Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Lunar New Year and what's Lee Hom doing plugging Celcom?

Happy Lunar New Year.

From all accounts, it looks like it's going to be a good year what with the sterling performance from the local bourse at a 14 year high.

During this festive season, advertisers are out in full force to capture marketing dollars. One particular TV ad campaign that has been running on the Chinese belts of Astro's satellite TV has been the Celcom Wang Lee Hom campaign.

It's a nice enough campaign with slick production values and of course mega star appeal. But one thing troubled me no end. Why on earth was an American-born-Chinese-made-good-in-HongKong and Taiwan picked to be the spokesperson for a very Malaysian telco? I mean the man actually says something like "Celcom gives me more control". Oh yeah like where, in Hong Kong?

If Celcom had just used the man to plug the association of star appeal it wouldn't have been so troubling. But the very fact that he actually says he uses the service causes a huge dissociative gap because the viewer cannot accept that he is a Celcom Subscriber.

I know this country has a dearth of mega star quality Chinese personalities but surely Celcom could have used someone who actually might come back here and plug in a Celcom SIM card. Or maybe not. Michelle Yeoh is probably too old and Ah Niu too soft.

The travails of celebrity endorsement.

Technorati: Malaysia, Celcom, Lee Hom

Monday, February 12, 2007

Economist: "Let's all Bash Singapore"

A cute little story on how Singapore's success in this region is not being taken very well by its less well-off neighbours, Malaysia included.

I love the writer's summary line:

"But it is hard to avoid the suspicion that the little country's unforgivable offence is being richer and more successful than its neighbours, and not particularly apologetic about it."

Frankly the Singaporeans have nothing to be apologetic about as it is through their own hard work that they have been able to achieve such enviable success.

However, it might help a little if the island state became a little more inclusive in their policies and not give the impression that they are looking beyond ASEAN for their future.

And it wouldn't hurt to get the population to learn how to pronounce Genting (with a hard "G" and not a soft one as in Gentleman..) and Tioman (usually mangled to Teow-man by holiday seeking Singaporeans).

Technorati: Singapore, Malaysia

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rafidah: No budging on UMNO's bumi policy for FTA with US

Did we even remotely hope that a ray of light would shine through from the whole FTA issue with the US and that perhaps the UMNO government might relent somewhat on their ethnic preference policies for government procurement?

No way.

After 5 rounds of talks, our own iron lady, International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz has said that " We will not move (on government procurement)... If that's a deal breaker, so be it, but fortunately now, it's not"."There are options open. Are we going to let the deal break or look at it in a different context? This is not cast in stone. This is something that can be negotiated," she said.

One wonders what kind of alternatives she is thinking about. While many economists debate the pros and cons of FTAs, one thing that is certain is that Malaysia will benefit from an overall increase in output and the increased level of trade the FTA will bring.

Having endowed themselves with meaning and purpose from their ethnic preference policies, UMNO is now finding it a challenge to back down or compromise on them.

Poor us.

Technorati: Malaysia, USA, Free Trade, UMNO

Monday, February 05, 2007

Floods and proposed levy won't deter singaporeans from JB

Floods and the prospects of a RM20 levy for Singapore registered vehicles aside do not appear to have deterred throngs of shoppers to cross the Causeway in search of cheaper shopping and food.

Almost 240,000 do so daily according to this report.

Things will probably only look brighter for Johore retailers when Singapore raises its GST later this year.

Technorati: Malaysia, Singapore

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