we have heard it many times before – a picture captures a thousand words. this picture has 10 words in it but beyond that, the picture speaks of a thousand unspoken words on what the picture is communicating, the title of the picture “judgement”. or how women are judged on the length of her skirt or dress. we don’t just enjoy looking, we also enjoy attaching one of the 10 words based on the length of the dress or skirt about the woman wearing it.
it is a very simple picture and yet it communicates the message very well, with utmost ease and in a very provocative way. words need not be used to communicate the message, we just have to look at the picture.
this is one of the amazing pictures we have even seen in our entire career.
Rosea Lake, Vancouver Student, Posts Powerful ‘Judgments’ Photo Of Skirt Lengths (PHOTO)
Prudish. Flirty. Whore. Proper. Cheeky. Slut. These are just a few of the words that could be used to describe a woman’s sexual behavior based on her appearance alone, and 18-year-old college freshman Rosea Lake chose to display them starkly — on a young woman’s legs in a photo that has since gone viral. (Scroll down to see the image.)
Lake, who studies graphic design and illustration at Capilano University in Vancouver, never thought she’d become an Internet sensation when she posted her“Judgments” photo project to her Tumblr on January 5th. But something about the picture struck a chord with those who saw it, and within 24 hours the image had been re-blogged 100,000 times.
i got a surprising knock at my house from LBC – they delivered an odd sized package to me. quickly, i made a mental audit – am i expecting a package or document from anyone? the quick answer was – none. bells in my mind rang! oh, is this a surprise from someone?
i opened the pack and i found a mailer from Ford on their new car, the Focus. i checked the envelope and yes it was addressed to me and it had my address. i wondered if it was sent to “occupant” or if it was sent to my house by mistake. no such mistake.
i was impressed with the direct mailing effort of Ford!
it was impressive as this was the first direct mail i got through LBC and this was addressed specifically to me. sending direct mail through LBC is a very expensive proposition. LBC cost alone is a killer of advertising budgets.
the other thing that is equally impressive was that it was specifically for me. i was surprised they got my name and address. coming from marketing and advertising myself, i have for many years not given out my name, address and even cell phone number to almost anyone or any organization that i thought can turn my personal information into data in a direct mail effort.
the most i do is sign my name when asked by any organization, including the schools of my children, retail outlets, stores or any other organization. when an address is required, all i put is the city name, not the complete address. for telephone or cell phone numbers, i would usually put some random number and very far from my real cell phone number.
this ford focus mailer was very targeted, having the ability to reach potential buyers. a targeted direct mail effort is very difficult for many direct mail agencies to pull off. this means this direct mail agency has a very good data base.
although i was impressed with the direct mail effort, i was not at all impressed with the mailer material they sent out.
the main weakness of the mailer is that it is just a re-layout of their print ads and a restating of the key elements of their TV ad. not saying the mailer should have a different advertising strategy and ad components from the TV and print ad, as they should have the same but they should have changed the execution and implementation of the elements.
the mailer does not look like a mailer, it looks like a print ad but printed in glossy paper and folded. except for the letter that came with it, the mailer had nothing in it from a design and content standpoint that will get the recipient to take action or even just enjoy the mailer.
aside from coming up with a new design appropriate for a mailer, it should have some elements that exploit the mailer format medium. it could have been more interactive or leading where the recipient will want to read, interact with or manipulate the mailer because it is interesting or creative.
the Focus has a few features that are unique in the market and potentially very attractive to potential car buyers. while these were mentioned in the mailer, it was not exploited in a way that is creative and compelling.
the mailer as an advertising medium is self contained and has the target audience practically as captive, designing the mailer to exploit the great features of the car and the characteristics of the medium would have served Ford very well.
another key weakness of this mailer is that it does not include some kind of an incentive for the recipient to take action – for the recipient to go to the Ford showroom and look at the car or as the letter suggests to test drive the car.
the end objective of this mailer is not just to generate awareness on the features of the car, it is to get the target audience to go to the showroom to look and test drive the car. the weak design of the mailer fails in achieving this key objective.
the mailer may succeed in informing the target audience of the features of the car but it may be failing in getting them to take action.
lacking this incentive and the weakness of the design and concept makes this mailer a WAWAM! What A Waste Of Advertising Money!
we will be going to a Ford showroom to complete the experience and effort of this mailer. will post a write-up here.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
competitive advertising is one of the most effective advertising concept and format. competitive advertising takes many forms, one is calling out the weakness of your competitor to set up your brand as the superior brand to the inferiority of your competitor. it is one of the most effective as consumers will always go for the superior brand.
not only that, users of your competitive brand, the inferior brand will be encouraged to switch to your brand. that is the main reason why smart telco has launched a new advertising campaign.
globe, it’s only other competitor has been experiencing network problems for many months now.
globe service has been very unreliable with frequent downtime, inconsistent signal strength, fluctuating signal strength from zero to 2 bars, 30 minute to several hours of receiving and sending text and inability of subscribers to make calls. this has been happening to globe for several months now. this happens area to area but the other weekend the globe system apparently failed metro manila wide.
smart very smartly exploited the inferiority of service that globe has been showing by launching an national ad campaign calling out globe’s network failures. the advertising objective is to get globe subscribers to switch to smart and to prevent new subscribers from going to globe.
this move of smart is very unusual from an advertising strategy standpoint. ads like what smart ran are usually aired by new brands just launching into the market, not by a brand that has been in the market for almost as long as globe is. newly introduced brands use this type of advertising to get loyal consumers of competitive brands already in the market to switch to the new entrant.
globe has been having network problems as a result of a mismanagement of their switch over to a new hardware and system from chinese supplier Huawei which was supposed to upgrade their service – faster service and bigger handling capacity. the change over is so bad that it is wrecking havoc to globe service. (read link, above)
smart obviously knew this as you don’t normally run ad campaigns that feature competitive weaknesses that can easily be solved and quickly. doing that will waste advertising money. smart must have known that the network problems of globe will be going on for a long time that they can actually air an ad campaign on it. smart’s competitive ad campaign has bite only if globe continues to have an inferior product.
this cellphone service war can very well be named as – how your own upgrade can kill yourself.
carlo p arvisu
bayo finally does the right thing by recognizing their error, not making excuses for it, apologizing for their error and announcing they will pull out the offensive ad campaign.
By Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.com · Thursday, June 7, 2012 · 11:06 pm
On Thursday evening, an official statement issued by the company through its VP for Product Research and Development, Lyn Agustin, said: “We at BAYO deeply apologize for the message our campaign—‘What’s Your Mix?’—has unintentionally conveyed. We would like to express our regret to those who have been offended or felt discriminated against.
“Our company and our partners have always taken pride in being pro-Filipino as we continue to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements. We believe that being a Filipino will always make you 100% beautiful. It is unfortunate that this message got lost along the way.
“We thank everyone who has shown support for our thrust of promoting Filipino beauty, talent, and creativity.”
In a phone interview with Bayo’s GM Pinky Estrebillo, the clothing brand’s executive said that the company will also temporarily bring down all its billboards with the said ads. The campaign, she said, was conceptualized by its in-house creative team with the help of a consultant.
the statements of apology no longer come from the spokesperson but two other company officials. that is a good move. the spokesperson who released a statement first did not do a good job at it and we even think may have harmed the brand even more by attempting to rationalize their error.
they should have released the latest statement of apology and ad recall at the very start. people have been offended by the ads,. no amount of debate, argument or excuses can change that. making excuses for the error will only deepen the hurt and prolong the agony of a failed and insulting ad campaign.
what’s next for bayo?
1. new ad campaign – quick! they need to release a new ad campaign quickly. this may take longer than usual as they need to do some very serious thinking on the next ad campaign. this will be a tough assignment as the new ad campaign need to take into consideration the ill effects of mixed race ad campaign.
they need to find the correct balance. in a situation like this, doing too little and too much are both detrimental to the brand. will they ignore what happened? or will they recognize it?
very serious strategic thinking need to be applied on the next ad campaign. more importantly, they should do things other than just advertising. a holistic, strategy driven and integrated effort need to be done.
2. comprehensive PR campaign – now! while they are developing their new ads, they need to go on a PR offensive to smooth things out with the public and their target market.
equally important, they need to do a PR campaign for their suppliers, the malls that house their retail outlets and their employees. for sure many of their partners and employees feel demoralized from what happened. bayo needs to restore confidence and faith on the company and company management.
3. get rid of the consultant, do not engage in house communication group to do next ad campaign – the press statement said a consultant and their in house communication group did the ads. getting them to do the next ad campaign will be counter productive. getting them involve will not result to good things as they will for sure feel defensive and tainted.
4. re-train and re-tool in store dealing with customers by sales personnel - byo should not forget that being a retail operation, the company does have direct contact with their customers at the stores. theirs is unlike mass consumer goods marketers whose contact with the customers is mostly through advertising. people who buy a bottle of coke or sanitary napkin for example just go to the stores and buy the product, no other interaction takes place with the customer.
that is not true with retail stores. the clothing company actually has direct contact with their customers via the sales ladies in their retail stores. these sales ladies need to be given guidelines and training as to how they will behave and what to say to customers. for sure the bayo sales ladies will be faced with questions on the ad campaign by customers. they need to know what to say and how to say it.
5. completely drop the mixed race advertising campaign, not even with a ten foot pole – they should NOT, not even put a hint on the mixed race campaign.
the fact is the ad campaign they had was a race-driven campaign, it was not even about clothes or fashion, it was about race. race and religion are the two things in this world that no advertising or brand should have in their advertising campaign. race and religion are always very touchy subject matters where the line between doing good for the brand and doing bad is a very, very thin line.
to begin with, the advertising strategy for their mixed race ad campaign was a total failure. the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed-fashion which is not unique to their brand and something that other clothing companies can claim. it is a very generic claim that does not build brand equity for them.
just to simplify the point, they could have for example sold their clothing line on the basis of having the best yellow color in the industry. that is ownable and unique . mixed fashion is not.
the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed race, zeroing in on the celebrity talents they had in their ads. race has nothing to do with clothes or fashion.
this ad campaign is a celebrity endorsement ad campaign gone wrong and done badly. they took the idea of celebrity endorsement ad campaign to the extreme – selling their endorsers instead of the product which is clothes.
this is the weakness of the philippine advertising industry as a whole. the ad industry in this country knows nothing else but celebrity endorsement ad campaigns. a huge 80% to 90% of the total ads aired on tv and radio and published in print feature celebrity endorsers. celebrity endorsement has become a go-to ad campaign concept for the industry. it has become the default ad campaign concept.
the bayo mixed-race ad campaign has taken that ad campaign concept to the extreme that they were already selling the mixed race element of their celebrity endorser rather than the clothes they were supposed to advertise.
in developing all of the above, the company needs to face the fact that they have offended the general public and their target market. not only that, most people will now know them as the clothing brand that insulted the filipino. that is no easy issue to face.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo p arvisu
we join the multitude of netizens condemning the bayo ad as anti-filipino. we join them as a filipino and as a marketing/advertising practitioner.
from the advertising and marketing standpoints, it is very unfortunate since bayo is one of the country’s local fashion shops who is doing well in the market with many outlets in almost all the major shopping malls in the country. there is nothing worst that any one brand can do in advertising than being anti-filipino for a filipino clothing line whose market are filipinos.
for us, there is no question on the meaning of this copy : “Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
filipinos with mixed blood are “beautiful and world class” while unsaid, the implication is clear that those with pure filipino blood are less beautiful and not world class.
there is no mistaking the meaning of that line. the whole intent of the line is to put “mixing” as a better or even superior option to the “pure” kind. of course they refer primarily to clothing choices but the reference to mixed races is clear. the use of an australian-filipino celebrity as model for the ad makes that crystal clear as well.
how can a filipino advertising agency and a filipino clothing company make such awful statements?
before that, let’s first go to a lesson in advertising 101 courtesy of the bayo spokesperson quoted by rappler.com
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.“
in fact the bayo spokesperson need to learn more than one advertising 101 lessons:
- do not release ads with words that are “badly put”. ads are supposed to make people feel good about the product being advertised. words used in ads are supposed to put the brand always in a good light. being put in a good light is definitely a necessity before desirability and purchase action kicks in. words in ads are as important as the pictures in them.
- “what you see is what you get“- that is one of the first things you learn when you take an advertising job for the first time after college. the audience absorbs what you put out in the ad, both in visuals and copy (words or text). visuals and copy contain your message/s. what you write and show in your ad is what the audience gets, not intentions, even good intentions as the bayo spokesperson was trying to say in his/her attempt to make a lame excuse for the ad. intentions are always invisible to the audience. so making a point of it when asked by media about a failed ad shows a very poor understanding of the communication and advertising philosophy and its dynamics. rather than say this, the spokesperson whould have just apologized for the error. we think this bayo spokesperson has done slightly worst than the ad agency that did the ad for bayo.
- release ads only if you are 100% sure it will build business – never, ever release an ad that is “open to misunderstanding” , even the with the slightest chance of “misunderstanding”. clients advertise because it wants to generate business. generating business through advertising demands brand building which includes brand image that leads to brand desirability which in turn leads to brand purchase. the ideal is to have advertising that generates all those positive points, the next best thing is “target market neutral” where they are not affected by the ad and neither are they repulsed by it. the worst of course is when the target market is repulsed by your ad. we have done this many times in our career in advertising – we junk ads that have in them even a single element that has even a slight chance of being interpreted as negative. the fact that an ad element has the chance of being interpreted as negative is like putting a tiny grenade in your handbag. it may be a small grenade but if something happens in your handbag, it can still explode. small negative elements in ads can be made bigger as your consumers talk about it and others who may have missed it are now made aware of it.
we think the “mixed race’ campaign idea in the ad has been brought about by the heightened national attention given to other “mixed race” celebrities that we have been recently admiring like the azkals soccer team, Robin Lim the winner of the CNN Heores, miami heat coach erik spoelstra and most recently just weeks ago, american idol runner up jessica sanchez just to name a few. the phenomenon of the celebrities with filipino blood being admired by the country is really a recent development, having started something like just in the past 4 to 5 years ago. the bayo ad wanted to ride on this bandwagon.
that is fine except that they used the idea of “mixed race” in a very wrong way. they wanted to create the analogy of mixed clothing is as good as mixed race. the mistake was that they put the idea of “mixed” on the superior level calling it “beautiful and world class”. the inclusion of ”world class’ plays up to the point i raised about the azkals, spoelstra, lim and sanchez who are all seen as world class.
it is twisted logic at its best. it takes the proposition from the backdoor, rather than a straight up communication of the message. it is an ad that is too intelligent. it asks the audience to go through a complicated thinking process to appreciate the message. “intelligent ads” are very tricky and prone to misinterpretation. these types of ads are very easy for the audience not to get what it means and or as it is in this case, to be misunderstood by them.
the creative team who wrote this ad cannot deny it – they were writing advertising with the intent of positioning the brand on a superiority platform. a superiority positioning is ALWAYS what creative writers aim for when they write advertising. superiority more often than not sells brands. consumers will hardly deny a brand that they think is superior over others.
that by itself is benign. a superiority positioning is the best kind of advertising. the problem is they referenced that brand superiority positioning with race – filipino mixed with other races versus pure filipino. that we think is more than insulting.
whenever we look at an advertising campaign, we always look for two things – what it says about the brand and if there are things in the ads that can generate negatives. having a hundred positives in an ad is turned worthless with even just one negative. that is the nature of advertising.
whenever we look at advertising research, we always look at the negatives and consider them in the decision making. in fact there are even advertising research tools that purposely look for negatives in ads.
advertising that works are those that are simple and easy to understand. having complicated ads not only result to poor communication, it can bring negatives to the brand as is the case in this bayo ad.
bottom line, it is a WAWAM – What A Waste Of Advertising Money.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
[VIRAL] Bayo’s ‘What’s your mix’ campaign earns ire of netizensBY RAPPLER.COM
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos on social media are reacting to a recently-launched campaign by local clothing brand Bayo.
The campaign, which caries the tagline, “What’s your mix?” features Filipino models of mixed descent accompanied by text that “breaks down” their genealogy.
The campaign in itself has been mildly controversial on social media, but one particular ad is being branded by netizens as “racist” and offensive.
The ad features Fil-Aussie Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and is accompanied by copy explaining the “What’s your mix?” concept.
“This is just all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces,” the copy reads.
“Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
The ad was never released on any of the brand’s social media accounts, a Bayo representative told Rappler; it was uploaded on their official website to explain the rationale behind the campaign.
One user, however, supposedly took a screen shot of the ad — that’s when it went viral.
Users on the thread cried foul over the ad’s implication that Filipinos of mixed descent are superior to others, while others said that reactions to the ad were exaggerated, adding that they didn’t see anything offensive in it.
“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.
“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.”
the department of tourism of the philippinjes just launched its new tourism advertising campaign, “it’s more fun in the philippines”. it’s a great tourism ad campaign and we have seen it’s execution in tv ads somewhat when ads were aired at CNN when the news network featured the philippines just a few weeks ago. how good are those ads aired at CNN? that will be for another topic.
one of advertising 101 principles is recency and relevance. this is pretty basic – for an ad to work you need it to talk to the audience of today. it does not matter what the age of the target audience is, the ad needs to feel, look and contain advertising promises and execution that says to the audience, the product being advertised exist right now and is talking to them right now.
just yesterday is one such event – jessica sanchez, the filipina-mexican-american 16 year old girl came in second in the very popular american idol singing reality tv show. jessica was born in the US, that’s where she got the “american” part while she has a mexican father and a filipina mother.
american idol is not only a popular tv show in the US but also all over the world. the show is closely followed by audiences worldwide. for most watching the telecast after it’s aired in the US and in this case social media giving a blow by blow account of the performances. it follows that the contestants who battle it out in the show also gain worldwide acclaim and popularity.
and this is where jessica sanchez and the DOT’s (department of tourism) tourism advertising campaign meet each other. the country’s tourism campaign by the nature of tourism being global, where tourists from all over the world is a target market makes jessica sanchez a natural choice for its ad campaign. aside from it is safe to assume jessica has a global following , jessica coming in as runner up at american idol says she has a very wide fan base in the US, one of the largest if not largest market for tourism for the country. the finale had a total of 130M votes, an american idol record. taking out multiple votes, at least 90 M people in the US know who jessica sanchez is. 90M people is the population size of some countries, like the philippines. having asian roots also make her a naturally strong magnet for tourists in asian countries.
bloggers and social media citizens have pointed out that based on social media responses to the results of the american idol finals, philip philips who won is the “american idol” but jessica sanchez is the “world idol”. jessica apparently has gotten more positive feedback from all over the world than philip philips had.
the recency factor is also a big plus for jessica as an effective endorser. but that also puts a lot of urgency for the department of tourism to sign up jessica for an ad campaign. getting her to appear in an ad sooner will be better for the campaign as a whole.
a tv ad featuring jessica necessarily will need to involve jessica to sing. it is what she is known for and it is what people worldwide admire her for. the DOT may p[erhaps commission a filipino song writer to write the jingle. there are many talented song writers in the country and for sure it will be easy to get a most appropriate one. this jingle needs to work well in english and in filipino. we;re thinking the ad needs to be shot in both languages.
the filipino version can be used mostly in the philippines and not only will that generate domestic tourism, it will unite and generate nationalistic pride among the pinoys. the onky question of course is can jessica sing in filipino?
jessica’s global popularity is a built in advantage for the tourism ad campaign. people not only know her but also admire her. having her in a tourism ad will automatically generate a lot of goodwill and call attention. it also helps a lot that pinoys in general like music and are known to be good singers. there is no hotel in asia that do not have filipino bands playing in the bar or restaurants. a tourism ad for the philippines that features a popular singer is a perfect combination.
the talent who will appear in the ad clearly determined, the only question will be what is the content of the tv ad. – what is the advertising strategy and what are the consumer insights. and how this will fold in nicely to the “it.s more fun on the philippines” concept. we think the last part is a must.
the risk of getting a popular endorser like jessica sanchez in an ad is that the ad agency forgets about strategies. insights and campaign concept and just write copy to exploit the power of the endorser. while this type of ads may pull in audience and recall, it will fail in building a brand for the country.
~~~mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo p arvisu
marketing & advertising 101 : how to apply hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product “family planning”
we have started a series of articles on our experience on applying hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product called “family planning”
this will be a first of a series of articles that will explore how hard core mass consumer marketing and advertising have been successfully applied to a near intangible product called “family planning”. the product “family planning” is actually a mindset and a practice and something you cannot buy like a detergent bar for washing clothes that you can get in a supermarket or sari-sari store (neighborhood store),while family planning can eventually take the form of real and tangible products like condoms or pills which has real brand names and packages that can be bought in retail and drug stores, what the effort intended to do was to get the target audience to buy in or believe in “family planning” and for the same target audience to decide to use any one of family planning methods available.source : http://bit.ly/ycZ5QI
in september 2000 a power point presentation was sent to the chief marketing officer of eastman kodak that essentially warned the company of a collapse of its business if it did not take action in response to the emerging changes in consumer habits and the market it operated in.
the market that kodak was operating then was fast changing brought about by stand alone digital cameras, cameras in cell phones, the computer and the internet. at that time less and less people were using cameras that needed film, and therefore less pictures were printed and more and more pictures were being shared electronically or digitally. while smartphones were not yet widespread then, cell phones already had basic cameras and were able to take acceptable pictures. cameras in cell phones was an emerging trend during that time.
that development among consumers were affecting the very market thatr kodak was operating in. it was starting to shrink at a rapid pace.
the change that was happening was among the consumers themselves. habits were being changed, usage was altered and consumers were substituting kodak products with other forms of products outside film and picture printing. this was a major revolution in consumer needs and wants. kodak in effect was becoming irrelevant to the consumer and not even considered as a choice or option.
the powerpoint presentation was not based on any consumer or market research or any business data. it was just based on observing what was happening to consumers, the environment and the author’s personal experience. it was calling for a major and almost reinvention of the marketing philosophy and strategy for kodak.
not having real data, it was not exhaustive but the idea was to spark some start page thinking and to develop a roadmap for a major change in strategy for kodak with the end view of not just growing the business but actually helping ensure its survival as a company.
the powerpoint presentation intended to paint a preliminary picture of changing consumer habits, needs and wants that will change the market that kodak was competing in for a change in marketing strategy for the company and eventually lead to new product development for the company that will probably be very different from what kodak was manufacturing and selling at that time.
the powerpoint presentation was sent to another marketing officer, a woman but no action was taken on it.
we wonder now what would have happened if kodak took the contents of the powerpoint presentation and how kodak would have avoided filing a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that it filed in january this year.
read the full powerpoint presentation here: KODAK Growth Focus
i have been monitoring the winter situation in the US almost on a daily basis since november last year. it has been a long wait for the real winter or at least for snow, the unofficial mascot of winter, it came late this winter in the US. snow only arrived middle of january instead of november or december of previous years.
having lived in snow-less asia all your life makes the arrival of snow both an exciting and daunting experience.
i remember the first time i saw snow in the US – it was in the early morning of a november month many years ago somewhere in new jersey where we stayed in a good friend’s house. we woke up early in the morning as we were flying back out to california. it was a shock, in a good way, to go out of the house and suddenly saw the whole neighborhood covered with a fine white snow blanket. color was absent except for white over every space. the place had color just the previous day!
it felt like we were looking at a painting of the place we have been staying in but the artist decided to put an abundant layer of white on the whole painting. it felt like a giant spray paint was used to lay on it an even spread of fine white snow. it was early morning and the painting was untouched and unbroken by anything, just beauty and wonderment in white snow.
it was really spectacular and would have wanted to get a near boil coffee in a mug, get thick blankets and sit on the porch and enjoy the view. but we didn’t have time to enjoy it as we needed to catch our flight back to california.
we were going to be driving to the airport and our host was good enough to give us a briefing on what to expect and what to do in driving through snow, it would be our first time to do that. aside from getting the all important briefing on driving through snow, we also needed to load our stuff into the rental which does not leave us a lot of time. more than half of the things we had belong to my 3-year-old daughter.
my android cellphone and ipod touch have the Weather Channel applications on them, even a widget on the android so that it automatically tracks and informs me of weather changes in boston. i woke up last saturday, manila time with tiny specks of snow on the weather channel application on my android phone. i immediately sent an email to boston asking – “have you seen snow yet?”.
i got an email reply, no words, just 4 pictures probably taken from a cellphone or ipod touch camera.
the reply was yet the most eloquent i ever got on email. it did that for many reasons beyond the pictures sent to me. it’s like some invisible melody coming from some place deep. this email, even without words talked straight to my heart and my heart spoke back.
time seemed to have stood still in the pictures. i wondered if seeing snow for the first time this way, which was very much like what we saw years ago evoked the same kind of feelings i felt then.
the first picture, above, is one taken from inside a window looking out to the scene outside. it reminded me of how many things have changed. things from the inside and the outside. in this picture life seemed to have changed in a very major way in over just a day so it seems. it was a familiar place because you saw it every day but now all of it seems gone, the same place redefined in a major way. while many have changed, you knew it is the same place.
all of it looking very different and yet it is the same place and knowing that with certainty. there is no contradiction there. it’s just how time and seasons operate and how it affects us and our lives in ways that sometimes we don’t understand and without permission. there is comfort there and mixed with some mystery. that is what happens when you see from the inside looking out.
i felt different things when i saw the picture above. while it seemed solitary and even sad, i saw a kiss, next a wave good bye and soon enough i see footsteps breaking the snow as they move away from me.
the footsteps will eventually go past my field of vision, beyond what i can see. and that is a good thing. more than what i can see means pathways i was unable to reach now conquered. that is always reason to be happy.
the good thing about pathways is that if it is there for the going, it is also there for the coming. in afternoons already too many to count, that has always happened. a doorbell, the same kiss and this time a hug instead of a wave good bye happened with regularity. the unsettled returns to what it was from the day that started in the morning.
but this is now snow. that is a whole different story altogether. i had broken snow myself on a pathway just a few times a long time ago. this new pathway and this snow will be broken almost everyday and soon it will be too many to count as well, made by different footsteps and not mine.
for now, i can only hope that this pathway returns to me eventually, in some future time. for sure not on a daily basis but at least once in awhile and that will be enough to fill the waiting and the half empty heart with overflowing joy.
the 3 year old is now 18 and in her hand, this time wearing red gloves, is snow. the picture above.
the snow was pressed , i can see her fingers’ indention on the snow. she went out, scooped some snow in her hand and pressed it to get a feel of snow. that is perhaps to make sure she is really there in boston. it is a good way to experience snow for the first time. it’s a very natural thing to do – squeeze the snow as if to find out what it is made of. i would have done the same.
it is also a very good way to answer the question i emailed her – “have you seen snow yet?”.
i immediately remembered that picture of hers, one of my favorites, when she was 3 when we went to New York. we had to bundle her up, with multiple layers of clothing as it was her first time to experience winter. coming from sunny philippines all her life, catching a cold is a key concern, 24/7.
for some reason she decided that her little hands held high and her face tilted with a big smile just like it is in that picture, above, will be the only pose she will ever have in that US trip. so all her pictures during that US trip had her in that exact pose. we didn’t bother asking her why she chose that pose nor did we ask her to change to other poses. it made her happy, so we let her be.
why is it that during her first trip to winter in New York when she was 3 that her hands were most prominent and now, 15 years after, she being 18 now, her first encounter with snow, the same hand is also prominent? it feels like some poetic string sprouted from that time , grew and traveled 15 years through time to this moment in that boston picture.
they are the same hands, its just that then they were from a 3 year old in that picture and now from an 18 year old holding snow.
i have read in baby books that the infant is born without yet knowing her body parts and that included her hands. the books said there will come a time when the baby will realize she has hands.
i was there when that happened to her.
it was an afternoon, she was on the bed, after a nice warm bath and she momentarily stopped wiggling her feet. i saw her whole body sort of freeze, then she stared at her hand, fixed her gaze at it then moved her head to follow it as she moved her hand from side to side. realizing what just happened, i quickly removed the cloth gloves we always put on her (prevents her from scratching her own face or poke her eye). i wanted her to see her own fingers too.
it happened exactly the way the baby books described it. it was sort of funny for me as i found the idea of not knowing you have hands sounded ridiculous and discovering it the way she did was even funnier. she looked silly keeping her gaze at her own hand and moving her head to follow her hand as she moved it.
while finding it funny, i felt a beautiful warm feeling came over me. i knew she has reached a new milestone in her life., just 3 months old. it felt good and i felt very honored to be right there to witness it when it happened. it was very special for a father to be right there with your daughter as she crossed a milestone, no matter how small it is. this was the first beginning of a new phase in her life that i had witnessed and through the years, there were many more firsts that i had witnessed.
a little sadness, more like missing her that i felt when i saw that picture of snow for the first time being in her hand. with oceans separating us, i could only experience it with her through an emailed picture. how i wish i was with her.
i had seen the same hands do many things for the first time – taking it out of her mouth from finger sucking to holding a nursing bottle to pulling at my arm and pressing my hand when she felt terrified while watching a scary movie to getting comfort as the doctor gave her an injection.
i saw that hand through different times of her life – from her first discovery that she had hands, to teaching her how to use that hand to hold things, to getting comfort and strength from me, to holding it to give her affection to a wave good bye at the airport. it has now grown to almost the size of my hand. that boston picture of snow in hand told it to me so eloquently – she is an adult now and all that i can do for now is to see what those hands are doing with several time zones separating us through a picture sent by email.
the upside is those hands that she discovered when she was 3 months old, then raised for pictures at 3 years old and now holding snow at 18 for sure will be doing great things that i will enjoy and be proud of soon enough. there is something in that a hand meant to touch is being able to touch my heart without physical contact. while i smile, my heart cries a little.
to bring back some warmth to my heart, i search for one end of that poetic string and attach it to my heart. then i heard my heart whisper through that string – ”you are missed badly. and loved completely. then, now and forever.”
~~ a love letter to happiness ~~
the willie revillame mess at his tv show “willing willie” has taken a higher level discussion now from the question was there child abuse in revillame’s show or none to what is philippine tv and should it be?
we applaud monique wilson for speaking out and for urging other filipino talents to speak their minds on the issue. she makes a very good point that in recent years we have been seeing more and more
filipinos breaking out and being admired in the world stage. there is now a huge army of them with filipinos and half filipinos who have become and are hailed as world-class in their firleds from many persuasions – music, arts, sports, design, modeling, journalism, medicine, visual arts, business and many others.
with so many filipinos taking on the stature and reputation as being world-class, why is philippine tv doing a “dumb down” on the philippine audience?
Don’t dumb down viewers, TV urged
Actress, solon seek quality programs
by Volt Contreras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:11:00 04/11/2011
MANILA, Philippines—Even the theater star who brought “The Vagina Monologues” to the Philippine stage is aghast.
The list of Willie Revillame’s critics now includes acclaimed actress-director Monique Wilson, who called on local artists to band together, overcome fears of crossing potential employers, and help put the pressure on TV networks that “dumb down” the Filipino audience.
“We keep saying Filipino artists are world-class. Well, let’s prove it now,” Wilson wrote on her blog as she weighed in on the latest controversy hounding the game show host.
“The debate is no longer whether it was child abuse or not,” Wilson said, referring to the widely criticized episode of Revillame’s “Willing Willie” show on TV5 that had a 6-year-old boy gyrating like a macho dancer while breaking into tears for a P10,000 cash prize.
“The facts are plain to see. No one with a sense of respect for another human being can dispute that,” Wilson said.
“The discourse now is how we, as Filipinos, as artists involved in the same industry that created Willie Revillame and shows like his, could have allowed this to go on for as long as it has.”
in the last few days, we have been seeing in the news some local singers like ogie alcasid and kuh ledesma calling for the regulation of foreign acts holding concerts in the country. kuh ledesma was on the forefornt of that one. ogie alcasid on the other hand has suggested foreign acts should be taxed higher while the amusement tax levied on local artists should be removed.
all this noise from the local singers is being made as we approach valentine’s day. there is a large market for valentine’s day concerts in the philippiunes where many go out on dinner and concert dates. on that day, heavy traffic is expected the whole evening through early morning and all the restaurants, hotels and concert venues will be full.
producers of foreign acts know this and they have also made it a point to bring foreign acts to the country on valentines day or a few days before and after valentines itself. bringing the foreign acts to the country on or around valentines day ensures a market for them. there is a ready and willing set of concert goers for these acts even though they will need to pay much,much more for the concert tickets. after all, lovers will not scrimp on a valentine’s date.
why are the local artists calling for regulation and higher taxes?
well, the local singers are singing this tune because they know these foreign acts are very strong competitors for their own valentines concert plans. many if not all the local singers also have their own valentines concerts. they do this in all types of venues, hotels, restaurants big and small and for the brave ones big venues like he araneta coliseum.
in other words, the local signers are scared shit of competition.
is the solution regulation or banning foreign acts in the country or imposing higher amusement taxes on these foreign acts as the local singers are singing?
these local singers are suggesting these to basically ensure that the local singers have an audience during their valentines concerts, that the foreign acts do not siphon out all the concert goers and leave the venues of the local artists empty or not full. in other words, this is a question of their target market or their audience buying in to their concerts.
what are the local signers afraid of?
are local concert goers not buying tickets to local concerts because there are foreign acts around? or because tickets to foreign acts are cheap that as ogie alcasid is suggesting, the amusement tax on local acts need to be removed and the foreign acts increased?
they are all out of tune.
the reality is the prices of tickets of foreign acts as they stand now are already way costly versus local concerts, anywhere from 3 times to 5 times the cost of local acts. if price is the issue which the taxes are supposed to fix, then the foreign acts will not get an audience. but the fact is the foreign acts scheduled for valentines are already sold out since late last year when the tickets went on sale.
these foreign acts are being sold out for one reason – they are world-class performers, world-class singers and they have world-class acts.
we are talking here of someone like justin bieber who at the moment is one of the hottest acts not only in the US but all over the world. bieber has sold many millions of records worldwide. has won awards in the US and considered a phenom in the US music industry. that is the kind of entertainment and performance one buys in spending 3 tp 5 times more on a bieber ticket versus local concerts. and to us that is very much worth it.
if these foreign acts did not go to the philippines, the only way we can see them perform live is for us to fly to the US and watch one of their concerts there. how much is a plane ticket to the US? and how much will you need to spend in hotel and food just to watch a bieber concert in the US? spending 3 to 5 times more than a cost of a local concert ticket is definitely much cheaper than all of the above one needs to spend in the US.
the local artists need to accept that not only do they compete among themselves, they also compete with other singers from abroad. we do hear their songs on philippine radio, watch them on tv in their music videos and other US shows. we even hear the local singers perform their songs on tv almost on a daily basis.
and that is where the core of the problem of the local singers lie.
these foreign acts are popular not only in the philippines but all over the world because they sing and perform their own original songs! they have an audience basically because of the original songs they sing and perform. some of them have even started trends in music and have changed the music industry in the US and in the rest of the world.
bieber, swift and gaga have their own very distinct styles and universe. they are loved for their individuality and the messages they have in their songs.
our local singers cannot even compare to any of them. in this regard. when was the last time that kuh ledesma and ogie alcasid release an original song of theirs?
the local singers , ledesma and alcasid in particular need to accept that the local acts are nothing, as in zero compared to these foreign acts. the local singers are just that – singers. the foreign acts on the other hand are “acts”, “preformers”, “entertainers” and yes they do carry their own message both in terms of music and lyrics.
the foreign acts have set trends in the music world with their own unique brand of originality while the local artists have done nothing but sing the songs of foreign singers and composers. that is the reason why local concert goers do not mind buying concert tickets that are 3 to 5 times more expensive than local concerts. if the local singers want to compete with the foreign acts, then they should start singing their own original songs and setting the trends in the local music industry.
our local singers really need to stop being just singers but more being artists. that is what the foreign acts are – artists.
regulating the concerts of foreign acts will not stop the foreign acts from being popular in the country. we see them on tv and hear their songs on radio. tey are already famous and have a wide fan base in the country even without them being seen in the country in person. the local singers on the other hand are based in the country and we see them in our tv sets almost daily or at least weekly. but when we see them perform on tv, we hear them sing other people’s songs, often the very songs of the foreign acts that they want to regulate.
imposing higher amusement taxes on the foreign acts will also not do it. ticket price is not the issue. local concert goers do not buy the tickets of the foreign acts because they are cheap. these tickets in fact are already way too expensive. they buy them because of the artistry of these foreign acts. they like to see them perform the original songs they are famous for.
martin niviera in this article said it right – he is not afraid of the foreign acts because he knows what to do to compete with them. he says he will deliver a great concert to compete with the foreign acts. i do not think he meant original songs, but martin is on the right track. it’s a good beginning.
alcasid and ledesma on the other hand are way out of tune and yes very pitchy.
Ogie Alcasid wants higher tax rates for foreign actsabs-cbnNEWS.comPosted at 01/07/2011 5:30 PM | Updated as of 01/07/2011 5:30 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Amid all the preparations for his Valentine concert, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) board member Ogie Alcasid has also called for immediate regulation of foreign acts here in the country.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, Alcasid seconded Filipino pop diva Kuh Ledesma’s suggestion to regulate concerts of international recording artists in the Philippines.
He said higher tax rates must apply to international artists who wish to hold concerts here.
“We must push for higher taxes on foreign shows and lowering of taxation sa local concerts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Concert King Matin Niever and Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo refused to get affected by the upcoming foreign shows.
what? the starbucks logo has a siren? where? since when?
seriously, until now i did not realize the starbucks logo had a siren in it. i know there is some kind of image in it but i didn’t realize it is a siren until i read this whole new thing that is happening to starbucks.
starbucks on it’s 40th year anniversary has announced a change in it’s logo. – from a siren in the middle and around is a band of green with the words in white that says “starbucks coffee”. they have now changed that to having just the siren and the words all together taken out. the starbucks CEO says it is reflective of the changes that will happen for the companystarung this spring.
to me the starbucks logo are the words “Starbucks Coffee” in white over green, dominant, strong and very clean, very simple and great or in many cases those words on green. geea, they just removed the logo i am familiar with and like from their logo. it might be the end of the world!
we don’t get it – starbucks just removed from it’s logo their own name. and the one element that most people can relate to and have come to appreciate. they have removed the equity they have successfully built over the years and during the years when starbucks was most successful.
we think starbucks has 3 enduring brand equities – the logo and name, the decor and design of their shops and their coffee. they just removed 1 of 3 equities that they own.
with the siren logo without a name, what are we supposed to call starbucks now?
we can just see a new generation of consumers, those who are children and not yet coffee drinkers referring to starbucks as The Siren resto or as someoen attempted a similar thing – The Resto Without A Name.
we have seen that happen with Prince. prince built his act and popularity with the name prince. but for some reason and i am sure a stroke of genius in his mind, he changed his name into this characters or symbols that nobody understood, much more pronounce. (they had a sound?) with the name change, he was then called The Artist Withyout A Name or the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Prince eventually gave up on his creative idea and brought back his old name.
So now we have the same two options to call this resto – The Resto Without A Name (TRWAN?) or The Resto Formerly Known As Starbucks (TRFKAS?).
Oh, there is a 3rd option, people can call it The Siren. That is of course assuming it will be obvious to people the image in their logo is a siren. Come on, let’s face it, with that logo, people can vfery well call it Queen With Two Tails (QWTT?)
if starbucks persists on using this logo, we can have the next generation of starbucks consumers all confused and referring to their restaurant in many names other than starbucks or the options we have here.
why a big company with fiercely loyal customers will want to confuse their future customers is beyond us.
not that they are not having problems with their present customers. there is va firestorm being raised by its customers over the internet complaining and disliking the nameless logo. seriously, we think the starbucks logo is exactly like the Coke or Gap logos – you simply do not mess with it.
this is a WAWAM!
reason for change, from thestarbucks website (source: http://www.starbucks.com/blog/looking-forward-to-starbucks-next-chapter):
As we look forward to Starbucks next chapter, we see a world in which we are a vital part of over 16,000 neighborhoods around the world, in more than 50 countries, forming connections with millions of customers every day in our stores, in grocery aisles, at home and at work. Starbucks will continue to offer the highest-quality coffee, but we will offer other products as well – and while the integrity, quality and consistency of these products must remain true to who we are, our new brand identity will give us the freedom and flexibility to explore innovations and new channels of distribution that will keep us in step with our current customers and build strong connections with new customers.
You’ll begin to see our evolution starting this Spring. And there will be much more to come, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary by honoring the millions of customers and thousands of partners who’ve made Starbucks such a welcoming presence around the world. We think you’ll like what you see.
the creatives explain the design change, from the starbucks website (source: http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren
As a writer, though, I can tell you that there is a lot more to her than just the design and how she looks. This is what she means to me, and to us.
She is a storyteller, carrying the lore of Starbucks ahead, and remembering our past. In a lot of ways, she’s a muse –always there, inspiring us and pushing us ahead.
And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.
She means something different to every one who sees her, who knows her. For me she’s kind of the final say on the spirit of everything I write and everything we do. Even as I’m writing this, I wonder what she thinks. (She likes it, by the way.)
Here we are today. Our new evolution liberates the Siren from the outer ring, making her the true, welcoming face of Starbucks. For people all over the globe, she is a signal of the world’s finest coffee – and much more. She stands unbound, sharing our stories, inviting all of us in to explore, to find something new and to connect with each other. And as always, she is urging all of us forward to the next thing. After all, who can resist her?
webb et al SC acquittal – was a massive PR effort launched? did they have prior knowledge on decision?
some observations on this whole thing.
- a few weeks before the SC decision on the vizconde massacre acquitting webb et al, did you notice all of a sudden there was news articles and tv interviews were in media from the webbs?
- this case has been in the courts and i guess at the SC for a very long time and nothing has happened, then all of a sudden we got a barage of news bits on the case after 10 to 15 years.
- when things got heated up in the press, sometime within that time frame, lauro vizconde came out to say corruption and collusion has occurred among the SC justices on the case and that a decision was imminent. if i remember it right, lauro said there is one SC justice who is spearheading the effort of convincing the other justices to acquit.
- then even closer to the decision date of the SC, facebook accounts were set up detailing the defence of webb. this one centered on webb’s alibi that he was in the US when the crime was committed.
- prior to this, the defence’s legal team went to the SC to ask that a DNA test be conducted on the semen sample obtained from carmela vizconde. it was established that carmela was raped before she was killed.
- only to find out weeks after the semen sample has been lost, interestingly enough between the NBI and the local courts.
those were the events that transpired and now the SC released it’s decision on the case. some more observations:
- both defence and prosecution were surprised on the release of the decision, they did not expect it this soon.
- the SC decision to acquit webb et all was mostly centered on two things – the credibility of the star witness, jessica alfaro which the majority did not believe and the acceptance of the alibi of the defence.
- isn’t it too much of a coincidence that the facebook accounts of webb made a big deal of the alibi and that the SC decision to a large part accepted this alibi?
of course you can say conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen these days. i too like to watch oliver stone movies. but here is the thing – if you look at the whole thing, it does look like an excellent, well thought out , brilliant PR effort. the event pieces seem to fall precisely on their proper places that read like someone put together a PR plan behind the whole thing and executed it flawlessly. it also shows brilliant strategic thinking. this is a brilliant and classic PR effort.
we invite PR, advertising and marketing students to look into this matter more closely and study it. there is a lot to be learned and admired behind this effort (if it is a planned effort). if there are students out there reading this blog and would like to take this up as a class project or thesis, i will offer my services as advisor.
to start off the students, i would suggest the first thing you do is put together an exhaustive timeline on these media events from start to finish.
one last thing we left out – IF this was a planned PR effort, this also means one thing – the group who launched the PR effort knew in advance what the SC decision will be. lauro could be right.
we are printing here a very good article on what happened to the whole “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” branding exercise by the DOT. this is an interview with Yolly Ong and Marlene Villapando who are the top officers of Campaigns & Gray. the article gives an excellent view of what happened behind the scenes and how the much maligned lined came to be and not to be.
on a separate post, we will be giving our opinion on this one,.
in the meantime, together with the article were logo studies done by Campaigns & Gray on the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” concept. we are giving our point of view on them.
here are our views on the logo studies:
- we would have not chosen the top one, the one the DOT went with. while that logo showed some character, we think it was not unified and appears too flighty. we think it’s a weak logo.
- the biggest reason why we are not choosing it is that it is too close to the Poland logo. to us, it is an violation of intellectual property rights of the Poland logo.
- however we do like the images of the tarsier and the coconut tree in there. the tarsier in particular we think is the strongest of all the elements.
- we would have chosen anyone of these two logos – logo on the lower left side and the logo at the bottom.
- we think these logos are very unified and speaks very well of the “islands” in the country. going to the “islands” we think is one of the key reasons tourists go to a country to visit.
- we just have a slight suggestion on the choices we made – revise the rendition of the island to remove the possibility of it being seen an image of a face on its back.
SUNDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2010 18:56 MA. STELLA F. ARNALDO
Four hours before Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Vicente “Enteng” Romano III irrevocably resigned on November 23 from his post, accepting responsibility for the heavily criticized “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” brand/slogan, I was interviewing Yolanda “Yoly” Villanueva-Ong, group chairman of the much-maligned Campaigns & Grey at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, on the background of the branding effort.
Several executives of the advertising giant were having a planning seminar at the hotel, and, in fact, I jokingly asked if one of the conclusions from their seminar was, “Therefore, we resolve to never propose a project or have anything to do with the DOT again!” She tittered at this, seemingly unaffected by the storm that she and her agency got caught up in, all because, as she later explains, shortcuts were made, and there was lack of research.
As everyone knows, it was Campaigns & Grey which proposed the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan—along with four other choices mostly in English—but it was the one in Filipino that struck a chord with Romano and, ultimately, with Tourism Secretary Alberto “Bertie” Lim.
Here Yoly and Campaigns & Grey chief of corporate affairs Marilyn Villapando explain what went on in the making of the failed tourism brand, the reason for the use of Filipino in the slogan, and why they don’t consider the logo plagiarized.
So tell me, what usually is the process in creating a new brand, and how long does it usually take?
Ong: Depende rin ’yan kung sino cliente ha. Ang Procter & Gamble ang whole concept can be a year. In fact, planning can take one to two years kasi fiscal year sila. Palagay mo na, second half of the fiscal year, they start doing the planning and this is coming from a long-term three years…mahaba talaga ang vision nila for the brand. And as it comes closer, they flesh it out with programs and then everything, nothing airs without testing.
If you’re going to a new market, meron “insight mining” from the consumers. Although Asians, for example, have a lot of universal truths, siyempre me differentiations rin. It takes quite a while.
Of course, not everybody can afford that kind of process. Sometimes we do shortcut it, but always, always, always, before you produce, before you spend one centavo on any production before airing, you test. That is something we will never violate. Even on a 90-day political campaign, ite-test muna namin ’yan kahit pano.
Testing will come from your end or from their end?
Ong: We recommend the methodology. Sometimes we give guideline questions. In our case, we call a bid from among the capable research agencies depending on the scope. They provide a bid in addition to the guides, then we all agree on the final test questions, and in fact, we agree on the format kung ano’ng unang question. In an FDG (focus group discussion), for example, there is a rotation [of questions] if you’re testing several concepts. We agree what kind of definitions the panels will be—age, socioeconomic classes. In this particular case [DOT], ang recommendation namin is one group na nakapunta na sa Pilipinas at isang group na ’di pa nakakapunta sa Pilipinas. So that we will see talaga which concepts will resonate with them.
But beyond the logo and theme line, no production has been made whatsoever because the understanding is ipe-preview nila, tapos after the preview, ite-test market. ’Yun ang next step. In fact, we sent them the guide questions and we gave a recommendation na tawagin ’yung three international research agencies because the test will be in North America, our “low-lying fruit”—ang tawag nila dyan—Korea, Japan, China, ’yan ang main markets.
Then meron silang “missionary” markets—Europe and maybe Israel. Pero ang top [markets] based on last year’s number of tourists are Fil-migs [Filipino migrants] and Fil-Ams. Then Korea, China, Japan. So proposal namin, we will test the concepts in those markets. Not we ourselves ha, but by a proper research team. Ang recommendation nga namin is to ask a bid from TNS, kasi may international network sila, Milward Brown and AG Nielsen. After we give the guidelines, our suggestion was tawagin nyo yung tatlo para mag-bid.
You did that because they basically didn’t have a budget to pay you to do it?
Ong: We would have bid it out ourselves. ’Di kami gumawa ng research. Also because their [DOT] bidding process requires COA [approval].
So what did you really undertake for DOT? Branding? Marketing? Advertising? Ano ba talaga?
Ong: August ba tayo tinawag? (turns to Villapando) August tinawag kami and they were asking—si Enteng [was asking]—if we can do what we call a “brand architecture.” If they’re going to do a new brand to replace “WOW Philippines,” what is the process and what is the strategic approach they can use to arrive at a new brand. So ’yan ang initial request sa amin. So kami naman, ‘Enteng ’di pa nga kami binabayaran eh (referring to a P4-million medical tourism campaign Campaigns & Grey did in 2009 for the Philippine Visitors Convention Corp.).
So it was a friendly call na “huy, tulu ngan nyo naman ako…”?
Ong: Oo. In fairness, he asked us naman to try and write out a TOR [terms of reference]. Kasi ang sinasabi nya, after much haggling, the allocation for that exercise, was…(looks to Marilyn).
Villapando: The total proposal is P550,000 plus VAT. That’s the process. And the end of that is directional.
Ong: Kasi I was very conscious of the bidding process, kasi alam namin ’yan. Mahirap na, dapat i-bid out, ’pag executional already. And then somewhere along the way….
young writers win in the 2010 Palanca Awards – ateneo grade school student anton cabalza wins 2nd prize
Twelve-year old Anton Raphael S. Cabalza wrote an entry for this year’s Palanca Awards to make his summer break more worthwhile. Little did he know that his foray into the literary awards would make him the youngest contestant to ever win a Palanca.
His entry entitled “A Shot at Perfection” won 2nd prize in the Kabataan (Youth) Essay category participated by contestants 18 years old and below.
The Ateneo Grade 7 student, also the youngest member of Mensa Philippines in 2008 at 10 years old, said that this year’s environmental topic of the Kabataan Essay is something he feels strongly about: “The advocacy itself is something I consider supporting. As such, I felt the topic was something I could invest a lot of emotion and personal reactions in.”
It is certainly the season for young writers to win in Palanca as they also clinched coveted prizes traditionally dominated by more experienced writers. It is the first time that the competition has seen two teenagers win top prizes in the regular categories.
A sophomore taking up BA Political Science at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, 17-year old aspiring writer Miro Frances D. Capili won this year’s 1st Prize in the Kabataan Essay category and also the top prize at the regular Essay category. In 2008, Capili also won the top prize in the Kabataan Essay category.
For her Kabataan Essay-winning entry entitled “The Nature of Nurture,” Capili “thought of the moribund nature of environmental political policies and edicts, of how people have so little incentive to work for the environment. The Nature of Nurture aims to revive one’s inbred nature to nurture and put order to their surroundings.”
On the other hand, her winning entry in the regular Essay category entitled “Vinyl” is much more personal. Explained Capili, “Vinyl was a tribute to my father’s affinity for old things, particularly vinyl records. I’d say that one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from him was a respect for the past.” The essay began as a commentary on learning how to play vinyl records and from there evolved into a correlation between love and life.”
Capili admires the works of numerous writers like Annie Proulx, Roland Barthes, Albert Golbarth, Russell Banks among many others. A passionate young writer, Capili said, “We read to be reminded of every lilt and tug of the human condition. I believe that the best kind of writing is that which makes you tremble from either its excesses or its subtle affectivity.”
Another 17 year-old, an electronics engineering freshman at the Technological University of the Philippines-Manila, Christopher S. Rosales, not only won 1st prize in the Kabataan Sanaysay (the Filipino division for Kabataan Essay) category but also the top plum in the regular “Maikling Kwentong Pambata” category participated by all ages.
Rosales said that he intended to promote backyard gardening in his Kabataan Sanaysay entry “Gulayan Klasrum” because it will help the community. “I’ve always wanted to write about how we should be selfless about helping Mother Nature,” he said
Meantime, Rosales said that in writing his short story for children entitled “Si Berting, Ang Batang Uling”, he took inspiration from a dark-skinned classmate who is always the subject of jokes because of the color of his skin. He also made use of his fascination with the moon in his story.
A big fan of Filipino writers Edgardo Reyes, Ricky Lee, Lualhati Bautista, Eugene Evasco and Michael Coroza, Rosales said, “All my writings are based on real-life experiences. In my essay, I try to capture the emotions of the readers. In my short story for children, maybe it helped that I love to read children stories. I really don’t have experience in writing. I learned through reading.”
The interest of the younger generation to which Cabalza, Capili and Rosales belong is seen as key to perpetuating the literary tradition that has been in existence in the last six decades.
Cabalza said, “For me, the Palanca holds a unique significance for the youth who are right now at a stage wherein they are figuring out their paths in life. It can act as a tool of self-discovery, something that can guide us into finding our own meaning in life.
To this, Capili seemed to agree: “Reputable award-giving bodies such as the Palanca Foundation are necessary because young writers have much to learn from seasoned ones. Some writers need only an affirmation of their potential, often by means of receiving a coveted award, to begin taking writing seriously. For the past six decades, the awards have continuously motivated writers to work tirelessly at their craft, raising the bar of what is adjudged as ‘exceptional’ writing.”
Now on its 60th year, Palanca Awards has indeed been enriching the country’s cultural heritage by recognizing the best works from thousands of entries all over the country. What started as a small yet potent collection of six stories in 1951 has now grown into a wide and deep treasury of Philippine literature.
At present, the Carlos Palanca Foundation already has, in its collection, 514 short stories, 360 collections of poetry, 202 essays, 340 one-act plays, 176 full-length plays, 60 teleplays, 51 screenplays, 142 stories for children, 34 futuristic fiction stories, 71 student essays, 34 novels, and 10 collections of poetry for children. These works are compiled and made available to all researchers and lovers of literature at the Foundation library.
The collection of literary masterpieces include the works of Philippine National Artists for literature, namely Francisco Arcellana, Virgilio Almario, N.V.M. Gonzales, Amado V. Hernandez, Nick Joaquin, F. Sionil Jose, Bienvenido Lumbera, and Edith L. Tiempo.
This year’s winners include:
1st – Kristoffer G. Brugada (Patikul)
2nd – Jerry B. Gracio (Magdamag)
3rd – No Winner
Dulang Ganap ang Haba
1st – No Winner
2nd – Liza C. Magtoto (Rated PG)
3rd – Christian R. Vallez (Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter)
Dulang May Isang Yugto
1st – Nicolas B. Pichay (Isang Araw sa Karnabal)
2nd – Floy C. Quintos (Suor Clara)
3rd – Allan B. Lopez (Higit Pa Dito)
1st – Christopher S. Rosales (Gulayan Klasrum)
2nd – Marianito L. Dio Jr. (Ang Aking Pangalan, Ang Aking Kababata at ang Mithing Tilamsik para kay Third)
3rd – No Winner
1st – Carlos M. Piocos III (Guerra Cantos)
2nd — Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (Parokya)
3rd – Mark Anthony S. Angeles (Engkantado)
1st – No Winner
2nd – No Winner
3rd – Will P. Ortiz (May Puso Ang Saging)
1st – No Winner
2nd – Rommel B. Rodriguez (Toxic)
3rd – Thomas David F. Chavez (Sa Kabilang Lupalop ng Mahiwagang Kaharian)
Maikling Kwentong Pambata
1st – Christopher S. Rosales (Si Berting, ang Batang Uling)
2nd – Renerio R. Concepcion (Ang Kagilagilalas na Paglalakbay nina Mumo at Am-I)
3rd – Bernadette V. Neri (Parada ng mga Alingawngaw)
1st – Maria Clarissa N. Estuar (Ang Reyna ng mga Tumbong)
2nd – Ferdinand P. Jarin (D’Pol Pisigan Band)
3rd – Mark Gil M. Caparros (Sina Bunso at ang mga Batang Preso)
1st – Jay Crisostomo IV (God of the Machine)
2nd – Jorshinelle Taleon-Sonza (The Encounter)
3rd – Lito Casaje (Shooting the Boys)
1st – No Winner
2nd – No Winner
3rd – Peter Solis Nery (The Wide Ionian Sea)
1st – Ma. Elena L. Paulma (Three Kisses)
2nd – Ma. Rachelle Tesoro (Waiting for Rain)
3rd – Catherine Rose Galang Torres (Café Masala)
Short Story for Children
1st – Irene Carolina A. Sarmiento (Tabon Girl)
2nd – Hiyasmin Ledi C. Mattison (Little Bear Goes Home: A Love Story)
3rd – Grace D. Chong (I am an Apple)
1st – Merlie M. Alunan (Tales of the Spiderwoman)
2nd — Rafael Antonio C. San Diego (My Name in Reverse)
3rd – Joel H. Vega (Latitudes and Other Poems)
Poetry for Children
1st – Duffie Alejandrino H. Osental (After the Storm and Other Poems)
2nd – Patricia Marie Grace S. Gomez (Poems from the Pantry and Prehistoric Times)
3rd – Ma. Celine Anastasia P. Socrates (Playgrounds)
1st – Miro Frances D. Capili (Vinyl)
2nd – Florianne Marie L. Jimenez (Postcards from Somewhere)
3rd – Corinna Esperanza A. Nuqui (Library)
1st – Miro Frances D. Capili (The Nature of Nurture)
2nd — Anton Raphael S. Cabalza (A Shot at Perfection)
3rd – Catherine D. Tan (Green at Heart)
Short Story – Cebuano
1st – Richel G. Dorotan (Si Tarzan)
2nd — Jonecito R. Saguban (Tinuboang Sapatos)
3rd – Noel P. Tuazon (Patas)
Short Story – Iluko
1st – Sherma E. Benosa (Dagiti Pasugnod ni Angelo)
2nd – Ariel S. Tabag (Voice Tape)
3rd – Joel B. Manuel (Apo Bannual! Apo Bannual!)
Short Story – Hiligaynon
1st – Andy P. Perez (Bayuso)
2nd – Ferdinand L. Balino (Dumdumon Ko Ang Imo Guya)
3rd – Jesus C. Insilada, Ed. D. (Walingwaling)
we thing this should be the guidelines that should be imposed during hostage taking and terrorist attacks:
- the police or security forces have full control and authority of the whole situation, the area, media coverage and all other components relating to the event.
- this control, power and responsibility fully and exclusively rests on the field commander designated by the security establishment. all actions and decisions will be made by the commander and are final.
- a media point person will be designated by the security forces who will ensure compliance by media.
- media will occupy a specific area designated by the security force. media will not go out of this area. this area will ensure safety for media personnel, ensure security forces movements and actions are not compromised but allows media to take usable audio and video footages.
- at no point during the event will media establish any form of communication with the hostage taker, relatives and friends of the hostage taker, the negotiator, field commander and all other security forces in the area.
- media may not broadcast live the actions, positions and movements of all security forces in the area and those being sent to the area. this will include audio, video, descriptions, text, mobile, through telephone landlines and the internet.
- media may record the above but not use them for any live broadcast. they may choose to air these after the situation has been resolved.
- the field commander may ask for a news blackout which media will comply immediately.
- after the event has been resolved, media may interview the hostage taker, relatives and friends of the hostage taker and security personnel, security forces and medical personnel but can only do so after a debriefing has been done by the security forces and given clearance for media interview.
gray powell, the apple engineer who lost the iPhone 4th generation prototype should be fired from his job at apple.
he was totally irresponsible for losing that prototype. he has exposed apple’s trade secrets and the key components of their marketing strategies to competitors before the product was launched.
this is not just a cute media scoop where apple, a most secretive company, was exposed in media not on its own doing and not in its own terms but by “accident”, one committed by one of its engineers.
the effect is that it allowed apple’s competitors the best view ever in a product that apple is still about to be launched. the reason product design templates and concepts are being kept secret is to ensure your competitors do not know these so that they cannot pre-empt your efforts.
one of the most important and most successful strategies in marketing is to be the first in offering something to consumers. not only do you want to be first, you want to be first to offer the feature or design for as long as you can. competition may eventually catch up or copy the new feature in some way, but getting ahead of them captures core users and puts you ahead of everyone else.
that intent is also one of the reasons why you patent your designs and get copyright on stuff that you make. you do not want others having the same thing you have labored for.
that is called competitive advantage. apple is famous for competitive advantage and its previous successes were largely founded on it. in fact, a lot of it is founded on superior competitive advantage. apple products succeed not only because they are superior, but equally important they are unique in the market place. there is great value in being the best and being first, a marketing 101.
just look at the app store and itunes. they are mostly unique and it enjoys until now a superior competitive advantage. just imagine how different it would be for apple if the itunes and app store ideas were leaked to the press and apples competitors before they were launched.
because apple had competitive advantage and was the first on those two, these have propped apple, its ipod and iphone businesses to success, translating to huge revenues and even bigger profits.
look no further, the iphone, exactly the prototype that powell lost in that california bar is probably the best example of what secrecy and competitive advantage gives a brand.
a big part of the magic of the iphone to consumers was it’s uniqueness in the market place. that uniqueness was founded on the fact that apple’s competitors did not have a product quite like it.
apple products are known for their superior design and ability to satisfy consumer needs and wants with both almost always being the first to do so in a most effective way. getting the prototype out enabled it’s competitors to remove the advantage.
one of the unique features of the iphone 4G that we now know is a second camera at the face of the handset. no other mobile handset has that feature. with apple’s competitors knowing this now, how many of them are now designing new models with the same feature? would they have thought of it if we did not know about it when powell misplaced the prototype handset? or of they already had plans for it, knowing that apple will have it soon is good reason for them to speed up their own plans on having the same feature in their upcoming new handsets.
the prototype was lost on march 28 but we read about the loss only recently. that is a very long time for a prototype to be studied and figured out by engineers. there must be in someone’s computer a list of new design elements and new features of the yet to be released iphone 4G.
there are 2 key components in any electronic product – its physical components and software. the physical components gives you more than half of the features of the electronic gear. it can tell you capabilities, features and performance. gizmodo did take the prototype apart. they now know everything that the iphone 4G can do.
the loss of the iphone prototype and the subsequent release of its features to its competitors has a very direct impact on the business of apple. apple should respond accordingly by firing powell from his job for risking the iphone business, a core business for the company.
can powell ever be trusted again in apple? we do not think so. his peers and supervisors at apple would not be able to trust him again. it will also be foolish for apple to trust him again with anything.
powell put at risk 40% of apple’s total revenues as the iphone now accounts for that much based on apple’s 2nd quarter financial release announced recently. in other words, powell had in his hand a substantial slice of the business of the company that paid powell’s salary. he had in his hands at least 40% of apple’s future business whose trade secrets may now very well be in the hands of apple’s competitors.
we think it is the duty of apple to it’s stockholders and employees to fire powell from his job. in fact we think powell should be held criminally liable for the potential loss of business for apple.
anyone who owns an AAPL stock should complain to apple and demand that they fire powell from his job. powell put investments on AAPL at high risk.
(disclosure: we are a long term holder of AAPL stocks)
new developments :
april 27, 2010:
- Police poised to expand iPhone prototype probe
- Police seize blogger’s computers over iPhone prototype