Thursday, December 17, 2009

The short goodbye

We shut our Malaysia office today for the Christmas break. We’re back at work on the 4 January 2010 to start a new year with more breaking news and industry issues mixed and packaged together in true A+M style, and delivered to you in a (cross my heart) timely fashion.

It’s been a challenging year for everyone in business – media wasn’t spared. But as a young new brand which is still finding its footing but nimble enough to roll with the punches, we have a lot to look forward to next year.

Next year on the magazine front you will see a combined December / January issue to start 2010. It will hit desks in mid-January complete with new columnists and more content as well.

After that its back to the monthly format while A+M Daily returns on 4 January 2010.

2010 means we’re one year older but it also means we’ve got one year of local knowledge under our belt.

In the past year we’ve experimented with live blogging of news on and our Twitter (MarketingEds) account is still going strong. Expect to see more video from us and more.

If you’ve been reading magazines like Wired and Esquire you would have noticed the emergence of ads in augmented reality code – our very own October edition featured a nifty coded ad done by Arachnid to thank clients for voting it Digital Agency of the Year.

Cool stuff.

Speaking of cool stuff, today also marks the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons. Amazing. Its glory days may be long past but 20 years running on TV is a long time in anyone’s book.

So, on that note I’d like to wish you all happy holidays and look forward to meeting and writing about you for many years to come (D’oh!).


Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the road

Please forgive us if we haven’t been answering the phones today or have been responding to email slowly – Advertising + Marketing is on the road (bus) to Singapore to make it in time to celebrate our company’s Christmas party tomorrow.
L-R: Pamela, Anita, and Excell

Not to fret, there will still be A+M Daily arriving in your inbox today and tomorrow. For me personally, I am just glad to get out of KL this weekend. It’s been a hellish 24 hours for me personally. I arrived home late last night after Web Wednesday’s networking (drinking) session to find Tenaga Nasional had cut off the power to my apartment.

Eh? Sudah Potong?#@! Why!?

So after spending the next hour arguing and shouting at any staff I could find working in my building (who were of no help), I then went defeated back to my place to take the coldest shower of my life (which I repeated again this morning).

Thanks Tenaga Nasional for cutting off my power without any warning. Yes, I did get your warning slip dated one week ago – thanks for giving me so much warning time by slipping it under my door the same day you kicked me off the grid.


Powered up! Happier times on the bus

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Politicians join the party

Sarawak’s Housing and Urban Development Minister recently said Facebook had now become an important mechanism for him to receive feedback from the people – and in doing so joins the growing list of politicians on social media.

Already we’ve seen Malaysia’s most prominent politician, Dr Mahathir Mohamad try his hand at blogging which on the surface looks like he’s doing a good job of. My Bahasa is way too rusty to actually judge the content for myself but his last five posts averaged over 227 comments which is significant – it’s not easy to a) Keep a blog going and b) Convert readers from lurker mode into commenting mode.

Reportedly, when his blog first launched it got 1 million hits in just 30 days. What was the motive behind the move online? Well, according to a documentary I watched on cable TV last month it was driven by his desire to be heard again because mainstream media was now apparently ignoring him post retirement.

Dr M is also on Facebook but somehow his blog seems more like a window in to his thoughts than his Facebook account which feels more like a PR machine.

The minister on Facebook intends to use his Facebook account to ultimately improve his service to the community but a politician’s blog never quite feels like it was set up to do that.

Yesterday, I was a moderator of a session at the Marketing Chapter event organised by AdExcel which talked about social media and the outlook for advertising in 2010. It was here the topic of blogger transparency came up again. And it was clear from the panel that although they might all like bloggers to become more accountable, audiences in Malaysia didn’t (as long as the post was entertaining) seem to mind as much currently as compared to the West.

It was in the second session where Aegis’ David Ho said one day bloggers in Malaysia would “turn away” because blogs would no longer be neutral.

Over to you guys.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

15 ways to engage with youth

CSR and mission statements aside, its a rare sight to see an organisation develop a project which actually works in encouraging young people to express what they are passionate about in an entertaining way.

15Malaysia is one of them. This short film project ended with Joshua Chay, UCSI University’s Film and Television student from the School of Mass Communications bag first prize beating 27 others.

Joshua’s video was titled Mama Leong (who is the elderly woman who talks about her life during the time when the Japanese ruled Malaysia in the video).

The clip is well shot and the scene at Jalan Pudu - Bukit Bintang is compelling not least because I know now that our office is located around the corner from where Mama Leong witnessed the Japanese beheading protestors.

Other clips from 15Malaysia project that captured my attention was Meter by Lim Benji and Potong Saga by Ho Yuhang. They were very viral and hilarious. Meter even featured Khairy Jamaluddin, a politician, highlighting issues of language (education) among others, in this country, and the importance of embracing them.

Potong Saga, on the other hand grabs your attention with its message about a Chinese guy who goes through an unnecessary circumcision to get himself eligible for an Islamic bank account because of misguided information regarding the application from three Chinese old chaps.

The films from the 15Malaysia project also made it to the 14th Pusan International Film Festival, giving the filmmakers more exposure than they could have ever dreamed of.

You can watch the films here.