Why SMS Marketing (Will) Failed?

Article was Originally Produced by Ad-Library Singapore.

Tokina 11-20-New

Why SMS Marketing (Will) Failed?

14th October 2015, Singapore – Today, yes today in year 2015, when we are swarmed with hundreds of communications applications (Apps) which piggybacks on 3G/4G data network – is slowly or in fact, rapidly replacing the good old SMS. (Short Messaging Service).

Smartphone with cloud of application icons

Real Competition – The top messaging apps today are none other than Whatapps, WeChat, Line, Tango, Viber, Skype and even the latest to join the crop are the Messenger by Facebook. So where does SMS stands today?


Now ask yourself, how many times do you really SMS a contact these days? When You received a SMS, do you look at it immediately like how you would when you received a message from the above mentioned apps? Likely people that you know or connected would have contacted you via an apps rather than sending you a SMS isn’t it? You must agree with me that such messaging culture is the trend today.


Junk Messages – Now, what about advertisements that shows up unsolicited on your SMS inbox? With today’s smart phones, sender numbers can be blocked from sending unsolicited SMS easily sending thousands of junk SMS Advertisements to thin air – now wait, those are advertising dollars paid by advertisers who seemingly were given the impression that their advertising dollar was well spent.


No, I am not saying that this form of advertising is not effective, I never said that – because thousands of SMSes were really sent based on the advertiser’s order, my point here is, how many of these SMSes were read by the receiver? Do you, yes I mean you, did even read a SMS advertisement from top to bottom at least once? Ok, now you are getting the drift.


What people is really using these days – In my line of work, I managed to speak to a few big spenders who advertise on huge budgets and I asked them a few interesting questions and guess what was their replies? My first question was which messaging apps do you use the most, and all given me the same answer – Whatapps. And when I asked which messaging apps on their phones that they use the least and all replied SMS. Now this is sick isn’t it, these advertisers themselves do not believe in using SMS and they spend money on SMS marketing, the irony of trade.



Impressive mechanics but no one is reading – It is always impressive to listen to how SMS Marketing companies present their pitch. You were made to believe that you are able to send unsolicited SMSes to specific locations, to specific demographics at specific time & date etc. Well, technology being technology, it is possible to achieve what these companies had claimed – but my point rolls back to the top – will anyone even read?

The Same culprits – To add to the irritation, personally I am already irritated by the phone marketing people who had been calling me at the wrong time to sell me the wrong products which I am not interested in.  If you live in Singapore, you are likely to have received cold calls at least once from Insurance Companies, Banks trying to sell you Insurance or Credit Card, Slimming Centres, Property Agents, MLM etc. After the DNC (Do Not Call) Registrar was set up following complaints from the public, many of these companies had switched to SMS marketing.

The irritation continues as now, you are likely to receive unsolicited SMS advertisements from Insurance Companies, Banks trying to sell you Insurance or Credit Card, Slimming Centres, Property Agents, MLM etc.



Marketers, before you buy up an advertising package for SMS Marketing, ask yourself these questions.
1) Do you even read unsolicited SMS Advertisements?
2) Did you delete the unsolicited SMS immediately?
3) Have you tried blocking these sender numbers?
4) Will you even buy anything, just anything from unsolicited SMS?
5) Will you bother with the “traditional-door-salesman-without-a-face” (unsolicited SMS)

OK, now sign on that Advertising Order for 3,000 SMSes to be sent to your desired audience.

And good luck.


The views and notes presented is solely the author’s personal views and no SMS marketing company was emotionally hurt with this article.

About The Editor

About Ourshutterjourney.com


Hair For Hope 2015

Tokina 11-20-New

Hair For Hope 2015 (Originally Posted here.)

02nd April 2015, Singapore – Since Children’s Cancer Foundation’s Hair for Hope started in 2003, I have been secretly wishing that one day, I will have the courage and be brave enough to shave my head bald in full view of the public. Before I knew it, years had passed while I silently procrastinated year after year. I had an extremely difficult year last year and going through a lot of hardship on various front. I survived and learn (the hard way) that life’s lashing does make one stronger. For some strange reason, I feel that I can associate the pain that these children goes through and somehow it relates to my emotional pains that I am struggling with last year. I decided to go for it (Hair for Hope) this year and registered myself.

Since I do not have much friends, I pledged a targeted donation of SGD $500.00 but as of today, I realized that I had gotten SGD $1,070.00 so far from supporters. I know this amount is still far from what others had gotten from their supporters, but I am not giving up just yet. I do hope that I can continue to increase the donations aka crowd-funding-style via my various social media platforms.(See bottom of article of How You Can Support this Cause)

So why shave my head bald?
Through this symbolic gesture of shaving bald, CCF aim to:

  1. Create awareness of childhood cancer in Singapore
  2. Show children with cancer and their families that they are not alone in their fight against cancer
  3. Tell children with cancer that it is OK to be bald
  4. Raise funds to help children with cancer and their families
  5. Build a community of support for children with cancer and their families

Hair for Hope is the only head-shaving event in Singapore that raises funds and awareness of childhood cancer. Every shaven head represents an understanding by an individual of the ordeals that a child with cancer is subjected to.

This year, CCF hope to encourage at least 6,500 participants to join their cause and raise $3.6 million to aid children and families impacted by cancer.

All funds raised will help to fund critical programmes and services for CCF’s beneficiaries.

Click Here to Advertise


About CCF
Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) is a non-profit organisation with a mission of improving the quality of life of children with cancer and their families through enhancing their emotional, social and medical well-being.

Founded in 1992, CCF provides children with cancer and their families the much needed support in their battle against the life threatening illness. In a year, CCF helps more than 2000 children and their families at different stages of the illness.

Armed with the vision of providing world-class resources and psychosocial services to children and their families impacted by childhood cancer, CCF employs professional caseworkers and counsellors. CCF adopts an integrated hospital-home-community service model to offer a spectrum of critical services to our beneficiaries.

  • In the Hospitals – CCF helps children who are newly diagnosed with cancer and undergoing active treatment with their hospital experience. We offer emotional, financial and social support, with a focus on therapeutic play for the children and support activities for their caregivers. Our caseworkers and counsellors are based in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and the National University Hospital (NUH) to work alongside our medical partners in the paediatric oncology wards.
  • In the Community – With more children surviving childhood cancer, CCF Community Social Work Team provides continual care to help enhance the quality of life for survivors. We help children return to school and support siblings of children with cancer. In collaboration with corporate partners, we offer social and recreational activities for the children and their families. We continue to monitor and support survivors who may have to cope with long term side effects due to the treatment of cancer. The support of community partners are actively sought to provide continuing care to our beneficiaries.
  • In the Homes – When a child is at the end stage of his/her life, it is a tremendously challenging time for the dying child and the family members. Palliative and bereavement support are critical services provided by CCF to improve the quality of life of the affected families.
  • Services offered to children with cancer and their families
    • Casework and Counselling
    • Therapeutic Play
    • Art Therapy
    • Play Therapy
    • Caregivers Support Services
    • Back-to-School Service
    • Tuition & Befriending
    • Survivorship Programme
    • Very Important Brothers and Sisters (VIBS)
    • Social and Recreational Activities
    • Financial Assistance
    • Palliative & Bereavement Support
    • Place for Academic Learning and Support (PALS)
    • Children Impacted by Cancer

Place for Academic Learning and Support (PALS)
CCF’s learning centre, PALS, commenced operations in November 2012 to help children and youths with cancer and prepare them intellectually, emotionally and socially for a smooth transition back to school.

PALS is a place for learning and friendship in a fun and supportive environment.

Our holistic curriculum which incorporates academic coaching and integrative therapies, aims to draw upon the unique experiences of each child and empower him/her to become a self-assured and forward-looking individual. We provide ample opportunities for each child to work with his/her peers, school and community partners to develop teamwork and problem-solving skills.

CCF will continue its strategy to work with like-minded partners to build a supportive community which offers critical resources to children with cancer and their families.

How You Can Support this Cause & Me?
Photo: AL with his Blue Hair going bald for Children with Cancer.

1) Moral Support
The day for my Public Shaving is on 25th July 2015, between 1.00 to 2.00pm at Vivo City, Singapore. If you have time, or visiting Singapore, please drop by to say Hi! and render me your moral support.

2) Donations
No matter which part of the world you are reading this from – You can do your part.
You can click on this link and make your donations directly to CCF in support of my act.
Any amount will go along way even if it is just SGD $1.00 – really appreciate if you can help donate. So just click here and make a small donation.
(On Page, Go to the Yellow Box, Click on Support Me)
*For Singaporeans, for tax exemptions, you have to make a minimum donations of SGD $50.00 to qualify.

3) Share My Cause
Apart from making a small donation, you can help too by sharing this link
https://hairforhope.org.sg/shaveeProfile/3540” to your social media platforms and networks so that awareness can be achieved.

Remember, you are not helping me, but Children with Cancer.
For I truly believe that it is a blessing to be able to help others.
It doesn’t mean that you have to be rich to give, but a conscience.
I would like to sincerely Thank You in advance for reading this far and I hope you will make adonation to CCF and as a support for my act.
Thank you.

Editor AL.

About The Editor

About Ourshutterjourney.com


Mercedes-Benz W124 – The Timeless Icon

Photo: The Mercedes-Benz Classics Gathered at a Secret Location in Singapore.

04th January 2014, Singapore – German maker Mercedes-Benz is one of the most sought after car brand in Singapore due to its proven reliability and strong parts support. Today, likely we will see variants of the three pointed star almost everywhere we go. As Mercedes rolls out more updated model after model, many would have noticed that older yester-years models are fast disappearing from our roads. Just a clarification on my earlier sentence, no, please don’t get me wrong, it is not that older Mercedes are not road-worthy anymore, just that our local system & culture has potential car buyers going after the latest and newest models every few years – thus discarding older cars for the new.

However, there is a particular Mercedes that had stand the test of time, for over 2 decades, it has survived the scrutiny of car ownership system in Singapore, it survived 4 other later models who replaced it, it is still a handsome ride on the road running side by side with the modern cars & counterpart models, it does not even look dated or ancient, it exudes an air of classic yet bearing the spirit of Mercedes-Benz in the most elegant way. To the world, this is the most iconic Mercedes-Benz ever made (and with all its variants), this is the W124 (1985-1996), the iconic model that opened the doors of innovation & possibilities for all the later Mercedes-Benz that we have today.

Covering a long list of equipment – considered as extravagant in those days, the W124 is still considered a well equipped large car even by today’s standard. Luxury fittings are standard on every Mercedes but it is the drivability that actually sold the W124 wordlwide. I have provided a link at the end of this article if you are keen to read up more on the W124 specifications.

In Singapore, a reliable source informed me that we have a total of 70+ W124 that are still registered for road use today, quite a healthy number for an iconic classic car. We rounded up a few friendly W124 owners for a little “W124 meet-up” recently and managed to have them share a few words & experience on owning the iconic W124.


Photo: Kelvin with his W124 modded to Lorinser Edition.

Owner Profile:
Kelvin Tan, 35
Station Manager
Mercedes-Benz W124 200E (E200)
Other Mercedes Owned
Yr 81 W123 200, Yr82 W123 200

Photo: Kelvin with his W124 modded to Lorinser Edition.

“Classic Mercedes, it grows on me, every day, it makes me want to drive it every day. I go by the simple logic that “I maintain it well, so it will served me well”. The W124, is the last of the “no-expenses spared” policy model which Mercedes had before the merger with Chrysler, which resulted in W210, which was designed & manufactured under heavy cost-savings measures. The W124 was built to last and has a “bulletproof” engine.


“For those looking to owning a classic Mercedes, remember, Mercedes is to be driven, BMW is to drive” – said Kelvin.


Photo: Daniel with his V124 6 Doors.

Owner Profile:
Dr Daniel Tan TM, 47
Managing Director
Mercedes-Benz V124 6 Doors
Other Mercedes Owned: Mercedes-Benz 200 / E200 / 280SL.
Currently own: Mercedes-Benz V124 6 doors / 1951 Mercedes-Benz 170Va / 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190 Ponton.

Photo: Daniel with his Boys.

“Mercedes are practical and reliable cars with an everlasting looks. The V124 (variant of W124) was beautifully crafted & designed. Coupled with its rarity (6 doors), it is highly sought after by Mercedes collectors & serious enthusiasts.


“For those looking to own a classic car (of any brand), do look for very rare model with a normal, everyday drivability with good parts support. Mercedes classics are a good example.” Daniel shared.

(Editor’s Note)
If our information is correct, there were only 9 V124 sold locally and 5 is still on the road today! Amazing!


Photo: Marcus with his Mercedes-Benz 300CE-24V AMG Coupe.

Owner Profile:
Marcus Tan, 36
Mercedes-Benz W124 AMG 300CE-24V 1990

Photo: Marcus as cool as the coupe he is driving.

“There is a distinct beauty in the detail and robust engineering of an older Mercedes – everything is mechanical and connected, totally independent on software and built to last.”

“This model (300CE-24V) was the last hurrah of the type, when engineers, not accountants, determined how cars were made. Mine came with mechanically-controlled injection and ignition, a straight-six with double-overhead cams, and a RPM redline of 7000rpm. The pillar-less profile and frameless windows are timeless, while other features like the seatbelt extenders, are not found in many present-day coupes. On top of all that, it’s been remarkably comfortable, reliable, and practical!”

Photo: The Mighty Mercedes-Benz 300CE-24V AMG Coupe.

“Looking to own a classic Mercedes? Find the one that you like best and go for it!” added Marcus.


Photo: Rafi’s mighty Mercedes-Benz 300TE24V 1990, the trunk seems to swallow anything!

Owner Profile:
Rafi Marjan, 47
Creative Director
Mercedes-Benz 300TE24V 1990
Other Mercedes-Benz currently own: Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 1991

Photo: Looks that stands the test of time – Mercedes-Benz 300TE24V 1990

“I am a fan of classic Mercedes-Benz because of timeless styling, understated elegance & superb engineering of the car. As a person who values reliability and cars that last, fuel economy comes last to my mind.”

On Rafi’s Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL, Rafi shared that this is a very stately looking car and it has aged gracefully among the new breeds of Mercedes-Benz. The 300 SEL ensures every drive is refinely smooth and an experience to enjoy. It is road-worthy and has no problem sharing the modern road with modern cars. Rafi added that “the 300 SEL is a class of its own, designed to impress in an understated manner yet memorable to anyone who experience it”.

As for Rafi’s Mercedes-Benz 300TE 24V, he claimed that this is the most versatile variant in the 124 line (which we agreed) for its tremendous appettite for load lugging or the option to convert it into a people mover with 7 seats and the straight-six engine that comes in this estate. Self-levelling rear suspension are standard on all Mercedes-Benz estate variants.

“My Mercedes-Benz 300TE 24V has been driven to Cambodia & back without a hitch!” said Rafi.
“Classic Mercedes-Benz are relatively affordable today and hassle-free to run since they are built to last a lifetime or two.” – Rafi.

(Editor’s Note) According to our research, the 300TE 24V variants was also used as a van, a caravan, an ambulance, an off-roader and even a hearse!


Photo: Allan Lee (Editor) with his W124 modded to AMG Masterpiece Edition.

Owner Profile:
Allan J Lee, 38
Professional Photographer & Editor
Mercedes-Benz W124 200E (E200)

Photo: W124 modded to AMG Masterpiece Edition.
“A solid car by today’s standard. The W124 was engineered to last “a million miles” mechanically, touted as one of the top favorite executive car in the 90s, today the W124 is the favorite collectors’ car by enthusiasts all over the world. I was totally sold when I was hunting for my W124, parts support are strong and surprisingly cheap! And when I finally found a unit, I bought it within hours.”


“Reasonably priced now for most used W124, you are in luck if you managed to find a decent copy at the dealership” said Allan.


Photo: Classic Mercedes-Benz with their owners at Seletar Airport.

So if you are thinking of dumping your ride for a classic Mercedes soon, do take note of W124, they are usually sold out really fast.

Classic Mercedes is not for everyone, but certainly for those who knows them.

We have a little community over at http://www.sgmerc.com/ where Mercedes owners “meet” & share notes. Although all Mercedes owners of any models are welcome to join, we have a good number of classic Mercedes owners inside – ready to give advice and share leads. Do pop by & say “Hi!”.
For information & specifications of the Mercedes W124, check out the Wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W124

If you found your way here while looking for the owner’s Manual, please feel free to email me at media_world@live.com and I will be glad to email you a PDF copy.


McDonald’s Ebi Burger TVC – Full Version.

23rd November 2013, Singapore – Recently many of us would have seen Mcdonald’s latest TVC – the Ebi Burger and the Banana Pie promotion. Out of curiosity, I had personally tasted the Ebi Burger & the Banana Pie – and fell in love with it. The promotion had been running for almost close to 3 weeks now, but sadly I have only managed to grab the “Ebi Feast” only thrice. The “Ebi Feast” consists of an Ebi Burger, a Fries, a Banana Pie and a Fizz drink.

Why only thrice? Everywhere is out of stock. I went to a few branches like Harbourfront, Potong Pasir, Kallang, Alexandra Retail Centre, Parklane, Yung Ho and even tried my luck with McDelivery, but it seems like no one has this Ebi Burger and the Banana Pie. Why is this so? McDonald is spending ad dollars buying so many spots on TV Prime time and only to have consumers going places but no Ebi burgers or Banana pies everywhere?

I must say that I am truly disappointed with McDonald’s this time. I am still curbing my cravings for the Ebi Burger & Banana Pie as I write. If only someone can tell me which branch has the Ebi Burger & Banana Pie now I will drop everything I am doing and I will fly there for my Ebi Feast.

Successful TVC, but leaving  me (and many others) sad because the only thing that greeted us is “No Stock”.

Top Ten Rules of Blogging

Photo: Another Blogger tried her Luck.
Photo Troll Credit: www.sgag.sg
12th November 2013, Singapore – It has been six years since this blog started. And blogging had since became a big trend in Singapore through the nature of the topics covered. Although not officially recognized as an information source, blogs are usually the alternate voices from real people who shares their views based on their personal experience. Brand owners noticed this and started engaging bloggers to write reviews to provide alternate views apart from mainstream media and it seems to work really well here. Whiles blogs are fast gaining attention from brand owners as well the general public, and the partnership between the 2 seems to have went well until – frictions surfaces when “some” bloggers crossed the line.

Personally, I have heard many horror stories of how certain brand owners exploited the bloggers, making unreasonable demands like vetting what was written followed by heavy editing (changes after changes) before allowing the author to publish, making bloggers show up at places at unearthly hours so that the writers will not “obstruct” or “affect” their business during normal operating hours, asking to use the blogger’s photo for their publicity use without paying a cent etc.

On the other end, I have also heard of unethical bloggers all out for freebies that totally ruins the reputation of the blogging community. Vividly, I once overheard a conversation between 2 so-call bloggers at a press launch event. The conversation was revolving about what they had “juiced” from their sponsors and advertisers. The statement that hit me was; “Bloggers never have to pay for anything ever if you can get away with it”. I was totally disgusted. I had totally forgotten about the above incident until I saw a troll on http://www.sgag.com about another blogger who had crossed the line. I would like to share the below Ten Rules of Blogging for all as a professional reference. These are my personal working values which I abide closely so that I will not hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Here’s some basic (unwritten) rules:

1. Respect Brand Owners. They want you to write they also can get others to write.
Just when you think you are indispensable, you can be replaced easily.

2. Never ask for Freebies unless it is given out of freewill.
Only cheapskates ask for freebies.

3. You must write after you have tested, tasted, tried else you are as good as cheating.

4. Stay humble, proud writers are usually marked, who else dares to invite you again.

5. Writing facts not fantasies, you lost your credibility, you can forget about dabbling in blogging ever again.

6. Huge following does not means you are a superstar, it means you are writing well and living up to expectations. This needs to be maintain.

7. Whether you are a Star Blogger or a low profile Blogger, you are just a blogger. Some got lucky, some got discovered and some are forgotten. Remember fame usually last for 15mins.

8. Behave yourself at events, launch, closed door functions, briefings. You are there because you are required to write, not because you are a superstar.

9. Be professional at all times. Blogging is a passion that requires great professionalism. No brand will trust a unprofessional writer.

10. Keep writing good stuff, strike a balance of what you want to write and what others wants to read.

I lived by the above 10 Rules while managing my 3 blogs all these 6 years and i had never got myself into the bad books of brand owners. Only brand owners gets into mine.

Share this if you know a Blogger.

Allan Lee
Editor – ourshutterjourney.com
Editor – Singapore Media Owners
Editor – Adlib Magazine Blog

Gospel Advertising












I have nothing against Gospel Advertising as the Bible does requires the Christian to
evangelize, to grow the church. However, there are some extremists which even
Christians themselves cannot tolerate.

Well, I respect every faith, but please respect others who may not see what you saw or
know what you knew. Religion is not being about how extreme you are as the faith does
not measure up this way. Go figure.

Peace to All.