Singapore’s creative economy is in full bloom

This year’s Innovation by Design conference – organised by the DesignSingapore Council – attracted a diverse line up of international creatives. From left, fashion accessories designer Beatrix Ong; Low Cheaw Hwei, head of design at Philips ASEAN Pacific; Patrick Chia, director of the Design Incubation Centre; and Ernesto Quinteros, chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson; Mauro Porcini, chief design officer at PepsiCo; Ford Motor Co chief designer Chelsia Lau; architect André Fu, founder of AFSO; and Daan Roosegaarde, artist and founder of Studio Roosegaarde. Photography: Jovian Lim

During the past five decades, the Lion City has built a strong reputation as a global business and tourism hub, attracting an ever more discerning and cosmopolitan community of global travellers who seek to immerse themselves in different cultures and build deeper connections with each visit.

Singapore has worked hard to develop a reputation for infrastructure, safety, stability, connectedness and accessibility. It is no wonder it has been designated a UNESCO Creative City of Design, or as Ernesto Quinteros, chief design officer at Johnson & Johnson likes to call it, ‘a hybrid-vigour epicentre’ for a global talent pool of designers, architects, thinkers, engineers and entrepreneurs, and ‘an East-meets-West intersection of design and technology, fashion and tradition’.

‘Singapore is like entering a parallel dimension, totally projected into the future, conceived and produced by the imagination, the spirit of innovation and the creativity of its people,’ Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer, told Wallpaper* during Singapore Design Week’s Innovation by Design conference. ‘In the streets of Singapore nature dances with architecture and architecture challenges the laws of nature, creating jazz for your eyes, food for your mind and inspiration for your soul.’

Even more visual music and eye candy is currently under construction at Jewel, a S$1.7bn ten-level development at Changi airport that, when completed in 2019, will feature an ambitious mix of mall, check-in, hotel and transit facilities, complete with a five-storey-high garden and a 40m waterfall.

Jewel is the work of Israel-born architect Moshe Safdie, best known in Singapore for creating the country’s most striking silhouette, the triptych towers of the Marina Bay Sands casino resort. ‘Singapore is probably at the forefront, worldwide, of publicly-initiated urban design, and also in massive and ambitious landscaping of the urban environment,’ says Safdie. ‘I believe this is an extraordinary collective achievement, a massive undertaking which has had a tremendous effect on the lives of its people.’

The enterprising, persevering hybrid vigour spirit is articulated in a new Singapore Tourism Board tagline, ‘Passion Made Possible’, intended to market Singapore on the global stage for both tourism and business. A collaboration between the Singapore Tourism Board, Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Communications and Information, the agencies’ first joint brand is a bold move to showcase Singapore’s unique attitude and mindset.

‘With “Passion Made Possible”, STB is presenting a brand that can tell a fuller Singapore story beyond just tourism,’ explains Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board. Designed to build a deeper and more personal connection with Singapore’s millions of visitors, and to serve as a unifying brand for Singapore on the international front, the ‘Passion Made Possible’ brand is aimed at ‘sophisticated tourists who are seeking more aspirational value propositions in their travel’.

‘Singapore is making the shift from being primarily an investment-driven economy to one that will be led by innovation,’ says Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. ‘Singapore and Singaporeans are where we are today because we pushed the limits of what’s possible, and did not allow constraints to hold us back.’

The October issue of Wallpaper* – our landmark 21st birthday edition – includes a Singapore Revealed special supplement, bringing the island city state’s ‘Passion Made Possible’ philosophy alive via a profiles, products and destinations. Edited by Wallpaper* contributor Daven Wu, the project channels the zeitgeist to explore the personalities, activity and industry generated by Art Stage Singapore, the Singapore Biennale and Singapore Design Week – all now well-established events on the calendar.

We discovered that the island’s creative community incorporating into their work issues of ecology, aged care, education and public housing, as well as breaking new ground in new construction techniques. ‘Most intriguingly, from coast to coast, the buzzword we kept coming up against was “innovation”,’ writes Wu. ‘Not innovation for its own sake, but rather innovation in terms of business and design. Remarkably, for a country that’s barely 700 sq km, it looks as if Singapore is showing us all the way.’

[“Source-wallpaper”]

Tomorrow Creative Lab Wins Creative Duties Of Ashiana Housing Ltd.

Tomorrow Creative Lab wins creative duties of Ashiana Housing Ltd.

Ashiana Housing Ltd. has chosen Tomorrow Creative Lab as its Creative agency. Tomorrow roped in InterTwined as their Strategy and Account Management partner for the pitch in Delhi, under their collaborative model called ‘Friends of Tomorrow.’ In a multi-agency pitch that involved Strategy and Creatives including digital, BTL and ATL, Team Tomorrow and InterTwined emerged as the winners.
Apart from the mandate for the first project which is the Ashiana Town in Bhiwadi, Tomorrow and InterTwined will deliver brand solutions across film, print, radio, outdoor and activation besides providing strategic recommendations and creative ideas for the digital and social space. They will also provide inputs on appropriate brand messaging and focus on the consumer journey cycle from consideration, site visit to actual purchase of the property.
Commenting on the appointment, Ankur Gupta, Joint Marketing Director, Ashiana Housing Ltd. said, “It was a pleasure to see the pitch of Tomorrow and Intertwined. The understanding of the target consumer was spot on and the creative was not just aesthetically superb but also conveyed the message for the targeted consumer. Overall I was delighted to see that kind of detailing and effort.”
The win marks Mumbai based Tomorrow’s serious foray into the Delhi market. Launched about 10 months ago, this Brand Strategy, Design and
Communication agency has been having a decent run in the city, first with a branding exercise for NDTV (Mojarto,) followed by an ongoing project for Vivaana Hospitality (#TheHaveliProject) and more recently a project for Oyo Rooms.
Speaking about the win, Malvika Mehra, Founder and Creative Director, Tomorrow Creative Lab, said, “It’s probably odd to say this in a business context but the first thing that struck Divya and I about the Ashiana Housing Ltd. brand is their deeply grounded value system and humility, stemming clearly from the owners themselves. Here is a brand that has been quietly creating category redefining work whether it is their Senior Living offerings or mid-income housing options with world-class amenities. It was high time that this respected brand took centre-stage. This is where Tomorrow comes in as their brand partners. And we couldn’t be more excited or humbled by this great opportunity.”

[“Source-exchange4media”]

India’s creative economy needs creative solutions

A vice-like grip of regulators and regulations governs the creativity of the private television industry in India. Photo: Mint

A vice-like grip of regulators and regulations governs the creativity of the private television industry in India. Photo: Mint

Sometimes you don’t need to look under rocks to find the objectionable.

The auction for T20 cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) broadcast rights, across geographies and media, has amplified the asymmetry in regulatory frameworks operating in the creative economy. The entire issue should also help triangulate a policy conversation between competition law, intellectual property rights and a sectoral regulatory/legislative narrative that has failed to comprehend the dynamics of India’s growing media and entertainment industry.

Star Group’s winning bid for IPL media rights was made via a transparent process. But the voluble protests preceding and following it have their roots in the Indian economy’s enduring legacy of cronyism and government patronage. Even if we move beyond the immediacy of the complaints and try to focus on the larger picture, the state of strife and conflict does underscore the need for regulatory reform in the creative economy. Specifically, it highlights three issues: multiplicity of regulators leading to lack of clarity on regulatory jurisdictions; need to grant supremacy to Indian Copyright Act—which governs creation, broadcasting and monetization of content—over a plethora of other laws and regulations that are stifling legitimate rights of content creators; and, finally, whether the 20th century mode of administered pricing for content produced in the private sector for sale in the open market can still work in the 21st century.

At the heart of the debate is the difference between monopoly over content and content monopoly. Monopoly over content arises when the content creator has the sole right, granted by law, to monetize the intellectual property embedded in the content for a specific period of time. Content monopoly arises when there is only one content producer in the entire industry and can hold distributors and consumers to ransom, which is clearly not the case in the India.

However, the extant regulatory framework seems to be ignoring these nuances and apprehension over content monopoly seems to have engendered systems that grant subordinate status to the Indian Copyright Act for broadcasting organizations, which is in contrast to global norms. Indeed, indications about content’s future were discernible in the IPL auctions: Facebook’s Rs3,900 crore bid for digital rights (for the Indian Subcontinent) trumped Airtel’s Rs3,280 crore and Reliance Jio’s Rs3,075.72 crore bids. Though Facebook eventually lost out to Star’s consolidated bid, the incident demonstrates how digital content is clearly the next battleground and how companies are according supremacy to content. It also brings into sharp relief the question of net neutrality and the role of gatekeepers. This then also begs the question: Is the current regulatory structure, erected to generate societal equity through mandated economic pricing, adequate and symmetrical for content delivered through cable/satellite and through digital pipelines?

The private television industry in India is of fairly recent vintage. Yet, a vice-like grip of regulators and regulations governs its creativity. The key regulatory institutions overseeing the industry are the ministry of information and broadcasting, the ministry of electronics and information technology, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, the Competition Commission of India, the department of industrial policy and promotion in the ministry for commerce and industry, the Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal and the department of telecommunications in the ministry of communications.

Given the multiplicity of agencies, there is a wide and bewildering assortment of laws, rules and guidelines that govern this sector: Indian Copyright Act, Information Technology Act, Consumer Protection Act, Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, plus a labyrinthine web of regulations from Trai.

Historically, all attempts to establish an appropriate regulatory regime for the broadcasting and cable industry fell victim to political fragility of the 1990s, till the Centre reclassified broadcasting and cable services as telecommunication services in 2004 and appointed Trai as the designated regulator. Occasional attempts to create an independent broadcasting regulatory authority suffered pre-mature deaths due to political uncertainty.

With Trai and so many other agencies, acts, rules and guidelines at play—often at cross-purposes to each other—it is only natural that the playing field gets skewed in favour of those with unequal political bargaining power. In the sector’s infancy, the boundaries were stretched by organizations that employed musclemen and were friendly with political parties. Not all companies were born from this violent crucible, but some of the leading names in media and entertainment rose to prominence from this brutal churning. In addition, as various stakeholders have pointed out, the regulator’s lack of capacity has also led to the current regulatory distortions.

According to the KPMG India-Ficci report on Indian media and entertainment industry, 2017, Trai’s March order on inter-connect and pricing of channels may lead to a decline in revenue for broadcasters and might even result in an increased monthly outlay for many subscribers, thereby defeating the very purpose of the pricing model. Clearly, it is time to either upgrade Trai’s capacity or to even start thinking again of an independent and separate broadcasting regulator.

[“Source-livemint”]

Havas Acquires The 88, Taps Founder as New York Creative Chief

Havas Acquires The 88, Taps Founder as New York Creative Chief

Havas has acquired social media and digital shop The 88, bringing on Harry Bernstein, founder and chief creative officer, as chief creative officer of the New York office.

Bernstein succeeds Toygar Bazarkaya, who until mid-April was chief creative officer of the Americas and chairman of the Global Creative Council for Havas Worldwide and led creative for New York, says Jason Peterson, chairman and chief creative officer of Havas Creative U.S.

All 48 of Bernstein’s staffers will join Havas New York, and The 88 name will dissolve with the acquisition. Bernstein will report into Peterson. The duo previously worked together at Berlin Cameron.

No client conflicts have surfaced through the deal, says Bernstein, adding that his current clients, such as Adidas and Bloomingdale’s, will now have broader support and scale through Havas’ network.

“When I started the 88 and I didn’t call us a social agency – I just wanted to do things differently,” says Bernstein. “And this opportunity came and it’s accelerating my vision to change advertising and do things non-traditionally.”

“The advertising industry is a broken model, and right now the industry is gasping for breath to figure out what it should be,” says Peterson. “We had an idea – and Harry was the missing piece in this – to create a new model of a consumer-first journey with a media agnostic approach, so taking a strategic and creative idea and being able to execute it flawlessly in every channel and touchpoint that our consumers are actually using.”

While Havas won lead creative and media duties for Con Edison this summer, the agency has had a run of executive departures since the beginning of the year and lost the Dos Equis account. In January, Andrew Benett stepped down from his role as global CEO of Havas Creative Group and Havas Worldwide, followed by the departures of New York-based global Chief Marketing Officer Matt Weiss, Global Chief Content Officer Vin Farrell and Bazarkaya.

“We have amazing clients and we have a great group of people, but there’s been a lack of clear vision and guidance about what kind of company we want to be and that’s what this acquisition is about and what Harry will help us do,” says Peterson.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

[“Source-adageindia”]