Archive for December, 2007

What’s your New Year resolution? – A YouTube video by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board

Singapore’s Health Promotion Board, the state agency charged with building a nation of fit and healthy Singaporeans, has made its first foray into online video campaigns.

The video, uploaded onto YouTube, takes viewers through the trials and tribulations of “Clara,” who decides to take a smoke break to seek solace from a hounding boss, to quite unexpected results. 

The video is also available at Freshair.sg, the smoking cessation website targeted at women.  One suggestion I have is for both the video and the microsite to be more visible from the corporate HPB site (or at least the Quit Smoking section).  Otherwise, I think it’s a great start, although patience is required to keep trying until one produces a hit.  If anything else, the messages are targeted and intended.  Referring to the inadvertent and notorious MDA “senior management rap” (an oxymoron, isn’t it) YouTube video, I don’t believe that even bad publicity is good publicity.

What do you think of the video?  To appeal to the pragmatic sensibilities, there is a lucky draw from viewers to share the video with friends.  Sign-up here.

Blog Dissonance…

I always enjoy reading Rohit Bhargava’s blog because he consistently delivers insightful, well-considered commentary.  I learn something new each time I visit his blog.

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Using the phenomenon where Scott Adams–the creator of Dilbert–as an illustration, Rohit discusses why it is possible for a brand (I loosely consider the Dilbert franchise a brand) to suffer a reduction in following because of its blog.  This happens when the audience sees a brand and its creator as one entity, but realizes through the creator’s blog (where one tends to express oneself more authentically) that his/her personal persona can speak with quite a different voice from the brand, hence the dissonance.

As Rohit explains, Adams sometimes blogs on his views on politics and social issues, which some of the readers (many of whom are drawn to his blog because they expect to hear the more of Dilbert) do not understand or agree with.  And when some of his audience see that the voice of Dilbert is not always consonant with the voice of Scott Adams, they swear never to return.

There are some useful lessons for marketers here.  Please read Rohit’s full commentary for more insights.  I believe it will be worth your while.

Why Asia’s Corporations Resist Corporate Communication and Reputation Management – Michael Netzley’s Five-point Model

My colleague Michael Netzley of the Singapore Management University posted a fascinating reflection on why Asian corporates are reluctant to actively and openly engage with their stakeholders and constituents.  Netzley has distilled his thinking–which he co-credits his students–into a five-point model: (1) strategic pragmatism; (2) standard practice; (3) relative trust in higher-ups; (4) context of tradition; and (5) market stage. No doubt, the intertwined issues are evaluated through western lens and terms, and empirical research beyond anecdotes are warranted, but I think there is some validity in this model and it’s really worth some thought.


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