Battle of Colours, RED, GREEN & ORANGE (Again)


Originally Posted On December 07 2006 at "Media Singapore" (

Battle of Colours, RED, GREEN & ORANGE (Again)

Recently, a spate advertisements hitting competing brands surfaced again.

If you have been watching TV recently, you would know who I am referring to.

Years ago, I remembered a certain new mobile service provider came into the already saturated mobile phone market. It gain significant market share overnight by giving away free Nokia 8850, a super lightweight mobile phone in alumminium casing in gun metal colour.

Starhub was the newcomer then. A series of advertisements on Press and TV were labelled as "bad taste" as Starhub hit its competitors below the belt using colour coded theme advertisments, namely Red for Singtel & Orange for MobileOne. If I did not remembered wrongly, the 2 hit back with a multiple of lawsuits, and when that does not work (Advertising Acts & Regulations has relaxed), both the Red camp & Orange camp came up with their versions of ad campaign to hit back causing quite a media spectacular then. The whole Singapore were watching.

Back then, mobile phone subscribers were laughing all the way to the bank as subscription rates fell to an all time low, phones were given free, contracts period reduced…etc, and the earlier 2 camps were fighting hard to retain their customers by giving ridiculous freebies causing quite a confusion back then. Remember all these?

Now, back to present, Starhub has the former SCV (MaxOnline), Internet Service, Mobile Phone service and a whole lot corporate services which makes them a giant over the years. From a provider who is famous for "Dropped-Calls" & Unstable Internet connection to its current status as a preferred service provider, its competitors are definitely green with envy. It displace Mobile as Number 2 a few years back, now moving closer and closer to Singtel’s level and in fact, they are the same to many man-on-the-street. MobileOne has a lot to catch up.

Based on Ad spending as monitored by survey companies and trage & finacial magazines, Starhub spent the highest on advertisements, Singtel number 2 & MobileOne number 3. This could be also be the cause of their current market share positioning. The more a company spend on advertisements, the more consumers will be reminded of their brand, thus converting into direct market share gained.

The current Ad on TV where a Red and super-fast animated character outwitted a Green Giant at a boxing-ring fight, with the Green Giant Panting and fell, the sarcasm is too much to take. In fact, many consumers felt that was done deliberately out of bad taste and direct comparison, which under the Code of Advertising, is deemed as inappropriate and serious cases, defamation. I hope Starhub do something about it soon. It could be a revenge that came years late, or the Red Camp felt the Green Camp has become too much of a threat to their market standing. How insecure. And I hope MobileOne will make some noise too. (In case you are not aware, Adeline Tiah has left MobileOne)

As a consumer, let’s see what happen next.

Starhub is managed by ZenithOptimedia
Singtel is managed by MediaEdge:CIA
MobileOne is managed by Optimum Media Direction (OMD)

ps: BTW,
1) Pacific Internet is still around, I am one of those whom after years of using Pacnet, felt Singnet is offering a better deal, I switched.
2) I switch to MobileOne when they first came into business and dropped Singtel as Singtel is way too expensive then.
3) I am still with MobileOne after a decade, I am changing soon when my contract expires. Red or Green? Watch the TV Ads again.


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