I had a dream of Stand-out and Blend-in banners.

I had a dream.. I was walking through my office corridor and noticed 2 banners arguing with each other. One banner was noticeably Flashy, out spoken and I called him Stand-out. Another was a plain-jane, soft-spoken, who I almost went unnotice everytime I bumped into him. I called him blend-in.
Stand-out argued..
“I’m better looking than you. I always stand out among the crowd and get everyone notice. I am able to repeat myself many time through animation loop. I have these flashy colour that align with the brand and catch the audience attention. And you know what? I’m expandable, sometimes I float and I pop out… uninvited…”
Blend-in replied angrily..
“So what? I’m stealth. I can blend in to the party without anyone notice. I don’t feel out of place and I can be quiet yet sound geniune. Some call me Native.. I prefer people call me Ninja… And guess what? It works.. People come to me and they don’t feel intimidated. (whisper aside) Though sometimes they feel cheated when they saw my “sponsored by”, “promoted” under garment.”
And they continued to argue..
“I need to be prominent to make my brand known… ” Stand-out said
“Nobody clicks on you any more. Only 0.05% in the world click on you” Blend-in argued
“You are a cheat, pretending to be someone you are not”
“You are too intrusive and rude”
Noticing the comotion starting to turn angry, almost into a fight, I shouted “Wait!! Let me be the judge and resolve this!”
“Both are right and wrong.. Let me advise you how you can better banners”
Both turn their heads and glanced at me, waiting for the advice.
Looking at Stand-out, I advised
“1. Don’t be intrusive. You may be eye-catching but you still need to be relevant to your audience. You need to able to entertain them and tell a story. Let them have a positive experience about you, not just showing them the latest promotions. In these ways, you will avoid those Ad-blockers standing at the front gate too.
2. And remember, people are getting sick of you so 99.9% will not clicks. So don’t measure clicks. Focus more on how to convince them with your stories. Audience attention span is getting shorter now. Think how your message can influence them and let them be engage within the short time span.
3. And don’t go to all the party. Some are totally irrelevant to you. Know who is in the party and tailored your conversation accordingly. And don’t overstay the party. Just remember, there are other Stand-Out banners out there competing for attention.
Just remember: Stay relevant, entertain and useful.
And now for you, Blend-in…
1. Even if your natural instinct is to blend in to the environment, please make known to audience that you are being paid to be present so audience will not feel cheated.
2. Avoid tricky opener like click-baits. People will click once but will avoid it all together. Not good for the whole industry.
3. You may not stand out among the crowd. But the advantage is that audience will trust you more. You look friendlier. So don’t abuse the trust. Same points: Stay relevant, entertain and useful.
4. And you may not able to tell the whole story so please have a landing page ready to continue the conversation.”
To both of them,
“And the last advice is that you guys should be working together. Using blend-in to start the conversation, let them get comfortable about the brand. And then follow by Stand-out, who can continue to stories on how the brand can benefit the audience. And if you don’t, there are others like videos and social ready to replace you”
Looking at each others with tears rolls into their eyes.. and they hug each other.
And I wake up.. Happy Valentines Day.

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Not so long trip to Paris London and Liverpool (Part 2 – Liverpool)

Highlight of the trip is my visit to Liverpool – Home of the Kop, Liverbird and also the famous scouser accents.

 

Virgin Train Ticket to Liverpool. A 2 hours short trip to the Merseyside. Ready for the match day
  
  
Albert dock overlooking Liverool Museum
  
Kop Bus sighted
  
Spectacular cloud hanging over Museum of Liverpool.
  
Dusk at Albert Dock
  
Sunset at River Mersey
  

 

MatchDay scarf – Liverpool vs Bournemouth
  
Anfield – Highlight of the trip
  
The match happened at night with Neon light
  
The famous Kop stand
   

Not so long trip to Paris London and Liverpool (Part 2 – London)

After 2 days in Paris, we made our way to London via Eurostar and spent 2 full days…

 

Eurostar from Paris to London.. l.. Seems need some cleaning
  
Having a lobster roll at West End.. £10
  
View outside my airbnb apartment, in the nice neighbourhood of Pimpico London
  
Foliage in St James Park with a duck
  
Sighted red telephone booth
  
Spending 2 hours in British Museum. one can spend full day in the museum
  
The famous 12th centuries Lewis Chessmen
  
Having a brunch at Borough Market
  
River Thames overlooking Tower Bridge
  
Invisible man .. a good way to earn money
  
Tower Bridge
  
Tower Bridge
  
Westminster Abbey
 

Not so long trip to Paris London and Liverpool (Part 1 – Paris)

Here are some photos from my recent trip to Europe. An impromptu trip due to S$700 return air ticket to Paris by Oman Air… 

Day 1 Paris – Arriving late at night. Stayed in an Airbnb apartment near the train station. Kind of worried as there was no review for this apartment, but turned out to be good.
Day 2 Paris – Paris is beautiful in Autumn.. Fall foliage in full bloom and sky was in perfect blue.

   
    
    
   
   
  

   
  

40岁后

人生四十。总是在知足与不认命之间徘徊,时而自认非凡,能活在这时代太他妈的幸福了,时而又觉得何必折腾那么多,平平淡淡过一生不就好。时而又觉得草草人生这么过了岂不是白白活着?时而又觉得人活着短短几十年就应该过得舒服自在,做自己想做的事,偶尔旅行,偶尔happy,不必烦恼。就这样,我的40人生就是这样折腾着、拖延着、安然度过。

人生四十。走着走着,也开始了解自己,缺点,优点,脾气,毛病,好的,坏的。搅和了40年,就这副德性。要改起来,也要劳师动众,不改也无关痛痒。但想着想着,又觉得往后的日子也很长,要改还来得及。

人生四十。孔子说不惑。但我还是常常想东想西。养个孩子抱抱,投资创业,裸辞游世界,很多很多的可能。其实想到最后,你想知道的就是在你最后几口气时,你想的、让自己回忆的,让别人回忆的,到底是怎样的一个我。而往往我最担心的,是在父母离去后,自己渐渐的老了,老婆不在身边,剩下的我,是否已被这社会淡忘。
人生四十。其实我学到的是珍惜,不管是家人、朋友、房子、股票、时间、事业、老板、Netflix、脚踏车、吃饭、旅游。好好的珍惜。以后的事真的谁也不知道。

人生四十。想起谭咏麟的80岁后的歌词:

总相信 以后岁月(八十岁后)仍然能分享好戏 纵已失去浪漫气氛

往日情节亦记起

每一个画面里 每一个灯影里

如重播一切 有我共你

Have you seen this old lady selling pens?

I saw this old lady among the busy lunch crowd around harbour front today. She was approaching each passerby, looking desperate, trying to grab hold of their hands.. I walked towards the old lady and realised she was holding a box of pens, trying to sell each one at 3.50.

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I asked her where’s she from and if she need any assistance.. She just shook her head and mumbling that she is selling pens and no one is buying. Trying to probe further but no further response, I bought a pen and passed her $10. And from a distance I observed the crowd.. Many just shrugged her off.. Some paused for a moment, glanced at her and moved on.

I don’t know her story but her helpless eyes were telling me that she was not there just to earn some extra bucks or as her hobby..

Maybe our government does not have power and reach to help those that fall through the cracks despite all the grassroots effort.. and maybe our government does not have the political will to provide a safety net to the old and vulnerable…

So it will be up to us Singaporean to take action.

If you see the old lady somewhere among the office crowd, pause for a moment, reach out to her and buy a pen from her. It’s really a good pen.

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Update: After I posted this on Facebook, my dear friend Roy reminded me that COMCARE can help. So if you see her on the street, you may want to call 1800 222 0000.

Overdose of “Home”? These are the 7 songs that define my Singapore

SG50
SG50

I don’t usually fancy National Day Songs, as I think they are cheesy and too official. I guess many of the song writers are being commission by Ministry of National Development to write those songs, so bo bian (no choice), have to perform national duty. When comes to patriotic songs, I think Hong Kongers did much better than us (see here).

However, look outside of those official songs, you will find gems. Here are my 7 favourite songs that define my Singapore and probably only fellow Singaporean can relate to. Happy SG50 Singaporean!

1985 – 翁素英、蔡振雄 – 岛的儿子

Theme song of SBC (now Mediacorp) TV Series “亚打籽“。The TV series told the story of villagers who live in Pulau Tekong and had to leave their beloved island due to redevelopment of the island into Military training base. The song reflect the love of the island and in larger extend, love of Singapore and how modernisation has change our landscape, from kampung to a modern city.

1985 – 巫启贤- Kopi O

Another theme song of TV Series “咖啡乌” aka Kopi O aka Coffee without milk, by Eric Moo. A lovely song that describe how a cup of Kopi O wash away all our worries, and it’s true. Time to head down to Coffeeshop.

1990 – 梁文福:新加坡派

This is the song that describe going up in Singapore from the 60s into the 90s. By Xinyao Pioneer Liang Wern Fook. I love the interlude: 浪子心声 in the 70s, to “I just call to say I love you”, “We are the World”, “明天会更好” in the 80s, songs that represent those era.

1990 – Dick Lee: Rasa Sayang

One of my favourite songs during my secondary school day. I remember getting the album “The Mad Chinaman” from my neighbourhood in Bukit Ho Swee. Love all the songs in that Album including “Bengawan Solo” and “Mustapha”. That’s the only Dick Lee’s album I have bought.

2004 – Dick Lee – We are Singapore (Cool Version)

Another song by Dick Lee (Not his song strictly speaking but he improvise it). Perform live during his 30th Anniversary concert. The KNNB*** is a surprise. It’s censored in the video so I can’t really sure if he blurted out the 3 words. I like the Lee Kuan Me part too.

2006 – Hossan Leong – We didn’t start the fire

As part of “Talking Cock in Parliament”, the lyrics is just hilarious.

2009 – Electrico -What do you see

The only official National Day Song in the list. The reason I love it is that it’s so different from other Official Song. A little bit of rock certainly do no harm.

Bonus: 2009: Mr Brown – Lekuasimi

A perfect spoof of “What do you see?”, by Mr. Brown.

 

So what’s your favourite Singapore songs?

 

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