Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

My Photo
Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Sep 26, 2009

Where is the Tiger Man?

YES. This is another blog about advertisements.

Not of ad slogans, but some kind of "WANTED" ad which appeared on the front page of The Straits Times on 29 September, 1965, forty-four years ago.

In case you can't read it clearly, please click on the image to enlarge.

Malayan Breweries (Singapore) Limited was searching for the "Tiger Beer Man" who fits the stipulated physical attributes and masculine personalities - a tall order by any human standards. He has to be everything that men like and women love.   WOW!!! ... Cool.

("Cool" was not yet the lingua franca of the Gen-X today. In the 1950s, "cool" has a different meaning and usually refers to the weather or the room temperature, not how cool a man is.)

However, it was not mentioned in the ad that he should not have been charged in court for getting drunk, after downing one bottle too many.

Funny. These days I kinda love reading ads, regardless of whether it appears on TV, in newspapers, on the trains, taxis, even trishaws...wherever.   One day, ads (short slogans only) will be tatooed on people's forehead or baldhead, and the person will be able to earn advertising fees.   Sounds like I can make good use of my head for some extra pocket money, don't you think so?

Whether the "Tiger Beer Man" was eventually found, I don't know.

Anyone knows the whereabout of the "Tiger Beer Man" if ever there was one?

Perhaps Malayan Breweries or its successor, Asia Pacific Breweries, should try to locate the "Tiger Beer Man" or start a new search to launch another advertising blitz for Tiger Beer.

Well, its "Time for A Tiger"!

Too bad I missed the chance to be the "Tiger Beer Man" forty-four years ago ; ) Now I would just enjoy the beer, chilled!


Sep 20, 2009

Blog To Kiss

NO.  This is not another blog in the series of creative ad slogans running on this blogsite.

The blog title and the photo of the Samsung ad is adapted to comport with the latest news report about a blogsite in Taipei; to add to the ever-growing list of uncommon reasons why people blog.

Some people will go to great length to increase hits on their blogsites with incredible and "never-done-before" concepts and ideas, and this is a classic example.

Yet again, perhaps it is the blogger's ability and resourcefulness to tap the Internet "New Media" in an innovative way.   She intends to write a book about her kissing experiences with different men with different background and culture.   What is the basis of her selection criteria I would not know. Isn't this the spirit of entrepreneurship with new ideas and new style...bold, daring and unprecedented?

On the world's blogosphere stage in Cyberspace, this blog has become a main event which attracts swarms of curious visitors who are sensational news seekers. And of course, applicants and potential candiates for the ambitious "kissing experimental project". It seems like free hugs are no longer in fashion these days. It doesn't make news headlines anymore.

Not that news like that will harm anybody.  However, a note of caution should be placed at the blogsite to warn visitors that they are taking their own risks by imitating the blogger's acts. Its an individual blogger's personal quest and I don't think its against the law.

There is likely to be social commentaries from conservative people though.

It is a common practice for magicians, acrobats and other circus performers to warn the audience not to imitate what they have done on stage or the circus ring. It is not an act everybody can do without the skills and training.

I think I heard voices...."Is kissing a skill?".  "What risks are involved"?   Sorry. No comments!


Kissing quest makes Taiwan woman a web sensation
AFP - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TAIPEI - A Taiwanese woman's ambition to kiss 100 men in Paris has overnight web sensation after she provided details of the quest on her much-visited blog.

Yang Ya-ching, a 27-year-old music major living in the French capital, has so far notched up 54 smooches, she said on her blog, which features photos of some of the encounters.

Collaborators in her project included a factory worker, a model, an Italian tourist and even soldier visiting the capital of romance for Bastille Day.

"I came up with the idea three years ago," she said on her blog.

"Three of my four friends who were aware of the plan warned me that I might wind up getting slapped rather than kissed."

Yang, who plans to write a book about her kissing experiences, has attracted 1.97 million visitors to her blog,including more than 224,000 on Monday alone.

"Aren't you afraid of catching a disease?" one of her followers asked.

"No," she replied. "The more you're afraid of, the less you accomplish."


Note: The website URL is intentionally omitted.
Source: AFP


Sep 19, 2009

Creative Ad Slogans Today

Following my previous blog on "Creative Ad Slogans of the 1960s", I've just spotted this refreshing one on a Metro shopping bag today:

"Why buy it next time when I want it now?"

It makes me smile to remember the same exact question my son had asked when he was a young boy and we were shopping at a department store.

This is a similar question most children would ask when told by their parents:

"No need to buy it now, lets buy it next time".

The parent's refusal to accede to the child's request is usually followed by an awkward scene in public of the child stamping his feet, sometimes yelling or screaming, refusing to budge from the spot, pleading the parent to buy what he thought he needed at that moment.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I couldn't remember what was my reaction in a similar scenario so many years ago, but an unpleasant scene in a public place is always avoided. There would usually be a compromise. Maybe an ice-cream or a cookie, with gentle persuasion and coaxing (mindful of not losing one's temper) solves it. To the kid, its a "real" need as he sees it.

So, modern day ad slogans have evolved and adapted to the changes of a new generation of young consumers. What sort of an appeal does it have?

All the same, the purpose of these ads is intended to entice, to tempt, to create a "real" or "imagined" need in the minds of the consumers and, the most important factor from a commercial perspective, to increase sales of their products through advertising.

There are ads which provide consumer awareness and education though.

Mahatma Gandhi said: "There is enough for everybody's needs, but never enough for everybody's greed".

The following quote is from Tan Kah Kee, featured in the video: Pioneers. The Life of Tan Kah Kee. Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, 1993:

"Money which has to be spent, even if it is tens of thousands has to be spent, but if there is no such need, even one cent should not be wasted."

[Acknowledgement of thanks to Miss Ivy Lee Huey Shin, Senior Librarian, Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and her colleagues at Reference Point at the National Library and ASK Service/Public Libraries for their kind assistance to trace the source of the quotation.]


Sep 17, 2009

Life in the Kampong versus Big Cities

A friend asked me to help his son, a pre-university student, to share my childhood experience about life in the kampung. He couldn't do it because he had spent all his life in the "Ang Sar Lee" (Serangoon Gardens) private estate since birth.

He knew that I was born and bred in the kampung...the Bukit Ho Swee kampung to be specific. I have no qualms about confessing that I was a "street Urchin from Bukit Ho Swee". Many of my buddies share this "title" too; but we were not the notorious gangsters ("pai kia" or "sum seng" in Hokkien) with whom most people tend to associate us with, often with raised eyebrows, as kampung dwellers of Bukit Ho Swee.

I wondered why my friend had approached me, of all people, to talk about life in the kampung.

After all, I am not an authority on the social conditions of kampung life. There were many kampungs and attap settlements in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. I can speak only for myself about growing up in Bukit Ho Swee and relate my childhood experience from a personal perspective. I do not have a glorious childhood past to blog or brag about, just some happy and fond memories of the carefree kampong days to reminisce.

He then explained that his son has been given a class assignment on "What type of Singapore do you want - a relaxed, quiet kampung, or a buzzling cosmopolitan city?"

This question was posed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the dialogue session with undergraduates at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on 15 Sept, 2009.

So, this is the "talk of the town" among most Singaporean students who grew up in an urbanised Singapore of the 20th century, and found it difficult to visualise how life was like growing up in the kampung.

Hey, this fits in with the reason my blogger friend Lam Chun See gave for starting the  "Good Morning Yesterday"  blog :

1) To reminisce about the ‘good old days’.
2) To educate the next generation about what life of their parents was like when they were young.

I wouldn't be dwelling on the "good old days" in this blog because the definition of "good days" and "bad days" is subjective, depending on each individual's perception about life.

However, I would like to chip in with my share of stories of my kampung experience as part of the Internet's "emergent culture of sharing" through this blog and the links in Chun See's and other "Blogs of the Same Feather" links.

One thing wonderful about the Internet and blogging is that I do not have to repeat whatever I have already blogged about if a particular topic had been posted.

Coincidentally, I had created the "I grew up in Bukit Ho Swee"   group at the Facebook social networking site in Febrary, 2008.

The collective memories and contributions of other group members who participated actively, helps to broaden the discussion about life in the kampung. This group is confined to the Bukit Ho Swee kampung though.

I hope that over time, more Singaporeans will come forward to share their personal experience "to educate the next generation about what life of their parents was like when they were young" (as stated by Chun See), a meaningful and worthwhile pastime activity which we can all contribute in a fun way for memory exercise through blogging.


Sep 9, 2009

Creative Ad Slogans of the 1960s

Photo Credit: Derek Tait, from his book  "Sampans, Banyans and Rambutans - A Childhood in Singapore and Malaya".

This “National”ad of the 1960s has an interesting slogan which is simple, catchy and easy to remember. Most of the young ones will not know about this slogan, I believe.

The portable radio and tape-recorder are now museum pieces, I guess. The products are now obsolete, casualties of modern technology. Today, the Apple iPod has combined both the radio and tape recorders and miniaturized these devices into a handy, pocket-sized gadget with more and better features.

The slogan "Those who know buy NATIONAL”hinted that those who buy brands other than NATIONAL, are lesser-informed, ignorant consumers with no product knowledge.

“Know” here means [识货] or “putt heh” in Hokkien., "Seck Fo" in Cantonese.

There is a Chinese saying – [ 不怕货比货, 只怕不识货 ] (Not afraid of comparison among products, only afraid that you don’t know the products) This is a literary translation from the Chinese language, thus most of the profound meaning and expression are lost in translation.

In the early days when advertisements were “uncool” and do not have multi-media effects, multi-colored 3-D graphic and beautiful models to titillate the human sense organs, it's the creative slogans which stay on people's lips...they remember the slogans better than they can remember the brands of the products.

A few weeks after the "NATIONAL” slogan was launched, another electronic product manufacturer which was a close competitor, released their "trump card" slogan....

We know BETTER. We buy the BEST...we buy PAN ELECTRIC

The competitor's slogan was subtle, insidious and name calling propaganda technique used; but we all know which brand Pan Electric was targeting at by a mere hint. Pan Electric was not brought to court for the slogan challenge. The brand died of natural death about two decades ago, while “NATIONAL” is still around.

Nonetheless, the effectiveness of ad slogans is disputable. Advertising in the mass media, in whatever format, are used for publicity purposes and marketing of products and services. Ultimately, it is the consumers who decide which product to buy. These decisions are not based entirely on creative slogan campaigns.

I am still searching for this long-lost advertisement. If anyone has a copy of the ad, I would appreciate if you could kindly email it to me for posting on this blog.

In the automobile industry, the funky slogans in the same genre are:

Volkswagen: "Sell it and buy a VOLKSWAGEN”.

Volvo rolled out the slogan challenge with “We sold IT and bought a VOLVO”.

Computer ads quickly jumped on the merry slogan bandwagon and were not to be outdone:

In 1914, IBM launched the “THINK” ad slogan.

Several decades later, Apple challenged boldly and provocatively with “THINK DIFFERENT” in a series of ads showing photos of famous people (Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, etc) who dared to think different.

I wondered how Apple ever got the copyright permission to use these famous names. Was it because Apple knew that it could never be sued by non-living persons?

These few interesting slogans are resurrected from my failing memories. I am sure there are many more, and would like to invite nostalgia fans who remembered these subtle "tug-of-war" ads in the 1960s to help add on to the list, to revive our collective memories of fun things to remember.

We don't see any more of these stuff nowadays. Is it due to the advertising code of ethic regulations or other legal issues?

Long before "creative thinking and innovative training courses" reached our shores in recent times, people were already using their brains....(tongue in cheek ; )

The 10-storey high steel structure above the National Showroom displaying ‘Those who know buy NATIONAL”neon-lit ad, a prominent landmark along North Bridge Road (now the location of Peninsula Plaza). Photo Credit: Peter Chan.

Please visit Victor Koo’s blog at  here  to learn more about this Singapore heritage building and other "National" electronic products.