Waning Influence

The web has empowered so many individuals in so many different ways. And now the social web has truly exploded that potential.

YouTubers, Instagrammers, Facebookers and all sorts of other-ers (including the Chinese We Chatters and Weibo-ers) have sprung up everywhere. They appear in your feed like uninvited guests occasionally. And while their posts are pretty inoffensive, here at Blak Labs, we think clients are wasting their money paying for their influence.

A few recent examples.

The first, a humorous take down by Aaron Wong, suggests better ways for influencers to earn airmiles – that’s his thing. You can read it here.

The second? We’ve observed that influencers who post about how much they love travelling with a particular credit card tend to drop followers per brand post.

Posts either side of these endorsements have at least 3K likes or more and numerous comments. The brand-related posts lose at least 2k followers.

Last but not least – the fashionable instagrammer. Again, a store signs on a bunch of influencers to lend some sparkle to their charity shopping event. Among them, one very fashionable instagrammer who shall remain nameless.

Thing is, beyond the two posts about said charity event and an appearance in one paid-for promo piece, there was no ‘real love’ for the client, nor evidence of actual brand loyalty. And again, the posts for this brand fared less well than others.

Followers see through these thinly veiled endorsements and IMHO, each goes against the grain of ‘authenticity’ that these influencers purport to offer. And while like celebrities, we have to marvel at their ability to be “famous for being famous”, we find ourselves wondering what credibility do they offer?

And when you know that certain influencers receive huge payouts for a single tweet or post (up to US$100k or more), then this form of endorsement just looks even more ridiculous.

Because in the blink of an eye, they’ll stick something else up to get more thumbs up. And your post will disappear down their feed into social oblivion. #justsayin

 

Would you sell your own daughter? The disturbing truth behind Blak Labs latest campaign

Blak Labs newest campaign for Hagar Singapore, part of the global humanitarian organisation Hagar International, highlights the plight of human trafficking victims.  The aim is to encourage Singaporeans to help stop this crime, while commemorating International Women’s Day this month.

The campaign features a series of four print ads and a thought-provoking online video.

HAG16_2601 Hagar ads_A2 pathRunning in media sponsored by SPH and Expat Living Magazine, the ads are based on true stories of human trafficking survivors who have recovered under Hagar’s care. Also part of the campaign, a gritty online video documents the shocking reality of a mother selling her daughter to the viewers, with an unexpected twist.

HAG16_2601 Hagar ads_A2 path“Human trafficking has devastated millions of lives across the world, but there’s always hope for recovery, and that’s what we want to achieve with this campaign. In Singapore, we’re partnering the government’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons on various initiatives to raise public awareness, and provide victim care and support for trafficked survivors to meet their recovery and reintegration needs,” said Lynette Lim, Director of Marketing and Communications at Hagar Singapore.

“What these survivors have been through is horrific, but what’s even more amazing is how they have recovered with Hagar’s support. We are glad to be able to lend Hagar our support in this important cause,” added Charlie Blower, Managing Partner at Blak Labs.

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True love, part deux. Happy Valentine’s y’all!

As promised, Blak Labs has just released another in the series of true love films for our clients at Degussa.

Here are Michael and Cindy sharing their story. Get your tissues ready.

Degussa celebrates everlasting love for Valentine’s Day

Blak Labs’ latest work for Degussa appears just in time for Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re celebrating heartwarming true love stories. The first features Ash and Nora, a young couple who’ve stuck together through thick and thin. You can check the film out here: https://www.facebook.com/DegussaSG/

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Watch Ash and Nora’s story at: https://www.facebook.com/DegussaSG/

And then why not check out the Degussa site for your own Valentine’s gift? Celebrate your love with beautiful, high-grade gifts and jewellery, crafted only from the best materials and designed with lots of creativity and emotion. (FYI – the roses are real and dipped in gold and silver.)

https://shop.degussa-pm.sg/precious-gifts/gifts/roses

Watch this space for the next episode!

BTW, this is Blak Labs first new work for the year. So please do us a favour and give it some love!

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.”

 

Now we are 6

Thoughts and thanks on Blak Labs reaching our 6th Anniversary.

Yesterday we celebrated Blak Labs’ 6th birthday with awfully chocolatey cakes, bowling and dinner.

Over 3,800 days ago when we first started, we had no idea how far we could go or how long we would last.

And when you consider the stats that say over 90% of start-ups fail, it feels good to be able to sit back, enjoy a slice of cake and a glass of good red for a minute.

We’d better make the most of those 60 seconds though. Because if we relax any longer, we run several risks.

In this economy, we have to work twice as hard to earn every penny. Clients nowadays are squeezing every drop of thinking and value out of every job to get the best result. That’s because their livelihoods, and jobs, depend on it. (As do ours.)

The second risk is this – relying on a single client, or a single market.

Fortunately, we have learned to think beyond businesses and borders; with nascent success in Myanmar.

Since we added new talent to our Yangon office and moved to a much improved home/office, business has improved significantly too.

As I write, we have one team missing our birthday celebrations to shoot a new campaign near Mandalay. Later this month, another team will be filming two success stories in Yangon.

The third risk? Believing you can do it all on your own.

We wouldn’t have made it this far without each other. A team of partners who support and challenge each other every day.p1120731

In turn, we are thankful that we have the support of several other important groups. First of all, our talented teams of creatives and project managers in Singapore and Yangon. Not to mention, the producers and photographers, retouchers and directors, printers, publications and couriers we work with.

Secondly, our clients. From those who took a chance on us all those years ago, to newer ones who choose us because of what we’ve achieved.

Finally, our families. We couldn’t do this stuff without the love and support that our loved ones provide.

So whether you’re a partner, a team member, a client or a loved one, THANK YOU for helping us reach the age of 6.

Cue the commercial message: If you’ve got a business problem or are looking to do extraordinary work (the two are closely linked), please give us a call or drop us a line at talktous@blaklabs.com

FYI, we’re not so good at bowling, better at creating new ideas.

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Time to cut the crap indeed 

Have a read. Measurement doesn’t improve quality. Time to cut the crap. Yep, someone at P&G is making sense. https://t.co/M2UpwTpAtx