New Home, Fresh Start

When we first started Blak Labs back in 2010, we couldn’t afford an office. Our workspaces were coffee shops in Dempsey and dining tables in our homes.

We didn’t know what the future would hold, or if we would be in business long enough to have our own address. So our first business card just featured mobile and email.

IMG_7353

As luck would have it, things started to happen for Blak Labs. Clients took a chance on us. From Maybank to PayPal, we picked up projects and started growing the team. We needed somewhere central to meet and were lucky that a mate had some desks free – which we willingly borrowed.

And while they were at the top of three flights of stairs, those desks and facilities were invaluable until we needed space of our own.

Finding the right place for your gang can be tricky. Especially when each place on property sites can be so misleading.

IMG_7356 2

What one person likes, another finds inconvenient. And what pictures online fail to show is actual size and usability. When we eventually found Pahang Street near Arab Street, we all agreed it was a space to try. Simple – wood floors, shophouse location, an upstairs unit with a mezzanine floor, tiny kitchen and a single loo. It was perfect – a space we could all live with. Until we outgrew it once more.

IMG_7358Our next space on North Bridge Road was twice as big. Two shophouse upper levels side by side. Meeting rooms, a pantry and dining area. Chill spots and workbenches. Plenty of room for growth. Until we were almost sitting on each other.

Luckily for us, the partners had put a deposit on two adjacent units at a new development. We’ve invested in comfort and utility. There is still room for growth. And experimentation.IMG_7366

How will we perform in this new space? Will it be filled with ground-breaking ideas? Will clients be clamouring to come through the front door? Will they like the vibe?IMG_7364

Only time will tell! #06-76, a new chapter begins

Learn the future…Save yourself now

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 9.50.28 AM.png

Every now and then something piques interest in my inbox. Here’s this week’s gem.

The opportunity to “Master essential skills to build digital competencies…”. But only if you’re a Beginner with a free day. And a Union member with fifty bucks to spare instead of the usual $300…

I think I might just sign up so that I can help write the e-enabled AI for the writers of the future. e-enabled AI with poor grammar skills and the inability to write with emotion.

The Digital Transformation continues!

Long live the e-Revolution then.

 

 

 

Focus Interruptus

Interruption. Distraction. Miscommunication.

These three words seem to determine our working lives at the moment – indeed for some, even our personal lives.

With the proliferation of channels of communication and information, you’d imagine we would get better at getting our message across.

From the good old face to face meeting to the telephone call to the instant feedback loop that is WhatsApp messaging, chat and #slack, with emails in between, the reality is that we’re not.

Fractured conversations. Half thoughts and less than insightful text messages puncture our working days and nights.

Apparently after an interruption, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task” according to Gloria Mark, study lead at the University of California Irvine in a study released in 2015…

Instructions are fragmented. Ideas are ill-defined. In the pursuit of speed, we are sacrificing brevity for insanity.

Indeed, one blog recently talked about how every work block should be no longer than 10 minutes. Ridiculous as it sounds, that’s hardly enough time to clear your mind of any distractions, to barely scratch the surface of a particular project.

Nowadays a large part of our time is spent deciphering half-formed responses. Interpretation is often misunderstood and even misinterpreted. Context is everything. And nothing.

If everyone is as interrupted and distracted as we are, then we have a serious problem.

So let’s cut the chat and get back on message. Focus our efforts on clarity. And our brain cells on creativity.

For in the words of Bill Bernbach, “Is creativity some obscure, esoteric art form? Not on your life. It’s the most practical thing a businessman can employ.”

 

 

Thanks to https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/client-designer-whatsapp-conversations/ for the pic.

A tale of two sisters

It’s fast approaching Chinese New Year in Asia.
Here’s a short film by Maybank Singapore about families coming together for the season.
Red packets are monetary gifts (in little red envelopes) that are handed out during special occasions like Chinese New Year. It is usually given, in a ceremony, by an elder member of the family to the younger (from parents to children).
The story: Two sisters born into financial hardship created a make-believe red packet ceremony to escape their reality. But eventually, one sister’s ambition and hunger for a better life tore them apart. This short film was written for Maybank, Malaysia’s largest bank and the 4th largest in Southeast Asia, as part of their online content to reinforce their brand positioning – Humanising Financial Services.
Maybank Conversation
Client: Maybank Singapore
Agency: Blak Labs
Director: Caleb Huang
Production House: Smallshop Communications

2018…it’s going to be a bit of a giggle

Here’s Mark Ritson’s take on the Big Seven in 2018. Or “BS in 2018” for short, which appeared in this week’s Marketing Week daily digest.

Here at Blak Labs HQ, we had a very serious session digesting all that Prof Ritson has to say. And we’d like to know what you think.
Better still, if you’re searching for answers for how your marketing should deliver in 2018, then please get in touch. With 5 creative partners, Blak Labs is the only Singapore creative agency that provides clients with Creative Counsel, delivered with Creative Care.  If you would like to know more, then drop us a line here

We’re 100% independent and conflict-free.

 

 

All quiet on the Blak Labs front?

It’s been ages since we last posted here.

Have we run out of good news to share?

Have we got nothing to say?

Are we at a loss for words?

Far from it.

In fact, as you can see, we’re pushing so hard that our Macs and phones seem to be having a hard time coping.

Since July, we’ve been heads down and hammering away at new projects for clients in both Singapore and Myanmar. B2B, B2C. B2B2C. And everything in between.

Suffice to say it’s all P&C. Hush-hush. Need to know. On the down-low.

Until we write again from the topsy-turvy world of Blak Labs. Where we do everything we can to deliver with Creative Care.

the upside of facetime

Spot the difference

Here’s a print idea created way back in the early 90’s at DMB&B for client Burger King.

As you can see, it’s a tongue-in-cheek topical piece we created on the day of the fire at Burger King Robinson Road to apologize for the restaurant closure. The premise was simple. While we know our loyal fans love our flame grilled flavours, occasionally we burn the food…

The client loved it. Too bad they didn’t have the money to run it. Nor did the agency.

Fast forward to today and here’s the same tongue in cheek approach using a series of fires at Burger King restaurants around the world to celebrate the chain’s heritage and point of difference.

BS_ItalyIt’s just picked up the Cannes Gold Lion in Print.

BK_BS_Oregon_Creativity01

What separates them?

BKburnout

Not the theme or the sentiment. Both use humour to celebrate Burger King’s flame grilled flavours. To create an opportunity. To tell their story.

The answer is 26 years.

Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer, Grey, South Africa and Print & Publishing Lions judge said DAVID’s Grand Prix-winning campaign was “playful, authentic, and (had) a sense of being a little more edgy. Embrace your imperfection. It was brave and young, created in a social media age.”

Which just goes to show that there’s no such thing as a new idea.

Just new ways to say it with more reach. Chapeau to Burger King and the David team for making it happen.