Opinion | Features
Probably because brands can’t seem to be able to talk frankly and openly about something that is applied to a woman’s vagina, so they tend to resort to all sorts of bizarre metaphors that beat around the bush, as it were, raising some prickly issues along the way.
A new campaign from Kotex in China, press released today, pulls off a remarkable feat. In just two 30-second videos – which agency Ogilvy describes in a press release as “funny viral video ads” – Kotex has succeeded in demeaning men, women and the internet’s favourite animal at the same time.
At the end of last year, a group of independent agencies in Singapore got together to form a collective of agencies called IAN, named after celebrated creative Ian Batey, one of the brains behind the best work ever created for Singapore Airlines in decades past during his time at Batey Ads.
In this interview with a number of IAN’s members, including Blak Labs founder Charlie Blower, Up & Up owner Anand Vathiyar, Wild’s Khee Jin Ng and the Alchemy Partnership’s Alvin Wong, Mumbrella asked how the model works in practice, if IAN posed a genuine threat to the established multinational agencies, and whether they had plans to expand beyond Singapore.
When you held your first meeting as a group, what were the key things to emerge in terms of what you want to achieve?
Buzzfeed India lead editor Rega Jha on content strategy, copycat competition, and whether traditionally taboo stories are shareable in India
Buzzfeed officially launched in India just over a week ago, offering the country’s 240+ million internet users a mixture of quirky lists, social justice stories and Bollywood celebrity tittle-tattle. Leading the editorial team is Rega Jha, a former Vogue, Rolling Stone and Times of India journalist who moved from Buzzfeed HQ in New York to Mumbai to set up Buzzfeed India.
Mumbrella was in Mumbai to ask Jha about her plans for the year ahead, the challenges Buzzfeed faces to get up and running, whether stories about rape cases are shareable in India, and whether traditional players feel threatened by the producers of top ten lists and celebrity wedding pictures.
What’s been the biggest challenge about setting up Buzzfeed India so far?
The week in review: Maybank Kim Eng pitch | New rules for India's skin whitening brands | 'Asia's creative leaders scammed their way to top' | Time Out closes print edition as Buzzfeed launches in India | Search firm folds | 3D selfie maker comes to Asia
In a week in which India’s ad watchdog released guidlines for advertisers of whitening products, Sir Martin Sorrell had a pop at Google and Publicis Groupe, Uber spread across India, Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore re-arranged the deck chairs as boss Paul Roebuck leaves for the US, Stuff Singapore took ladies off its front cover, and an American shopping mall produced possibly the worst ad ever made.
India is an increasingly popular destination for international agencies to set up shop these days, particularly with a new prime minister promising economic reform and easier access for foreigns firms. AKQA opened an office in Gurgaon in July and Razorfish launched following an acquisition by Publicis Groupe last year.
So what does it take to launch a successful agency in India? Mumbrella was in Mumbai to ask Subhash Kamath, CEO and managing partner of BBH India, which launched in India’s commercial capital five and a half years ago.
First, can you give us a bit of background about the history of BBH India?
Piyush Pandey on winning an election, exporting Indian ideas, the creatives he admires, his proudest moments, scam, and the future of advertising in the world's biggest democracy
Piyush Pandey worked as a tea taster before joining Ogilvy & Mather as a trainee account executive in 1982. Almost exactly thirty-two years later, he is the executive chairman and national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, and has been named the most influential adman in the world’s largest democracy for eight consecutive years by The Economic Times.
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia’s editor Robin Hicks from Pandey’s home in the heart of Mumbai, the Jaipur-born winner of more than 600 creative awards talks about the role he played in getting India’s new prime minister elected, the creatives he most admires, his proudest moments, the biggest challenges facing India’s ad industry, whether Indian advertising can cross borders, scam, and an idea that came to him while riding on the back of a motorbike.
Corinna Choong is the senior director of marketing and communications at Singapore’s newest university, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, which was set up in collaboration with MIT in 2010.
In this Q&A with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, the former SingTel and Procter & Gamble marketer, who judged at the APPIES last week, talks about what defines her as a marketer, the toughest thing about marketing in Singapore, and why she values creative above all other disciplines.
Tell us a bit about your background as a marketer.
No matter what the traditional perception of Asia as a connected economy is, the truth is that we have one of the lowest levels of digital investment on the planet.
On its own that’s an alarming fact to consider. But combine that with the fact that we have among the highest levels of social media adoption in the world and its becomes something of an oddity.
The week in review: 'Our ad ran once because Singapore is small' | Crocs eats APAC marketing | Buzzfeed launches in India | Twitter's video offering for brands | What makes a creative team work? | Make cupcakes not war
In a week in which plastic clogs brand Crocs restructured its APAC marketing operation, Buzzfeed launched in India, Twitter launched a video offering for brands, Strawberry frog lost the founding MD of its Singapore office and a bunch of expats press released their campaign to woo Singaporeans with cupcakes.
What’s the secret to a creative partnership that lasts? Andy Greenaway and Bruce Matchett, creative directors at Sapient Nitro, have known each other for almost 30 years. The duo nicknamed the “grumpy old men” talk about the secret to longevity in a creative team.
Greenaway (pictured, right) and Matchett first met at one of Neil French’s regional creative meetings when they were both working at Ogilvy & Mather (Greenaway in Singapore, Matchett in New Zealand). They struck up a friendship straight away. In 2009, Greenaway asked Matchett to join him at Saatchi & Saatchi as ECD for Singapore and Malaysia. They worked there together for three years. The old team was reunited in February at SapientNitro two months ago when Greenaway, who is APAC chief creative officer, appointed Matchett, who’d left Saatchi’s at the end of 2013, as regional creative director. In this interview, the duo talk about what makes a strong creative partnership, and how to hold it together.
Tell us about your first creative partnership.
PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel on taking on Google, arbitrage and trading desks, and the future of programmatic in Asia
In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, Goel talks about taking on Google, agency trading desks and arbitrage, and what the demise of Brandscreen said about the programmatic trading space in Asia.
You’re up against the might of Google. How do you compete?
Most of the time we like to write our resumes and Linked in profiles in ways that make it look like our lives have been a string of successes.
Well, maybe I’m just getting a little tired of it – for one thing, if all of us are so successful why is the economy still in the crapper and the world going to hell in a hand-basket?
The week in review: 'Burger King digitally raped my face' | Singapore agency co-founder jailed | Arcade sells to Publicis | BBH global boss exits | Puma launches massive APAC ad blitz | MAS rebrand would be 'superficial'
In a week in which a controversial Singapore-made ad for Burger King came back to haunt the brand five years after it almost broke the internet, the co-founder of a Singapore social media agency went to prison, M&C Saatchi extended its reach in India, Bite was swallowed by Text100 and Bite boss David Ketchum is to leave, BBH got a new global boss, and Puma launched a huge global campaign that featured footballing bad boy Mario Balotelli in a hot tub with bikinied women.
Andrew Au left Hong Kong creative agency Fluid earlier this year to join Imagination, an experiential marketing agency, where he is Southeast Asia managing director based in Singapore.
In this interview with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks, Au talks about why he joined the little-known agency, the job offers he considered before joining, and his ambitions for the year ahead.
Why Imagination? To be honest, I hadn’t heard of them before you joined.
In benchmarking the cost of an ad agency’s staff, you generally find that the rate a client pays is commensurate with the experience or seniority of the resource. But the question of value goes beyond just cost to determining the return on the investment. So in considering the value we need to balance the cost of the resource against how much they contribute to the ROI.
Dumb Ways does a Valentine’s Day special
The Dumb Ways to Die campaign for Metro Trains, which was yesterday named the most awarded campaign ever by the Gunn Report, has produced a special version to mark Valentine’s Day.
A 30-second video features two animated characters have a romantic, but ultimately fatal moment.
The agency behind the campaign was McCann Melbourne, which was named the joint most awarded agency in the world by the Gunn Report because of the success of the campaign.
Dumb Ways to Die, the brainchild of McCann Melbourne ECD John Mescall, launched in November 2012 to curb preventable train-related deaths in Melbourne for Metro Trains. The video has been viewed 71.5m times on YouTube at the time of writing.
- Mapping India
- Ice Bucket Challenge on sleeping dude
- Startled old men, ‘real’ fair skin, and dreaming off your man
- Burned out and tired?
- 8 unconventional ways to kiss a journalist’s ass
- Ice is for keeping fresh produce fresh, beers cold and nipples hard
- The only Ice Bucket Challenge worth watching
- ONGC, the honest oil company
- Ogilvy Shaghigh on So, Kotex. Chinese men are less reliable than a sanitary pad and women are just pussies?
- Kellie on Waxed cats used to depict women’s sensitivity in ad for Kotex China
- Vladimir on Cathay Pacific under fire after HK$100 ticket promotion sells out too quickly for some
- The reinvention of the creative agency | Walter van der Scheer on Hegarty: Cannes is losing focus on advertising that builds brands
- Suejata on Buzzfeed India editor: We need to lose reputation for being US brand to gain credibility
- Guinness now in bottles on Singapore independent agency collective IAN: We have the talent to worry the networks
- Robin Hicks on McCann swoops for WPP talent honcho Jean-Michel Wu who shifts from China to Singapore
- Worst than MNC on Singapore independent agency collective IAN: We have the talent to worry the networks
- Saatchi & Saatchi South China adds Ringo Fai and Steven Yip to its digital team
- DFW Creative wins Singapore PR brief for CoCo ICHIBANYA Curry House, Joe & Dough and Shin-Sapporo Ramen
- Golin Harris wins Florentia Village China PR duties
- Madison wins healthcare firm Cordlife
- Shukri Jai joins Lowe Malaysia from Naga DDB as client services director
- Crayola hands VML China digital brief
- Exponential Interactive launches in-stream video and mobile advertising units
- Prophet shifts execs from London and Chicago to boost Hong Kong offering
- What makes a creative partnership work? - 23 comments
- BBDO and Guinness: Limited spend and Singapore's small size is why ad only ran once - 21 comments
- Singapore-based creative hot shop Arcade sells equity stake to Publicis Worldwide - 16 comments
- Graham Kelly leaves Isobar - 8 comments
- 'Burger King digitally raped my face,' says model in controversial Singapore 'blow job ad' - 7 comments
- Life at DDB Vietnam - 6 comments
- The Scam Lions? Count me out - 5 comments
- Singapore independent agency collective IAN: We have the talent to worry the networks - 5 comments