Top 10 stories that grabbed marketers’ attention in 2016

What a time to be alive in 2016, with key debates on ad-blocking and ad scams continuing its hold on the industry. Futuristic developments such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and chat bots have also started to capture the hearts of marketers.

From the people movements and PR disasters to Joseph Schooling and Pokemon Go, let’s look back on the top reader favourites from 2016 this year.

1. Shangri-La CMO Steven Taylor leaves role

This year saw Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ CMO Steven Taylor exiting his role after two years with the organisation. During his tenure, he oversaw all functions across Shangri-La’s sales and marketing division, including sales, digital marketing, brand communications, to name a few. Read more here.

2. Changi Airport gets gold for speedy reaction to Joseph Schooling’s big win

Following local Olympian Joseph Schooling’s monumental gold medal win, Changi Airport became one of the quickest brands to congratulate him – through its flight information display system (FIDS). A key visual of the FIDS was posted on the airport’s Facebook page, receiving over 3k likes and over 400 shares in just an hour. Changi Airport works with local agency Goodstuph for its social media executions. Read more here.

3. Marketer writes open letter to Grey Singapore addressing awards scam

Following Grey Singapore’s controversy surrounding its I-SEA app which won a bronze Lion at Cannes, marketer Ali Bullock wrote an open letter criticising the agency and urging them to return the award won. The article was first published on his LinkedIn. In the letter, Bullock declares he would “not entertain a pitch, submission or award” from Grey Singapore and Grey Global until they return the award they “falsely won for this travesty”. Read more here.

4. Singapore marketing industry salary guide for 2016

Despite the economic slowdown in China, a new salary guide by global recruiter Morgan McKinley has shown that 2015 was a good year for the sales and marketing industry – especially for those in the digital and e-commerce segments. Morgan McKinley predicted that overall salaries of sales and marketing professional will increase in 2016. Meanwhile, jobseekers with specialised skill sets in content marketing, analytics, customer insight, social media, performance marketing and e-commerce will command the largest increases. Read more here.

5. McCann Japan introduces the world’s first AI creative director

McCann Erickson Japan created and named the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) creative director. Called AI-CD β, the AI bot is able to give creative direction for commercials and was assigned to client accounts for commercials as per creative briefs. Until now, the production of commercials has been dependent on the intangible experience and know-how of human creators. The AI bot hence signalled the possibilities of providing clients with work produced through logic-based creative direction grounded on past TV commercial data. Read more here.

6. 5 things a career in advertising gives you

At a time where disillusionment seems to be clouding the industry, the ad world still offers many valuable lessons and training to professionals looking to carve a name themselves. However, with the increasing trend of talent migrating to other industries such as tech platforms and even to the client-side, the ad world’s bad rep doesn’t seem to subside. In this contributed opinion piece, R3 principal consultant Seema Punwani summarises the lessons and the skills a career in advertising will give you. Read more here.

7. Mediacorp pulls offensive “fashion police” video following outrage

In June, Mediacorp’s online content streaming service, Toggle, pulled a “fashion police” promotional video from its Facebook page following widespread criticism from netizens for being mean and disrespectful. The promotional video was for its original Double Trouble web-series hosted by local celebrities Mark Lee and Kumar. It saw social media influencer Saffron Sharpe taking to the streets and criticising unwitting passer bys on their fashion choices – with their faces blurred. The media company released a statement and apology for the contents.Read more here.

8. Did Nintendo lose out by not launching Pokemon Go in Singapore?

Following the explosion of augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go globally, the game’s exclusion to Southeast Asian countries – particular Singapore, was a cause for question. Pokemon Go combines 90s nostalgia with futuristic capabilities such as AR. It garnered widespread popularity globally, raising a staggering US$9 billion to Nintendo’s market value at the time. Marketing sat down with industry players discussing the potential rationale for Nintendo and Niantic’s decision to not start with Singapore as an initial launch market. Read more here.

9. SMU explains why agencies are required to pay to pitch

In August, news surfaced that Singapore Management University (SMU) had asked agencies looking to pitch for its creative, digital and media account to pay for the actual pitch document packet for SG$100. The pitching process is already difficult enough, with high competition and low turnaround times. Hence having to pay for a brief is something which struck a nerve for many in the industry. When asked to clarify the move, a spokesperson from SMU told Marketing that the move is “not the same as a paying a pitch fee”. Read more here.

10. Kinetic Singapore loses client, gains respect and love

This year saw Mini Asia shifting its creative account from Kinetic Singapore to Govt. Prior to the move, the brand had been working with the agency for six years. While one would have anticipated a little rivalry and sadness over the account loss, Kinetic in an incredibly gracious move posted a statement on its Facebook page congratulating Govt and honouring its former client. Read more here.

(Photo: 123RF)

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