Sunday, June 13, 2010

BeerBeary: Jaz Beer Viral Videos

A colleague recently sent me some links about some local viral videos which I personally think has been really well executed. The videos feature a girl speaking in local Cantonese about beer. In the first episode, she talks about how many beers before one fails a breathalyzer test. I bet not many people know (not even myself!) that all it takes is 2 bottles of beer to exceed the local alcohol limit of 0.05%.


In the second episode, she teaches one how to cheat on a breathalyzer test during a roadblock after a night out. I really can relate to the fact that all the methods shown are commonly used by drinkers to make them think that they can cheat the breathalyzer test on their way back home. Key message at the end of this video is that no matter what method you try, you can't cheat on the breathalyzer test and is always better to call a cab, or ask a friend for a ride home if you have drank more than you should. A clever way to entice you watch the video to begin with.


In the third episode, she give tips on how to open a beer bottle without a bottle opener. I think that this is probably my favourite video because I find it useful and not to mention, you can show off to your friends as well.


In summary, I think these videos are brilliant because of:
  1. Local content which people can appreciate and relate. The way the girl presents it makes it seem natural and unscripted to a certain extend.
  2. Clever product placement and branding. Very minimal and not "in your face", but yet people notice the brand.
  3. Content is surprisingly educational. Who would have thought you can educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving this way.
  4. The hot girl...obviously

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Google Job Experiment


I always say self-branding is important as it portrays how one sells his or herself. In the case of Alec Brownstein, he needed a job so he did something out of the norm to get the attention of some of the world's top creative people such as David Droga, Tony Granger, Gerry Graf, Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone, all of which are well known figures in the creative and advertising industry.

He didn't do it by sending out resum├ęs to them, but instead all it took Alec was $6 to run a Google Adwords campaign which feature their names to which the search result had a message that read something like: “Hey, David Droga, Gooogling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too.” which links back to his website to let them know how he can be contacted. This again displays the power and capabilities of Search Marketing, and how it can benefit someone or an organization.

Oh...and Alec landed a job at Y&R New York at the end of it. Simply brilliant!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Facebook Set To Revolutionize The Internet

The "Open Graph"

Facebook recently announced the launch of new “social plug-ins” at the f8 conference that will revolutionize the internet and how people are connected to it. Mark Zuckerberg talked about how Facebook intends to connect parts of the Web that other social sites are building, as part of what he described as the "Open Graph." People are increasingly discovering information not just through links to web pages but also from the people and things they care about and through their experiences. Facebook has always been focused on mapping out the part of the graph around people and their relationships. On the other hand, other sites and services have been mapping out other parts of the graph so users can get relevant information about different types of things.

Imagine this: Yelp maps out the content based on businesses and services while Pandora maps out which songs are related to each other. Facebook now helps bring your friends from Facebook to share experiences on these sites or personalize them to you. So if say you liked a song you heard on Pandora, or say you liked a service that aided you on Yelp, you can now tell your friends on Facebook about it by simply clicking on the “like” button on the site and it will appear to your friends as part of your “News Feed”.

With the new social plug-ins, brands would now be able to gauge how well their products and services are doing in terms of public reaction to the number of “likes” or “recommends”. One sample implementation is on CNN.com, where you can see which of your friends “liked” which article from the site.

CNN.com now includes Facebook's Open Graph

Noticed the “Friend’s Activity” section highlighted? Those are actually people I know from my Facebook friend list who have “liked” certain articles within CNN.com. This serves as some sort of “recommender” to people on what to read or what to do, assuming it’s their first time to a particular website. Zuckerberg himself mentioned that the new changes announced constituted "the most transformative thing we've ever done for the web." …well how true indeed. 

For more information:
Mark Zuckerberg during f8 Live
Available Facebook “Social Plug-ins”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The "Perfect C" Viral Campaign

I was researching through some online viral campaigns to get some ideas that I stumbled across this brilliant viral video campaign.



If you don’t understand Cantonese, the video above shows a young girl who is pissed off at her ex-boyfriend for dumping her 3 months ago. Before they started dating, he used to pay for everything, and once they got together, they went Dutch, but she was still cool with that. The final straw was when he dumps her because her breasts were too small (AA cups). Later, she went for a boob job and now has C-cup breasts and taunts him that no matter what he cannot get to touch or get anywhere near those C-cups ever again.

Now, I must say, this is a very “hook, line and sinker” style of marketing. It build so much talkability and hype that it generated 700k+ views in just a matter of 10 days. The girls’ main intention here is obviously payback for him stereotyping girls with small breasts…or at least that’s what they want you to think. The second part of the video shows the ex-boyfriend who “responds” to her video.



Noticed I used the word “they”? “They” as in the company.

Now in retaliation, the ex-boyfriend looks a bit annoyed at what she has done (who wouldn't?). However, he does not believe she has C-cup breast and asks her to prove it. He says the only way she can get C-cup breasts in 3 months is if you take this (he then whips out the product that “they” were trying to sell). The Perfect C Breast Enhancer! That’s the product. At the end of the video, he even tells you where to get it by giving the website. Brilliant marketing don’t you think? It really shows that online viral marketing really does work!

By the way, the website is http://www.perfectc.com.hk/

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Brand Quiz



Try taking this brand quiz. It's a clever way to see how people associate color and imagery with some of the world's biggest brands. Each question will show 2 colors, which are the brand's corporate colors, an associated picture and a cryptic clue to enable you to guess each mystery brand. There is also a timer for you to answer all 21 questions in total. I only managed 15 out of 21. It's not as easy as it sounds trust me.

Click here to take the quiz

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brand Yourself Online


Whether you like it or not, you are a brand. How you behave and how you react is what makes each person unique. Having said that, whatever you say or do in the online world is a reflection of who you are. People who like to rant a lot on blogs or via status updates on social media sites are usually whiny people too in real life. In social media is all about the power of influence. It’s therefore very important to note that you need to be extra careful and witty on what you put up on Twitter and Facebook because the general public might not necessarily perceive it the way you really meant. And if you’re a fairly well known individual, it could be rather damaging to oneself.

Similiarly to consumer and service brands, people might lose confidence should they have a bad experience with a particular brand. So the next time you update that "status message" of yours, do remember to put extra thought to your content and also put yourself in your intended audience's shoes and see it from their perspective.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Google Buzz = Buzz Kill?


Google recently launched Google Buzz, a service to share updates, photos, videos, and more. There are a lot of criticisms when it went live 2 days ago, I for one am a skeptic, but also understand what Google is trying to achieve by doing so.

It certainly looks like a mediocre attempt to emulate Friendfeed and it certainly feels like it's a half baked product in terms of features. But if you look at how Google is positioning it in terms of a marketing stand point, it looks more like a beta or even alpha version of the upcoming Google Wave. Right now, Buzz is available as an extension on Gmail while they improve on Google Wave.

What I don't like most about it it's the way it's presented. Latest "buzz" threads are not displayed in reverse chronological order like Facebook or Twitter updates...which means users need to scroll all the way down to read new updates in a particular Buzz thread. Active Buzz threads are on the top, while the less active ones are below. Although it’s annoying, it does kinda make sense, because “buzz” is really what it’s all about; which are the more talked about topics/threads.

There also isn't a clear indication of who has updated what thread, unlike Facebook have with their "Notifications" tab. Also base on my usage, I’m only notified on Gmail on the threads that I’m participating in, and don’t get updates on those which I’m not. I might be wrong though. Bear in mind, you can also now share photos, videos and links using Buzz…nothing new really...all features that can and will expand into Google Wave in future.

In summary, I think Buzz is released to do what it's meant to do; to create "Buzz"...simple as that...nothing more in terms of function. If you ask me, Google definitely did a good job by getting users like you and me to use Buzz as a test platform for the development and enhancements for Google Wave in future.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Branding Fashion Through Sports

When you ask someone to name some brands in fashion, well established and brands like Versace, Armani, and Yves Saint Laurent are amongst the few names that will come to mind. These brands have a long heritage and have been in the fashion industry for generations. But when you mention “fashion” about 2 decades ago, brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma don’t seem to fall in that category. It is not until the early 1990s that sportswear have been associated with fashion brands.

Photo from current.com
Sports fashion today is often associated with lifestyle, attitude and fame. Sportswear makers nowadays make use of the latest in clothing and fabric technology. It therefore makes sense that eventually these technologies are likely to filter down into every day wear. The technology used cost money to develop and investors and companies can gain more profit by offering the technology to a wider group of individuals.

When a celebrity endorses a particular brand, often times it gives the perception to the consumer that the brand is good enough to be worn even by celebrities. Oversized sports clothing like basketball and baseball jerseys are often associated with hip-hop or rap artistes. Music celebrities wear them because they are comfortable, but to the consumer it is often viewed as a fashion statement and lifestyle symbol rather than clothing for sports. Although brands still have collections designed exclusively for athletes and sports enthusiasts.

In recent years, there has been growth in what is known as "luxury sportswear". These “new breed” of sportswear are often times limited edition items which are designed by fashion designers such as Stella McCartney for Adidas; and Philppe Stark and Yasuhiro Mihara for Puma. These lines of clothing are usually special made collections that cost more than the regular sports wear. Consumers will spend on these lines of clothing even though it’s a bit costly as they brand it to be at the same tier as the Armanis, Versaces and YSLs; or that’s what the manufacturers want you to think at least. I for one am guilty of buying limited edition sports wear; simply because it’s “cool” to be seen wearing one and you have bragging rights owning one.

In addition to this, brands are also banking on sports superstars to inspire their line of clothing. Golf celebrity Tiger Woods and basketball legend Michael Jordan did a very good job in building the Nike brand to what it is today. Again, it’s always the consumer’s perception that if someone wears Nike, they will be able to perform as good as both Woods and Jordan.

To sum it up, sportswear has gone through a whole lot of transformation over the years. The perception of sportswear brands became more fashionable, luxurious and marketable in recent years due particularly to the interest in sports personalities and well known celebrity fashion designers used by big brands.

Sources:
http://www.nundroo.com/archives/000008.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportswear_%28fashion%29
http://www.fashion-era.com/sports_fashion_until_1960.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike,_Inc

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don’t Use Social Media If You Don’t Know How

In today’s digital world, online presence has become a necessity in order for companies to survive and to reach out to their customers and clients. Social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter has provided everyone with a platform to do just that. As with everything else, there is always a tendency for companies to want to use these tools, simply because it’s the current “in thing” and that everybody is doing it.




Based on my personal experiences, many companies here come to me to ask if I can incorporate these tools as part of their online marketing strategy, but they have no clue whatsoever on how these tools function. My job is to educate them on how these tools work and how it will benefit their company. The first question I always ask my clients, “Who is going to maintain it?” Often times, I will get blank stares from them as though that I’m speaking in some foreign language. But the truth is, unless there is an appointed PR company or a qualified spokesperson from within the company to manage and maintain the use of these tools, I wouldn’t recommend companies venturing into them as yet. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. Tools such as Facebook pages and Twitter require constant interaction between companies and their customers. The whole idea of using these tools is to add a “human touch” to the company or brand. Unless of course you have an automated robot intelligent enough to answer questions and respond to each customer directly.
  2. Updates. One major use of Facebook pages and Twitter is to push promotions and updates to your followers. If the page is just there for the sake of being there, followers will get disinterested very quickly just like how no one likes visiting a website that hasn’t been updated in a long time.
  3. Being professional. I have personally seen some companies on Twitter that often times respond to their customers with lame jokes and casual conversations totally irrelevant to the nature of business. In my opinion, while I agree that companies need to provide a “human” response rather than a template one, they also need to know where to draw the line. Responding to questions casually is still acceptable, but it’s totally unacceptable if it’s got nothing to do with the company product, service or whatever they are set out to achieve. Companies need to know their boundaries on how they respond as it represents the company or their brand as a whole. Which is why I highlighted that it’s very important that these tools are managed by a qualified person who understands clearly of what the company’s objectives are and how they want the public to perceive them.
To sum it all up, my advice is not to venture into social media just because everyone else is doing it. I think companies who are serious into social media must first know how to use it and understand the mechanics of how it works. Only then, social media will be beneficial to the company, otherwise few months down the road, they will be wondering why is there no ROI or participation from the public even after using these social media tools.

Monday, February 1, 2010

David Armano on Brand U.0

David Armano, Senior Vice President of Edelman, talks about Branding U.0 and branding on a personal level.


Key points:
  • "A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or organization." - Marty Neumeier
  • Branding is about building trust and interactions.
  • Everyday people like yourselves are brands - publishing, creating content - having the ability to share and influence others. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey who is highly influential, are brands.
  • Everyone on the web has influence.
The 5 B's of Buliding Brand U.0
  1. Be Ubiquitous: Create multiple streams of "you"
      - If you're really serious about building a personal brand, you got to figure out which one works for you. If you're going to be on Facebook, how are you going to use that? If you're on LinkedIn, how are you going to use that?
  2. Be Social: Effectively manage your "social systems"
      - You got to figure out how to effectively use these social network and these tools to create our own social system, that aligns with our personal brand and make the most of it.
  3. Be Interesting: Write, photograph, share, give
      - Share what you know. Write and share the things that you see to make it interesting.
  4. Be remarkable: Do something worthy of a remark
  5. Be yourself: Let your personality shine through
      - Personality has to be true to who you are as an individual.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Backside" Bad Sites

I'm sure all of you have encountered visiting some really horrible looking websites that made you go:"OMG! What were they thinking?". Whilst there isn't any specific rule or law that governs what a website should look like, I do however feel strongly that there is a need to have certain quality control and standards; especially if it involves international brands.

I have two examples of international brands: Kotex by Kimberly-Clark and Krispy Kremedoughnuts, that have been bastardized by our talented Malaysian web designers. You would think that these large corporations (or brand guardians) will spend more money in hiring better quality web designers rather that getting it cheap by outsourcing to freelancers to do the job. Now I'm not sure if these websites were outsourced to a freelancer, but if you ask me, it looks like an assignment by a first year college student.
Kotex Luxe microsite (http://kotexluxe.com.my/)


  1. There is this annoying animation that swipes across the product box. It's suppose to give the box a shiny gloss effect...WTH for?
  2. You probably require 3D glasses to read the footer text. It's so blur, you might end up getting a headache trying to read it.
  3. This site doesn't cater for large screens. The design here is tiled and my guess is that the designer was using a 15 inch screen while working on the website. My screen size is only 17 inches, which is small by todays standard.
  4. There is this annoying background music that loops and sounds straight out of a porno video. I'm not kidding!
  5. The flash animation is so slow. The designer probably animated the website using an older version of Flash or at a very low frame rate. My guess is...this website was done using a very old machine - 15inch screen, old Flash version, cannot support high frame rate animation.
Krispy Kreme Malaysia (http://www.krispykreme.com.my)

Seriously...it's NOT HEALTHY to look at this website for a long time. Not because of the doughnuts they are trying to sell you, but the website itself. Look at the background. It can make your eyes bleed and give you a headache. The worst part is, the background is not even tiled properly. Look at the third animated GIF button on the right...I mean..who uses animated GIFs anymore?? Again I feel this website was done by an amateur or it was done very last minute.

International brands or their brand guardians in Malaysia at least, should really put more thought and effort into a website design and how it would affect their company's image and brand. I feel there should be at least someone who needs to be checking and giving the "thumbs up" before making these websites live on the web. No company would want to make their brand look cheap.

I am actually saddened by the fact that many large corporate companies in Malaysia don't pay attention to how their brands are perceived online. Sure they have massive budgets for print, radio and even television ads, but online budgets here are often limited, that I sometimes do not blame the designers or agencies designing and producing such bad websites and online campaigns. It's because of budget constraints and the lack of knowledge on how important online media branding is; one of the reasons why companies in Malaysia are behind our neighbors like Singapore in terms of international brand penetration.

Unless corporate companies put and importance and change their perception of online media and branding, I do foresee more websites such as these two popping up in the near future. As the saying goes: "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys".

The All New Apple iPad



Photo by Gizmodo

Early this morning around 230AM Malaysian time, Apple unveiled its long awaited tablet dubbed the iPad. So what so special about the iPad you must be asking? Well, it's exactly that...NOTHING! To me, Apple has always been a trend-setter, a lifestyle changer and for arguement sake, some say makes the best operating system in the world. I've never really been an Apple fan for starters, and yes I believe after this post I probably get some hate mail, but lets be honest here; do we actually need the iPad?

As I mentioned, Apple has always been the forefront of trend setting devices; from the iPods, to the iMacs, to the iPhone. I got to admit it did a pretty good job in getting consumers to buy their products by making consumers feel that it's "cool" to own one. But "cool" does not always neccesarily translate to good functionality and features. The iPad for me is just an oversized iPhone on steroids. Many consumers and pundits were anticipating a breakthrough with all the hype building around the iPad, but yet features and capabilities are no different from the iPhone if not less. There is NO CAMERA in this device, which makes web cam and conference calls impossible. It DOES NOT OUTPUT HDMI (source by Gizmodo). Of all the features, I actually think this would be included by Apple as a standard. And most importantly, It still CANNOT MULTITASK which is a very big let down. Imagine you cannot listen your favourite music while writing an email nor can you Tweet and browse the internet at the same time. Multitasking is the very fundamentals of mobile computing, and unless Apple does otherwise, I don't see laptop or even netbook sales decreasing just as yet.

As for the name iPad, Apple with all it's "coolness" could really have came out with a better name than that. Other products that were unveiled at the launch includes iBooks and iWork, which is a stripped down version of Microsoft's Office. How original is that? For what it's worth, I see the iPad as a permanent replacement of the Amazon Kindle, which if you ask me...is not as "cool" as the e-reader on the iPad. But if you ask me if it's a replacement for mobile computing?...maybe not just yet.