Flying high and losing its way

Flying high and losing its way

Two brands had to face extraordinary circumstances in the week after Christmas. One responded valiantly while the other lost its way. Sony appears to have lost direction. This Japanese company was once the Apple of the 70s with its innovative…

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The Art of Bore

The Art of Bore

At this time of the year, there is a tendency people (and especially silver-haired folks of my age) to hark back to bygone eras. Indeed, a few years back, business gurus were urging us to study Sun Tzu and his book ‘The Art of War’. Military men were expected to know the strategies of Napoleon. But the world is changing so fast that to study advertising and marketing strategies of even a decade ago will provide…

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Inspiring

Inspiring

I was invited to speak recently at Commwards 2014 in Dhaka. It was my second visit to Bangladesh. This time I was invited by Southeast University as well as Bangladesh Brand Forum who organised the event. The University has introduced a course on Branding for…

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The natives are restless

The natives are restless

The latest buzz in the advertising and publishing industries is the term ‘native advertising’. The term seems to have arisen from the old colonial past, when any expatriate who adopted the habits of the locals, was considered by his more conservative colleagues as having gone ‘native’. Should he go further and take a local lady as his wife, he was soon dropped from ‘polite’ society and probably lost…

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Time to vacate and vacation

Time to vacate and vacation

Age is supposed to bring wisdom. While I accept there have been several high-profile publishers of a mature age who have behaved foolishly, I pride myself on clarity of thought. And it tells me it is time to step aside. This week, I give up my publisher’s hat and my editor’s chair to another. It is never easy to let go of your own ‘baby’ but…

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Watching mobile grow

Watching mobile grow

Attending the Mobile Marketing Association Forum last week reminded me of my meeting years ago at Raffles City with Rohit Dadwal when he first came to Singapore to promote the Mobile Marketing Association. Frankly, at that time, I didn’t see mobile advertising as being anything but a very minor player in the industry. Remember SMS and a few trials of running ads along the bottom of a tiny screen were the only options for an advertiser. This was the era when there were companies selling…

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The Golden Age of Art Direction

The Golden Age of Art Direction

Wandering around the entries of print advertising displayed at the AdFest in Thailand (6th-8th March 2014), I was struck by the amount of illustration. For a long time, I feared illustration (within advertising) in Asia would never take off but here it was in full glory. Art directors and designers have been producing delightful and imaginative illustrations alongside digitally enhanced photography to create eye-catching ads. Often the visual was the idea and copy just…

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Whose ad is it?

Whose ad is it?

Recently a small creative agency in Singapore vented its frustrations on a Facebook page over a client who recycled a front cover design created by them but used another agency for the second year of the campaign.

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You can’t flog a dead horse

You can’t flog a dead horse

I came into the advertising business in the mid-1960s. It was the tail end of the larger-than-life advertising world we see depicted in ‘Mad Men’ TV series. And yes, there was a lot of smoking and drinking. Sadly, I was too junior (too low on the rung) to enjoy the other activities! However, unlike the ‘Mad Men’ on screen…

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What is your New Year Resolution?

What is your New Year Resolution?

In the old days when AdAsia was a print magazine, we had a spread in January issue displaying the New Year Resolutions of well-known people in the advertising, marketing and media field. Even then, I found many people had not even thought about this. I am sure with the increasing digital noise and the demands of our hectic industry, many of you have not sat back and pondered this. What are your New Year Resolutions?

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