A week from sadness to solidarity

A week to be remembered, when a giant left us, a nation cried and awakened…

22nd April- Well wishers leaving flowers, gifts and cards at the “Quad” in Singapore General Hospital, wishing Lee Kuan Yew well

23rd April- Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away…

24rd Nov- Lee Kuan Yew passed on.. A memorial tribute in Tanjong Pagar Community Club


Penning down our thoughts.. no words can describe out gratitude, sadness to our founding father


A photo that brought out much tears to my eyes.. A frail old man still insisting to stand up, right arm to his heart and reciting the Singapore pledge. Sir, you have far exceed the fulfilment of the pledge


25 April- Queuing up for State Funeral. A student giving out free drinks. under hot afternoon sun


Office workers, house wife, executives, retirees, Singaporean from all sort of lives queueing up, and the queue formed a long snaking queue at Hong Lim Park


The queue passed by Fullerton Hotel where flags at half mast


Final lap of the queue before going into the Parliament House for a 2 min glimpse and salute to Mr Lee


29 April- And pouring rain, and we drenched, and we stood firm on the muddy soil, our soil, to pay our respect.


We postponed our Nepal trip by a day so that we can witness the state funeral. Glad that we did .



早上八点起床,打开Channel 8,看着李总理的演讲,打给老妈说李光耀过世了,放下电话,我又哭了。应该是他最艰难的一次演讲。



早上十点,先在Old Airport Road的咖啡店叫了云吞面和Kopi Siewdai,边吃,边刷刷手机,看看Facebook,Twitter上的updates。


十一点到公司,电梯播着Channel News Asia的update,同电梯的老外也盯着看。

进了办公室,有意避开同事,先去找IT想把刚买的iPhone6 byod一下,IT说要老板批准,罢。没和同事打招呼就回到座位。

发了whatsapp给小B说今晚没心情去健身,Fitness First的卡今天不用换,他回了叫我开心点,我没回复。




下午一点半吃完回到座位,开始写些ppt,和Edina讨论印尼媒体投放和网站的问题。Celeste lync我说她听说我哭了,我说是,寒暄几句。


下午五点半,想要准时下班,Melissa临时说要和vendor讨论budget问题,马上concall,我说好。Concall上把vendor说了一顿后。打给Eve说晚上我去Old Airport打包。

傍晚下午六点,上了30号巴士,坐在二楼的座位,想脑袋空一下,玩了下2046,没破纪录。看了个远在欧洲的新加坡旧同事在Facebook update 说Feeling Homesick,车上眼泪又流了下来。

傍晚六点半到站,Old Airport Road Market在清洗没开,打给Eve,她说不如她打包,我说好啊,然后回家。

七点前到家,打开Channel News Asia,看看老李的事迹。半小时后,Eve打包回来,四美的肉圆米粉汤,不错。吃完继续看电视,查了下去尼泊尔的事宜,刷刷Facebook。

接着收到Denise的邮件说you can take as long as you want to mourn.. Take care. I can’t imagine how Singaporean are feeling now (大意)。我又哭了。





Sir, thanks for everything, really everything…

Image Credit: http://jamalrafaie.com/
Image Credit: http://jamalrafaie.com/

[Update: Mr Lee passed away on Mar 23 3:18am]

With each update from Prime Minister Office, it seems Singaporean are drawing closer to accept the facts that we are now on the final journey with our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

As a born and bred Singaporean, “Thank You” seems to be the best words that I can find in this very moment.

Thank you for leading Singapore out of British Colonial rule, that my maternal grand parents could bring up their nine children, selling Teochew porridge along the old Clark Quay, without constant harassment and raid of British police officers.

Thank you for leading Singapore out of Malaysia Federal, to become an independent republic, defining the country as a meritocracy society, that my grand parents, parents and generation of us can earn a living and prosperous by equal opportunities.

Thank you for transforming our lives, that my paternal grandfather could move from an old cart which he pushed every day for a mile from River Valley to No.4 Road (四马路),  to a stall of his own at Albert Street Food Centre, where my uncle continue to master his trade selling dessert.

Thank you for transforming our lives, that my newly-wed parents could move from attap house where whole village sharing a single toilet to a 3 room flat in Depot Road, where they raised their family and have an asset to rely on, during their retirement age.

Thank you for the vision that I am able to converse well in both English and Chinese, and the chance to experience the beauty of both languages, and given me the added advantage to survive in this interconnected world.

Thank you for the vision that allow us to survive without the mercy of our neighbour, that we can have our own sustainable water supply,  surrounded by beautiful city scape of Marina Bay.

Thank you for nurturing a nation from impossible into miracle, from slums into metropolitan city, that expats all over the world desire to live in.

Thank you for dedicating your life so that I can write this blog in the comfort of a place called home.

Sir, thanks for everything, really everything…

Hyperconnected Asia Showcase: Internet of Things in Action

Hyperconnected Asia Showcase
According to Wikipedia,

“Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies.[1] The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as email, instant messaging, telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services”

The term was coined back in 2005, and fast forward 10 years later,  “Hyperconnectivity” has never been so right, except we shall now add “machine-to-machine communication” to the mix, and of course we now give it a sexier name: Internet of Things (IoT).

Last Friday, my company SAP kicked off Hyperconnected Asia Showcase in Singapore, showcasing some of the real life examples of IoT applications across different industries from Healthcare, to Sports to Retail  and I’m privileged to get involved as one of social ambassador.

Let me do a quick round up on some of the showcases:

1. Connected Logistic: Hamburg Port Authority

Most truck drivers are paid by per mile or per trip which means more time on the road will result in better pay for them. Good news for truck drivers in Hamburg, who now can make more trips through better traffic and shipping information.  Trucks are fitted with tablets and link up to Hamburg’s Port Logistic System, which supplies traffic information, available parking lots and shipping information. So rather than waiting for hours in traffic, they can divert to new route, or to the nearest parking lot for a good rest. And what’s more? Transport orders can be tracked by freight companies in real time.

Check out the video here:

2. Connected Sports: Germany Football Association uses IoT and Big Data

Also known as 12th man that help Germany to win World Cup, SAP Match Insights helps Germany team in preparation and post analyses of the matches during the World Cup in Brazil. In practice games, players wear wireless sensors to relay geospatial and performance data in real time, though these are not allow in real match, due to safety reasons (Mourinho, sorry!).  Since winning the World Cup last year,  many clubs have since taken notice of the technology, including none other than former Brazil’s former national soccer team coach Luiz Felips Scolari.

SAP Match Insights

Check out the video here:

3. Connected Smart Vending Machine: Look mum, no coins.. 

Debuted in SAP SAPPHIRE NOW in 2014, this smart vending machine has made way to Asia and now sit comfortably in SAP Singapore office.

Using NFC mobile wallet for payment, the smart vending machine is able to personalize offerings, special offers, link to social profile, and even  send “gifts” to facebook friends. In addition, it’s machine to machine (M2M) connected  to provide real-time information on timing of purchase, stock outs, product movement, machine down-times, thereby increasing efficiency and revenue for retailers.

I’m not sure if i will send a can of Coke to my friends on Facebook, but one thing for sure: This thing will sell well in Japan!

SAP Smart Vending Machine

Further reading on Smart Vending machine, read here and here or check out this video demo:

4. Connected Health: App for personalized health management

Internet of Things is revolutionizing healthcare, from fitness, to remote health monitoring and even smart diapers.  SAP and Roche created a mobile app  to enable doctors to follow the progress of diabetes patients via a dashboard on their tablets or computers in real time. Any changes to patient’s indicators, health experts will be alerted for further action.

Connected Health


Check out video here:

5. Connected Consumer: Retailers are watching you

With connected devices and smartphones and using of In-store technologies such as beacons, retailers can now monitor floor traffic, identify customers and provide personalised shopping experience using shopper buying habits, preferences, and behaviors all in real time. (Orwell is smiling)

My wish list? Retailers that instantly recognize me as a guy waiting for my wife to done with shopping, and provide me with a charging station for my battery-depleted iPhone, and something that require no IoT, a comfortable sofa chair please!


For more information on Internet of Things and how IoT is transforming industry, do sign up for Hyperconnected Asia Virtual Forum on 18 March, 2015.

A public announcement that may worth more than a million

announcement3Singapore’s public transport company SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit) has a long history of bad publicity from frequent train breakdownever-increasing fare hike (with zero co-relation to the up and down of oil price), to vandalism due to lack of security, to even the negative story of chartered train by a  school (I have to admit that I see nothing wrong in offering chartered train to students). Despite numerous public campaigns to improve corporate image and customer satisfaction,  it’s seems that their corporate communication team are still having a uphill task. In recent survey, Customer Satisfactory Index of MRT continue to slide by 6% year on year.

But wait… drum rolls.. A young train driver comes to the rescue.

Recently, he got the internet talking about the teasing public announcements he has made in one of the boring Thursday morning on North-South Train.

“If you’re planning to leave anything behind, please make sure it’s something I can either use or sell. Otherwise, please remember to take all your belongings with you,”

“Since its a Thursday today, what you do today will determine whether tomorrow will be a ‘thank goodness it’s Friday’ or ‘oh goodness, it’s Friday’.”

For those of you who have not boarded SMRT train before, the public announcements are usually pre-recorded with perfect but monotonous voice, so having a real person making announcement is quite a big deal, let alone with some cool bites. Luckily, one passenger recorded the video and through Yahoo Singapore, this story got viral and won praises from netizens.

Hopefully, it’s not another stunt staged by a social media agency. From the subsequent official press releases (yawn…) here and here, it seems to be a genuine case of a driver just wanting to do something special and add spices to his work. It also revealed that the driver Tan Ming Hui did seek clearance from his supervisors before performing the stunt.

With all buzz about “humanising the brand”, “customer experience”, “employees empowerment”, this is one genuine example of how a small act can have big impact on customer and brand experience. I’m sure the act of this front line staff generate more positive vibes than all the marketing and PR campaigns that the corporate communication did in the year.

So are there some genuine lessons that companies can learn here?

(This is a mock announcement video  recorded during the press conference)


Blame clicks, not banner ads. You are what your measure

click2-smallBanner ads have been in existence since the Jurassic (measured in Internet Age) and in recent years, these poor old ancient creatures have often been mocked at, especially from the new kids on the block, notably Native Advertising.  This article from Hubspot pointed out 10 Horrifying Stats about Display Ads and here are some interesting few:

  1. Only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!). (Source: comScore
  2. The average clickthrough rate of display ads is 0.1%. (Source: DoubleClick
  3. You are more likely to get a full house while playing poker than click on a banner ad.(Source: Solve Media

And there is epidemic spread of “Banner Blindness” sickness spread among Internet users, with few studies (Here is one by Nielsen Norman Group) conducted using eye-tracking research have suggested that users tend to ignore contents that remotely look like advertisement.

Despite number of bashing,  like never-say-died cockroaches, it seems that banner ads are all well and thriving and seems still million years before extinction. According to emarketer, display advertising for programmatic still account for bulk of online spend (Beside Search) and is projected to reach US$32.6 Billion worldwide. So why we are crying foul of banner ads not working, yet at the same time, marketers are still heavily invested in them?

Measure the right metrics.

If you look at stats from the Hubspot article, most of them blamed banner ads base on one single metric:

Clicks or click through rate (CTR)

And this is where the fault lies. First of all, you need to asked is clicks or CTR the metrics you measure the success of your campaign?  If you are running direct response ads with main aim is for users to click on the banner and drive traffic, measuring clicks will be totally fine. But if your objective to drive top level metrics such as brand awareness or favorability, then click is definitely the wrong measurement.

Don’t Measure Click Through Rate

First of all, stop using Click Through Rate (CTR) as the metric to measure your campaign success.  CTR doesn’t really tell how (un)successful your campaign is. It doesn’t tell how many people your message has reached or how many people responded. It just show Clicks over Impressions in percent, that’s all. And it’s usually hover around 0.1%. Anything 0.1% is going to be questioned by anyone (What about that 99.9%?)   Use CTR solely for your optimization of your campaign to help you to increase clicks for direct response campaign.

Measure Viewability and Engagement

And if your campaign objective is mainly conversion or action, rely on clicks may lead you to no where. In this study by Comscore,  ad viewability and engagement (hover time) are strongly correlated with conversions, while clicks have lowest correlation with conversion. Viewability is defined as served impression in which a minimum of 50 percent of pixels are in view on a user’s screen for a minimum of one consecutive second (IAB). Engagement, in this case, is pertaining to rich media banners and measured by hover time or Dwell Rate: The percentage of users exposed to a given piece of rich media content or advertising who interact with that content moving their cursors over it (but not clicking). (IAB)

Measure Viewthrough

A study shows that a frequency of 7-10 banner exposure will result in 28% increase in sales volume over control group. So it’s rare that those who click will convert immediately within a user session. So it’s also important to measure viewthrough, which indicates conversion after users has viewed the banners (even if they have not clicked).

Measure Unique Reach and Share of Voice

Beside impression, which is the most common measurement for display banners,  another metric you should consider is unique reach. If you or your media agency has done due diligence to ensure most of your display ads are expose to your target audience, then we can measure the share of voice among your target audience.

Share of voice (%): No. of target audience your banner display uniquely reached / Total target audience.

Measure Brand Lift

Many of display banners objective are really simple: To cut the clutter and get the message across to your target audience, whether the objective is for brand awareness or for perception change. And measure that, you will need to rely on brand study:  Either through Pre/Post survey or Control/Test survey to measure brand lift.

Ultimately, it’s the Creative. S&%^$

Ultimately, even if you have the best media strategy, plan and placement, it’s still the creative that ultimately determine your campaign effectiveness. One interesting study by Dynamic logic back in 2009 (What 2009!?) determined that it’s bad creative that makes display ads ineffective and good creatives have result in uplift of brand awareness and purchase intent. And do check out some of their recommendation of better performance creatives. Here is another interesting (but contrarily) article on best practices you should ignore.

So if you still obsessed with clicks and CTR, it’s time to think again. Well, this excellent video from Adobe sum it all up.


一样的手 一样的血



敬佩港人的团结,他们凭着自己的声音合唱着《海阔天空》,或紧握着伞挡住前方的催泪弹。也许一切徒劳无功,也许无法改变现状,但这些小小的行动,却让世界看到大大的香港精神。 有人说是被外国势力利用或是对中国的崛起感到恐惧后的反应,也有人说香港问题是经济问题,但我更相信这是香港人对民主、自由的信念。

从89年到14年,香港的问题其实已经经历了一代人。 其实他们对于未来的彷徨,无奈,期望都写在歌里。 我这里收集一下其中的五首代表:

Beyond: 无悔这一生

这首歌是BEYOND应香港电视剧《笑看风云变》而写的主题曲。黄家驹创作于1989年,歌词也在激励港人不要移民。 家驹还没在97前就离开人世。












Inspiration from Spikes Asia 2014

IMG_1754Sometimes it’s good to just take a day break and get out of the usual work routine. I’m a B2B technology marketer and it’s a well known fact that B2B marketing is not as sexy as B2C; Think demand generation, pipeline building, account base marketing, thought leadership content marketing, and combine them with  in-memory computing, software as a service, omni-channel experience, predictive analytics, these sort of make-you-smart jargons… so some creativity juice sprinkle into my daily work will make my eyes spark.

Spending a 1/2 day at Spikes Asia 2014, did provide me with some sort of inspiration. I’m not talking about the full day seminar or forum, but those creatives that were on displayed, It’s just a shame that an entrance ticket to the hall as Spikes Delegate cost a whopping S$1250 (I’m lucky to have my agency sponsoring my ticket) and will be great these works can be shared to the public.

I walked around many of the creative entries on exhibit and here are the top 10 that caught my attention:

1. Lancôme Advanced Génifique – A Daughter’s Greatest Fear

Client: Lancôme
Agency: Publicis Singapore

“You just look like your daughter!” Tapping on daughter’s greatest fear but mother’s greatest compliment.

2. The Gift Box by Crown

Client: Crown Relocations / Salvation Army
Agency: Leo Burnett Hong Kong

Smart idea. When moving house, it’s also a time to give away many of the junks in the house. So Crown provides 2 boxes: One to “keep” and one to “give”. The “keep” boxes are delivered to new address, while the “gift” boxes, will go straight to Salvation Army.


3. How a Newspaper helped stop an epidemic

Client: Mawbima Newspaper
Agency: Leo Burnett Sri Lanka

To help fight against dengue fever, Mawbima published  mosquito-repellant newspaper – a newspaper where all the letters coated with citronella essence, a highly effective natural repellent.


4. Omo – Tablet v.s. Outdoor

Client: Unilever
Agency: Lowe, Saigon, Vietnam

Dirt is Good is that Big Idea for Omo and Big Idea has that ability to morph into different forms: One of which is this piece of work, by comparing the electronic gadgets that kids obsessed and outdoor.

So when was the last time your kids play hide and seek?

5. Omo Play Bottle

Client: Unilever
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Singapore

Another campaign idea build on top of “Dirt is Good”. This time round, turning bottle into  ‘bucket & digger”.

6. Share my Dabba – A small sticker trying to make a difference

Agency: McCann Worldgroup India
Client: Happy Life Welfare, The Dabbawala Foundation

A share sticker that allow customers to share untouched-uneaten food in their dabbas (lunchboxes).

7. The Digital Fashion Critic – Colourmatic

Client: AS Colour
Agency: FCB New Zealand

A machine which rates your outfit out of 100 and provides expert tips how to look best. Probably I should have this at home.


8. Stop One Stop them All

Client: WWF
Agency: Leo Burnett Australia

At the top of pyramid is the consumers. Stop the demand and stop the killing. Simple.

9. Neuro PS – Kindergarten, Primary School

Client: Neuro PS
Advertising Agency:Grey, Beijing, China

My favourite. Take a few more second to get it, but once you get it, you just thought “This is brillant!”.

10. Zhang Xiao Quan – Cut Above

Client: Zhang Xiao Quan
Agency: Y&R, Shanghai, China

Meat doesn’t look more beatiful than this. Creating a Chinese landscape art using meat.  Btw, Zhang Xiao Quan sell cutlery, not meat.

Check out the winners here. And as you can see, none of the above make it to the “Gold” or “Grand Prix” category. So that’s the different in opinion between professional jury and layman I guess.

It’s time again for… mooncake

(Courtesy of Peony Jade)

It’s time of the year again for Mid-Autumn Festival and to quote Mr. SGAG:

Yes, for me, mooncake fall into this category alongside rice dumpling, pineapple tart that I will only remember them once a year, and stay dormant for rest of the year. These are type of festive food that I don’t really have a craving, as compared to say bah kwa, that I will eat it all year round just because I simply love it!

Speaking of mooncake, I know that mooncake are getting more creative these days, when I can see fusion of mooncake and cookie, tart, ice-cream, fruits, custard, with a mix of cheese, chocolate or truffles. Add in a western or hotel brand, slick packaging, and here we are: 4 pieces of small cakes, which can easily sell more than $40 per box. BTW, check out the wide range here for latest, most trendy 2014 selections.

But something more innovation I would like to talk about here, the act of giving mooncake, without giving actual mooncake! Instead, mooncake will be given in form of mooncake vouchers, made by many mooncake manufacturers, and only available in China.

Say if you are a recipient of mooncake voucher, there are 2 ways you can do about it: Redeem the voucher for mooncake if you happen to really want to eat a slice of mooncake, or, if you like me, are not mooncake lover,  you will probably want to sell the voucher to black market and get some cash.

And yes,  in China, there is a black market that willing to accept your gift voucher at a lower face value. And this turn out to be a pretty good economical and environmental sense.

There was a weibo post circulating around for quite a while that best describe the scenario:

  1. Mooncake manufacturer print $100 worth of mooncake voucher and sell to retailer for $65.
  2. Retailer in turn sell the voucher to A for $80.
  3. A give the Mooncake voucher to B.
  4. B resell the voucher to black market buyer at $40.
  5. Mooncake manufacturer finally buy the voucher back from black market buyer at $50.

In this process, mooncake manufacturer earns $15, retailer earns $15, A earns a favour from B by giving mooncake, B earns $40, black market buyer earns $10. Mooncake manufacturer just print vouchers and nothing else. And we called this? Securitization of mooncake. Reduce food and material wastage and thus environmental friendly.

Of course in reality, mooncake will still going to be around for quite a while. What else can beat that moment of family and friends gathering, admiring the moon, children playing lanterns, while the adults figuring out the taste of fusion of mooncake and cookie, tart, ice-cream, fruits, custard, with a mix of cheese, chocolate or truffles.

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