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.

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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.

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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

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.

Two billboards outside Yangon, Myanmar

Now that we’re over the Chinese New Year feasting and drinking, it’s time for the year of the Dog to get started properly.

And here to get things moving are two billboards for one of Myanmar’s leading insurance companies, AMI.

Created jointly by Blak Labs Myanmar and Singapore as a public service message, the first billboard is a reminder to buckle up for a safe trip on the country’s highways.

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The second message is pretty unmistakable too. Speeding has terrible consequences for pedestrians, passengers and drivers.

SpeedobillboardGreat to see these messages finally up. Big thanks to the team in Yangon and Singapore. And thank you to our client for sharing the pics from their road trip. Nothing like two billboards outside Yangon, Myanmar to get your attention.

 

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.

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Up for your first real brief?

The Blak Labs Grad Challenge continues in 2017. If you’re a recent NAFA Graduate, we’re throwing you a bone. The chance to win an 8 week internship in one of Singapore’s leading independent creative agencies. Fetch your 5 best pieces of work and submit them to: talktous@blaklabs.com before end of day June 1, 2017.

 

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.