Retired! End of 2015 in a Nutshell

28 Dec

Long story short, on August 2015 I retired from the advertising agency life. I spent the better end of the year working for several Venture Capitals in curating local startups, especially in the field of media that have good scalability and traction. The curation are then produced into a list that the VCs can then pursue should they choose to.

During that period, I had the pleasure of meeting many startups, exchange ideas, even coached some on their business plan, and introduced them to VCs. Needless to say, September to December 2015 was a blast for me. I was getting paid to go to cafes and talk to people, which is much better than my previous job which is getting paid to look at social media all day, because this one comes with cappuccinos.

So, what does the future hold for 2016?
I’ve been offered a CEO position at a local advertising agency, and a Head of Digital at a multinational digital agency. Also, there is that feeling of wanting to start my own startup. We’ll just have a see then.

Happy New Year Guys!

What Social Medias Were Indonesians Using in 2014?

4 Sep

The title is the most asked question by clients, and so far I have not found any data that could tell me what is the popular social media is in Indonesia. Each claims a stake of being the most, but is that true? So I set myself on a quest to find out.

First of all, please take note that I am not a researcher by profession, so the way I set out to find out the answers might not be up to standard by those who are in the research industry. I did a mix of qualitative and quantitative questionnaires that I setup using Survey Monkey and Google Forms, then advertise them online targeted to regional Indonesia to get people to fill out the survey. I also slipped in questionnaires during Focus Group Discussions that the company I work for conduct. In all, in the course between Q3- Q4 2014, I managed to gather 3891 survey results which then took me a good 2 months to sift through.

By the numbers, 372 respondents were 13-15, 560 were 16-18, 829 were 19-21, 922 were 22-24, and 1208 were 25-44. The respondents were from Java (79%), Sumatra (9%), Sulawesi (7%), and the rest of Indonesia (5%). The following is the result that I gathered, Blue and Pink represents the genders, and Youtube is not listed as we find that users of all ages actively uses the service.

IDsocialmedia usage

Users 13-15
Facebook is dominant in both male and female, and so is Whatsapp usage. BBM is there as most users received handmedowns phones from their parents which are mostly Blackberries. Bee Talk has a presence in the female as during the time of the survey the brand was heavily advertising on TVC with local heart throbs. The boys were using it because the girls are there. Line is big with boys, but when asked, their answer was because of the games.

Users 16-18
Facebook is used less by both, the reasons are because their parents are on Facebook. Twitter and Line are on the rise. Line are used both for gaming and communicating, while Twitter is used to get the latest update for news and their idols. Bee Talk is here for the same reasons, which due to the heavy campaigns they had. Boys are early adapting Vine for the videos (not much on producing them), while the girls are into Snapchat for the secrecy. As for chatter, the boys rely on Whatapp

Users 19-21
We see a more diverse app usage on this age group. Facebook usage is slightly larger by females, though both claims to use facebook to see things people share and they often share things from other social medias to facebook. Both Line and Twitter are getting a larger usage by both. A new comer is Kakao Talk, but its due to the big campaign they had for discounts at hangout spots. Females using Kakao Talk more than the men. Another new comer is Path for the females and Instagram for the male. Snapchat is still dominantly used by females while Whatsapp is being used accordingly, but most of their conversations goes on with Line.

Users 22-24
The list of apps and social media used by this age group is actually the largest, but the list above is still the dominant ones. Linkedin is adopted more by males than females in this group most called First Jobbers. Facebook is respectively still there and is dominated mostly by females. The use of Line is growing smaller but still dominant in the female side. Though Kakao Talk is used by females of this age groups primarily for the promotions, Instagram is growing also, though most females use it to browse and shop rather than to post pictures. Path usage is growing larger in both groups though still dominated by females. BBM is still there as a remnant of Blacberry’s past glory, most of using it because of established groups.

Users 25-44
Facebook is large in this group for both. The male age group doesn’t give much of a reason why, but most female in the group claims that its more relaxed and easy to follow. This is probably why we see a huge drop in female Twitter usage in this group. Path is huge in the female group, it rising also in the male side, but we don’t see Path in most of the respondents above 38. Whatsapp is also still dominant for messaging, where we find claims of being more easier to use, less heavy and can have more users in a group than blackberry. We can assume BBM conversion to Whatsapp is high here though some still use BBM, most hate it because it has more and more ads in it. Linkedin is equally use by both, though males have are more active at updating thatn females. Instagram is growing on both sides, and Vine is used by males, although its at its infancy in 2014. We see less apps used and more based on essential needs. Some jokes that its the age factor setting in.


So, this is the results of my personal findings for Social media usage in 2014, I hope they can be of use or at least be an insight. I’m already starting on my 2015 surveys, and from what I experience so far, most of it is much more different, especially with DubSmash being popularly used today.

A New Appreciation for Handcraft: The Balvenie Youtube Series

3 Sep

Raw Craft

In a world where everything is mass produced and affordable, most people lose the understanding of how valuable handcrafted items are. Handcraft itself has become a staple word used by manufactured goods. The real handcrafted items however has a long and cultured story that is born out of experience, hard work, skill, and passion of what they make.

To earn back the appreciation and value of handcrafted products, Balvenie, a traditional Scottish whisky company, created episodes of youtube videos entitled Raw Craft to show appreciate the value of handcrafted products. Recruiting Anthony Bourdain as the host of the series itself speaks volumes. Who better to talk about the appreciation of products made through rigorous hours of training, experience and passion than Anthony Bourdain.

The video series is a light conversation yet a deep understanding of the skill these man and woman have to their craft, understanding the process, the passion, the ego, the idealism, and the hard work it took to create the masterpiece most take for granted. It shows how value is given so much to a product from this, rather than the status symbol a mere logo gives to a shoe made and labored for $2 and sold for $100. No, this is how things are made right, personal, and valued for their worth in the work and labor put in. This makes the handcraft product special.

What I love from this communication is that it works. It draws in the Bourdain crowd that speaks to a variety of viewers from travellers, organic food lovers, to even hipsters out there. The series succeeds in bringing back the exclusivity that makes handcrafted items special, as it should as Balvenie itself is an old traditional whisky distilling company that still grow and harvests its own grain, and process its products without the aid of modern machines. The subtle way the product is introduced (although not too subtle in the first series) is delightful to watch and give appreciation to Balvenie’s craft, even to non drinkers like me.

Success Kid Needs Your Help!

16 Apr
Image: Laney Griner

Image: Laney Griner

Little Sammy Griner’s adorable determined successful expression has become so many meme than most. With the right line (which doesn’t take much effort really, Sammy’s expression actually does the rest) most time doesn’t disappoint to become an entertaining meme.

Well now, the little guy is in need. According to Mashable, Justin Griner (39) otherwise known as Sammy’s dad is on 12 hour a week of blood dialysis and desperately needs a kidney transplant. Sammy’s mom Laney has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the transplant which will cover the pre surgery costs that isn’t covered by their medical insurance.

When I went to their GoFundMe page to chip in, I see that they’ve successfully achieved their target, but let us pray for a successful surgery, I’m looking forward to see little Sammy’s photo after his dad’s successful operation. It may just be the next meme wonder that can replace the memes I use after successful projects.

Good luck Mr.Griner and family.


Behind the Scenes of Johnnie Walker 2015 TVC

15 Apr

Remember that new 2015 Johnnie Walker TVC with seamless scene-to-scene shots done in one take. Well just recently they released a behind the scenes look at the production of the TVC. Watching that large stage platform move with rollers is impressive, other than that is exactly like the ad. It wasn’t as impressive as watching the behind the scenes production of the Old Spice TVC ad, but I learned quite a few things from it. Without further ado, here it is.

New Team LineUp

2 Apr

Team Picture 2015

This is our new team lineup, 15 strong for 2015. Its been an awesome 3 years and we hope to kick ass Indonesia’s digital and social media scene this year also and the years to come.

2014 in review

30 Dec

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Like Farming & Fan Fishing

23 Dec

Like Farming & Fan Fishing, this practice is quite common around the world, especially in the United States. And just as I thought everybody knew, I see friends of mine who are actually veterans in social media fall for these cheap sleazy tricks.

So let me explain what these Like Farming/Fan Fishing is and what is their modus operandi. Like the name suggests, the intention of these posts is to gain as much page likes through viral-able contents that usually promises insane good-to-be-true incentives, prizes or sometimes asks people to support a cause (which mostly involves a tear-jerking story or a ploy to get you curious).

The biggest Like Farming are in the auto industry. Why? Well, its because: a.They can afford to buy the finished product, b.The product it represents will make people go nuts if they are told that they could get for free, and c.Because the car industry are mostly idiots when it comes to social media.

rangeroverfarmSo here is a recent sample on the left.

A page called Range Rover 4×4 is offering 2 Range Rovers for the first time ever (shocking) on facebook by simply liking the page, liking the content, commenting and sharing on your wall. Now, why the f@#$ would a brand like Range Rover do that? A brand that has a reputation and image to uphold will just randomly give away their car to anyone where it will most likely land in the hands of someone that does not fit their target market requirements? Making it (the campaign) useless to use as future advertising tool.

Of course, this will go viral. People will want that car and follow the steps blindly, liking the page, sharing the contents, etc. And their friends, well, its human nature to not pass up a freebie opportunity, they’ll do the same thing and before you know it its viral and they’ll have hundreds thousands of likes.

To make it convenient, the winner will be notified on facebook, directly through personal message. For seasoned social media admins alike, they know that product pages cannot message other facebook users directly. This should be a big fishy clue for many, but for the general public, it seems legitimate.

Now, what is the MO; modus operandi or motive behind these Like Farming/Fan Fishing. Obviously its to get as much Like/Fans on a facebook page as it possibly can. The more fans it generate, the higher it will sell. The more engagement/comment/like it gets on its posts, the less facebook’s bots will think its a fake account. Yes, those steps supports this, and most people fall for it and does it blindingly. Well greed is a powerful thing.

Now then, you are probably thinking; “what good is a page that has a brand’s name but doesn’t belong to the brand? The brand already has a facebook page, so why bother?”

Well, when it comes to cars, social media and the vastness of the USA, most marketing people in the automotive industry has been to one of those seminars where they are preached about social media, and those guys are just plain blind about it. In the US, there are so many car dealerships that represents a brand and would like to also own a social media. So, the owner of that page can simply find the nearest Range Rover dealership with no social media and sell them a page that has hundreds and thousands of fans. A second option is to sell that page to an agency that represents a dealership or maybe even the big brand itself. By a simple flip of acknowledging the main page and registering it under one user of the same social media, you can actually combine the page and move those new fans into the existing social media.

There are other methods of what they sell these pages for, such as spamming, hacking, etc. Since you are a fan, after a few months they can either spam you with contents, or even trick you to download stuff and telling you that you have won something. Its devious, and my advice is to dislike those pages.

Like Farming & Fan Fishing have shown to have big disadvantages, such as the long dormant inactive fans who liked once, engage once and forget. These fans will be fans who are counted as has no interest and won’t likely receive any updates unless its a paid one. GM is such a company that found out about this the hard way, accumulating large number of fans and later found it expensive to activate them as most have been dormant fans on facebook.

So, if you should find some posts shared by anyone thats too good to be true with only so little effort, then its probably a Like Farm or Fan Fishing scheme.

Never Forget Your Roots

21 Dec


Wearing the colour of the senate, today we graduated 72 students. Smiles were all around, a sense of pride, achievement, and big hope. Tomorrow for most will be the start of their new chapter: Life.

When most went home to celebrate the day with friends and family, a group of graduates talked with me over lunch about whats next. How to get ahead and what will make them find success.

I told them to look at each other. We humans are a social bunch. We grow and measured by the company we keep and those who surrounds us.

Imagine living in a neighbourhood where everyone has nice houses, a single bad unkept house that stinks and a sore to see will lower the housing value of the beautiful homes around it. Should one of your friend becomes a failure, your value will decrease as you are part of the same group. Yes, the world is judgmental, stereotyping and bitter.

When you find work and you are doing your best, better than anyone, but your peers are doing bad work, it will hurt your reputation as you belong in the same group. You wont reach your goals and the groups bad name will reflect on you.

You see, you need others in order to succeed, you should never forget your roots, never leave a man or woman behind.

When a friend needs work, you help them by giving him leads, when co-workers do bad work you should help him or her be more effective. Their success will reflect on you. A great leader shares his or her knowledge to others, share their time, help others. Because in order to succeed, most times you will need the help of others, and what kind of help would you get if the ones that can help is not competent enough to help you.

You need people to be your root, your foundation to grow. If your roots are weak, then it will be a liability and a weakness. You can either hurt yourself by letting that root go or nourish it with your help so that it can grow stronger. You may think that big corporations just replace bad employees with good ones, but in the micro management level, you don’t get to be so lucky. Replacing a team member can be a tedious job and even hurt others as removing someone will not get you a replacement as soon as you want.

So rather than complaining about a co-worker who you think is incompetent, have you considered helping them be competent? It is after all the basic responsibility of being a manager, you make sure your team functions the way you want them to be, and most of the times you have to work with what you have.

Shortstop: Digital Evolution.

28 Nov

Its funny how things fast things evolve on digital. The days of chat rooms and mailing list groups are mostly over. Internet brought connectivity to the whole world, people enthusiastic to connect with others in God knows where part of the world, it was the new frontier. Then social media came along and brought not just connectivity, but also narcissism and fame. Then social media got more private, and now personal chat apps are coming back. What was once the brave new world just got more personal.

I wonder where this path will lead us in 2015. What digital evolution will arise?