Paul Chard – The most interesting person at #banff2012 to me

Friday, 15 June, 2012

My good friend Gingi Baki asked me: who is the most interesting person you met at Banff 2012? Tough question! You see, I have met television creatives & luminaries like Chuck LorreGlen Mazzara,  Jeanne BekerMike FleissTerence Winter and I can easily put any one of them on my “most interesting person” list. But if I do that, I will be doing a diservice to you. What would you gain if I name any one of them? Nothing! Because you know them already. Instead I will share with you a name that, unless you are in the “business“, you may not heard of.

To me, the most interesting person I met in #banff2012 is Paul Chard, Global Head of Content of MediaCom.

#Banff2012 Day 1 - pix 02

Paul is the brain behind bringing the international format Got Talent into the almost impossible land of China (rebranded to be China’s Got Talent 中国达人秀) which was a 15 months effort and lots of negotiation (as Paul wrote, “co-operation and partnership with IPCN, Shanghai Media Group and format owners Freemantle and SYCO“). China’s Got Talent is one of the first TV formats that got into China. I actually saw widespread popularity first hand at the time as many of the amazing China’s Got Talent videos were shared by my friends on their social networks. (for more details, see Paul’s 2010 blog and ICPN page with video clip)

Paul Chard talked about brokering “Got Talent” format into China #Banff2012

My one-on-one interview with Paul at #banff2012

Paul’s on stage talk & interview at #banff2012

The idea of learning from interesting & insightful people

Kevin Roberts

I half-jokingly asked Paul to not hold it against me that I’ve been a big fan of Kevin Roberts (blog) (CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi). You see, I’ve been reading Kevin‘s ideas/writings since the late 80s. You may not realize but the parent companies of Paul and Kevin are the globally competing WPP Group and Publicis Group respectively. (update: Paul showcased the #awesome T-Mobile Royal Wedding video in his presentation, and I just discovered via MBA (mediaCom beyond advertising) that the campaign is a team effort including mediaCom, Saatchi & Saatchi, and others).

Gary Carter

I stumbled upon a talk by Gary Carter at the 2007 nextMedia/Banff World TV Festival (yes, 5 years ago!) and his insights were amazingly deep. Since then, I’ve attended all of Gary’s talk I can and try to pay close attention to what Gary does and related news, including his recent resignation as FremantleMedia’s Chief Operating Officer. I am sure whatever Gary does next will be worth my attention to know and learn from. (note: Gary came back to Banff in 2009, here is a great list of Gary’s 2009 clips, see The Susan Boyle Phenomenon, and FremantleMedia Experimental)

Paul Chard

Which brings back to Paul. And I am going to share with you a secret trick I use. I use Google Alerts to track and try to learn from interesting & insightful people. I am adding Paul to my Google Alerts list along the likes of Kevin and Gary. In life, I believe an important way to better ourselves is to learn from the best.

Kevin wrote years ago, “Ideas are the currency of the future.” And the likes of Kevin, Gary, and Paul are “rich people” going by the quote. And William Gibson’s quote “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” enlightens me to realize that the best way to look into the future is to look and see what “rich people” like Kevin, Gary, and Paul think and do!

P.S. Who is your “most interesting #banff2012 person“? Please share with your reasons in the comment section.

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Here is the official Banff session description.

Paul Chard, Global Head of Content, MediaCom: How Content is Changing the Business
Paul Chard is a true industry veteran, getting his start over three decades ago, in 1980. Today, as the Global Head of Content at MediaCom, Chard is responsible for media sponsorship, sport, branded entertainment and advertiser funding, social media and emerging platforms. In 2010, Chard brokered the successful “Got Talent” format into China and saw it become the biggest foreign reality show ever screened in the country. Having seen this industry from every angle, Chard carries with him a wealth of knowledge and insight. Join Chard as he reflects on his career and looks forward to the future of the entertainment industry in this exclusive opening keynote.”


Millefiori Cucchi – From Italy with Love

Sunday, 29 January, 2012

Had a great time drinking a bottle Millefiori Cucchi (bought originally from Italy 30 years ago) at friends’ house warming party last night. Let me wish my friends lots of loving enjoyment in their new home for years and years to come!

One day when the time is right and I become a better story teller, I want to tell an untold story of love. Until then, let me write about the exterior beauty and mysterious story of Millefiori Cucchi.

To find out more about the delicious 30 years old Millefiori Cucchi, I turned to internet search engines, first Google and then Bing. note: If you can help by adding more info or personal pictures, or see any errors big or small in this post, please kindly leave a comment.

Millefiori Cucchi – The Lovely Name

Millefiori is Italian. Millefiori means Thousand Flowers. What a lovely name, even more beautiful when you know whats inside!

Millefiori Cucchi – The Mysterious Look of Love

Millefiori Cucchi - From Italy with Love

You see, inside the bottle of Millefiori Cucchi, there is a twig of erica embellished with crystals of sugar. Wow, how cool is that! Beautiful and thoughtful! (ref in Italian, translated English) Photos credit: Benjamin (L) and Gheghevic (R).

Millefiori Cucchi – The Mysterious Brand/Lovemark

Interestingly, after finding some more pictures of Millefiori Cucchi, I wasn’t able much information about the wine, the wine maker, etc until I found the reason via it trademark registrations! You see the Millefiori Cucchi trademark was filed in Dec 1, 1953 in US/USPTO TARR but now declared dead and filed in Jan 15, 1958 in Canada and expunged on July 29, 2004!

Even now Millefiori Cucchi is not made any more and the trademark is officially no more, in my mind, it is a lovemark! In fact, Millefiori Cucchi may be the first ever lovemark named posthumously by any one! This is the power of love! Have I just created and defined the idea/concept of a posthumous lovemark!? Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy, well, the posthumous lovemark Millefiori Cucchi has it all! In my heart and mind, Millefiori Cucchi is alive and well!

Loving Transformative Repurposing

Finally, I plan for this article to help remind me of the loving transformative repurposing of two bottles of Millefiori Cucchi by a loving mother and two wonderful daughters. It was a fun night and we had a great time!


Lego at Chinook (and Canadian Mega Brands/Bloks)

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Lego at Chinook - pix 08

I wish I had more time to study Lego as a business, but since it is a private business, my incentive to read though Lego’s years of annual reports are somewhat reduced. :) If I were to judge Lego by people’s interest in playing with them in the middle of the Chinook shopping mall last Saturday, it looks like people’s love affair with Lego haven’t finished at all. It was really cool to see this father and his two sons spent a lovely afternoon building this Lego project!

November 2005

I enjoy Lego as a kid, but since Nov 2005, I have been thinking more like a legal minded business consultant. Well, what happened in Nov 2005? As some readers may remember, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Lego’s “monopoly on the bricks is over” in Nov 2005 and Canadian MEGA Brands (maker of the MEGA BLOKS construction toys) can freely make their bricks to work with Lego’s.

What surprised me is a quick look/research (spending 5 minutes) seem to indicate the privately held Lego is still making good profit based on its lastest 2009 annual report.

Whereas the stock prices of Mega Brands, a high of $552 on Dec 30, 2005 down to $9.42 at the close of July 13, 2011, plus a quick glance of Mega Brands’ 2010 annual report, indicates Read the rest of this entry »


Quote I Love: ideas are the currency of the future

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

ideas are the currency of the future” – Kevin Roberts

I’ve loved this quote for such a long time that I don’t remember exactly how many years (since the 90s?). I even printed it on an earlier version of my business cards (with credit to Kevin, of course)! So I can’t believe I am just adding it to my list of Quotes I Love now!

Also check out ‘s blog KRConnect for his latest ideas & thinking, including his “Lovemarks“.


Apple Latest PR Disaster – Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application

Tuesday, 28 June, 2011

July 2nd update: New article, “Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

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It is puzzling and amazing to see Apple seems to have created a massive PR disaster for itself and there is even a group of professional Final Cut Pro users created a petition – “Final Cut Pro X is Not a Professional Application”. And according to AppleInsider report, “Dissatisfied Final Cut Pro X customers receive refunds from Apple“.

More news,

* CNNMoney, “600 filmmakers sign complaint about Final Cut Pro X

* ZDNet, “What does Final Cut Pro X teach enterprise vendors?

* WaPo, “Apple Final Cut Pro X: 600 filmmakers say nothing ‘pro’ about it

* SlashFilm, “Final Cut Pro X: Did Apple Just Walk Away From the Professional Video Editing Market?

*  CNet, Petition seeks to bring back old Final Cut Pro

If shows again even Apple (a Lovemark to many people, not to me anymore since July 2010) isn’t immune to complains from seriously unhappy customers if it doesn’t deliver the goods as expected.


What happen to a Lovemark when the love was lost?

Thursday, 9 June, 2011

lovemarks-logo.gif

First of all, I’ve been a long time admirer and reader of Kevin Roberts‘ ideas in advertising, branding, and marketing, all in all, safe to say I’m a big fan of Kevin. Recently, I found it very cool that Kevin’s idea of Lovemark has gained acceptance in business schools that even my neighbour’s university marketing class is teaching the concept of Lovemark! It puts a big smile on my face to think that I was responsible in creating the first Wikipedia entry for Lovemark when Kevin’s book first came out in 2006 (yes, time flies and that was 5 years ago)!

Love Lost

Back to the reason for writing this article. I want to bring up the important question of “What happen to a Lovemark when the love was lost?

Part of me understand why Kevin hasn’t talked much about love lost in the two Lovemark books or in his writing. After all, it is more engaging & positive to focus on the good and inspiring. Also, it is probably bad business to talk about “love lost” when trying to sell to clients.

So I guess it is up to independent “practitioners” of Lovemarks, like myself, to try to point out that it can’t be all love all the time! As with any “meaningful love“, there has to be risk of love lost, or cases where love was actually lost. I think it is important for each of us, if not collectively, to keep a list of Lovemarks that are no longer loved.

In my list of admired companies, you will see Apple Computer and Lexus had been removed and are no longer on my list of Lovemarks. I know I will have more Lovemarks in the future, and I also realized that it is unrealistic to ignore love lost.

In memory of the love lost

Here is “Love Lost” by The Temper Trap.

Here is the lyrics of Love Lost. If you read it or listen to the song beyond the title, I think it actually contains a message of hope.

Our love was lost
But now we’ve found it
Our love was lost
And hope was gone Read the rest of this entry »


Richard Branson’s Virgin America

Wednesday, 13 April, 2011

I’ve deep admiration for Richard Branson and his Virgin Group is one of my admired companies and Lovemarks. After reading Bloomberg BusinessWeek “Will Richard Branson’s Virgin America Fly?“, I am interested to see how things will turn out at the end. Here is an excerpt,

“Virgin America does have at least part of one big asset: Branson. He is a legendary salesman with a special love of aviation—not only for the business, but for adventures like his attempted around-the-world balloon flights. To hear him talk, profits are almost secondary to his mission with Virgin America. “American carriers are all very much the same, and the people who run them do not think of the customers at all,” says Branson, sitting in the first row of one of the airline’s parked, white-and-red painted A320s. “It’s become a bus service.” As guests mingle on the tarmac under the bright Texas sky, the interior lights bathe the cabin in a deep magenta, meant to evoke dawn. “If everything is a joy, if you come onto a plane and the lighting is right, the seating is right, and the cabin crew is happy, you feel welcome,” Branson says. “It’s like you have come into somebody’s home.” Read the rest of this entry »


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