GUNDAM Unicorn!

 
Gundam Unicorn Episode One
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So it finally happened.

Last Saturday 20th March 2010 marks the debut screening of Gundam Unicorn – Episode One at Shaw theatre Bugis Junction. Despite the heavy downpour, load of Gundam Fans gathered and some even show up hours before the movie starts. Proudly sponsored by Sheng Tai Toys, the Singapore Distributor for Gundam Collectibles and Kits, this is the moment that all Gundam Fans had been waiting (for months) for.

I was there to cover the event under the invitation of Leon, Founder of http://openthetoy.blogspot.com/

A showcase of the latest Gundam Kits was also set up and it attracted lots of hobbyists to start snapping away.
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Based on the Gundam Unicorn novels in Japan, Gundam Unicorn is the latest Gundam Japanese incarnated Anime for 2010. Released on 20th Feb 2010, Gundam Unicorn episode 1 was released in Japan and Singapore only 3 months later. A total 6 episodes, this 50 minutes movie was rated PG. The screening last Saturday was in Japanese language with English subtitles.

Not exactly a Gundam Fan myself, I didn’t even realized I was ‘glued" to my seat and eyes to the screen throughout the movie. Though the plot was somewhat predictable (did my research before the screening about everything Gundam), the animation was realistic and great, indeed a visual treat if you ask me.

Movie Rated *****

Like Gundam? Watch it!

Here’s some pre-screening "Moments"…………
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*Leon in Action.
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* Dennis can’t stop smiling the whole morning.
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*The 1st to enter the theatre is of course, Leon.

Visit http://openthetoy.blogspot.com/

ASIA PACIFIC AGENCIES WIN 10 CUP TROPHIES AT ‘THE CUP 2009’


ASIA PACIFIC AGENCIES WIN
10 CUP TROPHIES AT ‘THE CUP 2009’

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SARAJEVO: Out of a total of 33 CUP trophies awarded, Asia Pacific agencies walked away with an impressive 10 CUP trophies at the 3rd Intercontinental Advertising CUP, making it the 2nd top-performing region in the world behind Ibero-America.

 

In addition, the Asia Pacific region also won the ultimate prize – The 2009 GRAND CUP – which was awarded to GT Inc (Tokyo) for ‘Love Distance’ and Sagami Rubber Industries.

 

Overall, the Asia Pacific was the 2nd top performing region in the world behind Ibero-America, which won 13 trophies. Agencies from Europe won 8 trophies, while agencies from Eastern Europe won 2 trophies from more than 900 entries in total.

 

Four Asia Pacific agencies made the Top 10 ranking of high-achievers: #2: GT Inc (Japan), with 21 awards points; #3: BBDO/Proximity (Malaysia), with 12 points; #4: Dentsu Razorfish (Japan), with 12 points; and #8: McCann Worldgroup (Hong Kong), with 8 points. However, #1 Agency of the Year went to Almap BBDO in Brazil, which won the Genius Loci CUP.

 

THE CUP has a very rigorous judging system, making it one of the toughest awards in the world to win. “No other awards I have been involved in requires such a high-degree of constant thinking and evaluation of product categories, media format, crafting and cultural significance. It is absolutely more exhausting and demanding to judge at THE CUP,” says Jimmy Lam, President of ADFEST.

 

"Local culture and local brands are the sources to some great pieces of advertising based on local roots. And the 3rd Intercontinental Advertising Cup demonstrates this with some jewels – ads that will stay in our memories for a long time,” says Milka Pogliani, President of the jury.

  

ADFEST is extremely proud to announce the Asia Pacific winners at THE CUP 2009 are:

 

BEST OF ADMAKING CATEGORY

– Best Universal Idea Created in a Local Market: Dentsu Razorfish, Japan: ‘Melody’ Road for Dunlop Falken Tyres

– Best of Design: BBDO/Proximity Malaysia: ‘Two Worlds’ for Chrysler Korea

– Best Campaign: GT Inc Japan: ‘Love Distance’ for Sagami Rubber Industries

 

BEST OF MEDIA

– Best of Outdoor: BBDO/Proximity Malaysia: ‘Husky & Camel, Bushman & Eskimo’ for Chrysler Korea

 

BEST OF PRODUCTS & SERVICES

– Best of Beverages: Ogilvy & Mather Japan; ‘Great Supporting Role’ for Shiro Sake

– Best of Health & Personal Care: GT Inc Japan: ‘Love Distance’ for Sagami Rubber Industries

– Best of Sports: McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong: ‘Paper Battlefield’ by Nike Basketball League

– Best of Electronics: JWT Beijing: ‘Bruce Lee-power’ for Nokia

– Best of Household Products & Maintenance: JEH United Thailand: ‘Picnic’ for Sylvania Light Bulbs

– Best of Corporate: Dentsu Razorfish Japan: ‘Melody Road’ for Dunlop Talken Tyres

 

Congratulations to all THE CUP winners from the Asia Pacific this year, who are now invited to collect their trophies at The CUP 2009 Award Presentation, which will take place at ADFEST later this year.

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The distinguished jury panel included:

Milka Pogliani, Chairman of European Creative Council EMEA, Chairman and Executive Creative Director, McCann Worldgroup, Italy (Jury President)

Michael Conrad, President of Berlin School of Creative Leadership, Switzerland

Akira Kagami, Executive Officer and Global Creative Director at Dentsu Inc., Japan

Jimmy Lam, President of Asia Pacific ADFEST

Celso Loducca, President of Loducca Publicidade, Brazil

Franco Moretti, ADC*E President, Group Chief Creative Director, Leo Burnett, Italy

Jesus Muňoz, Founding Partner at Casadevall y Muňoz and Partner at Casadevall y Quintero, Spain

Johannes Newrkla, ADC*E Board, Founder and CEO, Bluetango, Austria

Serge Fenenko, Managing Director, Novocortex, The Netherlands

Dario Vince, Chief Creative Officer, Digitel&, Croatia.

With Akira Kagami and Jimmy Lam representing Asia.

 

To view the full CUP 2009 winners list, visit:  http://www.thecupawards.com/sarajevo-2009/winners-198935/

 

A gallery of all winning entries can also be viewed on AdForum from Tuesday 23 March 2010.


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ABOUT THE CUP: The Intercontinental Advertising Cup was established in 2007 by organizers of the world’s three biggest regional advertising festivals: Asia Pacific’s ADFEST, Ibero-American FIAP and New European Golden Drum. ADC*E (Art Director’s Club of Europe) is also a member. THE CUP is a very new international concept because it is celebrates locally-inspired creativity, which sets THE CUP apart from any other global advertising festival in the world.

GT INC IN TOKYO WINS THE TOP GONG

 

GT INC IN TOKYO WINS THE TOP GONG AT THE 2009 INTERCONTINENAL ADVERTISING AWARDS

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SARAJEVO: The Asia Pacific region has walked away with the top gong at The 2009 Intercontinental Advertising CUP, with GT Inc (Tokyo) winning the ultimate prize, The Grand CUP, for its enchanting ‘Love Distance’ campaign for Sagami Rubber Industries.

 

The CUP Jury agreed that ‘Love Distance’ was the perfect example of a campaign that is fresh and unique, yet firmly rooted in local culture.

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“We’re very excited to hear this news. And we are truly happy and honored that people from different countries and cultural backgrounds have equally given us a high evaluation for our work,” says Koshi Uchiyama, Creative Director at GT Inc in Tokyo.

 

“I think ‘Love Distance’ became a popular campaign globally because we were able to attract attention by giving people a fresh "wow" element in a product that is essentially difficult to surprise people. We did not define our target to a certain generation or gender, and aimed for an expression that would not rely on words but be clearly understood and empathized with,” says Uchiyama.

 

‘Love Distance’ shows a real-life young couple in separate cities running towards each other so they can be together. The campaign was a huge hit in Japan, where the entire country became captivated by their love story as it rolled out over one-month on the Internet. When the product name ‘Sagami’ was finally revealed, sales soared.

 

View the campaign here: http://www.gtinc.jp/award2009/lovedistance/

 

No less than five other Asia Pacific agencies were in the running to win The Grand CUP out of a total of 15 nominations globally, with judges unanimously agreeing that their campaigns were all excellent examples of campaigns that reflect local culture.

 

The five nominations are:

‘Melody Road’ for Dunlop Falken Tyres by Dentsu Razorfish (Japan);

‘Paper Battlefield’ for Nike by McCann Worldgroup (Hong Kong);

‘Bruce Lee-power’ for Nokia by JWT Beijing (China);

‘Great Supporting Role’ for Shiro Sake by Ogilvy & Mather (Japan);

and ‘Picnic’ for Sylvania Light Bulbs by JEH United (Thailand).

 

On 14-17 March 2010, a global jury panel gathered in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina to select the 2009 winners of THE CUP. The Asia Pacific region was represented by Akira Kagami, Executive Officer and Global Creative Director at Dentsu Inc and Jimmy Lam, President of ADFEST.

 

The CUP celebrates ‘genius loci’ – the spirit of local places. Its mission is to celebrate locally-inspired creativity, which makes THE CUP the only global festival in the world that specifically celebrates the richness of language, culture, superstitions, beliefs and rituals that make each region unique.

 

“Many local ideas have a freshness and uniqueness that can shake the world. Yet these ideas don’t always get the recognition they deserve at global festivals. In a homogenized world, local values and losing ground. And by diminishing their importance for local people, nations lose their identities, and as they lost identities, a significant part of humanity is lost,” says Michael Conrad, President of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, who was also part of the 2009 Jury Panel.

 

THE CUP 2009 Awards ceremony was originally scheduled to take place at ADFEST in Thailand on 18 March, but instead took place at the ‘No Limit Sarajevo Award Ceremony’ on 18 March following ADFEST’s postponement last month.

 

To find out how your agency performed, a full-list of winners & nominations can now be viewed and downloaded from http://www.thecupawards.com/sarajevo-2009/winners-198935/

 

A gallery of all winning entries can also be viewed on AdForum from Tuesday 23 March 2010
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For further information, visit: www.thecupawards.com

 

HOTEL GUESTS JOIN ‘MONSTER DOLL’ PARADE AT AYANA AHEAD OF NYEPI DAY OF SILENCE

 

JIMBARAN – BALI, 18 March 2010
– Guests of AYANA Resort and Spa Bali joined a lively parade to rouse the demons on 15 March, ahead of the annual Nyepi ‘Day of Silence’ when the island of Bali shut down for 24 hours of absolute silence.

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AYANA’s Balinese Hindu staff led the parade of an ‘ogoh-ogoh’ (giant papier-mache monster doll) on the eve of Balinese New Year which is known as ‘Nyepi’ (literally translated as ‘silent day’). The doll was created over many weeks with the help of in-house guests and their children, who plastered and painted it in the image of a demon, according to tradition.

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Following a Hindu blessing ceremony, the parade was accompanied by a drumming band as it made its way through the resort, stopping at major ‘cross-roads’ to run the ogoh-ogoh around in circles to confuse demons. Lively parades such as this are held on Nyepi Eve every year across Bali to ‘wake-up’ the demons, before the 24-hour period of silence when the island ‘plays dead’ in a bid to trick demons into thinking it has been abandoned, so they will go and annoy the inhabitants of another island.

“Nyepi is an interesting time to be in Bali, because in the days leading up to it, guests have the opportunity to witness many unique aspects of Balinese culture,” said AYANA’s General Manager Charles de Foucault. “These include the ‘ogoh-ogoh’ parades, which are always festive and fun, and more sedate ceremonies that whole villages turn out for. It’s a true reflection of the rich culture that makes this island such an amazing destination; there is nowhere else in the world where you can experience the unique Balinese form of Hinduism.”

Nyepi is a day of introspection when everyone in Bali must stay inside their residence and keep quiet. All shops and businesses close, no vehicle or machinery is allowed to operate (which also means Bali airport closes down on this day each year), no fire or electricity may be used, and no work may be done.

For tourists, the rules are more relaxed, as long as you do not leave your hotel. AYANA minimizes use of lighting and power, halts its shuttle service, and asks guests not to wander around outside and not to leave the property. Otherwise guests are welcome to use the resort grounds and facilities as normal, while keeping noise to a minimum.

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About AYANA Resort and Spa

On 1 April, 2009, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was launched as an independent hotel under the management of US-based West Paces Hotel Group. Named after a ‘place of refuge’ in Sanskrit, AYANA is perched on limestone cliffs up to 30 meters above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western peninsula. The 77-hectare property enjoys majestic views and a secluded location across its 1.3 kilometer coastline, yet is just 15 minutes from Bali’s airport. The 368 guestrooms comprise 78 private pool villas and a 290-room hotel.

 

Resort highlights include the 22,000sqm Thermes Marins Thalasso spa with one of the world’s largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pools and the Spa on the Rocks villas set amidst the Indian Ocean. There are five purpose-built wedding venues; the avant-garde Champa Garden for grand-scale events; four freshwater swimming pools including a children’s pool; a salt-water, infinity-edged Ocean Beach Pool at the cliff’s base, accessed via an inclinator; an 18-hole golf putting course; tennis pavilion; jogging/cycling path; fitness center; children’s center; seven boutiques; comprehensive meeting facilities and high-tech business center; and resort-wide WIFI.


About The West Paces Hotel Group

The West Paces Hotel Group based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. was founded in 2002 by Horst Schulze along with several former Ritz-Carlton executives. The principals of the company leverage unparalleled hospitality experience and a diverse track record of operating world-class hotels and resorts to create value through superior service at luxury, world-class properties and conference centers in gateway cities and high-profile resort destinations around the world.

 

In less than six years, West Paces has successfully launched two hotel brands, is operating 15 properties and with its Singapore based affiliates West Paces Hotel Group Asia, is on course to operate or have under contract at least 50 hotels by 2010. Co-Chairman and Founder Horst Schulze has helped reshape concepts of luxury service throughout the hospitality and service industries.  As chairman of West Paces Hotel Group, he has created the unparalleled Canon service standards introduced at AYANA. For more information, visit www.westpaceshotels.com.

 

THERMES MARINS BALI LAUNCHES NEW DAY SPA PACKAGES

 
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THERMES MARINS BALI LAUNCHES NEW DAY SPA PACKAGES

JIMBARAN – BALI, 15 March 2010 – Thermes Marins Bali has launched new Day Spa Packages, further enhancing the unique wellbeing experiences that saw it awarded the #1 Spa in the World in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards.

The Day Spa Packages highlight the spa’s position as a destination unto itself, which has been recognized with a raft of international awards including the latest from Conde Nast Traveller. The full day programs allow guests to re-balance and re-energize their lives, with massage, body treatments, facials, slimming treatments, healthy spa cuisine, yoga, aerobics and cooking classes.
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“We have launched these Day Spa Packages in response to the growing demand from guests looking for holistic, intensive spa experiences to combat the stress and fatigue of their everyday lives,” said AYANA’s Director of Spa and Business Development (Japan), Michi Sonoda.

“Many guests come to the spa for massage and body treatments, but then they don’t want to leave! They want to really immerse themselves in the full range of wellbeing experiences available, from the yoga and beauty treatments to the organic Spa Café and Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool.”

Each full day package offers a unique experience, specifically created for holistic spa therapy:

Stress Release
This ritual begins with a full body scrub, yogurt splash and traditional Balinese massage, to get you in the right frame of mind for your wellbeing experience. This is followed by healthy lunch at Spa Café, Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool, a facial or hair spa treatment, and finally Sunset Yoga.
Rate US$192++ per person;  10am-6pm (duration of activities 6 hours 20 minutes)

Exotic Balinese Experience
Relax in the ancient style of the Balinese with a traditional Lulur, consisting of a Javanese body scrub, yogurt splash, flower bath, and Balinese massage. Enjoy Jamu tea before an Indonesian Cooking Class and lunch at Padi restaurant, and an invigorating session in the Aquatonic Pool.
Rate US$192++ per person;  10am-6pm (duration of activities 6 hours 30 minutes)

Slim & Beauty
This wellbeing experience begins with Thermes Marins Slimming Treatment and LPG Cellu M6 ST Endermologie to sculpt your body. Enjoy a guilt-free lunch at Spa Café before a session in the Aquatonic Pool, great preparation for an invigorating afternoon doing aerobics, stretching and yoga.
Rate US$196++ per person;  10am-6pm (duration of activities 6 hours 50 minutes)

image005.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
About AYANA Resort and Spa

On 1 April, 2009, AYANA Resort and Spa Bali was launched as an independent hotel under the management of US-based West Paces Hotel Group. Named after a ‘place of refuge’ in Sanskrit, AYANA is perched on limestone cliffs up to 30 meters above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western peninsula. The 77-hectare property enjoys majestic views and a secluded location across its 1.3 kilometer coastline, yet is just 15 minutes from Bali’s airport. The 368 guestrooms comprise 78 private pool villas and a 290-room hotel.

 

Resort highlights include the 22,000sqm Thermes Marins Thalasso spa with one of the world’s largest Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pools and the Spa on the Rocks villas set amidst the Indian Ocean. There are five purpose-built wedding venues; the avant-garde Champa Garden for grand-scale events; four freshwater swimming pools including a children’s pool; a salt-water, infinity-edged Ocean Beach Pool at the cliff’s base, accessed via an inclinator; an 18-hole golf putting course; tennis pavilion; jogging/cycling path; fitness center; children’s center; seven boutiques; comprehensive meeting facilities and high-tech business center; and resort-wide WIFI.

About The West Paces Hotel Group

The West Paces Hotel Group based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. was founded in 2002 by Horst Schulze along with several former Ritz-Carlton executives. The principals of the company leverage unparalleled hospitality experience and a diverse track record of operating world-class hotels and resorts to create value through superior service at luxury, world-class properties and conference centers in gateway cities and high-profile resort destinations around the world.

 

In less than six years, West Paces has successfully launched two hotel brands, is operating 15 properties and with its Singapore based affiliates West Paces Hotel Group Asia, is on course to operate or have under contract at least 50 hotels by 2010. Co-Chairman and Founder Horst Schulze has helped reshape concepts of luxury service throughout the hospitality and service industries.  As chairman of West Paces Hotel Group, he has created the unparalleled Canon service standards introduced at AYANA. For more information, visit www.westpaceshotels.com.
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Meeting Chef Giordano Faggioli, Executive Chef, Ayana Resort Bali

 
Weeks ago, we were granted an Exclusive interview with Chef Giordano Faggioli, Executive Chef of Ayana Resort, Bali fame.
Chef Giordano Faggioli oversee 13 restaurants and bars, room serviced dinning and banqueting services at the resort. With over 20 years of experience whipping up culinary art pieces all over the world (including Executive Chef positions at the St Regis Beijing, and Four Seasons Resorts in Chiang Mai and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.), Chef Giordano’s culinary arts will tamed the most particular gourmet connoisseur and food critics in this part of Asia. 

Here we go.
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SG Media Owner: May I know your birth origin?
Chef Giordano : I was borned in the city of Ferrara, near Boglonia in Italy.

SG Media Owner: What or who got you interested in culinary? At what age?
Chef Giordano : It grows on you. I was greatly influenced by my family’s home-cooked food handed down from traditional roots. I was vastly interested in the process from preparation to the actual cooking process. I get real satisfaction from the end product that got served and people enjoyed my food. Eventually, I turned professional. I picked up the real cooking part during a summer break at the age of 15 years old when I started as an apprentice cook. 

SG Media Owner: What’s your Number One Specialty?

Chef Giordano : I cook great pasta with fresh ingredients & seafood!

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SG Media Owner: Do you have problem with the availability of ingredients in Asia?
Chef Giordano : Certain ingredients are not available in this part of Asia, the vegetables here taste different. However, locally sourced ingredients are a "surprise" to use, though quality is different, but it is good nevertheless.

SG Media Owner: Do you have a "Hero Chef" that you admire?
Chef Giordano : Nope. Every Chef works differently incorporating their own styles.

SG Media Owner: Is there a particular dish that you refuse to cook?
Chef Giordano : Nope. I love to cook. And I cook anything!
SG Media Owner: What is the most challenging dish to you?
Chef Giordano : Hmm. I would attribute the "challenge" to preparation of ingredients for authentic dishes, the process or concoction may be simple, the real challenge is getting the right ingredients of the correct grade. Sometimes, in dire situations, I improvised the use of ingredients to bring the taste closer to what or how it was intended to be by using local ingredients.

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SG Media Owner: Do you have a country in mind that you wish you can be there someday?
Chef Giordano : Australia ~ Maybe.

SG Media Owner: Is there any food that you hated?

Chef Giordano : Er.. eyes of Yak, Chicken feet, etc. These items are appetite-killer for me.
SG Media Owner: If you are not a Chef, what would you be? 
Chef Giordano : Actor – I want to be popular & be with lots of girls (*grin)
 
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Thank you Chef Giordano for your time and sharing your thoughts!

*Courtesy Arrangement of Ayana Resort, Bali. 

Graffiti of the Celeste – A Dance Like No Other

The Graffiti of the Celeste Live!

Today, we returned with our review.
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Strongly based on the theme of nature’s power and strength, the Arts Fission Company presented "Grafitti of Celeste" at the Esplanade on 5th & 6th March 2010. Performed to a seated full house, the dance was filled with energy, suspense and expressions. Over six unique scenes, the story was unfold in sequences of duets and solos apart from the full crew at finale.
The power of nature was expressed uniquely artistically through the dancers with movements that depicted the various elements of nature. Choreographed & directed by Angela Liong along with The Arts Fission Dancers, Joyce B Koh & Yeo Chee Kiong was also instrumental in making this performance a success. Music courtesy of Dirk Stromberg, the Graffiti of the Celeste was perfected in delivering moods and further strengthened the storyline.  
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Our Verdict – We have been to countless dance performance and "Grafitti of Celeste" left a deeper-than-usual impression on us. Somehow, it "touched" us and we are certain that applies to everyone else in the full-housed theatre.

"Grafitti of Celeste" is truly a gem performance in the art of dance expressions.

We call it "A World Class Performance Like No Other." – Singapore Media Owners

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