Romantic Legend – Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

Legend has it couples who kissed passionately crossing the skinny bridge over the Amstel River will be in love forever. At least, that’s the version that was played on the narration on the tourist canal cruise.


(Image from I was too busy stealing a kiss to take a photo)

This legend has romanticized the skinny wooden bridge. Couples on our cruise did embraced and kissed passionately when crossing under the bridge. That was almost the only piece of information that got into my mind through the 30 min long narration on the boat coz it sparked fantasy, the fantasy of being in love with someone forever.

Magere Brug has its beauty history, one of the oldest wooden bridge in Amsterdam, used to be skinny barely enough to only allow two pedestrians crossing at the same time back in 1871.  When looking up its story, instead of the everlasting love legend pops up from the search results, it was actually the story of two skinny sisters – named after the “magere zussen” (skinny sisters), it was believed that the well-off sisters who lived across the river from each other built this bridge so that we could visit each other more easily.    

Why am I writing this post? Of course it’s because the memory the lingering but passionate kiss under the bridge still brings butterflies to my stomach.  



Waffles Comparison

I’ve had waffles in 3 different cities in the past 2 weeks.





Hong Kong (claim to be authentic Brussels)


All were amazing, but to me, it matters whom you were with. So the Amsterdam one was the best for me

In-Store Experience Fails – Aldo

Being in marketing and particularly being in retail industry makes me slightly aware of how in-store experience means for customers. 

Today I just experienced a terrible in-store service in the Aldo store, in Langham Place, Hong Kong.

I fell in love these shoes by walking up the escalators 2 – 3 times a week on my way up to 7am Yoga. The advertising visual intrigued me. So finally, I made up my mind to go to the store when it’s actually open (it’s closed before 7am every time i walked by).



When I went into the store. It was slightly packed with about 8 patrons around, a few tourists from mainland of course.  I walked in. No one greeted me. I needed to approach to the sales assistant to seek help. I asked her nicely if could try on the advertising model at size 36. Her face went blank for a split second and she replied. Sorry, it’s not available in store. So i was like, “what’s the style number of the shoes?” She went “We don’t have this style.” I went “Could I have the item number so it’s easier for me to check online? Or could you check if the shoes are available in other stores in Hong Kong?” And then the colleague of hers came in ” No, we can’t check the availability of other stores in Hong Kong. And we can’t check for you online either.” Really????

They just couldn’t wait to shovel me out of the store. So frustrating.

Here’s my take on how they failed a big time

Sin 1: Not carrying the advertising style in store!!!!! How can you not carry it? If it’s sold out, let customers know.

Sin 2: No greeting to customers when they come in store

Sin 3: Not pro-actively trying to approach a customers to help (I needed to get her attention and asked for help)

Sin 4: Not knowing the products that was in the advertisement. They didn’t even know the sku (item number) not even trying to get it for a customers upon request

Sin 5: Missed the cross-selling opportunity a big time. When a customer walks in your store and asked for a style, he/she must be very interested and is in the mood of purchase. If the product she/he’s interested in is not available, recommend a similar style!!! As simple as that!

Sin 6: The unhelpfulness of the sales assistant is totally a big turn off. I’m not going to the Aldo store any more. Once a lost customer, always a loss.

To the great contrary, I received a totally different treatment in Venilla Suite.

1. I was greeted with warm welcome

2. The sales assistant offered me help without me asking

3. When I tried on the shoes and found it a bit tight and deciding on whether or not to go a size bigger. The sales person offered advice that the length of the shoes fitted me but it’s just the front part is tight which can be larger by a procedure that should take 3-4 minutes.

4. While I was waiting for my shoes, the sales told me about the discount that if I buy two items at the same time I would enjoy 15% discount on both items.

5. I asked for another shoes in my size to try on. The sales came back with 3 different shoes that are similar in style. He also told me the features of the shoes, one was made of super soft leather and he showed me by folding the shoes in front of me and the second one, the explained the design details and backed with a trend.

6. He also mentioned the membership and told me the benefits.

What I bought instead?


Seriously, that makes the difference! The in-store experience can be very much boosted up by proper training and appropriate incentive programs. 

I still can’t find the Aldo shoes I want with a few different search queries on Google. 

Where would I buy my shoes again? Not Aldo, at least not in store. 


Chill’s Doomsday Campaign – Flash of Genius

Again, I can’t believe that I didn’t know about this file until just now.

Dec 21, 2012 – We knew it all along. Everyone was talking about it. There was even a movie about it. 

No one was actually admit believing it but deep down we somewhat were a bit scared. So Carlsberg came up with this brilliant idea of making fun out of doomsday.

Appeal to the Cool Hunters

They started off with this amazing TVC on “Not allow to be unhappy” because the end is coming – body height doesn’t matter; what are you still afraid of? The whole concept resonanced with whole instant gratification which we celebrate for Gen-Y and younger.

Celebrity Collaboration

This is Asia. Celebrity influence is vital. They collaborated with May Day to talk about a bucket list. May Day is a very popular hip music band from Taiwan with huge following in Greater China. The bucket list sharing is perfect in getting the target audience to have the fun mood. Here’s what their bucket list is, what about mine?

Of course, with integrated media plan to make sure the idea is widespread and plus star stud concerts, especially May Day and events to created a 360 effect.

(Agency: Zenith Optimedia)

I wish I could find more info on their offline events. Hope you can still get the idea with the two videos. 

Digital Marketing Vs ECommerce 101

I’ve been asked this questions too many times “What’s the difference between digital marketing and ecommerce?”

Interesting enough, it usually came from head hunters.

So here’s my take on the differences:

Digital Marketing 

It’s part of the overall marketing. It’s one of the many marketing means, like OOH, Print, TV etc. Digital marketing includes anything marketing means with digital media, which includes but not limited to:

– Your Own Website

– Search Engine Marketing

  • Paid Search
  •  Image
  • To put it on layman terms, you basically paid a few keywords/query related to your brand/products, when people type in these keywords, your ad appears on the search results as ad. It’s paid advertising
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • According to Wikipedia, SEO isis the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
  • Search Results
  • Again, Laymen terms, you user different strategy to make your website attractive to the search engine so they rank you higher when people search

– Display

  • Display includes banners and text links (this is more important for cultures that love to read, eg. China)

Yahoo Home Page Screen Cap– eDM

  • Including sending emails to your own database and to the database of others – still one of the most cost-effective methods for driving quality traffic to your site especially in-house eDM
  • an eDM from Kate Spade
  • Social Media Marketing
  • For this I can go on and on… See 4Cs for Social Media Marketing and blog
  • Facebook
  • Weibo
  • Instagram
A Shoppable online magazine

A Shoppable online magazine

– Mobile Marketing – any marketing done on mobile or tablet platforms including advertising, website, app SOLOMO etc.


Ecommerce is according to Wikipedia, “commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices, social media, and telephones as well.”

Laymen terms again, it’s the act of doing business on digital channels. For that you need marketing and operation.

For different industries, operation can be very different. Just to name a few:

– Hotels/Travels – Operation involves the payment gateway, booking engines on the site and how it links to the reservation system in the hotel or air ticketing system

– Online learning – Operation involves payment gateway, how the online subscription is manage. How you are billed monthly, when your subscription end etc

– Retail – This is very complicated. There’s a term called – Fulfillment. Basically, operation includes planning assortment and inventory for ECommerce, warehousing the products, packing the products, payment gateway, application integration middleware, ERP, shipping the product out, return & exchange and aftersales.

Of course, there’s the marketing side of Ecommerce which is quite overlapping with digital marketing. However, Ecommerce marketing is not just using digital means, you see OOH sides or print advertisement or even TVC promoting online sales. This is Ecommerce marketing too. So, it’s not purely digital.

Getting more confused?  One Sentence, digital marketing is one of the marketing means; ecommerce refer to the whole process of doing transaction with digital media. Hope it helps.