Emily Tan Matthew Miller
Nov 15, 2013

Weekly wrapup: Asus for the win, a trio of fails

ASIA-PACIFIC - Asus gets the nod as the winner of the week, while we can't choose between three different 'winners' for fail of the week. Plus, Sony and South Korean supermarkets top our stories of the week, and we offer a few frivolous things to distract you from clock-watching this afternoon.

Asus' big adventure
Asus' big adventure

FTW or fail

Each week we select one campaign or marketing move that we agree is 'FTW' (for the win) and one that...isn't.

For our FTW of the week, we select the ambitious Asus ad by Bates CHI & Partners for the company's new line of laptop/tablets. It may not win awards, but it's epic and entertaining—as a global campaign for a significant brand ought to be. And we look forward to the promised phase two of the campaign, inviting users to alter the adventure with their own contributions.

For a study in contrasts, look at what Lenovo and XPO Brands did for the launch of a similar product line in Australia: The pair launched an "experiential campaign" that featured some people doing yoga on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne, plus an app that superimposes the user's face on "extreme yoga poses". Because the product line is called "Yoga", see? And it's flexible. Get it? 

We didn't see any truly egregious fails this week (that's good news!). So we'll highlight three ignominious items briefly:

  • AT&T in the US aired an ad in which a series of people willfully choose staring at their iPhones over life activities like catching a bus or going to a meeting or leaving the office. You can take this overly seriously, as Gizmodo did when covering it, or you can say AT&T is winking at the audience and having a bit of fun (as our Emily Tan argued). But the intent of the ad isn't the problem: The problem is what those people are seeing on their phone that has them so enraptured: the iOS home screen.
  • The Malaysian national post and its design & PR agency, World Communications Network Resources, have come under fire for using images on stamps without the photographers' knowledge or permission. The matter came to light when Filipino photographer Romy Ocon noticed that one of his nature shots had been used in a collection of stamps Pos Malaysia advertised on its Facebook page. Then a second photographer, this time American Con Foley, discovered unauthorised use of his photo of a hornbill. The agency has since claimed that it had not secured rights to the images because the stamps had not yet been approved by the client, which is odd when the said client had been promoting the stamps on Facebook. Not aiding the agency's claims of innocence: the sudden closure of both the Facebook page and design website. Hmm..... 
  • Two progressive organisations in the US, apparently trying to support and raise awareness about the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare'), instead perpetrated dreadful gender- and age-related stereotypes in this series of ads. Worse yet, they gave enemies of the Act additional ammunition.

Top stories

The most-read items on CampaignAsia.com for the week of 8 through 14 November.

1. James Ming-Sang Hong resigns from Sony Hong Kong
2. South Korea's supermarkets turn to e-commerce
3. MasterCard launches global media pitch
4. Grooming advertising's newest medium in China: TMG Originals
5. Ketchum acquires Icon Singapore
6. DATA POINTS: Smart device usage in 'always-on' Hong Kong
7. House News takes a page from Huffington Post to juice monetisation
8. Weekly wrapup: Durex's safe sex win and Hyundai's unsafe driving fail
9. Marriott Group hands Asia-Pacific consolidated search account to Performics
10. Ricky Ow to step into president post at Turner APAC


A few tidbits that caught our attention this week.

1. Jean-Claude Van Damme—washed up 1980s action-movie star? Perhaps, but he's still in shape, as this video for Volvo Trucks demonstrates with cringe-worthy clarity. The clip is meant to showcase some sort of steering-stabilisation technology, but the real star, from a marketing point of view, is Volvo's content-marketing team. Check out the brand's YouTube channel, which is stuffed with interesting (no, really!) videos about trucks and the folks who drive them/live in them. The company clearly knows its potential buyers and how to capture their interest.


2. This is as brilliant bit of content from Yorkshire Tea. Zany enough to be shared, yet with a message that is squarely on brand. Also, please note that's it's filmed in a single tracking shot. 


3. Which agency in the world has the most Cannes Lions? It's Canada's Rethink, by a long way. Didn't you know that? Here's their secret. (Note: As partners of Lions Festivals in events like Spikes Asia and the Digital Asia Festival, we cannot condone this approach.)


4. Finally, this one's been around for a while, but it crossed our screens this week and one of our reporters enjoyed it so much she missed a meeting watching it repeatedly.

Please follow us on Facebook for odds and ends all week long, and have a great weekend. Thanks for reading Campaign Asia-Pacific.


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