Saturday, May 31, 2008

Honda is crazy!!

These guys are crazy! Out of their mind! And that's what makes this ad so freaking cool! Only ONE chance, and there were moments, you don't even know they will make it. The length they go to, not as an advertising agency or for the sake of pleasing a client or advocating a brand that puts the bread on the table or winning metals and papers. This video clearly demonstrates that these people have faith. Faith not just in typical ad business talk, 'you got to believe in the brand you're selling and bla bla bla' but believing in the most important person in the value chain of creation - you. That they are here to do their job and do it in the most definitive way possible. To tell the world what Honda means and were even willing to risk their lives to ensure a job is more than well done. This is absolutely mind-blowing. Makes me wanna work for Honda, hell. Makes me wanna sell Sparks, pack my toothbrush, run off to Wieden Kennedy London and beg them to give me shelter. Simply because I too believe that in order to 'create', especially in this business, our business, the ad business, there should be no boundaries. And these boundaries are not the stupid boundaries we so often impose on ourselves, lame excuses of budget limitations, team players who don't grow balls, and whatever else. There are limitations in whatever business we do, if there's no limitation, then where lies the challenge? To me, the phrase 'difficult is worth doing' isn't just merely an advertising phrase. It just so happens that it's Honda's campaign concept. It really should be how we work as professionals, isn't it? If we're serious about creation. If we're serious about bringing values to people whom we're trying to communicate with. Then we should take the road less travelled! Darn! These guys are good!


Indonesia' broadband penetration stands at around 8 to 10% compared to Malaysia. Small figure you say? That's an equivalent to 20 million users. That's more than 70% of our total population size already. Although a struggling country in many aspects, but that does not stop them in playing catch up with the world. I wonder what prospects await digital businesses there. Hmm...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Honda Racing NSX-GT

Click to go.
The sleepless nights only get better and better.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What on earth...?

What prompts a brand to rip its values apart and fight on sheer naked cost?

"Just print out the confirmed booking from MAS and I will pay the difference. As for the sub-Zero Fare, which will be launched in the next few days, it will be cheaper than zero,” said Fernandes in an interview. - The Star, 6 May 08

I've always thought Tony was a brand man, I guess I thought wrong looking at how both Air Asia and MAS are taking the fight outside. I mean who could be benefiting from this? Firefly? This reminds me of the 3 year (or more maybe?) war waged in the mobile service playing field. It took everyone to bleed to stop the costly battle (yet celcos are still laughing to the bank, sigh, oh what margins!). Now, we're looking at another. Is there any other way Malaysian brands can offer value to consumers without having to cut each other's throat? Throwing zero cost products and services out like that is like throwing toys out of the playpen. Well, but then again, that's strictly from a business point of view. But as for being the consumer's voice and an avid traveller, I'd say, bring it on!! (I'm just glad I'm not the agency in charge).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.

All the videos I've watched and all that I've heard about ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot can't compare to when I finally met him in person. He is one darn thing. Totally mechanical, yet able to draw uncounted people through his ability to inspire and empathize. Areas we human, so often failed to do. Why is it so?

Watch Asimo teach, practise dance and basically how he fits into our family, our lives seamlessly. In fact, you can watch him live in Honda's Fan Fun Lab in Motegi circuit, Japan.

And then, watch him in awe.

*TVC by W+K London

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sign of caution.

What does this 'P' driving sticker truly mean? Yes, we all know it means 'Probational Driver' in Malaysia which you need to stick it on the front and back of your windscreen so that it projects high visibility to other road users. But really, what does it mean?

Is this merely a sign to signal other 'unfriendly' road users to be patient and give way? Or is it to tell other drivers that there is a newbie on the road. And the newbie, sometimes becomes the unruly one for various incomprehensible show off factors, which we need to beware of? You won't believe how much power men (or women) wield when they get behind the wheels. Which reminds me of an insight we discovered a couple of years ago when pitching for the Ministry of Transport. When people get behind wheels, they morph into different beings. Cold, impatient, rude, spiteful and they can even speak French when provoked (a different kind of French that is). Can't imagine that being your girl-next-door colleague, or your kids-hugging-wife-kissing dad, right? Yea, we all morph into horrible beings when behind wheels. You and I.

Someone told me that her mom puts the P sticker on even when she doesn't need to because she thinks it's 'safer'. What other meanings can we find in this sticker which is unintended but significant? Is it really safer when we see a P driver? Safer to whom? Or is the letter P another lame excuse for lame driving skills? Speaking of having stickers to signal caution to other drivers, Japan has a special one for elderly drivers who are 70 and above (70, if I'm not mistaken). Can we adopt something similar here? Can we have different stickers to signal different sort of drivers behind wheels such as the elderly, the handicapped, the pregnant, etc? Sharing more specific information like this, would it help people to change their expectations, attitude and behavior when they see different sort of stickers? Well, I think helping people to be more aware of the surroundings simply helps them to react better. No?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dream the impossible dream.

Compare this

with this

DETROIT, U.S.A., April 23, 2008– ASIMO will focus attention on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's (DSO) nationally acclaimed music programs for young people in Detroit by conducting the orchestra as it performs "Impossible Dream" to open a special concert performance with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at 8 p.m, Tuesday, May 13. Honda hopes ASIMO's appearance will draw attention to the DSO's music education programs, and particularly the DSO's effort to encourage and support involvement of children in Detroit.

In addition, ASIMO will demonstrate its unique capabilities for hundreds of area school children at 10:45 a.m, May 14 prior to a specially arranged master class in Orchestra Hall, where a select group of music students will receive personal music instruction from Yo-Yo Ma. In attendance will be students from the Detroit School of Arts (DSA), Detroit Renaissance and Cass Technical high schools, as well as from schools across metro Detroit and Windsor, Canada. ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is designed to help people and will someday assist the elderly and disabled in their homes. But while Honda continues to develop and enhance ASIMO's capabilities, ASIMO is being used today to encourage and inspire young students to consider studies in math and science. The addition of music education to ASIMO's repertoire is a natural extension of these efforts. (Honda Worldwide Website)

Someday, all our dreams will come true...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The secret of Japan.

Am back. Shop's open, work resumes as per usual. Sigh.

A good sigh for a good trip :)

Anyway, one of the best parts of my trip was to finally be able to articulate what I thought was amiss in my own country. The habit of always, not resting, not giving excuses, not dampening others' efforts, to always, ALWAYS find a solution to every problem. That's the essence of Japan's entire being. The secret to their success. So if you want to be successful, emulate that.

But of course, there are many supporting but significant factors which continuously spur this spirit of innovation. One of the many is volume. With a population size of approximately 127 million, they have enough volume to almost support any sort of invention. Whether or not it takes flight or flop is a different story. The inventions almost always evolve from the initial concept anyway, constantly improved on which explains why everytime you fly with JAL, you'll be pleasantly surprised in the little improvements made here and there. And why everytime you fly with MAS, it's same old same old, you can almost rehearse the safety script with the Malaysian Girl :)

Imagine niche inventions evolving into bigger ones, combining with other concepts, constantly changing and meeting more needs, solving more problems, serving a bigger purpose. Like an amoeba. Except this one, instead of dividing itself to survive, it keeps swallowing the smaller ones causing it to grow bigger and bigger by the day. Countries with the will but not the volume needed to support it, will have to take bigger risks and higher investments to pursue innovative concepts. It could be a longer route (and a more expensive one) but it will get there. Countries such as South Korea maybe? Taiwan? Singapore? But countries with volume that can swallow up the globe, unfortunately may not have the same mindset and/or skill set (yet). They will also take some time to fully realise their potential. India? China? Brazil?

How about Malaysia? Will we one day be able to catch this thinking? Even if we're 100 million heads behind?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Brand showroom.

Consumers have evolved. Period. At least the urban ones have, becoming smarter, pickier and more distinguished in their choice of brand. Most often that not, this post-modern consumer who is bombarded with thousands of parity brands, make his or her choice based on an alignment of values - obviously between him or herself and the brand. When functionality and/or functional difference are/is out of the equation, then it all boils down to values, the shared vision and interests. If people really do buy brands like they make friends, then we really ought to think about the hospitality we're currently giving to our 'friends' when they visit. Audi did it right although it's not the first, following many other megabrands. Having a brand showroom versus a car showroom, provides customers an experience which definitely lacks in the usual dealer showroom. Long long ago, in far away lands, other brands have already been creating concept stores to showcase products, innovations, history and concepts - Sony has their Sony Centre (for your information, Sony Building in Ginza has been there wayyyy before our dear KLCC), Toyota has its Megaweb, Honda has its mother of all brand showrooms in the form of a circuit in Motegi, Adidas has its Original Store and Apple obviously did not lose out.

I don't think it's necessary for a cool brand to own a conceptual space. Neither do I think its a sure ticket to cool-dom. I think what matters is what do you have to say to your customers whom you want to make friends with? Building a relationship means opening up your past, creating present moments and working towards the future together. It means shared interests, values and respect for each other. Isn't this how we all make friends since the day we dropped our diapers? How did we manage to forget such basic rule?

p/s: Audi Forum? Nice :) check back for some juicy R8s