New Creative Frontiers

Recently Blak Labs was invited to speak at Clear Channel’s Idea Seminar held at the Projector in Singapore. It was a privilege to be able to share our learnings about opening in a new market and delivering creative excellence there. 

You can view the presentation here 

Be sure to read the notes for the full flavour. And here’s the clip that introduces the car. 

For the full presentation of this and other case studies, drop us a line at talktous@blaklabs.com

ICYMI: 6 take Blak to the future

We recently announced some new arrivals to our little gang at Blak Labs. Here’s the official release. VAL20012.jpgFrom left to right: Ben Amdur, Pui Hun, Praveen, Ben Lim, Jun Hong, Dawn.  

Joining the agency are Benjamin Lim (art), Dawn Koh (art), Teh Pui Hun (art), Tan Jun Hong (copy), Praveen Amarasuriya (copy) and Benjamin Amdur (copy).

Lim, a recent NAFA graduate, converted his internship with Blak Labs into a full time gig following great work on SIT and other blue chip clients.

Dawn Koh was most recently with Havas Creative working as art director on Fairprice, Tokio Marine Insurance Group and CIMB Bank Singapore. She was also part of the team that clinched a D&AD Wood Pencil for their work on the Havas Gazette.

Pui Hun recently arrived from Malaysia’s Leo Burnett and ARC where she worked on Kronenbourg 1664 and Sunway Pyramid.

Jun Hong joins from Formul8, where he worked as a copywriter on MINDEF, CapitaLand, Temasek Holdings and Singapore Sports Hub. Prior to that, Jun Hong began his career at IPG Mediabrands, handling accounts such as Johnson and Johnson, HBO and Sports Singapore.

Praveen’s writing experience at Mandate Communications includes stints on JTC, RHB, Thai Airways, SingHealth, JurongHealth and MINDEF among others. Having started his advertising career in account management, he brings a well-rounded perspective to his work.

Benjamin Amdur arrives from Sydney and gigs at Zoo and FCB KL. Says Amdur,
“I grew up in Hong Kong and worked in Malaysia, so I have always had a soft spot for Asia. The chance to work in a world-class city in a world-class agency was a great opportunity.”

Said Charlie Blower, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blak Labs, “Blak Labs has just celebrated our 6th birthday which is why we’re delighted to announce the arrival of these 6 young stars.”

“It’s a pleasure to be able to reward their talent and promise with an opportunity. Attracting good talent is particularly tough, especially in a market where there is so much good competition. We’re lucky they’ve chosen us and look forward to their contributions.”

 

Can anyone do what we do?

Every week at Blak Labs, we help our clients’ achieve their objectives.

giphy.gifWhether that’s promoting a new credit card in a young market like Myanmar or driving visitorship to the latest floral attraction at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay or even launching a property in London,  the demands are the same.

To do this well requires a degree of creativity that is hard to replicate.

And as the esteemed Damon Stapleton so rightly says doing this well, day in, day out, requires desire and discipline. Otherwise the result is just bullshit.

Have a read and see what else he has to say. I have to say I agree with him.

https://damonsbrain.com/2016/10/16/in-defence-of-the-often-maligned-creative/

 

 

thanks for the gif Art & Graft.

Wanted: fresh blood. See if you make the cut. 

We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent at Blak Labs. Which is why we’re issuing a challenge to all graduating NAFA Students (that’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for those who don’t live in Singapore.) Take a look a look and see if you make the cut.

Take the challenge! Answers will be revealed...eventually.
Take the challenge! Answers will be revealed…eventually.

We reckon you should be able to spot at least 10 mistakes. And even if you don’t know what the mistake is called, you’ve still got the good taste to know that it’s wrong. And that’s the kind of eye for detail we’re looking for.

Designers, art directors, thinkers, dreamers. You don’t have to be the finished article – if you’ve spotted all the cock-ups we’ve included, send your answers on a postcard please to talktous@blaklabs.com

You could win a 12 week placement with Singapore’s fastest growing independent multi-national creative boutique (offices in 2 countries!) and the opportunity to work on the likes of Maybank, Gardens by the Bay, TANGS, SIT and others.

“With this challenge, we hope to cherry-pick top creative minds with an eye for detail, befitting Blak Labs’ philosophy of offering our clients the highest level of Creative Care,” adds Koh Hwee Peng, NAFA alumna and Blak Labs Co-Founder.

We also hope that we can find some talent capable of creating an original idea instead of dusting off an oldie but a goodie for the inter web age.

Blak Labs takes Liberty

 

Liberty-Logo-Web-1600pxLiberty Insurance Pte Ltd has awarded the launch of its brand campaign to independent creative agency, Blak Labs, after an intensive three-way pitch.

“As a top ten general insurer in Singapore, we have been steadily growing our presence in the market,” says Teo Ser Foong, Vice-President, Marketing & Analytics at Liberty Insurance. “With this new campaign, we want to bring Singaporeans closer to our brand, as well as our range of innovative products.”

“In the United States, Liberty is a big name in insurance. Here in Singapore, they’re a challenger brand. Being an independent, we face similar business challenges,” adds Charlie Blower, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Blak Labs. “We are delighted that they see the benefit of working with like-minded people.”

The new campaign for Liberty Insurance breaks across print, digital, radio and prime outdoor sites in the coming weeks.

Congrats and thanks to everyone at Blak Labs for making it happen!

 

Gardens by the Bay deepens roots with Blak Labs

Cloud Forest Gardens by the Bay recently re-appointed independent Singapore agency, Blak Labs, following a tender.

The appointment is for 2 years with the option for the client to extend for 12 months.

Blak Labs continues to create all local and international branding efforts for the People’s Garden and works hand in hand with the client’s media, digital and PR agencies.

On the appointment, Charlie Blower, co-founder and Managing Partner of Blak Labs said:
“From day one, we’ve grown our relationship with Gardens by the Bay by delivering great creative with our proprietary Creative Care®. So to be reappointed yet again, especially when we were up against some of Singapore’s top agencies is particularly rewarding.”

This is the third time that Blak Labs has successfully tendered for Gardens by the Bay. The Singapore boutique pitched for the launch in 2011, followed by another tender for a further 2 year appointment.

For more information about Blak Labs, please contact Charlie Blower at charlie.blower@blaklabs.com

Blak Labs helps Phillip Capital Management define its Investment Phillipsophy

Blak Labs latest campaign.

Phillipsophies_Prudence

Local fund management company, Phillip Capital Management, has launched a new advertising and marketing campaign via boutique creative agency, Blak Labs, after an intensive 3-way pitch in July.

The campaign introduces key ‘Investment Phillipsophies’ that underscore Phillip Capital Management’s success over the last two decades in providing financial guidance and relevant strategies to navigate changing markets.

“When it comes to fund management, every firm has its own house rules. We apply a good dose of prudence, due diligence and strong local knowledge in selecting companies we feel will deliver results over the long term,” says Vivien Lim, Manager, Investment Solutions. “Blak Labs has distilled our unique approach into a memorable mantra that demonstrates the way we operate.”

Phillipsophies_Contrarian

“To bring each Phillipsophy to life, our writers spent hours with fund managers, understanding how they evaluate opportunities against risk or reward,” explains Charlie Blower, Managing Partner of Blak Labs. “The result is an insightful campaign that demonstrates the rigor behind every investment decision.”

The campaign breaks this month in The Edge magazine in Singapore, specifically targeting the investment community. Product ads for popular funds, such as the Phillip Real Estate Income Fund and Phillip Income Fund, will follow in conjunction with roadshows, seminars and a refreshed corporate website.

 

Phillipsophies_Due Dilligence

Client: Phillip Capital Management

Marketing Manager: Bhuiyan Avimanyu Kishwar

Agency: Blak Labs

Writers: Elon Law, Justin Lim

Art Directors: Regina Lee, Nick Tan

Project Manager: Ken Tam

 

Blak Labs likes Myanmar…

If you haven’t already heard, Blak Labs is now open in Myanmar. The folks at Marketing Interactive asked a few people for their thoughts…we were happy to contribute.
Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.55.10 pm

http://www.marketing-interactive.com/myanmar-good-match-singapore-brands/

The power of email and good social content

I get a ton of emails every day, most which I just delete after a cursory glance.  But newsletters from the chaps at Bluewire Media always get read. The reason? I often learn something new. Plus they believe in the power of sharing and the “thank you economy”. They freely share their own social media planning tools and templates, which I find useful and they also do a bunch of podcasts, webinars and monthly giveaways. Which are also filled with good usable stuff. My advice? Check them out!
Yesterday Bluewire Media turned 10. So congrats to Adam (@Franklin_Adam) and Toby (@Toby_Jenkins) on achieving that milestone, from an independent agency owner here in Singapore! Your reach extends way beyond the shores of Oz, and your monthly competition does too!
Which is why I’d like to say thanks to Adam and Toby for letting me win their December competition.
The prize? Their top 25 marketing books, including their own publication.
Here’s my reading list for the next few months
  1. The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott
  2. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
  3. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
  4. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan
  5. Platform by Michael Hyatt
  6. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
  7. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
  8. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  9. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
  10. Youtility by Jay Baer
  11. Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
  12. Content Rules by Ann Handley and CC Chapman
  13. The New Experts by Robert Bloom
  14. Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
  15. Reality Marketing Revolution by Mike Lieberman and Eric Keiles
  16. Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich
  17. What’s the Future of Business by Brian Solis
  18. Power Stories by Valerie Khoo
  19. Unknown to Expert by Catriona Pollard
  20. Love At First Site by Jon Hollenberg
  21. microDOMINATION by Trevor Young
  22. Become a Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley
  23. The 7-Day Startup by Dan Norris
  24. Engagement from Scratch by Danny Iny
And of course their own book…
25. Web Marketing That Works by Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins
I’ve no idea how much this competition set them back in terms of book purchases etc. But I do know that Adam and Toby have created something of real value with Bluewire News. If you’re interested to learn from a couple of chaps who’ve done it for themselves, then you can sign up for the newsletter here. I hope you enjoy their content as much as I do. 
And here’s a couple of little flipagram thingies I made over lunch using nothing but an iPhone, a pair of scissors and some sticky back plastic. 
Here’s to learning more and being open to trying new experiments in 2015 at Blak Labs. Thanks again guys.

Happy new year and in the news!

ChairmanHappy new year everybody!

Hope you’ve made your new years resolutions.

We have and one of them happens to be about celebrating our successes.

To start 2015, we’re celebrating on a couple of fronts.

The first: a new project we’re working on in a new market. Can’t say where just yet. But all will be revealed once the work is out. It’s a big step for Blak Labs and we’re really looking forward to the launch. And seeing how the market reacts. But judging by the client’s response to our rough edits for two spots shot between Christmas and New Year, we think the work will work.

Her words exactly? “I’m very happy, thank you very much!”

The second: well, you can see it for yourself. A little bit of PR in the Business Times publication “Chairman 2015”.

We’ve received numerous comments and likes for this little piece. And while features a pic of me, it’s all down to the hard work of my partners, team and clients as well.

To paraphrase our client – “We’re happy, thank you very much!”