Tuesday, February 23, 2010

F1 stalls at Sepang

A friend of mine is a huge F1 fan. Having been to most of the F1 races in Sepang over the years, he isn't convinced organisers here are doing enough to keep the event attractive in the face of Singapore's spectacular start.

"Just collecting your ticket in Singapore is an experience," he told me.

"People pay a lot of money for their tickets. Here you get paper, in Singapore you have high quality plastic cards with lanyards in a cool box that one would like to keep sealed," he said.

His disappointment in the way the last few F1 races at Sepang have been organised is a far cry from how he felt just four years ago when there were F1 parties aplenty, free food in KL's clubs, fireworks, and F1 wherever you looked.

"It was the Mega event. Now, it seems that the thunder has been silenced in recent years," he said.

Just last year he told me he had to wade through knee deep mud at the Malaysian Grand Prix to catch the entertainment headlined by an artist who hasn't been popular since Y2K.

"Virtual insanity", indeed. (That's the title of his hit song in 1996 in case you forgot).

This year my friend isn't optimistic about Sepang and it's not because Beyonce isn't part of the show.

Having booked his ticket online already, a confirmation mail read: "All advance booking will be closed by 28th March 2010. Ticket collection at SIC Ticket Counter at the Circuit or in KL Sentral by 2nd April 2010."

However, what the mail failed to say is that the tickets are only available mid-March which he found out after a trip out yesterday to collect the tickets.

He now has to go back again. Such a simple thing, yet not considered.

"The poor sales girl told me that many people complain about having to come here, and not being able to collect the ticket," he said.

"The only reason I am going has nothing to do with Sepang’s F1 promotion. Schumi is back. That’s it," he said.

He's also puzzled by this year's tie-in with a shoe festival to sell F1 tickets.

Needless to say, my friend is now contemplating spending 25 times more to watch the F1 in Singapore instead of KL.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let the games begin

Around 41,000 people turned up at Singapore's first ever Casino when it opened during the first three days of the Lunar New Year.

I checked out the action on Tuesday night, and you couldn't get a look in at any of the tables without waiting at least a half hour. Although, a large section of the main area was shut when I was there.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Resorts World Sentosa said they expected the crowds to dip from Wednesday onwards as more people start to head back to work. After Wednesday it will be interesting to see if any newspapers / media outlets decide to take the moral (sensational?) route and go hard against the evil the Casino supposedly brings to society.

A search of 'Resorts World Sentosa Casino money' on Google already turns up interesting results. The top result is a story from Channel News Asia about an Indonesian man who lost all the money he brought with him to Singapore and was caught trying to rob someone at Changi Airport.

It's been picked up by Yahoo and a few other news outlets as well.

Of course, some of the papers might write a story about all the jobs the Casino created (there were a lot of first time croupiers on the floor when I was there) and the tourism dollars it will bring (there were a lot of people from China when I was there) but who wants to read about that!

For the record, I had to pay the S$100 levy to get in (damm the timing of my Singapore PR status) which I failed miserably trying to win back at Baccarat.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Superbowl creativity

The New Orleans Saints have beat the Indianapolis Colts to clinch a truly historic Superbowl win for the city which went through so much heartache just five years ago. Which marketers managed to rise to the occasion?

This year there was plenty of slapstick humour coming from the likes of Doritos and while the E*trade spots were still amusing -- talking babies are getting old! Also, the GoDaddy.com stuff was pretty tame this year.

While the Denny's spots are just funny, the Megan Fox (in a bathtub) ad for Motorola is also worth a mention.

As always you have to remember these ads are mainly for the American football crowd so leave your feminist hat at the door.

You can watch all the ads here.

Here are my favourite five.

Google "Parisian Love"


Doritos slap

FloTV "Jim Nantz"


Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Social Media Guru

Any client, agency, or person involved in digital marketing will cringe when they meet someone who has just introduced himself as "the social media guru."

And it's not because you expect to learn nothing new or practical from this "guru". The cringe-worthiness instead comes from someplace else. A place brilliantly illustrated by this YouTube video below.

WARNING - There's foul language in the video so you get offended easily don't click play. Otherwise...