How Brands Can Apply Digital Communications

May 20th, 2010   •   1 comment   

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Communication technologies have influenced brand-customer relationships in Asia, just as they have all over the world. Transparency and openness are now more important than ever before. Against such a backdrop, what could brands do to reach their customers?

I found out the answers to this and more at a talk by Deirdre McGlashan, CEO of wwwins Isobar of Greater China during my trip to Shanghai. According to her, the ubiquity of digital technologies, concerns over sustainability, rise of globalisation, and increase in consumer activism mandates a new approach to marketing.
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Why Silver can be Sensational

May 17th, 2010   •   no comments   


Active Ageing award winners show the tremendous potential in the silver market (courtesy of mylifestylemap.com)

A recent news article in The Straits Times got me all excited yet again about the oldest but most neglected market opportunity.

Namely, the silver-haired (or seniors) market.
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Coca-Cola’s Brand-sational World Expo Pavillion

May 15th, 2010   •   2 comments   

My visit to the Coca-Cola Pavillion at the Shanghai World Expo was certainly one of the highlights of my trip. As a geek who firmly believes in the virtues of experiential marketing, branded entertainment and transmedia storytelling, I was almost brought to tears (fanboy style) by Coke’s immaculate attention to details here.

Every single consumer touchpoint in its pavillion, fashioned after its world-famous “Happiness Factory” transmedia campaign, was a 360 degree brand encounter. The entire holistic and immersive experience was orchestrated to stimulate the senses, from sight, sound, scent, taste to touch. For Coca-Cola fans, it was also highly emotional and community bonding.

Let me bring you through the journey.
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The Impact of Macroforces on Coke’s Strategy

May 12th, 2010   •   3 comments   

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Tom LaForge, Global Director of Human & Cultural Insights from Coca-Cola

This man has a dream job. Also known as the Global Director of Human & Cultural Insights at Coca-Cola, Tom LaForge’s occupation is to sniff out trends, foresee the future, and position Coca-Cola in the ever evolving consumer market. At my recent trip to Coke’s Global Innovation and Technology Center at Shanghai (courtesy of Coca-Cola), I had the privilege of listening to Tom’s views on macroforces and how Coca-Cola responds to them.

What are the eight macroforces according to Coke? Well, they are:

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Learning Coca-Cola’s Secret Success Formula

May 10th, 2010   •   4 comments   

As the world’s leading beverage company and global brand (with a brand valuation of US$68.7 billion in 2009 according to Interbrand), the Coca-Cola Company has a total of some 500 beverage brands, from diet and regular sparkling beverages to still drinks like fruit juices and fruit drinks, waters, sports and energy drinks, teas and coffees, and milk-and soy-based beverages. Globally, Coca-Cola has the world’s largest beverage distribution system serving consumers in more than 200 countries a colossal 1.6 billion servings a day. Some of the firm’s beverage brands include the ubiquitous Coke, Nestea, Powerade, Ice Dew, Georgia Coffee, Sprite, Fanta, vitaminwater, and Minute Maid.

Considered to be the number one growth market for the drinks giant, China represents the pinnacle of the company’s global drinks market. Little wonder then that the company has decided to locate its Global Innovation and Technology Center (GITC) in Shanghai. At the kind invitation of Coke, I had the privilege of visiting the R&D centre, and discovering how and why the 124 year old company still dominates around the world.

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Employing some 600 Coca-Cola China associates and the Pacific Group’s R&D team, the GITC is one of China’s few “green building”. It boasts of environmental systems like rooftop solar panels, rainwater harvesting facilities, wind turbines to power street lamps, heat reflective surfaces, and other planet-friendly features.

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Even Google is Doing Paper Advertising!

April 30th, 2010   •   2 comments   

As I was checking my snail mail a few nights ago, I had to do a quick double take.

An envelope with one of the world’s most famous online brands jumped out at me.


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Are We Philosophers or Pragmatists?

April 27th, 2010   •   4 comments   

After working with so many people throughout the years at all levels, I find that there are two distinct personality types.

The first, whom I call philosophers, are those who love to examine the fundamentals of every decision in the organisation. Thriving on discourse, these deep thinkers love to indulge in intellectual discussions and question the reasons for management mandates and policies that don’t fit into their worldview.


Are you as profound as Confucius….(source)
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How to Manage “Gen Y” Workers

April 25th, 2010   •   2 comments   

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How are Generation Y (Gen Y) workers perceived in general? What should organisations do to attract and retain Gen Y talents? Are they any different from their older and more senior colleagues?

The answers to these and more were covered in a recent talk organised by the Institute of Advertising Singapore which featured the results of a joint research project between the GMP Group and Temasek Polytechnic. Also known as the Millenial Generation, the term Gen Y refers to the cohort of individuals born from the 1980s and 1990s. In the GMP-TP survey of some 2,610 respondents (including about 567 Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers), they are considered those between 18 to 27 years of age.
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Earth Movie Review – Spectacular and Sobering

April 24th, 2010   •   25 comments   


Courtesy of Disney Earth Movie

Probably one of the most moving films ever made about the beauty of our planet and the predicament of its creatures, Earth by Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield provided spectacular nature and wildlife footages set against the story of three animal families. A re-cut version of the BBC Series Planet Earth, the movie was narrated by Patrick Stewart and set to a stirring soundtrack played by the Berlin Philarmonic.

With breathtaking shots of hundreds of thousands of birds flying in the air, and astounding scenes of school fishes escaping from their aquatic predators, Earth was a visual feast second to none. Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite.
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Garrulous Gourmet Globetrotting with Ian Wright

April 21st, 2010   •   2 comments   

At the kind invitation of Belinda Ang of MS&L, I had the privilege of attending a Discovery Travel & Living event (co-sponsored by Starhub) featuring the hilarious Ian Wright. For those of you who don’t know Ian, he is well known for being one of the most travelled man in the world, exploring far flung places like Siberia, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and Okinawa of Japan. Here’s a preview of his misadventures in freezing cold Siberia:

Do check out his television show Ian Wright: Out of Bounds, which will be premiering every Thursday at 9 pm from 20th May onwards on Starhub’s Disovery Travel & Living.

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