Strangely enough, Koreans share TIC's interactive tele-vision

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 12:00am
 

Media Eye is proudly, hopelessly addicted to television.

The buttons on her remote control are worn smooth from her incessant channel hopping. It isn't that her attention span is short, she just loves channel surfing and likes following several shows at once. Reality shows are her big favourites.

Then there is The Interactive Channel (TIC), created by industry veteran Robert Chua Wah Peng, which encourages viewers to use their telephones to participate in the programming.

Mr Chua is an old friend of Media Eye and he has earned the undying admiration of Hong Kong's viewing masses for creating Television Broadcasts' programme of the century, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, a decade ago.

But Hong Kong, it seems, just doesn't get it. Media Eye, at least, is clueless, as are most of her friends.

Nonetheless, TIC is poised for success - in South Korea, where viewers are apparently more comfortable with the idea of using their televisions and telephones like video games.

'The channel is unique and Korean technology companies think that it works,' Mr Chua said.

He is in talks with Korean broadcasters to license TIC on 40 channels nationwide. TIC's Korean debut is expected in June this year.

Cathay reaps rich reward

Online advertising has had a difficult childhood. Internet euphoria rapidly gave way to the reality of miserable click-through rates and the downright hostile reaction to online ads, which many consumers see as intrusive, time-wasting irritants degrading their online experience.

Cathay Pacific Airways' recent online branding campaign, entitled 'Home', could go a long way towards rehabilitating the medium. The 'rich-media' ad - an animated, interactive product created with Macromedia Flash by Universal McCann's Cathay Pacific Central Team - ran on local portals such as atnext.com, msn.com.hk and orisun.com.

DoubleClick, which tracked the campaign's effectiveness, found that the average viewer watched the ad for a full 95 seconds - eat your heart out, TVB - and 99 per cent of the audience watched the entire advertisement before closing it.

Nearly 33 per cent of the viewers chose to click the ad, making it 50 per cent more effective than the standard online ad Cathay ran at the same time.

'The results encourage us to use more rich-media ads in future online campaigns,' said Catherine Hoh, a senior communications planner of the Universal McCann creative team.

Grey expectations

Advertising agency Grey Global Group is bulking up for a marathon of new Asian business opportunities brought on by the approaching 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The company's newly appointed Asia-Pacific chairman and chief executive, Mike Amour, has created three positions to accelerate growth in Asia, especially in the mainland.

Viveca Chan, the chairperson and chief executive of Grey's China and Hong Kong operations, will become chairperson of the group's Global China Business Council, an advertising consultancy division.

'The council will further establish Grey as the go-to agency for Chinese brands seeking local and international growth, as well as for multinational corporations seeking to enter and expand in China,' Mr Amour said.

'The council's creation is timely, given the ever-increasing level of global interest in China, the rise of Chinese multinational corporations and the 2008 Olympics.'

Nirvik Singh, now chairman for South Asia, takes the newly created position as Southeast Asia president. He will broaden his coverage from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to include Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Indochina.

Singapore president Chris Leong will assume the new role of Asia-Pacific president of marketing and development.

sidney.luk@scmp.com

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