Chicken Soup Returns with OOH At Bangkok

Dear Friends,

I am finally back in Singapore and back to the Rat Race in this Year of Rat.
But before I start rattling rantings, let me share with you some of the Outdoor Advertising pictures I took in Bangkok duing this trip.
Please bear with the quality as I took these pictures using my trusty Nokia Phone. I had left out those blur ones to save you from the torture.

1) Advertisement Light boxes all across the platform for the BTS (SG’s equivalent of MRT).
21022008001.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

2) Singha Beer’s Branding Ad on the external facade of a building.
IMG_5477.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

3) A "Hook-On" Light Box System by JCD Thailand. Like any space in Thailand, if no ads,
then must pay tribute to King.
IMG_5501.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

4) Scales of ads is BIG!

IMG_5514.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5522.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5524.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Nice ads…
IMG_5527.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5538.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5549.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5581.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
IMG_5545.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
IMG_5544.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

IMG_5582.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Below is the largest outdoor Video wall in S.E. Asia.. 

IMG_5564.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

I am sure BCA will never allow a cluster of outdoor advertisements like this. 
IMG_5574.jpg picture by Viviobluerex 
On Singapore Roads
* Met 9 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 439 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* For God’s Sake Clean Up Trash On Public Roads.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.

Take a Breather

Thank you everyone for the positive feedbacks as well as constructive comments on my "Chicken Soup for Media Owner’s Soul" series.

I will be be taking a short break from the rat race after this posting until early next week.

I promise to return with more stories.

Till then.


On Singapore Roads
* Met 4 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 430 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* For God’s Sake Clean Up Trash On Public Roads.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.

Part 7 (Chicken Soup for Media Owners)

More Chicken Soup for Media Owners (Part Seven)
chicken-soup.jpg picture by Viviobluerex


Do you has a “Bag of Tricks”? Are you a Media Owner with Tricks?

Email me at ( should you have something to share with fellow Media Owners here.
Each & every Account Servicing people have a trick or two up their sleeves when they are out meeting clients. Even though we are armed with Media rates, circulation auditing reports, nice flyers…etc, but it’s these “tricks” that created their identity of each and every single individual.

This is our virtual weapon of sales….


The Back-Stabber
This is probably the worst of its kind. A sales presentation given by such a Media Owner will definitely includes defaming of his/her competitors. If the person is selling ads for a magazine, likely this person is bound to compare competitors’ “questionable” circulation numbers, actual print-run, unconvincing distribution…etc. By doing so, this Back-Stabber hopes to achieve the effect of elevating one’s product and puts everyone else down using this trick.

Marketers of today are not stupid, in fact they are well-informed, make judgment based on facts and figures. Such Back-Stabbers  will only left behind a bad impression with the clients and will be refused future appointment requests. 


The Advocator
This is one smart Media Owner that we should all learn from. The Advocator plans his/her presentation nicely so smooth that it flows nicely filling the clients with facts & information, but with “booby traps” lay in between the lines. Once the client starts asking questions, usually about information that falls “in between” the lines, the Advocator has all the answers ready and even more facts to back up the claims. Such planned and well executed presentation usually leaves a deep and lingering impression of a sales presentation professionally done.

In “Tsun Tzu’s Art of War”, there is a saying of lining up the army in “Even” rows and hide the “Odd” rows. Use the “Odd” only against the Odds.

This is an ancient trick of giving only partial (but sufficient) information during the presentation. When the other party starts asking questions on the things you partially shared, you can be sure that you have all the answers right in your pocket.


The Teletubby
You must be thinking what has doing ad sales got to do with these ugly-but-love-by-kids creatures in four colors. I remembered there was once, a media owner from a directory came to see me. He tries to sell me an advertisement which I do not have the need to advertise. I started comparing his publication with a competitor and I even tell him how weak his directory is when up against his rival. Guess what he did? He smiles, start repeating what he had said earlier from top to end all over again. I was slightly irritated, but amused. So I started asking him more questions on his directory’s unique selling point (USP), with the same smile and cheery tone, he repeats the whole presentation again from top to end. What a “Teletubby”I thought to myself.

I felt entertained and somehow can’t stop thinking his close likeness of those ugly creatures. Somehow, I got the idea that he is probably new and whatever he had told me and repeated twice must be all that he was taught. He could be a new guy trying out directory ad sales! At that point, I decided to advertise with him and gave him a chance. It does help when you not only talk like “Teletubby”, he dressed like one too. Good trick eh?

Above are just a couple of “tricks” that I had encountered with various media owners who came to see me and tried to sell me advertisements. There are certainly more tricks out in the market which I am not comfortable sharing here. Clever tricks will win sales and bad tricks will make you lost not only the sales, but credibility, reputation and the client too!

I do have my tricks as well.

If you still remember,

I am a Media Owner too.

CHIK7.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

On Singapore Roads
* Met 4 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 426 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* For God’s Sake Clean Up Trash On Public Roads.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.

Part 6 (Chicken Soup for Media Owners)

More Chicken Soup for Media Owners (Part Six)
chickensoup.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Working with “Foreign Talents”? What’s Your Take On this?.Email me at ( should you have something to share with fellow Media Owners here.

Are you working with expatriates in your office? Are you getting unfair and inferior treatment as compared to the foreign hand? Are your expatriate colleagues or you foreign Boss a blessing or a curse? With so many international media brands and international agencies here in Singapore, it is very common these days to have expatriates working amongst us. Let’s take a look at these foreign talents that our country loved so much….


Let’s take a look from the negative side first.

The Slacker
Your “Regional MD” shows up at work at 10.30am in his usual crumpled shirt and bad hair. He smelt of stale vodka and you suspect he probably hadn’t brush his teeth since a week ago. He goes into his room and summons his local aides and find out if he missed anything, then gave some lame instructions and left the office for an extended “lunch meeting” with his fellow expats and return again to office at 2pm. He fumbles the papers on his desk and starts deleting all the emails from his Inbox and left the office for afternoon coffee break. When he returns again at 5.30pm, he starts flirting with the local female executives and tries to hook up someone for dinner and clubbing….. The cycle continues………..


The Snob
This expat thinks he is superior to you in every way. His typical title will have “Regional XXX’ in front. He expects everyone to “Kow Tow” to him and will only take orders from him. He gave outright rejection to your creative ideas or proposals, but secretly edits your stuff and cleverly “converts” your effort into under his name. He will only take credits and will not accept criticism.

Now, before we move on to the positive side, let me clear some doubts here. All these “Regional” fellows are either really good so that they get promoted and get posted here to boost the operations here or they barely can survive in their own country so that they get posted out to other country to prevent a termination. Get the picture?


The Humble
Wherever there are bad guys, there are bound to be good guys too. I myself had known a few humble and great expats. They came with the attitude to learn, survived base on their curiosity to this strange country where money speaks for everything and filled with an incredibly diverse culture. Humble is the key to success no matter where you are. I’ve become fast friends with a few of these humble guys and I sometimes hope more of such people can come to our country.


The Learner
The Learner is here for a reason. To understand and to learn. These guys are similar to “The Humble”, but with a clear objective here. They are not here to vie for the top jobs and they are definitely not here to slack, the learner expat is here to absorb all they get exposed to. They asked questions on everything they are not sure and they are bent to understand whatever you know and make improvements to it when they brings those knowledge back to their countries of origin. You will know one when this person working with you reports to work very early and left only when everyone is gone.

So we have seen both the “good” and the “bad” sides of expats working amidst us in the media industry from Media Owners to Media Agencies. I am not stereotyping anyone here, but to raise the awareness of these “Foreign Talents” of their positive & negative influence on our industry.

Remember, Tabasco Sauce DOES NOT GO WELL with Char Kuay Teow.

CHIK6.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

On Singapore Roads
* Met 3 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 422 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.

Part 5 (Chicken Soup for Media Owners)

More Chicken Soup for Media Owners (Part Five)
MEICHIKSOP.jpg picture by Viviobluerex


Working in Advertising A Comedy Or A Tragedy? You Decide.Email me at ( should you have something to share with fellow Media Owners here.

In advertising, there are just as many “ups” as well as “downs”. Be it external factors or your own personality, it really depends on yourself to find the “Ups” and ignore the “Downs”.

Maybe only then, we’d all find our jobs (especially Media owners and Account Servicing people from ad agencies) more satisfying and start to look at our jobs at a more different light.

After all, it will be a tragedy if we make a failed comedy. Agree?


The Tragedy
You make dozens of calls and no one agrees to meet up with you. Your sales appointment gets shifted time after time. You have lesser advertisement sales then your peers every month. Your Boss seems to be only picking on you. Your clients prefer to advertise with your competitor. Your client left you to appoint another ad agency. A tragedy?

Not so. Hitting the wall is very common in our line of work. In fact every sales job is the same. The only edge we have is, our industry is quite a “Balanced” niche by itself. Why do I say so?

In hard times, advertisers with budget will wish to retain their customers by advertising heavily, or an aggressive move to tell their competitors that they are doing extremely well despite the bad economy. Some other advertisers will advertise special priced products or packages to keep the cash rolling.

In good times, another set of advertisers will appear doing mostly branding advertisements, or launch a new brand/product…etc.

Imagine you are selling something else, it will be a real tragedy when your Boss asks you to leave due to bad times.

Yes, Advertising has its niche and demand in both good times and bad times. Looking at your job this way does it even looks like it’s a prelude to a tragedy?

Just work at your own pace, observe what your peers are doing and be open of your work plan especially to your Boss.


The Comedy
Poking fun at your colleagues or Boss is never the right way to find humor at work. Worst still, please leave the tea lady alone. In front of your clients, make sure you keep your cold lame jokes to yourself, yes only to yourself. Your definition of “funny” may not be seen exactly in the same way as you deem it. Face it, all of us are created differently and each individual has different level of acceptance especially to lame funnies. By heading in all the wrong directions (or jokes), you became a “walking comedy”.


We all dreamt of a happy workplace, the perfect environment where everyone is genuinely nice, smile a lot and there are no politics. The Boss is extremely understanding, your juniors are very hardworking and requires little supervision to get things done and your clients call you up by themselves to advertise heavily. Too good to be true? Dream on.

This is what I would recommend to make your work closer to your dream.

If your Boss scolds you, smile. If your Boss wronged you of anything, smile. If your Boss gives credit to someone else instead of you, smile. If your Boss denies you of any privilege or entitlement, smile. If your juniors hated you, smile. If your juniors keep making the same mistakes, smile. If your juniors are not performing to your expectations, smile. If your juniors skive and gave excuses all the time, smile. If your client slammed up the phone on you, smile. If your clients decided to decline your quotation and proposal, smile. If your client is more interested in your competitor’s products, smile.

At this point you must be thinking all that smiling will get you nowhere or risk being marked as a Nut. But what these people will realize is, no matter how they upset you, you will still be smiling. They will give up on giving you a hard time and probably tries a different approach with you.

Now that makes a whole of difference between a sad tragedy and a happy comedy at work.

Remember, smile and the whole laugh with you.

CHIK5.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
On Singapore Roads
* Met 4 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 419 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.


Part 4 (Chicken Soup for Media Owners)

More Chicken Soup for Media Owners (Part Four)
chicken_soupx.jpg picture by Viviobluerex


Press Conference? Media Launch? Advertising Events?

Email me at ( should you have something to share with fellow Media Owners here.
Attending Media events are part & parcel of being a Media owner. Like it or not, you get invited to such functions from time to time. I have attended no less than 200 events over the last 10 years.

From new car launch to rebranded shampoo launch, and from Movie Gala to Industry Awards Judging, I’ve seen many types of people you would probably see at these events. Let’s take a look at some of the prominent characters at these media events……..


The Party Animal
This group of people drink hard, talks loudly, donning “party-ready” clothes and wears a “million dollar” smile. I bet you have seen these people ever so often at media events. Most of them sits on middle management level and are not new to the media industry. Whether they are seeking attention or just being themselves, no one knows, really.


The Audience
Now, this group watch what the Party Animals do their things and observe them closely. This group consists of mostly people from the higher management. Their eagle eye monitors what the Party Animals (or their subordinates) are doing and “marking” anyone who does “funny things” just in case a particular animal shows up at the next job interview.

The Gossip Mongers

This is the group to watch out for. If you stack your plate full and you get labeled as a Greedy Glutton and the whole media industry will know about it in 3 days. These Gossip Mongers could be anyone at any hierarchy level and mostly seen hurdled in a small group chit chatting (quietly) among themselves in a corner. If you spotted a group as described above, stay far away, make an early exit if you can. If you had been a “Party Animal” during the event, ask around, especially your peers if they had heard anything about you recently…

The Freeloader
Most media events are held after office hours, many would have show up with an empty stomach. Some even turn up with their whole team for a free dinner when ONLY one person was invited. This group is mostly junior executives and they will be the first to check out what’s in the goodie-bags. This group will only hang around the buffet table or at the bar whenever the drinks are free flow. They will try to “sample” all the available food and if there’s wine, they can be seen gulping down glass after glass like there’s no tomorrow. Some even got drunk and joined the “Party Animals” after they had their fill at the buffet.

The Cool Loner
This character came alone. Avoids conversation with people and doubles as an “Audience”.
Usually this person hates attending or seldom gets invited to media events and he/she would probably not even go near the buffet table. A typical Loner usually comes from the Middle to Higher management. He/she avoids eye contacts (the start to a conversation), walks around to prevent people who may approach him/her and usually leaves early even before the event ends.
On other occasion, a Loner may spot another Loner and a short conversation may follows. (Usually a quick introduction and exchange name cards) Then both Loners may stand together with no further exchange of words.

The Groupies
A combination profile of Party Animal + Gossip Mongers. This group usually consist a mixture of junior staff with maybe one or two senior staff and they feel secure and safe in numbers thus travel and move around in packs. Once in a group, they are less image conscience and probably behaved in a manner that even you will not approved of if the same behavior is duplicated at the office. No one in the right mind will approach a “pack” of people (strangers) and introduce himself/herself right? Would you? 

The Mobile Marketer
This group/person is probably the “lowest form of life” at media events. The Mobile Marketer turned up at events armed with enough name cards to give every guests and if this person is in publishing, he/she may even brought a lot the latest issues of the magazine he/she is representing and starts to distribute to everyone. This person usually moves around the event and starts to introduce himself/herself to as many people as possible. Once he/she established that a person is doing marketing or handles the advertising decisions, you can be sure to see the Mobile Marketer “leech” up the person and in some extreme cases, the Mobile Marketer ends up doing an impromptu sales presentation! Yes, there and then at the event!

So next time when you get invited to any media events, behave yourself. Just relax, be friendly, put on a smile and chat up with people around you. Be humble even when talking to competitors and don’t be an animal.

You never know who you may end up interviewing during your next recruitment exercise or end up working with.   


CHIK4.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

On Singapore Roads
* Met 3 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 415 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.


Part 3 (Chicken Soup for Media Owners)

 More Chicken Soup for Media Owners (Part Three)  
chicken_soup.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Spending Time On?

Email me at ( should you have something to share with fellow Media Owners here.
Are you spending time doing all the right things? Do you skive whenever you have some time to spare? Did you even work that hard? Are you giving your Boss the best?

Let’s take a look at a seasoned and veteran Account Servicing Manager from a certain publishing company in Singapore. To protect his identity, let’s call him K.

K is not new to publishing, having work in advertising sales for about 6 years and after 4 magazines, he is considered a veteran. K started out as an Account Executive in a medium size publishing company that published lifestyle magazines. He got promoted a couple of times and met his given sales target almost all the time. You must be thinking, K is a hard worker and he worked his guts out to get to where he is today.


Having known him for a couple of years, I came to realize that he does not work hard at all, in fact he skive all the time. He is exactly the opposite of what you may think of him while reading my earlier description of him. This guy work smart, not hard.


A Typical Day
K reported to work in the morning on time everyday so that no one can use that as an excuse to fault him. He spent his morning wisely making sure everyone in the office saw his being “always busy” with something. He doesn’t even drink coffee in the office while checking emails………

9.00am : K Reach office and starts checking emails and replying to important emails.
9.45am : K approaches his immediate Boss and checks for pricing or relates matters.
10.00am : Speaks to his juniors and check their appointments for the day.
10.15am : Leaves for the first appointment for sales presentation.
10.45am : Sales Presentation.
11.15am : Leaves for next appointment and make calls along the way.
11.45am : Sales Presentation.
12.15pm : Ends appointment and go for a quick lunch.
12.30pm : Leaves for 3rd appointment and make calls along the way.
1.00pm : Sales Presentation.
1.30pm : Ends appointment and leaves.
2.00pm : K meets up with his friends over coffee at some downtown coffee joint.
3.30pm : K meets another group of friends (also in Sales) for a game of pool.
5.00pm : K bids his friends farewell and returns to office.
5.30pm : K checks low priority emails (leftovers from the morning) and check on his staff.
6.30pm : K left the office after all his staff had left. And K makes sure his Boss saw him leaving.

Where’s the Work?
Out of curiosity, I asked K once on how did he still able to get in those sales. And does he have busy period at all? He did share with me. In publishing, there’s ONLY one week which he tends to get extremely busy. That is the week before the magazine goes to print. (This only applies to Monthly magazines) K will be busy chasing clients and advertising agencies for ad materials, collecting on his own and running for last minute advertisements. That is the ONLY week that he works his guts out.

Once all the ad materials is in order and collected, K starts his skiving habit again.


Not too bad for someone who sits on Middle Management, does his own sales and even ensure his juniors perform to his expectations.
He’s probably lucky.
K is now a Group Account Manager with the 2nd largest publishing company in Singapore.

And I am proud to add that he was my ex-staff too….
CHIK3.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

On Singapore Roads
* Met 3 Road Idiots Since my last Blog.
* Total 412 Road Idiots Encountered on SG Roads. 

Wish List
* All Road Hoggers Dead.
* More "Media Free Play" from The Government.
* Form more Associations to represent the local media owners.