The 10 things I am taking away from Hyper Island

So, it’s been quite a while since my last post. And there is good reason for it. I’ve just finished the major portion of my MA course at Hyper Island. Yes I have this picture to prove it!


The journey however has not ended. And just to add to my collection of experiences that I’ve been through, I am taking these important points to share with those that are thinking of taking the plunge as well.

Get Ready To Be “Wronged”
Yes, at HI there is no wrong or right, so if you think you are coming into this school to show people what a hot-shot you are? You are sadly mistaken! In fact, be ready to have some pretty good answers in your first two weeks, and you would soon realise how uninformed you are.

Forget Books
So this is what I picked up on. Don’t bring note books! Half the time, the slides from the presenters are given, but its all visual aides and that’s about it. The secret to this, is for you to come up with your own notes, in your HEAD! Yes, the coursework is designed for you to question it. So don’t go thinking HI is going to feed you answers.

Enjoyment In Reading
So this is where I found my calling. Read the books that inspire you, not what your friends or New York Times say is a best seller. I found myself struggling in the past to finish books. But at HI, the coursework recommended readings are one of the most interesting and eye-opening. Forget Seth Godin!



Referencing & Organisation
I spent a lot of time at the library and online resources finding for journals and articles. Something I thought was all academic fluff in the past. This however opened up my view on how to approach desktop research more accurately, which helps in my own day to day work.

Mobile Tech
If i said forget notebooks earlier on, perhaps two key assets in your MA journey that might be better are “Evernote” and any E-Reader. Lots of the recommended journals and supported reading for coursework projects comes in PDFs and HBR styled articles. Using a simple mobile device and application to capture and read anywhere is very important, especially if you are lying in bed at night after a long day at work, and have to catch up on some reading.


Be ready to answer your questions
If you are going to ask a question, perhaps a better way of approaching it, is to provide your point of view as your question instead. And then discuss it!

Group Dynamics
HI promotes massive amounts of group collaboration. So if you are an introvert, you might want to be better prepared. The coursework however does cater for individual contribution. Just be ready to be bombarded with open talks, coaching techniques, speaking and lots of hugs!


A space to call your own
There is no such thing as a classroom, its your home. HI is a space where you get away to think, ideate and collaborate. It’s how the students change and evolve with cohorts, that the space evolves as well. For us, this is truly a home environment with a family of people who cares how you progress in your MA.

Celebrate Underachievement
If you think you did badly in school, well think again. HI is a place that rewards you for mistakes. It simply means you need to tell them what you learnt. Being Asian, most of us are not comfortable with this. So a great incentive for those who are feeling less confident of getting through and MA.


Your own agency of friends
You will soon realise that most students who are working, end up not! This is simply how HI works. It shows you your true potential and how, as an individual or cohort, do better things within the digital space.  So be prepared for an unprepared career shift.

I hope this little list might be incentive enough for you to make that change in your life as well. The real learning is actually subjective, and like that paper trail of life experiences seen in that picture above, they are all different for each individual. Its how we bring our own spice of life to it, making it an adventurous journey.

Finally, Puppy Videos That Pays Off

I was not really impressed by the video to say the least – as I’ve seen much better home made ones. The idea of using ad-revenue streams and the power of the click-to-donate is a clear ‘no-brainer’, but why wasn’t it ever done this well.

Pedigree’s new experiment to help dogs in need of adoption, got me thinking if this could be done for other charity organizations as well. So, on one had we have the clients asking for a viral video, on the other we have a social responsibility to make sure it goes viral. Not bad for a win-win! All with the click of our mobile-social self. Great stuff from the guys at Colenso BBDO in NZ, and a thought for all of us, next time we do that ever infamous viral video.

Turning “blamestorms” into brainstorms

So I’ve been reading up on this new framework used in customer interviews, called Jobs To Be Done. It is interesting how some of the applications help strategist and businesses define what is really needed by the customer. What is more interesting about this framework, is how we as consumers hire products to perform a certain function for us, and if it does the function well enough, satisfying both our emotional and social needs, it might just be hired again. Seen in the “Milkshake man” example below in Clayton Christensen’s lecture.


Our lives seen by Volvo

The new ad from Max Vitali, featuring Swedish superstar – Robyn, has all the makes of the new type of automotive ads to come from the swede car manufacturer. Vitali’s choice of music which is a preview of what is to come from the collaboration between Robyn and Röyksopp, gives this piece a never-ending tale of our lives with our car. 

The scenes of nature, mixed with dark side of the city, as well as the lifelines that it comes with at that time of night, just gets you to want to watch it over again. Obviously a strong statement on how the world is today, Volvo is taking a step into the direction of honest truth on what has become of the use of automobiles and the offset that it comes with, at the cost of nature. What’s beautiful about it, is that life goes on.  This ad probably coming from HSI productions.

Breakfast Smells Better With Apps.

Health activist detest it, dietitians say “stay away from it!”, Oscar Mayer on the other hand, just wants you to wake up to a freshly cooked bacon morning! Why? well scent of course. The breakfast sensory activators are one of the pick me ups today, in the world of neuroscience marketing. It reminds us of a late weekend brunch feasting, or mum’s call to hit the table for a family breakfast fry-up. All of which are emotional triggers that stimulates a smile that arises from the depths of any growling tummy.


Get Car Insurance Or Suffer the “Hadooken” Attack!

I haven’t the slightest clue what this video is about, but it looks to be related to car insurance in Turkey. Never mind that, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Streetfighter II’s bonus round in this spot, still brings back fond memories of pumping in quarters in those shady video arcades on school days. Great execution as well!.

PART II: Talent Gap A Major Impact On Digital ROI

While CMOs do plan to invest, a major focus of that investment must also be on hiring, retraining and redeploying people to improve efficiency, agility and responsiveness of the organization.

From an agency perspective, in an article written by Patrick Rona, president of Tribal DDB Asia Pacific, titled “The Digital Talent Gap”. He gave his point of view slightly after arriving in his new role in Asia.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the word ‘talent’ lately. Before moving to Asia, the digital ‘talent gap’ was the most frequently cited issue that people told me I’d face here. And true enough, since moving here, the lack of people with the specific set of digital skills that I was used to in Europe has been palpable. “


Talent Gap A Major Impact On Digital ROI

The question of digital in companies today is very much a ROI discussion. In fact it is the negative effect of not understanding it, that has been spreading slowly to not only companies like mine but clients as well. My argument in context to my business, is that this lack of understanding of ROI is stemming primarily in the existing talent gaps resulting in an indirect challenge to an age – old legacy of how companies should run. There are some surprising insights though, that I’ve decided to cut this article into two parts. The talent market itself and what CMOs, brands and agencies think, which I will post later on this week. (more…)

Stop ‘Phubbing’ me up!

I laughed when I saw this on Adverblog. The video is ingenious, and the story portrayed on how a single word like “Phubbing” was born, aroused my curiosity to see where this was going. You’d be surprised, I tell ya.


Can Ad Agencies Learn from Football?

So I spent a month and a half in Hawaii with the sis and mum. Tried to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, but after 5 days, I needed to get my hands on a computer terminal.

It was not funny at all. People were hitting the sack at 9PM, as if they forgot the night actually existed.  Needless to say, the socialites by this time consisted mostly of Monk Seals and Turtles getting it on before the full moon of October.

The-Numbers-Game-Why-EverythI did however get my hands on a very interesting book, called “The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football Is Wrong”. For those of you that might be wondering what this is all about, watch the movie “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt to get a better idea on baseball teams in the USA, using stats and players to buy wins.

Now here is where it gets real scary. I was applying some of these principles mentioned by the Author Chris Anderson and David Sally to the world of Advertising. Now Sally’s point of view is that a team like Stoke City did not have to play pretty football to win games. In fact they played without the ball most of the time to ensure they won the game. Now how does one play football without having the ball? I’ll let you guys figure that one out.

What I’m about to state here is that the same concept does to a certain extent apply in the world of advertising agencies. These organisations are so hell bent on doing things the way it has always been done, that they look at weak measures of success to appeal to their vanity rather than really getting successful with their clients or billings.