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Singapore’s top 10 stories for 2015

Trust a misplaced or a controversial ad or a major brand revamp to go a long way. Here’s what kept the local industry reading in 2015 plus some of our favorites.

(See you all again in the new year. We shut down for two weeks and are back on 4 January 2016.)

O&M’s provocative ‘Mums and Maids’ spot sparks heated debate

This ad got moms all riled up with some extreme opinions. It was a campaign done by Ogilvy & Mather along with non-profit organisation The Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2). The polarising campaign drew attention to the fact that sometimes maids tend to know children of the household better than the working mothers. It tries to drive home the point that families, and more specifically mothers, should give maids the day off and aim to get to know their children better.

Read the story here.

What some clever brands did with #thedress

#thedress which broke the internet. The pictures of the dress tore audiences apart globally on what its actual colour is. People were aggressively arguing on social media with two primary teams emerging: Team Blue and Black and Team White and Gold.

Read the story here.

BreadTalk cops flak for LKY-themed bun

Local brand BreadTalk came under fire on social media for creating a new bun to the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. Read the story here. According to articles on The Mothership and Straits Times, BreadTalk had posted a promotional poster on its social media channels earlier today where it announced the launch of a new bun called “Lee bu kai ni” which means “can’t leave you” – a play on Lee’s surname.

It, however, quickly moved to remedy the situation. Read about it here.

Singtel strips talent contest winner of title hours after crowning

The contest winner for the new face of Singtel TV-Masti Showcase 2015, Yasmeen Munira, lost her title within 12 hours of winning the title of Miss Starlet 2015. This came after several of her previously made offensive tweets surfaced where she made comments about overweight and ugly Singaporeans. Read more here.

Singapore brand giants put out sombre branding for LKY tribute

As the nation mourned the passing of founding Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, various media publications under SPH, MediaCorp and Yahoo blacked out their social media pages as the country embarked on a seven day mourning ritual. Read more here.

AWARE Singapore slams Nivea for playing up women’s insecurities

Women’s rights group AWARE Singapore has slammed Nivea for its latest ad. The three minute ad depicts the perils of a modern day woman who was caught in awkward social situations due to her dark underarms. Read more here.

Uniqlo denies fitting room sex tape is marketing stunt

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo was put in an embarrassing position after a footage of two people having sex, believed to have been taken inside a fitting room of a Uniqlo outlet in Beijing, went viral on social media. Here is what went on.

What Singtel’s rebranded identity looks like

Singapore’s largest telco underwent a massive brand revamp, the first in 16 years, and did away with its old logo for a new one. It also repositioned itself with a brand promise “Let’s make everyday better.” But for a brand like Singtel, a big move such as this wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by the consumers. Read all that followed the launch here.

The problem with agencies and tech vendors: They don’t understand the business of marketing

In a candid article, Damien Cummings, global head of digital marketing for Standard Chartered Bank summarises the the greatest challenge facing the marketing world today. Read more here.

JWT consolidates its digital agencies to form new global network

Marketing first reported JWT’s consolidation of its digital agencies to form a new global digital network called Mirum. It combined 11 of its digital agencies including Digitaria (North America), XM (Asia Pacific) CASA (Brazil) ActivearkJWT (Finland, Sweden, India and UK) and Twist Image (Canada). Read more here.

Plus here are some of our favorites from the year:

Logo woes: Mediacorp clarifies stock image twin

On 8 December 2015, Singapore’s largest media broadcaster Mediacorp unveiled a new logo to mark a new milestone in its 52-year history: the move from iconic Caldecott Hill to a new 800,000-square-foot location at One-North dubbed Mediacorp Campus. As a longstanding media provider in Singapore, running eight TV channels, thirteen radio stations, twelve printed magazines and seven online publications, reactions to its new logo were unsurprisingly not without its demerits. Read more here.

Agencies, stop dropping your pants to get business #saynotospec

There are many issues with the marketing and advertising industry today and most of them require the industry to come together as one. Offering services for free or cheaper than the rest is one such issue – or “free Spec work” as this Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo says. Trust me, this isn’t another client-bashing article because agencies in the adland are themselves to be blamed for their misery. Read more here.

Rayana and Rezwana: Same same, but different. Really different.

Dear friends of Marketing, We’ve had it. And when I say this, I really mean, WE’VE HAD IT. All of 2015, I, deputy editor of Marketing Magazine, Rezwana have been confused with editor, Rayana- through emails, phone calls and wait-for-it even face-to-face. Granted, we look similar, you know same height, weight, skin colour (#browntown) and at times we wear similar outfits too (just to make things worse). We even have the same phonetics to our name (RA-YA-NA / REZ-WA-NA), well, almost.

Ray’s side of the story is no different either. Read it here.

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