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Pinoy speak as brand name – “Tisyu” (toylet peyper)

January 3, 2017 Leave a comment

with the brand name “Tisyu”, this is not a joke, there is no mistaking what kind of product it is, specially for Filipinos. (although we are guessing English speakers will get it too.) it is exactly how we say it. we may previously have not known how it is spelled, but now we do thanks to this brand of toylet peyper (this bit is all mine).

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i was  in the supermarket for other things and just happened to  pass this particular display. while i  as not looking to buy toilet paper, this brand called out to me and caught my attention, the brand name spoke loudly. how could i resist?

ok, so it made me laugh. but it is a registered brand name and the product  was on an island display  – in between the laughter, i had to take this brand seriously. an island display is the most expensive display in a supermarket.

the product is very proud of its brand name. it says so on the shelf – “proudly produktong pinoy”.

this is the marketing question – so we have here a product used to wipe what we do not want to touch with our bare hands under there, behind us that its brand positioning  that is on pinoy nationalism that one can’t miss because it’s actually on the brand name.

the big question is for this kind of product, is nationalism a motivator for purchase?

 

~~mindscape landmark ~~

ad visuals that kill interest – gross out potential subscribers

January 4, 2015 Leave a comment

we saw this ad at facebook. it is an ad for an iOS app where all you do is say the foreign words and the app will translate the words into your preferred language for you to understand what they mean.

that is potentially a great idea for an app except that the app is being sold using this visual in the ad.

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i don’t know about you but to me nothing in that visual is pleasing or inviting. it is gross, scary and feels very, very painful. i don’t know how many FB users will find that visual appealing or enticing for them to go to the app store to buy the app because of that visual.

one of the principles in good advertising is visuals that work hard. one way to achieve that is have an image that visualizes the benefit.

yes, okay that visual does the latter – the visual is showing the closed zippered mouth is being opened for it to be able to speak. that is what the app is supposed to do – open the mouths of a foreign language so you can understand them. a closed zippered mouth is something we will not be able to understand.

while the zippered mouth being opened is what the app does, the choice of the zipper on the mouth goes beyond the message. the visual delivers another message which we think is more compelling and more powerful – that of pain and being grossed out. we can have a tagline that says “it’s so good you will kill yourself to get it” to communicate strong desirability but having a visual to execute that thought with something like someone blowing your brains out with a gun will not do it.

this ad forgets that there are other considerations other than accurately visualizing the message. a great  ad is a combination of many components and each of these components while they should work well together, all should also help the ad sell. one of the components not working for the ad and in this case killing the ad will make the whole ad fail.

this is a WAWAM!

~~~mindscape landmark~~~
carlo arvisu

 

 

consumer data is king, consumer insight is the queen

January 3, 2015 Leave a comment

“consumer-driven-data” – that is a principle in marketing that is central in any marketing or advertising plan. it is also often used and referred to in many marketing and advertising plans and yet in reality it is hardly used and even more often very few really know what it is and how to find it. it is in many ways something of one of the most “lip service” done in marketing and advertising (“strategic” is another lip service”).

here is one article we found at the Washington Post on fashion retailer Timberland where consumer data is king and was used to renew and in many ways reinvent the brand to a successful turn-around. while consumer data is king, the consumer insight is queen.

always, it is not enough to have consumer data, what is equally important and to some degree slightly more important is to know how to understand, interpret and translate consumer data into a consumer insight that is used in marketing and advertising plans.

it is in that bridge between consumer data and consumer insight where most marketing and advertising practitioners fail at or are weak at.

How Timberland used customer data to reboot its brand

STRATHAM, N.H. — There are few shoes more recognizable than theTimberland yellow boot. You know the one: The high-top styling, the sturdy-looking nubuck leather, the rubber lug sole to protect feet from sheets of rain or piles of snow.

But the durable boot — and the rest of Timberland’s footwear and apparel line — was having trouble weathering a fast-changing retail climate.

Timberland’s revenue was basically flat from 2006 to 2012. It was losing market share in the Americas, its home turf and most crucial market. And it was barreling forward with a confusing and slapdash patchwork of marketing and product strategies.timberland

Here in the United States, it had become something of a hip-hop brand as rappers name-checked “Timbs” in countless songs. In Asia, it was thought of as a comfort brand; in Italy, it was more fashion-oriented. Still more customers perceived Timberland as gear for the rugged outdoorsman, the kind of guy who hikes in the woods for days with nothing but his backpack and his Eagle Scout skills.

“The brand had become stale in many ways, and the focus wasn’t there,” said Stewart Whitney, Timberland’s president.

In the past year, though, Timberland has staged an impressive turnaround, with salessurging 15 percent in the most recent quarter even as the broader retail industry has posted only modest growth. Its sales have improved in every global market and every product category, delivering a fatter profit margin — about 13 percent in 2014, up from 8 percent in 2011.

Timberland has revamped everything from its product design to marketing to merchandising strategies. And data science provided the fuel and the framework for each of its changes.

The company says that the cornerstone of the comeback has been a two-year customer study in which it collected data from 18,000 people across eight countries. In analyzing the trove of responses, Timberland was able to diagnose its problems and to zero in on its ideal customer — an urban dweller with a casual interest in the outdoors.

“Research wasn’t a driving factor as much in the previous 20 years,” said Jim Davey, vice president of global marketing. “It was kind of a product-driven organization.”

This data-driven approach was implemented after the family-run business was bought in 2011 by VF Corp., an $11 billion apparel company based in Greensboro, N.C., that has undertaken a similar analysis at other brands, including the North Face and Vans.

read the rest here : http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2015/01/02/how-timberland-used-customer-data-to-reboot-its-brand/

what is this queen? how do we define and how do we get this queen that is consumer insight?

1. consumer data is not consumer insight – results from consumer research, be it quantitative or qualitative is NOT yet consumer insight, they are just raw data on consumer information, attitudes or preferences. these are just raw data that needs to put into some kind of a mental machine that will churn own consumer insight. many confuse “consumer data” and “consumer insight” as one and the same as when they certainly are not.

for consumer data to become consumer insight, you need to put a few of them together, connect them into a sensible whole and get them to jump out of a trampoline. consumer insight is something that needs to leap out of something, a composite of many points where eventually what comes out is very different from what came in.

2. your experiences or observations, those of the advertising and marketing executives, from the client or from the ad agency is NOT consumer insight nor is it the penultimate consumer data – okay, fine what you or your client think may be part of consumer data and consumer insight, it is not in no way the whole thing or even the core of what consumer data and consumer insight is. a person or even several people’s points of view, experiences or observations are of course valid but they may not be what most of the consumers think and feel. they may or may not be the prevailing and most dominant among the target market. the real and maybe the painful truth is that we, those of us in marketing and advertising are NOT the target market or target audience. our views and experiences are at best anecdotal and taking them as THE consumer data and consumer insight is like playing russian roulette.

3. once the right consumer insight is discovered, it becomes magic where everything makes sense, it gains power on its own and everything flows – that is how powerful consumer insights are. once you find it, your marketing and advertising plan will flow very smoothly from start to finish. you will see that ideas, concepts and strategies build on each other, on to like a strong pyramid. that is how consumer insights are used – they become the core of what you do,

it is possible to have several consumer insights and several may be used in a marketing and advertising plan but there will be a very clear order of things where the weight of one is the shadow of the rest.

we have been witness to just how powerful a consumer insight is. finding it defines the success of a brand. do not use it as lip service, take it seriously, its discovery will make you.

 

~~~mindscape landmark~~~
carlo arvisu

 

“strategic thinking” according to Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

good strategic thinking is all about using what you have – the market, the competition, consumer insights (psychographics)  and your objectives and  putting all those together and funnel them into a coherent action that gets you what you want. it is not at all random but it is placing all the elements, sometime a few often numerous into a certain sequence that leads to getting your goals achieved.

that is essentially what Calvin did,

when use of a celebrity in TV ad fails – the new security bank’s TV ad with Megan Young

March 26, 2014 Comments off

use of celebrities in ads is a huge trend in the philippines, it has been for decades years now.  almost all the ads you see in TV, print, billboards and hear on radio use a celebrity. use of a celebrity in advertising is the go-to ad concept for most if not all the advertising agencies in the phiippines. we do not know how that happened or if that was instigated by ad agencies in general or clients in general. that is an interesting question but it is for another article in the future.

for now, we are interested in this particular celebrity TV ad by security bank using megan young.

megan young won the Miss World beauty title in 2013. she has brought so much glory to the country for this win
specially when it has been a long time when the country has won a major international beauty contest title.

beautiful women and men have been big choices for philippine advertising agencies specially if they have gained celebrity status. the usual choices are TV and movie stars and big sports heroes like manny pacquiao but beauty queens specially someone like young who has won a major international beauty contest classifies her a celebrity endorser.

security bank is a medium sized bank in the country. it has a good reputation among institutional or business bank clients but not as popular and in fact has very little mass consumer clientele like the top 3 major banks. you would know very few among your friends and relatives who bank with security bank.

security bank is not a big advertiser among the banks. it makes sense that it is not since its clientele, specially among mass consumers is not that much but it has been known to try to get into attract mass consumer clientele from time to time in spurts and in very limited efforts in the past.

this advertising with megan young represents a giant marketing effort for security bank. it has been many, many years since it had released any kind of advertising and in this magnitude. it has been airing heavily in the past weeks.

in marketing this megan young TV campaign represent what is called a brand relaunch where the bank re-positions itself and puts across a “new bank”, a new security bank.

based on the TV ad, security ad wants consumers to “switch to the new security bank, you deserve better“, the tagline of the ad. the “new security bank” offers the following new services : “priority queuing”, “exclusive privileges” and a “relationship manager” with all that intending to give clients better, more efficient, faster and personalized banking services. the ad shows young going into the bank and talks to the camera about her “new relationship” and she breezes through the bank services and gets attended to by a handsome relationship manager who wears a suit, no less.

well, that part of the handsome relationship manager in a suit is for certain an over promise and the roominess and good ambiance of the security bank branch featured in the TV, we do not think there is one single branch of security bank that has that kind of employee and branch design. but let’s pretend that is not an issue in this ad for the moment.

the ad also shows megan young being served coffee by the relationship manager. another over-promise that we should pretend we did not see in the ad and something we should not expect in an actual security bank branch.

the issue we have on this TV ad is much more than the over-promises of what a security bank branch looks like and what happens to customers inside the bank, what we are making a point on is the choice of the talent in the ad, the celebrity endorser and what the promises of what a new security bank is all about.

first a side bar – technically, security bank as a whole has not been changed. it’s not really a “new security bank” but its a just new product that security bank offers to well-off clients. this “new relationship” or the “new security bank” that is being talked about in the ad will be given to a select number of clients – those who have a minimum P100,000 deposit in the bank, not to all clients of the bank. because it is offered only to a select few of its clients, it is just one product in the bank. do not expect to get the kind of servicing in a security bank if you are an ordinary bank client.

this new product of security bank  is being pitched to young bank clients, the yuppies given the use of young who is herself young (pun unintended) and the ad uses references to “relationships that are not complicated” a modern-day reference to social media (facebook) that young adults are familiar with and most likely very few older adults know about.

from there the question comes up on the defined target market of the ad – young yuppies as we would think very few of them can afford to have a remaining balance of  P100,000 in their bank accounts. they can afford to buy an iPhone worth P30,0000+ but hardly will you find people at that age bracket having that large amount of cash in their bank accounts.

now back to megan young.

the point of this “new security bank” but actually the new security bank product is that it promises to give its bank clients “special treatment”, something that clients of other banks and other security bank clients will not or do not get. what it is saying is that bank clients get the regular treatment of having to line up, no privileges and no relationship manager tending to your personal needs (including coffee being served). it is saying many bank clients get the regular treatment, not the special one.

and that is where the choice of megan young as talent in this tv ad shows a disconnect.

megan young IS A VERY POPULAR CELEBRITY. everyone knows her. for being a celebrity and this kind of beauty with an international beauty title, she WILL get special treatment from any bank or in fact any establishment like restaurants, department stores and malls even if she does not do anything, ask for it or have P100,000 with her to open a bank account with. getting special treatment, even the priority ones is part and parcel of the benefits one gets in being a celebrity and being an international beauty titlist.

we are willing to bet that if she enters any branch of any bank, the branch manager will most likely stand up from her desk and attend to her. she is that recognizable and that is what we do for celebrities.

using her in this ad then destroys the whole concept of the “new security bank”. if the bank used a regular person, a non-celebrity in the ad and the ad proceeds to show this regular person gets special treatment in security bank, then the ad works and delivers the message very well.

the point of relationship products like this is that one gets “special treatment” even if you are an ordinary person but has P100,000 minimum deposit. a regular person gets special treatment, that is the idea.

in this ad and with the new security bank product, the choice of a celebrity endorser destroyed the very idea of the new product. it’s a WAWAM!

 

 ~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad – brilliant print ad, disparaging to doctors & it can be banned from publication

March 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Part 1 : BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad is brilliant, it should win an ad congress award for excellence

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the BIR just launched what i call the “public shaming of doctors” (PSoD) ad campaign, above is the first print ad of the campaign. this doctor ad apparently is the first of three ad executions, with the accountants and online sellers being the next to be featured in two more ads. last night, i saw on GMA7 the TV version of the PSoD using accountants. we are assuming there are  2 more TV ad versions to come with doctors and online sellers.

the print ad has these elements :

> it features a doctor literally sitting on the shoulders of a teacher in a classroom setting

> the concept revolves the idea of tax cheats are a burden to honest taxpayers, in this ad represented literally as being put on the shoulders of the teacher. we all know that teachers in the philippines are not paid very well and yet their jobs are very important, very difficult and impacts the nation specially the youth in very significant ways. doctors on the hand we know to be high income individuals. we know that first hand through the professional fees we pay them in every visit to their clinics and when we need to pay hospital bills.

– the ad even includes a computation of the salaries and taxes paid by doctors and teachers where we see in very glaring numbers, shocking even that the doctor who earns much higher pays much lower taxes than the teacher.

– the ad ends with the tagline : “When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do.”

from an advertising point of view we think this print ad is brilliant! we think it should win an award in the next ad congress.

> the ad’s message is very provocative. provocative is one of  the top 3 qualities that you want in an ad to be. it is in the top 3 by which you measure the effectiveness of  an ad. the responses and reactions it has been getting in social media and traditional media, both from doctors and citizens have been massive, for or against the ad, a good indicator of provocativeness (sic) for this kinds of ads.

>the ad concept and the visuals communicate the message very well and with ease. just by looking at the visuals, you understand the message of the ad.

the only push  back we have and this it is a minor one on this ad is the execution of the ‘burden”. we thought the ad could have been more effective if it showed more ‘burden” being suffered by the teacher.

i am guessing the ad agency thought of it but they probably decided against it as they probably knew it will be a controversial ad and pusing the burden more in the visuals might make the ad too much to bear for the audience.

> the strategy of the ad was spot on – the impact of tax cheats on taxpayers is real and full of credible and strong insight. the ill effect of the actions of tax cheats is not just on the government but also on individual citizens. being the weak link makes everyone else in the link weaker and burdened.

> the choice of the doctor and teacher for this comparison was brilliant and very effective, quickly understandable to the audience. almost by rote, we know that doctors are one of the highest paid in the country and teachers are one of the lowest paid.

we know of the doctors as we have our own experiences to base it on. for a visit to the doctor, we pay anywhere from P400 to P1,200 every consultation depending on the specialization and reputation of the doctor. those consultation fees are nothing when we or members of our family are hospitalized or God forbid goes through surgery. surgery fees of doctors range from P5T to P200T depending on what the surgery is.

our own experience also tells us the doctors we see almost always do not voluntarily issue official receipts after a consultation. they issue one only when we ask.

we know of teachers as we have read about them – on how their pay is so low and yet they do a lot of hard work, their roles important and even critical to nation building and to our children.

the doctor versus the teacher simply put gives an excellent and concrete contrast for the purpose of communicating disparities and burden.

>> more to come <<

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

Caltex Techron’s message cleans the wrong way

January 3, 2014 Leave a comment

photo (5)

 

this is a poster appearing in Caltex gas stations. to say the least, the message it is trying to communicate is anywhere from confused to non communication of the intended message.

we are guessing that this is the message they intended to communicate with the poster – Tachron has been reformulated to include an ingredient that cleans the engine as the car runs. we do not know the exact science of it but we are guessing they included a cleaning agent additive to the formula of Techron.

that could be an interesting proposition for car owners – a clean engine means it will run better and more importantly the car will be very efficient in burning the fuel which enables the car owner to save on gas consumption plus a better maintained engine.

but the poster is not communicating that. with the suds emanating from the car and even bigger bubbles on the trees and roadside, the poster seem to be saying the car is cleaning the environment, not the engine. the car or Techron cleaning the environment? that is a crazy idea and totally unbelievable.

or… maybe that is what Techron does – it cleans the environment and not the engine of the car as we had understood it. whatever real benefit the new Techron has, cleaning the engine or the environment, the poster fails in clearly communicating what it was meant to say.

it’s a WAWAM!

 

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

 

iReader ads meant to sell ebooks but also sells books

August 1, 2013 Leave a comment

i saw these ads at Flipboard and at first glance and without reading the copy (text) yet, just seeing the visuals, i thought wow this is a great ad for books.

i thought, yes that is what happens when you read a good book – the story that it tells in words come alive to you in 3D, like a diorama or (my favorite) pop up books. when stories are written very well, they take flesh and you see the action in described in the book, not just imagine it.

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i clicked the picture of the ad to read the text and i was surprised – the ad was actually selling ebooks and not books. and the visuals that were coming out in diorama farm depicts the killing of trees to produce the book you are reading.

it had the line –  “iReader. every book is a tragedy for trees. read ebooks“. 

now talk about miscommunication!

the whole experience talks about what they say about ads – the visuals communicate the message. this one had a very powerful visual and it very immediately communicated the message to me. the only problem was i picked up the wrong message. not only was it the wrong message, it was the exact opposite of the intended message. the ad wanted readers to stop using books because books kill trees and use ebooks instead.

but to me, i saw the adventure and beauty of reading books. it’s a real dilemma – use a highly creative execution to communicate something that could be misunderstood and have the exact opposite of the intended objective of the ad.

miscommunication aside,  we still think this is a great ad! at least on the execution side. but it fails on the strategy side. and on that basis this makes it a WAWAM!

~~ mindscape landmark ~~

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great tourist attraction & marketing gimmick at Times Square NY

June 24, 2013 Leave a comment

this is one of the most fun gimmick at Times Square – see yourself on that giant screen at Times Square.

it’s that iconic giant screen we see in almost all pictures of Times Square in new york. now, it does not just display ads and announcements, it now shows people who look at the screen in front of it.

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the iconic Times Square NY giant screen – that is the screen that has “Hyundai” on top of it. it now shows the actual people standing in front of it.

everyone who stands on that railing facing the giant screen are captured for a few seconds and shown on the screen. that means all the hundreds who are on time square can see your image  on the screen. it’s a moving image, so whatever you do in front of it is shown.

it is really a great tourist attraction idea. everyone but everyone who goes to Times Square goes up to the railing to have themselves seen on the screen. it is technology obsessed 21st century kind of fun for the tourists.

it is also a great marketing gimmick. it has “Hyundai” on top of the screen and yes, Hyundai tv ads are shown on it one after the other with the live footage of people in front of it. you need to stay on that railing for around 45 seconds to watch the Hyundai tv ad before the camera turns on to show your image on the giant screen. that means  everyone who stands on that railing would have seen the Hyundai tv ad.

small, cheap fun but great for tourists and marketing.

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guy on the left with brown jacket, black backpack and white baseball cap looking at the screen is shown on the giant screen left side

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teen age boy in a red jacket is on the left side of the giant screen

~~ mindscape landmark~~

New Balance ad blooper – also need to pursue excellence in grammar

June 20, 2013 Leave a comment

i was impressed by the number of New Balance billboards in Boston, MA – they were like all over the place. it’s hard to miss them, they are in the subway and the streets in almost every place where billboards are allowed.

but being impressed stopped there as i read the headline.

first time i saw the billboard was when i was riding the subway train. it passed my view for a few seconds, something got lit up in my mind – was that what i read? it bothered me throughout the train ride and kept assessing the words. i told myself i have to look at their billboard again to make sure i read the right thing and take pictures of them.

the New Balance billboard had this headline : ” To Light, Liberty and the pursuit of excellent

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i liked the subtle touch on patriotism, specially when at the time i was in Boston, the Boston marathon bombing just happened and the city was still looking for the perpetrators.  being patriotic which was what the billboard sort of said was a good thing for the brand.

i thought to myself, okay it’s good they want to get to “light”, truth (?) and liberty, but to the “pursuit of excellent”? that was shattering, New Balance needs to take on the “pursuit of excellence” in grammar.

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that does not end there. just now, we checked the New Balance website (http://www.newbalance.com/) and we found this one. The need to pursue “summertime excellence” in grammar.

new bal site

this is a WAWAM!

 

~~mindscape landmark~~

the big and long malice in Kraft’s “Let’s get zesty” ads

June 18, 2013 1 comment

kraft released these ads for their salad dressing, Zesty Italian  where they took the meaning of “zesty” to another level. it got a lot of notice, many were complaints on what they were trying to do in the ad – selling salad dressing on the basis of a hunk removing his shirt while making the salad.

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i don’t know if women will be encouraged to buy the Zesty Italian dressing based on seeing a hunk with great abs using it in a TV ad, but i thought they went too far, in fact there is obvious malice in the print ad version (above) of the TV ad. the TV was straightforward on using sex to sell salad dressing, but the print ad takes that to a higher level with using the body part covered by the picnic cloth in the print ad.

to make it more obvious, here is the print ad that emphasizes the emphasis made in the ad on the body part.

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the tiny piece of picnic cloth strategically covering  what can’t be shown in the print ad is actually shaped to give an illusion of what is by implication not tiny under the piece of cloth. it appears they put a giant cucumber under the cloth, pointing to the left. that was obviously intentional. picnic cloths do not normally behave that way, like forming the shape of long and big cucumber, when placed on something. the rest of the picnic cloth are behaving naturally in the print ad, except that part.

i think that part of the picnic cloth was done digitally, a good photoshop effort. the shape is too perfect and the shadows on some red parts are unnaturally darker than the others and in most given the light source should not be darker than the others.

with the intentional art design, it is obvious the ad campaign is meant to use malice as a selling point for the salad dressing.

~~mindscape landmark~~

Kraft Salad Dressing Ad Gets Best Present Ever: A Slap From One Million Moms
http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/kraft-salad-dressing-ad-gets-best-present-ever-slap-one-million-moms-150412

Ford Focus direct mail effort – impressive spending but unimpressive mailer material that fails

November 8, 2012 2 comments

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.

front page & letter

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.

inside pages

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 ~~~
carrlo arvisu

 

wawamTECH: how bad is globe service? smart launches a national ad campaign to exploit it

September 8, 2012 3 comments

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.

click to read here : wawamTECH: globe handyphone service failing for months now, collapses metro manila wide on the weekend

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.

~~~mindscape landmark~~~
carlo p arvisu 

bayo apologizes and pulls out their mixed race ad campaign – what’s next for bayo?

June 8, 2012 1 comment

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.

Bayo says sorry for ads, will bring down billboards

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.

http://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/bayo-says-sorry-for-ad-will-bring-down-billboards

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 

bayo’s anti-filipino ad – advertising creativity gone horribly wrong with twisted logic

June 7, 2012 6 comments

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ~~~
carlo arvisu

=============================================

[VIRAL] Bayo’s ‘What’s your mix’ campaign earns ire of netizens

 BY 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.

Foul

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.”

Read more…

marketing & advertising 101 : how to apply hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product “family planning”

March 1, 2012 Leave a comment

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.
read the full article on the key findings on the first  part of the qualitative research done for family planning here:  http://bit.ly/ApfPVi (why pinoys who are single or married need family planning in their relationship)
read how the focus group discussion was designed within the lines of the kinds of research done for mass consumer products: applying mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible “family planning” product (click here:  http://bit.ly/ycZ5QI)
~~mindscape landscape~~
carlo p arvisu

12 years ago Kodak was warned of Chapter 11 bankruptcy risk

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

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 market situation kodak was in in 2000

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

~~mindscape landmark~~
carlo arvisu 

first snow in boston, first snow in hand and the journey of first good-byes from the heart

February 2, 2012 1 comment

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!

the 3-year-old enjoying her first winter

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 phone monitoring snow in boston

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.

like a painting where the artist applied an over abundance of  even white where there was color just a day before

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 ~~
carlo arvisu 

who is dumb – philippine tv or the phillippine tv audience?

April 11, 2011 2 comments

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.”

read in full here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20110411-330486/Dont-dumb-down-viewers-TV-urged

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