Posts tagged #Branded Content

RADvertising: Crazy Rich Asians as an ad for Singapore

In 2007 I took a trip to Singapore for an IBM brand strategy project I was working on and remember not loving it there.  I was living in NYC at the time so thought nothing could compare.  I jokingly referred to the island city-state off southern Malaysia as "Singa-snore."  It wasn't for me with all its rules (No spitting.  No gum on the street.)  - which they even joke about on the tacky tourist t-shirts at the airport.  I was from NYC - I was a rule breaker, not a rule follower.

Common tourist t-shirt

Common tourist t-shirt

The only part of Singapore I remember liking was Little India - with all its Hindu temples and authentic Indian food everywhere youwent.  But all that's changed after seeing Crazy Rich Asians last night.   

If you haven't seen it yet (and it's topping the box office currently), it squarely fits in the rom-com genre.  But besides the central romantic relationship in the movie, it's actually a love story about Singapore.   It romanticises the food, the architecture, the nature and (some of) the people.  I was salivating over the hawker food market scene even though I was painfully full from having dinner just before the movie.  When the main character mentions some vendors are Michelin-rated chefs, it puts your local food truck to shame.  

When I visited in 2007, the Marina Bay Sands was probably just a hole in the ground.  Now, I'm obsessed with the idea of swimming at the top in its infinity pool:

The Marina Bay Sands, which opened in 2010

The Marina Bay Sands, which opened in 2010

Who knows what kind of set-up there was between Singapore's tourism body, film industry and the producers of the movie, but they must all be pretty pleased with the result and likely boon for visitors.  The best part is, you won't leave the theatre thinking you have to be 'crazy rich' to enjoy Singapore - but you would be crazy to not be more curious and excited about Singapore than  you were before you walked in. 

In that way, Crazy Rich Asians definitely counts as RADvertising for Singapore.  

Posted on September 4, 2018 and filed under RADvertising.

RADvertising: 3 brands that get benevolence

First off, I’m going to be totally honest: I didn’t come up with the idea of benevolent brands – it’s been around the past few years.  Even worse, I had to google “define benevolent” to even understand what the word benevolent even meant at first!  I’ve since discovered that I’m not the only one, so for those of you who suck at Scrabble too, here you go:

Benevolent (adjective):  “well-meaning and kindly” and “an organization serving a charitable rather than a profit-making purpose.

In the past month there’s been a surge in brands doing cool, benevolent things that take them beyond their core categories (cars, dog food, vodka) – and into an adjacent space that might not make them rich, but certainly make their brand proposition stronger. 

The one you’ve probably seen mentioned the most is Volvo’s “LifePaint.”  The boxy family car that’s synonymous with “safety” has deepened its commitment to safety by creating a spray that can be used on bikes, backpacks and clothing so they become reflective at night (but look no different in daylight).  Apparently the bike shops that sell it are receiving hundreds of phone calls a day about it.  Whilst Volvo isn’t in the bike business, it is in the business of safe driving and this initiative has got people talking about the brand again.

Similarly, dog food Pedigree has launched Pedigree Found – an app that lets dog owners notify if their pet has gone missing, and in conjunction, Google Display Network will post a picture of the dog to people within a 2.5km radius of the owner – acting almost like a digital “Missing Dog” poster. So far it's only in New Zealand (and so far it only applies to missing dogs... what about us crazy cat ladies?!?!) 

And last, Absolut Vodka is elevating its 30-year connection to the art world with Absolut Art – an initiative that helps regular folks like us (I assume you’re not a high end art collector either) discover and purchase artworks from rising talent around the world.  First stop: Stockholm (of course).  It demonstrates that their commitment to artistry and creativity isn’t just lip service – it’s part of who they are as a brand.

Based on my own newsfeed of friends’ posts, the social media currency of these benevolent initiatives seems strong – and I imagine they have a good deal of PR value as well.  The beauty is they manage to strengthen the brand without resorting to traditional forms of advertising… and do some good for the world at the same time.

What do you think… Is it all hippy-dippy feel good stuff with little reach and impact?  Or something every brand needs to be investigating?  

The only piece of native advertising we've ever re-posted on Facebook

There are a million cat videos on the interweb but probably the best one we've ever seen comes to us on Buzzfeed from Friskies brand cat food in a video titled, "Dear Kitten."  It's an open letter told from one experienced cat to the new cat on the block.  Over the course of 3 captivating mins (yes, a whole 3 minutes - which is like a year in internet time) it manages to pull the viewer in by giving us a glimpse of the world through a cat's eyes, including the menacing threat known as "va-cuum" (a pronunciation we now use whenever cleaning the house).   

About midway through it manages a very subtle product placement of delicious Friskies wet food - deemed superior to the "dehydrated brown nibblets" designed more for astronauts than for cats.  It's a clever way to get a product message in, and it supports the entire video story line, rather than feeling jammed in there.  We posted it to Facebook knowing full well the brand managers at Friskies are gleefully watching the video view counts go up in hopes of an end of year bonus.    We don't mind - it's THAT good!  

What do you think?  Watchable for native advertising?  Would you share it?  Got any other pieces of native advertising you've considered worthy and share-able?

Tags: RADvertising, Branded Content, Video, Cats, Friskies, Viral, Funn, Buzzfeed, FMCG

Posted on October 2, 2014 and filed under RADvertising.