Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yo dawg, we're the MDA, peace out!... word

It is one of those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh, to cry, to roll your eyes or to just have a faint aching in your heart echoing your pity after watching something absolutely ludicrous (to some), but certainly new, unheard of and shall I say, different.

Yup, it’s the MDA Senior Management Rap!

Reports say that the rap video was meant to show a lighter side of the management and the ability to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to spearheading creativity. Well, the first part has certainly been achieved…we hear it has definitely generated much laughter. As for walking the talk, that’s where it gets a little grey around the edges. Some don’t appreciate the organization’s efforts and wouldn’t consider that ‘creative’.

AsiaOne even reported it here giving us even more stats on how well the video is doing.

But somehow these guys from the MDA decided that to really showcase their ability to think out of the box and passion for developing Singapore as a creative hub, they had to really get down with the flo' yo'!

Question is: Is having top line executives and managers bop to the beat and mouth lyrics like “Experimentation is my cup of tea” going to help them with their many goals of ushering Singapore media onto the world stage?

Despite all the flack, one must admit that seeing a different side of the govt regulatory body has its merits. It demonstrates their willingness to be open, to change with the times and to not alienate itself from current trends. It makes you realise these guys have a sense of humour as well, not bad for a country once dubbed ‘uptight’. And that’s encouraging for the future of our media growth, even if we don’t dig their dance moves. After all, these guys have big plans for the Singapore media industry, as rapped about in the video.

But then before embarking on a corporate rap video, maybe they should’ve given it more consideration. Because having a mass rap party with senior managers while delivering their corporate vision, goals and daily operations takes quite a lot to pull off successfully.

Let’s analyze this from all angles, shall we?

Why this video is kinda cringe-worthy:

1. Rap uses concise, catchy and succinct sentences. The long sentences in the rap sounded like a normal speech these guys would give except they rhyme and it was spoken in a "rappish" manner. And the depth behind those words...I mean, RAP never had DEPTH! Most raps are either about sex, ice, rock (aka jewellery), being all glamorous or being so damn hot, sex, violence, did I mention sex?

2. It wasn't really rap rap, y'know waddamean? They had the CEO stand there and read some lines in a weird tone of voice and passed it off as rap...just cos' it rhymed and followed to the beat!

3. You can tell the lyrics are propaganda and PR-approved.

4. Sometimes it takes more than putting words like 'y'all' and 'rock-on' together with your message to make your message seem cool. Rap is all about the culture, the 'cool' factor right?

But don't you think "yo yo singapore rock on! We strive for the best yeah yeah you bet, and we’ll put singapore on world stage, go girl!" sounds kinda off? Yeah, I thought so.

Much less the lines in this rap. Check this out: "They call me the HDTV guy, my tasks include internal systems integration; HRFIS, PMP to iTrax, please stay tuned, next up channel X!" Er....ok.

5. Has any other government in the world done this?!

6. If it ain't comfortable, it ain't meant to be done. Some of them just look stiff. If you don't feel good or comfortable doing it, don't. If you really have to make a rap video, get people who are really enthusiastic about it.

7. They had a guy wearing a 'superman' looking costume, complete with red underwear worn outside, standing on top of some building. 'Nuff said.

Why this video is a way:

1. The way these senior guys danced...let’s face it, it’s kinda cute. There's something endearing about seeing seemingly ‘older therefore not so cool’ and ‘professional’ people try to dance and be hip. (I meant older than most people who rap properly)

2. They were actually gung-ho enough to do this, when they probably know they might (or rather, will) get embarrassed. Or wait, maybe the thought never occurred to them.

3. Some of them actually look like they were enjoying themselves…complete with happy dance moves and genuine smiles. 

4. The way it's so "awwww"-inducing when you see 'em old guys trying to do something they think will really help 'em showcase their creativity (dancing so cutely and all) when you know it's not really working. But they did get a lot of attention; I suppose that's good enough.

5. Has any other govt in the world done this? :) We’re original, man!

In conclusion, though many can criticize their attempt (c'mon lah, not all of us can dance like Justin Timberlake either…) at least it goes to show these guys are open enough to do a rap video...seriously, which crazy government body has the guts to do that?

Singapore does.

And in a weird way, though people all over the world may laugh, I'm kinda proud of them simply cos' of that. (Plus, these guys demonstrated their ability to entertain!)

Okay, thank goodness I can stop using rappy words like 'y'all'...

Signing off!

Phyllis Toh

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

LV does something...and wins [video]

For a brand that vigorously fights to protect its trademark goods from the mass interest of counterfeiters worldwide, Louis Vuitton must have been surprised to see Britney Spears ripping off the brand for her video ‘Do Something’.

It’s been a while now since the video aired on MTV and on sites such as YouTube but on Monday LV won a lawsuit that alleged the video violated counterfeiting laws by showing a pink dashboard with designs similar to the brand’s Cherry Blossoms design. A Paris court has not punished Britney but instead ordered Sony BMG and MTV online to stop marketing the video.

I guess the sight of Britney tapping her fingers on the dashboard from inside her pink Hummer, was a little too much for LV to not do anything – especially since the brand already is a prime target for counterfeiters.

Or perhaps they watched the entire video and felt compelled to respond to her numerous requests for someone to ‘Do Something’.

The video is still on YouTube and the offending bit is about 30 seconds into the video...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tipped out [video]

Last week Guinness launched its £10 million (S$30 million) ad, the most expensive TVC in its marketing history turned a village in Argentina into a giant domino launch pad equipped with flaming hay bales and cars, and hundreds of villagers.

Called ‘Tipping Point’ the ad was directed by Nicolai Fugslig, he’s the guy who did the Sony Bravia’s ‘Balls’ ad, and bears similarities to that Honda ‘Cog’ ad which illustrated the domino effect with car parts.

Not bad… getting the books towards the end of the ad to give the illusion of a pint of stout being poured was the best part for me but I’ll never know how the heck they got it to pause and go up again (which is the correct way to pour Guinness stout isn’t it?).

I still think the Honda ad has the cool factor nailed down though…we’ll have to wait and see how viral this ad becomes.