Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tokyo Highlights - OOH Advertising

According to a March 2012 ZenithOptimedia forecast, Japan's adspend has grown by 3.1% in 2012 from 2011 - this is a rosy outlook from its decline in the previous years.Japan is the second largest ad market in the world with China trailing a close third place. 

We had blogged about the advertisements around the Shijuku area before and it is evident that Out-of-Home OOH advertising in Japan remains vital to a populace that works hard, plays hard (and drinks hard).

OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are balanced with static billboards still taking a good dominance of OOH outdoor spaces in the key city areas like Shinjuku, Harajuku and Akihabara etc. Selected prime areas are developed into digital formats especially on buildings with fashion dominance or music and movie entertainment. These digital formats are dominant in size, excellent quality with minimal or no blockages for maximum impact

Akihabara - Electronics and Comics (otakus' haven)

Takeo Kikuchi Shibuya Store
OUTDOOR advertising = OOH formats are innovative, and good shop frontages are powerful media for the retail outlets. Even the Takeo Kikuchi global flagship store in Shibuya which was still under renovations when we visited was a key OOH platform. The Takeo Kikushi store is a success of Japanese Minimalist architecture and it is well documented by Dezeen and Mooponto

Depending on advertisers' needs, the lighted mobile billboards are an effective medium for short term targeted messages. However, this is not a mainstream form of advertisement and most advertisers are events or music and movie entertainment targeted.

Mobile Billboards roaming around Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing - plethora of OOH formats
TRANSIT advertising = OOH formats are small to allow for efficient and frequent change visuals by a labour force that cannot afford a large number of workers.  The displays are changed even on a weekend display basis and the materials used are based on PP (polypropylene “paper") which is light weight and potentially recyclable. 

Shinagawa Station and its digital screens
TRANSIT advertising = OOH digital usage is less pervasive than we thought. This is a good thing since OOH digital usage has high fixed and variable costs, the hidden costs from equipment breakdown and compensation can also be an unpredictable factor in the decision to invest.

Nonetheless, OOH digital usage is well used in a multiple installation: Shinagawa Station - digital screens were installed on both sides of a long commute corridor which serves as a thoroughfare for tonnes of commuters. Tokyo Station had 4 exits within a rounded hall and the digital screens were unobtrusive and synchronized in their displays. The digital and the recently restored traditional facade and interiors were well matched. 

Roof of the newly restored Tokyo Station

Digital screens above each exit of the Tokyo Station
What are your thoughts on Out-of-Home advertising? If the location is right, then is the format right? What about the creative? Any opportunity for interaction? What's the frequency and duration of exposure? Is there a "So what's next?" for your target?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tokyo Highlights - Advertising Musem and LED Art Gallery

Was recently in Japan for a short trip; the food is great, the scenery is stunning and the people are charming and warm. But what really touched my geeky heart and my love for advertising was...

1. ADMT - Advertising Museum Tokyo is the first advertising and marketing museum in Japan. The museum houses an exhibition space and a library on advertising and marketing. The permanent exhibition features the history of advertising. Guided by the concept that "Advertising is the mirror of society" the exhibition chronicles advertising in Japan from the Edo Period (1603-1868) till today on the 21st century wall and explores new developments in advertising. 

I was struck by the advertisements from the eras: The influx of foreign brands during the Meiji, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the eco-drive themes of the 21st century. The advertisements from events and periods were clear markers of history and the changing mindset of the society. This was really fun even for the non-advertisement geeks.

2. SCAI The Bathhouse Inspired by 10 of the best contemporary art galleries in Tokyo complied by Ashley Rawlings for the Guardian UK, I set off for the Mori Art Museum but it was closed for the Aida Mako's Monument for Nothing. So I set off to the SCAI The Bathhouse instead. Getting to the SCAI The Bathhouse from the Ueno station was half the adventure in itself as it was tucked away in an old neighbourhood of traditional wooden houses and temples. The transformation and restoration of the SCAI The Bathhouse is also another piece of art on its own too.

After viewing Teddy Lo's MEGAPOV during the Marina Bay's iLight 2012 in Singapore earlier this year, I have been intrigued by LED lighting art. The concept MEGAPOV is a light installation using a new digital light format to produce a news flash effect showing symbols. The symbols are seen as "flashes" from rapid eye movement which I have yet to figure out HOW (?!)

Anyway, Tatsuo Miyajima "LIFE I-model" was the featured solo exhibition during my visit at SCAI The Bathhouse. Using digital counters based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which operates in an unpredictable and a random rhythm, Miyajima's illustrates this thinking which based on three concepts—"Keep Changing," "Connect with All," and "Goes on Forever." So the digital counters were flickering counting up and down in a random fashion to symbolize human's adaptability and the paradox of time.

If I lost you there in the above paragraph, please do not be put-off. I was feeling the same when I walked out of the gallery and the feeling was even more accentuated  because there was only 2 or 3 pieces of exhibits. But a good art piece sets you thinking for a long time. And this was one of those art.  

Will put together other photos of Tokyo in the next post. No yummy sushi photos though. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympics 2012: BBC was forced to move cameras to avoid sponsor's ad

Hijacked by a Billboard!

The Olympics 2012 came to a close a couple of hours ago with a big bang -  as Monty Python Eric Idle's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" performance ended with some stuntpeople getting launched out of a cannon. The Olympics 2012 was certainly something great to remember for all and then some. Dow Chemical was also well-remembered for their media coup with a well placed giant billboard that garnered them extra media attention and forced BBC cameramen scrambling to correct their little blooper.

Taken from the Guradian UK, the full article is found here

Dow Chemical has paid more than £1m for a giant billboard, the approximate size of two tennis courts, to wrap around part of Westfield for a 12-week period covering the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The billboard was visible during the Opening Ceremony Countdown before Boyle's opening ceremony from 7pm to 9pm on Friday 27 July. The show drew a peak five-minute audience of almost 19 million and had an average of just over 10 million on BBC1.

It was also visible during the first Olympic Breakfast programme from 6am to 9am on BBC1 on Saturday 28 August, fronted by Sian Williams and Chris Hollins, which drew a peak audience of almost 3 million viewers and an average of 1.8 million.

One media buying executive said that appearing in the live coverage of such a globally important event could have been worth anything up to the equivalent of spending £2m on TV advertising.
 From the OOH media standpoint - that's a gold medal for Dow Chemical's media planner!  Whoo...!

And because Monty Python is so universal and it is back to reality on a Monday morning with a full week's load of work, I think we ALL deserve this:

"Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say. Some things in life are bad they can really make you mad Other things just make you swear and curse When you're chewin' on life's gristle, don't grumble give a whistle And this'll help things turn out for the best..."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Billboards are more creative than anyone has yet to imagine: Mike Fromowitz

Taken from Campaign Asia "Billboards are more creative than anyone has yet to Imagine" By: Mike Fromowitz.

...there are still many traditional mainstream means of advertising, like outdoor billboards that have been, and are still today, useful and powerful means of advertising products and services. Generally, many of us tend to travel the same routes on a daily basis. This repetition makes outdoor advertising a great choice to generate high awareness levels in a short period of time. Because of this valuable characteristic, the medium is often used for new product or service introductions. Regrettably, many billboards being created today are boring and unmemorable, resulting in very little return on investment....

I’ve always liked the creative potential of billboards. The best of them capture your attention, whether driving on the road or walking along the street. Some will even change themselves according to weather and time! Some are brilliant. Others are very funny. Perhaps its time to review their great potential once again.

Mike Fromowitz goes on to share a detailed list of strategies that he ensures will get your billboard noticed and remembered. These strategies include:
  1. Six to Eight words or less works best. 
  2. Get Notice: Being very, very clear about the product message.
  3. Copy styles: Copy must be big and clear in order to be read easily.
  4. Billboards are not the place for direct response: Billboards are a medium for quick messaging.
  5. Billboard graphics: Use graphics that will make people turn around and take a second look
  6. Billboards should be smart, and simple. 
  7. Don’t Say It, Show It. Do something eye-catching and memorable
  8. Entertain and use humour
No amount of paraphrasing will beat the full article found here.
Other creative gems for billboard desgins from Pauldervan and James Adams are archived here and here 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Advertisements in and around Shinjuku, Japan 2011

Large-scale outdoor advertising is commonplace to the Japanese. Huge outdoor screens have become a familiar sight to both locals and tourists alike, being a part and decoration of the various cities. Being very technologically-advanced, Japan is one of the leading countries in media innovation.

One campaign in Tokyo that sparked interest was the use of advertising billboards with a facial recognition function. This software can accurately identify the shopper's gender, ethnicity, and even his approximate age! Marketers will be ecstatic to learn that their ads can now be more targeted and appropriate for consumers.

A virtual mannequin appearing in a digital billboard

Camera-equipped billboards to scan passers-by

Japanese cities are plastered with advertisements ranging from building-topping billboards to smaller ads around town. One is never far away from a commercial message, and these are increasingly evolving into digital signboards. Below are some of the sights and sounds of Shinjuku that caught TPM's eye:

Lightboxes standing out magnificently in the city at night

Ads on flights of stairs that people frequent

Mobile billboard trucks that are lit at night

The contrast of light in the night is bound to catch someone's eye!

Numerous ads concentrated in an area

Advertising within shops

Advertisers taking advantage of the highly populated city area

Seeing how Japanese brands are thriving in the use of outdoor advertising, are your advertisement campaigns reaping similar benefits from Out-of-Home advertising?

Strong APAC Ad Spend

Our marketing intern, Annabel, has been doing some detailed research and has unearthed some recent statistics on Asia Pacific Adpend and the media scene in some of our regional markets- 

Elizabeth Low of Marketing Magazine notes that strong ad spending in Indonesia and China is expected despite a downgrade in APAC ad spend. 

ZenithOptimedia reported a downgrade in Asia Pacific's ad spend from 7.4% to 6.7%. However, despite this downgraded forecast, strong growth in Indonesia and China is expected to offset sluggish ad spend in other regions. Of these two countries, Indonesia is expected to pull in the biggest increase at 19.6%, outstripping China's growth. 
Indonesia's Key Economic Indicators
According to Campaign (May 2012), Indonesia is the 4th most populated country with an increase in disposable income as a key driver. Consumers love to explore all the choices that are available to them, and in fact, a growing number of middle-class Indonesians are keen on stretching their economic muscle- on both foreign and locally branded goods! Similarly, according to the Credit Suisse 2011 Indonesia Consumer Survey, country consumption has reached 22% of its GDP, showing an enormous opportunity in a landscape that increasingly favours international brands. You could be one of those brands to cross international borders!
Growth in Household Income

It takes two to tango. With consumers already keen on showing off their wealth through their expenditure, brands have to respond to this growing income by creating brand desire. It is most logical and cost efficient to focus on relevant target segments, and this is precisely what TPM offers our advertisers. 

TPM is strong in the Indonesia Out-of-Home market. Through means such as large-scale billboards and airport advertising, our clients are assured that their advertisements are actively engaging the target consumers in a dynamic way.

On another note, global ad expenditure is also forecasted to grow strong this 2012, picking up during this period for the Euro 2012 Football Championship, the Olympics, and the November US elections- expecting to pull in a whopping US$6.3 million altogether!
Euro 2012 Football Championships
Olympics 2012
November US 2012 Elections

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cannes Lions Awards 2012

It's the time of the year when thousands of delegates worldwide attend the renowned ad festival. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is essentially a global event for those working in advertising and related fields - to attend seminars and workshops, and to view shortlisted masterpieces from around the world. 

Zooming in on the Outdoor Lions category from a long list of awards, the following advertisement which won the prestigious Outdoor Lions Grand Prix Award immediately caught our eye:
As part of their ongoing global marketing campaign named "Open Happiness", The Coca-Cola Company's purpose was to convey in the simplest way imaginable the spirit of sharing, friendship, and happiness that is sparked each time a bottle of coke is passed from one hand to another. 

Penetrating into a market like China where lifestyle and landscapes are usually cluttered, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather China, Graham Fink, was looking for a design that stood out above the rest. He says, "In a market like China where clutter is the norm, the simple lines and hyper-minimalistic design, which even leaves out Coke's logo, are a show-stopping example of 'less is more'". 

The design you see on the award-winning advertisement actually follows a simple equation like this:

The iconic imagery comprise only two elements in the entire visual, which are both trademarks of Coke as well as worldwide icons that everyone can identify with: the "Dynamic Ribbon" and the "Contour Bottle". And stemming from all forms of publicity, any advertisement would receive their +ves and -ves.

Many felt that this design was "inherently universal", allowing people from any state or country to be able to identify the brand behind the ad without any modification at all. Critics also thought it was simple and easy to understand, fully supportive of the concept that less is indeed more. On the other hand, some were critical of this concept, citing that the design was oversimplified that it turned out looking like a logo instead of an ad with a message. To each his own, I guess, as we all know- one man's meat is another man's poison. 

The other masterpiece that attained the Outdoor Lions Grand Prix Award is that of The Invisible Drive from Mercedes-Benz. The idea and execution are highly impressive and is definitely worth a few minutes of your time. 

That's all for the Outdoor Lions Grand Prix Award for now, stay tuned for the shortlists and winners from the Titanium & Integrated Lions Category that will be released shortly! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Moralistic Teachings on Billboard as Giant a Reminder on Good Values

One of our giant billboard in Singapore, at Sim Lim Tower, was featured in the Singapore Chinese Newspapers, Lian He Zao Bao, and the Lian He Wan Bao on 2012 April 24. The billboard was featured due its prominent size and its even more prominent message - which promotes the Chinese values. To quote the direct message from the client: "Love and Respect Our Parents Tops all Vitures; Sexual Misconduct is the root of all evils". The client's objective of putting up this billboard is to promote moralistic teachings and wishes to remain anonymous.
Lian He Wan Bao Feature 2012 Apr 24

Given the recent cases of alleged corruption scandal within the government ranks of the local government, this message is timely. Furthermore the large size of this billboard has also created a huge impact resulting in this newspaper feature. Our colleague Jessie was also quoted in the newspaper report.
Lian He Zao Bao Feature 2012 Apr 24
Type your summary here Type rest of the post here

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Digital Out-of-Home and The Hairy Billboard / Beardboard

Digital Out-of-Home is more than the hardware. It is too simplistic to consider the use of a LED screen or LCD screen as Digital Out of Home. While Augmented Reality (AR) and Quick Response (QR) codes have created an interface for some interactivity, I do not see them as true convergence of the Digital and Out-of-Home media.

One of my favourite applications of AR is the Hugo Boss’ Black Magic store promotion in London for Christmas 2009. As for QR codes application, my favourite applications is the Emart’s Shadow-Activated QR Code. The QR code was scannable only in the middle of the day which is the targeted time for the Emart as it is the worst performing time for Emart. To quote David Griner, , it is a “great example of a marketer finding a way to turn QR codes into something actually worth scanning."

Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled communications' applications in advertising is also on the verge of becoming mainstream. Both the Wired magazine and JCDecaux have completed their NFC trials on their own media platform. NFC rides on the proliferation of smart phones amongst the general public. As shared by my colleague Daniel - that the Singapore government has launched out plans to make NFC readily available, however this trend could take a bit more incubation as NFC requires both the smart phones and its SIM card be NFC ready.

Bronx Shoes Billboard/ "Beardboard": Early days of the "Five O'clock Shadow"

Bronx Shoes in Cape Town, South Africa had launched a Digital Out-of-Home campaign recently that got me really excited about Digital Out-of-Home. This campaign has provided a mechanism, Facebook and a Billboard, that allows events on the digital dimension to have a direct and perpetual effect on the physical Out-of-Home dimension. I think this is Digital Out-of-Home.

Succinctly summarised by Jonathan Anker on this article Things get hairy on South African billboard.

[The Bronx Shoes campaign is essentially an] interactive beard-board featuring remote-controlled strands of hair that grow with each Facebook 'Like'.

We can now officially do anything just by sitting in front of a computer -- including making some giant dude's beard grow on a billboard halfway around the world.” How it works: Well, it's little old-school, a little new-school -- specifically, pulleys n' rope and computer servers. There are more than 600 strands of "hair" (rope, actually) on the Cape Town, South Africa, beard-board and about three inches are rolled out by pulley each time a new "Like" is detected by a computer inside the ad. The billboard is about two stories tall, so the journey from stubble to lumberjack (like, real lumberjack, not urban lumberjack) may take a little while at just three inches per strand, per like.

Still, you can watch the beard fill-out in real time courtesy of this live stream of the billboard. It's pretty exciting stuff ... for anyone who's ever found watching paint dry a bit too action-packed. 

The company's Facebook app is here. And the token reward has been won by the person who "grows" the beard and shares the page with the most people, by the end of April. She will receive six free pairs of shoes from Bronx Shoes.

Bronx Shoes Billboard/ "Beardboard": Last days of the "Five O'clock Shadow"
Quite old-school, quite new-school but more so, it allows the Digital and the physical Out-of-Home have a direct effect on the other. Quite thought-provoking.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Yangon, Myanmar Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising or Out-of-Home advertising is most effective for marketers that are (1) launching a new brand or product in any city (2) doing marketing in a developing country for the following reasons:

(1) Launch of New Brands and Products: Outdoor advertising provides new brands a big impact feel and helps mark the cityscape that announces the presence of a new brand in town. It is a bit like driving an elephant through main street 24/7 in the key areas of the city. Outdoor advertising will definately make the target audience notice.

(2) Marketing in a Developing Country: Most other mass media such as television or newspapers have inherent barriers to audience such as language and literacy issues or simply the cost of buying a television. Furthermore, such content media are either heavily fragmented or highly limited - ie 26 newspapers in Sri Lanka which has a population of about 20mil.

Looking at the supply spectrum of Outdoor advertising in developing countries, the city centre are usually very defined and limited in scope to ensure perfect targeting. Nothing like a picture to say a thousand words! Thus Outdoor advertising can provide a high value proposition for maximum ROI.

Outdoor advertising in Myanmar is one of the key means to reach out to your target audience. This is a paranoma view of the most prominent cross junction in Yangon. It is the cross junction of Sule Pagoda Road and Bogyoke Aung San Road; better known as the junction opposite Traders' Hotel and Sakura Towers. It is also where Bogyoke Market and the Yangon Central Railway are. Bogyoke Market, or Central Market is a major tourist destination with dozens of tiny stalls selling antique, Burmese handicraft and jewellery, art and clothing. Burmese jewellery are very famous especially for Burmese Jade. Many locals also go there for medicine, foodstuffs, garments, foreign goods and currency exchange.

Myanmar is under much global attention these days as it sheds its isolation. In fact, I can personally attest to how Myanmar is struggling to handle new surge in visitors as I scrambled to secure confirmed flights and hotel bookings for my trip a couple of weeks ago in Mar 2012.

Yesterday, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, won her first bid for a seat in parliament. This is a watershed event of good and more things for Myanmar in the near future. 

Aside from Yangon, other key cities in Myanmar include Naypyidaw, its capital city, as well as Mandalay. On my way to Naypyidaw, I spotted this amazing sight. Perhaps I should run a "funny caption contest" on this.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

iLight Marina Bay 2012

As part of the iLight Marina Bay 2012 festival, the ArtScience Museum was the backdrop of an amazing 3D projection by Hexagon Solution Singapore.

As white and as smooth as it can be - the ArtScience Museum certainly manifested true art and science with this performance. A marvelous sight to behold.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Solus Outdoor Advertising


[saw-loos; Eng. soh-luhs]
adjective Latin .
(referring to a man) alone; by oneself (used formerly in stage directions).

It is common enough media jargon word: An article on "Media Promotion: How Promotion Is Accomplished" (link here)defines a 'Solus' Position: It implies that there is no adjacent advertisement. Large 'supersite' outdoor advertisements occupy isolated or 'solus' sites often decorated with gardens and given extended visibility by means of floodlights. A single advertisement on the page likewise enjoys a 'solus' position.

Having a solus outdoor advertising or a solus billboard is important especially when we are considering corporate branding messages. As the viewing distance is very far, the recommended display format is open neon or channel lettering to create a spectacular effect. However, such formats are not always technically or regulatory feasible, so frontlit displays are also common. A solus outdoor advertising display is also usually in a prominent location or a significant location which adds to the prestige of such a corporate branding sign.

Are you looking for a spectacular, high profile solus outdoor advertising display or a solus billboard?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Water Tower Branding, Outdoor Advertising Phnom Penh Cambodia

Water Tower Branding, Outdoor Advertising Phnom Penh Cambodia
Unique execution of some special OOH medium; we even had opportunities for Airport Control Tower branding once in Indonesia. OOH, the sky's the limit!

And I think many are doing the skies already...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunscreen Ad Billboard - Making Use of the Sun

Originally published on psfk, by Emma Hutchings:

Developed by AgenciaClick Isobar, this billboard for Nivea sunscreen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, features a mosaic made up of 1 million white beads that become colorful when exposed to the sun. The creative advertisement is on display in the sunshine during the day and at night offers a teaser message.

The artist even used the sunscreen itself on the beads to create different shades on the coloured beads! I like this sunscreen already! Watch how this amazing mosaic is made in the youtube video

Sunday, January 29, 2012

QR Technology Are Effective On Billboards Too

Contributed by our colleague, Stephen:

With marketers exploring more interactivity between brands and customers, Quick Response Technology (QR Technology) has become increasingly popular especially in the outdoor advertising realm.

TPM Outdoor’s latest client,, embarked on an Out-of-Home advertising campaign to promote its financial portal using QR technology at our Furama Hotel giant billboard. The lightbox, strategically located at the city centre is an ideal location for passersby and vehicles from the CBD area and international visitors to the nearby Central Business District (CBD). It is also a key advertisement billboard display to target those heading into Shenton Way via Havelock Road in Singapore.

A QR code which consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background was printed on the lower left hand corner of the lightbox banner. The user than uses a camera phone with a QR code reader application to scan over it. This application then directs the user to the financial portal.

Contrary to common beliefs that billboards are too high and distant for the user to scan, TPM Outdoor have several locations with billboards low enough for the user to participate.

Back to, the code was estimated to be about 1.5 m from the ground level and the user conducted the scan at about 10m away from the lightbox.

It works!

Billboards not only deliver the big impact, the strong message and also the interactivity and beyond. Billboards are more than static boards; Billboards can deliver across multiple platforms and will be part of the media landscape in future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chinese New Year in Chinatown

Chinatown Singapore greets visitors with a 108-metre long 3D water dragon and eight other dragons for the Chinese New Year 2012 celebrations this year. These dragons symbolise longevity and prosperity and are part of the annual Chinatown light up festivities.

Chinatown is the second largest shopping belt after Orchard Road in Singapore. It stretches from the start of Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, Garden Bridge, inner streets of Chinatown and all the way to Havelock Road and beyond. Notable shopping malls include People's Park Complex, People's Park Centre and The Central etc.

Some of our clients that are showcasing their branding during this Chinese New Year period include and Seiko watch. Other regular clients include Winning Marketing for their winter wear line and the telcos that are targeting the tourists in the area for pre-paid services.

This annual event is one of the key highlights of Chinatown and this year it is set to attract more than two million people over the next few weeks. More details on this special event here 

Capture the spirit of Chinese New Year of joy and happiness through our giant billboards today.