A+M December News
1. Magazine growth not matched by audit growth
Readership The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) is on a major push to drive the auditing message amid the rapid growth of new magazine titles on Malaysia's newsstands.
The ABC's annual report, released this month, found the number of magazines to be on the increase but exact numbers were illusive. "We cannot say if there has been an increase or not in print numbers. There are a large number of magazines in the country and they are increasing, but they're not audited," lamented ABC chairman Peter Das.
Das told Advertising + Marketing, it is the ABC's target to get everybody into the ABC fold. "It is not an easy task because we've got the clients who buy without knowing the publishing numbers and we have got agencies who are recommending based on the publisher's claims. First we have to work as a team - the agencies and media specialists - to recommend only audited magazines to their clients but it becomes a different thing if clients choose an unaudited magazine," Das added.
Das does not know the reasons behind some magazines' refusal to get audited but "presumes they think it makes no difference to the advertisers".
The ABC is also taking the digital medium very seriously, especially following the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) report that there are 3,514 daily newspaper websites (2006 figures). There was a drop in newspapers from 2,495,565 copies as at June 2008, compared to 2,540,166 copies in 2007 in Peninsular Malaysia. However, as Nanyang Siang Pau did not submit its circulation volume for this year, Das prefers to say the figures evened out.
WAN reported more than 1.7 billion people around the world read a newspaper daily and there are 11,700 daily newspaper titles in 2007 globally. It adds that India leads with the most number of paid for titles while the US leads the number of free dailies and advertising revenues.
2.Lindstrom sad over state of malaysia brands
Branding Malaysia might have local brands valued at RM62 billion, as revealed by the recently concluded Malaysian Most Valuable Brands (MMVB) awards, but Malaysian brands have been performing miserably, said brand futurist Martin Lindstrom.
"Bad job guys," he said, "It's really bad and I'm really sad. I've been to Malaysia before but for some reason, people are not listening or they don't have time or resources to do it.
"You actually have the resources, you have the talent and you have to work with the government who is willing to support branding efforts and for the size of the country you have, you should already have five worldwide brands," Lindstrom said.
What Malaysia has is one-and-a-half brands - the country and the airlines (Malaysia Airlines), Lindstrom holds.
"Malaysians should be passionate and start the storytelling process (an element Lindstrom emphasised in his talk at the Global Brand Forum). You have great stories to tell.
"I think you are afraid of sticking out but you need to do that. You have to be very different because you are sitting on an amazing heritage and values that the world really wants now - harmony, nature and the experience," he added.
3. Agencies bag the Big Won
Agencies Arc Worldwide, Kuala Lumpur, bagged 4th place in the ‘top direct marketing agencies' category of the annual Big Won Report, with OgilvyOne, Malaysia following in 6th place.
The agencies are the only two Asian agencies to make it into the global top 10 list. Shackleton (Madrid), AIM Proximity (New Zealand) and M&C Saatchi (Australia) grabbed the choice three spots for top direct marketing agencies.
Arc Worldwide, Kuala Lumpur, was also awarded 7th place in the ‘top direct marketing campaigns' list for ‘The Greatest Show on Earth". AIM Proximity (New Zealand) grabbed first place for ‘Body Parts', second for Leo Burnett (Sydney) and its campaign ‘Earth Hour', and third for Ogilvy's (London) ‘Smoke is Poison'.
Tan Kien Eng, managing director of Leo Burnett & Arc Worldwide Malaysia, said, "2007 was a tremendously exciting year for us, and to be recognised amongst the top agencies locally, regionally as well as internationally, is a strong testament to the agency's commitment, teamwork, and Arc's business model for inspired marketing solutions through the fusion of creativity and accountability".
4. Store brands growing in popularity
Research Rising prices and slumping optimism are driving Malaysian consumers into the arms of private or home brands. The Nielsen Company's Retail Audit found while the private label is still in its infancy in the country, the sector is slated for stronger growth against a backdrop of inflation and consumers. The audit, covering 68 grocery categories, found prices rising to as high as 20% with food items increasing by an average 15%. Maria Öijer, retailer services director, Southeast Asia said inflationary pressures are forcing consumers to adapt their grocery shopping habits and switch to cheaper alternatives like the private labels.
"It is early days yet for private label in the Malaysia market, but we have seen a sharp spike in sales momentum over the last year, fuelled by rising commodity prices," observed Öijer.
It's time for branded manufacturers to be on their toes and start aggressively protecting their brands' equity through targeted advertising and promotion strategies, advised Nielsen.
5. Free mag comes at a cost
Magazines Free magazine Juice announced it is expanding its distribution beyond the Klang Valley to major newsstands and bookstores nationwide printing an additional 8,000 copies, which will come with a cover price.
The additional 8,000 copies of the lifestyle and clubbing scene centred magazine will be sold at RM4.90 starting January at newsstands and bookstores the likes of Borders, myNEWS, Kinokuniya.
Owner Catcha Publishing believes the price will not be a barrier to the increasing number of readers.
According to Catcha's managing director Voon Tze Khay, "We did feel it was crucial to respond to the increasing demand of the magazine."
With a claimed current circulation of 30,000 copies (although the title is unaudited), it claims a ‘pick up' of approximately 95% and Voon expects 70% of the additional 8,000 increase to shift.
Juice began in Singapore in 1998 and expanded to Malaysian in 2002.
6. Courts shifts media to GroupM without pitch
Accounts Electronics retailer Courts has quietly moved its estimated RM15 million Malaysia media account to GroupM without pitch. It is understood the account, which was previously stabled with OMD, will be handled by MediaCom.
Andreas Vogiatzakis, MD of OMD Malaysia said: "The reasons for the shift are purely administrative and not at all strategic or related to the work that OMD has done for courts, which to this day has been exceptional. OMD has been a long term partner of Courts, and wishes them all the very best in their journey ahead."
The win caps a strong run for GroupM, which recently picked up the regional business for Sarah Lee which in Malaysia is being handled by Maxus.
7. Expanding creative on a shrinking budget
Creative The gloomy economy is the best time for the creative industry as its players are forced into thinking creative on a small budget, some of the big names in advertising said this month.
The message was imparted upon the Distilled conference participants by the likes of Alex Burnard (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), Sonal Dabral (Bates 141), Matty Burton (Droga5), Thirasak Tanapatanakul (Creative Juice\World Group) and Graham Kelly (formerly of TBWA\Tequila Singapore).
"Right now, your clients need you more than ever and when the recession comes it is the same as a gold rush. It's about repositioning the brand and company. Things may not be good but the show still goes on," Burnard told reporters after the five-hour long seminar, which ran as part of the Kancil's month of activities
8. Nielsen to examine
the rich and their reads
Research Nielsen Media Research this month signalled the company's intentions to examine the reading behaviour of Malaysians and the attitude of affluent consumers towards publications.
Andrea Douglas, executive director, of the research arm made the announcement while presenting Nielsen's recent readership survey for the nation's free-sheet newspaper theSun which tracked a 2.9 pass-on readership rate and examined its readers and their lifestyles.
"We might standardise the survey's model and have it sold by subscription but not just for one client. It may be part of the Media Index and will not just look at readership rates.
"It will profile the readers' behaviour and the attitudes of the affluent category towards publications, be it magazines or newspapers," she said, adding that theSun's survey would be the pilot of the syndicated survey.
9. Indonesians the new front in telco battle
Campaigns As the telco market hits fever pitch, where every customer is up for grabs, Celcom, in a tight targeting strategy is going after the Indonesian migrant worker market through a tie up with its Indonesian sister company.
In a bid to win favour with the large Indonesian consumer base, which is very much at home in Malaysia, the teleco company under the TM wing recently launched its Prabayar Celcom Sukses scheme.
The scheme, which gives lower call rates to Indonesia from Malaysia, will be marketed via a campaign featuring TVCs with slots bought in Indonesian dramas.
To ensure a strong connection with the target consumers Celcom has hired Indonesian nationals to service their customer service department.
"The Indonesians here are big on watching TV dramas, so we decided to use that to our advantage," admitted Zalman Aefendy, senior vice president, marketing department, Celcom Malaysia.
10. Media Prima's revenue peaks start to plateau
Media After enjoying an increase in profits in the first half of the year, media conglomerate Media Prima Bhd (MPB) reported flat revenue growth in the third quarter of 2008 as compared to 2007.
The integrated media investment group attributed the 25% decline in profits to the lower ad spend "arising from the current challenging economic environment and higher content cost due to investment in programming and one-off cost attributable to Euro 2008".
Its third-quarter financial statement reporting showed MPB posted a year-on-year 5% increase in profit after tax and minority interest for the first nine months of the year. A large portion of Media Prima's RM80.4 million profit reflects a 16% revenue increase which came from the contribution of its radio networks, outdoor division and newspaper business.
11. ESS nets new deal for Champions' League
Broadcast ESPN Star Sports (ESS) this month renewed its exclusive agreement for multi-platform rights to the UEFA Champions' League (UCL) for Malaysia and Brunei, and English language pay TV rights for the UCL and UEFA Europa League for China. The agreement is for the 2009/2010 to 2011/2012 seasons.
ESS in Malaysia and Brunei will deliver up to a total of 146 games, including the right to air UEFA-produced magazine shows and allow ESS to produce its own in-house highlight shows. For China, ESS will have rights to broadcast over 350 games for the UCL and the UEFA Europa League.
"We share a fruitful relationship with UEFA and we are delighted to continue our partnership with them. This agreement is a testament to our commitment of building the UEFA Champions League by presenting it in the most innovative and entertaining manner to millions of fans in China, Malaysia and Brunei," Manu Sawhney, managing director for ESS, said.
12. BBDO takes the Gunn
Media BBDO Worldwide has won "The Gunn Report" for the third year in a row with 203 points.
Five markets in Asia Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia contributed to its 6th win in the ten years the report has been published, three times more than any other network. BBDO New York was also the most awarded single agency in the world with 63 points.
In other mentions, Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur's work on Petronas' "Tan Hong Ming" TVC was the fifth most-awarded film in the world and the Gunn Report commended it for being "one of the most charming declarations of love in the fight against racial discrimination".
The Gunn Report combines the winners' lists from all of the major advertising award contests in the world - national, regional and global - to establish the league tables for creativity for the advertising industry.
13. Hall of Fame honours industry legends
Agencies The Accredited Association of Advertising Agents (4As) recognised and inducted several local legends who into its Hall of Fame.
In conjunction with the 30th Kancil Awards Festival 2008, the 4As council vetted a list of about 40 which included the late Peter Beaumont, the late Datuk Jaffar Mohamed Ali, Janet Yeo, the late John Machado, Kenneth Smith, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing and Yasmin Ahmad.
The achievements and contributions of the five and the multi-talented Machado and Yasmin fulfilled the criteria of the power and value of the brands they built, their contribution to human capital development and to Malaysian society at large.
14. Carlsberg campaign reinforces product value
Campaigns On a mission to build awareness and of the brand's heritage in the country, Carlsberg launched a new print campaign for its Green Label, which will run through to year's end.
The campaign titled ‘Carlsberg Story' seeks to reintroduce Malaysian consumers to the beer brand's heritage through an emotionally engaging concept which explores its history, premium quality and Danish roots.
"The campaign brings alive the emotional and functional benefits of Carlsberg," Ole Nielsen, general manager marketing, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia said.
The campaign, which is tagged "Nice One", has space in all major dailies - English, Chinese and Tamil - and will run until December.
15. X-Fertile matures into Ogilvy University
Agencies In a bid to give its employees a real feel of going back to school, Ogilvy & Mather Malaysia has renamed X-Fertile, which used to house its training programmes for employees, to Ogilvy University.
It will continue to host the existing core programmes under Ogilvy such as Hot House (an intensive foundation programme for nominated young achievers), Trailblazers (for managerial employees) and Sparks (inspirational talks and screenings for all).
Amid the list of upcoming training and talent development programmes, the Ogilvy Fellowship Programme is scheduled to make its debut in mid-2009.
Zayn Khan, group managing director for Ogilvy Malaysia said it was timely to rebrand the training programme as the agency expands its training and development offerings.
"Training is an integral part of the Ogilvy culture and we strive to provide it to equip our people with necessary skills and competencies to face today's industry challenges," Kahn said.
"It is an investment of time and money but one that is well worth making," he added, pledging to continue the legacy of "University of Advertising" and focus on human capital development.
16. A+M Bootleg: our new blog for Malaysia
Media Advertising + Marketing Malaysia launched its blog - A+M Bootleg. Check it out regularly for the freshest ideas, reports, photos and videos about the Malaysia marketing, advertising and media industries written by Advertising + Marketing Malaysia's editorial team and the occasional special guest blogger.
Read the A+M Bootleg at ambootleg.blogspot.com
17. A bit rich: Ivanka snubs GBF, spruiks reputation
Branding It had all been going so well but then someone asked the uncomfortable question of the Global Brand Forum Malaysia organisers: "Why was Ivanka Trump a no show?"
At the pre-event press briefings she had been billed as one of the coups of the first Malaysia anchored Global Brand Forum and those in attendance were offered the opportunity to rub their mere mortal shoulders with her Chanel-clad über wealthy ones. But all attendees at the highly anticipated session got was an Oscar night staple, the ‘wish i could be there' video.
Global Brand Forum chairman Karthik Siva was put on the spot by participants who asked what had happened and expressed disappointment over Trump's no-show.
"We tried our best to get her. Everything was settled we had signed the contract, paid the money even and did all the negotiations," he said. Press were given a similar response when they asked during the press launch of the GBF what had happened to Bill Clinton who was an early celebrity speaker coup. Later, he told Advertising+Marketing that the Global Brand had even gone to the extent of offering Trump a private jet to fly in.
Ironically, when Trump did speak by video to the audience, her words included the advice that when building a brand, "reputation and track record are paramount". She went on to say the secrets of branding are: "To have an established track record, having real infrastructure to sustain growth and development and to live up to the promises you make."
Karthik said a no-show had happened once before but that had involved a medical emergency. "These are things that cannot be avoided or helped. Emergencies crop up but we do our best to manage and deliver the objective that we set out to do anyway. There is no doubt that it has been a success, especially with the line up of great speakers," he said.
"We tried our best to get her but we're still optimistic as we have managed to deliver key personalities to share in the event, like Oliver Stone, Jim Stengel and Martin Lindstrom," he said. Prior to the official announcement of the line up of speakers, former US President Bill Clinton was also featured as a speaker. However, at the press conference later, Karthik announced that he had cancelled. However, Clinton did turn up in KL this month for a talk with Petra Group.
- Arc Worldwide Malaysia
- Ogilvy and Mather Malaysia
- Celcom Malaysia
- Petra Group
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