Saturday, February 28, 2015

DesignTaxi: Designer Imagines Tokyo Without Its Iconic Advertisements And Billboards

Visual clutter versus visual enhancement?
Visually pleasing or visually disturbing?

This could apply to an overall cityscape, a flower arrangement, even a person. As long as it is done well, then the debate that is really in the eyes of the beholder and a matter of creating and keeping the standards. The right to police ourselves, a mutual respect for the environment and for others is the highest form of an evolved society and not be subjected to regulations, punishment and a cycle which is exhausting for both the industry players and the industry regulators.

So, before that rant above - the question I had -
Visual clutter versus visual enhancement?
Visually pleasing or visually disturbing?

 I recently discovered an exciting new resource at Design Taxi and I have inserted the link at the side panel which directs to the billboard related ones only. One of them which strikes me well - "Designer Imagines Tokyo Without Its Iconic Advertisements And Billboards"

The article from DesignTaxi as such - Full link to the article here 

One of the more prominent features of the bustling city of Tokyo is its advertisements which saturate the city's architecture. The many billboards that feature promotions, events or shops are a familiar sight to residents and visitors. French graphic designer, Nicolas Damiens imagines how Tokyo would be like without the ads in his personal project, Tokyo No Ads.
How did we recognize Tokyo from a single glance?
How did the iconic billboards make it more alive?

Other articles on Tokyo and its advertisements/ LED art etc are here:
2009 Aug 23 - Life-sized Google Map Markers In Tokyo! 
2012 Dec 11 - Tokyo Highlights - Advertising Museum and LED Art Gallery 
2012 Dec 12 - Tokyo Highlights - OOH Advertising

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Singapore Tourism: Year in Review 2014

The Singapore Tourism Board just released its "Singapore Tourism: Year in Review 2014" on its website. The link is found here and there was a quick infographic featured on the Straits Times a couple of weeks ago.

Some highlights from the report and personal viewpoints -
Highlights from the report
Tourism Sector Performance & Market Insights ​
- TR held steady despite macro challenges such as regional socio-political issues, a new China Tourism Law, intensifying competition from the region and an uncertain global economic outlook. - - - While IVA declined by 3.1%, from 15.6mil in 2013 to 15.1mil in 2014, visitors are staying longer and spending more.​
-  Chinese and Australian Visitors registered a longer length of stay and a higher Per Capita Expenditure.​

Personal Observations
- Tourism arrivals have dropped since 2010 or even earlier, but I only have the summary from 2010.
- Friends from the region have found Singapore to be too expensive both in terms of our dollar strength as well as the costs of lodging, food and the taxi queues. All these compared with the travel experience in the region which is now more accessible and fun ie. Indonesians now with more flights to Hong Kong, Korea etc with more food options.

It would have been interesting to compare the statistics from the Changi Airport. The 2014 statistics should be published soon, let's make do with the 2013 summary weblink can be found here - these are what I found interesting: 

Top 10 cities 1) Jakarta 2) Hong Kong 3) Kuala Lumpur 4) Bangkok 5) Manila 6) Denpasar, Bali 7) Tokyo 8) Sydney 9) Taipei 10) Ho Chi Minh City 

 PASSENGER NUMBERS Average number of passengers arriving & departing per day: 136,738 Number of passengers arriving and departing in 2013: 53.7 million Busiest day ever recorded (passenger numbers): 21 December 2013 with 191,819 passengers Busiest month ever recorded (passenger numbers): December 2013 with 5.12 million passengers Busiest year ever recorded (passenger numbers): 2013 with 53.7 million passengers Percentage of transfer passengers in 2013: 30% Percentage of premium passengers in 2013: 10%

2015 will definitely be a more challenging year, and on top of all the initiatives planned by STB, I call for more flexibility and freshness in our tourism sector ie. such as more Air BnB. Singapore is small enough to managed all these fun ways of doing the same things. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chinese New Year in Chinatown Singapore - Light up and Countdown Ceremony

The official light-up and opening ceremony at Chinatown marks the start of the Chinese New Year 2015 celebrations in Singapore on 31 January. The other big night for this Chinese New Year event will be on 18 Feb for the countdown from the year of the Horse into the year of the Goat year.

Year of the Horse in 2014 at the Eu Tong Sen Cross Junction towards CTE featuring Daikin billboard

Year of the Goat in 2015 at the Eu Tong Sen Cross Junction towards CTE featuring Serta billboard

The busy roads of Eu Tong Sen and Upper Cross Street are closed on these 2 nights (31 Jan for the lighting up ceremony and 18 Feb for the New Year countdown in Singapore Chinatown)  for visitors to take in the sights and sounds of the festivities with amazing visual effects and lively stage performances. The street light up will last from 31 Jan onward for a month - lots of time for Singaporeans and foreign visitors to Singapore to soak up the atmosphere.

Given the unusual late date of the Chinese New Year this year, we had lots of time to prepare for the new year and yes, make more creative insinuations about it in our advertising as well. Serta was one client of ours that played up the Goat/ Sheep year with its Counting Sheep mascot. 

IKEA wished everyone one with a "Goat Xi Fa Cai" on their print, online, in-house and transit advertising this year. 

Other clients that advertised during this period included the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Macau Tourism, Daikin, Spring Airlines, M1, Kai May trading for their various products such as Taiwan Beer, Sweet Touch, Guylian chocolates etc. Other big events this busy busy part of Singapore coming up for 2015 includes the upcoming August 9 - 2015 to celebrate SG 50 together as well as for the Mid-Autumn festival light up on Sept 6 (TBC) - as the actual day falls on 27 Sept 2015.

Exciting times!

Photo Credits: TPM Outdoor,, - whose website's bandwidth was exceed over the busy-ness of this year's interest on Chinatown!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Designtaxi - Playful IKEA Billboards Poke Fun At Its Self-Assembly Furniture

To my horror, and once in a blue blue cheese moon, we do commit installation errors in our outdoor advertising installation. And then I see this at - Playful IKEA Billboards Poke Fun At Its Self-Assembly Furniture - when being wrong gets the right message across.

Taken from Designtaxi - If you’ve ever owned a piece of IKEA furniture, you’ll know that they can be surprisingly tricky to assemble even with the instructions provided. 
 To illustrate this fact, the Swedish furniture brand has unveiled billboards that playfully poke fun at its self-assembly products. Dubbed ‘Assembly Fail’, the billboards feature jumbled posters advertising its assembly service with the tagline “Our assembly service is happy to help.” 
 They were created by Hamburg-based agency thjnk, who previously came up with these family tree ads and an RGB billboard for the brand.

The RGB billboard was posted in this blog here 
Very very very smart and great use of the outdoor media and the content.