Thursday, December 25, 2008

Barack Obama in Manila!

Funny commercial leveraging Barack Obama's popularity in the Philippines.

It turns out that there was a viral created behind the commercial. Check out this blog, or this Youtube channel, which supposedly "documented" unconfirmed sightings of the US President-elect in Manila, Philippines.

This commercial rocks for 2 reasons:
1. Barack Obama is wildly popular even in the Philippines.
2. Filipinos love spoofs

Monday, December 22, 2008

What you do in school won't help you succeed

I believe this simple XKCD comic strongly. What you do in school won't be of much use when you begin your career. What school helps you with specifically is soft skill development, so that you will learn how to learn (and thrive) in whatever new place you are put in.

Hit Pres. Bush with shoes @ sockandawe!

So Pres. Bush evades flying shoes very well... therefore some guy created a game for you to practice your throwing skill! Play the game at

Why does negative stuff spread faster on the internet? :)

Singkit na Pag-ibig: song for a Chinese-Filipino affair

Singkit na Pag-ibig (or Chinky-eyed Love) is a song created by some of my friends at De La Salle University, primarily as a birthday gift for my friend. This is for Filipino men who have fallen in love with Chinese women, and have encountered cultural obstacles. My friend is from La Salle of course, and it's common knowledge that there are many Chinese students in La Salle.

The first line of the song "Gua ai di" is Chinese for "I love you" to those who do not know.

I thought of putting this song up to be a little different for Christmas. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SUMO Paint = Photoshop in your browser

I recently discovered SUMO Paint, a browser based photo editing application, much like Photoshop.

You should try it, it's a very nifty tool.

For people who are more artistic, try out This is a site that allows you to paint like Jackson Pollock himself.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Manny Pacquiao pulls a lot of advertising weight

I'm watching Pacquiao's match with Oscar de la Hoya right now on GMA 7 in the Philippines, and I'm frustrated by the relative length of the commercials compared to the fight itself.

For every 3 minutes of boxing, there's roughly 8 minutes of commercials! Drat. Out of these few dozen commercials, probably 5 of them had an internet or mobile marketing component.

Yahoo sport's round by round coverage of the fight is very detailed. Read this, and it's like watching the match without commercials. (Well, there's an ad in the website too. But you can choose to ignore them.)

Intel hero webcomic series

Intel found a way to at least make their processors more interesting. I'm liking this webcomic series.

I also like how they localized the comic (even a bit) by using Manila as the "city."

The URL is here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Email marketing: Tony Romas b-day treat

As several members of Pinoy Exchange probably would receive once a year, I got this email from the restaurant:


As a Friend of Tony Roma's, you can enjoy BUY 1 GET 1 FREE ON ALL MAIN COURSES

any day within the month of your birthday.

To redeem this offer, please print and present the attached Birthday Voucher
with your Friends of Tony Roma's Card to our server on your next visit to
Tony Roma's to enjoy this special treat.

Please note that each member is only entitled to one redemption in the month of your birthday.
Presentation of identity card may be required for verification purposes. For other details,
please also refer to the terms and conditions stated in the voucher.

Should you require any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact any of our managers

by phone or email.

Thank you and we wish you an enjoyable birthday meal at Tony Roma's.

I never gave my opt-in to Tony Roma's explicitly...

Funny series of comments in Techcrunch

Upon reading the news about former Yahoo Exec Dr Qi Lu moving to Microsoft as head of online services, I chanced upon this funny series of comments by some users:

Google's strategy

If you want to understand Google's strategy, then you've got to read this.
As mentioned, the presentation talks about, and
1. Why won't Google be affected by the [global economic] crisis?
2. Why is Google trying to change the mobile world?
3. Why isn't Youtube a content portal?
4. Why Microsoft fears Google?
5. How is Google competing with Facebook?
There are 9 more questions, and they're equally interesting.

All about Google
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: google strategy)

Friday, December 5, 2008

On being happy and angry during graduation

I remember this short blog post a few minutes after graduation more than a year ago, scrambled together to form an essay. If I were the one who gave the response for the graduates, it would most probably be along this idea. I must note beforehand: The reason why I did not speak during graduation was that I did not submit my entry. Work sort of "interfered."

This is not related at all to digital marketing, but I felt you'd find this write up interesting. Tell me your thoughts.

I am angry, but I am also quite happy. This would be the best way to explain how I feel right now, as a graduating student standing before you all, and soon, the Philippine society. I know this wasn't the type of opening you all were expecting from me at such a grand event as commencement exercises, so let me explain myself.


There are several reasons to be happy.

One. We are students schooled in ideas, concepts, and technology that will be obsolete in 2 to 3 years. We are schooled to find solutions to problems that don't even exist yet.

Now why be happy about this? Because there is one competitive advantage the Lasallian education gives us: the ability to adapt to change, and the discipline to attain success in the face of dizzying changes.

And that means we can manage almost anything that the world may slap on us. We will soon find our way around these hurdles, thanks to the torture that our school training gave us. Do I need to elaborate on the "torture" part? On the "dizzying changes" part, I recommend you to watch "Did You Know" in youtube.

Two. The education that we have is not manifested in our diplomas alone. This is an education that is also deeply rooted in values. And that means we have a smaller probability of getting swayed by corrupt practices when we leave the University's four walls. We have a smaller probability of instigating the corruption in our areas. We have a bigger probability of putting an end to corruption and lead the country out of poverty, like Moses who lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But I will come back to this topic in a while.

Three. The third reason is us. There is unlimited potential in each of us, and we can tap these to affect our society. Whether or not we tap these potentials is outside the scope of the school. The school has equipped us with the two important things I have stated above, and it is up to us to awaken our passions and awareness. That will be our foundation for our impactful contributions to society.


But why angry?

We are not special. We are not the only batch of graduating students of DLSU. To think in numbers, hundreds of thousands of Lasallian graduates have come before us. Scores of graduation speeches have been said. I bet all of them declare that we - the graduating students - are the future of this land. That we should help those in need, that we should not only look for bettering ourselves but always to think of the common good. The list of these grand ideas goes on.

People say this because these lines are proper, and at such a time when our egos are tremendously boosted by the attire, diplomas, and medals, why can't we? Having it any other way would seem completely stupid. But ask ourselves: If we hear these, do we take it to heart? Or are we already thinking of how we will spend the night in celebration of this "momentous" event? Or thinking of where you can find work? Or, as quite many scientific studies tell, thinking of sex?

Picking up from where I left off a few minutes ago, we should be angry because even after the hundreds of thousands of graduates that have come before us, many of whom carried a huge sense of idealism we currently (might) have, the Philippines has not progressed far. Some would even argue we have progressed in the opposite direction. Corruption is still the norm in most of our government. Worse is many of the people who occupy positions of power in our society are from the creme de la creme of Philippine Tertiary Graduates (like La Salle). What has happened? They have forgotten the speeches they've heard or written years back. They have switched off these ideals talked about so loftily.

But, being angry can sometimes be a good thing. Suppose someone tells you that you did a poor job, and you won't be able to bounce back. What do you do? Accept what you were told? Or will you get angry and tell the person, "I will shove your words up your rear." Then propelled by this anger, you deliver and make the person eat his words in the end.

There are other things we should be angry about, but as we are all graduating students, I believe we have the capacity to figure these out ourselves. This serves only as a spark plug.

Therefore we should be angry, and keep this anger in our hearts and minds.

These are the reasons why I am both happy and angry.

I have been quite emotional when I was writing, so I know that I messed up some of the points.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Whopper Virgins: good or bad?

Take a look at Burger King's latest campaign, called Whopper Virgins.

I don't like it for 2 reasons:
1. I'm not comfortable with giving very poor people a BK Whopper and leaving them after filming. It's like an insult to their poverty.
2. They directly attack McDonald's because they ask people to compare a Whopper with a Big Mac. Will BK ever include in the documentary an instance where people preferred a Mac to a Whopper? We'll see in 5 days.

This post said it nicely:

If visiting poor people in remote locations, some who would be at best surviving on below poverty levels and throwing a burger in their faces isn’t bad enough, it gets better, because they also ask the Whopper Virgins to compare the taste of the Whopper to a McDonalds Big Mac as well.

It’s hard to place exactly where this begins on the level of wrongness. The pipe flute South American music on the website, the pictures of people with horse and carts on one side, and on the other someone eating a Whopper. Hey, but that’s ok, because the testing was “done by independent 3rd party testers.” I think I’m going to throw up now."

Doom is now a Flash game on

To all classic game lovers, I found something over at Kongregate which you might like: Doom 1 is now a Flash game!

Gaming is a good way of reaching young people (both male and female) because it is highly engaging and in this short attention span world, engagement is precious. :) Flash games are the most common, because they are easy to develop and post in sites. Flash games also boast high quality graphics and gameplay.

Males love action-oriented games, while females enjoy more casual, laid-back games.

I would love to see Starcraft in a Flash game too!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Seagate Rap video ...stack the mem'ry to the sky

Watch the video for yourself :)

"stack the mem'ry to the sky" is a line in the song.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Starbucks: Coffee-for-vote and Donation-for-coffee

I recently went to Starbucks' Youtube Channel and found two videos sporting engaging and innovative ideas.

The first one is, as many US people probably know, the vote-for-free-coffee. This has gotten a lot of media attention and several positive reviews from people. A viewer even said this: "I had little respect and like for this company prior to this, this is a class act what Starbucks is doing. It's a nice gesture indeed."

The second one is Starbucks will donate 5 cents for every specially marked coffee bought in participating Starbucks locations. This is similar to a campaign Pampers did with UNICEF.

I am liking this cause-oriented marketing approach Starbucks is doing. I hope they bring it to Asia soon!

I have a theory which I'll never get to prove why Starbucks and cause-oriented marketing works. Starbucks primarily targets young professionals. Young professionals (still) espouse idealism and would want to help society. It's the perfect way for them to help in their "own small way."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nokia Bruce Lee edition!

Amazing ad featuring "Bruce Lee." Surely, Chuck Norris couldn't help but agree...

This is a good viral initiative, and now, I'm already seeing a lot of videos and articles propagate through the internet.

I want a Bruce Lee Nokia phone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The net is opening up...even blogs

Wow, this is a surprise for me. One of my favorite blogs Lifehacker will support Facebook log-ins in the future. This makes sense, because this supports cross-pollination, and it makes life easier for the average user (Less passwords to remember!)

Openness is the hot topic right now on the web. From aggregators to portals. In fact, Yahoo and AOL are the big sites doing this (here-Yahoo Glue, and here-ebay on Yahoo, and

Moto Mashup

Motomashup is an intriguing site. The site uses (Filipino) music heavily, which is ok since it ties back to Moto's equity. It almost reminds me of Nestle's Palistuhan campaign, with Francis M and Ramon Bautista.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ABS purchases 5% stake in for $5M USD

ABS CBN announced last Nov 17 that they are purchasing a 5% stake in for $5 million dollars, valuing the entire company at 100 million dollars.

Multiply is a popular social networking site in the Philippines and according to Alexa, is the 6th most popular website in the country, next only to Yahoo, Friendster, Youtube, and Google. Multiply has an estimated 3 million Filipino users.

From the official announcement over at ABS stated that Multiply and ABS complement each other.

"Multiply is a natural fit for ABS-CBN. It is the social network that is most consistent to our business model because they have focused on photo, video and blog features compared to the other social networks such as Friendster and Facebook, which focus on connecting friends and running applications. This puts together content and communities around the content, whether it is ABS-CBN-branded or user-generated," he told

With regard to long term plans for the partnership, it will be monetized via advertising (which are happening now) and creating a mobile version of the site.

I think that is a viable medium for advertising for the Philippine market, but these brands should establish an emotional relationship with, and be of real value to, their consumers. (Compare to P&G's Ted McConnell's statement on Facebook, where he says P&G probably shouldn't advertise on Facebook.) If you know of one, let me know. Majority of commercial entities in Multiply are online stores, selling stuff like clothes and shoes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

QR a mobile marketing staple in Japan

I notice that mobile marketing enabled by QR codes is already widely adopted in Japan. This was in a train station for instance.

What is QR? According to Wikipedia,
A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan, where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional codes.
QR codes enable a non-interactive medium like a billboard, a magazine, or card, or a product pack even to become interactive. Users need only to snap a photo of the QR code using a phone (with the reader software installed) and users can be redirected to a URL.

In the Philippines, the only noticeable campaign that utilized QR was Nescafe. It hasn't been followed, and the effectivity of QR in the Philippines is still in doubt.

Japan is widely different compared to ASEAN countries in terms of the mobile industry. Instead of SMS, people do mobile internet and mobile emails.

Funny commercials: Cheers Beer

This is a commercial I first saw 2 years ago, about a Thai beer brand called Cheers. I can't forget it though, and I'd like you to enjoy it too! Check out their site, too. It seems to me to be only a single page though.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

wePC: Crowdsourcing the next Asus PC, powered by Intel

I would definitely score this initiative a 10 out of 10 for innovation and risk-taking.

Asus and Intel are going to you - yes, the users - for the design of an ASUS computer, with Intel chips powering it.

The gist of wePC is a user idea section where everybody can suggest what their ideal PC should have, then people can rate and comment on it.

As Chasnote mentioned, traffic has spiked for wepc, intel, and asus because of this.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dell's best-in-class display ad

I think I should let the ad speak for itself first.

Apart from the moving video as the centerpiece of the ad, what's amazing is the RSS feed on the top, and of course it dynamically changes.

Below the video is a button that will show options to either send-to-a-friend, subscribe, embed the ad in your blog (as I am doing now) or download it.

This is the text I got from the email:

Dear ___,

___ has invited you to join The ReGeneration is a global and dynamic movement, a group of people who are committed to sustaining the world's natural environment. Ready to make a difference? Learn about successful and innovative ideas brought to life in a wide range of industries. Read, learn and start making a difference today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Funny commercials: My Mom said I could!

One aspect of marketing that has been exploded by the internet (social media specifically) is the "banned commercial" concept. Considered unfit by TV standards due to sexual, racial, etc slants, they have found a niche in video streaming sites. This creates an unintended awareness for the brand via word-of-mouth.

I think companies can astroturf with this, but it's quite risky.

With that out of the way, here is an especially funny one, with this video netting over 1.8 million views. "My mom said I could!" More could come over the next days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sarah Palin: Pranked!

**Took me a while to observe that FF3 add-on Juice has been screwing up my ability to publish blog entries. So this is one day old...

The 2008 US elections proves to be the most covered election from a social media aspect.

Obama even won Marketer of the Year for his social media exploits.

The most interesting thing to pop up though in recent days is the infamous prank call by 2 Canadian comedians on Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Watch this video! This is the most audacious prank on a politician ever, in my opinion. Handily beats the Erap jokes, because this is straight-up in your face Sarah Palin! (Also, check this page for Palin)

On the other hand, see what Twitter users are saying about the election, here, or here. There is even an exit poll page done in Nice execution I must say.

Barack Obama is now the US Pres! But I agree with the NY Times, there is no time to celebrate.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Woah, Obama's Youtube account

Above is Barack Obama's youtube account. Apart from the big number of subscribers and page views, there's also the "Contribute" option enabled by Google Checkout.

Moving on to a slightly different topic, here's an interesting video of a 5th grader reporter interviewing Sen. Joe Biden. The question is "What does a VP do?" Biden did an awesome job answering!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pinoy Exchange: What a way to sell the home page

Pinoy Exchange's home page as of October 28 has this huge Nokia phone creative bordering the actual content of the site. Turns out the Nokia phone creative is a giant banner which actually leads to

I feel Pinoy Exchange has cluttered up its page with ads. (It should emulate Google, which is also trying to squeeze more advertising $$$ from its services but in a more non-invasive way, here.)

Meanwhile, FemaleNetwork has literally placed a doormat before entering their site with an Olay advert.

I personally feel that the Female Network version is cleaner and is friendlier for the consumer, because this is quite common practice, and the consumer can choose anytime to leave the advert and go on to the main page. :) That choice is not available for the Pinoy Exchange ad.

This is an oxymoron... article about web ad clutter clearing...

It's quite funny to see an article about ad clutter clearing on the web immediately followed by an ad. :)

The actual article is here, but let me post some pertinent points:
1. web surfers are exposed to 12% fewer display-ad impressions per page view than they were a year ago (accdg to comScore) and "the economy might be the most to blame"
2. a 15% increase in ads on a page results in about a 10% decline in click-through rate
3. "As you increase clutter, the message is less likely to be conveyed."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mentos "Power to Chews" your prize (if you win!)

(Whole JPEG is available here)

Mentos has recently come out with a mobile promo entitled "power to chews" (from power to choose). It is unique in the sense that the prize you will win actually depends on the day you send your entry.

Also, note how the promo collects the consumers' information, and also sales information. They can be communicated to at a later date, and can be used for analysis.

Mentos also has a pretty cool site, here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Microsoft Excel music video!

Wow, this is amazing. An AC/DC music video created in Microsoft Excel. It is not a video embed within the rows and columns of Excel, but rather an ASCII music vid!

Check it out, below.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Steve Jobs reaction to Microsoft's new ad campaign

This is priceless. Steve Jobs' reaction to Microsoft's ad campaign, specifically the Bill Gates-Seinfeld ads. (I wrote about that here)


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gaming can be used for marketing...

Paul Garilao recently blogged about a gaming tournament that was held at the World Trade Center in Pasay. According to him, "more than 3,000 game enthusiasts were alive and kicking as they witnessed the fierce competition of countries" in the game of Ragnarok.

It's notable that Yahoo! Philippines was a sponsor of the activity. Paul wrote, "Jojo Anonuevo, General Manager for Yahoo! Philippines, said 'gaming is also an online activity that's why Yahoo! supported it.'"

I am a fan of professional gaming. Specifically, Korean Starcraft professional gaming. It's amazing how the players are treated like star athletes (with figures like Slayers_'BoxeR', sAvior, Jaedong, Flash, etc!) It's basically like a PBA of Korea in the sense that "the Korean professional scene is currently divided into 12 teams, 11 of which are sponsored by corporations, and the other by the Korean Air Force."

I observed one fascinating instance where Pringles sponsored a Starcraft tournament. The branding was all over the place, but even more forcefully, the Pringles logo was in the map!

If you are interested to watch the entire match, you can watch it here.

How to pitch to Investors - aka Effective Presentation Skills

This is an amazing (!) talk by entrepreneur-investor David Rose on Ted, I highly recommend it.

Rose talks about how to pitch to Venture Capitalists and ultimately focuses on how to present (effectively) using a slideshow.

A key item he mentioned I think people miss out generally is that the presentation focuses on the presenter, not the presentation. I would not like to give any more spoilers, so just watch the presentation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The secrets of success in 8 words and 3 minutes

Here is an amazing talk by Richard St John on success over at I found his principles very informative and practical. He tries to answer the question "What leads to success?" with 8 key words and in 3 minutes.

I also like the way BMW and Autodesk (there could be other advertisers I am not sure) advertise on this site. As you can see on the notes section, "BMW supports TED's belief in the power of ideas, and underwrites the distribution of talks on this site."

It works in a slightly similar way to Federated Media's AMEX Open Forum Blog.

Apple "I'm a Mac" ads attacking Microsoft's $300M ad campaign

Here is an interesting turn of events. Apple has just released new ads that directly attack the 300 million dollar ad campaign of Microsoft. Take a look at it yourself. It looks pretty underhanded to me, given the fact that Apple also spends a lot in advertising. Apple in my mind is always an aggressive marketer - so I felt this was coming. They would not sit idly by while Microsoft goes in with a hefty ad budget.

And here's another one, less funny but also still capable of stirring up controversy.

For some time now, Apple has been attacking Microsoft with it's "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads, of which this is a sample (rather, a collection).

After a pretty long time, Microsoft has rebutted Apple with its own I'm a PC ad, of which a sample is posted below:

This came right after Microsoft turned off its Bill Gates/Seinfeld ads (here-Seinfeld and Gates talking about shoes! and here-Gates and Seinfeld trying to live with a family), which was reported to be a "phase 1" of Microsoft's advertising campaign tomorrow to respond more directly to Apple's "I'm a Mac" campaign.

An interesting ad war is brewing...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama wins! (Marketer of the Year, beats John McCain, Apple)

Ad Age recently declared US Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama as the Marketer of the Year, beating giant Apple, online shoe seller, and even Republican nominee John McCain.

I've highlighted in my previous blog entry how efficient and pervasive Barack Obama's presence is on the net. Turns out that it wasn't just me who thought did an amazing job of building his own brand. I quote from Ad Age:

"I think he did a great job of going from a relative unknown to a household name to being a candidate for president," said Linda Clarizio, president of AOL's Platform A, the sponsor of the opening-night dinner attended by 750 where the votes were cast.
"I honestly look at [Obama's] campaign and I look at it as something that we can all learn from as marketers," said Angus Macaulay, VP-Rodale marketing solutions "To see what he's done, to be able to create a social network and do it in a way where it's created the tools to let people get engaged very easily. It's very easy for people to participate."
Jon Fine, marketing and media columnist for BusinessWeek, pointed to Mr. Obama's facility with engaging voters in social-media channels. "It's the fuckin' Web 2.0 thing," he said.

Seems like the only thing left for Obama is to win the election. :) It will not be easy for Obama though given the economic storm that's looming.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lessons from thesis - "proof of concept"

While listening to a talk on innovation, a phrase struck me as being especially meaningful.

"proof of concept"

As with any project, we do not begin work by investing a ton of money only to find out in the end that the concept or what you had in mind is not technically feasible. Instead, we begin by doing some research, and if initial findings look positive we proceed by investing a little amount to try to come up with a prototype. It will not be industrial strength, but at least it serves to prove that the idea can be translated to reality and it actually works given real-life constraints. This then gives confidence to invest more money to build a solution for actual use.

This kind of "gating" methodology (imagine "initial findings look positive" "it actually works" as gates before you can proceed to the next step) is applicable in many scenarios. Like my undergraduate thesis. In my mind, engineering undergraduate theses are to be proofs-of-concept, not industrial strength solutions. Some of my professors back then believe wholeheartedly that our theses should be industrial-strength. Given such a background, students can not be expected to innovate. The risk is too big to create something new AND be ready for the industry. The shift from (new) idea to machine is simply too difficult to manage. So at the end of the day, people reinvent the wheel.

The same is true for digital marketing. Given the fact that internet and mobile marketing is a relatively new form of marketing, funding doesn't come easy. It is through scoring successive small victories (and managing the failures - they're surely gonna be there!) that management will realize the potential this avenue holds for the business. (I covered some of the seeming pockets of experimentation done by companies like Fab, Mead Johnson, and the amazingly entertaining Nescafe viral-TV. Not sure though if they count as victories.)

Be creative - there's always a better way!

Now here's a post that is always relevant in everything you do, and applicable no matter what your field of expertise is.

It's amazing the lessons you can learn from a 15-slide presentation :)


Be Creative
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: stories islam)

A text message from Mead Johnson

I found this message in my cellphone inbox while attempting to remove old messages. A friend told me about a text campaign Mead Johnson recently had. Apparently, some people (female, mothers?) received an invitation to be part of this series of text blasts. I registered and got this message:

Msg from Globe&Mead Johnson:Ang batang ALL-AROUND HEALTHY ay mliksi, mtalino @ di sakitin.W/proper nutrition,kailangan ng calcium @ inulin para sa mbilis na pagpsok ng calcium sa buto pra sa pampalkas ng buto.2 know more text CALCIUM.Pra sa pgiging mtalino txt CHOLINE @ pra sa sakitin txt VITS & send to 2338 for FREE. Tawag sa MJ Hotline gamit ang landline (02)841-8222(MMnla)/toll free 1-800-1-888-5861 (outside MMnla). No free infotext? Reply STOP HEALTHY

I got another message approximately two weeks after:

Msg from Globe&Mead Johnson:Ang batang ALL-AROUND HEALTHY ay di sakitin, maliksi & matalino.Ang VITAMINS A,C,E ay nagbibigay lakas laban sa common na sakit(sipon&ubo).2 know more text VITS para sa pagiging maliksi, txt CALCIUM pra sa pagiging matalino, txt CHOLINE & send to 2338 for FREE.2lungan mo sya maging ALL AROUND HEALTHY twag sa MJ hotline gamit ang landline (02)841-8222(MMnla)/toll free 1-800-1-888-5861 (outside MMnla). No free infotext? Reply STOP HEALTHY

As we all know, Mead Johnson produces popular milk brands like Sustagen, Enfamil, Enfapro, Enfagrow and many others.

PS: This came before the melamine scare. Paul Richards in a 9/25 article, maintained that "Tests conducted on Mead Johnson products show no trace of Melamine contamination."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Financial mess caused by "East Coast Finance Douchebags"

This is a rather amusing presentation about the current financial debacle we are in. The quotation in the title is from the 4th slide.

Whiner Jerkins All Hands 10/13/08 - Get more Business Plans

Compare this to Sequoia's "56 slides of Doom" Pay attention to Slide 32, which shows the general decline of ad spending. TV and radio suffered the highest decline - internet is not immune though.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can a Twitter post land you in jail (or get "yes" to marriage proposall)?

Twitter is such a powerful tool because it fosters real conversations. I guess a Twitter feed can be permissible as evidence in a few years' time? :)

Another great post from Rob Cottingham.

Take a look at this: A guy recently proposed (Yes! Marriage!) to his girlfriend over Twitter! It must've been a pretty intense 18 minutes for the guy (of waiting for his girlfriend to answer)

A Twitter write-up is coming soon...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Barack Obama's online presence

Here's a pretty nice widget Barack Obama is sharing via his site (the direct link to the embeddable widget is here). It serves to show that Obama's tax cut is [3 times!] better compared to McCain.

Of interest to me is how Obama seemingly pervades so many communication channels.
CNET reported EA confirming that Obama ads are running in an in-game ad from October until Election Day in November.

Barack has spawned a lot of youtube ads, one of the more interesting vids would be the Barack Roll

There's also the Barack in 30 seconds campaign. There's many user-created videos about Obama.

I especially like Barack's Twitter profile. He has 98,000+ followers, and you can see how digital he is here:

Obama ads also appear in many sites, even supposedly neutral sites like news sites!

Barack Obama also has an iPhone app!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lucky Me! Lid the way, winner announced

I'm really liking the design that won the Lucky Me Lid the Way competition :)

For more info, check out my earlier blog entry about this.

It's also good that Lucky Me announced the winner on their site. On a similar note, check out the winning entry for Colgate's "Colgate Fresh Confidence" contest. The prize was a commercial stint + 100, 000 pesos. I haven't seen they guy in a TV commercial yet, though.

Colgate's campaign had a viral effect, because the entrants posted the videos all over social networks, and youtube.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blogger "superheroes"

That one was from XKCD. For more realistic info, check out Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2008. I'd like to highlight some key notes from that report:
1. Blogs are Pervasive and Part of Our Daily Lives - 184 million WW have started a blog | 26.4 US, 346 million WW read blogs | 60.3 US, 77% of active Internet users read blogs
2. The line between blogs and mainstream media is blurring - Many mainstream news sources employ some sort of blogging (or micro-blogging, like BBC news)
3. All blogs are not created equal - This Technorati image says it best:

4. Brands "permeate the blogosphere" - in fact, "Companies are already reaching out to bloggers. One-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates." "Four in five bloggers post brand or product reviews, with 37% posting them frequently. 90% of bloggers say they post about the brands, music, movies and books that they love (or hate)."

I would love to see a site like mystarbucksidea in the Philippines soon :) I think it's a souped-up blog.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Charmee Text to Gadget promo

Popular sanitary napkin brand Charmee has released a mobile marketing campaign called "Text for Gadgets"

With the economy (advertising spend forecasted to go down generally) not in good shape, promos like this would tend to be more effective because consumers get something of value in return for using their brand. Sanitary napkins are a necessity for menstruating women whether or not the economy does well, and if I am not a diehard brand loyalist, there is an incentive to shift.

Some benefits of this program would be:
1. Trial - Some women who are not brand loyalists would be enticed to try, and if they find the product good, they can be converted
2. Loyalty - Keep Charmee buyers loyal (and happy) by offering them rewards
3. Consumption - more purchases = more chances of winning :) There are quite a lot of prizes, which should be more inviting for girls to participate.
4. Communication - you can talk to your participants after the campaign is over.

Mobile marketing is an effective medium to do interactive marketing in the Philippines for a variety of reasons:
1. High penetration of mobile phones - the Philippines has 60% mobile phone penetration, that is a whopping 50-60 million population!
2. Mobile phones are very personal - many people are never too far away from their cell phones, some sleep with their phones, some use it as alarm clocks.
3. Transactions via mobile are instant - unless the messages are clogged at the telcos, a consumer can get instant rewards for something they do.
4. Highly targeted - once you have participants in your program, it is very easy to communicate to them on a one-one basis

On a side note, since I mentioned the economy in the beginning, the US economy is in such a critical condition, who do you think would be better fit to handle the economy, John McCain or Barack Obama?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ramon Bautista, Francis M, and Nescafe

It was a few months ago when I first saw this viral video of Ramon Bautista (of "Dan Michael" fame) undergoing what he is calling "master rapper training." I found the video funny as always, because Ramon Bautista is for some reason a natural comedian. At the end of that video, seeing that Ramon is going to challenge Francis M for some sort of contest, that got me thinking there may be a part two, which I looked forward to.

Then I saw an interesting multiply blog entry from my friend Luis where I saw a Nescafe TVC featuring - you guessed it! - Francis M and Ramon Bautista! It turned out that the viral was a Nescafe-produced viral.

As you can see Ramon's clothes are the same. The details that stuck to me for both the videos was the word "listo" (alert). Master Balagtas mentioned it to Ramon during "training" (maging listo para istilo'y di mabisto - be alert so you won't give away your style) and the TVC (pa-listuhan contest)

Very nice transition - I think this viral-mainstream TVC 1-2 punch allowed Nescafe to target a niche group and the general public with a message that is very consistent. I haven't seen a Philippine company do this yet. This may well be the first, and I must say they did a great job!

And it was coupled with a very nice website! Notice the clothing of both Francis and Ramon are the same, for consistency purposes of course.
It had a quiz (a 100-item quiz! Talk about engagement) and several other features that will be activated in the coming weeks.

The viral, TVC and the website all drive home the point that Nescafe will make a person alert. Very nice messaging!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lenovo's amazing Olympics web campaign

I came across a wonderful blog post by Lenovo VP of Global Web Marketing David Churbuck. (Yes, he blogs about his marketing executions and other thoughts). As many of you may know, Lenovo was a global partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With this partnership in place, it is good sense to infuse the Olympics spirit in Lenovo's marketing. I believe that this particular execution counts as one of the best examples of social media marketing.

The big idea is simple, but let me use David's own words from his blog:
What [if] the main event were the athletes themselves? What if, using Google’s Blogger platform and YouTube capabilities, Lenovo could offer any athlete a way to share their Olympic experience with their fans, family, friends, even the world?

The background
The hackneyed strategy for Olympics sponsors, according to David, was to build an interactive program driven by a PR story or a raffle. However, for Lenovo, that was not enough: in fact, to David, it was a checklist item, not a strategy. As a "young brand seeking recognition as a global technology innovator on a global scale" David concluded that Lenovo needs more.

Note that the athletes mentioned here are not just the superstars like Michael Phelps or Shawn Johnson, but they focus more on the "normal" athlete - the no-named athlete to the media, the athlete who will not win a medal.

The execution - let me share the online components (of course, traditional media was there)
1. Equipping the athlete bloggers - To enable the athletes to blog, Lenovo gave away over 100 IdeaPad laptops and a video device. The qualification is that the athlete is passionate and a credible contender.

Chasnote reported,
Lenovo has created 100 athletes’ blogs in an attempt to align itself with some less mainstream sports, such as field hockey and modern pentathlon. It gave the athletes laptops and video cameras to chronicle their preparation for the games. We wanted to do something that shows our tech prowess, not something that uses the Web as billboard,’ said David Churbuck...

2. A microsite at called the "Lenovo Olympic Podiumpowered by iGoogle gadget technology. It's basically an iGoogle page with content focused on the Olympics. As the official Lenovo blog stated,

The Podium is a highly customizable experience built on iGoogle gadget technology, where a user, once signed in, can change the appearance and layout of the page and add custom modules, or gadgets, or related content. Existing Google account holders will automatically sign in to the system The team has focused on the creation of gadgets that stream content dynamically from:
  • News sources
  • Olympic athlete bloggers – we’re recruiting more than 100 athletes to blog on our new IdeaPad line of notebooks
  • Map interfaces using mashups of Google Maps and the Olympic Torch Relay route and the Beijing Olympic venues
  • YouTube videos related to the Games
  • Picasa photos from the Games

3. A Facebook campaign that allows people to identify with their countries, check medal tallies, and read blogs of athletes. It's shown strong success: downloaded more than 200,000 times.
Facebook allows for a wide spectrum of branded activity. On one end, you can just go for simple banner ads that can reach many people (impressions) but will have very little interactivity. Or one can create a specialized application that has high engagement and equity but will only reach very few people. I feel Lenovo has done amazing in this aspect, managing to hit it somewhere in the middle, with high reach and also high engagement. From an equity standpoint, it showed Lenovo's tech prowess (they enabled the athletes to blog). Also, this campaign has generated a lot of buzz (this blog is an example! and months after the 8/8/08!)

I believe it is hard to outdo what Lenovo did, but this shows the potential of partnering with well-recognized activities.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The youtubevertorial

With the massive amount of views Youtube gets every day, adding a small helpful button on the site to facilitate some sort of purchase transaction can boost its revenues. Enter the youtubevertorial:

See the "download this song" link in the bottom? It has links to purchase the song via Amazon or iTunes!

Right now, this is for games and songs. But obviously there is potential for this, even for something as bland as consumer products! I for instance would put links to sampling pages.

Check out the official Google blog for more info. I post an excerpt below:

When you view a YouTube video with a great soundtrack, you often see comments from YouTube users asking about the name of the song and where they can download it. Or when users watch the trailer for an upcoming video game, they want to know when it will be released and where they can buy it.

Today, we're taking our first steps to providing YouTube users with this kind of instant gratification, by adding "click-to-buy" links to the watch pages of thousands of YouTube partner videos. Click-to-buy links are non-obtrusive retail links, placed on the watch page beneath the video with the other community features. Just as YouTube users can share, favorite, comment on, and respond to videos quickly and easily, now users can click-to-buy products -- like songs and video games -- related to the content they're watching on the site. We're getting started by embedding iTunes and links on videos from companies like
EMI Music, and providing product links to the newly-released video game Spore(TM) on videos from Electronic Arts.

The blog is dead...

Blogging is dead, and "lifestreaming" is in.

I found a very nice presentation that talks this by Yong Fook, founder of opensourcefood and project lead of Sweetcron.

He says that 66% of blogs are dead and majority of what's existing now are commercial blogs. He points to several things:
  • Blogging has matured (Think Techcrunch or Robert Scoble's blog)
  • "More distractions (Think youtube, flickr, social networks, the whole array! And my favorite, Kongregate)
  • Short attention span of people (How long do people stay on a site before clicking away anyway?)
Because of these, Yong Fook introduces the "lifestream"which basically pulls activity from many sites and conveniently shows them in one place. Examples would be Friendfeed and Sweetcron.

I see this as the general trend towards Web3.0: of being able to get all sorts of stuff from all sorts of places and aggregating them together. Popular services will be open and people can use the APIs freely to empower their own sites and make things easier for the site visitors (this may be hard for corporate sites). It will also make much use of new capabilities like geo-locating (Mozilla just released Geode!).

With that being said, let me share his entertaining presentation!

The Blog is Dead!
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: social activity)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pepsi's consumer-centric strategy and reapplication

From my previous Pepsi blog entry, I mentioned that Pepsi is focusing on digital marketing. From this wonderful source, Harry Hui, Pepsi’s chief marketer for China said that Pepsi's global strategy is to become consumer-centric. Hui elaborated that for Pepsi's marketing direction, "the overall move is from Brand centric to consumer centric; projective to engaging; static to customized experiences; episodic contact to each communication is a link to the next; one-way to viral and community enabling."

They engaged the Chinese consumers by focusing on their target market's passions: music, sports and interactive.

I present two case studies from the same source. I have personal knowledge of the first one, but none about the second one - and it also surprised me. :)

1. Create an ad
Proximity (a digital marketing agency) presented during the IMMAP (Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines) that in China, Pepsi ran a "create your own Pepsi commercial" contest.

Consumers create a script with actor Jay Chou as the main character. Then consumers choose the winner. The campaign was basically a website execution. the same source above revealted the contest stats. Amazing numbers:
  • 28,000 scripts received
  • 690,000 bulletin board posting
  • 5 million online participation/votes
The winning ad is here:

2. Appear on a can!
Pepsi China also ran an "appear on a can" contest. Same mechanics as the Philippine execution. As Hui elegantly put it, "we wanted to create youtube on a can."

The China stats were:
  • 3 million photos submitted
  • 163 million votes
  • 7.5 million bulletin board messages
  • Pepsi also managed to get many celebrity endorsements for free, since they wanted to appear on the can.
It's quite amazing to see Pepsi rolling out the "appear on a can" initiative in the Philippines. Will we see the "create an ad" campaign soon?

Pepsi 'kada can: Be on the next Pepsi can

kada-can or kadacan is derived from two words: Kada from Barkada (meaning a group of close friends in English) while can stands for "Pepsi can." You guessed it right: Pepsi is holding a big user-generated content contest where the winners will adorn the next Pepsi can.

The mechanic is that a barkada needs to go to Pepsi Kada can booths, and bring an unopened Pepsi product to have their pictures taken for free inside the booth. They can also upload their pictures via Pepsi's website.

People can vote via text messaging or via the website. Then the really cool thing is: Barkadas with the most votes will be on the next Pepsi can! There are also other prizes for People's choice and other winners.

I see two interesting things related to this:
1. A few months ago, Pepsi also ran a mobile campaign where every hour, a lucky person can win an iPod by texting in the code found in every Pepsi can to a mobile shortcode.
2. Lucky Me is also having a "be on our next product" contest via its "Lid the way" contest.

It seems to me that Pepsi is focused on digital marketing initiatives. They have also
won some awards in last year's IMMAP (Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines). I present an analysis about this in my next entry.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Social Media for Marketers

Funny Post from Social Signal:

You would be entertained to see this presentation, look particularly at Slide 6:

Branding 2.0 & Social Media
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: marketing media)