21 June, 2006

Note to Singapore Marketers: uSuck!

Singapore has announced a US$3.2 billion plan to make the city state more intelligent by 2015.:

Singapore has unveiled a 10-year, $3.2 billion Master Plan, titled Singapore Intelligent Nation iN2015, which seeks to integrate all the modern and Next Generation wireless and other infocomm technologies in every aspect of economy and social systems to retain its global competitiveness.
The iN2015 Plan, unveiled by Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communication and Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yong, during the launch of the annual imbX 2006 infocomm show here, is yet another manifestation of the government’s ability to strategize to catch the next wave of innovation and application to maintain its status as a global city.

Upon reading this AsiaPundit immediately felt a bit queasy. While AP feels that such developments should be led by the private sector rather than the state, that wasn’t the initial source of displeasure. No, AsiaPundit was bothered by the name given to the plan.

AsiaPundit won’t comment on whether this plan will likely make Singapore more intelligent, but is does immediately make the island seem dreadfully uncreative. The choice of iN2015 again illustrates the country’s terrible habit of adopting trendy branding that is already cliched and will only become even more dated. This is a problem that plagues both the state and private-sectors.

This would ordinarily not provoke a rant but AsiaPundit was further reminded of this unfortunate habit when he saw the below display today in a Shanghai shopping center. Witness the marketing genius of Singapore health-care product maker Osim.:


iSqueez massage boots? The uZap slimming belt? Even worse are some of the products on the Osim website: the iPamper massager, iCheck5000 blood pressure monitor and the iTango body toner. Would anyone in the market for a foot massager really spend S$700 on an iPoke?


Excuse me while iPuke.

AP will note that he has purchased several Osim products for Mrs AsiaPundit, all of which have been appreciated and put to good use. However, the appropriation of  lower-case vowels in almost every product diminishes them and makes them seem like cheap attempts to cash in on Apple’s successful branding of the iPod.

AsiaPundit takes some solace in the fact that Imagethief shares his discomfort.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

by @ 11:52 am. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

5 Responses to “Note to Singapore Marketers: uSuck!”

  1. Imagethief Says:

    iTedium in Singapore…

    There is little that I can add to this post from Asiapundit, so I’ll just send you there to read it…….

  2. Marisa Wikramanayake Says:

    I have to agree with you on this. While providing people with the technology that can enable to do better and learn more, if one wants to make a nation more intelligent as Singapore seems to want to do here, the the most important thing would probably be to teach people skills such as critical thinking, analysis and creative thinking skills. You can’t expect a decent result if you don’t endeavour to teach people to not just utilize the technology but also the skills they need for intelligent thought.

  3. Adamu Says:

    iPod style naming is no different than when in the early 90s it was popular to make everthing JUMP OUT in the middle… Like everyone in my school who had an LL Bean backpack got it with their initials jAr when their real initials were AJR. It was stupid then, and as you said, the iBullshit will look really dated in a few years as well (in less time maybe since the Internet spreads trends so fast).

  4. Gahmen Lackey Says:



  5. Gahmen Lackey Says:

    argh. my seemingly witty comment has already been used for your title.

    Despite my asian ancestry, I still have trouble reading your “Kung Pao Karate School” font.

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