Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When the testing stops, the manipulation stops too?

Recently read an article on Campaign Brief with regards to the latest 'facial coding technology' by Milward Brown.

Says Daren Poole (global brand director for Link, Milward Brown's existing copy testing solution): "Traditional methods of measuring emotion are not always capable of capturing a true emotional response. Facial coding allows us to track how a person really responds, rather than what they claim to have felt. There's no substitute for a real smile, laugh or frown and for the first time in Australia we can measure this all in the viewer's home environment. 

"Facial coding as part of Link can measure factors such as how well it captures a viewer's attention, how they respond to it and ultimately provide guidance in the analysis of the ad's impact on the brand. If a campaign is pushing the boundaries in terms or humour or controversy this is a controlled means to test how consumers really respond."

Neuromarketing is almost like the perfect matrimony between science and art.  Finally, marketers can make scientific sense out of the art business (called communication or more crudely some say, advertising) via MRI scans.  Getting neuro-scientists to decipher brain activity when 'respondents' are exposed to different storyboards, subsequently helps them to put the dollar on the best one that brings the most profitable emotion home (kaching).

It may sound fine and dandy and even awesome initially, as Morgan Spurlock professed after one of these scans, that he wanted a Coke but didn't know why (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold).  That is how powerful an ad message can be.  More explanation of the usage of MRI scans in marketing here:

Now.  Let us pause for a minute.  Let's take a minute to consider the effects of such testing in Political Marketing.  Are we still in awe?  Let's take another minute to consider the result of neuromarketing in say... pharmaceutical business?  Are you just burnt out from 21st century-living that a good old vacation can't fix or do you really need to be fixed with a drug?

I always felt FGDs fall short of something - people are back-rationalizing what they did in a room with a two-way mirror hence making findings a lot less accurate.  Gives you a sense of direction but hardly provides any crux to the issue.  But to now pay them to sleep through scanners?  Hmm.

I've always thought marketing or advertising as a courtship.  Between us and the consumer.  You don't really know what makes them click unless you put (a hell lot of) effort in trying to understand their world.  It's like a real relationship isn't it?  No effort, no depth.  If you don't bother finding out what they like, dislike, what makes their heart pulpitate and what makes it stop, you'll never develop that dream partnership of a companion they truly want to exist!

Well, hang on a sec.  That's where neuromarketing comes in.  Pay them, scan them, and they'll fall in love with you because amidst of the 10 storyboards of words, surely you must have said something right.  And them walking out of the room, falling in love with you but have no idea why.  And yea, you sustain that relationship as long as they don't fall in love with someone else.  And you extrapolate the findings and make hundreds and thousands and millions of others fall in love with a can of whatever-you're-selling.  Brill.

But that takes away so much romance isn't it?  Whatever happened to good old ethnography?

Neuroscience in consumer courtship - aye or nay?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Does the rise of crime make us 'Spiderman' in our own rights?

It's an appalling situation.  In Malaysia, it's deemed not safe to walk alone, in pairs, in triples, in groups.  It's not safe for man, woman, young, old.  It's not safe to park your car, pick up your car, drive on the road and heaven-forbid, stop at the lights. It's not safe if you accidentally hit someone's car, or someone hit your car.  It's not safe to be out and about and it's also not safe to be at home.  It's just.  Complicatedly not safe.

Not to scare you guys who are potential visitors to our lovely country, please come.  So far, we've not heard a lot of cases involving foreigners.  You see, we get robbed by foreigners (apparently).  So, tourists should definitely be fine.

When these heinous crimes go unattended by the local police force, it is natural for the citizens to take matters into their own hands.  The upside which I've seen: People are more bothered to look out for one another within their own network.  Detailed information is shared on Facebook and travels through many many many degrees thereafter, tagged with apt advice for people to be kinder, and more alert to their surroundings.  The downside?  Some unlucky 'baddies' who unfortunately were not able to make a run as fast as they've planned got beaten up, ran over, and God knows how else they were punished before they were handed over to the police.  It's bad that our faith in our law-enforcer is at an all-time low.  But for us to enforce 'law' as deemed justified in that situation?  Well, I don't have an answer.  It's a very grey area.

I suppose this is what happens when the official law-enforcement system is not upheld with integrity and trust.  It forces citizens to become your neighbourhood 'Spiderman/woman'.  The burning question is: This 'unofficial' system seems to work fine if everyone one of us are on the same defining page of what is 'good' and what is 'bad'.  'Good' - protect one another.  'Bad' - beat bad people up.  'Good' - share criminal 'hotspots' to warn one another.  'Bad' - share bloodied criminals so it becomes a lesson to other wannabes.  What happens if we're not on the same page anymore?

Hmm.  Has this noble responsibility of fighting crimes make us better people?  Or.  Worse?  I don't know.  You tell me.

Car Thief Got Beaten like CRAP shared by jovi jun from honda club lover it seems they were trying to steal one of the honda club member car, which they treat like their wife and all of them beat them up before the cops came, they took their photo just in case they do it again to warn others - PJ Community Alert.

Stopping crime and punishing criminals are poles apart.  Strategic or scare tactic?  Prevention or punishment?  Which do we do first?  Check-in with ourselves or cast that stone?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to receive Joy?

Love with faithfulness,
Without idolising and infatuation,
Or blinded obsession,
Love without pride,
Without being consumed,
Always remember to give it due rest,
Love out of gratitude,
And love to overcome anger,
Love without cheating,
Love not things that can be stolen,
Love truthfully without lying,
Love without jealousy.

Then truly truly truly you will receive Joy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Good Samaritan Shop.: VANS checked zap-on canvas.

The Good Samaritan Shop.: VANS checked zap-on canvas.: I got these Vans from Greece, originally priced at RM 279.75 :) Size: UK 3.5 EUR 36 JPN 22.5cm Colour and design: Checked turquoise a...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Good Samaritan Shop.: 24" Raleigh Pioneer XC Bike.

The Good Samaritan Shop.: 24" Raleigh Pioneer XC Bike.: Donated by a Good Samaritan! Size: Good for both male and female teenagers (4' 5" - 4' 9", 135 - 145cm) Colour and design: 24" wheel wi...

Monday, August 6, 2012

De-pressurizing a national hero so that he can finally win.

Last night, 28 million Malaysians witnessed a heartbreaking moment.  Yes, we were disappointed with the lost of our first gold medal from just 2 points away, but that wasn't the most heart-wrenching part.  Our hearts broke when our dear champion, Lee Chong Wei fought hard to hold back his tears on the silver podium.

He was just two points away.  And it was a really extremely eye-opening heart-gripping 3-match game between him and China's Lin Dan.

I've always thought that Lin Dan was a faster player.  His speed is almost unmortal-like.  Every time Chong Wei is fast, Lin Dan is faster.  Always seemed to be half a second faster and that half a second seems to make a hell lot of difference.

Or is it?

Personally, watching Chong Wei played so many games against his nemesis, I think they are just getting better and better, feeding on each other's skill and upping the challenge.  Well, Chong Wei is definitely getting better and better, closing his scores against Lin Dan in every match.  Though he always carries a cool, calm and collected posture, we could only imagine what it must have felt to have the hopes of an entire nation rested upon one shoulder.  His.  Every time.  All the time.

And therefore I thought, perhaps the secret to winning Lin Dan is not about his physical skill, which to me, Chong Wei is already pretty immaculate.  Perhaps the way to win the game is for him to have a strong second national player.  A competition.  A partner.  Someone to help him shoulder the nation's hope, someone who can half his burden, so that he can finally concentrate on winning the opponent on the other side of the net.  And not focusing on how he would be disappointing millions if he doesn't bring back the championship.  The single biggest proof of this is when he tweeted, 'I'm sorry' after the match.  And you know it's not a physical fight that he has succumbed to but a mental one.  I mean why on earth would a 2-point-to-Gold Olympian who arose from hundreds of other professional players to bag a silver at the Olympics apologise?  If it wasn't because he felt that he HAD to and that he had disappointed millions.  Lin Dan could hack it because he has Chen Long and if it wasn't Chen Long, there are a troop of others (athletes can be manufactured in China anyway).  But who can Chong Wei rely on?

The strategy of winning isn't just focusing on the match at the time of game.  Perhaps, it's really to look outside-the-box and search the core of the problem and fixing that first.  Offload his shoulders, Malaysian team!  Step up.  You have to really step up if you want Chong Wei to win.  Ironic isn't it?  In order for one person to win, you need a few more to rise up.

Anyway, this is just MHO.  And I guess to have Chong Wei as our national emblem, we are already winners. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can we FREAKING STOP plagiarizing already!?



DAMN IT!  If you're a Malaysian, you'd get what my 'damn it' means!  Didn't Picasso teach us to STEAL but DON'T copy?  And if you want to steal, steal it with class yo! Daymnnnnnnn... all these Merdeka sh*t is an insult to our creative industry!

Malaysia needs better management and accountability!

No, seriously.

Read this:

And then read my support mail (to-ed, cc-ed and bcc-ed):

Dear big shots of MPO,

I'm sending this email because of two reasons.
1) The published article regarding your... 'management' decision on laying off 9 musicians for NO REASON:, and 2) I'm a HUGE ARDENT FAN of the MPO. 

 Just by reading the article, I was really disappointed.  Even if it was a 'cost-cutting' measure that needs to be done, I'm preeeeeeeeeeeeetty sure there are other ways than to just lay-off resources as your immediate priority.  Maybe you've done your calculations and all that she-bang and came to this final decision, maybe you still carry that 'age-old' Malaysian government mentality of, 'So what?  I throw money out there, there are THOUSANDS who would play for us', or maybe someone will sack you if you don't sack them, well I don't know.  The maybes can be quite creative if leave to public interpretations.  Therefore, I urge you respond with an official press release so that we can view the situation as a whole and not in half.  I still give you the benefit of doubt and still believe there is such thing as 'innocent till proven guilty' though not widely practised in this country.  So... for the sake of MPO's reputation that it's able to continue to churn quality music and raise the appreciation of classical orchestras in this nation and beyond,... say something?  And please... say something intelligent (you don't want to follow the footsteps of the local government).  Petronas is the country's cash cow, EVERYONE knows that.  If we stop pumping unnecessary money to the government's alternative agenda, I'm pretty sure we could sustain 900 of these mentioned musicians and maybe more :)

Looking forward to your reply.

Cheers and looking forward to your 2012/13 season!  Very good line-up and it'd be a shame to have the stage empty, no?


And then your turn to support.

Sigh. Shame shame.