The most frustrating part in working in Singapore is the construct of majority of the presentations. Way too often, you spend big portion of the presentation going through examples on how other brands have done, not just similar things, but exactly the same things to sell your idea.
Has this been done before?
It is always good to learn new skills, but I have to say I much prefer my own construct. Show that none of the competitors is doing the thing you are proposing and pinpoint the opportunity. That approach does not sell work in here though.
And it is understandable. Others might not be doing that particular idea, because it does not work. Or they might not be doing that idea, because they are waiting for the proven case studies and benchmarks. So every marketer should remember the following four rules:
If you are doing something for the first time, there is higher probability that you will fail.
If you are doing something for the first time, there is higher probability to do something surprisingly successful.
When you do something for the first time, it will be groundbreaking: either in negative and positive.
When you are doing something for the first time, either do it as a test or go all-in.
This paradox causes interesting challenges. When you try to duplicate something truly groundbreaking, it is nearly impossible. When you do something for the first time, it is partly about the idea and partly about the speed. Everyone working in this industry long enough knows that coming up with great ideas is not that difficult. Getting them executed fast and first is. Over-benchmarking success stories just results in mediocre campaigns: even though you could copy the exact idea, you cannot copy the exact situation.
This has been done before?
When you are doing something for the first time, it can be a stunt.
When you are doing something for the second time (or third and so forth), it cannot be stunt.
Talent borrows and genius steals, but genius also knows from whom to steal. Occasionally you might get the comment with digital ideas that it has been done before. And the same way as the opposite comment above, that does not really make sense either. No one faults you from doing 30s TVC, because it has been done before. It is a proven method, not an idea. It is not an idea anymore in 2014 to react to tweets and hashtags:
It is already a proven method. It becomes an idea when you have Boyz II Men singing those tweets. Same way as the only TVCs catching the attention anymore are the most expensive. That does not mean you should not be doing TVCs or social response, you have to execute with more bells and whistles.
The more proven method has become, the more craft and execution matters in it success.
When you are doing it first, you need less flair.