Robinsons the Heeren presents TWS Twisted Sisters

ALLIA Culottes (Front)VERONIQUE Top (Black)

Committed to bringing the best Asian brands from the region under one roof, Robinsons, a leading department store in Singapore, continues to enhance its fashion repertoire by presenting budding Hong Kong label, TwS Twisted Sisters, in a pop-up store format at Robinsons The Heeren Level 3 from now till end August 2016.

Designed for the savvy and confident women, TwS Twisted Sisters is a brand which epitomises the personality and style of its wearer. Helmed by Hong Kong-Canadian designer, Maria Mak, the ready-to-wear collection features simple yet edgy designs that play with graphic silhouettes, clever tailoring and strong contrasting elements with an underlying hint of grunge twist to each piece.

Be charmed by the understated apparels, comprising a myriad of tops, jumpsuits, dresses, skirts and jackets in lightweight materials such as polyester, organza, satin, faux leather and neoprene, the line is edgy and refined. TwS Twisted Sisters adds lustre to the collection with sophisticated fabrics in luxurious wools and silks. The colour palette perfectly blends the conservative hues of black, white, grey with full blooms of pastel tones, rejoicing the beautiful spirit of women shining through her own confident from inside out.

TwS Twisted Sisters has won the hearts of an impressive list of fashionable celebrities and influencers including Angela Simmons, Neon Hitch and Débora Rosa. Priced between $125 and $369, the noteworthy fashion label offers a contemporary and classy wardrobe that prepares every stylish woman to transform seamlessly from work to dinner date.

TwS Twisted Sisters is showcased from now till end August 2016 at Robinsons The Heeren Level 3 Women’s Department.

[ LATEST] Pokemon Go available for download in Singapore

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 9.19.21 am

Trainers in 15 new countries and regions across Asia and Oceania can now officially download Pokémon GO from the Play Store or App Store. Discover Pokémon in the world around you!

Countries and regions include: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau

Go Download NOW!

Get ready to indulge in Swensen’s Moon Treasures ice cream mooncakes this Mid-Autumn!

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 12.07.53 am

This year, Swensen’s unveils Moon Treasures, a collection of six delectable flavours, comprising of three all-time-favourites and three new trendy offerings. Expect exciting new flavours like the Aroi Milk Tea, Salty Eggy, and Coco Yammy, along with familiar classics such as Sticky Chewy Chocolate and Durian Royale.

Encased in a beautiful and luxurious gold box with a complimentary matching cooler carrier, these deliciously icy treats are great as gifts or simply as a treat for the whole family, making them the perfect addition to round off all Mid-Autumn festivities!

Swensen’s Moon Treasures Mooncake Collection will be available at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets from1 August to 15 September 2016, at $35.80 (inclusive of GST) for a box of any 4 flavours.

Individual mooncakes can be purchased separately at $9.50 each (inclusive of GST).

No pre-orders are required.

National Day Celebrations at The Scarlet Singapore

The Scarlet Singapore Deluxe Room
Celebrate Singapore’s 51st birthday together with your family or friends at The Scarlet Singapore!
Take a break and enjoy a rejuvenating staycation during the National Day long weekend at The Scarlet Singapore. The Scarlet Singapore is ideally located for adventurers or history buffs to explore and experience the interesting neighbourhoods and their rich heritage. For those who prefer to wine and dine, be prepared to indulge in the myriads of culinary and entertainment options in the vicinity of the hotel.
National Day Celebrations Package starts from S$208++ per night for Deluxe Room, S$228++ for Executive Room, S$288++ for Premium Room and S$488++ for themed suites (excluding Passion Suite).
National Day Celebrations at The Scarlet Singapore Package is valid for stay from 5 to 9 August 2016 and includes the following:
  • Complimentary welcome amenity
  • Complimentary mini bar
  • Complimentary Golden Village movie vouchers for two persons
  • Guaranteed late checkout at 3pm
  • Complimentary wireless Internet access in guest room
  • Complimentary use of FLAUNT and SODA
For room reservations or enquiries, please call (65) 6511 3333 or send an e-mail to reservations.sg@thescarlethotels.com. Room reservations can also be made online at www.thescarlethotels.com.

Your own guide to investing in property in Singapore

Property investment is a great way to make a lot of money – if you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, it can be a very risky market, one fraught with legalities and nuances. But with the right guide and a good idea of the marketplace, you can well be on your way to building a proper portfolio. So let’s get you started!

Best-locations-for-property-investment-in-Singapore

Image Souce:- PropertyGuru Singapore

Introducing The New ECCO Shape Collection – Heels That Look As Good As It Feels

Inspired by extraordinary women and their dynamic lives, ECCO, the Danish footwear and leather goods brand, introduces ECCO Shape Collection, a new range of beautifully designed footwear with heels.

Launching as part of the Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, ECCO Shape hails an era of razor-sharp technology with the innovative design of its high-heeled shoes to achieve what was previously impossible – heels that look as good as they feel.

The ECCO Shape Collection, priced from S$249.90, will be available at all ECCO concept stores and online: sg.ecco.com from August 2016.

HERE’S a Sneak Peak

ECCO SHAPE 75 SLEEK$259.90 (AUG)

ECCO SHAPE 75 $269.90 (SEP) Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 12.06.20 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 12.06.40 AM

#womenshapetheworld

Your Favourite McDonald’s® Curry Sauce is Now Available in a Limited Edition Take-Home Bottle

McDonald's Bottled Curry SauceA hot favourite among Chicken McNuggets® lovers, the delectable McDonald’s Curry Sauce in a take-home bottled edition is set to sweep fans off their feet!

The Curry Sauce was developed in Singapore more than 10 years ago and since then it has become one of McDonald’s most popular and iconic condiments, capturing the hearts of Singaporeans with its burst of local flavour. Now, other than enjoying the dip with nuggets, fans can look forward to savouring the taste of McDonald’s Curry Sauce with other favourite foods at home.

Curry sauce lovers can purchase the bottled Curry Sauce (375ml) at $4.50 with any Extra Value Meal, limited to 4 bottles of Curry Sauce in a single receipt from 21 July.

The limited time offering will be available after breakfast hours in all restaurants (except NTU, NUS, Singapore Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic) and via McDelivery®, while stocks last. For more information, please visit www.mcdonalds/com/sg/confirmshiok.

[Commentary] 5 reasons not to own a CAR in Singapore

IMG_9396

 

$40k, $50k, $60k… The COE for cars have been rising and rising at breakneck speed yet cars are still flying off their wheels to be owned. Owning a car is not only for transportation in Singapore but it is also a status assuring commodity. Aspiring individuals who are keen to own a car for better or…for worse, here’s 5 reasons why you should not own a Car in Singapore:

 

1. Parking lot Nightmares

Parking is always not available! Depending on locations, sometimes finding a French cuisine in a hawker centre yields higher returns. And if you ever chance upon empty lots, sorry my friends, these are reserved for seasons parking holders. It is so bizarre when you keep driving around the empty parking lots. Lot after lot, floor after floor… And still they are ‘red’ lots!!! And when you finally see ‘white’ lots after circling up the car park for petrol that cost like $10, there is no empty lot for a single car. Empty promises at it’s best!

 

2. Hassle of using Carpark Coupons

I am sure many drivers out there will exhale a ‘heng ah!’ Finally found a parking lot!! Yes, my same sentiments every time, that is when you reach over to the side compartment to fish out the parking coupon, and to your worst nightmare, all the coupons you have got, like 30 of them, are with holes; you go through them one  by one trying to find one without holes. Heart beat fasten, palms start to sweat… All you can find are ‘holely’ coupons fit for the bin. Then you try to make an educated guess if you do not display any coupon, will you be fined? At this point, my advice is: no matter how educated your guess is or how educated you are, you will get a ‘fine’ notice on your windscreen when you return.

Run, yes I mean run to the nearest not so convenient store and get the coupons ASAP! Your heart will wrench when you return after a good movie to find a slip of long white paper pinned to your wiper.

 

3. The irritating Beep Sound from IU

Beep beep beep, chimes the ERP device in the car after you have exited from the car park. Value in the cash card is lower than $5, an alarm sounded in your head to top up the cash devouring card. After driving for 5 mins, you pass by another car park, beep beep beep the device chimes again. This is repeated a number of times before you finally reach your location. It could be passing by car parks, ERP gantries or anything that looks vaguely like a ERP gantry. The device never fails to remind you that it is hungry and low in vitamin M. The chimes is more irritating than the damn alarm clock in the morning!

 

4. The Yearly Road Tax visits you again

You open the mailbox as per normal. A stack of mails await you, your eyes catch a glimpse of a blue logo with a traffic cop on a bike, it’s the time of the year again! Road tax is here, and when road tax is here, his friend, ‘car insurance’ will be here as well!!! Wow you lament, one year passes so fast. Yes, reality hits where it hurts most, your bank account. For the next 10 years or whenever your COE expires, you will be hurt yearly.

 

5. Either a Fine or more demerit Points 

You wake up late in the morning for work, no worries you thought, I can drive a little faster. You reach the car and on the ignition, the car starts up, and the yellow petrol logo lights up. Always on the dot, always on the wrong dot. After wasting 20 mins to the petrol kiosk, you drive off at shooting star speed, you reach the office just in time for the important meeting. Good if you do. 7 days later, the cop on the bike logo might appear in the mailbox again. When it does, best of luck to you. A fine or a demerit composition might awaits you.

 

Why not keep a Pet?

The car is like a pet, it needs constant care, washing, waxing & servicing. It requires feeding (petrol), it’s requires snacking (coupon and cash car), it needs hospitalization care (flat battery, flat tyre, engine problem… ) and you only used it like 1 hour twice a day.

Would you rather keep a pet which has better returns? I am sure most cats and dogs outlive a car anytime in Singapore. The above may seem trivial and to some nothing worth mentioning, multiply it by 12 months by 10 years, that is 120 months of self inflicted pains!

But on hindsight, there are also many fun activities that you can do in a car, limited to 2 consenting adults at best due to space constrain.

So for those who are planning to leave the MRT, taxis, buses and ubers behind, I wish you all the best with owning a piece of junk after 10 years.

 

Shang Guan Hei

SINGAPORE Chicken rice restaurant Pow Sing suspended for link to gastroenteritis outbreak

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 9.30.05 PM

The Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA), and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) are investigating several cases of gastroenteritis reported between 4 and 11 July 2016, traced to the consumption of food prepared at Pow Sing Restaurant, located at 63-65 Serangoon Garden Way. As of 12 July 2016, a total of 29 cases were verified to be affected, and further investigations are ongoing.

MOH, NEA and AVA were first notified of the cases on 4 July 2016 and had immediately conducted joint inspections of the restaurant’s premises on 5 July 2016. Several hygiene lapses, including failure to maintain temperature records and allowing an unregistered food handler to prepare food, were observed. The operator had been instructed to rectify them immediately. On receiving further notification of another 4 affected persons on 11 July 2016, there is reason to suspect that there might be a continuing source of infection in the premises.

To protect consumers from public health risks, NEA has suspended the licence of Pow Sing Restaurant with effect from 13 July 2016, and required it to dispose all ready-to-eat food, thawed food and perishable food items, conduct thorough cleaning and sanitising of its premises including equipment, utensils, work surfaces and toilets, and review and rectify the lapses in food preparation processes identified during the joint inspections.

AVA has collected food samples from Pow Sing Restaurant, as part of the investigation. Laboratory tests are ongoing.

MOH has collected stool samples from the affected cases and the restaurant’s food handlers have been sent for stool screening. Only food handlers who are tested to be free of food poisoning pathogens, and have re-attended and passed the Basic Food Hygiene Course will be allowed to resume work. MOH and NEA will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Members of the public are advised to report such incidents by calling our 24-hour NEA Contact Centre at 1800-CALL-NEA (1800-2255-632).

 

Five social customer service trends you need to know about [For Marketers]

Five social customer service trends you need to know about

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.07.44 AM

We recently lined up 18 statistics which took the social customer care temperature as we head into the second half of the year.  To give you a better understanding of some of the key developments underpinning these numbers, we’ve taken a deeper dive into five trends which we see as the influential shapeshifters, priorities and challenges ahead.  Here goes …

#1 Social media teams and technology are converging

Businesses are changing the way they organise internally around social engagement.  Marketing teams used to be the headline act when it came to social media.  They held the social purse strings and strategies were aligned around what they wanted to say.  The social contract put the onus on the customer to listen.  How things have changed.  The contract has been torn up and the onus is on brands to listen – together as a business – to understand and respond to what customers experience along the way.

When it comes to frontline support, marketing campaigns are only effective if customer service teams are prepared to answer questions and comments about the campaign.  Organisations working towards a collaborative approach are investing in one suite of tools which can be tailored to serve multiple use cases for engagement:  listening, routing, prioritisation, response, crisis management, performance management, analytics, reporting and CRM.  Customer care teams also need to share budget with marketing and other key stakeholders to drive economies of scale.  This will also help to stop the silo mentality resurfacing if different departments continue to use different tools and social data is skewed by incompatible listening methodologies, objectives and outcomes.  To foster closer collaboration, regular cross-departmental meetings need to be scheduled to share feedback, insight and ideas.

Where are we at?

The number of businesses which work collaboratively and those which still work in silos are now evenly split.  Participants in a recent webinar we held in partnership with Netcall told us:

  • 42% were collaborative
  • 42% were siloed
  • 8% were competitive
  • 8% other

#2 Seeing the bigger picture

This really ties in with the trend for closer collaboration.  Customer experience is the new wealth and businesses can no longer trade on price advantage alone.  However, most organisations can’t see the bigger picture and don’t analyse social data to understand what customers go through.  It’s always better to understand why consumers choose your brand than hedge your bets on simply asking them to.  You also need to find out why they abandon purchasing decisions or want to jump ship.  But, the reality is data-driven insight on social customers is still elusive and brands are missing unfettered feedback.  Operationally, businesses which do not measure social activity are not accurately monitoring how support teams perform, consolidating internal processes to best serve customers, nor working out how to use channels to resolve increasingly complex queries.

Where are we at?

Research from Incite Group found that 64% of brands are not accurately measuring the impact of their social activities.

#3 Hello, is there anybody out there?

Improving response times is a top priority for those brands which need to close the chasm between what customers look for and what they are able to provide.  We’re going back to basics here.  Consumers don’t just talk to one brand on social channels and they shine a light to those which are quick and efficient in getting back to them, putting businesses which are ignoring comments, or slow on response times in the shade.  Organising workflow and simplifying agent inboxes will go a long way in fixing this for businesses struggling to keep up.  One of the biggest routes to failure is not investing in engagement technology which can scan, filter, route and prioritise mentions to make it easier for social media teams to get back to each and every customer that needs a response.

Where are we at?

Just how wide is the chasm?  Dimension Data research found that the average social media response time is 78 minutes.  While a study from BT and Avaya found that 70% of consumers expect a response on social media within 15 minutes.  When it comes to answering the people who are complaining the problem is acute.  Jay Baer’s research in partnership with Edison showed that just 32% of social media complainers are satisfied with businesses’ response times.

#4 Messaging apps and chat bots

Consumers are increasingly looking to one-to-one private conversations when they need support and demand for chat apps is pushing the customer frontier.  These apps could change the way mobile customers connect with brands altogether.  It’s possible that consumers will get app fatigue and replace brand apps with an easy option like Facebook Messenger to connect with businesses at all points of their journey and simply pick up threaded conversations again when they need assistance.  Messaging apps could even replace live chat as customers see them as a quicker solution to waiting around on websites for support to get back them.  These apps are an always-on connection and brands could lose engagement with customers that start to leave websites when they want to connect.

Just how popular are they?

Messaging apps are outpacing social networks when it comes to monthly active users (millions):

  • Messaging apps 3,500
  • Social networks 2,500

Channel choice:

  • Mobile apps are a top three choice for customer service for under 55s
  • Social media is the number one choice for customer service under 25s

When it comes to supporting customers on these platforms, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line et al need to be integrated into the engagement apps that agents already use to provide a consistent service, making sure you can offer customers the best engagement experience from a single point of access.

What about chat bots?

Chat bots are a potential game changer.  Facebook, for example, has upped the ante on this by letting businesses drop chat bots into Messenger.  Other platforms will follow suit.  Using bots will help reduce agent-assisted interactions but the outcome as always depends on the quality of the AI brands deploy.  Companies will need to work out the right balance between bots and real people to effectively support customers to avoid re-igniting frustrations about automated services.  Businesses will probably only use AI for simple enquiries and FAQs.  In most cases bots will start a conversation and then agents will take over to do the heavy lifting.

Where are we at?

Research from Mobile Ecosystem Forum and Mblox found that 65% of customers now talk to businesses via chat apps.  Financial services customers are the most active users at 22%.  Retail and e-Commerce customers come next at 16%.  There is an untapped opportunity here as the study also found that 35% of chat app users are currently unengaged.

#5 Customer patience is running out

Customers who find interacting with a brand easy improves trust.  If a consumer trusts that contacting a business is easy, they won’t necessarily turn to competitors.   If people want to use social channels and support is slow or a hassle, or they feel like they are being ignored, they are likely to just give up and go elsewhere quicker than they can type #poorservice.  55% of consumers have intended to make a purchase, but didn’t due to bad service.  We’re going full circle here.  Customer experience is the new capital and making social customer care easy is a wealth creator.

Where are we at?

Research by tyntec found that 80% of consumers view getting through to an agent quickly as the number one priority for customer service.

For more info visit www.sentimentmetrics.com

This article was contributed by Sentiment Metrics.

FREE Gelato to Celebrate Earle Swensen’s New Westgate Outlet!

To celebrate the grand opening of Earle Swensen’s newly opened outlet at Westgate, Earle Swensen’s will be hosting a FREE Gelato Day for all patrons on the 9th July!

 

Earle Swensens Westgate FREE Gelato Day

 

Patrons will be spoilt for choices as they get to indulge in all-time classic favourites like Chocolate, Vanilla, and Mint Chip, amidst an exciting assortment of 13 flavours including Cheese Cookies, Lychee, and Matcha.

Earle Swensens Westgate Gelato Flavours

The best part? There is no minimum spend required.

Now there is no reason not to treat yourself to free Gelato in our sunny humid weather!

ES Single Scoop

Each customer is entitled to one scoop of Gelato (while stocks last).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Earle Swensen’s FREE Gelato Day:

Date: 9th July 2016, Saturday

Time: between 3PM – 5PM

Venue: Earle Swensen’s at Westgate (3 Gateway Drive #03-10/11, S608532)

 

 

We look forward to your support for Earle Swensen’s FREE Gelato Day!

 

Jaw dropping discounts and promotions at The ROBINSONS EXPO SALE

Robinsons EXPO Fair 2016 Campaign Image

The highly-anticipated Robinsons EXPO Sale has finally arrived! From now to 10 July 2016 at Singapore EXPO Hall 5, enjoy up to 80% off a wide selection of products, ranging from fashionable wear for men and women to luxurious home and living products.

Look forward to popular fashion brands such as Ted Baker; footwear labels such as Skechers; and bedding brands such as King Koil Estoile, the Robinsons EXPO Sale is your chance to stretch your dollars as you expand your wardrobe and home essentials!

There are more reasons to visit the EXPO Sale: all shoppers get to enjoy $9 off with every $90 nett purchase in a single receipt* (valid 30 June to 3 July 2016), as well as enjoy purchase‑with‑purchase on products such as a 3-piece Cookware Set from WMF or a 1.75L Blender from Electrolux with just minimum $60 nett spend^!

 

* Terms and conditions apply.

^ Exclusions, terms & conditions apply. While stocks last.

 

 

[HEARTBREAKING & SHOCKING] Undercover footage exposes the horrific abuse and torture endured by dogs inside slaughterhouses at China’s Yulin Dog Meat

Dog_being_killed-e3666283637d927cb6367921d44d053f

closeup_dog_face-400b83c5768a94fc994e75e73969f3ee

Bloody_Dog-66e5139bdc5383c999b05fcae5645fd5

Undercover footage released exclusively by nonprofit Last Chance For Animals (LCA) exposes the horrific abuse and torture endured by dogs inside slaughterhouses at China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival. LCA is the first organization to document the unsanitary conditions and inhumane treatment of dogs inside Yulin’s slaughterhouses. The footage was shot prior to the June 21, 2016, start of Yulin’s annual dog meat festival where an estimated 10,000 dogs are killed during the summer solstice.

Video taken by LCA’s investigators inside the Yulin area slaughterhouses documented cruel transport, handling and killing of dogs, including:

  • dogs tightly packed inside transport cages and left for hours on the sidewalks adjacent to markets
  • slaughterhouse workers ramming and hitting terrified dogs with metal pipes to move them from large transport trucks
  • dogs dragged by their necks with metal tongs and bludgeoned with metal pipes as an ineffective means of stunning them
  • dogs having their throats cut open and slowly bleeding to death while visibly gasping for breath
  • dogs exhibiting signs of severe distress as they stand in pools of blood and watch their cage mates die

To view the undercover video and learn more about the investigation, visit: www.stopdogmeat.com.

The Yulin dog meat festival was launched by dog meat traders in 2009 as a commercial enterprise to boost flagging sales of dog meat. An estimated 10,000 dogs will be killed and eaten during the festival. Many of these dogs are stolen pets and are transported hundreds of miles over provincial borders to reach Yulin. The slaughterhouses operate without the requisite certificate of inspection as mandated by China’s Agriculture Ministry.

LCA’s investigative team traveled to Yulin before the festival started to document the cruel slaughter. LCA will present its findings to the Yulin city council and demand that the slaughterhouses be closed. While the city of Yulin has withdrawn their sponsorship of the festival they have failed to enforce existing laws and regulations violated by the dog meat trade, including laws that regulate animal disease control, food safety, trans-provincial dog transport, and youth protection.

“LCA’s investigation inside the area’s dog slaughterhouses spotlights the cruel and illegal practices that Yulin’s city government can no longer turn a blind eye to,” said Adam Wilson, Director of Investigations for LCA. “The city council must act now to stop the illegal slaughter in Yulin. The festival is condemned by millions of Chinese citizens who overwhelmingly support the passage of animal cruelty laws that would ban the killing of dogs and provide basic protection for all animals in China.”

To view the undercover video and learn more about LCA’s efforts to stop China’s dog meat trade, visit www.stopdogmeat.com.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation’s pioneer animal advocacy organizations. Working internationally, LCA’s Sam Simon Special Investigations Unit documents abuse in research labs, puppy mills, factory farms, and the entertainment industry, and works with prosecutors to enforce animal cruelty laws. LCA’s educational and outreach programs have empowered the public to make positive changes for the animals in their own communities. For more information, please visit http://www.lcanimal.org/.

We really need to stop this cruel and insane acts. Spread the video around.

YouTube star TIFFANY ALVORD added as Special Guest to SAM TSUI & KURT HUGO SCHNEIDER

Square-Poster---Tiffany

LAMC Productions is thrilled to announce YouTube sensation TIFFANY ALVORD will join YouTube superstars SAM TSUI and KURT HUGO SCHNEIDER as a Special Guest in Singapore for their one night only concert on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 8pm at Kallang Theatre!

Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider, hailed as internet singing sensations, were among the very first musicians to establish a hugely popular music-focused channel on YouTube. To date, their videos combined, including covers, medleys, and mash-ups, have amassed over ONE BILLION views and close to 10 million subscribers on YouTube alone, contributing to their ever-expanding worldwide fanbase.

Tsui and Schneider have been able to harness the ever-changing tools of the digital music age to independently create internationally popular channels and brands, garnering them countless TV and magazine appearances, including The Ellen Show, The Oprah Show, Entertainment Weekly, and In Style Magazine. Both Tsui and Schneider have also applied their powerful digital platform to many brand deals, including KIA, Dell, and a national spot with Coca Cola that ran during the 2014 Super Bowl.

Tiffany Lynn Alvord is an American singer and songwriter. She has been cited as one of YouTube’s first “home-grown celebrities”. She has a large social presence on YouTube with over 500 million video views and over 2.8 million subscribers, making her channel among the top 50 most subscribed music channels on YouTube. Alvord also has a strong following on social media sites including more than 2.6 million Facebook fans and over 360,000 Twitter followers. In December 2012, Alvord performed in Times Square on the Nivea stage with Carly Rae Jepsen, Train, PSY and Taylor Swift as part of the 2012 New Year’s Eve celebration.

Standard tickets: S$128 (Includes Meet & Greet), S$108, S$88, S$78 and S$58.
Tickets on sale now at http://www.sistic.com.sg and via all other Sistic channels.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1712139669042529

Sam Tsui Official Sites:
Web: http://www.samtsui.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamTsuiMusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamuelTsui
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesamtsui

Kurt Hugo Schneider Official Sites:
Web: http://www.kurthugoschneider.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KurtHugoSchneider
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kurthschneider
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KurtSchneider

Tiffany Alvord Official Sites:
Web: http://www.tiffanyalvord.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TiffanyAlvord
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TiffanyAlvord
Instagram: http://instagram.com/TiffanyAlvord

‘MAI TU LIAO’: It’s time to put your ‘No Carb Diet’ on hold and Fall in Love with Mcdonald’s once again

Diversity of cultures and food is a unique reflection of the Singaporean identity. With this in mind, McDonald’s Singapore is launching three new limited time offerings that are defined by local flavours that Singaporeans love – salted egg yolk, pepper crab and Gula Melaka.

As McDonald’s continues to evolve its food offerings based on Singaporeans’ changing tastes and preferences, it will proudly introduce new additions to the menu including, the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger, Twist & Shake Fries with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker, and Gula Melaka McFlurry® with Layer Cake Bites! .

Combined with the evergreen favourites at McDonald’s like the McSpicy, Spicy Nuggets and Banana Pie, customers are set to be spoilt for choice.

 

Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger

Inspired by Singaporeans’ love for salted egg yolk, McDonald’s infuses this rich, salty-sweet grainy concoction with breaded whole-muscle chicken patty, curry leaves and chopped lettuce on a black pepper and white sesame bun.

The Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger is available a-la carte from $5.75. Customers can enjoy the burger in an Extra Value Meal that includes French Fries (M) and Coca-Cola (S) from $7.5

Salted Egg Yolk Chicken BurgerSalted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger

 

 

Twist & Shake Fries (M) with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker

The Twist & Shake Fries (M) with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker brings together the best of both worlds – our all-time favourite Loop Fries and Shaker Fries. To trigger local taste buds, the Twist & Shake Friesare amped up with a flavourful seasoning reminiscent of Singapore’s iconic salt and pepper crab.

Customers can purchase the Twist & Shake Fries (M) with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker a-la-carte from $3.40 or enjoy it with any Extra Value Meal by topping up $0.60.

Twist & Shake Fries (M) with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker

 

Twist & Shake Fries (M) with Salt & Pepper Crab Flavoured Shaker
* Only available in (M)

 

Gula Melaka McFlurry® with Layer Cake Bites

Gula Melaka, also known as palm sugar, is a local favourite when it comes to desserts and cakes; while the Thousand Layer Cake, also known as kueh lapis, is a must-have during festive seasons in Singapore. TheGula Melaka McFlurry® with Layer Cake Bites combines swirls of Gula Melaka-flavoured syrup with velvety vanilla soft serve and tops it off with delicious layer cake bites.

Gula Melaka McFlurry with Layer Cake Bites

The Gula Melaka McFlurry with Layer Cake Bites can be purchased a-la-carte from $2.90.

Gula Melaka McFlurry with Layer Cake Bites

 

McSpicy 

Made to suit Singaporeans’ local palate and love for spicy food, the McSpicy in Singapore is one of the spiciest McDonald’s formulations in the world. Bite into the thick and juicy chicken cutlet marinated with fiery hot spices, topped with crunchy lettuce and sandwiched in a toasted sesame seed bun.

 

McSpicy

McSpicy

 

Spicy Nuggets

For McNuggets® lovers, the Spicy Nuggets will set your taste buds ablaze. Order them a-la-carte from $4.45 for the 6pc option, from $5.95 for the 9pc option, or from $11.20 for the 20pc option.

The Spicy Nuggets Extra Value Meal that includes French Fries (M) and Coca-Cola (S) can be purchased from $6.05 for the 6pc option and $7.70 for the 9pc option.

Spicy Nuggets

Spicy Nuggets

 

 

Banana Pie

Goreng Pisang is a favourite childhood snack that many Singaporeans grew up with. McDonald’s version of Banana Pie will bring back those good ol’ memories as you bite into the flaky crust and taste the sweet banana bits that ooze out. The banana pie is available from $1.20.

Banana Pie

 

Banana Pie

The brand new offerings are available after breakfast hours in all restaurants and via McDelivery® from 30 June 2016, while stocks last.

Put your No Carbs Diet on hold. Go and fall in love with Mcdonald’s once again today!

ANZ claims six awards at Cannes Lions for campaigns supporting diversity and inclusion

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.09.43 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.10.14 AM

ANZ’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been acknowledged with the bank taking out six Cannes Lions awards for its Equal Future initiatives and GAYNZ campaign.

The bank was awarded Gold Lions in both the PR category for Equal Future – Pocket Money and the media category for GAYNZ; on top of a further four Bronze Lions.

ANZ Group General Manager Marketing Louise Eyres said: “We’re thrilled to have our work supporting diversity, inclusion and financial equality recognised on the world stage. These awards are a testament to the marketing teams at ANZ and our world class partners, led by Whybin/TBWA with the support of PR agency Haystac and media agency PHD.”

The Pocket Money video created for International Women’s Day highlights the gender pay gap in Australia by capturing the reactions of brothers and sisters doing the same chores but not receiving equal pay. The campaign, an extension of ANZ’s Equal Future Women’s Initiative, reached more than 1.5 billion people globally.

To mark ten years of partnership with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, ANZ’s Oxford Street branch – at the heart of the parade route – was rebranded as a GAYNZ branch, a baroque-inspired celebration of LGBTI culture.

The GAYNZ logo was extended across anz.com, social media channels and company business cards and in collaboration with Twitter ANZ developed a rainbow coloured flag emoji which appeared whenever #GAYNZ was used – a brand first for Australia. The GAYNZ campaign reached 840 million people globally.

Cannes Lions is the world’s pre-eminent awards festival recognising excellence in marketing, communications and advertising.

In 2016, ANZ was the second most awarded bank by number of Lions with only nine banks to be awarded at the festival.

Contentmart – How to become a freelance writer on contentmart.com

Contentmart – How to become a freelance writer on contentmart.com

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 12.12.13 PM

 

Freelance writing jobs sound like a very easy job, but in reality, it is very hard. It might sound pompous to you that freelance writers work at their own comfort zone, no boss, no work pressure etc. You just don’t know another side of the story, Freelance content writers have to work project to project and meet the tight deadlines. Sometimes it exceeds more than 14 hours in a day. But if you understand the principles of freelance content writing, your job will be 1000 times easy.

Unleash the 5 principles to become a successful freelance content writer

  1. Prepare yourself

Writing is all you need to be prepared. Believe yourself you are good in writing and if you’re unsure about your writing, still it’s not late. Start practicing your writing skills and learn to write. A freelance content writer should have a very good writing skills irrespective of background they come from. Writing is an art of communicating with the clients, the audience to create awareness and as a way of sending messages to inform, educate, and persuade readers. Check out the content writers at Contentmart and learn how to become one.

  1. Create expertise

Build your own expertise in the subjects you are familiar with. A freelance content writer should have a portfolio filled with recent and past work assignments. Make sure you fill your portfolio with the best of your projects delivered. Understand what your portfolio does to your freelance writing career, it serves as a marketing pitch for them to hire you. If you have good testimonies add that as well along with the examples of your projects.

  1. Take ownership

Nurture this skill of taking ownership. Once the project is awarded, make sure you don’t disappoint the client in any way. How to take ownership? It’s really simple! Initiate a chat on contentmart and discuss the requirements in detail. Get to know the tone, style, language the client needs and also understand the target audience. Once you have collated all the information go ahead and take ownership and deliver accordingly.

  1. Build passion for writing

Even if you don’t have a passion for writing, start writing and don’t worry about the results just enjoy your writing experience and have a desire to outperform all the time. Always be a solution, not a problem to the client needs and always give value to the clients by exceeding their expectations.

  1. Be more than just a writer

Contentmart throws the last and final principle to all the wannabe content writers. Always remember nobody knows the second man who stepped on the moon. Similarly, nobody knows the writers who are good and normal. To stand out in thousands of crowd and create your own USP be more than just a writer to your clients. You can do this by adding value to their work and delivering much more than they would have expected. This way you create a connection with the client and be very successful in freelance content writing.

Ultra Singapore – A Curtain Raiser

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.28.29 am

Come September, dance music lovers across the world would give anything to hop on to a flight to Singapore. After all, it’s hard to find a music lover who would want to give the world’s #1 festival, the ‘Ultra Music Festival’ a miss. The Ultra Music Festival (UMF) has an 18 year old history and has evolved into one of the best electronic dance music (EDM) shows in the world. What started as a modest gathering on Miami Beach in 1999 has now transformed into a worldwide event spanning 5 continents and 20 countries.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.28.02 am

Singapore is all set to become 2016’s favorite destination as it plays host to ‘Ultra Singapore’ on September 10th and 11th of this year. After the ‘Road to Ultra’ held in Singapore in 2015, Ultra returns as a full-fledged 2-day festival in 2016. Expected to be the most happening EDM event, ‘Ultra Singapore’ will be held in 1 Bayfront Avenue, located right across the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The choice of location is stunning as the Bayfront Avenue is surrounded by water and beautiful gardens. Organizers of the event have secured the rights to rename this location to ‘Ultra Park’ during the weekend of September 10th and 11th. The event will run from 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm on both days. Similar to the Miami UMF, Ultra Singapore is set in three stages; Main, Live and Resistance stages.A lot of creative thinking goes into the design of each stage and it includes measures for crowd control and safety. Singapore becomes the third country to host an Ultra Live stage after Miami and Korea.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 10.27.38 am

Ultra Singapore is sure to recharge the spirits of any die-hard EDM fan. Expect nothing but foot thumping music and good vibes from 40 artists who are among the biggest names from the music industry. The fact that early bird tickets to the show are already sold out speaks volumes about its popularity. You can still buy general admission and premium general admission tickets, the latter in addition to the 2-day entry gives you access to dedicated restrooms and food and beverage stalls. For more privileges, you have the option of booking a VVIP table. The organizers have already announced an impressive phase one line up, that’s enough to get your adrenaline pumping.

Here is a glimpse of what’s in store for fans. The famous producer and DJ, deadmau5 will be in Lion City as part of his worldwide Ultra tour. Dutch DJ Afrojack who has been a headliner at numerous EDM festivals graces Ultra Singapore too. The Swedish duo of Axwell and Ingrosso will be there to give an electrifying performance. Dance to the rhythm of hip hop in EDM from DJ Snake. For Norwegian producer Kygo whose music has topped international charts, the event is extra specialfor he will be ringing in his birthday in his city of birth, Singapore. There are more names to be revealed subsequently. The clock is ticking, so check out the best travel deals to head to Singapore. And do not forget to put on your dancing shoes.

Award-Winning ALBA 1836 Brings The Best Of Italy In A Glass

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.18.08 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.18.52 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.21.31 AM

ALBA 1836, the award-winning Wine Bar and Restaurant nestled in quaint Duxton Hill, provides the ideal oasis for wine aficionados and busy professionals to unwind and seek respite from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Boasting an impressive floor-to-ceiling wine cellar, ALBA 1836 offers patrons an extensive collection of more than 350 labels from 18 principal Italian regions including distinguished wineries such as Tuscany’s Antinori, Piemonte’s Gaja and Sicily’s Planeta vineyards.From full-bodied reds and crisp whites to the sweetest of bubbles, ALBA 1836 covers a wide selection that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

A wine-lover himself, Managing Director, Matteo Trabaldo Togna personally travels across Italy in search of prized but lesser-known wines to offer locals a true taste of Italy; constantly curating and refreshing ALBA 1836’s wine collection in order to continually improveand surprise his customers.

Matteo’s impressive collection includes unique boutique wines which he has specially selected and imported for ALBA 1836. Some of the exclusive wines available include the San Leonardo from Italy’s Trentino region whose Director, Luigino Tinelli was just awarded the title of Master of Work of the Italian Republic and who is known as one of the first and foremost producers of Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon with a limited production. Furthermore, Matteo imports wine from his native region of Piemonte like the Conterno Fantino, one of the top Barolo producers in that region and one that is revered and enjoyed the world-over.

‘’My passion for Italian wine runs deep in my roots. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to visit some of Italy’s most prestigious vineyards and taste some exquisite wines. It is truly an immense pleasure to bring some of the best of Italy to Singaporean shores and create an unforgettable experience for all to enjoy,’’ said Matteo.

‘’We have been fortunate enough to cultivate lasting relationships with some of Italy’s most renowned wine producers including an exclusive collaboration with Tuscany’s prestigious Tenuta Le Pupille of which ALBA 1836 features their highly acclaimed Supertuscan Saffredi; receiving a perfect score of 100 from wine expert, James Suckling. ALBA 1836 is also the exclusive importer of wines from the highly esteemed winery, Feudi di San Gregorio located in the south of Italy. This includes the Basilisco, Ognisole and Valenti whichoffer excellent quality at competitive prices.’’ He added.

To help patrons further elevate their wine degustation experience, ALBA 1836 offers an impressive selection of more than forty wines by the glass including reds, whites, sweet/dessert and sparkling wines like Prosecco, Brut and Franciacorta. Equally as impressive arethe various price points appealing to both amateur wine enthusiasts and seasoned connoisseurs with prices starting from S$8 per glass.

Whether you’re looking to unwind under the stars or spend an intimate evening inside a romantic inner courtyard, ALBA 1836 promises to whisk you away to the iconic vineyards of Italy, one sip at a time.

ALBA 1836 Wine Bar and Restaurant is located at 28 Duxton Hill. For reservations, please call

(65) 6222-2048 or visit www.ALBA1836.com .

WearYouWant, E-commerce fashion and beauty site offers customized platform to merchants

Sam's Sports

WearYouWant, Thailand’s leading online fashion and beauty marketplace is fast becoming a trusted digital partner for industry brand names and distributors; creating a solid online presence in Thailand’s booming internet industry. Working with large, international brands and distributors, as well as smaller and more localized businesses, WearYouWant offers a uniquely customized e-commerce platform with a strong focus on targeted visibility and curation of merchants’ products.

CEO and Co-Founder of WearYouWant Julien Chalte explains how the e-commerce site stands out for businesses.

Brands want to go digital, and need to, but may lack the knowhow, time and resources to be hands-on and do so effectively. WearYouWant personalizes the experience, creating and servicing every aspect of a merchant’s outlet, from the graphic design of marketing materials to uploading pack shot images. 

“When I look at our monthly pay outs to our merchants it is great to see that we are indeed delivering growth to both the smaller independent designer with only one storefront and the big international brands at the same proportional scale. The secret for us has been to keep the dual focus of B2B and B2C and grow the two at the same pace. That has made us and our big and small merchants successful.”

Minor International PCL, one of Thailand’s leading and largest distributors of lifestyle brands such GAP, Esprit, Bossini and Red Earth, value the partnership with WearYouWant.

James Richard Amatavivadhana, Chief Executive Officer of Minor International PCL, says, “Digital development is rising so fast in Thailand that it is important for us to incorporate the strongest digital sales channels. The future of retail is changing, but the core principles of trust, confidence and transparency still reign, especially when it comes to e-commerce. WearYouWant has empowered us to grow digitally and has enabled us to create a flagship online outlet allowing widespread visibility to our brands and products as well as an assurance to consumers that the products they shop are genuine.”

Sam Naghi, owner and MD at Sam’s Sports shop, is another merchant on WearYouWant’s platform selling mainly sport shoes that applauds the e-commerce website for the tremendous impact it has created on the business, by creating visibility and increasing their sales volume online.

Partnering with WearYouWant has made a huge difference for us. We have a whole new revenue stream and a digital storefront where both our products and brand gets noticed by customers we would have been unable to reach ourselves”, he said.

WearYouWant recently received the Best e-Commerce Website Award 2016 from the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Business Development in two categories:  Best in e-Commerce Management and Best in e-Commerce Trusted Website. The award was presented during the Thailand eCommerce Day held at e-Biz Expo 2016 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

The first half year of 2016 ends 30th June and WearYouWant’s own forecast indicates at this point in time, a 120% growth in turnover in the first half of the year in 2016 compared to first half of the year in 2015.

Gunpla Expo 2016 Announces Special Guest Line-up

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 4.02.04 PM

Bandai Namco Singapore, one of the leading toy makers and arcade, mobile and home video game publishers in Japan gave an update on the special guest line-up for Gunpla Expo 2016 today.

Fans of Japanese popular culture and the “Mobile Suit GUNDAM” series can look forward to two special mini-stage programmes on 19th June, during the Expo at Takashimaya Square, B2. Two voice actors (seiyuus), from Gundam’s latest series Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, will be in Singapore for the first time to meet and share insights with fans here. TRUE, the artiste behind one of the theme songs for the same series, will perform live on stage as well.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans, introduced in October 2015, is currently the latest anime series for “Mobile Suit GUNDAM”. Details for the mini-stage programmes are:

Gunpla Expo 2016 – Live Mini-Stage Event

Date & Timing: 19 June 2016 (Sunday), 2pm and 6pm

Venue: Mini Stage at Takashimaya Square, B2

The Gunpla Expo 2016 is held from now to Sunday, 26 June 2016 at Takashimaya Square, B2. Aimed at celebrating the art of building the model kits, it includes showcases, exclusive merchandise, and activities for fans and the general public to enjoy and learn more about one of Japan’s top Popular Culture Icons. Admission to the Expo Grounds is free. For further information, please visit https://www.takashimaya.com.sg/.

 

Voice Actor: Kengo Kawanishi

Born on 18th February in Osaka prefecture, Kengo Kawanishi has played a wide range of voice-acting roles in anime, games and movies since his debut. He also specialises in dancing, karaoke and gaming.

Some of his notable roles over the years are:

TV Animation

–          Mikazuki Augus – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

–          Shoji Sato – Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

–          Aoi Shima– Prince of Stride: Alternative

–          Kisaki Matsuribi – Aldnoah.Zero

–          Gaku Egawa – Nagi no Asukara ( A Lull in the Sea)

–          Akira Kagetsuki – Monster Strike

–          Muku (Teenage) – Boruto: Naruto the Movie

And many more!

 

Voice Actress: Yuka Terasaki

Born on 4th August in Kumamoto Prefecture, the multi-talented voice actress, TV actress and singer Yuka Terasaki has played a wide range of characters from numerous popular anime titles, movies, stage plays and dramas. She enjoys landscape photography as a hobby and is skilled in Kimono dressing.

Some of her notable roles include:

TV Animation

–          Kudelia Aina Bernstein –Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

–          Hephaestus – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

–          Heinz Nerich Windermere/Heinz II – Macross Delta

–          Sasha Kreuzhev; Misha=Krushchev – A Certain Magical Index

–          Raquel – Dokidoki! Precure

–          Renka Ariake – TV Animation Mahou Shoujo Taisen (Magica Wars)

–          OVA

–          Zushi –  Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission

Musical

–          Meyrin –- Kuroshitsuji: Chi ni Moeru Rikorisu – (Black Butler: Licorice that Blazes the Earth)

And many more!

 

Performing Artiste: TRUE

TRUE was born on 15 July in Tokyo. She debuted in the year 2000 under her own name, Miho Karasawa.  Her songs have been featured in drama series as well as taking top spots on the Oricon ranking charts over the years.  It was in 2011 that she became a full time lyricist and in 2012 when she began working on anime-related projects. She has written lyrics for many popular artistes such as Emi Nitta, Eir Aoi, SPHERE, Yuka Iguchi and StylipS.

2014 marked the first year of her artiste activities under the name “TRUE”. She sang the theme songs for popular anime titles such as Buddy Complex, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Maria the Virgin Witch, Sound Euphonium. More recently in 2015, TRUE performed the opening theme songs Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, and not forgetting the ending theme song “STEEL – Bonds of Blood and Iron” for the well-received anime series Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans!

 

A New Twist on the Brand’s Heritage Aesthetic for Everyday Adventures

H2T_OPENAIR_AP_M1_01_030

H2T_OPENAIR_AP_W_01_021

H2T_OPENAIR_AP_M2_01_133

Inspired by heritage and new urban frontiers, Timberland is reimagining and reinventing the colours, materials and styles that have made the brand an icon for more than 40 years. Along the way, Timberland celebrates everyday adventures on the Modern Trail, the products that inspire the journey and the people who pave the way.

Rugged construction, refined touches and innovative technologies offer an adaptable style available across the four distinct capsules – The Open Air Market Collection, The Sensorflex™ Footwear Collection, The Harvest Gold Collection and The Compatible Layering System Collection.

This Timberland campaign will kick off in July/August 2016 with The Open Air Market Collection, timed to coincide with the delivery of the brand’s Fall collections for men and women on Timberland.com.sg and in specialty retail stores, as well as better department stores and independent retailers.

Aloft ignites Music scene with third annual “PROJECT ALOFT STAR, AMPLIFIED BY MTV” in Asia Pacific

image002 (1)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ cutting-edge Aloft® brand today announced the launch of Asia Pacific’s third Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV. Building on the success over the past two years, the music talent discovery competition returns bigger and bolder – expanding the competition to Taiwan and South Korea. Amplified by the collaboration with global youth brand MTV and Aloft, the competition will identify and support the hottest emerging music acts throughout nine markets China, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Last year, the competition drew more than 350 entries and over half a million public votes.

“The Aloft brand has always set the stage for the hottest up-and-coming artists, and over the past two years, Project Aloft Star, amplified by MTV has generated a tremendous response from musicians and fans, alike. We are excited to kick off our third edition, continuing our support of emerging talents by providing a platform to showcase their music to a larger audience,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Additionally, we are thrilled to continue our partnership with MTV Asia, further fuelling our passion for live music, pop culture and design-led initiatives.”

“We are delighted to partner with Aloft for the third time! We share a like-minded vision of supporting up-and-coming artists and giving them a platform to shine. The music scene in Asia is going from strength to strength and this collaboration enables us to continue providing vibrant and entertaining experiences to youths, by helping them discover the next generation of artists,” said Paras Sharma, Senior Vice President, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Channel Brands and Digital Media, Asia, Viacom International Media Networks.

 

Submissions

Covering major markets throughout Asia Pacific, the four contest clusters include Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), India, and South Korea.

Between September to October, shortlisted finalists will perform at the finals in front of a live audience and a panel of judges from MTV, Aloft, and the music entertainment industry. One winner from each contest cluster will walk away with US$10,000, as well as the chance to be featured on MTV platforms in Asia.

 

Public Voting Contest

From 29 July to 22 August, the public can vote for their favourite videos from curated entries on projectaloftstar.mtvasia.com. Voting fans in each cluster will stand the chance to win US$1,000. Voting is open worldwide and the top 5 entries per cluster will be determined by a combination of public votes and a panel of MTV judges.

 

Aloft and MTV as The Platform For Emerging Artists

Both MTV and Aloft have built a reputation for advocating and supporting emerging artists, with several Project Aloft Star winners achieving further success. GTXperiment (formerly known as Clinton and Ashley) from Malaysia, the winner of the Southeast Asia cluster in 2014, launched their debut album in August 2015. Known for their stand-out beats fusing hip hop and indie pop, their singles “Highdrated” and “Lost” topped Hitz FM’s MET 10 Chart in Malaysia while they toured the region. Jenny & the Scallywags from Thailand, the winner of the Southeast Asia cluster in 2015, went on to release their first self-titled EP, featuring their single ‘Sounds Like Maybe’ in 2016. The single reached number one on Thailand’s top indie radio station Cat Radio’s chart. Run Pussy Run, the winner of the India cluster in 2015, performed at the Hornbill International Rock Competition in Nagaland, India and won the “Best Songwriting” award that same year.

Music and entertainment powerhouse MTV is the only global music player with coordinated local on-air and online teams, reaching millions of music fans every day. From large-scale live shows such as MTV World Stage in Malaysia and MTV Music Evolution Manila in the Philippines to on-air programmes MTV ASIA SPOTLIGHT and MTV PUSH, MTV is widely recognised as a youth destination for new music and talents.

Rocking the world since its debut in 2008, Aloft is a trailblazer in the live-music scene across the globe. The brand has always been committed to cutting-edge music programming, leading the way as an industry innovator in terms of supporting emerging talent. ‘Always on’, Aloft Hotels continuously brings together live music acts from local and established talent through its Live at Aloft Hotels music program in its buzzing W XYZ bars across the world – offering differentiated experiences for savvy, hyper-connected globetrotters.

 

Sunday Bubbles & Brunch at Ash & Elm, Intercontinental @Singapore

IMG_7581

Ash & Elm_Bubbles and Brunch_Buffet

Ash & Elm_Bubbles and Brunch_Desserts

Ash & Elm_Bubbles and Brunch_Seafood

Ash & Elm_Bubbles and Brunch_Small Plates

 

Ash & Elm at InterContinental Singapore introduces a new Sunday Brunch menu – an indulgent and hearty spread catered for the convivial weekend get-togethers with friends or family. A sumptuous buffet that spans across all three culinary theatres of the European themed restaurant, the menu offers tantalising feast of brunch classics, premium seafood, fresh bakes and sweets.

Designed to showcase the vibrant flavours and variety at Ash & Elm, the Sunday Brunch is specially intended as a small plates in which guests can help themselves to unlimited orders of petite delights as they sip on fine wines, bubbles or fresh juices. Alongside a luscious host of mains fired from the Charcoal Grill, guests will also enjoy a buffet line of restaurant signatures with access to the Charcuterie & Cheese Room, Freshly baked flat breads from the Wood-Fired Oven, as well as a decadent array of sweets and pastries at the Dessert Buffet Counter.

A weekend affair primed for ultimate indulgence and pampering, the entire Ash & Elm space is decked with luscious offerings. Besides gaining walk-in-access to the Charcuterie & Cheese Room, diners can head over to the Seafood corner to delight themselves with the freshest seafood served on ice, including freshly-shucked oysters, lobsters, poached live prawns and Alaskan King Crab, or the Caviar Station for Lavish Scoops of Luxury.

13336081_810631425736663_4210081474264299637_n

Not to be missed is the Egg Station that serves up quintessential egg staples such as Eggs Benedict and Eggs Cocotte. The Buffet line also offers an appetiser bar of self-served salads, chilled appetisers, selections of soups, and two freshly fired selection from the Carving station with specials such as the slow Baked Norwegian Salon Fillet.

IMG_7580

Diners will also have access to unlimited serves of Petite mains from a selection of universally appealing meats, seafood and pasta dishes ranging from the restaurant’s signature Chargrilled Iberico Pork Loin from the Charcoal Grill, to a Chicken Duxelle Roulade, Baked Cod Fish with Fennel Confit and Saffron Sauce, Confit Duck Leg with Mashed Potato and a Boston Lobster Risotto with Diced Asparagus, all prepared a la minute.

A charming display of sweet treats awaits at the dessert station. Diners can expect to finish on creations such as Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse with Hazelnut Feuilltine, Mixed Berries Cheese Cake, Baked Pistachio Cherry Crumble, Cherry Bread and Butter Pudding, Crispy Banana Strudel and a chocolate Fondue Fountain, just to name a few.

IMG_7597

IMG_7599

Priced at $98, the menu is inclusive of free-flowing juices, soft drinks and D.I.Y. Bloody Mary cocktail. Those with a preference to ease over bubbles, wines or beers can go for $138 option for unlimited pours of Perrier Jouet Champagne, select wines and beers in addition to the juices and D.I.Y. Bloody Mary cocktails.

My take: It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon indulging myself with brunch classics at Ash & Elm. I particularly enjoyed the Lobster bisque and minestrone soup, the seafood platter especially the lobsters and oysters. The baked Cod Fish with Fennel Confit and Saffron sauce and Boston Lobster Risotto left a great impression on me. I say they are a must-try! I was also very impressed by the newly refurbished Ash & Elm, the skylight canopy that runs the length of the dining area providing a sense of movement. Check out my video to watch the spaces in Ash & Elm.

 

Dining Reservation: +65 6825 1008

Address: Level 1, International Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966

Brunch Hours: 12.00pm to 3.00pm

 

2017 Sony World Photography Awards Now Open for Entries

image007 (3)

The Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition, opens for entries today. Created by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 marks the awards’ 10th anniversary.

In addition to the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions, the hunt is also on to find Singapore’s best photographer in the Singapore National award.

The Sony World Photography Awards annually recognises the world’s best photography. Open to all photographers, the awards are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry that has the power to shape the careers of its winning and shortlisted photographers. Each year the competition attracts both emerging talent and established artists, and presents the world’s best photography from the last 12 months to a global audience.

“I am deeply honoured and overwhelmed by this recognition. It’s my privilege to represent Singapore. This is such an immense inspiration to keep me pursuing my passion for photography further and further. Photography had been something to me and now it’s become everything to me. Smiling time!”Kajan Madrasmail, Winner, 2016 Singapore National Award

“Winning the Portrait category was life-changing. Professionally, winning the award helped kick-start my career.”Sophie Gamand, Winner, Professional Portrait category 2015

“Winning brought more attention to my work and I started receiving more collaboration proposals and job opportunities.”Kylli Sparre, Winner, Open Enhanced category 2014

“The award changed my life and beyond the great visibility obtained allowed me to create solid relations of friendships and professional collaborations that I otherwise would not have been able to obtain.” Andrea Roseate, 3rd Place, Professional Candid category 2016 and Italy National Award winner 2015 

Photographers are welcome to enter their work for free into any of the awards’ four competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus via www.worldphoto.org. The newly re-launched website gives a greater visual platform to the awards’ photographers and makes the entry process simpler than before.

Entries to the Singapore National Award will be taken from those with Singaporean nationality entering any of the ten Open categories.

The 2017 edition also sees new categories introduced across the all competitions aimed at challenging photographers to push their creative boundaries. Please see notes to editors for competition definitions and categories or click here.

The Sony World Photography Awards offer a wide range of benefits for its winning photographers, including:

  • The latest Sony digital imaging equipment
  • Inclusion in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London
  • Inclusion in the annual Sony World Photography Awards winners book
  • USD$25,000 for the winner of the Photographer of the Year title
  • USD$5,000 for the winner of the Open competition
  • Worldwide media exposure and increased recognition

Scott Gray, CEO of World Photography Organisation, comments: “We are extremely proud to reach our 10thanniversary. Since launching in 2007 the Sony World Photography Awards has grown consistently in both size and credibility. Across the years the awards have discovered and celebrated a huge variety of photography. I am honored that emerging photographers across the world have been able to use the awards to launch their careers, and established photographers can use us to extend their networks. We are committed to challenging photographers to push their creative boundaries in the years to come.”

The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards attracted a record-breaking 230,103 entries from 186 countries. The Singapore National Award was presented to Singaporean photographer Kajan Madrasmail.

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards shortlist will be announced on 28 February 2017, Open and National Awards winners will be revealed on 28 March 2017, and the overall winners will be announced on 20 April 2017. This includes an exhibition at Somerset House, London, running from 21 April to 7 May 2017.

 

WOK˚15 Kitchen Offers Special Father’s Day 8-Course Set Menu

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 1.33.53 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 1.38.01 PM

WOK˚15 Kitchen, the newly launched flagship Chinese restaurant located at the exclusive ONEº15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore, is offering a special set menu to commemorate Father’s Day. Express your appreciation for Dad with a family celebration over a hearty meal, and make his day truly memorable by indulging in our 8-course meal priced at only S$59 per person.

To spoil dad with an exquisite selection, WOK˚15 Kitchen’s Father’s Day 8- Course Set Menu boasts succulent dishes including Sautéed Scallops with Egg White, Braised Fish Maw Soup with Dried Scallop and Shell Abalone, PanGrilled Lamb Rack (or Kurobuta Pork) with Button Mushroom and Braised Vermicelli with Diced Seafood, Salted Fish, Shrimp Paste and Vegetables. The 8-Course Set Menu is priced at S$59 per person (minimum four persons) and is available only on 18th and 19th June 2016 (Saturday and Sunday). Patrons enjoy a complimentary bottle of Charlotte Street Shiraz when they book our Father’s Day 8-Course Set Menu on 18 and 19 June 2016 (for four persons or above), and every child (aged 12-years and below) will receive a complimentary glass of soft drink.

Open to the public, WOK°15 Kitchen at the exclusive ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore is the talk of the town. WOK°15 Kitchen offers diners the best local specialties, classical authentic Cantonese flavours and contemporary Asian interpretations at affordable prices! The restaurant provides diners a pleasurable gourmet journey like no other that boasts an immersive experience with its panoramic views of the marina, home to some of Singapore’s most luxurious yachts.

For those looking to indulge in more classical Cantonese delicacies, our ala carte menu features Roasted Peking Duck cooked in the traditional way for authentic aromatic roasted flavours imbued in crispy, succulent duck. Seafood buffs will enjoy our signature Chilli Crab dish, a decadent option with sweet juicy Sri Lankan Crab cooked to perfection and served in a piping hot wok.

 

For more information or to make a reservation, please call +65 6305 6998 or email wok15@one15marina.com

Always connected: 54% of Singaporeans remain on their smartphone during travel

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.04.31 am

Singaporeans are constantly on their smartphones during their holidays and share their travel experiences mainly via social networks rather than in person, according to a new mobile travel report conducted by travel search engine KAYAK.sg. The research investigates how Singaporeans’ travel habits have changed over the past decade and found that smartphones and social media platforms have impacted every aspect of travel from how a trip is planned to how memories are shared after the fact.

Ten years ago, over half of Singaporeans (58%) sought the advice of family and friends as well as traditional travel agents (42%) and other offline sources for inspiration when thinking of their next getaway. Unsurprisingly, inspiration nowadays is mainly found online, with 61% of travellers consulting online travel agencies to plan their holidays, 44% turning to social media and 33% reading blogs for travel inspiration. This number is even higher for travellers under 35 years old with 63% turning to social media, making it the preferred way for this age group to ignite their travel aspirations. While most Singaporeans search for travel inspiration on their computer, one-fifth use their smartphones, most likely taking the opportunity to research their next escape during their commutes.

Interestingly, the Internet and mobile technology have apparently not helped Singaporean travellers save time on travel planning. A full 40% of survey respondents reported they spend more time planning their trips today than they did a decade ago. This is likely due to the proliferation of travel resources available online.

Mobile booking is on the rise but 74% of Singaporeans still prefer to book on a computer

The survey revealed that in today’s digital world, the majority of Singaporean travellers (89%) now book their trips online. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents prefer to book directly on the website of a hotel or airline, while 64% use online travel agencies. Meanwhile, the traditional travel agency, used by 73% of travellers 10 years ago, has seen a sharp decline in popularity and is now visited by around one-quarter of Singaporeans (26%). This suggests savvy travellers want to take travel planning into their own hands and independently search for options and compare prices. In doing so, 74% turn to the user-friendly interface and more secure environment of a computer, while 17% and 7% use a smartphone or tablet, respectively.

Singaporeans like the convenience of checking in for their flight before they reach the airport
A decade ago, 67% of Singaporeans preferred to check-in at the airport and obtain their printed boarding pass there. Today, nearly half of all travellers (49%) prefer to check-in and print-off their boarding passes at home, while more than one-fifth (22%) check-in online with their smartphone and opt for a mobile boarding pass. Mobile boarding passes are growing in popularity as airline apps and travel wallets make it easier to store and manage travel documents, but clearly Singaporeans are not ready to go fully digital in this regard and still enjoy having a physical boarding pass in hand.

54% of Singaporeans are constantly connected and on their phone during their travels

The survey shows that even though Singaporeans enjoy sightseeing (76%), eating out (60%) and shopping (60%) while abroad, they seem to be constantly connected and on their smartphones during these activities. 54% of survey respondents said they use their smartphone while on holiday. This figure skyrockets for millennials with 70% staying glued to their mobile devices while travelling. This shows how important mobile devices and being constantly connected have become in the daily lives of Singaporeans.

Sharing travel experiences online is common practice

Ten years ago, most Singaporean travellers shared their travel experiences with family and friends via physical photo albums and slide shows (57%). More than half (55%) shared their travel memories by meeting up face-to-face and one quarter of travellers sent postcards. Only 14% used social media platforms to share travel pictures or videos a decade ago.

These days, sharing travel experiences via social networks has overtaken more traditional methods. For 76% of Singaporean travellers, instant experience-sharing is the way to go, enabled by the large number of online sharing platforms and chat-based mobile apps now available. For sharing their travel experiences with friends and followers, most Singaporeans prefer to use their smartphone (52%) over their computer (35%).

Imbert Fung, Director of Southeast Asia at KAYAK, said: “Consumers rely on their smart devices in every area of their lives and travelling is no different. As the role of mobile grows in every step of the travel cycle, we at KAYAK pride ourselves on adapting to our users’ needs to provide the technology they demand to plan and manage their travel in a seamless and intuitive way. Our mobile app is the best example, as it is designed to give travellers the information they need before they book, and assist them throughout their trip, including features to organise and manage itineraries with Trips.”
Note:
Research conducted by Survey Opinionway for KAYAK. Fieldwork conducted between 1 and 13 April 2016. In total, 12,065 people were surveyed, of whom 1,000 were from Singapore.

Top Japanese talent to headline C3 CharaExpo 2016 in Singapore

image

The C3 Chara Expo committee that comprises Bushiroad Inc., ASATSU-DK INC., SOTSU CO., LTD. and Amuse Entertainment Singapore Pte Ltd, has announced an impressive lineup of events and multiple guest appearances that will occur at the C3 CharaExpo 2016, to be held on 9-10 July 2016 at Hall 7 of the Singapore EXPO. The organisers are expecting to attract some 30,000 visitors to one of the largest anime conventions in the region.

C3 CharaExpo 2016 will feature leading names from the Japanese manga, anime, music, games and cosplay industry. Luminaries include illustrator Asuka Nishi (Shiyoko) and Na-Ga (Little Busters, Angel Beats); game designer Satoshi Nakamura (Weiss Schwarz and Cardfight!! Vanguard); voice talents such as Mark Ishii (Chrono Shindou in Cardfight!! Vanguard); Yui Makino (Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle) and Sora Tokui (Nero Yuzurizaki, Nizo Yazawa) as well as musical talent such as marina; STARMARIE and The World Standard, who will make their debut appearance at the C3 CharaExpo.     

Bushiroad Inc’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Takaaki Kidani would like the convention to accomplish two things: “Our goals for C3 Chara Expo 2016 are twofold; to ensure that fans get the best experience with the cream of Japanese anime talent from Bushiroad and our partners at Bandai Namco Entertainment, Doga Kobo and Nippon Animation as well as to create more opportunities and expand the reach between creators in Japan and our partners throughout region.”

Highlights of C3 CharaExpo include

  • CosStage: The highly anticipated stage returns this year and cosplay fans can compete to win an exclusive, all-expenses paid, invitation to the Cosplay Collection Night at Tokyo Game Show this year. Look out for more information on the C3 CharaExpo website soon.
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW): This year, Fans will be able to catch 12 superstars: Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Yoshi-Hashi, Kazuchika Okada, Gedo, Hiroshi Tanahasi, Togi Makabe, Tetsuya Naito, Bushi and EVIL in six matches that will be held over the two days.
  • Card Game Tournament: Bushiroad’s annual tournament series, the Bushiroad Spring Fest, will feature a 600-seat card game area for both new and veteran players.

C3 CharaExpo 2016’s exhibition floor will be split into two zones.

  1. i) The Exhibition will feature popular series titles and exclusive merchandise from Aniplex, Arclight, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bushiroad Inc., Good Smile Company, La Tendo, KADOKAWA, Otakutachi, SHOGAKUKAN ASIA Pte. Ltd, Sony Digital Entertainment, Animax Asia and ODEX.
  2. ii) The Movie area will feature three free movies, which are The Disappearance of Conan Edogawa: The Worst Two Days in History; Love Live! The School Idol Movie and Crayon Shin-chan: My Moving Story! Cactus Large Attack!

Ticket prices for a 1-day entrance fee to C3 CharaExpo 2016 will be priced at S$8 presale and S$10 on site. A 1-day entrance fee with attendance to the concert will be priced at S43. For more information about C3 CharaExpo 2016 visithttp://www.chara-expo.com.

YouTube sensations SAM TSUI & KURT HUGO SCHNEIDER return to Singapore

600x600_v2
American YouTube superstars SAM TSUI and KURT HUGO SCHNEIDER will return to Singapore for a one night only concert on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 8pm at Kallang Theatre!
Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider, hailed as internet singing sensations, were among the very first musicians to establish a hugely popular music-focused channel on YouTube. To date, their videos combined, including covers, medleys, and mash-ups, have amassed over ONE BILLION views and close to 10 million subscribers on YouTube alone, contributing to their ever-expanding worldwide fanbase.
Tsui and Schneider have been able to harness the ever-changing tools of the digital music age to independently create internationally popular channels and brands, garnering them countless TV and magazine appearances, including The Ellen Show, The Oprah Show, Entertainment Weekly, and In Style Magazine. Both Tsui and Schneider have also applied their powerful digital platform to many brand deals, including KIA, Dell, and a national spot with Coca Cola that ran during the 2014 Super Bowl.
Standard tickets: S$128, S$108, S$88, S$78 and S$58.

Tickets on sale Saturday, May 21, 9:00 am at http://www.sistic.com.sg and 10:00 am via all other Sistic channels.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1712139669042529

Sam Tsui Official Sites: 
Kurt Hugo Schneider Official Sites: 

Carlsberg Does Football Better For Fans This UEFA EURO 2016

image001 (2)

True to its promise of delivering probably the best experiences to consumers and fans, Carlsberg is heating up UEFA EURO 2016 with commemorative limited edition can and bottle designs, exclusive Carlsberg UEFA EURO 2016 merchandise and the football superstar experience of a lifetime!

Bring the UEFA EURO atmosphere into your living room this season with limited edition Carlsberg cans! Decked out in vivid UEFA EURO 2016 colours, these stunning cans will be available for purchase in 12-can packs (320ml per can) at all major super and hypermarkets from 1 June. Official UEFA EURO 2016 merchandise such as luggage bags, Adidas team bags, deck chairs, and beach towels are also up for grabs. Simply spend a minimum of $75 on Carlsberg products from 1 June to 31 July to take home a piece of the eminent tournament. Merchandise are available for redemption till 31 August, while stocks last.

The Carlsberg UEFA EURO 2016 design is also available in 644ml quart bottles at participating coffeeshops and hawker centres. Football aficianados will certainly be pleased to know that Carlsberg has released four Carlsberg UEFA EURO 2016 jerseys featuring the national colours of France, Spain, Germany and England respectively. Two designs will be made available each month for May and June, so fans should keep an eye out for their favourite national team. To redeem one, look under the bottle caps and collect 18 that feature a printed jersey icon, This promotion is valid from 1 May to 30 June 2016. Jerseys may be redeemed directly at participating coffee shops and hawker centres, while stocks last.

And to top it all off, Carlsberg is offering fans the chance to watch the semi-finals live in Lyon, France AND live it up as a true football superstar. For the first time ever, fans will be given unprecedented access to the Stade de Lyon pitch, where they will have the chance to play, interact, and probably score some goals with some of the biggest names in football, courtesy of Carlsberg. Five lucky fans and their friends will win the exclusive pairs of tickets worth $22,000 each. Winners will travel to Lyon, France from 6th to 8th July. Months of preparation have gone into making football fans’ ultimate dreams come true, including ensuring the winners receive access to customised fan kits, access to legendary football players, and unique VIP experiences in Lyon, France.

This once-in-a-lifetime experience is testament to Carlsberg’s commitment to do it better.. for the fans and in delivering superior experiences that exemplifies the tagline of “Probably the best beer in the world”.

For more information on how to win probably the best prize in the world, consumers can visit http://facebook.com/CarlsbergSingapore.

Lalamove Delivers Lifestyle Services with LINE

Lalamove Delivers Lifestyle Services with LINE

Lalamove-LINE_1

Lalamove-LINE_2

Lalamove-LINE_3

Lalamove-LINE_4

Lalamove-LINE_5

 

Hong Kong based on-demand delivery app Lalamove is partnering with the world’s leading mobile platform LINE to expand on its delivery services in Bangkok.  The LINE MAN app is aimed at bringing reliable on-demand services to consumers as well as providing convenience to their increasingly busy lifestyles.  LINE MAN is one of LINE’s first ventures to “be more than a chat app” and LINE has chosen Thailand to be the first market to launch LINE MAN.

The LINE MAN smartphone platform offers three services: document and package delivery, food purchase and delivery, and convenient goods purchase and delivery.  The delivery of all 3 services is provided by Lalamove, and currently limited to within Bangkok for now with plans for expansion.  LINE has a large user base of over 33 million in Thailand.

The announcement follows a global conference in March 2016 where LINE revealed a five-year plan to create a ‘smart portal’. The goal is to close the loop between businesses and LINE users and go beyond their original chat app strategy.

Santit Jirawongkraisorn, Co-founder and Managing Director of Lalamove Thailand believes partnering with LINE is a natural progression. “This year, we have been marketing our online delivery services primarily to small and medium sized businesses. The addition of LINE MAN will bring Lalamove’s high quality services that many businesses have enjoyed to general consumers, which appeals to the Lalamove strategy and brand.”

Meanwhile, the choice of Lalamove to deliver LINE MAN services demonstrates real confidence in the logistics app profile. According to Ariya Banomyong, Managing Director of LINE Thailand, “LINE MAN aims to offer best quality lifestyle services and help businesses leverage digital tools to connect with consumers, and Lalamove, as a leading on-demand delivery service provider in Thailand, made them a natural choice for LINE MAN”.

 

LINE MAN will offer courier services through the Lalamove fleet of motorcycles, with cash payments.  Consumers will be able to order food via restaurant database app, Wongnai.

 

LINE MAN is free to download at the Google Play store and Apple store.

http://onelink.to/lineman

 

Cartoon Network Celebrates the School Holiday with The Powerpuff Girls Summer Fun Event

PPG Poster
PPG Poster
Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are back to save the day… but this time, it will be to save kids from the clutches of boredom this school holiday! To celebrate the all-new hit series, The Powerpuff Girls, Cartoon Network will be hosting a fun-filled three-day family event for all fans in Singapore.
 
Hosted at the United Square Shopping Mall atrium on Friday, 27 May, to Sunday, 29 May, from 12-8pm, members of the public are invited to come down and enjoy a full line-up of on-stage performances, games, activities and win some great prizes.
 
On-stage activities include: 
 
1. Meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup.
 
2. Meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with Paddlepop Lion
 
3. A science-meets-magic show by Professor Utonium – the loving father and creator of The Powerpuff Girls. Stand a chance to get up on stage with Professor Utonium and be mesmerised by the magic of science.
 
4. A high-powered “Work It Out” dance session to teach kids energetic dance moves to the brand new Powerpuff Girls theme song, “Who’s Got the Power?”.
 
5. On-stage quiz and games for kids including the chance to win cool Cartoon Network and Paddlepop merchandise.
 
*Kindly refer to the annex for the full programme of on-stage activities. 
 
Visitors to the event can also participate in the following off-stage activities throughout the day:
 
1. A larger-than-life, giant Jenga-style game competition for families to compete against one another. The family which causes the tower topple loses the game. 
 
2. Save Townsville and the world before the evil Mojo Jojo takes over – earn points and win prizes by toppling Mojo Jojo and his henchmen with a sling shot.
 
3. The Powerpuff Girls TV Corner – take a break from all games and activities, sit on cushy bean bag chairs and watch your favourite Cartoon Network originals.
 
4. The Powerpuff Girls colouring corner.
 
5. The Powerpuff Girls arts and craft corner. 
 
6. A ‘steady hands’ game from the magical world of Adventure Time will also make an appearance at the event – test your balancing skills as you twist and turn your way out of a maze.
 
7. Paddle Pop Tentacle Twister Catching Machine where kids can play this arcade game to catch all their favourite merchandise in an arcade-style game! And of course, free Paddle Pop ice cream!
 
The Powerpuff Girls Summer Fun event is proudly organized by Cartoon Network and supported by Presenting Sponsor – Paddlepop; Venue Partner – United Square Shopping Mall; and Official Pay TV Partner – StarHub. Make sure to come down United Square Shopping Mall Atrium on Friday, 27 May, to Sunday, 29 May, from 12-8pm for a day filled with fun and games for the whole family!
 
Also, with a minimum spend of $30 in a single same-day receipt at United Square Shopping Mall, shoppers will also be able to redeem an Adventure Time hat worth $30 at the concierge on Level 1 (limited to 100 customers per day). 
 
Admission into The Powerpuff Girls Summer Fun event is free of charge.

Bangkok plays host to Entrepreneur Summit Thailand 2016

Entrepreneur Summit Thailand

The country’s first Entrepreneur Summit Thailand 2016 scheduled to take place May 25th at the Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok will feature over 30 speakers, 60 companies, 8 panel discussions, and 2 keynote addresses from inspiring and highly experienced entrepreneurs and experts.

Organized by social enterprise Bangkok Now (BNOW.org) in collaboration with e-Biz Expo 2016, Entrepreneur Summit Thailand 2016 is designed for up-and-coming entrepreneurs of start-ups and SMEs.

The full day program will provide participants with an A to Z guide, taking them from funding, building, growing, revamping, valuation to exiting the business.

Salinee Wangtal, Director of the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) will be delivering the keynote address.

“This is an ideal event for people looking to start their business, startups wanting to grow their business, SMEs considering to revamp, further develop the company, and corporations looking to invest in innovative companies. Both online and offline businesses will definitely benefit from this event. In the last 2 years, we have seen a growth and expansion in the area of tech, hospitality, travel and F&B.  We anticipate many of the attendees will be from this sector”, said Pacharee Pantoomano Pfirsch, Founder of BNOW.org.

“Attendees will hear first-hand experience from successful and seasoned entrepreneurs, experts, mentors and investors on topics related to funding, leadership and talent management, branding, how to grow the customer base, determining valuation of companies , mergers and acquisitions and exit strategies,” added Pacharee.

The summit includes panel sessions, a networking lunch where attendees can meet with potential business partners or funders and evening cocktail to further expand the network and an opportunity to meet and connect with speakers and other fellow attendees.

Panel sessions include discussion in the following areas:

Funding panel: Entrepreneurs and experts will talk about different financial options such as crowdfunding, venture capitalist, angel investor, and banks.

Leadership, culture, and talent management: The audience will learn how leadership and culture affects the team’s effectiveness, plus, learn how to hire, train, terminate and implement succession planning strategies.

Sleeping beauty panel: AEC is here! This panel covers how brands can keep their brand relevant in a changing market place.

Growing customer base panel: The panelists will discuss conventional and digital strategies to grow businesses.

Wisdom from Entrepreneur Now Award 2015 Winners: The group will share their entrepreneurial journey

Company valuation: As business grows, business owners are either seeking additional funds or considering a merger or sale of the company. Valuation is also vital. In this panel, attendees will learn how valuation works

Defining success: All good things come to an end and this panel discusses about how entrepreneurs sell their company, get involved in mergers, continue with cash cow, apply for IPO, and enter liquidation

The stellar line up of speakers and panelists include a broad and dynamic mix of experts from various industries including prolific Thai entrepreneur Krating Poonpol and venture partner at 500 Tuk Tuks, Nadim Xavier Salhani, CEO of Mudman Limited which operates Au Bon Pain, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts and Greyhound café, John Stevens, who sold his digital advertising network to VGI Global Media and started Rabbit Internet, Nuttaputch Wongreanthong, Head of Online Marketing at DTAC, Kriengsak Niratpattanasai, Founder of The Coach, Somboon  Sukheviriya of Comanche who has sold his software to 600 hotels and exported it to over 18+ countries worldwide and Dennis  Harte of Tuktuk Factory, Saranee Boonritthongchai, Head of SMB Marketing at Google, Michael Cluzel , Group CEO and Co-founder of Eatigo, and more.

The summit ends with an evening networking cocktail, providing opportunity for the speakers and attendees to grow their network.

 

Bosch Celebrates Great Singapore Sale

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.37.10 PM
Make any house feel like a home in no time by picking up amazing deals on appliances such as washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, ovens, kitchen machines and dishwashers from Bosch this Great Singapore Sale.

Jazz up the laundry room with the Bosch Home Professional IDOS 9kg Washer and top up just $500 for a dryer. With up to $2,799 in bundle savings for this washer-dryer combo, multi-generational families and cosy couples can now reap the benefits of water and energy-efficient laundry machines at a steal.

To spruce up every nook and cranny, Bosch is also offering unique deals on vacuum cleaners. The In’genius ProSilence Bagged Vacuum Cleaner will be available at a reduced price, accompanied with a complimentary $50 grocery voucher and eight years’ supply of dustbags – minimal maintenance needed to keep your home in tip-top shape.

After working up an appetite from chores, homeowners can further enhance living comfort by taking up deals for their kitchens. Relish an enticing microwave and oven bundle for the price of one appliance. That’s not all! Avid home cooks will be thrilled to receive complimentary cooking accessories and grocery vouchers with their kitchen machine purchase.

Promotional items will be available at all leading departmental and electronics retail stores island-wide from 27 May until 24 July 2016. Free gifts offered with selected product purchases can be redeemed at the Bosch Experience Centre.

Monocle adds four new cities to travel guide series: Vienna, Singapore and Paris

IMG_6354

Monocle, the international briefing on global affairs, business, culture and design is expanding its collection of city guides with the addition of books covering Vienna, Singapore and Paris which will be published this month by Gestalten, Monocle’s publishing partner.

Guides to London and New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo were published last year and there are now 12 titles in the collection with another eight books to be launched in 2016, including Sydney and Honolulu.

Researched and written by Monocle’s international editorial team, these guides contain a discerning edit on all that the magazine perceives to be great about each city. Monocle’s interest in a city’s ‘quality of life’ is reflected within these informative and entertaining books.

From art to architecture, early morning markets to late-night bars, the guides mingle listings of the best-known and most iconic destinations in each city with suggestions for seeking out the new, the entrepreneurial, surprising and off-the-beaten track venues and retailers.

Editor-in-chief of Monocle, Tyler Brûlé, says: “These books provide the visitor with a balanced view of each city. We list grand hotels alongside family-owned bistros and recommend little-known exhibition spaces as well as renowned galleries.

“Our travel guides aim to help people feel like locals rather than tourists, no matter how long they are staying in each city.”

Monocle’s editors and correspondents have collected information about a wide variety of cities since the magazine was launched in 2007. Each guide includes a checklist of recommended places to stay, places to eat and things to see.

The books are also enriched by a series of thoughtful essays by writers who are well acquainted with the city.  Monocle Travel Guides are compact and collectable. They will retail in all Monocle Shops, online at monocle.com and through the best booksellers globally from 1 0 May 2 0 1 6 . Each book measures 21cm x 14cm, contains 148 pages, full colour and retail at: € 15/£ 10/$ 15.

  1. VIENNA TRAVEL GUIDE

Monocle observes that there’s much more to Vienna than Baroque palaces, horse-drawn carriages and opera. Yes, it’s the capital of strudel, schnitzel, sausages and sachertore but this guide wants visitors to know how best to enjoy their coffee or m elange (a version of cappuccino), whether to go for a kleiner or grosser brauner (small or big “brown one”) and know that it is likely to be served on a tiny silver tray with a complimentary glass of water.

Vienna bridges Eastern and Western Europe and the influence of the Habsburg empire has provided a legacy of grand palaces, plus a concentration of world -class galleries, opera house and museums. However, Monocle’s guide takes the visitor away from the stately architecture into great music venues, specialist craft stores, the pick of the coffeehouses and the best running routes along the Danube.

Monocle also provides visitors with details of how to behave in polite Viennese society, to acknowledge a person’s title, to understand the significance of kiss on the hand and how the honesty system of purchasing newspapers works.

  1. SINGAPORE TRAVEL GUIDE

Monocle’s guide to the city offers readers a brief but concise account of how a resource-scarce island has grown into a gleaming example of 20th and 21st century modernisation.

As well as praising the quantity of green spaces and enthusiasm for ‘vertical gardens’, Monocle introduces the visitor to delicate social details. For example, unenlightened visitors might take the Singaporean greeting of ‘Have you eaten?’ as an invitation to dine– Monocle helpfully explains that this is a common way of saying hello or good morning and a courteous conversation starter along with a formal handshake.

The guide covers the formality of ordering taxis or flagging one down, recommending that the best solution is the join the queue at the nearest taxi stand.

Monocle also delights in the rich quantity and variety of food stalls, the kopitiams, which sell affordable meals ranging from Teochew porridge and chicken rice as well as recommending more high -end restaurants and places to stay.

  1. PARIS TRAVEL GUIDE

Monocle comments: “If New York is the city that never sleeps, Paris is the city that’s always on holiday.” Parisians value lifestyle, rest and m ake sure they get enough of both. The guide alerts the visitor to the variable nature of opening hours (especially in the summer months) as well as the length of time it can take to truly enjoy an excellent meal.

The guide includes essentials of etiquette– for example, Monocle advises the visitor to always preface a conversation with ‘bonjour madame/monsieur’ whether asking for directions or buying a croissant.

The guide also explains the current Parisian craze for ‘natural wines’, made with no chemicals and minimal intervention and the significance of an apéro (the chance to drink and eat between 18.00 and 20.00).

The guide’s essays include a flaneur’s tour of picturesque lanes, street art and areas beyond the tourist-thronged centre. Readers can learn how to speak like a local too. F or example, Monocle explains that you should say ‘pas mal’ if things are OK, ‘grave’ (sure) when they agree with something or ‘mortel’ (sick – as in the contemporary use of the word) if it’s worth being enthusiastic about or ‘limite’ if it’s just so so.

 

Rupaul’s Drag Race Fan favorites coming to Singapore for largest ‘Battle of the Seasons!’

600x600_v2
Shantay, You Stay! LA Comedy Live along with Producer Entertainment Group and Sidecar Management, in conjunction with World of Wonder and Logo TV are proud to announce the world’s biggest touring drag revue, based on international mega hit TV franchise “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (RPDR) is coming to Singapore for the first time – “RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons: 2016 Extravaganza Tour” – Live In Singapore on SundayJuly, 10, 2016, 7 pm at Kallang Theatre!
The “Battle of the Seasons” tour, now in its third consecutive year of growth, will be hosted by series judge Michelle Visage and includes an all star cast of past winners, finalist and fan favourites from each season of RPDR, including:Alaska 5000, Detox, Ginger Minj, Ivy Winters, Manila Luzon, Pandora Boxx, winner of Season 7 Violet Chachki and in addition an opening DJ set by Pearl. (Lineup subject to change)

“Last year the world got merely a taste of RuPaul’s queens with the first global Battle of the Seasons Tour,” said Michelle Visage, host of the “Battle of the Seasons” tour and permanent judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. “This year we are back, and these bitches are bigger and badder than before! Get ready for the ULTIMATE RuPaul’s Drag Race experience from the minute you walk through the doors. It is a once in a lifetime extravaganza that you will NOT want to miss!”

Witness the eleganza! And gag on the shade of it all in a night of unforgettable music and madness with the world’s most talented drag performers.

Standard tickets: S$188, S$168, S$148, S$128 and S$108

Two incredible VIP Meet & Greet Packages available for fans:

S$448 (Superstar VIP Package)

S$348 (Shantay You Stay VIP Package)

The super exclusive top level RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstar VIP Package offers early entry into the show before the general public, access to the pre-show and post-show Meet and Greets with the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, an autographed poster plus an official tour tee, a tote and a commemorative Superstar VIP laminate! Also select lucky Superstar VIP guests (via raffle) will have the chance to participate in the live show!

The second level Shantay You Stay VIP Package offers early entry into the show before the general public, access to the pre-show Meet and Greet with the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, plus official tour tote and commemorative Shantay You Stay VIP laminate!

Tickets and VIP Packages on sale Thursday, May 12, 9:00 am at http://www.sistic.com.sg and 10:00 am via all other Sistic channels. Stated prices exclude Sistic booking fee.

 

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE SUPERSTAR PACKAGE:

1) One Incredible Top Price VIP Reserved Front-Row Seat Ticket

2) One Exclusive Invite to the Fabulous Post-Show Drag Race **

Memories to Last a Lifetime – Join Us for a Special Post Show Meet & Greet with Cast Members

Capture the Moment – Individual On-Stage Group Photo Opportunity with Cast Members

Signing-Off – Each VIP Guest Will Receive an Ultra-Exclusive, Limited Edition Autographed Tour Poster

3) One Entry into the Official Preshow VIP Mingle **

Mix and Mingle with Your Favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race Stars Before the Show in an Exclusive Pre-Show VIP Meet & Greet Reception

Bring the Fun, We’ll Bring the Bar – Preshow Mingle Includes a Fully-Stocked Cash Bar for Your Enjoyment ***

Forget the Lines! Access to the RuPaul’s Drag Race Merchandise Booth for All Your Shopping Needs Before General Public

Bonus – Lucky VIP Guests Will Be Randomly Selected Each Night (via Raffle) to Participate in the Actual Show!

4) Essential Drag Race VIP Merchandise

One Exclusive 2016 Drag Race Tour Shirt

One Official Drag Race Tour Tote Bag

One Commemorative Drag Race VIP Laminate & Matching Lanyard

** Please note member participation in preshow/post-show activities is subject to change and can vary. *** You must be of legal age to consume alcohol. Proper identification required for consumption of alcohol; additional local restrictions may apply.

 

SHANTAY YOU STAY VIP PACKAGE

1) One Incredible Top Price VIP Reserved Seat Ticket

2) One Entry into the Official Preshow VIP Mingle **

Mix and Mingle with Your Favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race Stars Before the Show in an Exclusive Pre-Show VIP Meet & Greet Reception

Bring the Fun, We’ll Bring the Bar – Preshow Mingle Includes a Fully-Stocked Cash Bar for Your Enjoyment ***

Forget the Lines! Access to the RuPaul’s Drag Race Merchandise Booth for All Your Shopping Needs Before General Public

3) Essential Drag Race VIP Merchandise

One Official Drag Race Tour Tote Bag

One Commemorative Drag Race VIP Laminate & Matching Lanyard

** Please note member participation in preshow/post-show activities is subject to change and can vary. ***You must be of legal age to consume alcohol. Proper identification required for consumption of alcohol; additional local restrictions may apply.

This is an ages 18 and over event.

 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons: 2016 Extravaganza Tour Official Sites: 

Web: http://rupaulbots.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RuPaulBOTS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RuPaulBOTS

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rupaulbots

 

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/255213998199391

Go down memory lane with Swensen’s Walt Disney movie themed ice-cream cakes

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.53.43 amFans of the galaxy from far, far away have more reasons to rejoice on 4th of May 2016 as Swensen’s spectacularly covers the extensive series of Star Wars movie, split into three categories: Star Wars Classics (Episode 1 – 6), Star Wars – The Force Awakens (Episode 7) and Star Wars Rebels in their latest ice-cream cake release. Every Star Wars category features the signature “forces”, the evolution of casts throughout the years as well as the reveal of the good and dark side.

Earlier this year, Zootopia, an American 3D computer-animated comedy became a well-known children movie due to its inspiring plot development and lovable characters such as Judy – the first rabbit to become a police officer, Nick – the seemingly sly but caring red fox, as well as Flash – the infamous 2“fastest” sloth. Fans of the cartoon film will be further inspired to chase their dreams with eight delightful designs featuring their favourite never-say-die characters.

Another Walt Disney movie that is the current talk-of-the-town is The Jungle Book. Remade multiple times through books, TV series and films, fans of this heartstring-tugging movie can expect Mowgli the ‘man cub’ and his jungle wolf family to continue its appeal through Swensen’s ice-cream cake designs.

Continue to enjoy your favourite movie off-screen with Swensen’s new Walt Disney Movie-themed Ice-Cream Cakes, available in 23 ice-cream flavours, including all-time favourites such as Sticky Chewy Chocolate, Frosted Chocolate Malt, Thin Mint, Strawberry Sherbet, Rocky Road, Salted Gula Melaka and Macadamia Nut. Cakes are customizable in 4 different shapes; heart, square, round and rectangle, making your ice-cream cake adventure even more enjoyable!

Swensen’s Star Wars series, Zootopia and The Jungle Book ice-cream cakes are available at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets from 1st May 2016.

SIGUR RÓS & FOALS to headline Neon Lights 2016

Foals Sep15 PR photo

SR HOR 1 (MR)

Singapore’s premier outdoor music and arts festival, Neon Lights, has announced the second edition of the ultra-fun, feel-good event, taking place on 26 and 27 November, over six stages at Fort Canning Park. The ‘music-lovers’ festival makes its comeback after a successful debut last year, and promises a knockout weekend with headliners Sigur Rós and Foals.

Saturday, 26 November – Foals
British sensation Foals arrive in Singapore after a number of whirlwind years that has seen them shoot to the very top of “must-see acts” lists around the world. The release of Foals’ current album ‘What Went Down’ sparked a chain of events that has led to the band being bigger than ever before. NME recently picked Foal’s ‘What Went Down’ as the ‘Best Album,’ and Q Awards bestowed the band with the notable ‘Best Act in the World Today’ title. Their return commenced last summer with the single, also titled ‘What Went Down,’ which shot over 5 million views at YouTube. They were just seen playing at Coachella and will be a co-headliner of the popular Reading and Leeds festival later this year.

Sunday, 27 November – Sigur Rós
The much-loved Icelandic experimental rock band Sigur Rós returns to Singapore for the first time since their sold-out debut concert in 2012. Tickets were snapped up within days of that release, and Sigur Rós went on to rock their magic to an adoring crowd of 9,000 fans who showed up in full force despite bad weather.

Fans of Foals and Sigur Rós around the region will be thrilled to know that the bands will be playing full sets at the Neon Lights festival, especially since it will be Sigur Rós’ only show in South East Asia and Foals only appearance in Singapore this year.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have acts with the global profile and prestige of Foals and Sigur Rós headlining Neon Lights 2016. Both acts have established fan bases in Singapore and the region and will be playing full length evening time sets in the magnificent setting of Fort Canning Park. The rest of our line-up will be announced in July,” said Declan Forde, Neon Lights festival director.

Over 10,000 people attended last year’s Neon Lights festival with artistes such as Damien Rice, Daughter and CHIC taking centre stage, leaving a mark as Singapore’s very own outdoor music and arts festival catering to music lovers of all ages.

“Last year’s response to Neon Lights was electrifying. To see audiences of all manner of ages, interests, professions and cultures really getting in to the spirit of the festival was just magic. We are working hard with our amazing team and artistic collaborators to once again bring great music and art to the heart of the city, and what a great start with headliners Foals and Sigur Rós!” added Jennifer Jennings, arts director of Neon Lights.

Neon Lights promises two days of must-experience interactive art, fun performance, thoughtful conversations, great food, and of course, oodles of outstanding music.

The Early Bird pre-sale starts on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for members of the Neon Lights mailing list. Tickets for the general public go on sale two hours later at 11 a.m. Sign up for the Early Bird pre-sale via http://www.neonlights.sg to enjoy this exclusive booking period.

###

WHEN
Foals on Saturday, November 26, 2016
Sigur Rós on Sunday, November 27, 2016

WHERE
Fort Canning Park, Singapore

TIME
2 p.m. – late

TICKETS
Early Bird pre-sale on May 10, 2016 at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for Neon Lights subscribers. Sign up on http://www.neonlights.sg to be on the mailing list and enjoy and exclusive priority access to Early Bird tickets. If Early Bird tickets sell-out, Tier 2 ticket prices will immediately come into affect.

Early Bird Ticket Prices
$195(+booking fees) for a two-day weekend pass
$120 (+booking fees) for a single day pass
$975 (+booking fees) for 2-day weekend pass for group of 6

Tier 2 Ticket Prices
$230 (+booking fees) for a two-day weekend pass
$135 (+booking fees) for a single day pass
$1150 (+booking fees) for 2-day weekend pass for group of 6

Under 12s*
$40 (+booking fees) for a two-day weekend pass
$25 (+booking fees) for a single day pass
*Must be accompanied by an adult

Popular Hokkaido Cheese Tart “BAKE CHEESE TART” opens Southeast Asia flagship store in Singapore

BAKECHEESETART_logoBAKECHEESETART_brandimage01 BAKECHEESETART_brandimage02 BAKECHEESETART_brandimage03 BAKECHEESETART_brandimage04 BAKECHEESETART_jiyugaoka01 BAKECHEESETART_jiyugaoka02 BAKECHEESETART_jiyugaoka03
BAKECHEESETART_making01 BAKECHEESETART_making02 BAKECHEESETART_making03 BAKECHEESETART_showcase02

BAKE Inc. (BAKE) will be delivering freshly baked cheese tarts to Singaporeans starting 29 April 2016. Located at ION Orchard, the Singapore store will be BAKE CHEESE TART’s flagship store for Southeast Asia. BAKE currently has a total of 13 stores, nine stores in Japan and four stores in the rest of Asia including Hong Kong, Seoul and Bangkok. Singapore will be the fifth store outside Japan.

“We’re expanding and when we thought about where we’d like to locate our flagship store, we immediately thought of Singapore,” said Mr. Shintaro Naganuma, President and CEO of BAKE. “From Singapore, we can reach out to many different countries. Tourists from around the region and world often come to or transit in Singapore. Also, Singaporeans often post their reviews on the internet and social media, so information about our cheese tarts will reach shores beyond just Singapore.”

BAKE CHEESE TART’s story started in Hokkaido, Japan. To date, they use cream cheese from Hokkaido in all their cheese tarts. To achieve their goal of providing their customers with “The Best Cheese Tart Ever”, BAKE CHEESE TART specialises in only one product – cheese tarts – and pours their heart and soul into perfecting these delectable treats. The cheese mousse is created by blending three different types of cream cheese together – two from Hokkaido and one from France. The pastry goes through a two-step process which leaves it with a distinct crunchy yet fluffy texture. They come together to form a flavour that is uniquely BAKE’s.

BAKE CHEESE TART’s freshly baked cheese tarts will be available at ION Orchard, #B4-33, 2 Orchard Turn Singapore starting 29 April 2016. Each cheese tart will sell for $3.50, and customers can buy six at $19.50

TP-Link Neffos Smartphones enter Singapore

C5-couple-BP-LINK, the largest global provider of Wi-Fi networking products is venturing into the smartphones market with their latest offering, Neffos. The Neffos range aims to strike the perfect balance between smart technology and stylish design, creating a unique digital experience by establishing a harmonious connection between people and devices.
 
Understanding that research and development is a big factor in the technology sector, TP-LINK invests 8 to 10 percent of their revenue each year to provide their customers products with better user experiences. The company has also accumulated decades of experience and resources in their Infocomms and Technology (ICT). The introduction of the handsets expands TP-LINK’s business scope and complements its existing portfolio of networking, wireless products and accessories. 
 
“It is in our plans to use the Neffos range to create an ideal ecosystem for our users when they are setting up a link with their smart home devices to build a smart lifestyle,” said Justin Tu, Vice President of TP-LINK. “It is our aim to provide our customers with superior, high-quality smartphones alongside easy-to-use experiences.”
 
“Having a Neffos smartphone as a second handset will aid Singaporeans in drawing a clearer line between their work and home life, with both units boosting dual-sim capabilities. In case of emergencies, there would be backup plans in place and there would not be a need to resort to using Facebook in an attempt to retrieve contact details,” continued Justin. 
 
Smart Technology and Stylish Design
The models that are being released are the Neffos C5 and C5L. Both phones feature large storage space, high running speeds, smart multithreaded program and powerful cameras. The Neffos series also shows the beauty of simplicity with its industrial design, with an emphasis on the material’s original colour and texture by incorporating polycarbonate composites. The phones also offer users a good grip with an optimized side curve, chamfer and CD texture on the side button. 
 
Powered by 1.3GHx octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor, the Neffos C5 comes with 2GB of RAM. Packing 16GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card. The phone is also equipped with an 8-megapixel main camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera for selfies. 
 
Neffos C5L is powered by 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm snapdragon 210 processor and comes with 1GB of RAM. The phone packs 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB with a microSD card. The camera on the rear is an 8-megapixel, and the front shooter is a 2-megapixel.  
 
Pricing and availability
The phones are available for sale island-wide, and on Lazada exclusively for 2 weeks from 29 April onwards, with the C5 retailing at $129 and the C5L going at $199 per unit. The first 100 buyers on Lazada will receive a free TP-LINK 10400mAH powerbank and screen protector. 
 
To learn more about TP-LINK’s Neffos range, please visit www.neffos.com.sg.
 

Local Influencers react to IRAS’ letter on taxable income

The bomb has dropped. Bloggers are now required to declare their income earned from attending events, food tastings or advertorials.

TIM speaks to a few influencers and check out their reactions:

1) How will you feel if you receive the IRAS letter?

2) Do you think this is fair for bloggers?

 

IMG_3737

Sophie Leow, Full-time Blogger who blogs at http://www.sophleow.com

If I receive the IRAS tax letter, I would personally feel conflicted as I see pros and cons in the movement.

Their act of having bloggers declare their income and submit the due tax is not all that bad as it proves that the society – or the government – is starting to recognise and accept a ‘blogger’ as a legitimised profession.

With that said, IRAS could have been fairer to bloggers by doing a better job in industry consultation before having meted out the guidelines; such as the need to declare sponsored items or services. Ultimately the guidelines have failed to capture the hidden operational cost of the business like equipments and travel, and thus has assumed that the work done is cost free which is inaccurate.

 

IMG_3742

Silver Ang, Actress and Blogger who blogs at http://thatsilvergirl.blogspot.sg

I think I’m okay with it actually. After all I have been declaring my tax for blogging for the past few years.

I think this is fair for everyone, as it is also a source a income. If your hawker or roadside cleaner should be taxed, why shouldn’t you too? With so many bloggers doing blogging full-time, it is a primary source of income for these bloggers. Also, I find it comforting actually to know that even the government is acknowledging bloggers as contributors to society, as well as recognising it as a profession.

 

12140855_1162511583766867_564446448118981254_o

Maybeline Sim, part-time blogger who blogs at  http://blog.myfatpocket.com/maybelinesim

If we receive a letter from IRAS, does it mean that we are famous enough to be taxed because we are seen as earning income that is taxable? It’s sad. Some of us started out as a personal blog with no intention of making money. Some hold a full time job and blogging is like a part time hobby.

I guess it is fair to tax A LITTLE to those who hold it as a full time job. However, most of us have a full-time job. Agencies are paying us a tiny bit of money for our time and services. How can our time and services be taxed this way when we are already paying tax for our full time job? Are we not encouraged to do something more constructive?

Moreover, the money earned is not fixed per month. I wonder for event girls doing events, girls doing shoot for blogshops, are they being taxed too???

It’s like saying… Small online business, no matter how small have to be taxed too! We don’t care if you are baking cupcakes or whatsoever… If you are making money out of your hobby, you will be taxed! It seems like we have to pick a hobby carefully now….

 

IMG_3741

Ben Jermie aka Chocolate Pistol who blogs at http://chocolatepistol.com

It is a grey area when it comes to the amount that should be taxable. Yes, income-wise, all monetary payments should be payable. In fact, I have declared my previous monetary income from blogging as it is only right. Moreover, as Singaporeans and bloggers, it is our part to make sure that we declare our income to set the right example. This taxable income serves great purpose, and I am glad that I can do my part for society too.

However, many times the “payments” we received aren’t via monetary terms. As bloggers, these could be in the form of free products or discounts. For example, if I was given a skin care review to be made by a particular client, a range of products will be given to me for me to try. However, I may only end up liking one or two products out of the bunch and choose to write about it. And this should definitely not be equivalent to an amount to be taxed since it will be hard to justify. Moreover, we may be given products which we may not fancy and hence not blogged about those by instead those which are more suited for us, but why do I have to pay tax on even products which are not suited for me but given because of a sponsorship? This goes the same for outfits that I wear to events. To be honest, I do not even know the actual cost of most of the outfits I am given to wear to events as we are promoting the brand, and the awareness of it. The cost is something we are less concerned about. There are also many other such instances like food tasting, etc. Hence, it is extremely difficult to justify non-monetary gains as you can see from the above.

 

FullSizeRender-34

Kaiting, Undergraduate, a part-time Blogger who blogs at  http://www.kaitinghearts.blogspot.sg

Angry! Because it doesn’t make sense to PAY tax on NO INCOME (for sponsored products) not to mention it’s very subjective and unfair. What if people who receive sponsored products don’t call themselves bloggers? Then what makes it different that just because we term ourselves as bloggers we have to pay? Furthermore we often do a lot a lot for sponsored products or sponsorship. (point: What Wee Heng wrote about being a food blogger on his Facebook) and now, not even being paid to help restaurants blog, but we have to fork out money from our nonexistent “income” to pay tax?

It is definitely not fair because for a part time blogger like me, I’m still studying and I do blogging on a part time basis where 90% of the time I DON’T GET MONETARY RETURNS AT ALLL. Where is my “income” then? If someone is going to sign a contact with me to pay me thousands of dollars every month just to be a blogger, then ok IRAS, I’ll pay tax. If there is no monetary income, where do you want me to dig out my “income” from?

 

IMG_3738

William Tan, Co-founder of The Influencer Network & Blogger who blogs at http://onlywilliam.blogspot.com

I’ve been blogging since 2008 and have not receive any of such letter yet. I will feel weird to have it in my letter box.

I think it is unfair to many passionate bloggers. Especially for food bloggers, imagine they get invited to a hotel’s restaurant for food tasting and we all know the food is not cheap. And most of the time, the blogger do not get paid for food reviews. If they have to pay tax, who will dare to go food tasting again? The restaurants will suffer in the long run too.

 

IMG_3740

Joey Ching How, a community strategist & a part-time blogger who blogs at http://www.talkingevilbean.com

They were probably in a board meeting and the director might have asked something like “how should we increase our revenue?” “Let’s engage bloggers to increase awareness”
“WAIT, instead of paying them, WHY NOT WE JUST TAX THEM? We get awareness PLUS we don’t need to spend a single cent!”

Although I feel that this is unfair as a blogger, I have read before that bloggers all over the world are actually required to file taxes for the income they earned. It’s just that the blogging industry in Singapore is still relatively new, thus there weren’t much awareness on this.

But really, if we have to find someone to blame for this, it would be those who keep haolian to the media they earn $1000 per campaign la!

 

IMG_3739

Gerald Png, Co-Founder of The Influencer Network and Blogger who blogs at http://www.Geraldpng.com

I feel that IRAS is manipulating and restricting freelancers(bloggers) the freedom and opportunity in the blogging industry. If bloggers got their sponsorship like for example, facial products or food tasting, do they have to clarify or state that they went for the food tasting/try the product? It makes no sense.

It’s really unfair for bloggers who are trying to blog for a living because they have to be controlled by the government(IRAS) no matter what they do. I personally feel that in order to be fair, IRAS should be asking the client/provider to declare their advertorials/sponsorship and leave the bloggers alone.

 

Edited by Dennis Toh

Below valuation property portal ‘belowVal’ helps home seekers find affordable houses more efficiently

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 4.38.46 pm

Newly launched Property Website belowVal.sg provides home seekers a more efficient and effective way to find affordable houses. The portal focuses on Rental, HDB and Private properties which are to be transacted on a more urgent nature.

The urgent sale of properties is often triggered by unforeseen circumstances like relocation, migration, family changes or foreclosure, etc. belowVal recognizes the increase demand for a fast turnaround of properties during urgent situations and wants to help agents, home owners and home seekers match their requirements more efficiently through verified ads.

The urgent sale of properties are often lost in the thousand of listings in other property websites and thus these affordable homes are eventually bought over by institutions like law firms, estate trustees and other distressed funds.

The website www.belowVal.sg lists the latest below valuation properties with the promise of no messy clutter and thousand listings but just genuine below valuation properties to help every homeowner in need.

Launched in October 2015, this increasingly popular portal has already received thousands of below market valuation properties at their website. Founder Mr Winston Lam said ‘We are heartened by the great reception of this new portal in the market. Users have told us that the portal has helped them fasten the sale process of their properties. There’s an increase element of authenticity as we check and verify every ad before it is allowed to be posted. This results in a pleasant home seeking experience as there are no fake or outdated advertisements in our portal. It is also a very user-friendly and simple website which users can easily use and navigate’.

The company intends to fine tune its offering in Singapore before branching out to the neigbouring South East Asia countries in the next few years.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 4.37.55 pm

For more information, users can access

Website: www.belowVal.sg

Facebook: Facebook.com/belowValSG

Company registered address: 73 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #02-23 Singapore 139952

 

Strike gold with first mini-sized salted egg yolk croissant from BreadTalk!

04 Golden Lava Croissant
Fans of salted egg yolk dishes can now easily satisfy their cravings with BreadTalk’s® latest addition – the Golden Lava Croissant (金颂), available today at selected BreadTalk® outlets. Sold for the first time in the perfect bite-sized version, let your taste buds luxuriate in the naturally grainy texture of the molten salted egg yolk filling that flows with every bite into the crispy, buttery croissant, delivering a unique flavour profile that hits all the savoury and sweet spots. These mini morsels are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven, making every bite an easy and absolute delight that will leave you craving more.
The Golden Lava Croissant will be progressively launched at 15 BreadTalk® outlets across Singapore, with a limited quantity available daily. It will also be available for bulk preordering
– perfect for parties and gatherings. The Golden Lava Croissant was launched one week ago at The Icing Room and Bread Society, and has since been flying off the shelves.
Those looking for other such baked treats can head to selected BreadTalk® outlets for salted egg yolk buns and selected Toast Box outlets for the popular Golden Lava egg tarts.
01Golden Lava Croissant
Price of Golden Lava Croissant $1.00 a piece (buy 6 get 1 free; buy 10 get 2 free)
Availability Launch Dates BreadTalk® Outlets
Friday, 11 March 2016 Tampines Mall, Waterway Point, Westgate, Novena Square and VivoCity
Friday, 18 March 2016
Visit BreadTalk® Singapore Facebook Page for updates on outlets

Phresh’s fruits and vegetables Food Protectors crowdfunding campaign passes Kickstarter target

Amit Gal-Or, Phresh CEO

Israeli start-up Phresh announces that its fruits and vegetables Food Protectors crowdfundingcampaign has exceeded its target of $20,000.

Phresh is raising funds to complete the building and delivery of a healthy organic solution that prevents fruits and vegetables at home from spoiling. Phresh’s Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phresh/food-protectors-your-kitchens-heroes. At this stage, the first Food Protectors items are only available through Kickstarter for the next 14 days (through March 23, 2016).

Phresh’s 20 year-old founder and CEO Amit Gal-Or is currently in China to finalize production agreements and ensure product quality. The product, which Phresh calls Kitchen Heroes, seeks to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables by three times. It is based on an organic non-toxic powder developed by Phresh, which resides in stylish packages in the shape of a robot or apple.

Currently, one packet of the powder is designed to extend the shelf-life of cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, apples, lemons, lettuce, grapes, mushrooms, strawberries, and peppers. Additional fruits and vegetables will be added soon.

Based on over 12 years of research at Israeli start-up BotanoCap, Phresh’s powder is made from essential oils, which are natural preservatives created by plants, such as oregano, spearmint, and mustard oil. Using a patented micro-encapsulation process, each grain of Phresh’s powder extends the effect of preservatives to over a month. The powdersublimates to create a protective shield that extends the life of the produce. 

“The Food Protectors product we have been developing is coming to life and can transform the way we consume and preserve fruits and vegetables”, said Amit Gal-Or, founder and CEO of Phresh. “Our campaign offers people all over the world the opportunity to support the cause of saving food produce from spoilage and be the first customers to receive ourexceptional product, which we rightly call Kitchen Heroes.”

According to Phresh, limited early access to the Food Protectors, at a 20% discount, flew off the shelves in less than 24 hours. The Food Protectors are still available in groups of one, two, three or four, making sure that they cover every inch ofthe customer’s kitchen. The creators have also added a new refill feature that allows customers to obtain more powder for many years, based on their preference.

Around 45% of the campaign’s 362 backers are women, compared with an average of 20% of women in Kickstarter campaigns, according to Phresh. The backers come from all over the world, notably from cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, London, and New York, highlighting the global reach and need for reduced food waste.

Additional details on Phresh and the Food Protectors can be found at http://www.phresh.io/ and athttps://www.facebook.com/phreshorganics/?fref=photo.

Every Day Is an Adventure with Sony’s Latest Action Cam

Relive your every-day adventures and capture stunning point-of-view footage with Sony’s latest HDR-AS50 Action Cam. Whether you’re travelling, enjoying water sports, cycling or just strolling around, the HDR-AS50 allows you to capture those experiences and relive them in mesmerising HD movies.

image007

HDR-AS50 Action Cam

The HDR-AS50 has an 11.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor paired with a ZEISS® Tessar lens, capturing your content in crystal clear high definition resolution. It uses advanced SteadyShot™ which is three times more powerful than its predecessor[2] and also used in the range topping FDR-X1000V, which delivers judder-free footage when shooting everything from motocross to aerial landscapes. The stabilisation system is especially effective against low amplitude vibration, which can occur when used with radio-controlled helicopters or drones. Capturing clear and steady footage of action sports is no longer problematic as shakes and blur during skydiving, running or cycling are effectively compensated for.

With the HDR-AS50, field angle adjustment is now possible through “angle setting” and “zoom setting.” Users benefit from two-step angle switching[3] between wide and narrow, allowing perfect frame adjustment of any scene with less image distortion for great quality, no matter what angle. The HDR-AS50 also features a newly enhanced 3x smooth zoom, allowing you get even closer to the action.

image009

HDR-AS50 Action Cam

The body of the HDR-AS50 has been redesigned with emphasis on increased usability. The Action Cam provides a new and improved user interface, enabling intuitive operation through icon and button operability, for quick setting changes when time is of the essence. Users can control their Action Cam using smartphones and tablets and turn it on/off when using with the PlayMemories Mobile app[4].

The camera boasts a rear USB port allowing users to connect a cable even whilst an accessory is attached, enabling the Action Cam to be supplied with power via a mobile battery, even while shooting. A tripod socket has been introduced eliminating the need for a tripod adaptor.

The new camera has implemented some changes based on customer feedback from athletes and other previous users, and now comes with several new and improved user features. Adjustable and enhanced beep sounds as well as three tally lights on the top, front and back have been added to allow greater notice of camera conditions like REC status even when wearing a helmet and when mounted on handlebars or monopods.

image011

HDR-AS50 Action Cam

The HDR-AS50 comes with a variety of incredible movie functions for more exhilarating footage. Time-lapse Capture allows interval shooting of 8MP still images which means that even though the Action Cam only records in HD, when editing using the Action Cam Movie Creator software[5], these images can easily be turned into a stunning 4K Time-lapse movie. Time-lapse movies can also be created in Full HD using the Action Cam App[6].

The HDR-AS50 can capture high-bitrate recordings at 50Mbps using the XAVC S format, allowing you to shoot even the most complex of situations like splashing water or large crowds with impressive detail. Fleeting moments that ought to be emphasised can now also be captured in cinematic slow-motion, allowing you to add a creative touch to those epic moments.[7]

Sony’s own in-built movie creator, Highlight Movie Maker[8], now incorporates face detection and automatically assembles a highlight package which can be viewed and shared immediately. Your action-packed footage is rounded off with pure and vibrant sound recorded with a high-quality stereo mic allowing you to accurately capture the essence of waves crashing or children laughing.

 

image013

HDR-AS50 Action Cam

The HDR-AS50 comes with a large range of accessories to further enable you to preserve life’s moments. Divers and swimmers can now benefit from a supplied Underwater Housing for theHDR-AS50, which allows footage to be captured down to 60m under water. The housing is perfectly designed to protect your Action Cam from damage and is therefore not only extremely tough but also dust-, shock and waterproof. The designated flat lens allows you to capture incredibly clear underwater footage. An optional Cap Clip (AKA-CAP1) is a perfect accessory for any casual use such as travelling or fishing.

Sony’s new HDR-AS50 Action Cam will be available at all Sony Stores, Sony Centres and selected Sony authorised dealers from March 2016 at a recommended retail price of $299.

ECCO Spring/Summer 2016 Collection

ECCO Biarritz Black ECCO Collin Moonless ECCO Collin Sneaker Port ECCO CS14 Black ECCO Henley Mink ECCO Hybrid B Navajo Brown ECCO Ian Bison ECCO Ian Marine ECCO Intrinsic 2 Shoe Slip Dark Shadow Picante ECCO Intrinsic 2 Shoe Slip True Navy ECCO Intrinsic 2 Shoe Slip ECCO Intrinsic 2 True Navy ECCO Intrinsic 2 ECCO Summer Moc PicanteStarting 2016 with a bang, this season sees ECCO’s continuously refreshing direction in their footwear designs while maintaining their Danish roots; quality craftsmanship and uncompromising comfort.

The Spring/Summer 2016 Collection was inspired by three themes: Bohemian Satorialist which Incorporates various ethnicities’ styles for optimal mobility; Natural Imperfection which is all about appreciating the authenticity and integrity of natural materials; and Biomimicry that infuses innovative and futuristic elements, focusing on the technology to achieve an ideal range of footwear that is dependable. The colour palate of the season range from monochromatic tones to a natural theme consisting of florals, pastels and earthy tones as well as iridescent silver and vibrant hues of orange, plum, blue and green.

In addition to casual and formal shoe styles, ECCO has expanded on their highly successful active lifestyle range – Intrinsic 2, which offers sleek designs of sneakers in various colours for both men and women crafted in knitted textile and leather. For women, the Intrinsic range (Karma) also includes a selection of ballerina flats that are lightweight and durable.

For more information:

http://sg.ecco.com

TO INFLUENCE OR NOT?

TO INFLUENCE OR NOT? 

That is the question.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.40.13 am

 

There have been a lot of buzz and conversations generated online on the notion of influencing or ‘Influencer’ lately. Rebecca Lim, a mediacorp artiste was slammed for intentionally deceiving the public on her very own version of ‘retiring’. She was found to have collaborated with NTUC income as a digital ‘one off’ ambassador for their marketing campaign. The usual trolls followed soon after her initial post.

On her facebook post, she said ‘ Hi Everyone. I’ve decided to do something that will change my life. I have been thinking about it for a while now as I know it has to be done. I’m retiring. I know you may have questions for me and I will answer them real soon. Meanwhile, be happy for me.

Isn’t it all about semantics, nuances or the creative choice of words, which copywriters and writers are paid handsomely for their good English standards?

If you study the content carefully, she was interpreted as leading people to believe that she’s retiring from acting and leaving Mediacorp for good. And perhaps the impact would not be that great if not for her huge popularity in Singapore. We all love and adore Rebecca, right?

People felt cheated. Some questioned the use of celebrities in such context. Some asked about the fine line being an ambassador versus a campaign influencer.

What if she edits and writes it this way?

‘Hi Everyone. I’ve decided to do something that will change my life. I have been thinking about it for a while now as I know it has to be done. I’m seriously thinking of my retirement. I know you may have questions for me and I will answer them real soon. Meanwhile, be happy for me.

Would that make a difference? ‘I’m seriously thinking of my retirement’ would fit more defensively into the dual message which NTUC Income is trying to convey. Here’s a link to the campaign that will give you a better context.

http://www.retiring.com.sg

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.42.58 am

 

Online sensation and paid media

But of course every advertiser wants to SENSATIONALISE content. Or, I am just imagining.

Who wouldn’t want to create an online phenomenon, or a viral discussion in today’s highly fast paced, cluttered and dynamic internet environment? Perhaps it is the immense pressure and expectations exerted on social media marketers to create campaigns that are much ‘talked about’, ‘award winning’ and the commonly used term ‘viral’.  Think Old Spice ‘The man your man could smell like’, ‘Gangnam style’ or even our local ‘Un Un Un Un Un Believable’ Music video.

Why then hire an Influencer? You might asked? In this case, wouldn’t Rebecca be classified as a celebrity? Why is she tainted with the ‘influencer’ tag and be slammed left, right & center by the online community?

I believe Rebecca was paid like any other influencers; to post a carefully crafted message on her social media platforms. This is probably part of their Integrated marketing campaign which relied on her to create some ‘Online Buzz’ about Retirement before the official marketing platforms are released.

For Rebecca, it was simply an advertorial job which she was tasked to post on a certain date and time. Perhaps even the copy was given to her wholesale without much contemplation from her talent manager or herself. Little did she know that her post would have stirred so much controversies online.

 

On ad Masking and authenticity

Let’s go back to the topic of ad masking and authenticity.

This was a major hot topic a year ago when the influencer marketing industry was said to be at its near doldrums. The Giants fought over matters relating to authenticity, ethics and best practices. Many bystanders stood by, pinpointed, watched and gossiped over meals and kopi sessions. Some took the opportunities to curate dramatic blog articles, providing commentaries and updates on the internet saga.

It was history in the making as the digital influencer giants fought to kill each other.

One year on; the industry has become more mature as the various players have learnt from their lessons and proceeded on with their own pursuits.

Yet, we are still seeing a lack of understanding towards the influencer marketing industry.

People cannot understand why bloggers are paid to review products or services. Chefs are saying that bloggers are akin to cheaters and lacks credibility. Journalists lament the erosion of editorial standards as more bloggers and social news sites gain traction and interest amongst the younger audience. Celebrities worry about their popularity and fame as more youtubers gain recognition through their own merits and hard work.

All these trends signal to one thing.

That change is constant and no one is guaranteed a positive status quo in the highly vibrant internet world.

The internet has changed the advertising landscape tremendously.

The traditional way of advertising ‘television commercial’, “print advertisement’, ‘Outdoor billboard’, ‘Catalogues’ all spell a cliché and dated way of marketing. The buzz words, which excites the CMOs in today’s internet world would be ‘Influencer Marketing’, ‘Viral Marketing’, ‘Youtube Videos’, ‘Facebook Marketing’, and the list goes on.   Essentially, these platforms represent the future of advertising as it is evident that people are spending a lot more time on social networking sites and their mobile phones.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.44.59 am

Source: Mothership

 

Still a warped perception towards blogging

Yet, some businesses and individuals are non-chalant and ignorant over the power of digital and influencer platforms.

In an interview with local news and commentary site Six-Six, Chef Jimmy Chok went on record to categorically declare his ill feelings for food bloggers who act like they know what it means to cook and eat.

And of course, it triggered a lot of anger and emotions amongst the blogger community. Especially food ones.

I have personally met and befriended many bloggers through my professional work as the co-founder of The Influencer Network. True enough, there are a few bloggers who gave blogging a bad name, mostly for their lousy attitude and poor ethical standards. You know who they are. I would say a majority of them are serious about their craft and hope to make a difference by spreading meaningful messages that could impact the world.

Whatever the calling is, this craft of blogging is a profession of its own and needs to be respected wholeheartedly.

To run a blog is no simple business. Many people think it’s a simple job.

A friend of mine who used to be a blogger ( now a high ranking professional) recently rebutted Jimmy Chok on his facebook and exclaimed that the value provided by bloggers far outweighs the cost of food that is provided free of charge.

Here’s what he said:

Just as you are running a restaurant business, bloggers have to sustain their channels. Bloggers have to pay for monthly hosting fees and web maintenance costs too.

To write one blog review for you, they have to

  1. A) Dedicate 2 – 3 hours of their time to sample your food (They receive 100 over emails a day. What makes yours so special?)
  2. B) Manage food photography on the spot (to make sure your dish looks good no matter how bad the lighting or presentation)
  3. C) Take note of the name of the dish, price and how it taste.
  4. D) Organise and enhance the food photos to make it look good.
  5. E) Device headlines and write out the review article
  6. F) Do backend coding to make sure the paragraphing and alignment comes out alright.
  7. G) Draft and publish social posting to entice fans to click and read the review.

And you think food bloggers go through so much just to eat a free meal of less than S$100? He laments.

I believe the above points are true value-added tasks undertaken from bloggers at any paid or sponsored events.  Bloggers are not bimbotic looking individuals who are just in for freebies and sponsored stuff. In fact, on the contrary, a lot of them are smart and look the part!

 

057

 

Monetary incentive for blogging

This is why I am advocating that bloggers be paid for their service, much like how any marketers will pay for an ad space on a local newspaper, which by any standard is way more expensive then online spaces.

Fair enough, the reach of a newspaper is not any lower than bloggers by any standard. Whatever audited means there is to prove circulation and readership, an advertisement placed in a newspaper is also subjected to many factors, like position, colour, size of advertisement before awareness could be truly felt. The spot advertisement of a television commercial is also subjected to the length of the spot buy, position of the spot advertisement, and also creative message that determines ad retention and recall.

Why are we so harsh towards the notion of Influencer Marketing then?

To put it simply, it is a paid form of word of mouth advertising. And why would we argue that its credibility and authenticity be questioned whenever there is a sponsored or paid engagement.

Haven’t we heard about Product Placements on television for the longest time? Sponsored stories on printed newspapers nuanced as editorials to make it look more credible. Radio’s ‘Open Talks’ to discuss key subject matter conveniently weaved into DJs’ conversations. All these we have learnt in our Advertising & Promotions module.

I guess, we are all living in a world where money speaks. If there’s advertisers who are willing to pay, media players bend the rules for economic reasons.

I am not saying that Influencers are unethical in their work. What I am hinting is that it’s time we cut bloggers some slack and recognize their good work. A lot of bloggers truly sacrifice their time ( often at the expense of their personal time) to attend events and bring the latest news and updates to their readers. The latest promotions and trends are communicated through their social portals so that their friends, readers or wider community could benefit from them instantaneously. Our daily online entertainment is also made more interesting with a buzz of curated articles commenting about fashion, food, lifestyle, travel, politics and what have you. These are real value generated by bloggers to keep our economy and social eco-system running.

Dominos180315-067

 

Time to recognise Bloggers

And So, It’s time we stop the hatred or negativity for the term ‘Influencer’ or ‘Blogger’ and start recognising that this is something we cannot change. Much like how we cannot change the fact that social media is now entrenched in our lives, this by-product of technology, ‘Blogging’ or ‘Influencing’ if you call, is here to stay.

There will be more commoners, like you and me, joining the force & realm of influencing in whichever capacity. Trust me.

So SAY HI to more blogging, citizen journalism, youtube programmes, bite-sized news reporting, e-commerce, social commerce, just-for laugh productions, APPS, and the list goes on.

If nothing above rings a bell or interest you, it is not too late to change your mindset now. If you insist its not for you, may the force be with you.

 

Written by Dennis Toh

Dennis Toh is the co-owner of The Influencer Network, an academic of Curtin Singapore University, and owner of Feet Haven Reflexology and Wa! Entertainment

http://www.Instagram.com/DennisTOHSG

 


Additional readings:

Attached below are questions made to me on the Rebecca’s saga by a local newspaper; and my replies. For those who are interested to know my views:

Local actress Rebecca Lim and NTUC were also under fire over the weekend for their collaborative post about retirement, where fans initially thought she was announcing her retirement from acting. Obviously not all social media strategies work and so this leads me to the questions I have:

I noticed on your website that your clients are mainly consumer brands but your company has worked with NTUC Young before. In your own observations, do you see the government agencies increasingly jumping on the bandwagon of engaging social media influencers? Why is this so?

Yes, I’ve noticed that a lot of government agencies have evolved in the way public communications is being done. This is inevitable as the realm of marketing and public relations is also changing exponentially, especially with the increased usage of social media platforms and mobile phones. With consumers becoming more savvy and demanding, government campaigns can no longer be a ‘top-down’ approach but one that has ingredients that encourage user-generated content and a two-way communication. Engaging influencers will be considered as part of a larger scheme digital engagement. Influencers with huge following are tapped on not just for their numbers, but also the relevance of the influencers’ persona and style to the campaign message, execution or tone of voice. Social Influencers have a huge voice and it makes key messages catapult easily into a wider reach within a fast period of time. Hence, using of social media influencers have become a popular digital tactic used by most marketers.

Are there certain messages that work better/more suitable for social media?

I would say no. Social Media is just any other media platform and the onus is really on the digital strategist to curate the messages that suit its audience. However, it is safe to say that messages relating to daily lives, like lifestyle, food, travel and events are easier to communicate as compared to more complex topics and issues like engineering or law.

· In your own line of work, what kind of impact (both good and bad) have you observed from engaging social media influencers?

The concept works the same in using celebrities or personalities to endorse certain brands or products. Whenever there is a product endorsement, the celebrity lends his or her persona to the brand, and there’s a transfer of personality traits from the celebrity to the brand/products. Customers who aspire to exude those traits or characteristics will gravitate towards the brand. Essentially, when using social influencers, the digital brand gets ‘viraled’ ( if theres such a word) unto a whole new level as the social influencers repackage the messages and content into a form that is lot more personable and digestible online. The bad that could associate with social media influencers is its propensity for it to go awfully bad. Much like the case of Rebecca; the intent was good; but it went the wrong way as sometimes you can’t stop people or critics from saying anything they want online.
· What do you make of the social media strategies used by government agencies? Are they generally effective?

I would say yes for some. For example the youtube video produced by GOV.SG ( or not ) on Medishield was well produced and received. It touched the hearts of most Singaporeans with its strong storyline and brilliant acting from the key actors like Li Ying Zhu. HPB engaged Dee Kosh and Sylvia for its latest ‘Sugary truth’ video and I thought it wasn’t that effective or engaging. Perhaps users are used to their wacky stunts and antics but when cast on more serious matters, their persona fell flat instead.

· How can government agencies ensure that their strategies on social media is money well spent?

It has to be holistic and covers all aspects of the Integrated Marketing Communications tools. Amidst the backdrop of the other tools, Social Media must be used to achieve earned media, aka word of mouth or viral steroids where people actively champion or talk about your brand, as a form of free publicity. If brands can orchestrate such digital movements online, and that the outcomes are mostly positive, I believe the strategies would have had worked, and money is well spent.

New TV Special: Hair and Makeup Confidentials 2 with Tips and Tricks from Industry Experts in Korea

1. HMU_Confidentials 2

3.  HMU_Confidentials 2

5.  HMU_Confidentials 2

Want to know all the latest hair and makeup tips straight from the runways? Fashion One, the leading New York based international fashion, entertainment and lifestyle network, shares tips from established makeup artists and hairstylists at the backstage runways and photoshoots in the second episode of Hair and Makeup Confidentials.

Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the tables of established hair and makeup masters for a special feature on the latest beauty trends and tricks. This episode will explore foolproof beauty for all year round, as we discover dramatic looks from red hot lipsticks to bouncy, natural hair.

For the spring/summer seasons, insiders suggest using a primer and bronzer for a flawless finish. Match your makeup with beautiful summer hair in loose curls and braids for easy, bohemian look perfect for the warmer weather.

Next for autumn/winter, it’s all about the smoky eye. This timeless look paired with a timeless wine-colored lipstick is the perfect way to spice up your winter look. The cooler months are also the perfect time to embrace your hair’s natural texture. Think center parts, undone waves and big curly hair.

Hair and Makeup Confidentials Ep 2 is premiering on February 23, Tuesday, at 22:00 exclusively on Fashion One. Fashion One is available on StarHub (channel 442).

PH accelerates plans to develop Halal tourism

PH and CR

The Philippines is accelerating its plans to position itself as one of the world’s preferred destinations for Muslim tourists.

The Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) has unveiled a series of initiatives as part of a major drive to create a long-term infrastructure across the country to diversify its visitor arrivals by attracting Muslim visitors- especially from the neighbouring ASEAN region and the Middle East.

It has now partnered with CrescentRating, the world’s leading authority on Halal travel, to help build capabilities and resources as well as launch a destination marketing campaign to meet its objectives.

The relationship will see the PDOT embark on a series of activities to increase awareness of the availability of Halal food, mosques, and other Muslim-friendly holiday experiences and facilities in the Philippines.

The Muslim travel market is now widely recognised as a key growth tourism sector projected to be worth $200 billion by 2020.

The Philippines’ close proximity to the large Muslim populations of Malaysia and Indonesia, coupled with its rich diverse culture, makes the country an attractive destination for family tourists keen to explore one of the most unique places in Asia.

“The Philippines receives close to 566,000 visitors from the Middle East, parts of ASEAN, as well as India and Israel. This forms our base market to extend Halal services and to move forward. Halal is not only a religious matter, but a nation’s concern. “

“Hence the impetus in the development of the halal industry must be economic rather than just cultural. Improving the Halal industry in our country will not only serve to advance the lives of Muslim Filipinos and attract more tourists, but it could also help spur growth in the Philippine economy,” Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. of the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) said.

Tourism Philippines said this new drive to attract inbound Muslim tourists formed a key strand on its long-term strategy to maximize its economic growth in the halal tourism industry. The initial focus will be on developing services in Manila, Davao, Cebu, and Boracay.

The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country composed of more than 7,000 islands, offering a unique travel experience from its waterfront promenade to centuries-old Chinatown.

It will work with CrescentRating and its sister brand HalalTrip to launch a dedicated Muslim Visitor Guide and promote its offering via online campaigns including the use of social media influencers in the region. It will also use CrescentRating services to accredit hotels and restaurants in the major cities of Philippines with its rating system.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating, said: “We are delighted to have entered into a partnership with the Philippine Department of Tourism on their maiden journey into the Muslim-friendly travel market and excited about working together.”

“Looking at the Philippines’ unique culture and heritage, we believe there is a huge potential for the destination to position itself and inspire Muslim visitors to choose Philippines for their next holiday.

“Muslim tourists are now more bold and daring in their travel choices and the Philippines presents a great offering for those looking for natural beauty and culture.”

The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, the most comprehensive research that has been released on the sector, revealed that in 2014, the Halal tourism market was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy. Philippines was ranked 47th on the list with a GMTI score of 41.8.

Spice up your romance journey with Love & Co.

Spice up a romance journey with stylish locket pendants in rose gold this Valentine’s Day.
Love & Co., the premier bespoke specialist in couple bands, solitaires and bridal jewellery, has unveiled the latest rose gold addition to its existing LVC Charmes Love Story locket collection. In this season of love, the alluring rose gold holds symbolism of eternal romance and portrays timeless elegance. The Love Story locket collection gives you the creativity of illustrating your unique romance journey through exquisite, delicate charms which are safely nestled within a sapphire glass locket. Mark a milestone, celebrate a joyous occasion or express appreciation for that special someone with the array of charms which includes alphabets, numbers and iconic shapes that represent love, specially designed to express every unique love story.
Love & Co.’s Love Story locket pendant is now available in 3 variations –elegant rose gold, classic white gold as well as a luxurious white gold pendant adorned with diamonds. Intricately handmade by master craftsmen, the locket makes the perfect gift for your loved one and adds a touch of artistry to their jewellery collection.
The Influencer Network has recently invited 11 Influencers to the launch and each of them has penned down their experiences.
DSC_8744
Blogger Kaiting & Boyfriend Ken Seah
DSC_8670 (1)
Flora Isabelle with Hubby Garry
IMG_5173 (1)
Shufeng with friend
IMG_5170
Blogger Maybeline and Boyfriend James Aw
IMG_5217
Blogger Dawn Lee with Friend
DSC_8678
Blogger Karen Ashley Ng and Boyfriend
IMG_5284
Artiste Silver Ang and Friend
IMG_5145
Blogger Aggy Low and friend
IMG_4963

Enjoy $100 off by quoting any of the blogger’s promo code at any Love & Co. showroom!* (Find out the promo codes from their links below)

*Terms & Conditions

Promotion is valid till 30 April 2016.
Promotion is only valid when you quote the specific influencer’s code prior to purchase.
Promotion is only applicable to the purchase of LVC Lovemark solitaire collection (diamond to be 0.3ct and above) or a pair of LVC Promise wedding bands.
Promotion is not applicable with the use of other discount vouchers and/or offers.
Promotion is only valid for a single transaction per person.
Promotion is valid at all Love & Co. showrooms in Singapore
The management of Love & Co. reserves the rights to amend any terms and conditions without prior notice.

Maybeline Sim
Khoo Shu Feng