Been talking to quite a few interesting characters from the account planning scene in Singapore. These are some of the interesting little nuggets that stood out from the conversations…
Singaporeans (and Singapore in general) are more of followers than leaders. For example, some three years back there was the big craze for a certain bubble-drink that came from Taiwan. Then ofcourse there was the deluge of coffee shops (Starbucks being the main suspect) and now there is the current onslaught of bread shops.
Chinese creative directors are mostly art directors while Indian CDs tend to be writers. Which is why Indian mostly Indian ads have substance and is about the idea while Chinese ads are more of the looks.
In India the software of the culture is very strong while it lacks in hardware (think infrastructure etc) while in China the hardware of the culture is strong and software is quite weak deep down.
Japan is a very paradoxical society. It's population is a couple of million individual Mt Fuji's contained with emotions and anxiety, which can erupt any moment. And the eruptions of their frustrations are seen in it's art form – movies, art, expressions, music etc.
Singapore is like a big huge (almost Truman Show-like) airport lounge. All the expats work or hang around here for anywhere from 2 to 12 years. After which they move on. So it's like their transit zone in South East Asia.
More to come as I meet up with more interesting planners in the coming weeks…