Arun Sudhaman

Working the angles around media, comms and marketing.

Posts Tagged ‘advertising

A little idea

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The Big Idea

The Big Idea

Over the last three months I’ve been lucky enough to work on a project for PRWeek that has been truly eye-opening. Called The Big Idea, the project is best described as an experiment to see how different types of agencies respond to an integrated brief.

First, we needed to find the right brief. The NSPCC indicated its interest and, through the tireless efforts of its director of comms John Grounds and his team, we managed to turn the concept into reality through its Helpline marketing campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 24, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Let’s talk about scam

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Campaign is running an analysis I have written of scam advertising here. It follows this year’s Cannes where scam looked a little less prevalent than previous years. Then again, an agency called FP7 was disqualified from the Dubai Lynx earlier this year for a string of fake ads – like the one opposite for Samsung.

This is a sensitive issue, though, especially for anyone who has spent any length of time in Asia. I think it is sometimes unfair to view scam as a purely Asian phenomenon; there is plenty of evidence to point the finger at Western markets too. But there’s no denying that many agencies in places like Singapore have built strong awards machines that revolve around work of uncertain parentage. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Arun Sudhaman

August 9, 2009 at 10:45 am

Can a country launch a charm offensive?

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Surely some enterprising soul should have set up a country branding practice by now and describe it as the future of integrated marketing in the 21st century?

I ask because, in short order, an array of countries have called in comms counsel to try and repair reputations that have frayed badly. Iceland has picked FD, South Africa has enlisted Dow Jones Insight, and MS&L. And Dubai can’t seem to get too much agency advice, perhaps unsurprising when you read some of the articles that take delight in skewering the Emirate, like this one.

Then there is China which, one year after seeking comms counsel to deal with its PR in the run-up to the Olympics, has decided to go ahead with a much-delayed advertising drive that will try to convince overseas audiences its products are safe. China has been particularly active; it is also looking to expand some its domestic news channels to try and present a different image of the country overseas.

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Written by Arun Sudhaman

July 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Twitter’s Biz Stone explores money-making options

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Biz Stone

Biz Stone

My 48 hours in Cannes were certainly eventful, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the event had barely started by the time I had to leave. Luckily I got the chance to interview the very affable Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. There will be a few upcoming PRWeek stories that will run based on this interview and his Hill & Knowlton seminar – but I thought it was also worth talking a little first about his plans to start monetising the Twitter engine.

First up, Biz said that traditional advertising – like banners for example – was not the path that Twitter intended to take. Interestingly, he explained the reasoning in terms of the resources it would involve, versus the added benefit to users: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Arun Sudhaman

June 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Ogilvy calls on Graves to move PR beyond ‘legendary lunchtimes’

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Ogilvy & Mather global CEO Miles Young has just named Chris Graves as the agency’s new global CEO of its PR unit. This story in PRWeek has all the details.

I think Miles had his tongue in cheek when he made this comment to me:

“[Chris] has a great ability to reframe traditional PR from being legendary lunchtimes to being rich content for clients.”

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June 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Posted in advertising, PR, PRWeek

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Will CSR survive the recession?

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UN

I’ll admit that, like any good journalist, I was rather cynical about the importance of CSR to the corporate communications agenda once the recession began to bite. This attitude only hardened when we uncovered that Microsoft was cutting a swathe through its CSR PR budget, as documented in this article in PRWeek.

Throughout the conversations I was having with people, which included a dedicated research study we commissioned with Populus, one point was made to me repeatedly. Companies were not about to start retreating from their CSR commitments, even if the PR budgets around those programmes might face pressure.

I was sceptical. Turns out, I may have been wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Arun Sudhaman

May 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Marketing to Muslims

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Coca-Cola Ramadan ad

Coca-Cola Ramadan ad

The numbers, of course, are bewildering. But there is good reason to think that the one-billion strong Islamic community is becoming a considerably more important audience for brands big and small. This feature I wrote for Media Asia examines the topic in some detail. . Both JWT and Ogilvy have started researching the area – and if the ad agencies are putting money into it, there must be a revenue opportunity.

What struck me most about marketing to Muslims was, quite simply, that so many MNC brands remain rather fearful. As a consequence, they have simply ignored the opportunity to engage with Muslims as a sophisticated, multi-segmented consumer group. There are some notable exceptions – LG and Coca-Cola spring to mind – but boycotts of American brands in Malaysia have not exactly encouraged brands to adopt an overtly religions tone.

That may be for the best. Rather than worry too much about tone and messaging, the key consideration when it comes to the Islamic community appears to lie more in the product development process. Shariah and Halal compliance is just one aspect; actually creating products that appeal to Muslims – like LG’s Mecca Phone – offers considerable opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Arun Sudhaman

May 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm