The week in review: Brands mourn for MH370 | Hegarty: ‘Selling is an art, not a science’ | Pollution is Earth Hour theme in China | WPP buys three Asian companies | Adidas follows KFC China strategy | Water buffaloes on the loose | Malaysian websites denied newspaper licence| BuzzFeed in Singapore?

Mumbrella Asia logoIn a week in which a pair of water buffaloes escaped from a Samsung commercial shoot, WPP bought three Asian companies, AOL got serious about programmatic trading, OMD held on to a US$165m account in China, Lachlan Murdoch was named co-chairman of News Corp, a Singapore tuition firm ran an ad with a child stuck under a truck, and could (regulatory hurdles aside) BuzzFeed be launching in Singapore?

Story of the week

AOL announced a major play in the global programmatic space unveiling plans for a new global platform for brands, agencies and publishers called One. On the same day, ad video firm TubeMogul filed for a listing on the New York stock exchange in a bid to raise $75m to fund international expansion and a move into TV advertising. The company’s submission revealed a $7.4 million loss last year.

Quotes of the week

Sir John Hegarty, the H in BBH, is not convinced by the hyperbole surrounding big data. Speaking at the Global Marketing Conference in Sydney, he said:

Selling stuff has never been a science, it’s about persuasion. And persuasion is an art.

Colin Currie

Colin Currie

Adidas Hong Kong and Taiwan boss Colin Currie on the company’s strategy for China:

We follow KFC whenever they go.

One commenter on Mumbrella suggests how two water buffaloes got loose of the production crew on a shoot for a Samsung commercial in Sydney and galavanted through a fashionable suburb (PETA would not be amused):

Maybe they got into the production company’s stash of charlie.

Wall Street Journal Asia digital editor Adam Najberg reflects on what the missing Malaysia Airlines jet saga meant for journalism:

The MH370 story makes you realise how vast the world is, even though we tend to talk about how small it is. There’s talk about how journalism is going to be saved by short-form content, but when it comes to a story like this, you realise that it’s a marathon not a sprint. No matter how many reporters you have on the ground, you have to grind out the story inch by inch. There are no short cuts.

Kimberly-Clark’s APAC chief marketer Michelle Froah, speaking at the Global Marketing Conference, suggested that clients should bypass media agencies and deal directly with media owners.

We lean on our media agencies, perhaps too much to be a go between between us and platform partners. If we had more joint business planning and collaboration during constructing the executions we might have better ideas on how to execute.

Lou Dela Pena got people searching on Google with a phrase that in an interview with Mumbrella when she explained why she left TBWA/Singapore, where she helped with Singapore Airlines during a nine-year stint, to the top job at Publicis.

I believe there is such a thing is psychic income.

BuzzFeed’s international VP Scott Lamb came to the defence of the social publishing phenomenon’s reputation for frivolousness:

Animals are not silly at all. They are one of the primary ways we to relate to each other.

Arun SudhamanArun Sudhaman, the managing partner at PR industry organ The Holmes Report, tweeted a suggestion as to why Havas Media retracted a claim that its ‘Heartbot’ machine could turn tweets into electricity when, in fact, it couldn’t.

Comms outage?

Facebook status update from Singapore-based Ogilvy Asia planning director Sonal Narain, who used to work at media agency Mindshare, about the difference between ad and media agencies.

Fundamental difference between creative and media agencies. Creativity tries to earn audience attention. Media thinks it can be bought.

Nando's MH370 messageChicken chain Nando’s made clear its motive for offering its condolences to the families affected by the missing Malaysia Airlines place MH370:

It was not meant for marketing purposes but purely the expression of our feelings.

Malaysia’s Home Minister gives his reasons for rejecting the applications of independent news websites Malaysiakini and FZ to publish newspapers:

These publications are inclined to publish sensational and controversial news to get the attention of the readers.

Best work

Earth Hour. WWF launched an app in China that enables users to turn grey, polluted skies a shade of blue on their Iphones. And in downtown Shanghai, a huge interactive billboard with a grey sky cityscape is turned blue by people’s signatures. Another element of the campaign was to enshroud top Chinese websites with a grey mirk.

Earth Hour China

Cathay Pacific. The party (the Hong Kong Sevens) has arrived. And air hostesses are playing rugby.

Snickers. The chocolate bar brand recruited Aussie builders to shout out empowering statements to unsuspecting ladies walking by. “You want to hear a dirty word? Gender bias.”

Dissolve footage. “There are a shitload of people in the world, especially in India” intones the commentary for this video made entirely from stock footage.

HTC. An anti-ad featuring Gary Oldman.

Colon Cancer awareness. What’s your poo telling you?

Pepsi UK. Augmented reality bus shelter.

Colgate. Never leave the tap running when you’re cleaning your teeth.

Worst ad

Tuition agency ad in Singapore“Breaking news: Child trapped under 4 tonnes truck!” screams this woefully misguided print ad for Singapore tuition firm Education Alive.

Top international media and marketing headlines

Best-read story on Mumbrella

Lou Dela Pena on why she joined Publicis

Good week for…

Philippines agency DDB DM9 Jaymesyfu. The only agency outside of Australia and New Zealand to win gold at the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) Awards.

WPP. The communications giant announced the acquisition of three Asian companies – two Chinese, one Indian – in under a week.

Inmarsat and its PR agency, Singapore’s Rice Communications. Nothing good can come of a tragedy, but the satellite company achieved (if the reports turn out to be accurate)  what 12 different countries couldn’t – track the lost MH370 in the Indian Southern Ocean.

Samsung. Its ad for the Galaxy S5 has been the most popular on YouTube in Asia so far this year.

Bad week for…

Bloomberg. Ben Richardson, editor-at-large at Bloomberg’s Asia operation, quit, saying that the news organisation had been censoring coverage of China amid concern that the media company would be asked to leave the country.

Samsung and its ad agency Cheil. On a TV commercial shoot in Sydney, their production company (still unidentified) lost control of two water buffaloes, which ran off down a busy high street. This caught the attention not only of the local and national press, but animal rights group PETA.

Malaysian independent news website Malaysiakini and FZ. Both had their applications for a newspaper licence rejected.

The reputation of Pakistan’s media. The South Asian country, which stands 159th in the Reporters without Borders index, blanked out an entire cover story of The International New York Times, which read  “What Pakistan knew about bin Laden”.

Predication for next week

A Droga5 executive was seen in Hong Kong this week. Could plans for a launch in Asia be afoot?


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