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(Mumbai) Adeel Hasan (Karachi) Shafaq Noor (Karachi) Donnah Alcoseba (Makati City) Wine Chua-Leonardo (Makati City) Joyce Koor( Singapore) Grace Aik (Singapore) Naoko Ito (Tokyo) Azusa Fukai (Tokyo) Madhurim Gupta (Colombo) Mei Wu (Taipei) Beatrice Yong (Kuala Lumpur) Josephine Phang (Kuala Lumpur) Serena Park (Seoul)
The cultural trends magazine from Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific Edited & designed by Kunal Sinha
© Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, 2012
Our engagement with the digital world is driven by what technology allows us to do, but in great part it’s because it is shaping our opinions like never before. Amongst the burgeoning population of bloggers and those that tweet, some folks are particularly sticky: these opinion leaders stand out and are avidly followed because they have a pulse of what’s happening across diverse fields: entertainment, politics, sport and lifestyle. In this issue of Wassup, we speak with a cross-section of such influencers to get a sense of what makes them so appealing. Even as Western animation characters gain a toehold amongst kids and youth in Asia, an entirely homegrown set of quirky characters has emerged on to the scene, dominating the world of cinema, TV, comic books and theme parks. Japan’s foremost cultural exports might be manga and Hello Kitty, but here we’ve chosen to profile some of the lesser known characters who are no less engaging. Go on and explore how they tap into local cultures. While political and economic turmoil continue to buffet the world, with little resolution in sight, Asians have to deal with their own uncertainties and tensions. Sometimes, an over zealous police officer may have a city’s merrymakers up in arms; or a bureaucrat who decides to crack down on those sporting tattoos can face strong resistance. On other occasions, politicians and religious leaders who drive a wedge amongst people invite their anger. Ambitious new buildings, a new beer variant with frozen froth toppings, a new video game and new TV shows, and the forthcoming cricket Twenty20 World Cup are just some of the things that folks are talking about. They may be interested in the Euro Football tournament, or the London Olympics, but these topics aren’t quite on top of their agenda. Here in Asia, what’s trending is different. And Wassup tells you all about it !
14 countries. 20 correspondents deeply immersed in popular and leading edge culture bring you Cultural Insights that will make a world of difference to your business.
Look who’s talking: Internet Opinion Leaders Knowing me, Knowing you: Animation characters Playing on my iPod Rage against Waiting List Everyone is talking about Tense about Favorite knock-off brands
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Internet Opinion Leaders
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Indonesia Pribadi Prananta
Pribadi Prananta is among the 5,5 million Twitter users in Indonesia. However, Pribadi Prananta is not just a Twitter user, he has that special “spot” in the twitter land for tweeps around Indonesia as the influencer. Pribadi aka Pipu is out othere on Twitter using the name @pipis , in which in Indonesia, means “pee”. That’s a plus one for Pipu, as it’s an interesting name selection.
*on his experience on transjakarta bus On his Twitter account, Pipu describes himself as a Transjakartabus user, and an ad man - story teller for the whole day. Pipu does play a role as a story teller in Twitter, at least to his followers. He’s telling his story in the morning when he takes Transjakarta bus on his way to the office. He describes the people, or the things that he sees, and his experience in a different way. Pipu doesn’t stop to tell “story” in the morning. Duringthe day, he usually shares content such as videos of things that interest him; about cats and dogs, movie trailer, inspiring people, any updates on Japanese group “AKB48” and last but not least, as an Ad Man, he also shares great ads around the world. What’s unique is on Thursday night, it a session for a horror story, or called #memetwit. Pipuis one of the influencer who is actively sharing a story each week. His followers are mostly young people, cat lovers, Japanese girl band; JKT 48 or AKB48, and horror story lovers. Every day, there will be one or more followers who shares photos of his/her cat, and they ask Pipu to say “hi”” to them, and he did RT and say Hi. On Thursday night, also the same, there will be followers whoask Piputo tell them a horror story. We asked him how can he tell horror story each week, and doesn’t he run out of stories? Do you experience something scary each week? Well, story tellers are like magicians, they never tell. Because of his populariity among theTwitterati, brands such as AXIS (telecommunication provider), Pocari Sweat , SMAX (Crackers), and others are using Pipu to drive his followers to get to know more about their brand, or join the campaign they’re running. It seems that big brands trust Pipu will tell good stories about them to his followers.
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Sri Lanka Ramod Malaka is a talented 23 year old dancer who excels in all types of dance genres. Ramod is also a choreographer at his young age and owns his own dance studio. But this isn’t his only talent; his skills in IT have given him the opportunity to launch his own website to exhibit his dance skills and to promote his dance studio. He has made many friends especially because of internet. His dance troupe is also like family to him and he hangs out with them a lot. He feels he gains a lot of knowledge just socializing with his friends because each person has a different perception not just about dancing but about life in general. He further explains that his life is not completely about internet, although it plays a big part in his life. Life outside internet is where he finds emotion. He says he enjoys it a lot. He loves to hang out at the beach because it relaxes him and enables him to improve his creative thoughts in dance.
Internet is a drug to him is what he says. His typical explanation on how he feels without internet is the same way a drug-addict would seek for his “line” to snort every day, anytime of the day. He quotes “Without the internet I would feel weak and lifeless”….
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The main reason why Ramod’s second home is the net is because of his career. He thinks that the net helps him in many ways to promote his dance studio. He launched his website in early 2011. What kind of stories does he like to share? Since Ramod’s passion is dancing, he finds interesting quotes, stories, case studies on dancers, dance genres and so on to share with dance enthusiasts. He also likes to share videos of interesting dance moves he comes across on famous shows like “So you think you can dance” and “Dancing with the Stars”. Moreover, he always uploads his personal performances which have always managed to get him a good crowd cheer. By doing so he expects his fans and friends to share their thoughts and takes the positives and the negatives as constructive criticism which he believes improves him performance by performance. Does his site have any impact? He believes that his writing definitely has an impact, especially on budding dancers who are inspired to reach the heights he has at his young age. Whenever he comes across something that is interesting he shares it with his fans with the hope that it will inspire them as well. Interestingly, it is not only dope on dancing that he shares, but also information about new technologies as he is also very much into this industry, and is doing his BSc in Computing with Interactive Media at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management. What are his favourite sites? So You think I can dancehttp://www.fox.com/dance/ Monster Hip Hop – http://www.monstersofhiphop.com/
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Mumbai Miss Malini
We hereby present to you MaliniAgarwal who is also popularly known as @missmalini on Twitter. Her blogs feature on her own website – missmalini.com “So it’s like this; I’ve worked as a DJ on a local Radio Station – 94.3 Radio One, reported in on the Bollywood buzz live with Nikki Bedi on BBC Asia Network, continue to run a social network called Friday Club, write a gossip column in theMid Day and attend a hell of a lot of social “dos” (I plead occupational hazard but secretly enjoy it.) I like to think my fly-on-the-wall perspective is sometimes funny and mostly fair. Remember though that this is Bollywood; aka tinsel town, the land of Prada & Paparazzi. Here everyone wants to be on “Page 3″ – a direct descendant of the LA “Page 6” and very often they’ll stop at nothing for a full color high resolution mugshot. Watch this space then for all your desi glam gossip..Perez Hilton I’m about to play it forward.”
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She covers way more topics than just Bollywood, “Everything from an awesome site called postsecret.com to 500pencils.socialdesigner.com dedicated to pencils of every imaginable colour, how cool is that right? I publish whatever I find interesting assuming only that if its good enough for me its good enough for you! (excerpt from her interview back in 2010)
What has made MissMalini, the blog, so popular? I think MissMalini.com has a very unique voice and a living breathing personality which really sets it apart. It is also completely a labor of love and I think that comes through. Since I've been in the media in Mumbai for over a decade, the network I have built affords me unique access to Bollywood, lifestyle and fashion events as well as personalities. So my perspective comes from behind the velvet rope which people are most curious about. We're also very particular about the quality of writing and use a variety of media to make the posts very interactive. So it's a fresher approach than traditional media. My style. I try to do what I always tell my writers and guest contributors: write the way you speak. Like you're telling a friend. I want to hear your voice. Don't be afraid to have an opinion. The beauty of a blog is that you have great creative freedom. The only 2 big rules I have are: a) don't be unnecessarily nasty and b) always spell check and respect proper grammar rules! Its part of respecting your readers.Blogging at this scale is still pretty limited in India. We just do what we think our readers will appreciate. We keep it fun, fresh and current. We're happy to see the blogging industry grow in India! What works for me? I think brands are looking for new ways to connect with their audiences, in more individual, interactive ways. They also want to get a finger on the pulse of today's youth, and we can help them with both. I think being associated with the MissMalini brand also offers some credibility among my 18-35 demographic, especially because we only work with partners and brands we genuinely like. Honestly, I think we mostly influence by example. If we like a product, we'll talk about it. We like sharing the love if we think its something our audience will enjoy. Where brands want a more sustained campaign, we work with them to create customized and unique solutions that include editorials, contests, photo and video content, interviews, events, etc. But the golden rule is that we only support things we like.
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How do brands capitalize on her popularity?
How Malini, the girl, become Miss Malini, the blogger? I grew up in the digital age! I call it serendipity and being in the right place at the right time. I've always loved to write and am an Internet junkie, after working in print and radio for 9 years running a social network called Friday Club and working online with MTV and Channel V (as head of digital content) I found that blogging was a fabulous way to connect all my passions in one place. The blog is a living breather mirror of my life and curates everything to do with Bollywood fashion lifestyle and geek chic - I am a life caster, I live my life online and I love it :) Rules I blog by: - Keep it honest. Blog about what you love. It shows. - Respect your readers. Give them something that deserves their time. They'll respect you for it and come back too! - Don't take yourself too seriously. Its very easy to get caught up in yourself, especially in the entertainment industry. But you need to be able to laugh at yourself and let things roll of your back. - Make it fun!
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Malaysia Kenny Sia (www.kennysia.com) Kenny Sia is one of Malaysia’s most popular bloggers. In fact, his blogging career is one that most bloggers aspire to have. He started the blog in January 2005 as a tool to communicate with his overseas friends. However, it soon became one of the Malaysian blogosphere’s most popular blogs, partly attributed to an infamous post on April’s Fool’s Day where he made fun of a score of famous bloggers. Today, his blog has been visited over 24 million times and has been awarded titles such as Blog of the Year and Best Entertainment Blog. It’s easy to see why people love his blog. His posts never fail to make you laugh, whether he is writing about current issues, Malaysian politics, local advertising, product reviews, understanding women, day-to-day life or his travels. He writes with a sense of humor that appeals across borders, and it’s this humor that keeps people going back for more. He’s notorious for his crude humor and satire, his unabashedly self-depreciating wit and is well-known for his parodies of scandals and controversies. He’s not merely funny. He also writes thoughtful and poignant posts, in between nonsensical ones, and his product reviews are well researched and informative. But whether it is a trip to the salon or patriotism or vibrating condoms, his perspectives on the issue at hand never fail to generate vigorous discussions and spark heated debate amongst netizens. Readers also love his blog because each post he puts up is an original creation, not simply a copy-and-paste of interesting news. Much thought and research goes into the planning of each article and he painstakingly creates candid photoshopped pictures to illustrate his stories. The most recent brands that have capitalized on his celebrity blogging status are Apple, local car brand Perodua and Guinness, but apart from the wide endorsements of products, he was also appointed a judge for Malaysian Dreamgirls, an online reality modeling pageant, and engaged to be the brand ambassador for Mister Potato, a potato chip brand.
Kenny Sia after shaving his head for charity
A parody of a slimming product advertisement
A controversial parody of a Malaysian politician’s sex scandal
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South Korea Hyori Lee
‘Social-tainer’ is a new terminology, that combines society and entertainer. Lately, it’s a big trend amongst entertainers to actively get involved with social issues by lending their voices, and even sometimes participating in touchy issues, which consequently makes them even more popular amongst the public. Hyori Lee is South Korea’s most famous singer and at the same time, fashionista. She is well known for expressing hers view on various issues via social media. This has made her one of the best social-tainers in South Korea. Most of all, she actively tweets about her care and concern about abandoned dogs and cats; these are reported by a large number of Korean media. Now, the serious issue of abandoned pets has become the talk of town.
Via Twitter, Hyori Lee showed her on-going support and care for pets and animals, which gradually raised the public’s interest in animal rights.
Most of her Tweets (numbering around 2000) are about her trivial everyday life story, along with her support and care for pets and animals. Half of her Tweets are about animals in danger. Quite often, she makes an effort to help pet owners to search and find their lost dogs by Tweeting and re-Tweeting their message. Obviously her influence as a celebrity works well in finding lost pets. She has also donated her possession towards raisings funds for the animal protection movement.
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Hyori Lee recently announced that she had turned vegetarian, publicly encouraging vegetarianism amongst her followers. She said “I tend to act without hesitation when I have a conviction. Since I have been interested in animal rights and protection, I found out another hidden side of animal protection. This made me turn vegetarian spontaneously. Actually, after becoming a vegetarian, I am less touchy, more generous and relaxed about things around me.” She added “If you feel it is difficult, or too dramatic a change to become a vegetarian, I recommend that you skip having meat at least once a week, which would be a good way to start.” In one media interview, she confessed her inner thoughts, saying, “Sometimes, as a well known celebrity, I feel a burning desire to express my opinion in SNS like Twitter. Nonetheless, I enjoy expressing myself straightforwardly, without any barrier through SNS, which is its biggest charm.” Lately, we have noticed that a number of celebrities are easily hurt and mentioned negatively via SNS. But there are some celebrities who use their fame for socially responsible activities, and in a more productive manner, like Hyori Lee. She truly knows how well-known public figures can change the world into a better place.
Hyori stars in a documentary about vegetarian life style on one of major South Korean cable TV channels.
Hyori posts pictures of her own vegetarian pizzaon Twitter, promoting vegetarian life style among Koreans.
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16 year-old Xia Xue
Before & after plastic surgery
Xia Xue today, with dyed hair, make-up and help from Photoshop
Singapore Xia Xue
Before diet pills: 46kg
After: 38.5kg & her 24-inches shorts being very loose
Whether you love or hate her, Wendy Cheng (better known as Xiaxue) is arguably Singapore’s most wellknown blogger. With 86,205 people likes on Facebook, 105,323 followers on Twitter and 37,842 page visits on an average day, it’s hard to deny her popularity. She’s known for many things- her honesty about her plastic surgery and experience with diet pills, her penchant for pink and purple hair, her heavily photoshopped photos and last but not least, her vocal expressions of her (often controversial) points of view. She even has her own mini-series titled “XiaXue’s guide to life” which covers things from “Lie Detecting” to “My Pet Bunny” to “Kissing AGirl” which you can view here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgFJlXB2cJo According to a survey she conducted with 6000 respondents, her readers are mainly Singaporean females, young adults, into fashion and looking for alternative voices.
While she has her fair share of haters who criticize her for being ‘bimbotic’, ‘shallow’ and ‘vulgar’, she also has a strong following, even winning various blog awards such as her latest win for “Most Influential Blog” which caused some to deem it as “inappropriate” and “disappointing” last year. Her latest blog post, “The Faces of Haters”http://xiaxue.blogspot.sg/2012/05/faces-ofhaters.htmlcaused controversy as well as people were split between supporting her and condemning her for “hurting” innocent bystanders. This controversy was also published on national platforms such as The Straits Times and Yahoo News. As one article aptly put it “Depending on who you are, Wendy Cheng aka Xiaxue is a feminist avenger or a symbol of everything wrong with young women today”.
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Taiwan Chen Chi-shun
Chen Chi-shun, acerbic style blogger of the highly influential "My Bitchy Personal Opinions,” is a fashion critic who is loved and hated by almost every entertainer. "Just because you love someone and are a huge fan, doesn't mean everything that person does is perfect," Chen argues, adding that he would personally never forgive a serious fashion disaster just because he loved the person wearing it. Chen says people often tell him that criticizing fashion is much easier than creating fashion or great personal style of your own. To this, the droll Internet personality explains that “criticism" and “creation" have always been completely different things, and bridging this distinction has never been the point of his blog. Chen has recently described popular entertainer, Jolin Tsai, a fashion disaster in her latest MV ,“Honey Trap(美人計).” He ridicules her shoulder pads with tassels as being“a monthly calendar on shoulders.” Jolin’s agent responded to Chen’s “bitchy” comments by saying, “as long as they’re not personal attacks, Jolin can dismiss them with a sense of humor.” With over 10 million views this year, "My Bitchy Personal Opinions" has allowed Chen to develop his own fan base amongst a group of readers who are most likely office workers suffering from work related pressure, and enjoy the temporary pleasure of mocking someone’s clothing or a particular brand. And of course, they may also appreciate the fashion tips and trends. And though he is frequently invited as a guest by many fashion and luxury brands, Chen continues to criticize them on his blog, which demonstrates his true commitment to justice and humor.
Jolin’s fashion disaster
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CHINA Sisi Ren
Sisi Ren is a 28-year-old popular blogger from Hangzhou, China. He has been blogging at Yoho.cn, one of the biggest youth online communities and trendy online shops in China since 2008. As an art director at a leading premium women's wear brand in China, he has always been on top of fashion trends and loves sharing his fashion inspiration with his friends online. He also writes reviews and recommendations about recent popular music, movies and art exhibitions that interest him personally. In 2010, Sisi’s blog was featured on the leading youth fashion and culture magazine YOHO as the editor’s recommended blog for fashion conscious Chinese youth.
The majority of Sisi’s online followers are fashion conscious and artistic youth between 18 and early 30. They visit his blog to look for inspiration in fashion and art, as well as recommendations on music, movies and new products. However, Sisi doesn’t like to call his blog readers as ‘followers’, he thinks he is also learning from them when they are interacting online. “I always respond to each comment on my blog and I love to interact with my online friends. I feel fulfilled that my voice is being heard and appreciated by others, but most importantly, I’ve made friends who have the same interests and we will always learn new things from each other. It is harder to find friends offline with mutual interests,” Sisi says. He also cares very much about the quality of his blog post. “I make picture board for each of my blog post because I know young people prefer to look at picture, instead of reading a long text article. I keep my writing as concisely as possible and I always post new article every 3 or 4 days.” Sisi explains. Because of having a strong online presence, Sisi has been identified by agencies and brands that are trying to market and promote products among young Chinese consumers. In the past three years, Sisi has collaborated with brands such as Lynx, Lego and DEMETER to promote their products amongst young Chinese consumers. He has also helped movie companies such as Sony to do film promotions before the movie is released.
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Japan Kyohei Sakaguchi
“A house, by nature, should be something free, flexible, and personal, and that is what I wanted to pursue,” Sakaguchi explains. But even his water tower house and pizza scooter house didn’t prepare him for what he found on the banks of Tokyo’s Tama river in the year 2000. It was an encounter that changed his life. After the earthquake last year, he moved to Kumamoto (a southern island in Japan) and built up a new government, becoming its first prime minister. He has started up the “Zero-center”; where there were only four residences, more than fifty people live today: the number of people has grown quickly in the last six months. Architect, artist and photographer of 0 Yen house “Man can also build a house just like a bird can build its nest. A wall of morning-glory, a house made of pottery pipes, and a two-generation house with dog … the total cost of construction is just 0 yen. Photograph collections of houses on road covered in surrounding of Shirakawa Park and Kamagasaki and Shinjuku Central Park, etc. Drawing is on the back of the cover.” While studying architecture at Waseda University, Sakaguchi eschewed model-making and drafting for more more visceral explorations, like living in an abandoned water tower, and converting a pizza delivery scooter into a mobile home. Creative people, who worry about radioactivity, are moving from Tokyo to Kumamoto. A social community was built around the new government and started sending out information. It has become one of the fastest growing creative communities today. Sakaguchi suggests that as human beings, people have to stop depending on others, but need to start expressing their own creativity in their own lives. His attempt is to wake Japanese people up and to restart people thinking by themselves.
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Philippines Jenni Epperson
Jenni Epperson is one of the Philippines’ most popular bloggers these days. Not only does she have a very entertaining and fun writing style, her blogs also covers a variety of topics, ranging from food, beauty, interior design and general lifestyle. This range of topics is one of the main reasons why she can reach such a wide base of people. This also helped her build her huge Twitter following of around fifty-five thousand people. Because of her growing popularity, a lot of different brands have been engaging her. She has recently written blog posts about Havaianas, Beach Hut, Avon and a couple of make-up brands such as NARS. Other brands and services that have gone to her for support are a couple of food services and beauty treatment services. Jenni is definitely one of the countries top influencers and more and more people and brands are starting to take notice.
She blogs about a variety of topics
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Knowing me, Knowing you
Knowing me, Knowing you
India Chhota Bheem
With a viewership of over 35 million people, home grown hero Chhota Bheem is India’s top animated television series. Launched in 2008, by this year, over 120 episodes of the popular animation series have been aired. The success of the series has spun off into a number of short animation films over the years and a full length feature film titled Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan which was released in 2012. Bheem is an adventurous and fun-loving 9-year-old who is gifted with extraordinary strength. This power is a boon for Dholakpur, Bheem's village, which is constantly beset by all kinds of perils. This child has a big heart and he always uses his strength to help those who are wronged or needy. He nabs culprits, robbers and is seen as a Guardian of the innocent and poor people and also the animals. He wants to be a protector of the world. Bheem loves food and has a certain craving for laddoos, which in fact, give him a surge of energy and make him even stronger than he normally is. Every episode comes with a subtle message. Parents and grandparents love him because it helps them instil values into the child through stories from epics of ancient India. How? Kids ask for Lord Bheems’s stories because they want to know what their favourite character grows up to become. Inspiration : Bheema isone of the central characters of Mahabharata, an epic of ancient India. Bheema was distinguished from his brothers by his great stature and strength. He was said to be capable of fighting 60,000 warriors at once, so mighty was he that when he were to roar in anger he would put to shame the proudest lion and frighten the most fearless warrior. It is said that Bheema's appetite was so huge, that he always had to eat less than full.
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My 9 year old nephew prefers Indian mythology heroes over Avengers or Transformers. Like all boys, he loves fights but prefers those that make his imagination run wild. He loves Bheem’s weapon, gadda, and how he fights with it. The village is different from our world, just like our mythology stories. Not like Spiderman’s or Batman’s. He doesn’t like spinach so he doesn’t get how Popeye loves it. But he loves laddoos, just like Chota Bheem and the rest of India does. Also pushing the character's popularity is merchandising. The comics, DVDs, t-shirts etc. Chhota Bheem'sFavourite Drink 'Notty' makes Its Fruity Debut http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/food/ 20120523120685.htm ChhotaBheem Games http://chotabheemgamess.in/ ChhotaBheem Home Décor – http://www.greengoldstore.com/shop-bycategory/home-decors.html
Director Rajiv Chilaka on how he wanted kids to connect with an Indian hero and Chhota Bheem was the perfect choice. “He was so strong and we all wanted to be like him,” says the founder and MD of Hyderabad-based Green Gold Animation. Years later, he came up with ChhotaBheem and set him in a different era and context. “Children fell in love with the boy who was righteous and could take on any opponent. Bheem has some unique character traits and is deeply rooted in Indian culture. He came in at a time when children had access to mostly to international content. We wanted to give them a chance to experience an Indian hero who could connect with them,” he adds.
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Sri Lanka Scooby Dooby Doo
The top 3 cartoon characters that are famous amongst Sri Lankan kids are: 1st: Scooby-Doo; 2nd: Dennis the Menace; 3rd: Tintin The Scooby-Doo series is well-known not only amongst kids but amongst young adults too. In Sri Lanka, the series is aired on Sirasa TV. It is dubbed in Sinhala but still retains the same name- Scooby-Doo, whereas the other cartoons dubbed are given Sri Lankan names. (e.g. Dennis the Menace – “Dangaya”)
Who is Scooby? Originally aired in 1969, Scooby-Doo has been on TV virtually non-stop ever since, entertaining generations of kids around the entire world. Scooby-Doo is a smart, funny, adventurous series that will always be a classic among the viewers. Well-formed humor is by far the show's best quality: there's a laugh for everyone, and especially the kids will love how Scooby always runs away from trouble. At the same time the cartoon shows how kids can apply the characters' ideas and solutions to their own lives, at home and at school. How do Scooby and his friends use clues to solve a problem? Every episode is an interesting mystery for the kids.
Fanspeak … “Scooby Doo!!! because I like the doggy!..” – Mihelie(5) “Scooby!, he makes me laugh!” – Shaniza (7) “Scooby – Doo!, I think Fred is cute!” – Venuki (8) “Scooby-Doo!, He’s COOOOL!!” - Jason (7)
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Indonesia Si Kancil
Si Kancil (The Deer) is one of the famous characters from traditional Indonesian fairy tales. It is quite likely that many adults have forgotten the stories, which their parents or grandparents and teachers may have told them when they were kids. Si Kancil has many adventures to share, among them“Si Kancil dan Si Siput (The Deer and The Snail)”, “Si Kancil Mencuri Timun (The Deer Steals Cucumber)” and “Si Kancil Menyeberang Sungai Penuh Buaya (The Deer Crossing River of Crocodiles)“ were quite popular. The most famous one is “Si Kancil Mencuri Timun”. These stories have now been transformed into a series of books, a cartoon show, and even a song to tell his story about stealing cucumber.
*The Captious Deer Song
The Adventure of The Deer Cartoon
In recent years, some parents were concerned that Si Kancil‘s stories were about his using cleverness to trick, deceive or cheat others. Because of the concern that the fairytale could affect children’s character, Dr Sofyan Djalial, MA.MALD, Ministry of State Owned Enterprise, told people to stop telling stories about Si Kancil Mencuri Timun. Then, in 2009, Tedi Siswoko, published its first book, “Kancil (Bukan) Si Pencuri Timun (The Deer (is not) The Cucumber Stealer)”. It was a different story compared to the previous one, with Si Kancil using his cunning to help his friends, instead of cheating or deceiving them. Si Kancil plays the role of an anti-hero, but is still quite loveable, with children enjoying his adventures very much!
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Malaysia Upin and Ipin
Their popularity amongst Malaysians has made them Malaysia’s favourite animated twins. Their Facebook page is a testament to that. With over 5.4 million fans on Facebook – they are the most “liked” Facebook page in Malaysia.To date, the series has reached its fourth year-long season on TV. Apart from TV, you can also read Upin and Ipin comic books, buy their DVDs, watch their series online, in Malaysia’s first CGI Animated feature film Geng: The Adventure Begins. Hi! We are Upin and Ipin, a pair of animated 5 year old Malay twins who live in a small Malaysian village, Kampung Durian Runtuh (Literal translation: Village of Falling Durian) with our big sister, KakRos and grandmother, Opah. We attend classes everyday at our village’s Tadika Mesra (Friendly Kindergarten) with our Malay, Indian and Chinese friends. ‘Upin and Ipin’ was first created as a series of four minute animated shorts by Les' Copaque Production to educate children of the meaning and importance of fasting and the Islamic holy month. It debuted on TV as a Ramadhan special in September 2007 and was an instant hit amongst adults and children in Malaysia. Since then, the series has evolved into Upin&Ipin and Friends, a more general themed series surrounding the lives and adventures of the twins and their friends on normal days, which has garnered an international audience following their debut on Disney Channel Asia. It’s easy to see why viewers love the show. Aside from their entertaining misadventures and fantasies, children love the show because the show’s characters, who are far from perfect, are easy to relate to regardless of race, religion or nationality, attributed by the racial diversity of Upin and Ipin’s friends. Parents appreciate the show’s moral grounding in each episode, aimed at educating children values such as responsibility, loyalty and honesty. But more than that, viewers love the show because the show’s typical Malay village setting makes them feel at home better than shows set elsewhere.
Upin and Ipin and their classmates
You can even catch them up close live in Upin and Ipin The Musical, a theatre play production performed by children. You can also track their journey at the National Museum exhibiting the animation process, memorabilia and a tour to Upin and Ipin's fantasy land. Upin and Ipin merchandise include T-shirts, bags, stationery, water bottles, soft toys and even their own range of Upin and Ipin food (e.g. biscuits, chocolate, curry packets, edible pictures for cakes). There are also Upin and Ipin themed carnivals with activities for children and families and Upin and Ipin Cafes which serve dishes such as ‘Opa Fried Rice' or 'Chicken Fried Upin’.
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South Korea Pororo
“I am Pororo, the little penguin in a computer-generated animated cartoon series created by Iconix Entertainment and EBS (a major education TV channel in Korea). Since my debut in 2003, I became so popular not only my home country, Korea, but also overseas. I starred in animation film series revolving around the adventures in the snowy village of PorongPorong Forest, where my friends and I often meet challenges and learn practical and moral lessons in each episode. You can easily guess how popular I am by seeing the nickname "Pororo the President" while some teenagers call me "Pororo the God“ . I am so popular that a number of brands, especially brands targeting babies or children, started using me to promote in their products. In 2011 June, Korea’s biggest shopping mall brand, E-mart, held a Pororo photo exhibition in book and music section, as a result boosting their sales by 32%. Lately bakery brand, Paris Baguette, also started producing cakes and breads that look like me, aiming at winning the young consumers’ heart”. Pororo’s charm comes from each character’s uniqueness and friendliness. The main character ‘Pororo’ is a penguin wearing big round aviator goggles and a tan-colored aviator cap. Considering that penguins are incapable of flight, a penguin aviator is rather nonsensical, however the character is full of wit and imagination. Likewise, other characters also have distinct personalities and unique interests which sometimes cause little (and sometimes not so little) happenings in their calm white world. Compared with other animations based on a super hero’s story, Pororo is something that’s more human and child like, which helps young audiences stay engaged with the story more intensely.
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Consumer brands like Paris Baguette have adopted the Pororo character in their products to attract young consumers.
Lately, the episode of one enthusiastic fan rushing onto the stage proved Pororo’s popularity among kids.
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Singapore The Legend of Korra
‘The Legend of Korra’ premiered in Singapore on the Nickelodeon television network on April 14 this year. This animated series is a sequel to ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, which aired on the same network from 2005 to 2008. Although only in its first 10 episodes, the show already has a strong following, appealing to a wider demographic than just teenagers and kids despite being an animated series. One reasons for the show’s popularity is it explores a number of universal themes, mainly friendship, family, love, sacrifice, power and the responsibilities that come with it. Underlying all these is also an examination of what freedom really means. Wrap that together with amazing animation that pays close attention to details plus a mixture of humour and seriousness, you’ve got yourself an amazing series. Although ‘The Legend of Korra’ is a relatively new series, you can already find weekly reviews on YouTube and elsewhere online where fans come together to discuss the latest episodes, speculate about what the show has in store next and anticipating the release of each new episode. As one critic put it “’The Legend of Korra’ promises to be an excellent addition to the Avatar mythos, pleasing both fans and newcomers alike”.
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Taiwan Open Chan
Open Chan, the first cartoon spokesperson in Taiwan’s convenience retail industry, was born on July 11th, 2005. Open Chan is a dog who comes from the Open planet and who loves to eat Onigiri (三角飯糰). He was created by Japan Dentsu and Taiwan Dentsu, the advertising company which is the agency of the convenience store 7-ELEVEN. In launching Open Chan, 7-ELEVEN and Dentsu enter a new level of connecting emotionally with people. Also, Open Chan showcases the friendly spirit of 7-ELEVEN while introducing new products and services to consumers and releasing peripheral products loved by everyone. Children and office ladies are the key target audience for Open Chan. They are attracted by the distinct and loveable image, and lots of popular products enjoy good sales if they are tagged a Open Chan image. These include cookies, bread, cake, soft drink, tissue, or small appliances (tooth brush, chopsticks, shopping bag, T-Shirts…etc) With the popularity of Open Chan and its growing fan base, Open Chan’s first music album was released. In a related MV, he plays guitar with his friends Momo, Paiko, Chicowa, and others, thereby expanding the number of cartoon characters associated with Open Chan. Based upon Open Chan’ success, 7-ELEVEN has ventured into the hotel and restaurant business with Open Chan as a central theme. Furthermore, a shopping mall as well as a theme park featuring Open Chan were opened. To some marketers’ point of view, Open Chan’s success is an innovative marketing model which has pleasantly surprised 7-ELEVEN, and has successfully recruited children as new consumers.
Open Chan’s Mall Open Chan’s Hotel Open Chan items
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CHINA Pleasant Goat “I am Pleasant Goat, an animated schoolage lamb living in the village of Green Pasture. I wear a blue ribbon, with a bell around my neck. My friends think I am a hero because I always help them to get through danger when the wolves are trying to catch us. I love to play pranks and all my friends get mad at me.”
In the U.S, there is Mickey Mouse; In Japan, there’s Hello Kitty. Both animated icons have generated billions of dollars in revenue and, perhaps even more importantly, raised the cultural cachet of their respective countries to sensational levels. And now China is getting into the action. Pleasant Goat is an animated lamb from a Chinese animated television series, ‘Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf’, which created by Huang Weiming, Lin Yuting and Luo Yinggeng, and produced by Creative Power Entertaining. The series is about a group of goats living on the Green Pasture and the story revolving around a clumsy wolf who wants to catch and eat them. Since 2005, the series have been broadcasting on more than 75 satellite and cable TV networks across China, including Hong Kong‘s TVB. The first film based on the character Pleasant Goat, released in 2009, broke box-office records for locally produced animation films in China with 130 million RMB (US$19.6 million) in revenue. In 2012, Disney announced that the series will be aired on its channels in 46 countries in the Asia Pacific region, it is a milestone for China‘s homegrown animation industry. In the coming three years, audiences in countries such as India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will be able to enjoy the latest 100 episodes of the hit cartoon series ’Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf Joys of Seasons.
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There are few reasons that the series is so popular. The animation industry in China has been undergoing a period of rapid transformation in the past ten years, the Chinese government at various levels have promulgated over 25 regulations to encourage creative industries and the development of specific creative clusters especially animation. Homegrown skilled animators are increasing and the quality of animation production has improved dramatically. The storyline of ‘Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf’ is very simple and easy for children to understand: a wolf tries to catch goats, but he always fails because the goats work together as a team and good will always win in the end. The whole story is very positive. The language that’s used in the series is based on the updated slangs and internet memes, even young parents enjoy watching it with their children. Pleasant Goat is not only a popular cartoon series, it is also a merchandising powerhouse! You can see it everywhere in China. In 2011, Hong Kong’s animation studio Imagi International bought the merchandise and licensing rights of the television series and animation films, in a 105 million USD deal. Disney has also been the master licensee of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf since December 2010.
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Japan Rirakuma Sawako Watanabe, also known as “Hiyoko 555” (39 years old) is a famous housewife who invented food shaped in the form of 3D animated characters. She creates different kind of dishes using a character called “Rirakuma” – Relaxed Bear. She has 5,000 followers in her photo sharing application. Sawako makes the 3D character from whatever is available at home. Recently, this trend has extended to other Japanese housewives who have found this as a great way of encouraging their kids to eat healthy foods.
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Philippines Plogas: ang asong hindi ‘The dog who isn’t’
Created by Pol Medina, Pugad Baboy is a comic series about the “pigs” living in different levels of Manila society. Polgas, the family dog of the Sungcal family, is depicted as the crime fighter – battling corruption, drugpushing, extortion, and stupidity – the evils of society. He appears in many other guises such as Dr. Sigmund Floyd (a spoof of Sigmund Freud), Pol Torero (World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE's The Undertaker), Amorsolo (a non-existent Ninja Turtle), Aquapol (Aquaman), Growlsbuster (spoofing The Ghostbusters), Darth Paul (spoofing Darth Vader), Polverine (a spoof of Wolverine, an X-Men character) and many others. The strip does not only showcase domestic life; occasionally, it features adventure, drama, and pure spoof sequences. More often, the strip mirrors the general sentiment of the Filipino people on relevant topics such as corruption in the government as well as Filipino pop culture. So iconic is this character, that Polgas appears in a variety of merchandise: limited edition San Miguel beer, plush toys, indie artist sneakers, shirts, and chess sets.
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Pakistan Bankay Mian
I am Bankay Mian, a 53 year old (animated) qawwal from Pakistan whom you must have seen on Express News. Alongside, I am also a columnist in the Urdu newspaper Express and my column is published under the title, ‘BankayNama’. People know me well for my sarcasm and wittiness. I use the art of qawwali to comment on everyday issues which are being faced by the Pakistani people and use my cynicism for the good of the society. I strongly believe that parody is the best revenge of modern times. My qawwalis follow the same pattern and so goes the main line of my qawwali “BankayMianKiQawwali, Sub Say Nirali” (Bankay Mian’s Qawwali is the most unique.) As the name Bankay (brave) suggests that I am not scared of saying and telling the truth to and in front of anyone – but I say it my way. This is what makes me stand out from the rest of the qawwals and that is why everyone likes me and respects me so much. My struggling, stressed out, yet full of energy and enthusiasm qawwal party, consists of BabooBhai, Kallan and Laddan. BabooBhai plays the tabla while Kallan and Laddan are for claps. One interesting fact is that these three copy me in my style and appearance; I certainly don’t mind it, in fact I am proud of it. I am on a mission to be the voice of the common Pakistani people and to act as the platform through which I can shout out the grievances of theirs to the relevant in a humorous way. To watch me in action, visit http://www.youtube.com/bankaymianqawal
*or any other music player
Playing on my iPod*
SINGAPORE Payphone Maroon 5 ft Wiz Khaila http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5FlQSQuv_mg Broken Hearted Karmin http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=s8cbak34DR 0 SRI LANKA PathuSenehe Seya Roo PoornaSachintha&Kushani Ft. THILINA R. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=vXnKFSqs6N0 SOUTH KOREA EpitoneProject – 2nd album Crack of Dawn http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=u_5C5am2530 Minuethttp://www.youtube.com /watch?v=K4D8cdz_eA0&feature =related Wonder Girls - Wonder party album Like This http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=7EZTUYwjWBs Girlfriend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u vzVhrdq0NI INDONESIA “AkuPastiBisa” Citra http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=MVsY4bmYhqE INDIA Song: ‘PaniDa Rang’ Movie: Vicky Donor http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=yA_S1s0DFmU&feature=fvwrel MALAYSIA Carly Rae Jepsen Call me Maybe http://youtu.be/fWNaR-rxAic JAPAN Kana Nishino Watashitachi http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=jFTMj7va RjI
Klangit SesalMendua http://youtu.be/sHF1YJY7tWc
Playing on my iPod*
Oli Hang Go Go Fighting TAIWAN 2012 by May day http://www.youtub e.com/watch?v=Yyg VVvuIWm4&feature =relmfu PHILIPPINES http://v.youku.com/v_show/i d_XMzk2OTIxMTUy.html
Miss D.D Everybody Loves A Lover http://v.youku.com/ v_show/id_XMzk3OT YxNDA0.html
Ingrosso&Alesso ft. Ryan Tedder Calling (Lose My Mind) http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9G1I16gJBvU Chien Yao Star Toes http://v.youku.com/v_s how/id_XMzk0NTkxMjU 2.html Calvin Harris The Rain http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=jscd9utzNHs
TahirMitthu PerePavandiSaan http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=fCP8uv9v0yI
What’s making people really angry?
SINGAPORE Project Hello Stranger
Sri Lanka The Let-down at Rio-20
Sri Lanka’s position on Rio+20 was largely in line with that of the Group of 77, a coalition of developing countries. In his Rio +20 address, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said “Outsiders should not encroach on a country’s natural resources, whether on land or in the ocean. Protection of the sea bed and the ocean floor against damage by the use of environmentally unfriendly methods of fishing, such as bottom trawling, should be guaranteed by international law and practice.” Some groups attending Rio+20 felt the summit was a complete failure. On the penultimate day, protesters took up a position near the entrance to the summit venue, where the top-level plenary sessions were in progress, and said the Green Economy would not save the Earth, which was being battered by antienvironmental practices. Back in Colombo, organizers of Earth Walk 2012 and other youth groups were disheartened, upset and some even angry that the summit had been “so nonconclusive”.
Japan Restarting a nuclear plant
There was outrage in Japan when the government announced the re-start of one of the shut nuclear plants. 11,000 people surrounded the Prime Minister’s residence with banners saying ‘STOP the nuclear plant’, ‘STOP OOI (name of the nuclear plant)’. The local police arrested one of the protesters who assaulted a police officer. Supporters of the rally included influential figures such as famous writers and actors. But it remains a divisive issue: there are some people who support the reopening of nuclear plants to support Japan’s economic growth.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble, 57, has been accused by his severest critics of trying to Taliban-ise Mumbai. Mr Dhoble, who heads the Mumbai Police's Social Service branch, faced his latest criticism on Twitter when he was a trending topic for recent raids on some of the city's landmark restaurants and pubs. It's not just his mission, but his style that has enraged the city. He often carries a camera during his raids to film people for relatively minor violations. Armed at least once with a hockey stick, Mr Dhoble arrived to enforce what many in the city believe are archaic laws. He raided Cafe Zoe for playing music without the required license for a DJ, and because it was overcrowded. A day later, he raided the Shiro nightclub in Worli on Saturday, saying it was flouting rules. He has said in his defence that he needs to protect young people who gather at hookah bars and pubs which are breaking the law. "I am doing my job," he said to NDTV, a week after two women sued the police for defamation because they were arrested for being prostitutes in a raid led by Mr Dhoble. A Facebook page called 'Dhoble - Oppressor of the Innocent Public' has 20,000 members. Writer and commentator Pritish Nandy has described him as 'Public Enemy No 1' on Twitter. Mr Dhoble's track record in the police force has many blemishes, but a patina of political patronage has protected him. He was suspended in 1989 for accepting a bribe in Pune. In 1994, he was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined a lakh for his role in a custodial death. He was dismissed from the force but reinstated in 1996, after his jail sentence was dismissed by the Mumbai High Court. A departmental inquiry against him is still pending in this case - the Supreme Court had ordered this. Before the Special Service branch, Mr Dhoble was posted with the Maharashtra VidhanSabha security. The organisers of 24TH June’s proposed anti-Dhoble rally at Carter Road say the Mumbai Police's denial of permission has in fact resulted in a fresh groundswell of support.
India Moral policing by the Mumbai Police
Working on a multi-pronged marketing strategy, the team has begun distributing flyers with morning newspapers and will distribute around 600,000 leaflets over the weekend. "We have hired 200 commercial hoardings across Mumbai. In fact we are paying Rs 28,000 to put up 30 hoardings in the Bandra-Santa Cruz area whereas political parties are charged only Rs 8,000-9,000 for this number. Being private individuals, we are charged many times more because the civic body assumes we are advertisers," says Kanal. The team has spent Rs 1,000 as printing charge for each hoarding. The artistic community has pledged support from day one. Writer-singer Ramji Gulati whose song 'Apni Mumbai police sabkabhai' had created waves will record a special song for the rally. Choreographer Sandeep Soparrkar is working on a piece as well. Kabir Bedi posted his thoughts online. "Mumbai Police trample democratic rights (by) denying permission for Sunday rally against brutal crackdown on city's nightlife," he wrote.
TWITTER HANDLE ‘#DHOBLE’
China Pregnant Editor-In-Chief Forced to Resign
A former chief editor of a Chinese website PClady, which provides information services aimed at women, was reportedly forced to resign last month for being pregnant. The company canceled her computer and email account after she refused to quit, reports the Xinxi Shibao, a newspaper affiliated to the Guangzhou Daily. The 34-year-old woman, surnamed Dong, had been working for the website since last February, rising on the strength of her performance to become chief editor. The Guangzhou-based website asked Dong to quit her job on Apr 24, five days after she informed the company of her pregnancy. Dong had told the company that her doctor had suggested she take a period of time off. The company's senior vice president told her to quit on April 24 despite recently released national regulations stipulating women should not be made unemployed or paid less on account of pregnancy, giving birth and breastfeeding. Dong refused to quit but found her computer, permit and email account had been rendered invalid the same afternoon. Dong said this is not the first time the company has dismissed a pregnant employee, adding that the company prevented a previous incident from being disclosed. The editor says she has retained legal advise over the case. Dong’s story has appeared on China’s largest micro-blogging service Sina Weibo. Within few days, the story has became one of the most discussed topics. Netizens have expressed their anger on this issue, one commented: “As one of the largest websites that target women, it is shame that you don’t even give your employee basic woman rights. Women today are well educated, we should fearlessly go to court to safeguard our legal rights and interests when we have not been treated fairly.”
Singapore The Ferrari accident and its aftermath
On May 12 2012, 4.15am, at the junction of Rochor Road and Victoria Street, a red Ferrari ran a red light, crashing into a taxi and instantly claiming two lives at the point of impact. This incident reads like an episode of a drama series; a rich married man from China with an unknown female passenger driving recklessly in the night causing the death of two other innocent victims. One victim was the taxi driver, a father of 3 and the household’s sole breadwinner. The entire incident was captured on tape by another taxi driver’s inbuilt camera whose occupants managed to escape death by mere seconds. This footage quickly went viral, sparking outrage online from both Singaporeans and those in China. This incident has caused additional tension on the ground amongst Singaporeans especially at a time when antiforeigner sentiment is on the rise. Many blame the government for its ‘liberal’ acceptance of foreign talent which they say is the culprit behind the rising influx of foreigners causing trouble. Even the Chinese embassy in Singapore has told its citizens living in the Republic, that “[they] hope that Chinese citizens living in Singapore will respect life, value the safety of themselves and others, abide by its laws and regulations, and live responsibly and gracefully”. The embassy also conveyed its sincere and deep condolences to the victims and their families. The Chinese themselves were outraged at the behaviour of one of their own as commentaries have appeared in China condemning the obnoxious behavior of rich Chinese overseas. Many see this irresponsible behaviouras a result of the sudden rising affluence among the Chinese and the lack of education and etiquette that should follow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZG1HgOyFkU
Taiwan Poor working conditions for nurses
About 200 nurses protested in front of the Department of Health on 5/30, urging relevant authorities to immediately modify labor laws to prevent hospitals from further exploiting them. "Let me sleep," shouted Liang Hsiu-mei, a member of the Radical Nurses Union, which was formed recently to address the increasingly deteriorating working conditions for local nursing staff. Liang presented a sample shift chart that showed how their employers forced them to take care of patients when they didn't have enough rest. Nearly one in four nurses had the experience of working both the night shift and the day shift on the same day, Liang said, citing findings from a survey her organization had conducted. "Only if we have enough rest can patients be in good hands," she said. However, some nurses just leave the industry or go to another country to get the better pay and betterquality of life. At the moment, there are 230,000 individuals who hold nursing licenses in Taiwan, though only about 40 percent of them are working as nurses in the work force, according to statistics compiled by health officials. According to statistics from the DOH, the turnover rate for nurses reached 20 percent last year, which was 3 to 4 percentage points higher than in previous years. About 17,800 people left the profession in 2011. In a ceremony held to recognize distinguished nurses a few days earlier, President Ma Ying-jeou announced a set of guidelines for nursing reform and promised to improve the working conditions for nurses.
Indonesia Lady Gaga’s Cancelled Concert
The National Police stated that they would not issue a permit for Lady Gaga’s concert scheduled for Jakarta on June 3, 2012, for, among other reasons, fears that the Grammy Award winner would exploit her sensuality in a manner which could harm the morals of Indonesian youth. This statement is more or less in line with the same tune as that of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), which previously said that Lady Gaga would “bring the faith of Satan to the country and thus would destroy the nation’s morals” (The Jakarta Post, May 16, 2012).
Whether the police’s decision is right or wrong does not matter. In this case, state institutions seemed to fall under the influence or are unable to deal with threats that come from religious hardliner groups. In those cases, the hardliner groups clearly stated that they would launch physical attacks on other parties. Through their actions, the hardliners were actually presenting more potential, and in some cases, actual threats to other groups. The irony, however, is that state institutions, which ideally must stay neutral to protect the well-being of all people, are aligning with the hardliner groups. Instead of overcoming potential threats, the state apparatus chooses to cooperate with the side that has launched the threat. Lady Gaga fans went mad and protested back, but it clearly did not save the concert. Local concert promoter Big Daddy Entertainment has promised to issue full refunds for the 52,000 tickets purchased for Lady Gaga’s June 3 concert in Jakarta, after the US singer backed out early on Sunday morning. Big Daddy executive Michael Rusli told reporters in Jakarta that the tickets would be refunded “100 percent“, starting on June 10. "We will announce detailed procedures on Wednesday because we have to ask the police to issue a permit for us to refund the tickets, since it will involve crowds," Michael said. A total of 52,000 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 465,000 (US$50.75) to Rp 2.25 million, have already been sold since tickets sales opened on March 10. Michael Rusli declined to comment on how much money that the promoter had lost due to the cancellation. A total of 52,000 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 465,000 (US$50.75) to Rp 2.25 million, had already been sold since tickets sales opened on March 10. Michael Rusli declined to comment on how much money that the promoter had lost due to the cancellation.
Sri Lanka World Cup Cricket Twenty20
The 2012 ICC World Twenty20 will be the fourth ICC World Twenty20 competition, an international cricket tournament that will be held in Sri Lanka between September 18 and October 7, 2012. This will be the first World Twenty20 tournament held in an Asian country, the last three being held in South Africa, England and the West Indies respectively. Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga has been chosen as the event ambassador of the tournament by ICC. On 21 September 2011, ICC unveiled the logo of the tournament, named "Modern Spin” On 10th June 2012, the 100th day countdown for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2012 was launched at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium. As part of the celebrations, more than 300 school children from the Kandy District formed a giant '100’ (actual photograph on the left). The ICC together with Sri Lanka Cricket also donated cricket bats to 100 girls and boys schools playing competitive cricket in the Kandy District. Also present at the occasion were Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez and Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena and Sri Lanka women's captain Shashikala Siriwardena. Schedule available on: http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/events_and_awards/twenty20/fixtures.php
Recently, local car manufacturer Proton announced that its latest car model, Prevé, has received over 10,000 bookings in just two months, making it the most popular 1.6 liter sedan in the market. The Prevé is claimed to be Proton’s effort to offer the most technologically advanced vehicle available to the mass market and its launch was greatly anticipated by car enthusiasts and the average Malaysian alike. So far, reviews of the car have lauded the Prevé for its affordability and for its technological innovations, such as the built in GPS system and touchscreen audio system on the dashboard. Some reviewers have even deemed the Prevé as Proton’s first global car and its finest model yet.
Malaysia Prevé from local car manufacturer Proton
The 1.6 liter Proton Prevé
India ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’
This year’s most talked-about movie ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ is probably the only Hindi film of recent times which is getting so much attention abroad also. The movie director Anurag Kashyap is like a representative of Indian cinema, who stands out from the usual masala entertainers. His films are hard-hitting and realistic and that is the reason why ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ was a hot favourite at Cannes this year. ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ is a six hour marathon and will be released in two parts. But the 2nd part will be released probably after 2-3 weeks of the first part. At the end of the first part is when you can sit back to watch the trailer of the second one.
Last February, Japanese company Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. formally announced the June opening of the first Uniqlo shop in the Philippines, which will be located at SM Mall of Asia. With just days to go, shoppers are giddy with excitement especially with an opening sale to welcome them for the first 3 weeks. Many came to know and love Uniqlo from their travels around Asia. The arrival of the brand is a big treat for Filipino shoppers. In the next 3 years, more shoppers will get their Uniqlo fix with 49 other stores to open in the greater Manila area.
Indonesia Maroon 5
With the cancelation of Lady Gaga’s concert, people are resorting to the next concert by Maroon5, which is scheduled to be on October 5, 2012. Despite the fact that it will the their second concert this year in Jakarta, fans had lined up and fought for the presale tickets launched on June 16. The sales turned out amazing with 8000 presale tickets sold in less than 3 minutes. This was exactly what happened on their last visit as well. Looks like Indonesians haven’t had enough of Maroon5, and this time, Maroon 5 made a short video to promote their tour in Asia, where Jakarta will be the last city, closing their tour. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedde d&v=d0BXrq-_7pI Prior to their concert on October 5, Maroon 5 will be launching their new album, and this is what people have been waiting for, on top of the upcoming concert.
Japan Tokyo Sky Tree
Tokyo Sky Tree opened on May 22. It is the world's tallest freestanding tower with a height of 634 meters. The tower was primarily built to broadcast clear TV and radio signals without interference from the many skyscrapers that have been built in central Tokyo. Now, it become a town combining the broadcast tower, an aquarium, a planetarium and the Tokyo Solamachi complex, which boasts 312 shops and restaurants. From May 22 to July 10, entry to the observation desk are by Advance Reservation only, which had been sold out before opening. In the first weekend, Tokyo Sky Tree and surrounding facilities drew 564,000 visitors. Calculate on a year-long basis, the number of visitors to Tokyo Skytree Town is expected to total 32 million in the first year, and 25 million in the second.
Singapore Diablo III
It’s been 12 long years since Diablo II came out, and the worldwide wait for the sequel was finally over this year with Diablo III’s release. While fans of the game had the option of getting their games through third party suppliers or directly online, many others decided to do the brave thing: Face off countless other fans and get their games in person at the launch event held by Asiasoft at Funan DigitaLife Mall. Some even lined up 24 hours before the launch of the events while others took leave from school and work specially to get their hands on the latest game. But to them, it’s a small sacrifice. Just ask Seth Chan, the first person in the queue. Hestarted queuing with his friends at 6am the day before and even took two days off his annual leave to prepare for this launch event. This craze may not seem so surprising when one takes a look at the statistics: Singaporean youth are playing 27 hours of computer games/week according to an ongoing study by National Institute of Education (NIE). Some fun facts: this game has proved so popular that it’s namesake even made an appearance at this year’s Beerfest Asia in Singapore.
and also in Taiwan !
Diablo III has been the most anticipated game this decade, drawing an eager audience in in Taiwan too! The game’s creator, Blizzard, had us waiting years for the next installment to Diablo II – a game that millions of people still play. Those long years of anticipation can seem like a lifetime in the gaming world, when games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, or Battlefield, release yearly updates . Blizzard, the game’s creators, announced that Diablo III had sold about 1 million copies in a single month in Taiwan, making it the hottestselling PC game this summer. However, there was some negative publicity as one gamer was too excited and couldn’t stop playing the game day and night, as this 31-yearold man eventually died in front of the computer, with the screen continuing to show Diablo III. That’s how crazy these fans of popular computer gamers can become!
China Xiaomi “Youth Edition” Smartphone
May 15, 2012, Chinese smart phone marker Xiaomi released a new version of its smart phone targeting younger and more price-sensitive consumers. Its name, the 青春 (Qing Chun) or “youth edition” also invokes a feeling of springtime, indicating that they aim for this to be a seasonal deal. According to the announcement on Xiaomi’s Weibo, the model is limited to 150,000 units, preorders were only available through May 18. Priced at 1499 RMB ($238), the new phone is 20% faster in speed but 25% cheaper in price 25% compared with the original model. Before the preorder day, the message on Xiaomi’s Weibo page has already been reposted 72,000 times by fans. On May 18, the company sold all 150,000 phones in just 12 minutes as it launched the online sale. One netizen commented on its Weibo page: “I heard great things about Xiaomi smart phone, I have been wanting to buy it but the price is kind of expensive to a college student like me. When I heard about the release of the youth edition, I was so happy and I have been waiting in front of computer to preorder on May 18. But it is too popular and I couldn’t get a quota, they should produce more units!”
Founded by Chinese Internet guru Lei Jun, Xiao mi began with a small team but aimed high - tomake Chinese high-end performing smart phones with affordable prices. The company's smart phones, which cost around 2,000RMB ($317) or less than half the price of an Apple iPhone 4,soldmore than 1.65 million units since it entered the market on Oct 20 last year, the company said. Xiaomi only offers its products through online sales, with limited number of units at a time due to its limited production capacity. Earlier this year, Xiaomi secured $90 million in a venture capital fund-raising that attracted foreign investors, bringing the total investor financing to $130 million. It also made Foxconn, the primary Apple product supp -lier, to be its supplier from January this year.
Pakistan Waar – The Movie
For the past few decades, the Pakistan film industry is going through the phase of turmoil. Since the decline of Pakistani cinema in the late 1970s, mainstream films in the country have lost originality, a good script and an audience. In the ‘golden days’ of Pakistani cinema, the film industry churned out more than 200 films annually, today it’s barely one-fifth of what it used to be. The Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that once the country boasted of having at least 700 cinemas operating in the country, this number dwindled down to less than 170 by 2005. Once thriving, the cinema industry in Pakistan now barely exists. Much has been attributed to the regime of Zia-ul-Haq, VCRs, film piracy and the introduction of entertainment taxes. During this period, few films made their mark at both Pakistan and international level – these include KhudaKeLiye (In the name of God - 2007), Ramchand Pakistani (2008) and Bol (2011). The Oscar win by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for her short documentary, ‘Saving Face’ also added to the credentials of the Pakistani film fraternity. It has now become the source of encouragement and inspiration for budding filmmakers to produce quality films. Waar(to strike) is one of the films which are expected to change the face of the Pakistani film industry. Dubbed as the most anticipated film ever in the history of Pakistan, Waar (to strike) is a forthcoming English language Pakistani action/thriller, the storyline of which has been inspired by the war on terror in Pakistan and its effects on the world.
With a production budget of over 2 million USD, Waar is going to be one of the most expensive movies made in Pakistan. The film has been written by Hassan Waqas Rana and directed by Bilal Lashari, a well known name in the local industry. Lashari has already made a name for him in directing music videos, and has worked with top artists and bands like AbrarulHaq, AtifAslam, Meekal Hassan Band, Jal and EP. Lashari also worked as assistant director for ShoaibMansoor during the filming of the internationally acclaimed Pakistani block-buster, Khuda Kay Liye (In The Name of God). The film is reported to star Shaan, Shamoon Abbasi, Ayesha Khan, Sadia Hyat Khan, Meesha Shafi and Ali Azmat. The soundtrack of the film has been done by Qayaas, a Pakistani rock band. The film has been produced by MindWorks Media and has been shot in collaboration with Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) at locations including Lahore, Islamabad and the Swat valley, with some scenes shot in Istanbul. The first official trailer of the film was launched on December 31, 2011. The film will first be screened at some major international film festivals and will then be released worldwide.
Tense about …
Sri Lanka Rising Prices hitting the Middle Class Hard
Consumer prices in Sri Lanka rose by 7% in May 2012 from a year earlier. Food prices rose 2.5% in the month. Non food items were up 11.3% over the past 12 months. Analysts have said that the Central Banks activity of making unsterilized foreign exchange purchases has contributed to creating a ‘crawling peg’ The worst hit are the middle class or the salaried gentry. Their electricity bill has almost doubled. The van driver who takes the children to school is demanding Rs. 500 more for each child. and the monthly grocery bill has gone up to such an extent that it even threatens peace at home. The middle class's plight is aggravated by the crisis facing employers, many of whom are unable to give a salary hike in proportion to the rise in cost of living. Wages are not increased to cope with the rising cost. While the government prevaricates public sector pay hikes, the private sector complains that it is badly hit by the fuel price hikes and the increase in electricity rates, among other costs.
India Leander Paes adamant on no-show
It's inconceivable to think of an Indian contingent in the Olympics without Paes. The only hope for a change of heart stems from the fact that a formal announcement, in the form of a statement or press release, hasn't yet been issued by the Paes camp. A hurt and disappointed Leander Paes is sticking to his stand of giving the London Olympics a miss. Advice has been pouring in ever since India's longest-serving tennis player took a strong stand on Wednesday, whereby he told the All India Tennis Association (AITA) that he would be forced to withdraw from the Olympics if two doubles teams were sent and he was asked to pair with a junior player. With the AITA going ahead and doing just that on Thursday afternoon - naming Mahesh Bhupathi-Rohan Bopanna, along with Paes-Vishnu Vardhan - the 39year-old is learnt to have got even more adamant.
Indonesia Life Is Getting Tough For Low Class In Indonesia
Now, medium to low income families in Indonesia have a longer road to owning their dream automobile and property. In this June 2012, Bank Indonesia (BI) has implemented a policy of higher DP (down payment) for auto and property sectors. This policy only favours Indonesia’s medium to high class, not the lower class. Furthermore, this policy applied nationwide. The minimum down payment will be 30% for mortgages and four- wheeled vehicle loans, 25% for motorcycles and 20% for commercial vehicles. The down payment (DP) for property sector is minimum 30% for houses that are 70 meter square and greater. A 30% down payment is very expensive, specially for consumer outside the Java area. In Java area, this 70 meter square house carries a price tag of 300-400 million rupiah, and mostly purchased through gradual payment system. The buyers are mostly medium to upper class families. For the same house size outside Java the price is around 200 million, and the payment mostly through home loan, with cash DP. It is far higher than their purchasing power. The low class will live in hardest condition, they will fight more to have their own house. The higher DP for automotive was taken to overcome the traffic jam problem in big cities. Instead of developing new mass transportation system in big cities, government prefers to reduce number of car and motorcycle in the street through higher DP. In Indonesia’s cities, including Jakarta, the motorcycle is a cost efficient and effective form of transportation. By using their own motorcycle, they can save more money for other life expenses. Regardless, when the policy will be applied, the automotive buying power will decrease. And lower class people will be left with with bad public transport, everyday. http://en.bisnis.com/articles/bank-indoensia-to-push-through-down-payment-plan
Singapore Art or Vandalism?
A 25-year-old woman, affectionately known as “sticker lady” (or SKL0 for short) was arrested for vandalism after police officers found several paint-stained stencils and several pieces of stickers printed with captions at her home on Sunday, 3rd of June. If convicted, she could face up to 3 years of jail and a fine of S$2,000. While an arrest for vandalism may seem like nothing out of the ordinary, this particular case struck a chord with many Singaporeans who felt that the arrest was unwarranted and ironic since Singapore is trying to encourage more creativity amongst her citizens. A debate between law enforcement and allowing room for creative expression has been sparked, with art lovers calling for “less restriction in public art”. Many felt that the spray-painting of words “My Grandfather Road/Building” and circular stickers pasted on the traffic lights with self-depreciating captions that Singaporeans could appreciate and understand, added harmless fun to an otherwise boring environment. Since her arrest, many supporters have banded together via petitions on Facebook and even through a town hall meeting hoping that the Government can ease their restrictions on public 'art' and to reduce the arrested woman's charge from Vandalism to Miscellaneous Offences.
Stephanie Choy, the creator of the Facebook page, wrote that she had started the page because “I am not happy by the constant censorship of art in Singapore”. A supporter wrote that “Singapore needs to let art speak for itself” and called the arrest a “suppression of creativity” and that “ in this instance, it truly shows how backwards and uncultured” Singapore is. Another user also commented on Yahoo Singapore's Facebook page saying, "You call this vandalism?… This is encouraging art and creativity, do we need a license to be creative?” However, there were also dissenting voices who said the suspect’s actions have no place in Singapore. As Remus Cheng put it, "our society has no place for such impromptu creative acts … and [Singapore] is very much law-by-law". Others fear that this would sent out the wrong message to deviants that they can get away with whatever they wish to do. The Saga continues as parody stickers continue to be found on traffic lights in Singapore even after the arrest of the original artist. The captions read slightly different with things like “STILL STICKING AROUND. #leaveSKLOalone” and “FREE STICKER LADY”. Even Today newspaper has caught on and designed their own stickers that resemble the famous round ones.
Taiwan Consumer confidence falls on stock market worries The consumer confidence index (CCI) fell for a second straight month this month, mainly due to worsening confidence in the local stock market, a National Central University survey revealed yesterday. The CCI benchmark gauges public expectations about the stock market, household finances, durable goods, job opportunities, consumer prices, and the economic outlook for the next six months. This month’s survey — which polled 2,432 people over the age of 20 from May 19 to May 21 — only showed improving sentiment on job opportunities, while uncertainty over the other five sectors expanded, said National Central University’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development. “The results indicated survey respondents remained cautious on the economy over the near future,” said center director, Dachrahn Wu.
The stock market sub-index led the decline for the second consecutive month, plunging 5.1 points to 54, marking its lowest level since January, the center said in a report. In addition, a government proposal to introduce a capital gains tax on stock investments was also a factor, analysts said. Consumers are expected to remain pessimistic about the stock market’s prospects in the months ahead, particularly if the transaction volume shrinks further, according to analysts. In the latest CCI report, the durable goods sub-index dropped 2.55 points from a month ago to 88.85, an indication the public held a pessimistic view on the housing market in the near future.
China CCTV Host Yang Rui’s Anti-Foreigner Sentiment
Yang Rui is the Managing Editor and Host of Dialogue on CCTV News, which endeavors to present news about China and the world from a Chinese perspective and in a balanced way. A post put on his Sina Weibo page on May 16 has caused great controversy. Yang wrote that the Public Security Bureau must clean up foreign trash, arrest foreign thugs, expose foreign spies, and single out foreign shrews and those demonizing China. An American in China later also posted on Weibo, demanding that CCTV fire Yang. A minority of foreigners in China and some western media such as the Wall Street Journal supported the demand. May 22, Yang responded to his article on Sina Weibo: “For a long time, many young Chinese think Westerners are well-educated and polite since they come from industrialized nations, where the rule of law prevails. Most of them are friendly. They travel, do business and make an honest living in China. But until recently, a number of recent videos involving the apparent attempted rape of a young Chinese girl on one of the main streets of Beijing and the disrespect shown to a middle-aged woman on a Chinese train. After looking at these incidents, I termed these expats "foreign trash" and I believe they should be brought to justice if they are found to have violated our laws. Western or Chinese, no one should be above the law”.
Chinese internet users reacted to Yang’s article differently. Some agree with Yang by reading recent incidents on foreigners disrespecting Chinese women. One netizen commented: “The foreigners who come to China, if they’re not on official business, then they’re idiots, or slackers, or cheats, whereas the Chinese people who go to foreign countries, if they’re not bosses, then they’re corrupt officials, or the society’s elites.” Some netizens think Yang’s comments are improper. One commented: “Why differentiate the treatment between foreign hooligans/thugs and native hooligans/thugs? Isn’t the harm caused by native thugs who exploit public power even larger?”
Japan Movement to eradicate tattoos Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who launched a crusade to eradicate tattoos from the public sector, has announced plans to prevent the promotion and advancement of any city employee who declined to respond to a survey asking them if they have tattoos. “Citizens feel uneasy or intimidated if they see tattoos on workersin services and it undermines trust in the city,” Hashimoto has said. Traditionally, tattoos represents “Yakuza”, which indicates that you are a member of a traditional organized crime syndicate in Japan. Although small tattoos are now a common means of self-expression in Japan, the right-wing Hashimoto initiated a survey in Osaka that asked employees of the city government to provide information about visible and concealed tattoos, such as how long they had had them. He has also threatened to dismiss any city worker who had tattoos. The poll found that 110 workers reported having tattoos.
So far, 513 employees have declined to respond to the survey which was given to about 33,000 workers. Hashimoto says they will be pressed again to give the information before disciplinary steps are taken. “If they insist on having tattoos, they had better leave the city office and go and work in the private sector,” he said Tuesday after the results of the survey were released. Around 800 teachers and other education professionals have so far refused to respond to Hashimoto’s survey, in the belief that it infringes on their right to privacy. A Kansai-based lawyers’ group has also reportedly asked the city to cease the investigation, which it claims violates workers’ human rights. Hashimoto reportedly became infuriated earlier this year after learning that a worker at a children’s home threatened kids by showing them his tattoos.
Philippines Comedy king on life support
“I’m praying that he recovers. A lot of people love him, especially the fans.”
“In his role as actor in giving happiness to Filipinos, he really made a contribution.”
Filipinos love their film, stars especially those who have resisted the lure of commercialization. This is why many felt great concern upon the news that 84-year-old Dolphy, The Comedy King of the Philippines, was admitted to the hospital last June 9 in critical condition requiring blood transfusion and dialysis. This was not the first news about Dolphy’s deteriorating health. It is known to the public that he is suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and has survived 9 pneumonia attacks in 2 years. News interviews with locals saw them talking about the great contribution of Dolphy to Filipino culture and offering their sincere prayers for his recovery. Born as Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. in July,1928, he is simply known to all Filipinos as Dolphy. With his long roster of comedic work on stage, radio, television and movies, he earned his title as The Comedy King. Doing odd jobs during World War II, his exposure to movies started while, as a 13-year-old boy, working inside the theater selling peanuts, watermelon seeds and jicama snacks, so he could watch limitless movies for free. He started as a stage performer during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, at 17, when a director got him as a chorus dancer in theatre. He has received the presidential award of the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart.
Pakistan Power Outages
What keeps us up at night is usually different for everyone. For some it’s making those mental notes of things-to-do the next day. For others its work related matters, a pitch that needs re-doing, and a report that has to make sense. And then there are those who spend their nights making the best possible use of late night deals on call & SMS packages. But sometimes it so happens that everyone stays awake, and for the same reason i.e. electricity load shedding. Load shedding of electricity is nothing new to the people living in developing countries. When demand exceeds supply of power, the last resort measure by and electric utility company is to engineer temporary shutdown of electricity to prevent total black out of the power system. Rolling blackouts began nation-wide in Pakistan in early 2008 and continue presently in June 2012. It intensified in the summer of 2011, with many places around the country having no electricity for 20 hours per-day. According to Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), Pakistan's electricity short fall is normally 2500 Mega Watts (MW) but reaches around 6000 MW or more during the long summer season. As of June 2012 the country's electricity problems were so severe that violent riots took place across Punjab, the country's most populous province. Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has increased durations of load shedding in residential and commercial areas on the pretext of oil and gas shortage. While every summer citizens brace themselves for a sweaty, humid weather in this part of the world, they do take comfort in knowing which time of the day they would not have electricity. Load shedding schedules are made available before hand allowing people to figure out ways to live through the hours of no electricity. They had started resorting to generators and alternate power supply vehicles such as UPS. However this surge in power cuts this year in which there is no power for up to 2 hours every alternate hour has rendered people quite helpless. They cannot afford to run generators incessantly given the high gas & petrol prices. While UPS which is an affordable way out doesn’t work because it needs electricity to recharge batteries-and with such heavy off loading, UPS’s can hardly function. These unannounced power cuts not only disturb residents but have a deteriorating impact on business as traders are unable to carry out their day-to-day commitments. While the government is trying to counter this shortfall by allocating budgets for various alternate energy projects they still remain long term solutions. In the meantime the consumers have to face the brunt of the increased electricity charges and longer duration of power cuts.
Everyone’s talking about
Brands & campaigns generating buzz
Everyone’s talking about
India http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om15DmzWQrA Beverage conglomerate Coca-Cola has launched its latest communication campaign, ‘Cricket ki Khushi’, with its brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar. Conceptualised by Lowe Lintas chairman and chief creative officer R Balki and his creative team, the new advertisement is produced by Amit Sharma from Chrome Pictures. It showcases cricket as a source of immense happiness transcending all boundaries, just like enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola. In the new campaign Tendulkar urges people to keep playing, be happy and enjoy Coca-Cola. Balki said, "Cricket is this country's true happiness. The weather...the playground...the national team's performance...nothing can stop millions of people playing and experiencing the joy of this game and CocaCola celebrates this true happiness of the land with the Cricket Ki Khushi Campaign".
Popular Japanese beer brand presents an interesting innovation that can change the entire experience of drinking the classic beverage. Japanese beer company Kirin has unveiled a new beer with frozen foam in the restaurants of Tokyo in April 2012. The variant, called “Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft,” features cold Kirin beer topped with frozen beer foam created using a process called Frozen Agitation, wherein air is blown into the beer as it is stirred and chilled. The foam is very cold at -5 degreescelsius, which, according to Kirin, can help keep the beer below it ice-cold for roughly thirty minutes. The beer is currently available in select Tokyo restaurants but is expected to launch in other Japanese cities in May.
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Malaysia Educational TV Sitcom ‘Oh My English’
A campaign that has made a splash among Malaysians in recent months comes from TV sitcom ‘Oh My English’. Recently launched by Astro, Malaysia’s satellite television service, ‘Oh My English’ combines educational and comedic elements to teach its viewers conversational English. The show has struck a chord with Malaysians; although aimed at young viewers, the show’s funny and educational nature has also gained appeal with an adult audience. ‘Oh My English’ follows the adventures of a high school English teacher and his mischievous and underachieving class whose least favorite subject is English. Using humorous scenarios, the series puts a spotlight on and corrects language errors that Malaysians commonly make in our use of colloquial English. Although these mistakes are largely viewed to be acceptable, the show points out that we should not encourage it. Viewers of ‘Oh My English’ have nothing but good things to say about the show. Many viewers agree that being able to speak English well in this day and age is vital to succeed in life and applaud the show for its effort in raising Malaysia’s standard of English. According to government officer Shamsuddin Yahya, “My officemates and I never stop talking about the show. It really shed a lot of light on the way we speak English in everyday life”. ‘Oh My English’ initially caught the attention of Malaysians through its funny video shorts that have garnered almost 1 million views on YouTube. Since the launch of the show in May, the show’s Facebook page has already gained 75,000 fans. The phrase ‘Oh My English’ has even seeped into pop culture – the show’s title is used as a hashtag on Twitter when English mistakes are identified and the show’s funny scenarios have been parodied on internet memes. Watch snippets from the show here: http://bit.ly/JsnY1Q
The cast of ‘Oh My English’
A pledge to speak better English on the ‘Oh My English’ website
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Singapore No shark fin
The campaign first started as an online petition on Causes.com, and it had received 80,000 supporters worldwide within the first two weeks of being posted up. The team behind the campaign is made up of a mix of dedicated individuals from all over Asia, with the core team comprising staff of Ocean Geographic magazine. The campaign, fronted by Miss Singapore/Universe 2007 Jessica Tan, will run throughout the year on print and online platforms. It will focus on educating, raising awareness and gathering support from individuals, schools and corporations, before lobbying the Singapore government for the ban on the import and sale of sharks fin. To date, NGOs supporting this cause include WWF, Flora & Fauna International, Project FIN, Humane Society International and Shark Research Institute. Sharks’ fins are considered a delicacy and are a common sight at Chinese wedding banquets, festive celebrations and corporate events. Part of the campaign includes convincing all Chinese restaurants here to remove the dish from their menus. In addition, NTUC Fairprice, Singapore’s largest supermarket chain is joined by French retail giant Carrefour to boycott the delicacy, halting sales of shark fin products in January this year. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts have also taken shark fin off its menu worldwide. Sharks are on the red list of threatened species under the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and their populations are critically endangered. While sharks fin itself has no taste or nutritional value, its consumption nearly doubled between 2002 and 2010 in Singapore.
A nationwide “No Sharks Fins Singapore” was launched at the Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) 2012 in bid to make Singapore shark fin-free by 2012. Led by dive enthusiast Michael Aw, this campaign aims to urge Singapore to be the first Asian country to ban shark fin products. According to the conversation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Singapore is the world’s second largest shark fin trading entre after Hong Kong. Explaining the need for action, Mr. Aw said: "Being a prominent economy in the heart of Asia, Singapore should take the lead being to be socially responsible to be the first in Asia to make this happen.”
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Taiwan Google search stories Google Search Stories are fun to watch. Many of you would probably remember the Parisian love story video which became a Super Bowl commercial. The search engine even came out with a search story creator for users to create their own Google journey. And now there’s one for Taiwan too. The Google Search Stories site built especially for Taiwanese in traditional Chinese. Google Taiwan is apparently trying to get local consumers to give its video search stories a shot, in the hope that it might convince them to be loyal Google searchers.
Search story: How a Taiwanese hip-hop band Googled their way to number 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krYBtfREVyk
Search story: How a Taiwanese Rock band recorded a promo for Google +. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vREOu6Axt8o
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China Yili’s Let’s Olympic Together Campaign
On May 18, Yili, China’s leading dairy brand and official Olympic sponsor of the Chinese Sports Delegation, have launched a new brand campaign, “Let’s Olympic Together,” to uncover ordinary peoples’ extraordinary stories. The campaign targets mainland Chinese consumers and consists of a series of emotionally engaging outdoor print ads, microfilms, TVCs and digital engagement initiatives that inspire consumers to embrace a healthy lifestyle so they can realize their own “Olympic” dreams. Teaming up with Chinese online video-sharing website Youku, five microfilms have launched online, on TV and outdoors. As a leading brand in China, Yili also wanted to help convey the Olympic spirit of the Chinese people to people from all over the world so they decided to take these touching and personal stories to the streets of London during the Games. Winning video entries will be displayed as print ads on 400 of London’s iconic Routemaster double-decker red buses that will be in operation during the Olympic Games this summer from July 23 to August 19. Since the five microfilms have launched Youku.com, they total have received more than 20 million reviews. The first microfilm, “Happy Backpackers,” features an elderly travelling couple who have made world travel their personal “Olympic” challenge. Since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the couple has backpacked through 46 countries in all seven continents with the belief that good health allows them to travel with an “Olympic” spirit. In less than one week, “Happy Backpackers” had already been viewed more than 10 million times with “Run Lao Li” attracting more than 2 million in the first two days alone. In addition, two online video teasers in which renowned Chinese track and field Olympic gold medalist Mr. LIU Xiang invites consumers to upload their own “Olympic” story videos onto Youku. Campaign page: http://sports.youku.com/together
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Pakistan has had a rich culture and history of art and music. From the ‘Sufi kalaams’ to the ‘Folk sangeet’, from Ghazal maestros to the gripping Qawals, we have had it all. Coke Studio is a fusion of all these flavors of music presented in a series of live studio recordings of some of the most challenging music & vocal variations by a rhapsody of native artists. People still remember the wave of excitement and pure ecstasy that swept across the country when Coke Studio first came out. FM radio channels were flooded with requests of Coke Studio versions of songs. The uber awesome take on ‘Garaj Baras’ had captured the hearts of people the day it was aired and to-date remains one of Coke Studio’s finest collaborations. With the first season alone, Coke Studio became that anticipated show all around. The second, third and fourth seasons of Coke Studio created much buzz and garnered considerable popularity for some delectable fusions of artists, music and instruments and never before imagined collaborations. And finally the fifth season is upon us. Brimming with the same energy it carried in Season One, the similarity of the format hasn’t lead to people turning away from the show. This time around the new season’s first episode was made available online, a night before it went on-air. First time digital media took precedence over electronic media and undoubtedly by morning most status updates were about the first episode. This season again has had its share of cheer & cheese. Qayas’s ‘UmairJaswal’ was quite the revelation. His collaboration with Atif Aslam on ‘Charkha Nolakha’ has taken everyone by storm. Much remains to be seen as the season is still in progress. It is true that what Coke Studio has done for Coca Cola in Pakistan (a country full of previously Pepsi fanatics) is unprecedented. The reason behind the immense success of Coke Studio is its novelty and Rohail Hayat’s collaborative adeptness. Rohail gave doses of musical brilliance across the five seasons of the show. He had the contemporary artist perform contemporary stuff, then he asked the old school classical maestros to lay down some serious classical raags&alaaps, and then finally he asked the contemporaries to work out a masterpiece with the orthodox. The results were amazing and over the years Coke Studio has become synonymous to sheer creativity and artistic, tasteful fusion. By taking music as a platform Coke has made solid inroads into the hearts of Pakistani consumers. Not only does it give people something to clamor about, it has also highlighted some amazing local talent and rekindled the love for other forms of music, different from the prevalent pop genre in our youth. Now when a teenager picks up his acoustic guitar and tries to find the chords for ‘PerePavandiSaan’ instead of a U2 track, you see the difference Coke studio has made. Promo Video: http://www.youtube.com/cokestudio?WT.cl=1&WT.mn=Youtube Social Media sharing: http://tinyurl.com/c25lujl , http://tinyurl.com/6vx5jwh
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Indonesia The Brightspot Market
The Brightspot Market was held again in Jakarta for the 8th time, on June 7-10, 2012. The event was initiated by Eldalia Wirjono, Anton Wirjono, Cynthia Wirjono and Leonard Theorsabrata, who joined in the Future 10, C&C Projects and LTD (Leonard Theosabrata Design). The market was initiated to provide a place for indie label owners to market their produtcs, from fashion, food, furniture, etc. Suprisingly, most of them are already in the heart of the consumers, so the event manages to attract thousands of visitors each time it is held. In 2009, when the first Brightspot Market was held, only 25 labels participated, but they managed to have 5000 vistors. This year, Brightspot Market had 125 labels participating and drew in 65,000 vistors. For a label to be able to participate in the event, Leonard said that one critieria that they need to fulfil is that they should have a clear design concept. Most of the local brands/labels sell their products at affordable prices, range from IDR 200 – 300 thousand or less.
Brightspot Market has also become a perfect spot for new local brands that usually sell their products online or only thourgh an exhibition, to grab new markets, or let consumers see directly and feel the unique designs and quality of the products. Hopefully with the hype created around Brightspot Market, more local brands will come to the fore, and the love of local people for local brands will also grow. Looking forward to Brightspot Market in the years to come!.
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Philippines What’s Your Mix?
“This is just all about mixing and matching. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces. Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”
The month of June started with a commotion in social network sites Twitter and Facebook when local women’s clothing brand Bayo launched their new marketing campaign called “What’s your mix.”. Netizens were outraged with the print ad seemingly suggesting that being a 100% Filipina is not enough and that a percentage of another nationality should be mixed with them so they will be beautiful and a world class beauty. A series of print and outdoor ads featured mix-blood Filipina personalities. A week later, the said ad has been removed from the Bayo Facebook page and instead, the fashion company placed an apology letter on their profile page.
The buzz even created a meme of the ad where people feature different characters and their mixes.
Favorite knock-off brands
Ambush or imitation – you decide!
Favorite knockoff brands
Tourists coming to Sri Lanka, besides seeking out the big waves come specifically looking for “factory seconds”/“rip offs”, that the garment factories on the island seem to be ‘specialize’ in. Interestingly there exists a very fine line between the factory seconds of Levi’s that are sold in AC stores vs. the denims sold on the street with a misspelled Levise, as more often than not both are produced using the same raw material…
Favorite knockoff brands
Starbucks has been famous for the coffee and as a hangout place in Jakarta. Jakarta people, the young and the olds, are all getting their coffees in Starbucks and not only that, it has been the meeting point and hangout place for everyone. Nowadays we see more and more cafés in Jakarta naming themselves after this famous brand. Interestingly, these Starbucks-wanna-be’s are ranging from nice looking cafes to roadside coffee shops, and each of them has its own regular customers. For them, Starbucks is more of a term they use to describe a café that specializes in coffee instead of a brand. It has become almost like a category name.
Everybody loves Cadbury Dairy Milk! But some just can’t get enough of it. So much so that Ahmedabad, India, based company, Krishna confectionaries has actually created a chocolate and toffee version of it’s own and called it ‘Daily Milk’ This is not a sneaky job. They have a website with product shots. Here you will notice the variety of candies that are fakes of popular brands. http://www.krishnaconfectioneryindia.com/products.htm The Planner who works on Cadbury in the Mumbai office handed me a carton of homemade chocolates from Ooty, which was ‘inspired’ by Cadbury Dairy Milk packaging.
Favorite knockoff brands
Malaysia’s favorite knock-off, rather than a specific brand, is the pirated DVD. Malaysia is notorious for its DVD knockoffs; in fact, Malaysia was put on the United States’ watch list for DVD piracy in 2003. Forget those bad quality pirated DVDs recorded in the cinema with fidgeting heads of moviegoers at the bottom of the screen – Malaysian pirated DVDs are no different in quality from the real things (or sometimes even better in quality) and even available in HD or Blu-ray. Going for just MYR 8.00–12.00 (USD 2.50–3.80) for DVD copies and MYR 40 (USD 12.70) for Blu-ray copies, pirated DVDs has long been established in the consumers’ minds as the more economical option over originalDVDs. While still illegal – the police conduct raids on pirated DVD shops every once in a while – there’s no need for back alley exchanges and running from the cops for these sellers. These syndicates openly and unworriedly conduct their business from established brick and mortar stores. Sometimes, one can even find a police station just down the road from the store. As for the buyers, many Malaysians have no qualms about buying fake DVDs and do so openly. Along with being cheaper (pirated DVDs are always “Buy 5, Free 1”), buyers find that compared to original DVDs, the fakes are: better in quality; more accessible and convenient; uncensored (movies have to pass through a censorship board in Malaysia and risqué scenes often get censored); devoid of unskippable ads, trailers, and warnings; and the latest movies – ones that haven’t even premiered in Malaysian cinemas – are usually available. Young and old, watching movies on pirated DVDs is definitely a favorite pastime among Malaysians.
A store selling pirated DVDs
Pirated DVDs of ‘The Lady’ were already in circulation before the movie hit big screens in Malaysia
With the strict enforcement of anti-piracy laws here in Singapore, it’s rare to find the numerous knock off brands and products you might find elsewhere in South East Asia. However, if you take a stroll down Bugis Street which is the only street shopping location in Singapore, you may find clothes, bags and shoe that look strikingly similar to some popular brands (Longchamp, Louis Vuitton, Chanel) or even some tongue-in-cheek imitations as seen above.
Favorite knockoff brands
“Banane Taipei” is a brand offering a plastic bag which is just look like Hermes, although some Asian stars carry it away to support the brand, however, Banane Taipei was still charged with trademark infringement by Hermes.
HK Singer Gigi with Banane Taipei bag
While the Chinese-American NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin has rapidly risen to superstardom, the ‘Linsanity’ has also gone wild in mainland China. The LinMania brings tons of business opportunity to the store owners at Taobao, the biggest online shopping website in China. Many knockoff merchandise of Lin such as iPhone cases, the No 17 New York Knicks jerseys, t-shirts and hoodies are selling rapidly. Besides that, Lin’s name has also being quickly registered as trademark. In May, 2012, the 30th China International Sporting Goods Show was held in Beijing. A new sports brand that knocked off Jeremy Lin was exhibiting at the show. The company had registered “Jeremy S.H.L” and Lin’s Chinese name ‘林书豪’ (Shuhao Lin) as a trademark in 2011. They sell not only basketball sportswear but also soccer and volleyball soccer sportswear. Recently, retired NBA legend Michael Jordan had filed a lawsuit against a Chinese sports company, over the unauthorized use of his Chinese name in China. As for such knock-off merchandise, Jeremy Lin might need to put in some more effort for knocking it out.
Favorite knockoff brands
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