Recently, I attended the Portfolio Night in Singapore organised this year by Y&R. In case you haven’t heard of this event, let me explain. On the same night right around the world, students and young creatives bring examples of their work (portfolio) to show to top local creative directors. It works on a speed-dating concept. About 15 minutes is given with each guru who can advise the aspiring writer or art director. Often the best people are offered an appointment for real job interview on that very night. What struck me this year as I strolled around and sat with creative directors, was that not only had the zip-up portfolio with proofs/printed examples of ads and scripts nearly disappeared, but even the laptop was now outnumbered by the glowing screens of iPads and tablets. Year by year, the world moves forward.

It was, therefore, very pleasant to attend the launch of a revived old brand. Rediffusion, the decades-old dialect radio broadcast station is back. At one time, Rediffusion radio speakers could be found in homes and factories across Singapore but the station slowly died as Singapore modernised. Thanks to a successful entrepreneur and former Rediffusion DJ, Eeva Chang, the brand has been resurrected. However, it has had to adapt to the new world and will reach its audience across several platforms – app, Internet radio, and
cable TV.

I shall be giving a presentation at the Asian Publishing Convention in Manila in July on the future of publishing as I see it. The publishing industry has been scrambling to keep up with the changes forced upon it by changes in the way we read and seek information. To give the publishers their due, I think they have adapted better than the ad agencies to the new world.

The hopefuls at the Portfolio Night were moving with the trend. All of us face a career or business death if we do not adapt to the changes brought about by the digital revolution. But as Rediffusion is about to prove, I hope, even oldies can be resurrected.