Television Broadcasts (TVB)

TVB extends old network rivalry to search for best commercials

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am

Like many television viewers, Media Eye often finds commercials more interesting than the programmes they interrupt.

ATV, the smaller of the city's two free-to-air broadcasters, has for the past 13 years presented the Most Popular TV Commercials Awards to highlight the best and brightest in the industry.

Now, bigger rival Television Broadcasts has established its own version, TVB Most Popular TV Commercial Awards.

'Thinking out of the box' is the slogan for the awards and TVB had done some of that by involving the public in deciding on the award winners, Cheong Shin-keong, TVB's general manager of broadcasting, told Media Eye.

Professional judges pre-selected 80 television commercials in 16 categories. Hong Kong viewers then voted for the most popular commercials, most popular theme songs and most popular television commercial actor and actress. The results will be unveiled on August 5.

'We had planned for a long time to establish the awards, not for the purpose of competing with ATV's Most Popular TV Commercials Awards, but ... to strengthen or uphold the creativity of TV commercials in Hong Kong,' Mr Cheong said.

'The creativity of TV commercials seems to have run out of steam a bit in the past few years. Some have said commercials in the mainland or other countries in the region have outperformed those from Hong Kong.'

By way of contrast, he pointed to outdoor advertising in Causeway Bay, which he said had become much more creative in recent years by using eye-catching 3D designs. 'This successfully generates significant response from the market,' he said.

Television commercials seemed to deliver only a simple message in a simple way, he said, adding this had been the case since the economy reeled from Sars in 2003.

As the local economy continues to recover, Mr Cheong hopes advertisers will devote more funds to brand-building, which would give creative people more room to express their ideas. To help this process, he said TVB might start a new programme to bring out Hong Kong's creative spirit.

'Many young people love making videos and putting them on the internet,' he said. 'Television commercials account for about 18 per cent of our airtime on average; they also attract lots of our audience. The quality of television commercials will affect our business as well.'

1010 targets young executives

While TVB tried to inspire more of a creative element in television commercials, CSL 1010, a mobile service brand of CSL New World Mobility, launched a new branding campaign last week to reinforce its leader position in a fiercely competitive market.

The new campaign, 'What matters to you matters to us', targets, young hard-working executives.

Michelle Au, CSL's general manager of marketing and communications, said 1010 hoped to expand its brand exposure to young executives by emphasising the link between lifestyle and the convenience of mobile services.

'We want to deliver our message that our customers can have their own leisure time without sticking to the office,' she said.

Bonus cheers up ET staff

Media Eye has learned that Hong Kong Economic Times Group, the publisher of the Chinese-language newspaper with the same name, last month gave its staff discretionary bonuses equivalent to at least two months' salary.

The group earlier this month announced its full-year results to March this year showing net profit had risen 21 per cent from the previous year to HK$120 million on a 15 per cent increase in revenue to HK$833 million.

'The staff got their notice of a bonus last month and the amount depended on their performance over the year,' a source said.

'On the average, staff members with a neutral performance got a two-month bonus.'

For outperformers, the company gave a bonus of about 2? months' salary, the source said, without disclosing how much went to underperformers.

Less lucky journalists at Ming Pao Daily News, owned by Ming Pao Enterprise, are still waiting for the official announcement of bonuses for this year.

'We don't expect too much as we got about one-third of our monthly salary last year,' a source said.

Ming Pao earlier this month said that its operating profit for the year to March increased 41 per cent to HK$35 million on revenue that had expanded 10 per cent to HK$1.3 billion.