Tag Archives: singapore

Marketer Time Gap: Why Singapore Overspends in Print Media?

I was astonished to read the new report from Datalicious and eConsultancy about where the media budgets are generally going in Singapore. Based on the respondents on that survey, they use 42% of their marketing budget to print, although audience uses only 10% of their time there. This feels like a massive overspending in print and total waste of money.

eConsultancy & Datalicious: Media Budgets Index- Comparing Media Budget Allocation to media consumption

eConsultancy & Datalicious: Media Budgets Index- Comparing Media Budget Allocation to media consumption (2016)

That people are spending time on some channel does not necessarily mean that you can reach people there effectively. E.g. people spend time on WhatsApp where advertisers are not allowed. Or TV viewership is moving towards Netflix, where you cannot interrupt the audience with TV ads. Impact is not equal to time. Still this statistic gives indication that advertisers are not using their media money as wisely as they could. These results strengthen the five principles I have encountered anecdotally during my time in here:

  1. Stop overspending on print. The time consumers spent on print will not be growing so do not let the affordability fool you.
  2. Keep your TV spend around where it is. It is expensive channel, but still one of the most effective mediums to gain massive reach and also tell emotional story.
  3. Consider the role of digital for your company. Your audience is spending bigger proportion of their time every year in digital. If you are not understanding what your consumers are doing there, you will be marketing in places where your customers aren´t. The question should not be should you invest on digital, but how you will invest on digital.
  4. Reconsider radio. Radio is the unsung hero of the media mix. Cost-effective channel that people still spend surprisingly long time with. During my whole advertising career, radio has always been pariah of different media types but based on these results there is opportunity to improve your media effectiveness by adding it to your media mix. Plus it is opportunity to do some really great ads.
  5. Based on the same research over half of the marketers are not using attribution or don´t even know what it is. If you are not measuring and assessing the effectiveness of your different media channels, start now. Otherwise you keep spending on print, because it doesn´t seem to be completely broken method based on your results (which are not based on attribution). Unfortunately there will be no transition from working ok to not working at all.

Throughout my whole career, I have advocated for digital and it seems that my clients have been waking up to the consumer reality. This study shows that there is a still lot of work to do to make all the marketers realize the current lay of the land.

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Singaporean Viral Surprise

This week Singaporean social media has been buzzing about this “viral” video:

The reaction to the video caught Singapore Tourism Board (STB) by “surpise” and they removed the video. The discussion has not stopped though.

I don’t argue that the ad is quite hideous. I actually first bumped in the video in my FB newsfeed with the caption “I can´t stop vomiting”. Overall I think there is no reason to panic about, there is three lessons for every brand to learn about this “fiasco”:

1. Best way to draw attention to video is to remove it
Removing the video was total overreaction from STB. Firstly there is no such thing as removing something from Internet. Removed content is like Arnold Schwarzenegger: it will be back. Removing something just draws attention to it. Secondly it just draws more attention to it. If STB had left the video to its YouTube page, some people would maybe have found other STB content inspired by that. Even this newly upped version has gained over 60k views, which is quite good amount for advertising content in Singapore.

2.There is more horrible things in the world than doing a one horrible ad
Unfortunately the reality is that many firms do ads like this every day and no one raises an eyebrow. STB has done quite a lot of good content as well, such as this:


Singapore Board of Tourism from Yellow Box Studios on Vimeo.

3.Parody is the highest form of flattery

You can go viral from good and bad reasons, but this is quite far cry from a real full-blown social media crisis. The real problem for brands is not that people talk negative things about them. The problem is that no one is talking about them at all. When you start getting your first negative comments that just means that enough people have seen your content. If you spark any kind of emotion, it shows that people care about the brand. Snarky blog posts and parodies are an opportunity to join the conversation. STB should have taken more lighthearted attitude to the whole hoopla and turn these parodies into their own advantage.

I think overall Singapore Tourism Board should be happy that this video has raised so much emotion and conversation. It shows that people care deeply on what kind of message Singapore conveys abroad. Also it raises hope for Singaporean advertising scene. People should raise hell more often when they see a bad ad. There is still too much mediocrity around in advertising. Hopefully this gives us more opportunities to do more good and relevant advertising.

That is not only right for the brands, it is right for the audience as well.

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Anatomy of An Insight: National Day Proposal

Too seldom I am able to highlight Singaporean ads here. Therefore I was delighted when I stumbled upon the new Mentos National Day song by BBH Asia-Pacific. The first Mentos National Day song about boosting the birth rate of Singapore was probably the most shared ad last year in Singapore. For Finnish person who has built his ad career mainly on rap songs and nationalism, this new song is even better:

Insight: Singapore & Finland are similar countries. Small, but highly successful countries which both are high on different international rankings (such as level of education). Singaporean media also regularly highlights news from Finland and has articles about the international rankings.
Based on my experience living in both countries, the mindset of the people is also somewhat similar. Both Singaporeans and Finns are obsessive about what other countries are talking about them. Which will mean that last year´s view counts might double as every Finn wants also to see what is talked about them.

Craft-wise this is definite improvement over last year´s campaign. Song is better (Lonely Island has been on heavy rotation), animation more sharp and the video is filled with more puns to find (also in Finnish). The chorus is nice nod to either strong Heavy Metal –heritage of Finland or to musical mish-mosh of this year´s official national day song.

Although the planner in me has not yet found the connection between Mentos and birth rate in Singapore, that was not as big issue as last year. The concept is already familiar enough. If (and hopefully when) Mentos does new song next year it is already an annual tradition and no one really thinks about why Mentos does National day song urging people to have sex.

Good example if you invent something which works, stick with it. Usually it works next time as well.

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