Stricter rules over irresponsible marketing events

Wah finally, we know who is behind the cash dispensing vending machine.

I personally dislike marketing activations that prioritise public attention and brand awareness over public order, safety and security, and also, cause a waste of public resources.

The recent cash vending machine stunt by telecoms service provider Circle.Life is yet another good example, after the stupid marketing stunt by Phillips over the launch of its new shaver years back. That the telecoms service provider’s marketing campaign preyed on the greedy nature of human beings is for another story. But the fact that they had caused alarm over public security concerns as a large crowd had gathered at Raffles Place – a key financial district in Singapore – resulting in police checking in on them, all these in the name of creating brand awareness and publicising their new data plans smacked of selfishness and a lack of the social awareness as Singapore faces heightened security concerns.

From what the organisers and police told Channel NewsAsia, seems like they were let off without a warning, even though the Raffles Place event was cut short and their planned Orchard even was cancelled. (seriously, like that also can???)

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Why our police never come down harsher on such marketing activations? It seems like  damn easy to gather a large crowd in a strategic location in Singapore for a cause that many participants do not know even what it was for. People just turn up to “try luck”, “take a look” and “see how”. This time round, it’s the marketing stunt by a telecoms service provider; we may not be so lucky the next time.

In any case, a good marketing effort does not necessarily mean attracting a large crowd to an outdoor event. Check out what Netflix did:

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Just sheer turnout of people who don’t know and don’t care what this is about, doesn’t really translate to better business you know?