Reliving the glorious moments from Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore

Catch these video highlights of Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore 2017 and bask in the dynamic awards show that celebrated brilliance across the marketing communications industry on 10 November at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.

With almost 500 marketers and agency professionals present in the gala show, UOB emerged top against strong competition from McDonald’s and Nestlé Singapore, bagging “Marketer of the Year” in addition to its haul of two Golds and five Silvers.

Check out the victorious moments of some of our winners here:

Find out more on the full list of winners here.

Marketing’s Marketing Excellence Awards gave out a total of 100 trophies in 33 different categories, recognising and rewarding marketers of their hard work and contributions to ingenious campaigns produced throughout the year.

Congratulations a job well done to all winners and finalists!  We hope to seeing you at Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore 2018!

2018 Aston Martin Vantage revealed: Exclusive video tourNext-generation super sports coupe revealed, $299950 price …

British luxury sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has unveiled its long-awaited new-generation Vantage in a simultaneous global reveal across six major cities.

Earlier, CarAdvice was afforded an exclusive look at the new Vantage – the same car revealed today in Tokyo – and one of only six pre-production presentation cars Aston Martin commissioned. This particular example was shown to clients and prospective buyers in Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast, even before the covers came off in the UK.

The first production-series car will be flown to New Zealand for a series of track days – due to homologation restrictions here in Australia – but the first driveable Vantage will arrive in March for a series of events around the Australian Grand Prix. Of course.

Production of the new Vantage for Australia will commence in late May or early June, with customer deliveries set to begin in July, according to Kevin Wall, Regional Manager Australia and New Zealand at Aston Martin.

Like its predecessor that launched in 2005 and became the marque’s best-selling model, with 25,000 sold over 12 years, the new Aston Martin Vantage is likely to sell even better – though Wall would not be drawn on actual projections.

“While we’re not talking volumes with this car – we do have planning volumes – but we do genuinely see this new model as significantly increasing our volume in this market. Though, based on our orders over the last few weeks, it probably won’t increase the volumes as much as we would like, because of restricted supply in 2018,” Wall said.

That $299,950 starting price puts it almost line-ball with Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4 GTS and the Mercedes-AMG GT S – priced at $298,600 and $298,711 respectively. However, options pricing for the Australian market will follow shortly.

Interestingly, the two rival models mentioned above are the same two cars that Aston benchmarked while developing the Vantage, and it’s also those owners they hope to conquest.

“With this car, we’re not only targeting existing Vantage owners – who are an extremely enthusiastic and loyal bunch – but this car has been a long time coming, so we also need to bring customers back into the brand, as well as those 911 customers.

“In fact, those 911 customers we have had through to see the vehicle have had a very positive view of it. But, at the same time, we’ve also had research teams poring over the car to provide feedback on the way we spec this car, the way we price it, and the way we position the car in market.

Under the bonnet lies an AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol engine with a class-leading 375kW at 6000rpm and 680Nm of torque between 2000–5000rpm going to the rear wheels.

“This is a properly fast car, able to accelerate from 0–100km/h in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 314km/h. It’s also the first Aston Martin to be equipped with an electronic rear differential that’s capable of going from fully open to 100 per cent locked in milliseconds.

“It’s also the second new model, after the DB11, in Andy Palmer’s Second Century plan. When Palmer took up the top job at Aston’s HQ in Gaydon, he told the Director of Design, Marek Reichman, that he needs to design cars which are so clearly positioned, and so uniquely identifiable that even my grandmother could walk into an Aston Martin showroom and tell the difference,” Wall told CarAdvice.

The marketing film for the new Vantage says the design of the new car is inspired by nature. At the front, there’s a definitive shark profile to the nose, and that shark imagery progresses on from there to the so-called ‘shark gills’.

While that might be the case, there are also strong design cues from DB10, the Bond car from the Spectre movie, as well as the Vulcan – Aston’s track-only hypercar. So, the rear of the car is very James Bond, while the front is very Vulcan.

And while there appears to be a lot going on with the exterior, Wall is keen to explain there’s nothing on the latest Vantage that is superfluous.

“If there are no flutes flaring from the bonnet, it’s because it doesn’t need them. The famous side-strake has been redesigned and renamed side-gill, picking up on the shark theme – but again, it’s there for a purpose. Likewise, with the rear diffuser/splitter. The diffuser is active, in other words. It’s there to create genuine downforce,” he added.

“At the front of the car, you’ll notice quite a few design cues from the DB10, as well as the Vulcan. It’s a more assertive, more pronounced grille. It’s inherently taken off a shark’s nose and is the lowest grille in the Aston range.

“We’ve moved away from traditional louvres, and replaced them with a bigger mesh grille, which allows a lot more air to feed the radiator and the two turbochargers.”

The bonnet uses a single clamshell, with no vent lines. It gives you a single cut line, along with a wider, cleaner look. It works well with the new 20-inch wheels in two designs and three colourway choices for each.

On the sides, Aston has done away with the chrome side-strake and instead used the gills mentioned above. There are air vents where the wheel arches are, which Aston claims will reduce drag. The mesh itself can be had in regular black, colour-coded, and eventually carbon.

The wheelbase is around 103mm longer than the previous model, and there’s a hidden waist seal – a first for Aston Martin and indeed a production car, which gives you a clean line.

At the rear, the tailgate produces real downforce and a very prominent active rear diffuser. Underneath the car, a series of fences channels the air through to the rear of the car, which adds more downforce, is the claim.

Under the hatch there’s 350 litres of boot space, and – officially – you can get two golf bags in there. And, as with the DB11, there’s no model-designated badge, just Aston Martin in chrome at the rear of the car.

Inside, it’s a completely different cockpit to the outgoing car, and indeed the DB11 – sportier and more ergonomically integrated. The sports seats in the show vehicle are optional, but the standard seats are still very sporty by design.

Some of the technology on board includes three-stage active damping suspension, as well as three-stage sports transmission – but independent of each other. There’s also electronic steering, keyless entry and start, electronic parking brake, and a touchpad-activated infotainment system from Daimler-Benz.

We also like the standard door pulls – orange on the show car – they demonstrate the rather serious intentions of the new Vantage.

New Vantage employs some new technology apart from the electronic differential. It also uses a torque-vectoring system carried over from the DB11. The chassis is an evolution of Aston’s latest-generation bonded aluminium architecture, also from the DB11.

The transmission is an eight-speed ZF automatic, with a front-rear weight balance of 49:51, or nigh-on perfect. And this is only supplemented by the positioning of the wheels, which are at the extreme corners of the vehicle. It’s going to handle.

According to Wall, and no surprise, there’s already serious interest in this car.

“Clearly, initial response from prospective Vantage customers has been good, but we are still negotiating with Gaydon on the allocation for Australia and New Zealand. I can tell you, we have a request in, but based on the response we had in Melbourne and genuine interest in the car, we have already asked that be increased by 25 per cent.

“And, for good reason, too. When you combine Australia and New Zealand together, we’ve got 25 per cent market share within our segment, which is one of the highest in the world. In fact, New Zealand, alone, is getting 38 per cent, which is line-ball with the UK.

“But we also need a strong dealer network, because at the end of the day, we’re taking on the likes of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz with the new Vantage, and we’re very serious about this – because we think the car is up to that task.

“The success of the brand is not only measured by what VFACTS says, but also by the amount of money the dealer network invests in the brand,” concluded Wall.

To that end, there’s a new $40 million facility in Melbourne, and a new $38 million facility in Auckland, as well as a $6 million facility in Perth – all of which has been rolled out in the last 12 months.

“The network is very, very committed to the Aston Martin brand. Why? Principally, because Marek Reichman has already shown them the product plan for the next five years”.

Will we see a Vantage V12?

Aston Martin isn’t saying anything, officially, but you can bet it’s well and truly on the cards, because you can bet there will be those buyers craving for that V12 bark that’s so intoxicating.

2018 Aston Martin Vantage: What you need to know
Vantage news, reviews, comparisons and videos

Everything Aston Martin

[Video] Why Hong Kong Airlines’ flight attendants dance

With the catchy music and Lala Land-like lively dance, Marketing for a moment thought it’s another in-flight safety video, the latest battleground where airlines try hard to grab attention.

The answer is, because it is a video launched by Hong Kong Airlines earlier this week to celebrate its recent opening of the new VIP Lounge Club Autus and A350 Aircraft, as well as promoting its celebration sale.

From what we can see, the 11-year-old company is further extending its social media narrative to build a young, lively and cool identity, one which differentiates from the established Cathay Pacific, across all channels – and apparently nothing is cooler than dancing on the aircraft.

A Mar-a-Lago Thanksgiving: It’s All Gravy

“We’re being talked about again as an armed forces,” he said as a few club members lingered outside. “We’re really winning. We know how to win. But we have to let you win. They weren’t letting you win before.”

He continued extolling the victories during a second event at a Coast Guard station in Riviera Beach. The first lady, Melania Trump, joined him to hand out sandwiches in the station’s mess hall. The first couple had also provided assortments of fruit, muffins and cookies to the service members, some of whom were about to go out on patrol.

Mr. Trump, the master marketer, spoke of the Coast Guard in terms few presidents have used. “I think that there is no brand — of any kind, I’m not just talking about a military branch — that has gone up more than the Coast Guard,” Mr. Trump told the service members, citing what he described as the organization’s successful response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria this year. “Incredible people, you’ve done an incredible job, and I love coming here and doing this for you today.”

He noted orders for new military equipment, including Coast Guard cutters, Navy ships and Air Force planes, including one that is “almost like an invisible fighter.”

The president then returned to old holiday habits, leaving to spend a few hours at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach before returning to Mar-a-Lago, the club he owns, in an unusual fall rain.

The menu was to include traditional fare — turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows — as well as local produce, red snapper, Florida stone crab and a variety of baked goods, cakes and pies, according to a summary provided by Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady.

Mr. Trump’s time at Mar-a-Lago and his surrounding golf courses was not, the White House told reporters, merely leisure, but was filled with meetings and phone calls, a schedule that Mr. Trump emphasized on Twitter on Wednesday.

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“Will be having meetings and working the phones from the Winter White House in Florida (Mar-a-Lago),” he wrote on Twitter before spending a few hours at his West Palm Beach golf course. Officials declined to say with whom the president spoke.


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In the years since Mr. Trump renovated Mar-a-Lago, the former estate of the cereal company heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, into an upscale club and resort, he has relished spending parts of the holiday season there, said Anthony P. Senecal, Mr. Trump’s former butler, who worked at the resort for more than 20 years. This visit was the president’s first to the club since April.

“He’s coming home,” Mr. Senecal said in an interview. “He’s going to be overjoyed that he’s at Mar-a-Lago, that he’s near the golf course, that he’s going to see a lot of friends that he hasn’t seen in a great while.”

While the living room Christmas tree and menorah are usually not up yet, the week of Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Mar-a-Lago holiday season, after the club’s annual summer closing for repairs and historic restoration, Mr. Senecal said.

Families congregate to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving fare, and Mr. Trump generally circles the room, which is decorated with seasonal flowers, to greet the club members, who pay thousands of dollars for membership. The president, Mr. Senecal recalled, prefers white turkey meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, and usually his signature two scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

“Thanksgiving is a joyous time,” said Mr. Senecal, who said he had declined a Thanksgiving invitation this year because of medical issues. (Last year, Mr. Trump called Mr. Senecal “obviously a very troubled man” after the discovery of Facebook posts in which Mr. Senecal had called for the execution of Barack Obama.) “There’s never been any other place. Wouldn’t know what to compare it to.”

It is unclear how different the social season at the club will be this year, especially after several charities canceled events over the president’s response to the racially tinged violence in Charlottesville, Va., according to The Washington Post. But Peter Brock, a local real estate developer and a member of the club who has spent parts of the holiday season there in the past, said Mr. Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency had only elevated his star presence on the grounds.

“The bottom line is, he is always enthusiastic about coming home and seeing what he calls his people,” Mr. Brock said. “And for the most part, we are his people.”

But holiday or not, Mr. Trump is not one to pass up an opportunity to deliver a jab. In 2013, he offered these greetings on Twitter: “Happy Thanksgiving to all — even the haters and losers!” And on Thursday, he took aim at some of his favorite targets: the reporters trailing him for the duration of his Florida stay.

“I’ll ask the press to get out, and I’ll say, ‘You’re fired,’” Mr. Trump said as reporters were ushered out of the Mar-a-Lago teleconference. “And, by the way, media, happy Thanksgiving, I must say.”

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Hopes Dashed, Relatives of Argentine Submarine Crew Turn to Grief and Anger

While the Navy did not formally give up hope of finding the crew, relatives began referring to their loved ones in the past tense. If the sailors perished, it would be the deadliest submarine catastrophe since the sinking of the Kursk — a Russian vessel brought down by a misfired weapon in 2000 — and the Argentine military’s largest loss of life since the Falklands War of 1982.

The disappearance and likely loss of the vessel, the San Juan, could turn out to be the greatest national tragedy to unfold under President Mauricio Macri, who came into office nearly two years ago vowing to invest in Argentina’s underfunded armed forces.

Even before the latest news, frustration at Mr. Macri had been mounting.

“Instead of spending on other matters, why don’t you spend on something truly important, like the life of all our relatives,” an unidentified woman asked Mr. Macri on Monday when he traveled to the resort city of Mar del Plata, according to a video of the meeting that was posted online.

Using submarines that have been in commission since the early 1980s “is taking a gamble on the life of our people,” she said.

Argentina has spent less than several of its neighbors on defense since the end of military rule in 1983. Despite Mr. Macri’s promises, the effort to repair and replace the country’s aging planes and ships is in a nascent phase.

Last year, Argentina spent about 1 percent of its gross domestic product on the military, lagging behind neighbors like Chile, which spent 1.9 percent, and Brazil, which spent 1.3 percent, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

“Argentina’s armed forces began to atrophy after the end of the military rule,” said Dan Wasserbly, the Americas editor of IHS Jane’s, a defense-industry publication. “It’s been a pretty long-running trend where they have talked about investing, adding resources and building up the readiness of a once-formidable military, but they haven’t been able to do that.”


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The San Juan, a German-made diesel-electric vessel, was built in 1983 and first put into commission in 1985. It was put back into service in 2014 after a retrofit, and had been scheduled to return on Sunday to its home base at Mar del Plata, about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires.

Even as a multinational search effort combed the seas last weekend, braving stormy weather and 22-foot waves, analysts at the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna began considering whether the steady stream of information from monitors that track sound and earth movements across the world may have picked up clues about the missing vessel.

The organization, which is usually focused on picking up signs of nuclear tests, undertook the analysis on its own initiative.

Mario Zampolli, a hydroacoustic engineer at the organization, said he and his colleagues began poring over data from the two nearest sensors to the search area over the weekend. Picking up evidence of a relatively small explosion in the ocean requires manual analysis of data and custom-designed software, Mr. Zampolli said in an interview.

“We try to determine that it doesn’t come from a natural event such as volcanic activities, whales or an earthquake,” he said. The organization shared its findings with the Argentine ambassador in Vienna on Thursday, after concluding that it was “similar to other water explosions observed previously.”

That finding was broadly in line with an assessment the United States shared with Argentina on Tuesday night.

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Cmdr. Erik Reynolds, a spokesman for the United States Navy, said American analysts had ascertained that a sound registered in the ocean off the coast of Patagonia was a “hydroacoustic anomaly” that had not been caused by natural events.

“That was not a natural sound you hear in an ocean environment,” he said.

After piecing the two assessments together, and finding that they both pointed to an explosion in the area where the submarine was known to have been, Argentine military officials decided to break the news to relatives. Minutes later, a forlorn-looking navy spokesman, Capt. Enrique Balbi, addressed reporters.

Captain Balbi said there was no evidence that a battery malfunction, which the captain of the San Juan reported shortly before the submarine went silent on Nov. 15, was related to the explosion. The Argentine Navy disclosed the battery problems, which it characterized as a routine mishap, on Monday.


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That piece of sobering news soured the mood here after a weekend that had seemed more hopeful. On Saturday, Argentina’s defense minister said there were records of satellite phone calls placed from the submarine that day, suggesting the crew was alive. The following day, however, with little explanation, the Navy had to acknowledge that no such calls were tracked.

Argentine and outside experts have said that even if the San Juan was intact, its crew would probably have only enough oxygen to survive seven to 10 days.

On Thursday, as a sunny morning gave way to a chilly, cloudy afternoon, about 25 people gathered outside the fence of the naval base to pray a rosary. A few friends and relatives of crew members said they were still holding on to a glimmer of hope. But for most, grief was starting to take hold.

“He was my first love,” said Jesica Gopar, the wife of a crew member, Fernando Santilli. “If he can somehow hear me out there, all I can say is I love him and that his son will have a bright future because we have many people who are helping us.”

Ms. Gopar said she had largely stayed away from the base in recent days. But on Thursday she woke up “with the feeling that something had happened.” So she drew up a sign to honor Mr. Santilli and his comrades and headed to the base to add it to the messages of hope and flags pinned up on the outer fence.

“I came to put up a sign, only to find out I am a widow,” Ms. Gopar said.

Correction: November 23, 2017

An earlier version of this article misidentified the agency that supplied corroborating information about an explosion near an Argentine submarine. It was the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, not the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Follow Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño on Twitter: @dpoliti and @londonoe.

Daniel Politi reported from Mar del Plata, and Ernesto Londoño from Rio de Janeiro.

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A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller

Lawyers for Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump declined to comment. The four people briefed on the matter spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

A deal with Mr. Flynn would give Mr. Mueller a behind-the-scenes look at the Trump campaign and the early tumultuous weeks of the administration. Mr. Flynn was an early and important adviser to Mr. Trump, an architect of Mr. Trump’s populist “America first” platform and an advocate of closer ties with Russia.

His ties to Russia predated the campaign — he sat with President Vladimir V. Putin at a 2015 event in Moscow — and he was a point person on the transition team for dealing with Russia.

The White House had been bracing for charges against Mr. Flynn in recent weeks, particularly after charges were filed against three other former Trump associates: Paul Manafort, his campaign chairman; Rick Gates, a campaign aide; and George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser.

But none of those men match Mr. Flynn in stature, or in his significance to Mr. Trump. A retired three-star general, Mr. Flynn was an early supporter of Mr. Trump’s and a valued surrogate for a candidate who had no foreign policy experience. Mr. Trump named him national security adviser, he said, to help “restore America’s leadership position in the world.”

Among the interactions that Mr. Mueller is investigating is a private meeting that Mr. Flynn had with the Russian ambassador and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, during the presidential transition. In the past year, it has been revealed that people with ties to Russia repeatedly sought to meet with Trump campaign officials, sometimes dangling the promise of compromising information on Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Flynn is regarded as loyal to Mr. Trump, but he has in recent weeks expressed serious concerns to friends that prosecutors will bring charges against his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who served as his father’s chief of staff and was a part of several financial deals involving the elder Mr. Flynn that Mr. Mueller is scrutinizing.

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The White House has said that neither Mr. Flynn nor other former aides have incriminating information to provide about Mr. Trump. “He likes General Flynn personally, but understands that they have their own path with the special counsel,” a White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, said in an interview last month with The New York Times. “I think he would be sad for them, as a friend and a former colleague, if the process results in punishment or indictments. But to the extent that that happens, that’s beyond his control.”


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Mr. Flynn was supposed to have been the cornerstone of Mr. Trump’s national security team. Instead, he was forced out after a month in office over his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak. Mr. Flynn’s handling of those conversations fueled suspicion that people around Mr. Trump had concealed their dealings with Russians, worsening a controversy that has hung over the president’s first year in office.

Four days after Mr. Trump was sworn in, the F.B.I. interviewed Mr. Flynn at the White House about his calls with the ambassador. American intelligence and law enforcement agencies became so concerned about Mr. Flynn’s conversations and false statements about them to Vice President Mike Pence that the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, warned the White House that Mr. Flynn might be compromised.

The conversations with the Russian ambassador that led to Mr. Flynn’s undoing took place during the presidential transition. When questions about them surfaced, Mr. Flynn told Mr. Pence that they had exchanged only holiday greetings — the conversations happened in late December, around the time that the Obama administration was announcing sanctions against Russia.

While Mr. Pence and White House press officers repeated the holiday-greetings claim publicly, Mr. Flynn and the ambassador had in fact discussed the sanctions. That invited the idea that the incoming administration was trying to undermine the departing president and curry favor with Moscow.

Mr. Trump sought Mr. Flynn’s resignation only after news broke that Mr. Flynn had been interviewed by F.B.I. agents and that Ms. Yates had warned the White House that his false statements could make him vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

Since then, Mr. Flynn’s legal problems have grown. It was revealed that he failed to list payments from Russia-linked entities on financial disclosure forms. He did not mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, as well as other payments from companies linked to Russia.

The former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, has testified before Congress that Mr. Trump asked him to end the government’s investigation into Mr. Flynn in a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office the day after Mr. Flynn was fired. Mr. Trump’s request caused great concern for Mr. Comey, who immediately wrote a memo about his meeting with the president.

And investigators working for Mr. Mueller have questioned witnesses about whether Mr. Flynn was secretly paid by the Turkish government during the presidential campaign. Mr. Flynn belatedly disclosed, after leaving the White House, that the Turkish government had paid him more than $500,000.

Mr. Flynn’s firing was, in some ways, the first domino that set off a cascade of problems for Mr. Trump. After the president ousted Mr. Comey, news surfaced that the president had requested an end to the Flynn inquiry, a revelation that led to Mr. Mueller’s appointment. That, in turn, raised the profile of an investigation that the president had tried mightily to contain.

Mark Mazzetti, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman contributed reporting.

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The Digital Age: impacting thinking, buying and creating interactive content


Context rich and relevant information when and where your customer wants it: that is the new battleground. Google calls this the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). The construct is not a new one; it is now just one which has become aggressively relevant.

Think about the last time you wanted to know something. The last time you wanted to get some guidance or advice. I am willing to bet that you reached for your phone and did a search. The search would either have led you to a Google SERP or to a friend’s social feed. Either way you were looking for context rich and relevant information that would answer your need.

While the social revolution has driven this trend pretty hard already; it is the trend of mobile, accessible information that is making sure that every marketer is trying to win their audiences ZMOT.

From the outside, this looks incredibly simple to get right, but there are a number of underlying factors to consider and factors that influence how complicated it is to get this right…

IT / marketing dynamic

While marketing may own the message and the client engagement; it can be argued that IT own the technology platforms and integration needed to make it work.

This is critical.

IT and marketing need to own this agenda together. With issues like cyber security and POPI becoming more and more real; marketing cannot discount the role that IT needs to play in order to maintain a business safe environment for customer and company data.

Changes in Content

As we move from a desktop centric environment to a mobile one, we need to be cogniscent of the message type and length. In a “traditional” desktop environment slightly longer form copy and video still work a charm. In a mobile first world however, the attention span of your audience is far shorter.

Our new attention economy demands that we get the point across quickly in as few words as possible. Video and images are the new hero’s that we need to embrace.

In judging the 2017 MMA SMARTIES awards it was very clear that traditional thinking about content will no longer work.

Looking through the submitted work this year, there was a clear trend towards interactive content that engaged with the user. The campaign mechanics were easy to understand and interact with; there were no complicated barriers to entry and the video and sound bites were quick and easy to digest.

Understand your client

All of the above points to the fact that these campaigns understood their customers at a very deep level. If you don’t have a firm grasp on understanding your clients wants and needs, then you are going to have a lot of difficulty in placing context rich and relevant information in front of them when and where they want it.

Take your time up front in understanding your clients’ needs and in testing your campaign to make sure that you get it right before you over invest in something that is not going to yield results.

Measure what matters

Arguably the most important aspect of all: measurement.

A lot of companies get lost in the sea of measurement and literally throw metrics at their client all day long. In the real world, what does a view of a video in isolation mean? Well, basically nothing — almost as much as a like!

To make sure your client is getting value from your work, you need to measure what is important to them. Are you driving sales? Then report on how your campaign has influenced sales. Are you pushing people to a store location? Then report about the number of feet that passed through the store as a result of your campaign.

Reporting on likes; retweets and follower growth are difficult metrics for your client to convert into a language that the rest of their peers (arguably the C-Suite) are familiar with.

As important as it is to understand how to position your client in the market place; it is equally important to remember to position ourselves with their client and their internal customers!

Jonathan Houston

Watch: In spite of being fired by Steve Jobs five times, this person still loved working with him

Two-wheelers are the lifeline of urban Asia, where they account for more than half of the vehicles owned in some countries. This trend is amply evident in India, where sales in the sub-category of mopeds alone rose 23% in 2016-17. In fact, one survey estimates that today one in every three Indian households owns a two-wheeler.

What explains the enduring popularity of two-wheelers? In one of the fastest growing economies in the world, two-wheeler ownership is a practical aspiration in small towns and rural areas, and a tactic to deal with choked roads in the bigger cities. Two-wheelers have also allowed more women to commute independently with the advent of gearless scooters and mopeds. Together, these factors have led to phenomenal growth in overall two-wheeler sales, which rose by 27.5% in the past five years, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Indeed, the ICE 2016 360 survey says that two-wheelers are used by 37% of metropolitan commuters to reach work, and are owned by half the households in India’s bigger cities and developed rural areas.

Amid this exponential growth, experts have cautioned about two-wheelers’ role in compounding the impact of pollution. Largely ignored in measures to control vehicular pollution, experts say two-wheelers too need to be brought in the ambit of pollution control as they contribute across most factors determining vehicular pollution – engine technology, total number of vehicles, structure and age of vehicles and fuel quality. In fact, in major Indian cities, two-thirds of pollution load is due to two-wheelers. They give out 30% of the particulate matter load, 10 percentage points more than the contribution from cars. Additionally, 75% – 80% of the two-wheelers on the roads in some of the Asian cities have two-stroke engines which are more polluting.

The Bharat Stage (BS) emissions standards are set by the Indian government to regulate pollutants emitted by vehicles fitted with combustion engines. In April 2017, India’s ban of BS III certified vehicles in favour of the higher BS IV emission standards came into effect. By April 2020, India aims to leapfrog to the BS VI standards, being a signatory to Conference of Parties protocol on combating climate change. Over and above the BS VI norms target, the energy department has shown a clear commitment to move to an electric-only future for automobiles by 2030 with the announcement of the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India).

The struggles of on-ground execution, though, remain herculean for automakers who are scrambling to upgrade engine technology in time to meet the deadlines for the next BS norms update. As compliance with BS VI would require changes in the engine system itself, it is being seen as one of the most mammoth RD projects undertaken by the Indian automotive industry in recent times. Relative to BS IV, BS VI norms mandate a reduction of particulate matter by 82% and of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 68%.

Emission control in fuel based two-wheelers can be tackled on several fronts. Amongst post-emission solutions, catalytic converters are highly effective. Catalytic converters transform exhaust emissions into less harmful compounds. They can be especially effective in removing hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide from the exhaust.

At the engine level itself, engine oil additives are helpful in reducing emissions. Anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, high performance fuel additives and more lead to better performance, improved combustion and a longer engine life. The improvement in the engine’s efficiency as a result directly correlates to lesser emissions over time. Fuel economy of a vehicle is yet another factor that helps determine emissions. It can be optimised by light weighting, which lessens fuel consumption itself. Light weighting a vehicle by 10 pounds can result in a 10-15-pound reduction of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Polymer systems that can bear a lot of stress have emerged as reliable replacements for metals in automotive construction.

BASF, the pioneer of the first catalytic converter for automobiles, has been at the forefront of developing technology to help automakers comply with advancing emission norms while retaining vehicle performance and cost-efficiency. Its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Mahindra World City near Chennai is equipped to develop a range of catalysts for diverse requirements, from high performance and recreational bikes to economy-oriented basic transportation. BASF also leverages its additives expertise to provide compounded lubricant solutions, such as antioxidants, anti-wear additives and corrosion inhibitors and more. At the manufacturing level, BASF’s RD in engineered material systems has led to the development of innovative materials that are much lighter than metals, yet just as durable and strong. These can be used to manufacture mirror brackets, intake pipes, step holders, clutch covers, etc.

With innovative solutions on all fronts of automobile production, BASF has been successfully collaborating with various companies in making their vehicles emission compliant in the most cost-effective way. You can read more about BASF’s innovations in two-wheeler emission control here, lubricant solutions here and light weighting solutions here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.

How media brands are using marketing to turn accusations of fake news into page views

The rise of the internet promised to deliver a wealth of information to the public. It had the power to enrich lives if the information conveyed was considered incorruptible and fact-checked by reputable journalistic outlets. This didn’t quite pan out.

The decline of print revenues, coupled with the leader of the free world branding much of the free press liars after his ascent to power, has led to the world’s leading titles having to recommunicate their inherent value as gatekeepers of the truth.

The infantile and categorically broad accusation of ‘fake news’ is a term commonly on president Donald Trump’s tongue; with it he has lashed the likes of CNN, BuzzFeed and even BBC News while cosying up to those who give him more favourable coverage like Breitbart.

It’s no wonder that the American public, on the whole, is more trusting of UK publications than their US counterparts. But even in the UK, 71% of people conflate advertising with fake news, further dirtying the waters. As a result, publishers have made no secret about adapting their content strategies to meet a diminished public trust head on.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 unearthed stats claiming only 4% of people could readily identify fake news. This necessitates the need for accessible quality journalism. However, in addition to altering content, publishers have had to communicate this paradigm shift in their marketing in an attempt to defend against – or even exploit – the fake news phenomenon.

Chris Arning, ‎founder and director of Creative Semiotics has helped deconstruct the campaigns from a semiotics standpoint on a case-by-case basic. He reveals some pointers in what makes the ads tick and uncovers the message news brands are trying to convey.

New York Times

Back in February 2017, The New York Times enlisted Droga5 to unite the nation against alternative facts (a freshly minted obfuscation from the Trump administration at the time).

It culminated in the New York Times airing its first branded TV ad in a decade (something that will be a common pattern throughout this analysis).

The ad aired during the Academy Awards to take a swing at the falsehoods being perpetuated by Trump and its media rivals.

NYT was also one of the first media outlets to buy into this renewed line of quality journalism marketing in 2017 with the above OOH buy on its home turf in New York.

Arning: The black text on white helps communicate in a stripped back, no-nonsense way. Charcoal or copper type is used to add more weight to the paper’s truth. It also plays with the notion of the lenticular, that way words are swapped out at will, showing the mutability of facts. And finally, as the ad rushes to its conclusion, it increases in speed, making reference to the information overload of the 24/7 news cycle.

The Wall Street Journal

‘The Face of Real News’ was the WSJ’s attempt to forge trust with the public. Working with ThePartnership, the paper looked to position itself as the antithesis of fake news.

A series of ads launched as trust in the media reached a reported all-time low in the US. The WSJ looked to be more transparent about how its reporters got and delivered stories. To do this it got artists to animate reporter narratives, building the personalities of the writers across numerous platforms.

Accompanying the campaign, journalists got on stage and shared their first-hand experiences of running their beats.

Speaking to Adweek, Wil Boudreau, North American chief creative officer of ThePartnership, said: “You can click on anything on the internet and it looks like news, but when you hear the story of how journalists actually get their stories firsthand from them it really is quite compelling and makes you respect what it takes to get real news.”

Arning: Black and white and monochrome is becoming a trend here. WSJ goes for handdrawn graphic novel illustration style to connote craftsmanship. By using the human hand, it conveys a sense of trustworthiness versus glossiness of news idents. With The Face of Real News strapline it shows that its reporters will not shrug away from transparency. It foregrounds the printing press, typewriter, paper files and other tools of journalist’s trade to signify veteran ethics.

Financial Times

Earlier this year the Financial Times launched a global marketing campaign called ‘Think Beyond Black and White’ to take a stance against fake news and show the nuance in its coverage. The broadsheet urged readers to buy into its ethos using the strapline ‘For the full perspective, turn to the FT’.

The publication looked to “take readers beyond the headlines and help them make the right connections in complex and uncertain times.”

The work ran across UK, US and Asia Pacific, with Essence creative director, Andy Veasey, stating: “This campaign promotes the unique perspective of the FT by presenting typical news as black and white before turning the page to reveal the FT’s distinctive pink brand and the full perspective: clarity amid the complexity.”

It also made use of reader testimonies to promote the spectrum of its audience across the globe.

The Telegraph

UK broadsheet the Telegraph sidestepped any mention of Trump but looked to outline the power of the written word in a video that touches down on the cornerstones of human ingenuity like Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’, Neil Armstrong’s ‘leap’ and Muhammad Ali’s ‘float’.

Robert Bridge, chief customer officer at the Telegraph, said: « Quality journalism has never been more important but in an era of fake news it’s vital that we continue to raise awareness and encourage reappraisal of the Telegraph amongst new audiences, on whichever platform they use. »

The ad from AdamEve/DDB aired during the finale of Game of Thrones and ran on other platforms henceforth. Like the NYT, it was the publication’s first brand marketing activity on TV for more than a decade.

Arning: This runs with monochrome aesthetic atop a montage style video. It has been put together in a way that communicates cut and paste, even punk ethos. There are metatextual insertion of browsers, and other signifiers of the online world. The background clatter seems designed to evoke the speed of events to add jeopardy to the slot. Finally, the use of the rat-a-tat-tat of typewriter keys/machine gun salvos represents weaponisation of words.

The Atlantic

The Atlantic, back in February, encouraged more cynicism from its readers by urging them to question their answers.

Actor Michael K. Williams led the title’s first brand campaign in over 10 years to ask the public if he is indeed typecast as a prominent black artist. The work saw four different versions of Williams arguing about whether he is typecast helping to portray the nuanced shades of truth that can be conveyed. The two and a half minute brand film was created by Wieden Kennedy.

Agency creative director Jaclyn Crowley told AdAge: “The [Atlantic] really respect process and debate. Sometimes the best way to show something is through examples, so we presented the idea of having notable personalities confronting something they might have been surprised they struggled with. »

The video heads up a landing page on the 160-year-old publication stating that it has been “challenging established answers with tough questions”.

The Economist

The Economist looked to dissect the ‘noisey, chaotic, confusing world’ and help the public “see more clearly” with a campaign created to drive subscriptions. It stated: ‘The World Needs Another Economist Reader’.

The ad was created in-housed by Economist Films and aired in October across the US, enticing potential readers with a free issue. It debuted on the Late Late Show with James Corden.

David Alter, director of programmes at Economist Films, said: “This was a great opportunity for Economist Films to spread our wings creatively and also pay homage to our parent brand and its mind-stretching content. We firmly believe that now, more than ever, the world does need another Economist reader.”

Vanity Fair

In September, Vanity Fair was the latest publication to be bludgeoned by Trump’s titillating Twitter tantrums. He tweeted:

Not one to take a beating lying down, the publication mimicked Potus’ language to state that it was in actual fact not on its last legs. Also embedded is a cheeky call to arms asking fans to subscribe.


As the recipient of the original ‘fake news’ accusation, CNN launched a campaign in October making a covenant to tell the truth.

For the purposes of the ad, the publisher said it would call an apple an apple. The bold aesthetic from ad agency Figliulo Partners also took some time to throw some shade at president Trump by claiming he would call the apple a banana. The drive was called Facts First and more ads are set to follow.

It is worth noting that rival BuzzFeed, also an earlier recipient of the fake news brand, mocked the ad in a surreal video.

Arning: CNN goes for a single image on white, the most restrained use of image yet. The use of the apple is interesting – apple is a good, honest fruit, a forbidden fruit, there inter-textual shades of iMac aesthetic. There’s no score, just the apple and banana comparison. It positions the viewers as children. With #FactsFirst – straight to the point, and neatly avoids the use of Truth, which is ultimately a hugely load word.

Arning reflects on some wider trends from the campaigns: « The use of binary opposites in terms of opinions (the NYT Lenticular flipping between diametrically opposed views) have been around a while. He discusses how broadcasters can create self-fulfilling prophesies with campaigns such as those above. He draws attention to Russia Today which has embraced the regular accusations that it is merely the propaganda wing of Russia.

« Of course it has its Kremlin bias and spends an inordinate amount of time gleefully dwelling on domestic unrest and scandals in the US… It has been running ads on the London Underground recently with scurrilous headlines such as ‘The CIA calls us A Propaganda Machine,’ ‘Find Out What we Call the CIA’ and ‘Watch RT and Find Out Who We Are Planning to Hack’. »

Fundamentally, Arning adds, there is an irony in the way « media brands, themselves funded by advertisers, are relying on advertising – which is a quintessentially rhetorical form – in order to persuade us of their love of truth over bias and persuasion.

« This is corporate communication – once you strip it down to its bare essentials – masquerading as a disinterested moral homily. They use propaganda codes – in particular popular understanding of Soviet Montage techniques shows they used – didactic text on black or white slugs, and suturing and then colliding together news footage from various sources to make their point (The Telegraph in particularly ) in order to get across their point.

Arning concluded: « So in short, some are using a rhetorical medium and a Soviet propaganda medium to plead for their editorial probity and commitment of truth. »

Video marketing: A beginner’s guide

Video marketing guide

Here Marketing Week looks at some of the core issues that brands should consider around video marketing.

Jump to:

  • Creating a video marketing strategy
  • Choosing a video format
  • Choosing the right screen size
  • Autoplay and no sound
  • Measuring video
  • Video on a budget

Creating a video marketing strategy

Devising an effective video strategy is no mean feat. Although the barriers to entry are lower for brands compared to other media channels such as TV or cinema, marketers must think carefully about the type of video content they produce, the audience it is aimed at and the platforms on which it is shared.

Although marketers can create and publish videos with relative ease, they should aim to take a scientific approach to their video strategy. For publisher Time Inc that means looking at the data rather than doing things on a hunch.

The publisher has also experimented with a range of different video formats across its brands. Look magazine, for example, creates tutorials and has used shoppable Facebook Live videos to help monetise partnerships with brands like Asos and Benefit Cosmetics.

Creating a recurring series of content is another way to build audiences. For example, one video in the #MumWins series created by Time Inc’s Good to Know site attracted 49 million views on

READ MORE: How to devise an effective video strategy

Choosing a video format

From a 15-minute series to six-second Snapchat clips, the sheer volume of video formats and channels available means marketers need to carefully consider how video works for their specific brand. These are the options:

Long-form video

As the home of long-form video content, YouTube is a favourite with brands looking to break the conventions of TV schedules and go direct to consumers. Buzzfeed attracts seven billion global views each month so is firmly of the belief digital shows can break through at scale. In fact, one in six people in the UK currently subscribes to one of BuzzFeed’s Tasty food channels on YouTube.

Beauty brand Benefit, meanwhile, opts for YouTube when it wants to generate the mass awareness needed to promote a new product. However, quantity doesn’t beat quality. Head of digital marketing for Benefit UK and Ireland, Michelle Stoodley, says the brand attempted to do one video a week on YouTube last year but didn’t quite appreciate the work involved, the time needed and the budgets so now believes less is more.

Short-form video

Whether it’s a six-second Snapchat clip or a polished, high-end Instagram Stories campaign, marketers are increasingly adding short-form video to their media mix. This means marketers are experimenting with how to use the screen space to make a real impact.

The square format of Instagram and the vertical nature of Snapchat can both present a challenge when it comes to figuring out assets, however. But despite the issues with viewability and impact, Mondelez’s digital and social media manager, Pollyanna Ward says it has taught the brand that when it comes to creative, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is a valuable lesson.

User-generated content

Content created by brand fans, influencers and staff has been a big success for Benefit. To coincide with the roll-out of its mascara Roller Lash in 2015, Benefit created a montage video featuring user-generated content (UGC) posted by consumers.

It gets store-based employees involved in creating tutorials, which the brand says consumers respond well to.

READ MORE: When to use video: The ultimate guide

Live video

Livestreaming is currently being tried, tested and launched via various platforms. Twitter announced its plans for a 24/7 live video stream in April, Facebook and YouTube continue to try and grow their live offering and other players in the market are proving their worth.

Brands can advertise against live video streams to reach a desired audience but increasingly it’s a way for brands to create their own live content.

Aside from creating this content with Google, Facebook and Twitter, other platforms are emerging that offer the tools to take control and brand a video experience rather than having to use the existing platforms and all that comes with them.

One example is Telefónica’s livestreaming tool Xtreamr, which is designed to help brands, content producers and TV broadcasters create interactive live experiences for audiences via a web tool and mobile app.


Instagram stories Airbnb
Airbnb used Instagram Stories to build awareness of its Airbnb Experiences offer.

Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all offer a ‘stories’ function on their sites. Stories originated with Snapchat in 2013 and allows users of the social media platform to play a series of ‘snaps’ or videos in one sequence. Instagram and Facebook followed suit in 2016 and 2017 with their own not dissimilar versions of the feature.

A report in TechCrunch found that view counts on Snapchat Stories dropped by 15-40% after the launch of Instagram Stories, and posting volume declined as well so there is much competition in this area. These functions are now open to brands to create their own stories and Instagram seems to be stealing a lot of the limelight.

READ MORE: From stories to livestreaming: The newest video formats for brands

Choosing the right screen size

Brands need to ensure they are thinking about creating content specifically for screen size to make sure it is relevant to the device, particularly mobile.

Teads’ research, conducted with Ipsos, shows that mobile-optimised square video formats drive 66% more completed views than horizontal creative when viewed on mobile devices.

It also shows that outstream vertical and square formats are the least intrusive of all mobile ads, driving a 39% enhancement in user experience. Vertical formats achieve 83% higher ad recall than the horizontal format, with square ads achieving 60% better ad recall.

Autoplay and a lack of sound

It’s no longer a viable option for brands to simply repurpose TV ads for use on other channels. A 30-second TV ad might work OK as a pre-roll but its message could be lost if it is autoplayed in a news feed or on social media.

Understanding users’ context is also key. This means thinking about how a video is being viewed, which is often without sound. While it does present a challenge it also gives marketers the opportunity to be creative and design content specifically without sound.

Measuring video

Many marketers are scratching their heads when it comes to understanding how to successfully measure video effectiveness, with many relying too heavily on completion rate.

Measurement is still not sophisticated, with some suggesting the fact Facebook and Google partner with Nielsen means the standard ad recall and impact on perception video metrics are too much like above-the-line measures so not fit for purpose.

READ MORE: Mark Ritson: Facebook’s erroneous video metrics show no one has a clue about digital

Collecting data like impressions, video views or average completion rates does not in itself prove that customers or prospects have remembered, enjoyed, felt persuaded by or done anything different because of a branded video.

Instead marketers should be asking questions around whether video views lead to brand or product advocacy, argues Andre van Loon, research and insight director at We Are Social, as well as if they were successful in reinforcing existing attitudes or behaviours, or creating new ones, and if a brand’s videos impacted on consumers’ purchase intentions or increased sales.

READ MORE: How to measure video effectiveness

Video on a budget

Brands need to make sure they achieve the right look and feel, while at the same time making a big impact. Here are some straightforward tips to make the most of a small budget when making video:

Plan your video

It is easy for brands to dive straight into filming without any consideration of the video’s message, timing or desired outcome. Planning ahead means the project will be less likely to go over budget, helping brands avoid expensive reshoots and wasted investment.

READ MORE: How to devise an effective video strategy

Brands should firstly define their goals and what they want the video to achieve. Clarity on the video’s key messages will ensure marketers stay on track. Each piece of video content should also include a call to action, which acts as an instruction for the viewer and helps to provoke an immediate response. If the goal is to drive traffic to a website or sign people up to a newsletter, then define this at the outset and build a call to action into the video that looks to achieve this.

Be resourceful with video equipment

Be it your phone or a professional DSLR camera, making video has never been more democratised, with influencers shooting quality video straight from their bedrooms with little kit or money.

Re-use old video

Re-editing past video footage is a cost-effective method of getting more bang for your buck – don’t avoid using footage just because it is old. Videos can also be freshened up with new music and by working with the frames from a different angle to produce something new.

Avoid video pitfalls

Some brands create a piece of video content just for the sake of it, while others take a one-size-fits-all approach, placing the same video on every social media platform.

To avoid these problems, make video social media ready. In practice, this means personalising video for the chosen social media platform and understanding each channel.

It’s also important to identify each social media platform’s optimal video format. The horizontal video aspect ratio that was once the gold standard for social and online video has been proven less effective in engagement than vertical and square videos, especially thanks to Snapchat.

In depth