Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Revisiting the relaunched Viewers’ Choice

Over the next two Fridays (and one Sunday, on Vasantham Central), we get to view the top 20 ads up for MediaCorp’s Viewers’ Choice 2006 award.

The award programme recognises popular (perhaps the operative word here) TV commercials that garnered the most votes from the general viewing public. We wrote a story on it last year, when MediaCorp announced the relaunch of Viewers’ Choice (Viewers’ Choice makes return). In that story, it was reported that the public would judge ads in two phases, with this process to “allow advertisers a chance to understand market perception and observe the receptiveness of their marketing campaign”.

Believe me, as the average viewer stoning in front of the TV after a long day’s work, this award show is very very attractive. Come on, wouldn’t you want to win freakin $20,000, on the off chance that the ad you voted for is the winning commercial?

But as reporter with a marketing publication, I view this through a different pair of glasses, and it isn’t rose-tinted ones. For one, popular ads don’t always translate to mean effective. It could be a wildly popular ad, but if it doesn’t move stock or sell like crazy or have a significant impact on the bottom line, what’s the point? I remember a conversation I had with an overseas creative director at an ad conference last year, and I sounded him out about these award-shows-which-don’t –look-at-effectiveness. And he admitted very honestly, and I admire him for that, that hey, all creatives have huge egos and these award shows feed that. But personally, he isn’t too hot on these kind of shows simply because it’s much the same as designing a beautiful, breathtakingly gorgeous to look at chair, but which no one can sit on. Now what’s the use of that?

In a snap poll we conducted on this topic last year, we asked the question of whether there was any real value in the Viewers’ Choice award. 41% said yes, it's more important what people think than what professional judges say, while 59% said no, people vote for what's pretty, not what's effective.

Of course, if the ad is creative, wildly popular and boasts through the roof sales figures, then that’s great.

It’d be interesting if the Viewers’ Choice awards could display, beside each entry, results achieved for each campaign.

So yes, my sincere congratulations to whoever the winner of Viewers’ Choice 2006 is, and yes, as one agency head told us before, the chase for awards is important because it attracts talent and clients. But having said that, I still think it’s effectiveness, in terms of sales results, facts, and profit figures that will impress, attract and retain clients the most.

In any case, I think I’ll still put in a vote, as an average viewer of course, for which commercial will win. It wouldn’t hurt to win that $20,000 to fund my holidays this year. If you want to as well, here’re the top 20 commercials, in alpha order.

1. Adidas - Equipo
2. Anti-drug Abuse Campaign - Drug Dealer
3. CP Shrimp Wonton - Best Chef
4. Creative Zen Vision - M Panda
5. DHL - All the Way
6. Double A Paper -
Robot Remake
7. Energizer - Tower Ad
8. FedEx - Stepping Stones
9. Halls - Polar Bear Clean
10. Heineken - Past Experience
11. Huggies Pull Up Pants - Ready
12. McDonald's - ERP
13. Mentos Cool Chews - Date
14. M&M's Chocolate - Kaleidoscope
15. Motorola V3x - Striptease
16.
Nippon Paint Odourless Premium All-In-One - Sumo
17.
Singapore Army - Breaking New Ground
18. Sony Bravia - True Colours
19. StarHub - I am a Hub
20. VISA - Birds

5 comments:

the threebillion project said...

This is one example of a growing trend within the Singaporean media industry where media owners are supporting (or pandering to) their advertisers through their main media channel.

Any sales team needs support but not at the detriment to the real consumers.

They don't want to hear the latest suck-up voxpop from an over-the-moon brand manager or what someone else's favourite TV commerical was from last week. They watch TV to be entertained.

Most importantly, escapades like this take the magic out of advertising and therefore diminish its overall effectiveness.

Brands don't want to appear seperate to programming, they want to feel intergrated or rather an integral part of the entertainment which consumers have tuned in for. Ad breaks are far to long as it (who watched American Idol on Channel 5 last night, or plumped for the faster paced StarWorld coverage?).

Stop this nonsense before it completely destoys the public's acceptance of TV advertising and puts us all out of a job!

Teo Chee Huat said...

The TVC for this exercise tickled me. The V/O for the sponsor, Bioessence, went something like this:

"Change your skin. Look like babies."

Freaky.

Was it supposed to be "Look like baby's"?

Discoroach said...

I think MediaCorp's behaviour is symptomatic of the crap data we get from TNS/ACN.

However, I do agree that running a trade message on a consumer medium is very, very tacky - hey MediaCopr, host the TVC on your website and give Marketing or Media a few hundred backs to run a few banner ads to link to it you cheapskates!

Margregory said...

'Popular', an operative term? I like that v much haha!

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