Malaysia Airlines offloads key routes to Emirates

The tie up between Malaysia Airlines (MAB) and Emirates is an interesting one. On the one hand, there must be money to be made from these routes otherwise Emirates wouldn’t touch them and the cost to Emirates will be minimal because they are flying all these sectors anyway. MAB will still be able to show … Continue reading

Which is your favourite 2015 Christmas ad?

According to a recent Nielsen report, 9 out of 10 Malaysians believe the country is currently in a state of recession and are tightening their belts as a consequence. This has led the Malaysia Retailers Association to lower their retail growth forecast to 4% with quarterly growth rates at their lowest since the Asian financial … Continue reading

Facebook Malaysia ad is not real but is that bad?

There’s an ‘ad’ for Aston Martin cars doing the rounds on Facebook in Malaysia. A lot of men, and probably a few girls are salivating at the image of a scantily dressed, leggy woman leaning against a counter in a kitchen. The caption with the ad says “Aston Martin’s newest advertisement for pre-owned cars” and … Continue reading

Where is the new Malaysia Airlines brand?

I was under the impression that September 1st 2015 was the planned date for the launch of the Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) rebrand. As far as I can see, all that has happened is the name has been changed to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB). To launch the new company, MAB CEO Christoph Mueller led a … Continue reading

100 brilliant ads but are they relevant?

The print industry is changing rapidly. Publications are increasingly niche or evolving around new industries such as airbnb. The hospitality company with the largest inventory of beds but doesn’t own a single hotel launched Pineapple last year. It doesn’t aim to market the brand but instead inspire people to travel and of course hopefully use … Continue reading

5 reasons why advertising doesn’t work

I recently wrote an article on the state of advertising which you can read here. The post went viral and I have been criticised a lot, especially on Linkedin and you can read the comments here. I still don’t think advertising is effective. Here are 5 more reasons why advertising doesn’t work 1) I’m not … Continue reading

Advertising is in crisis

Advertising continues to lose its credibility with consumers and brands and as a result has to resort to doing whatever it can to grab our attention. There is an advertising agency with an office on the Federal Highway in Malaysia that has the tagline, “Truth well told” but the truth is the truth is rarely … Continue reading

Can Christoph Mueller rebuild the MAS brand?

The May 2015 edition of Going Places, Malaysia Airlines in flight magazine features an introduction from Mr Christoph Mueller, the airline’s new CEO. In the short message Mr Mueller talks about the “overwhelming hospitality” he has received since arriving in Malaysia two months earlier. He explains that he would like all Malaysia Airlines’ passengers to … Continue reading

Where are all the global Asian Brands?

I came across an article posted on the Insead business school blog that asked the question, “Where are all the Global Asian Brands?” The author, Brand strategist Martin Roll argued that ‘emerging market companies have grabbed market share by doing things faster and cheaper.’ He also said that those Asian companies now need to build … Continue reading

Humanising your brand on social media

Just about every survey I read suggests social media marketing will take a larger piece of marketing budgets over the next 5 years. One recent survey suggested social media spending will increase 144% over current levels by 2019. But few companies in SE Asia really know how to use Social Media, especially when it comes … Continue reading

Customer loyalty builds brands

One of my favourite branding blogs is truly deeply from Australia and I recommend it to anyone even if you are not based in Australia. This morning the author David Ansett Tweeted a link to a post from last year called customer loyalty, the holy grail for brands. It’s a short, thought provoking post. It … Continue reading

15 things you didn’t know about TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is 15 years old today. TripAdvisor has been at the heart of the revolution in destination branding and is responsible for changing the culture of travel and the travel related decision making process. It has ripped up the hospitality industry manual and forced the industry to focus on delivering value to customers rather than … Continue reading

Rebranding Malaysia Airlines starts here

It has been scientifically proven that almost everyone remembers negative events more clearly than positive ones. Apparently it is something to do with spending more time processing negative information more thoroughly than positive information. This probably explains why most of the mass media and consumer generated content about Malaysia Airlines is negative. Of course its … Continue reading

I hate Thailand

Tourism accounts for about 10% of the Thai economy, employs hundreds of thousands of people and generates as much as US$65 billion in foreign currency. But the ongoing political crisis that saw the military junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) take power and the brutal murder of two British tourists in Phuket has … Continue reading

Brands have a responsibility to tell consumers the truth about their products

Numerous papers have been written on the influence of advertising in developing countries. Most of the papers suggest that historically advertising influences consumers more in the developing world than it does in developed countries. This probably stems from a ‘traditional suspicion towards the ‘middleman’ as opposed to a belief that manufacturing or production is more … Continue reading

Can a cynical Christmas TV commercial save a luxury brand?

Luxury brands are beginning to feel the effects of slowing economic growth in Asia, political protests in Thailand and Hong Kong, political confrontation in Russia and Ukraine, political instability in the Middle East and the threat of Ebola. Demand from Asia for luxury goods, especially expensive bags and other leather products appears to be on … Continue reading

Working with the police to build a brand

Few people know that just about everything we buy is owned by 10 jumbo companies such as Kraft, P&G, Nestle and Unilever. Last year Unilever spent more than US$10 billion (that’s about the same as the GDP of Iceland) on advertising and still managed to see a drop in sales of around 3%. Unilever is … Continue reading

‘Sexist’ safety video helps build airline brand

A few airlines have started thinking out of the box when developing their brands. Over the last couple of years Virgin and Air New Zealand have gained a reputation for creating innovative safety videos that go viral and build positive brand reputation. You can see some of the videos in this earlier blog post. Combined, … Continue reading

Do Nation or City Brand rankings offer any real value?

Florian Kaefer who owns the excellent Place Brand Observer Blog drew my attention to a cracking Blog post written by Eduardo Oliviera on the Place Brands Blog. In his post, Eduardo writes extensively on the number of country and city brand indexes and barometers as well as newspaper ‘best place to be’ and ‘best place … Continue reading