Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mini Cars Climbing Buildings Again

Not the first time that Mini Cars are climbing buildings in Singapore, but this execution was particulary interesting as it also involved a tug-of-war on the opposite. Very nice use of the media since the building facade has a cave-in area where the main entrance of the building is.

One question though: If the men on the right side of the creative are "side view" why is the Mini Car mounted on the building facade with its "top/ plane view" facing the target audience?

Date spotted: 25 May 07 (Fri)
Location: OUB Centre, Raffles Green, Singapore

Very clever how this production team extended the 3D imagery by putting parts of the actual hemp rope on a 1D display.

Dengue Prevention Campaign

The levels of current dengue cases are on its way to epidemic levels - similar to the previous largest outbreak in 2005. But the National Environment Agency of Singapore (NEA) is now harnessing the strength of the community. A large island wide campaign is taking place over the radio, TV, outdoor advertising and in PR efforts to educate the dangers of the andes mosquitoes to ourselves.

In fact the NEA has called for a new tender last week for print of additional banners to be printed and distributed to the district offices for installation in housing estates. This is with good cause too as close to 85% of breeding incidences are in residential areas. I get bitten by mosquitoes a lot, so riddance to all of mosquitoes!

Such government related messages are not subjected to the approvals from authorities such as BCA. But looking at how these banners are installed - between trees, street signs and lighting fixtures or along the fences etc. It is firstly dangerous as these banners are installed without professionalism may fall or be in the obstruction of the public's access to the streets etc. The LTA has restricted the installation of advertisement messages on these street fixtures for a good reason. Furthermore these banners are not well tensioned and it is ugly at their inconsistent heights etc. So why allow double standards like such to be created in the first place?

Date spotted:
23 May 07 (Wed)
Location: Housing Estates Island-wide, Singapore

Friday Late Night Shopping At Orchard Road

I am actually amazed to realise that the "Friday Late Night Shopping At Orchard Road" had been launched as early as July 2006. That is almost 1 year ago or 10-12 Fridays already - 1 Friday at the end of every month. Yet I have not been for any of these 10-12 Fridays yet. The current campaign for the "Friday Late Night Shopping At Orchard Road" has stepped up a notch with more intensive outdoor advertising on the street. No media buying for the Uniquely Singapore, instead they rely on their "immunity" from the authorities (waiver to use public goods for promotion of goverment related messages" to use the pedestrian walkways and wrap-around stands on the streetscape trees for their outdoor advertising messages.

Date spotted: 23 May 07 (Wed)
Location: Everywhere, Orchard Road, Singapore
Personal gripe: Shopping is a usually spontaneous affair and in Singapore it is difficult as the seated restaurants and mid-high end shopping boutiques and malls close at about the same time between 9.30-10pm everyday and even on weekends. Consumers are forced to choose between good dinner or good shopping, no middle ground - unlike true shopping havens in Hong Kong and Shanghai where decent restaurants, shops, services such as salons are opened till 11pm-1am till the public transport shuts down. No surcharge on mid-night cab fares too! No need to wait for a single Friday out of the entire month for some decent shopping AND food on the same night...!

More Bus-Shelter Creatives - (Asian 9-Ball Guinness Tour 2007)

Date spotted: 23 May 07 (Wed)
Location: In front of The Heeren Shopping Centre, Orchard Road, Singapore

The flat-top of the bus-shelter was transformed into a pool table for the current Asian 9-Ball Guinness Tour 2007. Such creatives are so simple, yet so intelligent. Very sexy (to me!)

Unfortunately, this also means the actual execution is very large, I had to step back several times just to get a full shot of the above. ie. Less than effective to the usually ad-clutter zombified pedestrians. All the ordinary passers-by may see is a pair of very large black legs! So I would not be surprised if you had not spotted these series of bus-shelter executions - But I'm sure you would have caught the TVC for the Asian 9-Ball Guinness Tour 2007 (YouTube Link) though. Exactly what I think a bunch of fun-loving, Guinness guzzling bunch of Irish blokes would come up with.. Heh.

Do note that Singaporeans are rated as the most brisk walkers in the world?
So, to catch the local passers-by/ pedestrian attention, outdoor advertising in Singapore must be extra eye-catching otherwise we will simply run-walk them by! But can it actually be believable that we had beaten New Yorkers at walking briskly? When I used to work in Hong Kong, I had to double-time so that I would not seem to be running after my boss. It was actually more pressurizing than a deadline...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bus Shelter Display - Soo Kee Jewelry

Spotted a very impressive 3D bus shelter display for Soo Kee Jewelry's Brilliant Rose at the previously unobtrusive bus shelter just outside Tangs Shopping Centre. It was a head-on view for the pedestrian exiting the Orchard MRT station.

Showed this picture to the TPM team earlier this morning and this was overhead:
X: "It would be very impressive if all the roses used to cover the bus shelter were real..."
Y: "If diamond that size is real, good enough for me already..."
Date spotted: 28 May 07 (Mon)
Location: In front of Tangs Shopping Centre, Orchard Road, Singapore

Updated: Dug out a picture of the same bus-stop just a week before Soo Kee Jewelry took over.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Road Accidents in Singapore

Road accidents in Singapore seem to on a rise. This is despite the Traffic Police of Singapore governing the roads with some of the most stringent rules in world such as - no handphones/ mobile phones while driving, compulsory belting up for back seat passengers and the frequent spot checks for drunk-driving offenses. So maybe punishment is not enough, but education is needed.

Paris Hilton's drunk-driving offense in 2006 only landed her 36 months' probation, alcohol education and US$1,500 in fines. It is only because Paris Hilton had violated her probation that she is readying herself for the 45 days imprisonment. Wait till she drives in Singapore! Those found guilty of drink driving in Singapore can be fined up to S$5,000, or jailed up to six months and banned from driving for at least a year. Even our local celebrities such as Christopher Lee and Benedict Goh may be expected to serve time for the offenses in drunk driving (DUI)

TPM Outdoor Productions was able to help the Traffic Police of Singapore in conducting alcohol education through the use of outdoor advertisements to spread the safety message and consequences. Outdoor advertising is effective as it directly targets the road-users. Furthermore the Traffic Police times these execution well in the busiest nightlife areas and during festive periods.
Location 1: People's Park Centre, Chinatown
Format: Trivision, sticker - with 2 faces (English and Chinese version)
Message: Targeting Drunk-Driving in Singapore (DUI)
Date: Mar 2007

The Traffic Police has turned their efforts towards education on other traffic offenses. In view of the lack of festive period now, the Traffic Police is right to avoid message fatigue (or being like a mother/ long-winded) to the audience.

The GREAT SINGAPORE SALES (GSS) starts today 25 May 2007. But don't rush across the road just for a new sale at the other side of Orchard Road during the Great Singapore Sales, because Jaywalking Kills...
Location 2: People's Park Complex, Chinatown
Format: Frontlit banner
Message: Targeting Jaywalking in Singapore
Date: May 2007

Beck's Beer Branding at the Kopitiams

Sponsorship with shops and chain outlets is an effective form of point-of-sales (POS) advertising. Some product categories such as credit cards, beer and in some countries, cigarettes do more POS advertising than others.

In Singapore, we have Visa and Mastercard vying at the upmarket retails and food establishments at Club Street or at Far East Square. While the beer boys fight it out in the rows of coffeeshops/ kopitiams along the bustling Geylang. (Note:
Kopitiam is the dialect Hokkien for coffeeshop. It is comparable to a cafe in Europe and a mamak stall in Malaysia)

Outdoor plays a strong and large - as in literally LARGE role in these retails sponsorship for POS items such as shop sign, awnings/ canopies, parasols and even the furniture! TPM Outdoor Productions is also highly involved in the production of these and has helped esteemed brands such as Mastercard and Beck's Beer in several projects s.
Most recently we have completed a lightbox signage for Beck's Beer at a coffeeshop/ kopitiam along the Geylang Road. The key challenge was its size since it was more than 6m wide.

Other more notable production for Beck's Beer POS items was at the coffeeshop/ kopitiam at the Fu Lou Shou Building at Bugis next to the famous Kuan Yin Temple at Waterloo Street. Notable because it was very nicely executed and that the kopitiam had very good food too! ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ministry of Manpower: Shine at Work!

The theme for this year's National Workplace Safety and Health Campaign is "SHINE@work" or "Safety and health involves everyone at work". TPM Outdoor Productions had an opportunity to participate in it - both as a participant of the related construction industries and also in their outdoor campaign. Again, we did the production at:

Location 1: Banner,
18 Roberts Lane (below)
Location 2: Backlit posters, Golden Mile Complex (picture not posted)
Location 3: Trivision sticker, Jalan Besar Plaza
(picture not posted)
Location 4: Trivision sticker, People's Park Complex (below)
This is the second campaign TPM Outdoor Productions which had done for the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore (MOM). MOM had also used other forms of exciting ambient media provided by other vendors. Unfortunately these pictures are still stuck in my memory stick. I do have a lot of things to say about Cybershot recently, but that will be for a separate post.

Outdoor media is especially effective for targeting the foreign labour in Singapore. These foreign labourers are mostly in the low value, labour intensive industries such as construction and also domestic help. They do not watch mainstream television, or purchase any newspapers and local magazines. But they do go out whenever they can on weekends and in the late nights in areas such as Serangoon or Golden Mile. They will look up or around to view these messages to them.

Tough Luck, JCDecaux

Shareholders of Clear Channel Communications has accepted the revised version of a buy out from private equity group Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital worth $19.5 billion. Its shareholders were rewarded for holding out on their earlier offer of only $18.7 billion plus debt from this pair of Boston private-equity firms.

But in the midst of the above contentious buyout effort since last year, some analysts have also suggested that Clear Channel stay public and consider selling certain assets, including some of its outdoor assets. Indeed, Clear Channel has received offers for its subsidiary, Clear Channel Outdoor, in two separate occasions from its competitors JCDecaux and most recently Cemusa.

Cemusa is a New York-based unit of a Spanish construction company. It had recently expressed interest to acquire all or part of Clear Channel Outdoor that is 90 percent owned by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc. Furthermore, Cemusa has a joint venture agreement with Clear Channel for a contract for street-furniture advertising in Madrid.

Not a bad move since outdoor is the one form of advertising that consumers cannot ignore by fast forwarding, flipping stations, choosing not to click or deciding not to read. Even Clear Channel executives had declared in the 2006 letter to shareholders that "Outdoor advertising continues to be one of the strongest-performing segments of traditional media"

The saga is not completely over yet as the buyout deal must be formally approved by a majority of shareholders in a special, still unscheduled vote. If the deal is ultimately approved, Clear Channel would go into private hands.

Eat your heart out JCDecaux. And so will the rest of us...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Leapfrogging Outdoor Ads Try to Get a Leg Up

"The online travel business in India is really heating up. Don’t believe me? Check out this photo of some competitive outdoor advertising passed on to me from my cousin, Manik. It seems that Zoomtra is currently sitting at the top of the heap."

As taken from Rajan Sodhi's interesting blog at Big Marketing for Small Business. Especially amusing since Zoomtra designed the copy with the context of the billboard position in mind to emphasis that they are indeed literally at the height of the competition.

It is tiring to see creatives not designed with the media in mind - too often do we see print creatives being stretched and enlarged directly for billboard purposes. Is there any point to the information provided in that red circle especially since the whole poster is above eye-level?

Personally, context is important to break through the ad clutter as it provides that little bit more thought process to register the message into the numbed-up brain.

Date spotted:
22 Apr 07 (Sun)

Location: The Heeren, Orchard Road, Singapore

Monday, May 14, 2007

Clear Channel Selling Out to JCDecaux?

The Britain's outdoor advertising industry is preparing for its biggest ever shake-up. The US group, Clear Channel Communications is expected to sell its international poster business for an estimated $3.2bn (£1.6bn). While the most likely buyer is JCDecaux, the world's second largest outdoor group, private equity groups will come in to bid as well.

Clear Channel Outdoor
is currently the largest outdoor advertising operator in the UK, and also claims to dominate in Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. Its operations stretch as far as Australia, China and even in our sunny Singapore too!

It also seems that other players such as USA's Titan Worldwide and Spain's Cemusa will stand to gain from picking off parts that JCDecaux would have to sell on for regulatory reasons.
It is almost certainly that JCDecaux will be forced to sell off parts of the British and French operations to avoid breaking competition rules. In Britain, the combined companies would control 80% of roadside poster hoardings. The Singapore operations may be similarly affected as we have the same market sizing and dynamics of the UK market.

The board of Clear Channel Communications is now awaiting a shareholder vote on May 22 for a proposed takeover by Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital Partners, the private equity groups. Whether or not the takeover goes ahead, Clear Channel Outdoor's assets outside the US are likely to go on the block, with the sale process beginning within weeks of the vote.

Though I am aware of how our industry is well affected by the comings and goings of private equity groups, I never really saw this between Clear Channel and JCDecaux at all. Till June then, when we see the results of the shareholder vote and its effects on Singapore!

Life's Short. Get a Divorce.

"Life's Short. Get a Divorce. " - Best life-advice eh? Especially, after I tell you that this is from a pair of divorce lawyers Corri Fetman and Kelly Garland!

Display in downtown Chicago, USA, this suggestive billboard advertisement was removed after only less than a week of display. It features the partially clothed torsos of a buff man and a provocative woman with a slogan in between - “Life’s short. Get a divorce.”

It might be a tad offensive to some, but this was not the reason that it was pulled down by city workers. Instead, it was because Fetman did not have the proper permit. As City Alderman Burton Natarus said. "It has nothing to do with content or anything else." (For more...)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

LEDs emerge to fight fluorescents

TPM Outdoor Productions Pte Ltd has been using LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting to create colourful and animated lighting effects on our frontlit banners/ billboard displays in Singapore since last Aug 2006. We are familiar with LED lighting and its cost and energy efficiency benefits.

This is especially since our Grand Ampera project executed by our sister company, PT TPM in Palembang, Sumatra.

I am sharing an interesting article from Businessweek which summaries how LED lighting will take over our current usage of the compact fluorescent bulbs and incandescent bulbs sooner than you think:

Recent developments in LED lighting that brought about key benefits for its use over the current conventional and alternative sources:
  • LED have doubled in energy efficiency and brightness in the last 2 years.
  • LED are long lasting: They last up to 50,000 hours compared to about 10,000 hours for fluorescents and 1,000 hours for incandescents. This translate to huge savings in maintenance costs when commercial clients do not need to send out for the janitor each time a bulb blows.
  • LED do not contain toxic mercury unlike the compact fluorescent bulbs/ tubes
But some also argue that, at its current development LED lighting needs more improvements before mass market adoption - For single LEDs may demonstrate very high energy efficiency in the lab, but when combined into fixtures, their efficiency is considerably lower. In part that is a heat issue: the diodes produce less heat than incandescents, but they keep that heat in the fixture rather than radiating it, and the hotter the diodes get, the less efficient they are.

But it seems like the widespread use of LED is a matter of sooner than later thanks to the forward-looking actions of these governments:
  • California and Canada have decided to ban the sale of incandescent bulbs by 2012.
  • Australia is banning incandescent bulbs in 2010.
  • The European Union is looking at banning production of the bulbs.
  • A U.S. Senate committee is working on a proposal that would phase out the light bulb in 10 years."
  • Lighting consumes 22 percent of electricity produced in the U.S. and widespread use of LED lighting could cut consumption in half.
It may not be tomorrow yet, but it is without doubt that in the next 2, 5 or at most 10 years' time - the traditional symbol of bright ideas is set to be replaced with the LED.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

JVC Billboard with Giant Globe at Times Square, New York

JVC Mobile Unveils an Exciting Times Square Billboard That Will Stop Traffic.

There is something very familiar about this execution, especially on the GLOBE. This latest billboard on Times Square, New York is a 2-part execution by Spectacolor Communications Inc - a traffic-stopper billboard graced by eight-foot (~2.4m) tall JVC letters, with a digital "zipper" announcing JVC Mobile's achievements and a globe! The globe measures 38 feet high by 63 feet (~11m H x 19.2m W) wide and glitters with more than 100 fibre optic points.

Gee. Deja vu vu

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Watch an ad and get a free cup of coffee - Medicafe/ WillB Inc.

Hey - more free food again!

But you'll only benefit from this if you are in Japan for the time being. Jointly launched by Apex-Corp and advertising agency WillB Inc, thirsty Japanese will soon be able to enjoy a coffee or other non-alcoholic beverages at a low price or even free! This is on condition if they watch a 30-second advertisement on the vending machines.

The companies aim to generate about 400 million yen through the project in the year from June.

Not a new concept, as e-zines such as Wired Online and Sloan offer full articles on the same condition that the reader watch a 30 second advertisement online. But first time outdoor, and launched on such a scale. Apex-Corp runs 35,000 vending machines across Japan and will start this service next month. These vending machines are well-located at public places - supermarkets, hospitals, schools etc

I think this is very fitting since Japan is the capital of vending machines - besides the usual drinks and snacks, you can buy cigarettes, batteries, condoms, umbrellas, DVDs and even fresh hot French fries. No new learning curve for the target market.

Define: Fenestration

Architectural terms I learn from my consultation with BCA

1. The design and disposition of windows and other exterior openings of a building.
2. Furniture. an ornamental motif having the form of a blind arcade or arch, as in medieval cabinetwork.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Trivision Displays (3 Message Displays)

The trivision display, or the 3 message (three message) display, is an established form of outdoor advertising display. It is well known for its cost and space efficiency benefits as its single space can display 3 different messages. This is very good for advertisements that wish to feature more than 1 benefit or product attribute to the audience.

The trivision display uses mechanical technology to create movement to the display. This is a cost efficient from of visual attraction for passers-by who have grown increasingly immune to the clutter from static display. Compared to expensive forms of digital outdoor displays such as plasma screens, trivision display will not give the media site owner investor dead pixels or electronic failures that will require complete overhaul of equipment.

Unfortunately, many also regard trivision displays as outdated. These people do not prioritize the media site owners’ or their clients' need for budget management. Cheap definitely does not mean bad quality.

In fact, just 2 weeks ago on 22 Apr 07, a trivsion display was spotted at an upscale fashion store in Singapore. It was used as an indoor display, just above the cashier counter. While customers wait to pay, they will be inevitably attracted to the moving visual just at eye-level to them. Perhaps it helps to remove the cognitive dissonance that the customers feel just before paying for an item which is so expensive but so deceptively plain?

Our TPM team also completed a recent change of visual for the trivision at the Thai Embassy – along Orchard Road, for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Interestingly, trivision displays do not need to be flat and rectangular shaped only. We have collected some creative executions using curved and circular trivisions. Although pricier, these curved and circular trivision displays use the belt rather than the wave system (Oops, we getting technical here. Do contact us directly for further details on the technical aspects. TPM Outdoor Productions is experienced to install and maintain both form of technologies produced in Sweden and China etc)

I rather you enjoy the following creative executions for circular trivision displays. When coupled with some great 3D ideas, these circular displays become very interesting for those servicing alcohol, beverages and dairy product clients.

A wine bottle can then feature up to 3 labels or a can shaped display can advertise for 3 variations ie. Maybe Coca-Cola classic, Coke Light and Coke Zero!

Looks fun eh?

Re-Branding of TPM Outdoor Productions

TPM Outdoor Productions Pte Ltd has been rebranded!

Our new logo is appearing everywhere since last Monday on 7 May 07. No particular thought to why we chose 7 May, I guess it is the day that we finally got all our collaterals together to launch this properly. Our new logo is done with LED lighting within and changes 7 different colours. Will show you in a video next time:

So now we have our logo on our office premise, on our vehicles and also on our letterhead! We are also having our first brochure finalised for printing next week. Did I hear someone say "Finally..."?

We'll be distributing our new brochure and re-introduce our company with our new collaterals. Do hear from us soon ;)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


TPM Outdoor Productions has not gone missing! Just me only. ;)

I was very touched by the team's gesture to celebrate my birthday. And I am very proud of everyone and how far we have come as well. It is almost close to a year since we started working together and we hope for more good days to come.

And thank you to all those people supporting us. We'll share the birthday cake with you next time. It was a very nice Tiramisu BTW. Do get the recommendation for us if you are thinking of the coming Mother's Day!

Daikin: Mr Inverter is Everywhere!

Confused?Believe me, so was our TPM Outdoor Productions team when we first received this job order! It was a total of 13 display sites to be put up within the shortest period in the month of April for one of our larger client - Daikin Air Conditioning Singapore (through Posterscope SE Asia). The total number of outdoor advertising displays was:

3 backlit lightbox displays
4 trivisions (3 message) / graphic sticker displays
6 frontlit (banner) displays

We used scaffolding, boomlifts, gondolas, spidermen/ supermen (yes, our whole team is really the inspiration for Marvel Comics, you know) and WOW! TPM put up 13 island-wide displays across Singapore such as in the major shopping belts - Chinatown and the areas targeting Industrial consumers - Lavender and Jalan Besar. These displays were printed and installed between10-24 April! Less than 14 working days, our team was well worked to complete every installation single-handedly with no hiccups.

We were challenged, but we were determined and now we have prevailed! Heh. As another of our larger clients would say - "Impossible is Nothing" ;)

TPM Outdoor Productions is also the same team that executed this similar network buy for Daikin Air Conditioning last year in Jul-Aug 2006 and for Isuzu/ Opel around Nov 2006.