie – founded by Thijs Jacobs (right), the former BBH Asia Pacific head of creative technology, and Pieter Walraven (left), former product director from BBH – launched in Singapore. The company offers a platform and tools for agencies and marketers to share and discuss creative ideas with a more visual focus. The company has future plans to integrate with other platforms such as Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive.

On the prowl Intel is in the midst of reviewing its PR business for Singapore and Malaysia, having short-listed several agencies. Nick Jacobs, PR director of Intel Asia Pacific and Japan, confirmed the review was ongoing, with the objective of managing both markets as one entity. The incumbents for Singapore and Malaysia are Text 100 and Priority Consultants respectively.

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NEWS

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Keeping up with demand Digital media technology platform Komli Media launched its Remarketing Demand Side Platform (RDSP). The RDSP aims to convert site visitors into loyal customers with full transparency and management of media costs, customer data, campaign strategies and performance analytics. Advertisers also have the flexibility to either self-manage their campaigns using the platform or leverage Komli’s campaign management and optimisation expertise.

A helpful solution TubeMogul, an enterprise software company for digital branding, launched its tablet and mobile interactive advertising solution in Asia. The platform allows brands to provide enriched content to consumers on personal touchscreen devices. TubeMogul’s Asia managing director Phu Truong said with the technology brands were able to offer consumers a wide range of creative options, including video galleries and immersive experiences. An access point Portuguese interior design firm Viterbo Interior Design plans to expand into Asia and has appointed Access Communications as the communications agency to drive the launch of its expansion. The appointment is for one year and the agency won following a pitch. The agency is responsible for the management of media relations, digital engagement and special collaborations for Viterbo.

One foot in Global footwear brand MBT appointed Leo Burnett Singapore its creative agency responsible for developing the brand’s core message and creative elements for the Spring/Summer 2014 season. The appointment follows a pitch which involved five agencies. The agency has been tasked to develop the new global brand strategy across the new range of MBT footwear through multiple media. The campaign launches early 2014.

An awkward move Cider brand Somersby rolled out digital and social media platforms to connect with cider fans in Singapore. The “Awkward Apple Dance” was filmed with real people dancing on the streets of Singapore with the Somersby Apple mascot. The video captures the candid, unrehearsed and somewhat awkward reactions of Singaporeans who were asked to dance in public alongside the Somersby Apple mascot. Off to a galloping start OANDA Asia Pacific launched a marketing campaign to welcome the Year of the Horse. The campaign will last 88 days and is titled “0.8 pips for 88 days”. The campaign promotes a competitive spread for traders investing in the EUR/USD. The campaign includes promotional banners on OANDA’s social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and there is a month-long print advertisement.

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Adding more bite Burger King renewed its contract with Trapper Havas Media Malaysia for another two years, adding the to renewal of the brand’s Singapore digital business. Trappers Media Services has handled Burger King’s media for both offline and online for the past two years. Late last year, Burger King also appointed Havas Media as its media agency in Singapore for the year, moving the account from ZenithOptimedia.

Taking up the fight As the Singapore Cancer Society turns 50 in 2014, it kicked off its 50th anniversary celebrations choosing Lavender MRT station as its venue for the World Cancer Day celebration. The event was officiated by Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong. The venue was chosen for its reflection to the colour Lavender which is the universal colour for the fight against cancer.

Flying high Qatar Airways appointed Waggener Edstrom following a regional pitch for the markets of Singapore and Malaysia. Both Qatar Airways and Waggener Edstrom confirmed the appointment. The agency is helping to improve the airline’s presence locally and also develop the local media network. In the Singapore market, Qatar is looking for an agency to strengthen its relationship with the local market and support media relations.

Revving up business Rev Asia partnered with Business Insider, an online news portal, to launch the regional version involving Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The websites went live on 12 February. Voon Tze Khay, Rev Asia’s managing director, said, “While the sites here will continue to carry Business Insider’s award-winning international content, we are committed to delivering up-tothe-minute, locally relevant news on developments happening right here in the region.”

A helping hand The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) is looking to appoint a public relations agency from April this year to March 2015. The agency will work with WDA’s in-house media relations team on projects, including strategic counselling and as a PR advisory on WDA’s role as the champion of workforce development. The chosen agency will also organise and manage publicity for WDA-led events as and when required.

Digitally savvy Malaysia Airlines (MAS) signed with Adobe to introduce its products, the Adobe marketing cloud and the Adobe creative cloud, as part of the airline’s plans on shifting to digital marketing platforms. The solution is said to provide MAS with the most intuitive, easy-to-use user interface along with deep analytic power. The bid for MAS Airlines’ digital expansion business started in April 2013.

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20 March 2014

InterContinental Singapore Analytics Interactive is a full day event dedicated to understanding and harnessing the power of analytics for the marketing function. If leveraging insights and making calculated, strategic marketing decisions is central to your role, this event is for you.

Dr. Yap Lee-Yee

Sue Day

Jia En Teo

Dr. Amy Shi-Nash

Aleetza Senn

Jeannie Ong

Marketing Director AP Panduit

Director of R&D Labs SingTel

Senior Marketing Director, Asia Pacific & Japan Polycom

Managing Partner and Co-Founder Sparkline

Founder and Chief Operating Officer Roomorama

Chief Marketing Officer StarHub

Julian Quinn

Vice President & General Manager, Japan and Asia Pacific Region SDL

Giles Henderson

Director, Media & Channels VML Qais

Contact us Sponsorship queries: Che Winstrom at chew@marketing-interactive.com Delegate queries: Joven Barcenas at jovenb@marketing-interactive.com Speaker queries: Ambrish Bandalkul at ambrishb@marketing-interactive.com or call +65 6423 0329. Gold Sponsors:

Knowledge Partners:

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NEWS

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Flight cancellation MAS Airlines will terminate its flight route to Los Angeles, United States, from 30 April. MAS said it would invest in Asia going forward because it believes the travel market is much larger and stronger in the region. “While MAS has a long history in Los Angeles, the route is no longer economically viable,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, group chief executive officer. A fresh face Bourbon brand Jim Beam chose Mila Kunis as its long-term brand ambassador. Kunis will play a lead role in the brand’s new “Make History” brand campaign that will be launched in more than 100 markets worldwide. This is the brand’s first global marketing campaign, said the company. The TVC will launch in its biggest markets, including Australia, US and Germany.

Lowe snaps up Profero Lowe and Partners, a creative unit of Interpublic Group, swallowed up the once fiercely independent digital agency Profero (team members pictured). The agency has been building a strong presence in Asia for more than a year, shifting its global CEO role to Singapore, reopening a Hong Kong office and striking key partnerships in Japan. Under the new deal all offices in the Profero network will be renamed Lowe Profero.

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Lenovo makes acquisition IBM reaffirmed its commitment to cognitive computing, big data and the cloud under a new deal with Chinese personal computer manufacturer Lenovo. Lenovo agreed to acquire IBM’s x86 server business for US$2.3 billion. The deal, pending regulatory review, marks the largest international tech acquisition by a Chinese company. About US$2 billion of the purchase price will be paid in cash and the balance in Lenovo stock.

Hot tourist spot In an attempt to recover from some of its losses, the Indonesian government is hoping to turn recently erupted Mount Sinabung into a tourist spot. Spots will be allocated by the government for safe viewing by tourists and an information centre will also be built. The government also has plans to build a museum displaying the after effects of the volcano eruptions.

Chatting away British Airways worked with Social@Ogilvy Beijing to lure Chinese social media users with its first WeChat campaign. Targeting its existing Sina Weibo followers on its WeChat account, the campaign was a social networking app with shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins to chat with other users, including brands. The airline delivered 2014 custom-made red envelopes to the first 2014 followers of its official WeChat account.

Breaking boundaries American Apparel subverted the fashion advertising norm by using a 62-year-old underwear model to promote its lingerie line. An image of Jacky O’Shaughnessy, who began modelling for the clothing giant in 2011, barely clothed in a see-through lace bandeau bra and knickers was posted on the brand’s Facebook page and Instagram account with a caption that read: “Sexy has no expiration date.”

Bold move Television is no longer the main advertising platform for Carlsberg. It will focus on measuring and improving its social media content. This move is aimed to drive sales and increase consumer engagement. Carlsberg also announced it will start producing content in-house and not employ an advertising agency. The initiative has been implemented to gauge how well campaigns are performing in real-time.

A good fit Lycra producer Invista is looking to push the brand on digital, hiring a new global ad agency of record, SapientNitro. It is looking to enhance its appeal along the apparel value chain – mills, packagers, brands, retailers and consumers. SapientNitro has been tasked with the responsibilities for the global brand strategy, advertising, digital, social and customer experience. The account will be run out of SapientNitro’s London office.

HOW MUCH DOES THAT COST?

PLUGGING A WINNER

The Manhattan Fish Market launched a campaign to promote family values and friendship among its customers this Lunar New Year. Its “Unplug” initiative encouraged diners to “unplug’ while dining by placing all their mobile phones in a specially designed “Unplug” box. The box was then closed and placed on the table as a commitment to disconnect. At any point in time when guests were dining, they were free to open the box to retrieve and use their electronic devices. However, at the end of the meal,

if the box was found to be unopened, The Manhattan Fish Market rewarded all guests at the table with a SG$5 return dining voucher. This was done, along with a video, to drive home the importance of the need to disconnect from electronic devices in order to reconnect with one another. The box was designed by a Malaysian-based agency Paxgon Communications. The Manhattan Fish Market invested about SG$10,000 to create the video and the “Unplug” boxes.

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NEWS

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AUDIT WATCH

FREE FOOD JOURNAL LAUNCHED Publisher Red Tree Group has launched a new publication Food Journal. The free title targets a mid-mass to highend readership. It also targets advertisers such as household products/kitchen appliances brands, food and beverage clients, hospitality and lifestyle products. The publication acts as a handy sized guide covering the latest food news, personality interviews and trends in food, travel, interiors and wellbeing. The magazine launched its first issue in January. Food Journal is published on a bimonthly basis, except for the standalone January and December monthly issues. It is distributed for free at select restaurants, cafes, hotels, salons, MRT stations and stores. A spokesperson for Red Tree Group said the publication would likely have its circulation audited by the third or fourth quarter of 2014 by the Audit Bureau of Circulations Singapore.

When asked if the magazine would be competition for the likes of Epicure and Wine & Dine Asia, she denied it, saying Food Journal targeted a different audience, whereas the other two focused more on the luxury market.

Expanding further VML IM2.0 opened a new office in Guangzhou on top of its existing operations in Beijing and Shanghai. The agency is working with China Merchant Bank. The launch follows VML’s acquisition of IM2.0 Interactive Group in midOctober. Since becoming part of the Y&R network, VML IM2.0 is also exploring synergies with Y&R’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In style Luxury fashion brand Montblanc chose Hugh Jackman (pictured) as its global brand ambassador. The Australian actor will be featured in the luxury brand’s forthcoming advertising campaign and act as an ambassador in all international markets with the exception of the United States. The partnership is slated for three years. However, a local representative for the brand declined to comment on the spend for the campaign.

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Big win for Carat MasterCard appointed Carat its global media agency. Incumbent, UM, however, retained the Latin American business. The finalists also included a team from WPP’s Group M and Omnicom’s PHD. The review was part of MasterCard’s regular reviews and was launched shortly after MasterCard’s new chief marketing officer Raja Rajamannar joined the company. He replaced Alfredo Gangotena, who retired from the company.

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NEW WORK .................................................................................................................................................................................................................

1 Campaign River Safari Outdoor Outreach Brief Wildlife Reserves Singapore launched an OOH campaign for its latest River Safari Asia attraction. The campaign, created by boutique creative shop Blak Labs, runs on a series of subway posters, bus shelters and taxi wraps. A number of the installations include 3D animal structures which allow the public to interact with the ads. Client

Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Creative

Blak Labs

Media

ZenithOptimedia

1

2 Campaign #CalmComebacks

Brief Heaven and Earth launched a digital campaign “#CalmComebacks� to help young Singaporeans survive the many stressful questions they may have encountered during the Chinese New Year period. Youths were able to tap on the witty tips from #CalmComebacks, a Facebook app, designed to arm users with smart and instant responses to the tricky questions. Client

Coca-Cola Singapore

Creative

Host Singapore

Media

MediaCom

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NEW WORK ................................................................................................................................................................................................................

3 Campaign A Joy to Fly

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Hanoi

Chennai

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Da Nang

Koh Siem Reap Samui

Kochi Thiruvananthapuram

Kalibo

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DDB

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OMD

Davao

Penang Kuala Lumpur

Kota Kinabalu Kuching

Manado

Singapore

Palembang

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Cebu

Phnom Penh Phuket Langkawi

Pekanbaru

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Brief SilkAir’s new regional brand campaign aims to communicate the joys of flying with SilkAir through a range of key benefits that differentiate the airline, including baggage allowance, inflight meals, reliable flight schedules and the frequent flyer programme. The campaign spans OOH, print, digital, Facebook ads and BTL collaterals.

Balikpapan Makassar

Bandung

Semarang Surabaya

Yogyakarta Solo

Lombok Darwin

It’s a joy to f ly to 47 Asia-Pacific destinations.

30kg Bag Allowance

3

Inflight Meal

Reliable Flight Schedule

Earn Miles

silkair.com

4 Campaign Somersby Awkward Apple Dance Brief Cider brand Somersby rolled out a campaign on digital and social media platforms to connect with cider fans in Singapore. The “Awkward Apple Dance” was filmed with real people dancing on the streets of Singapore with the Somersby Apple mascot. The video captures the candid, unrehearsed and somewhat awkward reactions of Singaporeans who were asked to dance in public alongside the mascot.

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Client

Carlsberg Singapore

Creative

Nom Nom Media

Media

NA

SUBMISSIONS PLEASE SEND US YOUR BEST NEW WORK REGULARLY IN HIGH-RES JPEG OR PDF TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THESE PAGES. EMAIL RAYANAP@MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.COM

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THE BIG BUSINESS OF FAKING IT Celebrities and businesses have bought fans and followers just to gain clout online. But here’s what it will really cost a brand. Elizabeth Low writes.

Buyer beware: In the long-term, bought fans are all cost and no benefit.

As businesses rapidly move to boost their digital clout, the lure of taking the quick route to success has also been on the rise. Recently, the spotlight has fallen on the lucrative business of click farms and selling fake followers, fans or likes on social media. According to an Associated Press article, Dhaka, in Bangladesh, is an international hub for click farms. Quoting the CEO of Dhakabased social media promotion firm Unique IT World, Saiful Islam, he says he pays workers to manually click on clients’ social media pages, making it harder for Facebook, Google and others to catch them. This is because this makes those accounts genuine. The article pointed out Dhaka as the most popular city for many, including soccer star Lionel Messi, who has 51 million likes. These click farms have many, usually lowly paid, workers simply tapping away on Like buttons, viewing videos or re-tweeting comments. While these businesses have drawn much controversy

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for being the digital age’s sweatshops, there are also many implications for brands. SOCIAL MEDIA “INFLUENCE” GOING CHEAP Businesses selling followers are proliferating online. According to AP, BuyPlusFollowers sells 250 Google+ shares for $12.95, Instagramengine sells 1,000 followers for $12 and Authentichits sells 1,000 SoundCloud plays for $9. More examples are proliferating such as TheSocialBoost selling Instagram followers online, and another selling Twitter followers on eBay. And these are getting cheaper. According to Jeff Hurmuses, vice-president of APAC for security solutions firm Barracuda Networks, there are currently 52 sellers on eBay selling Twitter followers and who are also making fake Twitter accounts more affordable. “A year ago, 1,000 fake followers could have set you back US$25, but now the average price is US$11. At an estimate, these dealers have several thousand buyers who spend an average

of US$65. In fact our researchers found one dealer who may have generated US$1.4 million just by selling fake Twitter followers,” Hurmuses says. Nearly 63% of fake accounts are created by duplicating the information of real users by appending their screen name with a few characters while still using the same profile photo, location and description, adds Hurmuses. “Spamming using Twitter lists is another trend we have discovered. Twitter accounts barely a few hours old can add over 90,000 people to various lists,” he says. But, as of now, there is no way to block such activities other than by manually blocking these suspicious users. While this may work in the short-term, Hurmuses says it will be a tedious process for users that have been added to hundreds of lists. THE BIG CLEAN UP – IS IT ENOUGH? In 2012, Facebook made a major announcement

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– a move to clean up fake likes. This move affected many brands regionally. Despite the move, a Facebook spokesperson said it still needed to focus on dealing with abuse for fake accounts. “We’ve made a lot of progress by building a combination of automated and manual systems to block accounts used for fraudulent purposes and Like button clicks. We also take action against sellers of fake clicks and help shut them down,” a spokesperson from Facebook said. This includes catching fake accounts at various points of interaction with Facebook, including registration, friending, clicking the Like button and messaging. “We write rules to catch anomalies that signal fake accounts, and we use classifiers based on machine learning to help us identify suspicious behaviour. To validate and improve the quality of our automated decisions, we often use user prompts and other techniques to help us better determine if an action or account is real,” she said. A Google spokesperson said it had also placed methods to check for clicks and views. “And we take action against bad actors that seek to game our systems,” she said. But she did not give details on how it was doing this. Twitter could not be reached for comment at the time of printing.

THE REAL PRICE OF FAKING IT While this takes place across the region, one agency executive highlighted how rampant the situation is in China. Florian Pihs, senior planning director of strategy, innovation and optimisation at SapientNitro China, says his team comes across click fraud often. While the agency largely works on creatives, his team encounters it in the analytics and optimisation aspect of the business. “There is a huge amount of click fraud in China. When we are trying to look at how the site is performing and segment it – in terms of search traffic, traffic from social media and so on – you never see any media platform miss their target. They usually over perform their targets by around 50%. Then when we go down into numbers on where this is from, where did they arrive from, which landing page, what did they do from there, we see a lot of irregularities, in terms of paid traffic that is coming in from odd hours,” he says. However, he laments that clients and media agencies have not had a genuine incentive to address the issue when brought up since both parties will temporarily appear to have achieved their objectives on clicks and traffic. Few clients are eager to get genuine traffic, he adds. “That is a behaviour that is rewarded in China at this point in time,” he says.

What are the forces redefining market research?

Ryan Lim, business director and co-founder of Blugrapes, says that this was prevalent in Singapore more than a year ago, but he sees much less of it now the market is more sophisticated. HOW IT HURTS BRANDS “It slowed when marketers realised that they couldn’t sustain it and their fans dropped when they couldn’t pay,” Lim says. Also, it was not promoting real growth for a brand. The problem with this is that it dilutes a brand’s effectiveness online. “The impact of your digital activation is reduced by the amount of fake traffic,” Pihs says. “Right now what you are measuring is just clicks and traffic, you are hoping that awareness will lead to preference,” he adds. But these fake clicks will do nothing towards that goal. In the long-term, bought fans are all cost and no benefit, and will cripple a brand’s ability to justify an ongoing budget for social media, says Ian McKee, CEO and founder of social media agency Vocanic, adding he has seen this outside of China in the region as well. “Bought fans are empty calories, while the fan count will grow, the engagement rate will plummet with no possible way to lift it. The brand is left with a dead weight to manage,” he says.

Research Asia Interactive returns in 2014 and will take an in-depth look at the developments, challenges and the future of market research.

Find out all about them on

27 June 2014

Grand Park City Hall Hotel,Singapore 9.00am – 5.00pm

(Registration starts at 8.00am)

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THE REALITIES OF A REGIONAL ROLE Aiming for a regional role? Rezwana Manjur finds out what you need to know about it.

Being in the know: While a regional role sounds lucrative, are you prepared for it?

Talk to any regional marketer and they will tell you that what makes Asia exciting is its diversity – and that’s precisely the biggest challenge as well. However, they are also the first ones to be made redundant in times of economic recession or organisational restructures as has been witnessed in the past. Be it LG, Samsung, Nokia and others, the restructures in these organisations have made regional marketing leads redundant or scrambling for another role within the local operations. This led us to ask senior marketing professionals what they thought were the perils of a regional role. Here are some highlighted by Sandeep Khanna, founder and CEO of Karma Asia Consulting. Khanna, in the past, has held top regional roles in companies such as LG and Nokia. • Influence without authority: In most companies it is an advisory role with real authority vested with the country management. In this scenario, how does one deliver value? • The policeman no one likes: In many companies, it is essentially a policing role where templates and processes are the key tasks assigned to the regional person. Not a very enviable job. • The first cost to be cut: It is an inherently unstable position. Whenever there is a need

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to cut costs, the regional folks are the first on the chopping block. Only in very rare companies do they centralise marketing and only have sales people in the countries. • A relentless treadmill: If the job is to be done right, the regional person has to not only know the countries better than the local people, they must be able to generate synergies by running regional programmes which deliver better efficiencies as compared to the countries doing things solo. For that to happen, they need to run faster than everyone else in the marketing function which sometimes becomes operationally infeasible. Daily challenges of regional marketers Khanna highlights other operational challenges as well. The most important task, perhaps, is to create a sharply defined vision for the regional marketing team and get buy-in on this from the country’s managing directors, regional CEO and global leaders. Often this does not happen. And that leads to all sorts of confusion and chaos on a day-to-day basis. “If this is sorted at the start, then the rest follows easily and the regional teams and local teams can actually build a complementary set of programmes to win in the markets. The successful companies do this well and that is what separates the leaders from the also-rans,” he says.

What exactly are those challenges: • Local offices might not want to engage the regional marketers because they do not know enough about local markets. There is low potential to add value to local businesses. • It is a staff function most of the time. Country business heads could undermine the importance of the regional marketing people. As a rule, line managers get more respect than staff. • It is very hard to please everyone. From a local country’s perspective, the starting position for a regional role is that of a “policeman” out to find faults. • High degree of politics is another concern. A regional job is seen as a reward for doing well in a country most of the time. This can easily become a cause of envy or jealousy among those who did not make it. • It is difficult to win country support because regional objectives sometimes are longterm while countries are looking at the next quarter. • It is hard to be objective. Generally speaking, regional people focus on key markets only, sidelining the smaller and less important ones. It’s these markets that could then go viral with criticism thereby undermining the good work potentially done in the more important markets. Despite all that there are huge pluses to this role. Every market, with its own culture and dynamics, makes the job of a regional marketer exciting and rewarding. This role lets you drive the marketing vision for the business. There is a higher sense of fulfilment because it sharpens the strategic thinking of the person. “It lets you create value by building and aggregating local efforts and synergising them. Add to it the fact it’s a great learning opportunity – to cross pollinate and fertilise ideas across the borders,” Khanna says. Access to top management accords regional leads with a much better networking potential with global leaders and even the functional leaders of other functions in the region. And, of course, there is a higher exposure to strategic initiatives of the company and an opportunity to be part of bigger initiatives.

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Go global or local? Whether to go global or local is a huge concern for decision-makers at the business level. We ask what works best for some marketers in a regional role. Sarah Fisher, senior marketer for adidas told Marketing that despite the diversity present in the market it still employs a global campaign strategy. “While this choice has its fair share of challenges, it is important for the brand to be consistent.” Of course, the brand makes small tweaks for campaigns to simply make sense in that market, but on whole the brand employs a global strategy “with a local twist”. “We are believers for the most part in one consistent brand voice, we have the same filters that apply across all our communications as a brand around the world and we genuinely believe this is what makes us so strong,” Fisher says. She explains this is to ensure consumers in all parts of the world are looking at the same visual identity from the brand and therefore, as a result, knowing exactly what the brand stands for. Fisher says today’s world is increasingly becoming connected and, hence, the fragments are becoming lesser. “Despite each market having its own distinct culture there is absolutely overlap regarding trends and activities,” she says.

However, not all marketers agree. On the basis of anonymity, one senior marketer from a large FMCG brand told Marketing sometimes the local teams can have a “not-created-here attitude” when it comes to a global campaign. While in reality, FMCG brands will have to go with regional strategies to assure high quality of production and a very well-aligned brand image across markets, it is always important to have a local on the team who can put the campaign in the right cultural perspective. “We spend a lot of time discussing cultural differences which the end consumer may not pick up due to the fact the final campaign only reflects an aspiration and certain parts of the setting,” she says. “While we aim to take into account the different regional differences, we always have to balance the production budget versus local relevance.” Tips for a regional remit Many regional marketers have learnt about cultural sensitivities the hard way. It’s better to be prepared than be sorry later, so here are some basic tips they shared. They are easy to remember, but easier to forget, so watch out: Distribution channel: While markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore have 100% mobile penetration rates, other markets such as India have not yet reached the same mobile maturity

levels. For many emerging markets in Asia TV remains king, so know your market before you decide the media mix. Translation: A perfect campaign tag line could turn out to be imperfect when translated. So be very careful when “adapting” campaigns. Cultural nuances: Now this may sound like commonsense, but it’s an elusive concept. For example, what may seem perfect in Singapore may be considered offensive in Indonesia. Attire: Remember that while a few parts of Asia are cosmopolitan, many Asian markets are still conservative. There are also several Muslim nations with guidelines for attire and outlook. Talent: Is the talent featured in campaigns truly Pan Asian or does she/he look too much like someone else from another culture? There are deep-rooted cultural issues such as skin colour and social standing that can come up when marketing in a diverse market such as Asia. “There are all hues of regional marketers. But to be a really good one, there is a need for an amazing combination of ability and attitude,” Khanna says. Ability, thought leadership in the business, demonstrably superior ability to plan and execute, strong conceptual and thinking skills, attitude, a very high level of charisma, energy and collaboration, all rolled into one, is what is needed. Are you prepared?

How to reach the shopper Anytime Anywhere

Shopper Marketing returns and will take an in-depth look at what marketers of today really have to do to reach their customers in a world that’s connected 24/7.

25 - 26 June 2014 Grand Park City Hall Hotel

9.00am - 5.00pm (Registration starts at 8.00am) Gold Sponsors

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WHY SENIOR PR GUYS LEAVE BIG AGENCIES While churn in agencies has always been the norm, several senior public relations agency professionals tell Elizabeth Low why the larger agency models didn’t work for them.

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1. Too much process is killing innovation Most large agencies are parts of listed companies leading to what some have called a short-term obsession with targets and, in turn, a short-term view on productivity, people and training. “Often you hear that senior agency staff are encouraged to run their team/practice/project as if it was their own company – but the reality is you hardly have any freedom to execute it that way as you are still stuck in a complex organisation that traditionally is mainly focused on stability and risk-aversion,” said Lars Voedisch, founder of PRecious Communications, who has experience at several larger network agencies. 2. Less actual time with the client and PR Many times, big agencies are hired not only for their ability to execute, but especially for the promise of strategic counsel and insights provided by senior consultants. However, several professionals have lamented that in reality senior consultants get less time with the client. “This is due to the rigid staggered hourly rate-charging roster. If a director-level or above spends too much time with a client, the shown profitability of the account goes down and a finance director would run after them shouting “over-servicing” repeatedly,” Voedisch said. Bob Pickard, chairman of Huntsworth, Asia Pacific, echoed similar views. “There’s a cruel irony that many rising executives experience the hard way inside conglomerate firms when they realise the very assets that made them senior in the first place – consulting savvy, new business prowess, amazing client service – become much harder

“Whether your agency is big or small, if the people you work with share your passion for building the firm with their own hands and hearts – intelligent and fun colleagues who you like, respect and trust – then that’s probably the right firm for you.” Bob Pickard – chairman of Huntsworth, Asia Pacific

to actually do in rigid bureaucracies where the stultifying process and administrative mania grinds everyone down,” he said. Pickard, who has held leading roles in several large agencies, said what might disappoint the most is those who eventually rise to senior roles in the firm may not be the most talented at leadership as well. 3. Bogged down by global reporting Others have highlighted their reporting lines to global headquarters as a hindrance. A former agency lead, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said because of having to run even the minutest detail through several levels at the regional or HQ level, large agency managers struggle to make the changes they need to make to adapt the agency and align it with local market dynamics. “It makes it difficult also to provide relief where it may be needed across the business – such as hiring staff to alleviate pressure when you are investing in a client or needing to give someone an out-of-line pay rise,” he said. Pickard said it depended on the firm. “The ones who ‘get it’ and provide line-ofsight management latitude with empowered

Bags are packed: Some senior talent prefer smaller agencies over big ones for a variety of reasons.

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senior leaders on the front lines of the business, in this region are the ones where the really best people want to work,” he said. On the other hand, firms with a repelling effect on talent acquisition and retention are the ones that put Asia under “direct rule” from global HQ, he added, “where the solution to just about every problem seems to involve putting westerners on planes to Asia rather than empowering the Asian leadership”. He said companies that allowed the Asian leadership to loom large in the global enterprise – “and that means proportionate seats on the executive committee and shares of the stock – seemed to thrive compared with the ones where Asia was kept “under the thumb of remote corporate masters”. 4. But there are also benefits On the other hand, one former senior-level PR professional, who has also left a larger agency for a more independent outfit, said he disagreed with the idea it was limiting to lead at a larger shop. “I tend to disagree that your wings are clipped working in a big agency because it’s in a bigger outfit that you have the resources and budget to experiment new business ideas and campaigns. “In a smaller agency, you may not have the resources to try new things, for example, hire a small unit of people to do social media. As a senior leader in a big agency, you need to be able to work the system in order to experiment.” He added a bigger agency would always come with more processes, bureaucracy and even politics, and it was merely part of the business that some senior folks may embrace as part of their work, but some may not. “At the end of the day, I think senior people should find a configuration where they can be the best they can be: where they have freedom to innovate, can avoid wasting time on nonsense, enjoy the ability to act quickly and can make decisions at the client-facing coalface of the business,” Pickard said. “Whether your agency is big or small, if the people you work with share your passion for building the firm with their own hands and hearts – intelligent and fun colleagues who you like, respect and trust – then that’s probably the right firm for you.”

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DELIVERING SOME HOME TRUTHS ABOUT PR What PR job searchers need to know about their next employer.

Having the right expectations: PR job seekers need to know what they are getting into when looking for a job.

At Marketing magazine’s very first PR Awards, the official Talent Sponsor, Prospect Resourcing’s managing director Emma Dale told us some home truths about PR jobs and the required skills. What are the challenges you face in sourcing PR talent? On top of very strong PR/communications skills with experience of working with local, regional and global clients, what clients are looking for from local candidates is fluency (verbal, reading, writing) in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. This is very hard to find. Understandably, this skill helps bring in new business and develops relationships with stakeholders and media. Agency versus in-house PR roles. Which is more in demand? It is tough sourcing PR talent for PR agencies because a lot of candidates want in-house roles. They feel the grass is greener on the other side, and that an in-house role offers better work/ life balance. There is also a belief there will be less pressure. And I can tell you plenty of in-house practitioners would tell you this is a

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myth. Moreover, there is tough competition for in-house roles because they are fewer in number and high in demand. What does the industry think about job-hoppers? There are plenty of job-hoppers in the market – they have moved over the years just for salary or a better job title. Thankfully, employers are now more wary about these movers, and are not as interested in them compared with people who have shown stability and longevity in their previous firms. What are the skills PR practitioners of the future should possess? PR practitioners need to be far more integrated. PR agencies are no longer offering pure-play PR services and therefore, require their staff to have skills in digital, social and marketing in general. In-house roles require candidates to have specific skills such as internal and external comms, stakeholder engagement, events and so on. Last year, we saw a huge emphasis on internal comms, employee engagement and

executive comms. Firms saw the benefit of communicating better with their staff to make sure they were retained and engaged. Other than these, what’s also important is the ability to understand an integrated approach, diversify your skill-set and multi-task. Gone are the days where senior people just take on pure strategic roles. The job now requires everyone to be flexible, adaptable, strategic as well as hands-on. Are brands aware of the evolved role of PR and the value it can add? There is a growing awareness among businesses that the role of PR is more than column-inches and that media relations/support is a small part of the puzzle. What’s also important is the role PR plays in creating content. The PR industry needs to continue to develop and improve its content offering across multiple digital and traditional media platforms. With more than 300 attendees, the inaugural awards took place at the InterContinental Singapore on 26 February. Read the full coverage of the awards on page 42.

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+65 6622 5490


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WHAT’S UP WITH FACEBOOK’S WHATSAPP DEAL? What’s behind the social media giant’s biggest move to date? Jennifer Chan reports. 20 MA R KET ING MARC H 2014

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Facebook has acquired WhatsApp in a US$19 billion deal, including US$4 billion in cash, US$12 billion in Facebook shares and a further US$3 billion for WhatsApp staff over the next four years. This marks the social networking giant’s biggest acquisition to date. The acquisition gives Facebook access to an additional 450 million users, 70% of which use the messaging service every single day. “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” Zuckerberg added he has personally known Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp, for a long time. “I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.” Added Koum: “We’re excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world. “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide.” Ryan Lim, business director of digital marketing agency Blugrapes, told Marketing the acquisition was not entirely surprising. “Facebook knows that it needs to strengthen its mobile users base that is both its growth and revenue engine of the future. “This seems to be its hedging strategy against competitors as well as a catalyst to its growth since being rejected by WhatsApp competitor – Snapchat last year.” The acquisition allows Facebook to augment

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“WhatsApp is on its way to add a billion active users and if it manages to successfully charge US$0.99 per year from every active user, that’s nearly a billion dollars of additional revenue. And if WhatsApp chooses to work on new revenue models through stickers, doodles, in-app advertising, etc, similar to what WeChat, Viber and LINE have been doing, that would bring home millions of extra dollars additionally and potentially help justify the mammoth US$19 billion that Facebook has decided to pay.” Prantik Mazumdar – partner at HappyMarketer

its less than ideal messenger service and boost its base of mobile users by 450 million overnight, Lim said. “It’s clear it is Facebook’s ambition to dominate mobile social media before it is made irrelevant.” Facebook said WhatsApp would remain a separate brand, in line with its US$1 billion acquisition of Instagram. The company does have to work hard to keep young users engaged. But the reality is, Facebook always works hard to keep all its users engaged, no matter their age. However, Lim suggested there would be a transfer of technologies instead of users. “Marketers will still not be able to reach WhatsApp’s user base through advertising as it declared on its company blog to remain advertising free.” WhatsApp’s main rivals WeChat and LINE, in the meantime, will feel the heat of intensified competition. “Without the resources of a behemoth like Facebook, WeChat and LINE need to find new

and innovative ways to outlast the expected accelerated growth of WhatsApp in the near future.” Lim added that end users should be wary, since Facebook now has access to their mobile contacts on top of their network of friends on mobile, something that had eluded Facebook previously. Nate Elliott, an analyst at Forrester, said it would be tempting to read this as a sign that Facebook was scared of losing teens. “Facebook is tireless in its efforts to keep users coming back. That’s why its 1.2 billion monthly users keep visiting the site more and more frequently, rather than drifting away,” he said. According to one of its global workforce benchmark surveys, 69% of information workers use texting (SMS or a service such Apple’s iMessage or WhatsApp) on a smartphone for work internationally. Ever since Facebook went public, there has been immense pressure on it to monetise on mobile; while it has managed to earn 53% of its ad revenue (US$1.37 billion) through ads on its mobile app, the deal with WhatsApp opens up a new, lucrative revenue stream altogether, said Prantik Mazumdar, partner at HappyMarketer. “WhatsApp is on its way to add a billion active users and if it manages to successfully charge US$0.99 per year from every active user, that’s nearly a billion dollars of additional revenue. And if WhatsApp chooses to work on new revenue models through stickers, doodles, in-app advertising, etc, similar to what WeChat, Viber and LINE have been doing, that would bring home millions of extra dollars additionally and potentially help justify the mammoth US$19 billion that Facebook has decided to pay.” However, what makes the deal interesting and similar to the Instagram deal is the operational efficiency. “The company employs only 32 people and spent zero dollars in marketing itself or acquiring users, which is a testimony to it being a very lean, profitable operation, and that would serve Facebook well from a financial perspective,” Mazumdar added.

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5/3/2014 4:09:41 PM


NEWS ANALYSIS

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COULD HPB HAVE COMMUNICATED ITS LGBT STAND BETTER? Did the HPB’s communication strategy around its FAQ on homosexuality dilute its stand? Rezwana Manjur asks.

Coming out: HPB’s decision to provide information on sexuality on its website drew praise and criticism.

Towards the end of last year, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) published FAQ about sexuality on its website. The online portal addressed questions on sexuality and provided support for those in the LGBT community. The portal soon became a point of heated debate from the local public, with some supporting the move and others slamming the HPB for it. HPB, in the face of criticism, it seems, removed links to various lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender organisations and counselling hotlines, in what was seen as taking a step backwards on its stand. It also took steps to alter some of the responses on the site. Just recently, Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong stepped in to say the FAQ on the website was neither celebrating nor supporting same sex relationships. In a statement to Marketing, HPB said: “HPB has received valuable feedback with diverse views from members of the public. We will take into consideration relevant inputs to see how we

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could further improve in our communications as well as better reach out to Singaporeans in our health promotion educational materials.” The spokesperson also added that ultimately HPB aims to “promote healthy living for all Singaporeans” and has identified “young men who have sex with men (YMSM) as one target group for STI and HIV education”. Hence, the FAQ on sexuality and sexual health provides a resource of “factual information from a public health perspective on sexuality” and also provides advice to young people and their parents on mental and physical health issues from a public health perspective. Mixed signals to the public? From a communications perspective, however, PR experts are saying the HPB is sending out mixed signals on its stand, and could be diluting the effect of its courageous move. Lars Voedisch, principal consultant and managing director of PRecious Communications, said: “From a communications point of view, I

would think that a statutory board like the HPB would know about the sensitiveness of certain issues in the general population.” Hence, one approach may have been to test some of the messages or communications with smaller target groups before launching them widely. Voedisch added while it was understandable HPB had to work around sensitivities, it was simply the government body’s job to provide services to all Singaporeans independent of their beliefs, orientation or way of life and not just follow the majority. He added the move made by the HPB to alter its posts might, however, hamper its credibility and be “seen to be rowing backwards from what might have been seen as a slightly more courageous move”. The sudden move to delete certain parts of its online FAQ without any comment would only drive speculation and encourage people in the future to “shout loud enough” to drive action from government bodies. Another PR professional, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the changes HPB had made to its site following the criticisms made it look as though the HPB’s policy on providing health advice to minority groups was unclear. “HPB’s position is inconsistent and it is unclear what its intention is. If HPB’s position is that minority groups should have their health issues provided for through its online health platform then it should not bow to irrational hysteria,” he said. He added if HPB’s policy supports the need for specific health services to be provided to minority groups, then it needed to decide if that information should be made available on a government website or through an alternative platform. Mylinh Cheung, CEO of Epic Public Relations, who supported the initiative, however, thought the board sent a clear signal to the nation and the world of Singapore’s stance in promoting factual and balanced information on sexuality. Removing the links, she added, “is not as important as the act of releasing the FAQ in the first place”.

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3/3/2014 6:15:42 PM


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OPINION: AD WATCH/WEB WATCH

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Patrick Ng Senior art director Hakuhodo

AD WATCH HOT: Heineken – The Experiment

NOT: Stay fresh under stress

On 6 January, Heineken debuted “Dance More, Drink Slow” – a global campaign designed to promote moderation over excess – and abstinence, for that matter. It featured EDM superstar Armin van Buuren as its face and spokesperson. Great insight – as mentioned in the video – “If the music is good, people hit the dance floor, and the more they dance, the slower they drink”. This demonstrated Heineken as a brand genuinely serious about drinking with responsibility, moderating beer consumption and not just being obsessed with boosting sales. The medium-term objective of getting consumers to enjoy their dance with a responsible drink was achievable by engaging the audience rather than a “holier than thou” message of curbing binge drinking through prohibiting sales. Coolness extended to the campaign hashtag – #DMDS. Superb execution with the use of a new track from van Buuren’s Save My Night.

This is fear-based marketing where companies prank unsuspecting people, record and call it an ad. It is about two guys who run off with a woman’s baby, and it turns out to be a deodorant ad with the tag line, “Stay fresh under stress”. This sort of “shock” tactics may prove too risky for the brand. With the advent of social media and real-time updates, the brand may suffer irreversible damage if an onlooker or passerby deemed it to be an unsavoury experience and decided to ridicule the brand in the public domain. It is also dangerous because it tests consumers’ tolerance levels and exposes their insecurities in public. Clarification: This ad was not actually executed by a client, but by Toronto-based agency John St.

Joshua Sim Associate creative director VML Qais

WEB WATCH HOT: Indochino.com

NOT: HSBC.com.sg

There are many options out there to help the modern man stand out from the crowd, look smart and be comfortable in the clothes they wear. Bringing traditional tailoring services online, Indochino.com has simplified the process of getting custom-made shirts, pants and suits, and brought it to the comfort of your own home. The overall look and feel of the site is simple, uncluttered and very easy on the eye. Past the home page, you are guided through a simple flow process where you can customise the look and feel of your clothes by specifying the overall style and material used. You can even scrutinise every detail of your garment in a gallery featuring your selections, and customise its look with the help of a step-by-step illustrative customisation wizard. The big bang for the buck is when you reach the checkout flow. With clear instructional texts and videos, understanding how to pen down your measurements never seemed easier. Online tailoring is set to stay and Indochino.com gets the overall digital experience right. Its interface weaves seamlessly from the desktop to mobile, keeping the site simple with a flow that is natural for any online shoppers out there.

There is an ongoing trend for banks to undergo huge facelifts for their digital properties to remain relevant or even setting new standards for their online customers. HSBC Singapore seems to be losing out in this race. Over the years, HSBC’s red prism logo has been a strong design statement that has set the brand apart from its competitors. However, going through HSBC.com. sg today, I could not but help feel that it is stuck in the early years of the millennium. From images that resemble online stock libraries to graphics and typography that are poorly treated, the dated look does injustice to the regional bank’s image. And while the sections featuring its products are easy to navigate, much more could have been done to stoke customer interest and turn them into actual leads. Banking online is huge and fast becoming the norm. HSBC will do well to understand that providing a true-to-life digital experience is instrumental for banks to expand new customer bases while retaining the old.

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DIRECT MAIL CASE STUDY

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GIVING FOR A GOOD CAUSE Instead of simply asking for donations for its annual fundraising, the Cancer Society sent out bearthemed postcards to potential donors.

THE MAIL

Keeping it simple: The Singapore Cancer Society is careful not to waste money when reaching donors.

Objective: The Singapore Cancer Society sends out a very simple “business reply envelope” (BRE) every Christmas under an initiative called “The Joy of Giving”, asking for donations from its database of donors. It’s a very standard process and the biggest concern is not to spend too much of donor money on fancy direct mailers (hence, the simple BRE). When we took on the brief, we did two things. One, we decided the Christmas element should be dialed up more. And two, to send an actual Christmas card along with the BRE so the recipient gets something nice and Christmassy without feeling like they were hit for donations with the usual hard luck stories.

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So we designed a total of five Christmas cards, each colourful and featuring the silhouette of a bear with headlines of bear puns. Every direct mail, therefore, had one of these five cards and the standard BRE. Why the bear and what’s with the bear puns on the card? This was because the Cancer Society was selling limited edition bears with hand-made outfits by cancer survivors all through Christmas (on ground at Vivo). The cards were sold in packs of five as well. The donation drive pulled in more than SG$130,000 and had a record collection of SG$19,000 in one day alone. Up & Up provided the concept for the postcards and the design.

Turn up the Christmas element in the mailers and send recipients something nice so they would not feel like they had been pushed to donate.

Idea: Create bear-themed postcards based on The Cancer Society’s sale of limited edition bears.

Results: The donation drive pulled in more than SG$130,000 and had a record collection of SG$19,000 in one day alone.

Anand Vathiyar Owner, Up & Up

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4/3/2014 3:23:19 PM


It used to be impossible to get a ten-year-old to go to bed when the drama is showing on TV. Today, we catch our favourite TV programmes, anytime and anywhere, on our mobile devices. The smartphone has made media more social than ever. No longer do we just laugh with the family, we debate with strangers living thousands of miles away, using less than 140 characters. Technology drives the industry forward, giving more people access to wider variety of content but that is no substitute for good content. With overwhelming choices presented to the viewers, the shows that go on for seasons, and the videos that are shared across the world, are those that draw viewers in with engaging storytelling. It is so difficult and easy to produce great content. Just look around, life is full of inspiration. Everyday happenings in the office, or banter between friends who spend their days on a couch in a cafĂŠ, or a seemingly never-ending journey of how a man

met his wife, make some of the funniest TV series.

mistakes in life, and eventually, we want to overcome them too.

Most of us do not believe in vampires but for a few hours, we believe stories of undying love; we may not see every detail but we believe we make the right decisions based on our observations too.

We share stories that made us laugh and cry, stories that made us angry, and stories that gave us hopes of better tomorrows.

The challenge is stretching ideas into stories delicately balanced between reality and fantasy.

In the world of production, storytelling is an art. Get it right, and the ten-yearolds will be watching the videos again and again, before bedtime.

Good storytelling sets the audience into the premise and suspends their beliefs so they can live vicariously in the shoes of their onscreen heroes. It does not matter if you are fifty years old, or ten like us, we will always support the underdog-superhero-withan-inexplicable-humanly-flaw. We may not have the ability to save the world from aliens and meteors but we share the same human spirit. We feel the same pain when we make the same

Chow Yong Jun is a creative writer at Freeflow Productions who tells stories through visuals on caffeine-fuelled nights.


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PROFILE

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ELIZABETH LOW TALKS TO THE MAN BEHIND SINGAPORE’S EASIEST BRAND TO HATE – SINGTEL’S JOHAN BUSE, WHO DISCUSSES HOW HE IS WINNING LOCALS OVER. W W W .MA R KET ING - INT ERAC TIVE . COM

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PROFILE

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After years of bearing the brunt of local frustrations over its 4G network, broadband services and handset malfunctions, SingTel is easily Singapore’s easiest brand to hate. Traditionally, the brand handles much dissent about its services. An easy place to see this is on its Facebook page, where consumers regularly air their frustrations. Marketing earlier published a piece on the high levels of complaints SingTel gets on social media. However, SingTel has been taking steps to change public perception. The past year has seen it take several bold moves in its campaigns. For example, its Hawker Heroes Gordon Ramsay stunt last year created a huge buzz online and in local media. It also engaged local comedians such as Dee Kosh and Hossan Leong to engage fans on social media. This was on top of its annual title sponsorship of the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore each year. Marketing spoke to the man behind SingTel’s brand image, vicepresident of consumer marketing, Johan Buse. Buse hails from a strong background in the telecoms industry, beginning his career at T-Mobile Nederland, as well as holding key roles in Axis under the Saudi Telecom Company, and Croatian Telecom, before moving to SingTel. He starts by highlighting the telecoms industry has traditionally been a tough one to deliver good customer experience. “Most are seen as difficult organisations from a customer point of view – just like insurance and finance – with too many contracts and appearing inflexible.” He doesn’t deny that in the past the SingTel brand has been “institutional and cold” in its communications, adding there are a lot of things the brand can do better. He describes his take on making the brand more lovable. “My father taught me it is harder to become angry at a person who smiles at you, than at a person that doesn’t. SingTel is probably the most established brand (locally). People have a high level of respect, but also a lot of expectation. Just like how if you buy an expensive car, you expect more from it. And we have no problem with that.” But he adds that since more than a year ago, the biggest efforts have been going into changing the overall brand. The brand has embarked on a journey to become warmer and, in turn, well loved. “Ultimately, my belief is that a company needs to have a soul.” This includes moves such as simplifying its many different brand product names such as Explore and Extreme Broadband to names such as SingTel Broadband and SingTel Fibre Entertainment. As for other pain points for customers such as data roaming, where many get confounded by data charges, it has introduced initiatives such as free daily roaming packages, where for $15 daily, a user can have unlimited data abroad. Meanwhile, its marketing will become more integrated and singularly themed, though he declined to reveal more on upcoming campaigns. As for moves such as the campaigns it did with Hossan Leong and Ramsay, expect more of these from SingTel. IS IT WORKING? It’s been one year into this approach, but have consumers been convinced? “It’s early days, we track it and we’ve had some positive response, but it’s like knowing someone for a long time – your impression of them doesn’t change so quickly. The first results have been good, but we have a long way to go,” he says. However, without revealing interim brand results, he believes people are beginning to notice. “They can see the campaigns are different, warmer, more engaging and less top-down in communication. The days of taking the suppliercustomer approach are over.”

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“DON’T CALL ME TO KEEP THE SHOP OPEN, THAT’S NOT MY STRENGTH. I AM QUITE HUMAN-FOCUSED AND I AM GOOD AT BUILDING TEAMS.” A STRAIGHT SHOOTER One of the larger marketing spenders in the local market, the SingTel business commands a fair amount of clout. 2013 saw the telco launching a relatively high profile agency review, finally reappointing Ogilvy & Mather and ending its relationship with BBDO. What’s the expectation for this agency, I ask? He says his expectations are high. “They are an important point (part) of contributing to our business – our conscience, if you will. Because we are in our business day in and day out, we might think, for example, our briefs are clear. But we want our agency to say, yes this brief is great, but how does it actually benefit the consumer? “I believe a good agency is capable of reinventing, innovating, every time. For example, a great 4G campaign from last year? Great – a tick in the box. But if you say, let’s do it again, my answer would be no. That rarely works. There hasn’t been an Angry Birds wave 2, if you know what I mean.” He describes himself as straightforward, direct and demanding as a marketer. “A good marketer is a combination of two things: good numbers skills and good creative skills. “That’s not easy to find, most are either heavily on one side. I am in the middle. “Don’t call me to keep the shop open, that’s not my strength. I am quite human-focused and I am good at building teams. This is how I would describe myself as a client as well.”

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4/3/2014 3:24:32 PM


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OPINION: BRAND HEALTH CHECK

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WHEN SEX DOESN’T SELL ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT 2013 (Figures in thousands, in US$)

2012

2011

2010

Net sales

4,510,805

4,158,058

3,468,777

Gross profit

2,816,709

2,550,224

2,217,429

Net income

237,011

143,934

155,709

DIAGNOSIS Not so sexy: A&F is in need of a brand revamp.

Ailing teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) recently stripped its controversial chief executive Mike Jeffries of his chairman duties. According to a Reuters piece, the move came because of investor pressure to reduce Jeffries’ control over the company. He was appointed A&F’s CEO in 1992 to revamp the brand, and was responsible for the company’s sexed-up image, with its racy ads, catalogues and topless in-store male models the brand has become well-known for. Meanwhile, Jeffries also created waves for the brand with his controversial jibes. For example, Jeffries once declared the brand only wanted to market to good looking people. The brand has also been accused of racist behaviour in its hiring practices. In the midst of the press storms these incidents created, it looked like the brand was getting away with the controversy. However, A&F’s heavy focus on marketing and neglect of other elements such as product and pricing may have led the brand into its current decline. The brand banks heavily on enforcing an “aspirational lifestyle”, in its own words. In the midst of this, it has also kept its prices high. For example, simple tees in A&F cost an average of SG$50-80. Its key marketing vehicle is its store experience, according to A&F in its annual report. It also markets through digital, e-commerce and social media. Analysts have said the brand’s overt focus on marketing and cutting costs instead of improving merchandise to bring back shoppers is costing the brand. Shares of the company, which is set to post its eighth straight decline in quarterly same-store sales, have lost about a quarter of their value in the past 12 months, according to Reuters. Can the brand turn itself around?

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Ambrish Chaudhry Regional strategy director, The Brand Union

One can’t help but feel for Mike Jeffries, the recently deposed chairman of A&F. In the hubris-filled days prior to 2008 it would have been easy to be vain and haughty to the point of clearly telling a huge proportion of people that your brand simply isn’t for them. That’s exactly what he did when he proclaimed in an interview the A&F brand was not meant for fat kids, ugly people or for the plain old “uncool”. While it may have, in an odd 1990s marketing strategy way, made sense to associate the brand with a certain kind of aspirational audience, this is perhaps one of the biggest examples of a business doyen reading the zeitgeist wrongly. We live in extraordinarily transparent times with businesses realising they have a clear role to play in creating value for the communities they operate in and increasingly brands are becoming a force for good. Think Unilever with its genuine commitment to sustainability and Dove propagating the cause for real beauty. A&F seems like a company at odds with the very audience it is trying to woo. Ironically its response to falling sales has been to include larger-sized clothes for exactly the audience it worked so hard to exclude. Inauthenticity is akin to kryptonite for brands in our hyper-connected, blogs and tweets-driven world. Unless it has a genuine rethink on how it wants to be more inclusive, the future doesn’t look too buff for A&F.

Lawrence Chong CEO Consulus

A&F is just operating in a very tough environment with the killer matrix of the rise of fast-retailing; the impact of online shopping creating a generation of browsers and not shoppers and new ideas by indie fashion entrepreneurs. So other than the sexy perception, customers now want your brand to be sexy in terms of pricing and availability. So in this business you should remain high-end and personalised, but maintain a smaller footprint. Otherwise, if you start to grow larger in scale, but are not nimble enough in terms of moving fashion concepts quickly and keeping costs low, then you will most likely be in trouble. In the coming quarters, other fashion brands such as A&F will face similarly tough decisions of either transformation to rethink the way they sell clothes or cut more costs. A&F needs to start taking practical steps to right its brand. It needs to look into adjusting the heart of its brand strategy to cater to a new audience. This includes an adjustment in pricing, a shift in the core messaging (copy and visuals), and a redirection internally towards shifting away from selling sex to youth towards asking what youth want today, taking a page from H&M and Forever 21. Finally, its retail store design (dark, heavy smelling scents, extravagant and pounding music) needs to change. I believe going lighter, cleaner and simpler is the way to go.

TREATMENT Chaudhry’s cure: • Become more inclusive as a brand. • Have a clear role in the value it can create for the community.

Chong’s cure: • Adjust the brand’s strategy to a new audience. • Cleaner retail store designs. • Shift in core messaging.

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PR Awards 2014 DATE: 26 February 2014 VENUE: Intercontinental Singapore 1 Team Tate Anzur. 2 Tarun Deo, managing director, Singapore and Southeast Asia, GolinHarris. 3 Susanne Arfelt, head of marketing, Unilever Singapore. 4 Team Visa and team Click2View. 5 Team GolinHarris and team Unilever – the overall winners of the night.

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6 Team Ogilvy PR (SingTel team). 7 Team Epic PR. 8 Team DBS. 9 Team Viacom for MTV World Stage. 10 Team Viacom International Media Networks, Waggener Edstrom and Akamai Technologies. 11 Team MasterCard. 12 Guests enjoying the night. 13 Team Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, AIA and Ogilvy PR.

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MARKETING FEATURE: PUBLIC RELATIONS

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WHEN A CRISIS HITS, IS RESPONDING QUICKLY ALWAYS THE BEST MOVE? ELIZABETH LOW EXPLORES THE DILEMMA PR AND LEGAL HAVE IN SUCH SITUATIONS.

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MARKETING FEATURE: PUBLIC RELATIONS

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Perhaps the worst PR disaster in recent history, BP’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill cost the company deeply. The 2010 incident is unfortunately now a painful case study of a crisis communication failure. The most recent development had the company having its appeal to cancel the terms of its multi billion-dollar settlement with businesses rejected. The company is continuing to bleed as it faces an avalanche of claims. “It was never our intention for the company to become an open cash register for every claim or project anyone could dream up,” spokesman Geoff Morrell told Bloomberg Businessweek, highlighting the company’s plight. According to the BBC, BP has faced about US$42.4 billion in criminal and civil charges since the incident. When the crisis first hit, and the then chief executive Toby Hayward stepped forward with a volley of insensitive remarks, dodging blame and arguably downplaying the disaster, analysts predicted reputational damage would cost BP more than US$9 billion, according to an article by The Guardian. During the crisis, one other main criticism was the lack of communication overall during the entire fiasco, aside from pushing blame. PR industry players have since argued the incident was a perfect pivotal point for change in the age-old public relations and legal tussle.

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“In a crisis, we run a statement past legal to get their input, but they don’t make the final decision. So it’s more of a partnership.” Bruce Blakeman — vice-president of corporate affairs, Asia Pacific, Cargill International Trading

WHERE PR AND LEGAL LOCK HORNS While both functions have the same objectives: Resolve the crisis quickly and save the company’s reputation (and money), legal tends to view these objectives through a defensive and cautious prism. However, for the PR function, crisis is often seen as an opportunity for the company to demonstrate what it believes in and how it lives its mission statement, says Brian West, managing director, reputation management, Asia Pacific and global chair, crisis management at FleishmanHillard. “When a crisis strikes, many attorneys have the same instinct: to clamp down on corporate communications and make the fewest number of public statements possible (if any at all). That’s because an attorney’s primary job is to minimise future financial payouts and, in cases of criminal wrongdoing, to reduce a company’s culpability in any future legal action,” West says. However, while legal action might be won or

the payout minimised in three to six years time, at what cost to the reputation and, therefore, the financial health of the business? The cost of loss of reputation can easily exceed any future payout, suggests West. Here’s where PR steps in – in the “court of public opinion”. West argues poor communication may see stakeholders lose faith in the company which in the long-run will cost the company more. “One needs to consider the impact of a crisis on the debt capital providers’ (banks) willingness to continue to provide that financial lifeline; the reaction of the equity capital holders (shareholders), will they dump the shares? “Will the government regulate the industry? Will employees leave and prospects not join? Will customers stop buying the company’s product?” Another PR lead from a major firm in the aerospace sector highlighted the tension. “It is almost always challenging because we are a dichotomy on two things – speed and language – and we work from different angles.”

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MARKETING FEATURE: PUBLIC RELATIONS

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A messy affair: Along with the oil spill, BP spilt a lot of its own blood with some poor communication to the public after the incident.

“In crises, a communicator tries to mitigate further reputation damage by responding with speed and using sensitised language, while legal tends to concentrate on trying to say as little as possible in order to maximise a legal defence when responding to the legal aspects of crises.” PR lead — aerospace sector

“In crises, a communicator tries to mitigate further (or anticipated) reputation damage by responding with speed and using sensitised language, while legal tends to concentrate on trying to say as little as possible in order to maximise a legal defence when responding to the legal aspects of crises.” She points out

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the case of Schindler’s PR crisis in Japan. In 2006, a Schindler elevator in Tokyo, started ascending while the door was open. A 16-year-old boy was crushed to death while getting off the elevator with his bicycle. An investigation determined a faulty brake was to blame.

“An apology or expression of regret would have softened the Japanese reaction to Schindler. Legal prevented the apology because it is seen in the West as an admission of fault in the unfortunate event, and correctly, wanted Schindler not to be exposed to investigation or liability,” she says. However, the fiasco cost Schindler deeply as it later struggled to sell its elevators in the market. The main takeaway? “Don’t be afraid to apologise. PR experts and lawyers tend to lock horns over this, as an apology is often viewed as an admission of guilt – with all of the attendant legal implications. In Asia, however, an apology can often end a public crisis. But it has to be sincere,” West

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4/3/2014 4:02:42 PM


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MARKETING FEATURE: PUBLIC RELATIONS

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Sorry is not a dirty word: An apology may have gone a long way in helping Schindler’s reputation.

“Don’t be afraid to apologise. PR experts and lawyers tend to lock horns over this, as an apology is often viewed as an admission of guilt – with all of the attendant legal implications. In Asia, however, an apology can often end a public crisis.” Brian West — managing director, reputation management, Asia Pacific and global chair, crisis management at FleishmanHillard

says. He suggests making local employees first responders by empowering them to communicate in a crisis – “rather than waiting for them to email New York, and wait for legal to draft something, which gets circulated amongst a dozen people and approved three days later. “Someone needs to be trained, empowered and authorised to speak to the media as soon as the story breaks.” However, the situation in many companies is that legal still has veto rights over communications, which usually makes communications highly conservative, says Bruce Blakeman, vice-president of corporate affairs for Asia Pacific at Cargill International Trading. LEGAL ISSUES PR NEEDS TO HEED While a strong public relations strategy is key in a crisis, good legal caution must be thrown into consideration. There are several vital points PR professionals need to pay extra attention to. For example, where there is a chance of libel or defamation. The PR lead, who declined to be named, concedes these are instances where it is most beneficial to work with legal. “Given that in crises there is always a risk of libel, we usually end up working closely

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with legal. Arguments about semantics in statements and spokespersons are almost unavoidable,” she says. Another grey area is in technology and social media. In a blog post, marketing consultant Deb McAlister-Holland says one of most contentious areas in social media litigation is the ownership of social media accounts and content. “From lawsuits over LinkedIn contacts to disputes about Twitter accounts to wrangles over employee adherence to social media policies, this is the fastest growing area of legal troubles for all marketers,” she says. “If you have an existing social media account before you take a PR job, and you will be using that account to post or share information for your new client or employer, make sure the ownership of the existing social media account is spelled out before the first post is made.” Social law expert and Dallas attorney Sean E. Tuma was quoted in a piece saying that although legislatures want to keep up on social media law, they often fall short. For Singapore, social media remains largely unregulated for now. Another important area is knowing the

regulations of the market or industry you operate in. While most public relations professionals may well be aware of these, employees may not. For this, Holland advises creating a social media policy and training employees in it, as well as involving legal and compliance teams in the PR and social media planning process, particularly if it’s a new area for the company. A BALANCED APPROACH Ultimately, it looks like the tussle goes on. While some companies remain conservative, some PR professionals look determined to stick to their principles. But most emphasise a need for a smoother relationship. “In a crisis, we run a statement past legal to get their input, but they don’t make the final decision. So it’s more of a partnership. Usually we both give and take on the original drafts to meet our legal and stakeholder communications needs,” says Cargill’s Blakeman. Says the aerospace sector PR lead: “The relationship can be a tedious one to navigate in a situation of high pressure. It is valuable to inculcate a friendly relationship outside crisis situations to create an understanding of each other’s roles and the benefits one can give the other.” Nick Jacobs, PR director of Intel Asia Pacific and Japan, says PR professionals need to build trust with legal as well. “By adopting a calm and measured approach, PR professionals can build trust and credibility with legal peers – that way, the next time a challenging situation arises, greater emphasis may be placed on reputational considerations, while still preserving the overarching goal of avoiding undue risk of liability,” Jacobs says.

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PR AWARDS CHAMPION – BRAND UNILEVER SINGAPORE WHAT THE WINNER HAD TO SAY: 2013 was marked by transitions, and winning the best brand award gives us additional confidence we are on the right track to deliver brilliant executions. It is an incredible achievement for all of us at Unilever. The Unilever ice-cream team, GolinHarris and Mindshare have demonstrated a best-case example of what flawless teamwork can deliver. Now the bar is set for 2014. – SUSANNE ARFELT RAJAMAND, head of marketing, Unilever Singapore

PR AWARDS CHAMPION – AGENCY GOLINHARRIS WHAT THE WINNER HAD TO SAY: All of us at GolinHarris are extremely proud and privileged to win big at the Awards. It is moments like this that make what we do worthwhile, so we will enjoy and savour it. Our clients have been central to our success and I thank them for being brave and bold and creating an exemplary environment that allows us to deliver great work. – TARUN DEO, managing director, Singapore and Southeast Asia, GolinHarris

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BEST CONSUMER PR CAMPAIGN

BEST B2B PR CAMPAIGN

GOLD

GOLD

Client: Jetstar Southeast Asia Brand: Nil Campaign: Jetstar Asia’s feng shui of flying Agency: AKA Asia

Client: FireEye Brand: Nil Campaign: Launch FireEye into Singapore Agency: Epic Public Relations

SILVER

SILVER

Client: Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore Brand: Guinness Singapore Campaign: Guinness Arthur’s Day 2013 Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

Client: SAP Brand: Nil Campaign: Best Run Cities Agency: FleishmanHillard

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Singapore Telecommunications Brand: SingTel Campaign: SingTel Hawker Heroes – A Challenge to Gordon Ramsay Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

Client: QlikView (Southeast and North Asia) Brand: Nil Campaign: Qlik-ing with the right audience Agency: The Hoffman Agency Singapore

BEST GOVERNMENT SECTOR PR CAMPAIGN

BEST PRODUCT LAUNCH PR CAMPAIGN

GOLD

GOLD

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore HeritageFest 2013 Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: Philips Electronics Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: Philips VisaPure product launch – Reveal Your Skin’s True Radiance Agency: FleishmanHillard

SILVER

SILVER

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore Night Festival Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Singapore Sports Council Brand: Team Singapore Campaign: Together We Are Stronger Agency: GolinHarris

Client: AIA Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: AIA Vitality, the transformational, first-in-market, science-backed wellness programme Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

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Marketing Magazine - Full Page Print Ad (210 X 280).pdf

1

28/2/14

10:47 AM

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Winner: PR Awards 2014 Best Media Relations Campaign Best Government Sector PR Campaign Best Event-Led PR Campaign Marketing Excellence Awards 2013 Excellence in Public Relations Excellence in Government Sector Marketing MOB-EX Awards 2013/2014 Most Innovative Use of Mobile Best User Experience Best Viral Marketing

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BEST EVENT-LED PR CAMPAIGN

BEST INSIGHTS-DRIVEN PR CAMPAIGN

GOLD

GOLD

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

Client: Singapore Kindness Movement Brand: Nil Campaign: The Singa Project Agency: Strategic Public Relations Group

SILVER

SILVER

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore HeritageFest 2013 Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: PayPal Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: Pushing the m-commerce frontier – one tap at a time Agency: The Hoffman Agency Singapore

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore Night Festival Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: Trend Micro Brand: Nil Campaign: Trend Bytes Agency: FleishmanHillard

BEST MEDIA RELATIONS CAMPAIGN

BEST DIGITAL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

GOLD

GOLD

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore HeritageFest 2013 Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: Unilever Brand: Lux Campaign: Lux Global Social Media Magazine Agency: GolinHarris

SILVER

SILVER

Client: National Heritage Board Brand: Nil Campaign: Singapore Night Festival Agency: Tate Anzur

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: British Airways Brand: Nil Campaign: British Airways Royal Baby Singapore Media Relations Agency: Grayling Asia

Client: CommScope Brand: Nil Campaign: Generating business leads through integrated digital B2B marketing Agency: BITE

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BEST INVESTOR RELATIONS CAMPAIGN

BEST USE OF INFLUENCERS PR CAMPAIGN

GOLD

GOLD

Client: HanKore Environment Tech Group Brand: Nil Campaign: HanKore Investor Relations Agency: Financial PR

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

SILVER

SILVER

Client: Fraser and Neave Brand: Nil Campaign: Proactive PR campaign to maximise value for F&N shareholders Agencies: Citigate Dewe Rogerson, i.MAGE

Client: Singapore Telecommunications Brand: SingTel Campaign: SingTel Hawker Heroes – A Challenge to Gordon Ramsay Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Nam Cheong Brand: Nil Campaign: The OSV Builder of Choice Agencies: Citigate Dewe Rogerson, i.MAGE

Client: DBS Bank Brand: Nil Campaign: The DBS Marina Regatta Story Agency: Nil

BEST USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PR

BEST PR-LED INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS

GOLD

GOLD

Client: National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre Brand: Nil Campaign: #Givingtuesdaysg Agency: FleishmanHillard

Client: Wildlife Reserves Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: Pandamonium Hits Singapore Agency: Nil

SILVER

SILVER

Client: Sony Mobile Communications Brand: Sony Mobile Campaign: Sony Mobile Xperia Test Drive Agency: Omnifluence

Client: Shark Savers Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: I’m FINished with Fins Agency: Nil

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

Client: Unilever Singapore Brand: Magnum Campaign: Magnum Pink & Black Agency: GolinHarris

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3/3/2014 6:18:39 PM


BEST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT/ INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS

BEST CSR COMMUNICATIONS

GOLD

GOLD

Client: MasterCard Brand: Nil Campaign: Priceless Singapore launch for employees Agency: Nil

Client: MasterCard Brand: Nil Campaign: Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World 2013 Agency: Weber Shandwick

SILVER

SILVER

Client: UEM Sunrise Berhad Brand: Nil Campaign: Unleashing the Power of One Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

Client: Heineken Asia Pacific Brand: Nil Campaign: Have a Good Night Out Agency: Yolk Singapore

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: DBS Bank Brand: Nil Campaign: “Who Knows DBS Best?” – celebrating 45 years of great DBS moments Agency: Tribal

Client: 3M Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: 3M Steps Up for Charity Agency: Huntington Communications

BEST ENGAGEMENT FOR A TARGETED COMMUNITY

BEST CRISIS MANAGEMENT

GOLD

GOLD

Client: Procter & Gamble Brand: Nil Campaign: P&G Beauty VisionHouse 2013 Agency: DeVries Global

Client: IKEA Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: IKEA SG horse meat crisis – riding on honesty and humour for a winning message Agency: Huntington Communications

SILVER

SILVER

Client: National Trades Union Congress Brand: Nil Campaign: I Care For My Cleaners Agency: Nil

Client: Olam International Brand: Nil Campaign: Clearing Muddy Water Agencies: Citigate Dewe Rogerson, i.MAGE

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Burger King Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: Fit for our national servicemen, fine for a king – burgers with real substance Agency: Weber Shandwick

Client: Scoot Brand: Nil Campaign: Scoot vs SGAG Troll Wars Agency: INEO Solutions Singapore

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BEST PR CAMPAIGN FOR A PRODUCT RELAUNCH

MOST CREATIVE PR STUNT

GOLD

GOLD

Client: Procter & Gamble Brand: SK-II Campaign: Launch of SK-II Pitera™ House at Tangs Orchard, Singapore Agency: DeVries Global

Client: Singapore Telecommunications Brand: SingTel Campaign: SingTel Hawker Heroes – A Challenge to Gordon Ramsay Agency: Ogilvy Public Relations Singapore

SILVER

SILVER

Client: McDonald’s Restaurants Brand: Nil Campaign: National Breakfast Day Agency: GolinHarris

Client: Tickled Media Brand: theAsianparent.com Campaign: “Super Kan-Cheong Style” Children’s Day Music Video Agency: Nil

BRONZE

BRONZE

Client: Procter & Gamble Brand: SK-II Campaign: SK-II Discovery Tour Agency: DeVries Global

Client: Crystal Time (S) Brand: Luminox Campaign: Luminox Save the Seas II Agency: Nil

BEST PR CAMPAIGN BY AN IN-HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

GOLD Client: Changi Airport Group Brand: Nil Campaign: Announcement of Project Jewel at Changi Airport Agency: Nil

SILVER Client: Kinetic Singapore Brand: Nil Campaign: Uu 3D Custom Figurines Agency: Nil

BRONZE Client: MasterCard Brand: Nil Campaign: Priceless Singapore employee launch Agency: Nil W W W .MA R KET ING - INT ERAC TIVE . COM

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METHODOLOGY The PR Awards is Singapore’s premier niche event celebrating excellence across the public relations spectrum. From unique one-offs to long-term campaigns and programmes, the PR Awards recognises brands (followed by their agencies) that have pushed themselves towards measurable success through sound and strategic communications. Agencies may enter the awards on behalf of their clients. Eligible work must have been carried out in Singapore for the Singapore market, or for a regional/global market that includes Singapore. This allows the awards to celebrate the best public relations departments, their partners, and their agencies that Singapore has to offer. The finalists and winners were decided by 14 distinguished judges comprising of seniorlevel communications practitioners from the industry. The judges assessed the entries based on the following criteria – key challenge, strategy, execution and results. Winners of the PR Awards represent the best-in-class in the industry, and are an invaluable benchmark resource for success.

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3/3/2014 6:18:39 PM


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Rod Strother Director, Digital & Social Centre of Excellence Lenovo Singapore

Ken Chang Commerical Director for Asia Pacific Microsoft Advertising

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C360_2014_Print Ad.indd 1

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EVENTS

OMD, THE SMARTEST MEDIA AGENCY IN TOWN Because that’s the title the winner of the BBC Pub Quiz walked away with. The fourth annual Agency Pub Quiz Challenge, hosted by Marketing’s publisher Søren Beaulieu, saw OMD walk away the winner. The quiz tested agencies on their knowledge in four categories – current issues, sports, science and technology and entertainment. It saw 11 teams head to F Club Singapore to compete for the title. ZenithOptimedia wasn’t hard to miss with its huge convoy of supporters and players in blue. PHD and MEC (aka Flappy Nerd), were among the agencies who went all out to garner bonus points by bringing their clients and seniorlevel management. While most teams struggled in round one, which tested news and current affairs, OMD (1) (aka Team Bubbles) scored five points and secured a head start, by naming a handful of BBC World News presenters and Kim Jong-un’s

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alleged phobia (fear of barbers), among other challenging questions. In the end, Team Bubbles defended its lead, and eventually lifted the Challenge trophy, with ZenithOptimedia (aka Radler) and Mindshare (aka A-Team) squaring off in the overtime round to claim second and third spot. When asked to name the fifth to 11th tuples during overtime (a mathematical abstraction of a sequence, starting with “single, double, triple, quadruple” – **see below for answers), onlookers AGENCY

scratched their heads while Team Radler had no problem answering most of them, clinching the first runner-up position. That made Mindshare, who aced round three on technology and science, settle for a respectable second runner-up position. Mike Rees, regional director of BBC, presented the medals to the winning agencies. OMD is the new guardian of the Agency Pub Quiz Challenge trophy, until next year, when it will return to defend it and the title that comes with it: the smartest media agency in town.

Bonus pts

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

OMD (1) (aka Bubbles)

1

5

6.5

8

6

Total 26.5

ZenithOptimedia (aka Radler)

2

4

8.5

9

2

25.5 (took 2nd place via overtime round

Mindshare (aka A-Team)

1

3

8

10

3.5

25.5

Dentsu Möbius

2

1

7

11

3

24

ZenithOptimedia

2

2

10

6

3

23

MEC (aka Flappy Nerds)

1

1

8.5

7

4

21.5

Maxus

1

1

4.5

9

3.5

19

PHD

2

2

3.5

9

2

18.5

OMD (2) (aka Dip-sheets)

1

2

4.5

6

4

17.5

Starcom MediaVest Group (aka Intel Inside, Mental Outside)

1

0

2.5

11

2

16.5

The Media Shop (aka 50/50)

0

1

2.5

7

2

12.5

**In mathematics, a tuple is an abstraction of the sequence. The first four names for tuples are single, double, triple, quadruple … name the subsequent six tuples. (one point each) Answer: Quintuple, sextuple, septuple, octuple, nonuple, decuple

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SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

................................................................................................................................................................................................................

ABOUT AMBITION

Ambition is a leading global boutique recruitment business with coverage across Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and United Kingdom. Founded and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1999, the company has grown to become a prominent specialist player within marketing recruitment. For more information, please visit www.ambition.com.sg.

SENIOR MERCHANDISING DIRECTOR F #,'-0#"#01&'.-1'2'-, F ,212'!0##0..-023,'27 F  ulsk2-umok,,3*1'!*07 Our client: *#"',%.*7#0',2&# #327',"31207',1'A'1!300#,2*7*--)',%2-&'0#,#6.#0'#,!#" #0!&,"'1',%'0#!2-0',',%.-0#2-*#"'21*0%# 37',%"#.02+#,2,""#4#*-..*,1$-02&#%0-3.@ #.-02',%',2-2&# A7-35'**2)#!!-3,2 '*'27$-0!&'#4',%!2#%-071*#1A%0-11.0-i2,"',!-+# %-*1$-0**!2#%-0'#15&'*12"#4#*-.',%,#51202#%'#12-',!0#1#+0)#21&0#$302&#0@&'15'**',!*3"# 7-3'+.*#+#,2',%,#5.0-"3!2,".0-+-2'-,1202#%'#12-#,130#',!0#1#',1*#1',12-0#@-35'***1- 2)#0#1.-,1' '*'27$-0"#4#*-.',%.0'!',%1202#%'#1A0#2'*,"13..*'#00#*2'-,1&'.1,"+,%#2&#!1& j-5,"',4#,2-07@ -/3*'$7A',"'4'"3*1+312.-11#11B F lk~7#01`0#2'*',%#6.#0'#,!# F 20-,%!-++3,'!2'-,,"',j3#,!',%1)'**1 F #327,"G-0&#*2&#6.-130#'1.0#$#00#" F 202#%'!**7+',"#" Contact Matthew Gardner on (65) 6854 5633 or email Matthew.Gardner@ambition.com.sg quoting reference number MXG25932.

APAC MARKETING MANAGER F Fast Growing Cloud-Based Planning Management Business F 0#2..-023,'27 -0 0-52& F '-,##0-*# Our client: $12%0-5',%*-3"Q 1#".*,,',%+,%#+#,2 31',#115'2&120-,%%*- *.0#1#,!#@ 2'1,-5*--)',%$-0"#1'%,2#".#01-,2-*--)$2#0'21+0)#2',%#$$-021',2&#0#%'-,@ #.-02',%"'0#!2*72-2&#0)#2',%'0#!2-0 1#"',A7-35'** #0#1.-,1' *#$-0'+.*#+#,2',% %*- *-,*',#,"-$j',#!+.'%,1!0-11**+0)#2',%!&,,#*1',@-30"32'#15'**+',*7$-!31 -,+,%',%+0)#2',%-.#02'-,1,"*-!*'12'-,-$.0-%0+12&25'**#, *#%0#2#0!312-+#0 #,%%#+#,2,"13 1#/3#,2*7"0'4#%0#20#230,1@ -/3*'$7A',"'4'"3*1+312.-11#11B F !&#*-0�1"#%0##',,70#*#4,2i#*" F 5+ years’ B2B marketing experience within the IT sector F 6.-130#2-+0)#2 F Technical background on Salesforce (SFDC), Marketo and/or other social media platforms F  *#2-5-0)',,+ '%3-311#23. Contact Diane Barraquio on (65) 6854 5629 or email Diane.Barraquio@ambition.com.sg quoting reference number DGB25021.

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SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

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SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

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SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

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CAREERS

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CAREER PATH Marc Bakker, assistant director for marketing and communications, Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre

First job? Believe it or not I started my career as a financial controller at a Swiss private bank, beautifying management reports and making them more user-friendly. First job in advertising/ marketing? I headed up the

team responsible for creating the very first internet presence for ING Group’s global private banking unit. Best job? The current one.

Where else do I get to revitalise such a well-loved and well-known brand? Plus my colleagues are a true pleasure to work with. Perks of your current job? I have 100,000 square metres of a state-of-the-art building equipped with the latest technology to play with. We also serve amazing food, which I am fortunate enough to sample on occasion. Worst job? Operations manager for a year. It was the most creatively frustrating stint of my career. Marketing professionals you admire? Martin Lindstrom. I’m

a big fan of the way he integrates behavioural science and empirical methodology into his marketing. Best career advice you’ve been given? You have to be

willing to fight for the ideas you truly believe in, even if it means taking your ideas elsewhere if need be.

JOB SHUFFLE Budget carrier Cebu Pacific hired Nik Laming as its new general manager for loyalty. Laming has relocated from Singapore to Manila to work on relationship and loyalty marketing. Laming specialises in loyalty marketing and was the senior vice-president for Asia Pacific for Aimia before Cebu Pacific. He had the role for two years from October 2011 to December 2013. Burson-Marsteller appointed Barkha Patel-Zinzuwadia its Singapore market leader and member of the APAC leadership team. She reports to Asia Pacific regional chair Patrick Ford. The firm has not had a market leader for its Singapore practice since previous lead Steve Bowen moved to the firm’s Sydney office in 2012. Patel-Zinzuwadia joins BursonMarsteller with more than 18 years of agency and in-house experience in APAC. Nicholas Chhan, the digital director of Maxus Hong Kong, left the agency for Dentsu Singapore as its digital media director. In his new role, he is responsible for creating and evangelising the agency’s digital product offerings and to work within the network and media partners. During his time at Maxus Hong Kong, he worked to build and develop the digital arm.

Why a career in marketing?

It is one of the few professions where I can express my creative ideas while working with facts and figures at the same time. If you weren’t in marketing, what would you be? I’d most

likely be teaching or coaching. I really enjoy developing people and seeing them thrive. How do you wind down? Playing

games online, reading and cycling.

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Former iProspect Hong Kong managing director Antony Yiu has left the position to take up the role as head of search and performance for MEC APAC. Yiu is now responsible for developing search and performance hubs in the APAC region and reports to Ben Poole, head of digital in

APAC. Before iProspect Hong Kong, Yiu worked in several market research and technology companies. American Express appointed Cheng Heng Chew the new country manager and head of the consumer card portfolio. He succeeds Yoshimi Nakajima, who returned to Tokyo to lead the acquisition, product line and card member engagement for American Express’ consumer card business in Japan. In his new role, he will be heading the consumer card business in Singapore. His focus is on growing the business. Carat’s international client president for APAC Clinton Simpson took on the role of EVP of global managing partner at Universal McCann (UM) WW. He started the role in January, according to his LinkedIn profile. Sean O’Brien, CEO of APAC for Carat, confirmed Simpson’s departure, and said the company would announce his replacement soon. Simpson first came to Asia in 2009 to head up UM/Initiative Singapore. Noah Regan, executive creative director of Host Singapore, has left the company. Regan confirmed the move to Marketing. He added there was a mutual understanding between Host and himself. Regan first joined Host from BBH Singapore in March last year. Regan reported to Anthony Freedman, regional CEO of Host, and led the agency in conjunction with managing director Dan Gibson, who joined in late 2012.

Doug Buemi rejoined Cohn & Wolfe as vicechairman and regional director for Asia Pacific. He is overseeing the agency’s nine offices in Asia, working closely with regional market leaders to help grow the agency’s business, build capabilities and develop talent. JWT created a new regional digital role based out of Australia, promoting current digital director for JWT Australia to oversee the Asia expansion. Josie Brown took on the newly created role of Asia Pacific digital director to oversee the business. She will work with regional clients, providing support to local accounts. Martin Conneen is taking over WPP agency Wunderman as the Asia Pacific regional president. He will be overseeing Wunderman’s efforts across the Asia region, taking charge of 14 countries, and 42 offices, including Australia. He is based in Singapore and has taken over duties from Stephane Faggianelli, who shifts into a new role as regional president for Wunderman Europe/Middle East and Africa. Global digital performance agency iProspect appointed Stu Owens as the SEO head for iProspect Singapore. He reports to Luke Janich, regional director of iProspect. Owens was previously at Bloom Agency in the UK. He has more than nine years of experience in digital, search and online strategy.

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LAST WORD

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SHOULD YOU BE CREEPED OUT BY FACEBOOK BUYING WHATSAPP? So Facebook has acquired WhatsApp. Here’s what Elizabeth Low thinks about it. It was big news last month when Facebook announced it had bought WhatsApp for a hefty US$19 billion, and since then, many news reports have been discussing the worth of the buy. But consumers are quickly raising data privacy concerns. Ryan Lim, business director of Blugrapes, warns that end users should be more wary since Facebook now has access to their mobile contacts and their network of friends on mobile that previously had eluded Facebook. “Having so much consumer data in the hands of a commercial entity can be worrying without proper regulation to protect the interests of the end users,” Lim said. To clarify, WhatsApp has long made a strong stand that it doesn’t believe in ads, and Mark Zuckerberg is echoing that same promise. Here’s a short note from WhatsApp’s blog in 2012. “Remember, when advertising is involved, you, the user, are the product. At WhatsApp, our engineers spend all their time fixing bugs, adding new features and ironing out all the little intricacies in our task of bringing rich, affordable, reliable messaging to every phone in the world. That’s our product and that’s our passion. Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it.” But it looks like consumers aren’t totally convinced. Perhaps this hilarious tweet from blogger Mr Brown sums up the sentiment:

What about the depth of data Facebook will now have? Take for example this. Facebook’s data scientists are already cleverly making sense of all your interactions. Check out its (creepy?) blog series on how it knows how long your relationships will last, when you’re falling in love, or going through a break-up. Here’s how it looks when you’re in love.

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What’s next? Privacy concerns loom large in customers’ minds.

And when you break up:

*Charts from Facebook

But with WhatsApp, it looks like Facebook might know about your break-up before you do! Could you expect an ice-cream ad on Facebook after your break-up on WhatsApp, perhaps? Or how about this – by now, most clever social media users would have developed a filter of sorts as to how they interact on Facebook. (If anyone needs a reminder – two words for you: Anton Casey.) So for me, while my interactions on Facebook are fairly filtered, my WhatsApp conversations aren’t. I send emoticons, quarrel, share private jokes (you get the idea) – something I wouldn’t even do on Facebook messenger. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for many users. Yes, I’m aware data is already being captured everywhere, and it was only a matter of time before WhatsApp was acquired, but the reality of it happening is plain creepy. Yikes! Looks like there’s only one thing to do – you might have to get off your mobile and meet your friends in person.

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Luxury. Redefined. From March onwards, the Asia Tatler magazines will have a fresh, modern look and boast even richer, snappier content to guide you to the best in life.

Celebrate with us - get a free download of our brand new March issue, visit www.AsiaTatler.com/Tatler2014

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Marketing Magazine SG - Mar 2014