Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Advertising, the cultural thermometer

Pay attention to ads and feel a nation's pulse. It's a sign of the enormous importance and focus on children's education if the country's top scorer in school leaving examinations is enough of a celebrity to endorse food supplements.

This poster was seen in Singapore, but it could just as well have been Japan, China or South Korea. Especially Korea, where traffic is throttled nationwide to give children the chance to concentrate on their all-important exams.

I'm trying to imagine a campaign like this in the education-blasé US or indeed any European country. It would meet with a collective shrug.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Small ad space doesn't mean no ad space

Singaporean public advertising is among the best I've ever seen. In contrast with the previous post, here's how you actually use taxis as an advertising medium.

Self explanatory, simple and clear. And visible from a distance, even with a crappy iPhone camera.

-- Post From My iPhone

Catch Cheating Websites Dot SG

Intriguing little bit of advertising on Singapore's taxis. The advertiser, Kokusai Security Pte Ltd, looks like a legitimate private investigator whose 'founding members comprise public officers who have experience in police and armed forces training. They specialize in investigations, crowd control, security management and bodyguard services.' All of this according to their website.

Especially the divorce investigations bit seems a bit slow these days. How else to explain this narrow focus on (literally) making your name in Cheating Spouses? On the surface, taxis seem a good choice as a preferred form of anonymous transport by cheating spouses and their fellow conspirators. But Kokusai's agency (or did they do it themselves?) forgets that they're choosing an advertising medium here, not a getaway after an illicit tryst.

A poor choice, even more so because you have to key in the website from memory if the ad really has any effect. And if you do, chances are you key in dot com instead of dot sg, which lets you end up with exactly those cheating spouses that Kokusai fights tooth and nail.

Ads like these will only become effective if your phone cam starts recognising links like these straight from stll shots. Until then you run the risk of unintended advertising consequences.

-- Post From My iPhone

Engrish or English?

Plenty are the jokes about the Asian pronunciation problems with the difference between 'l' and 'r'. Entire websites are devoted to silliness caused by errant Rs. So it's refreshing to see someone's found a workaround. After all, we all know the Customer is King, so is there really any difference between a Loyalty Program and a Royalty Program?

Kudos to The Coffee Club for finding an elegant solution. (picture: The Coffee Club Holland Village, Singapore)

-- Post From My iPhone