Author Archives: Vincent Wong

About Vincent Wong

I consider myself to be the walking repository of witty literary muses, social media thinking, and self-motivated inspiration. By thinking outside the box, I flexibly blur the binaries within and beyond my work life and my non-work life. By blurring the binaries, I am always thinking of solutions on the go to contribute both to my self and my peers. By contributing, I complement the dynamic fun yet work-driven lifestyle of the greater community.

可不可以給我一杯咖啡的時間?

麥當勞現在在電視上宣傳一個廣告來推銷他們的鮮奶抹茶Latte和Cappuccino。廣告主題除了簡單介紹怎樣準備一杯咖啡,也表達咖啡怎樣可以”烘焙”人於人的歡樂跟懷抱。

“不只是一杯咖啡,它滿載了人與情感。”

廣告中的人物,無論在滑板,在徒步旅行,在網上QQ,或是拍拖,都是拿著一杯McCafe咖啡。
同朋友一邊飲咖啡,一邊聊天,會帶出一個充滿”嘻嘻哈哈”的友誼。同最親的男女朋友或父妻,可以培養一個永遠同在的情感。

英語有一個用詞來表達咖啡跟人與人之間的關係。咖啡是一種”social lubricant”,一種”社交潤滑劑”。咖啡內的咖啡因可以令人想法和思考靈活,和心情清醒。當大家一起飲咖啡時,大家可以互相分享這種”社交潤滑劑”。咖啡內的咖啡因可以令人的思考靈活,和心情清醒。

在這個廣告裡,我們可以看到當大家一起飲咖啡時,大家可以在一個輕鬆情況之下分享意見跟共同的興趣,和讓朋友們更加容易認識對方。

這個廣告可以在Youtube上面找到:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G2JLDhc4Y8

“慢慢來,不過最緊要快!”

當時聽到這個句子時覺得牛頭不搭馬嘴。但用來表達香港人煩忙的心態,是沒有一個更適合的句子。

第一次聽到這句子是跟家人一起飲茶。我的大家姐講了一個在她醫院工作的小故事。

她有一位同事在老人專科部門工作。當他幫一位同事下床時,他說:”公公,慢慢下床可以了,但最緊要快!”聽完故事時,我們全抬人忍不住哈哈大笑。

這是一句帶有客氣的語調方式來呼籲他人做事不要馬虎,但一定要好好利用最少的時間完成目標。怪唔知得這個句子經常掛在香港人的嘴邊啦!

The Hourglass Scaffold – My idea of a Copywriting Plotline for Short Marketing Copy

Note: This is a tentative skeleton as to the template that I used to write marketing copy. I am not endorsing this on a guru level in terms of how marketing copy should really be written, as this is just merely the approach that I am most comfortable with. This approach would best be used for a 100 words or less sort of marketing copy, as advertised in daily newspapers such as The Standard or Metro HK.

People always talk about the weather.

I prefer to start off with a somewhat neutral topic. When you say hi to a stranger, the first question would usually be “You alright?” or “How are you?”, followed by “Nice weather isn’t it?”, or “This is some horrid weather.” The weather question is neutral, though it is something that everyone deals and faces with.

Personally, I prefer the hourglass shaped approach. Start with a general or commonly understood idea, or something that is currently of the “now” in society. For instance, if you are writing marketing copy focusing in on an upcoming guest speaker talking about tips to be rich before 30, you can begin with a commonly known statistical fact of the now, such as “one in three people residing in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong are millionaires“.

Teaser vs Jumping right in with marketing information.

This is debatable, in terms of starting off with a general point, but I believe in giving a bit of a “tease” for the audience to continue on reading. If I immediately start off with the five Ws and 1 H in the first sentence, it’s not so much a creative copy isn’t it? You’ve already stated the meat and potatoes of the information you intend to convey to the audience, though not in a way you could exercise your creative copywriting potential, balancing out conveying information with your creative spin on writing. In addition, by starting off with a common yet hot statement, this serves to garner the attention of a larger audience than just jumping in with the key information.

Re: The mysterious situation of Flight MH370

Common logic follows that should Flight MH370 have crashed, its debris would be strewn all over the Gulf of Thailand. As explained multitude of times in the newspapers over the past four days, the impossibility of not leaving any traces or remnants has sent the situation and ultimate fate of the plane into not just uncertainty and doubt, but into the uncanny valley. Hence, I am tentative at referring to the mysterious situation of the fate of Flight MH370 as a crash.

Recurring possibilities have been outlined in the stated papers, such as the plane having faced unsafe flying conditions and did a 180, somehow going off the radar, spontaneous explosion at some altitude above sea level, or possible hijacking. These potential hypotheses are insufficient at best. If the plane has faced unsafe flying conditions and was forced to turn back, surely it must have landed at one of the many airports in Malaysia or the cities along the south east Asian coast? The radar situation may be possible, but information relating to bad weather, technical problems were not present prior to the plane going off the radar. In terms of spontaneous explosion, that is definitely uncertain at best, given the debris would have been present should such a disaster have happened. Possible hijacking may be an answer, but it would be reckless to tie a hijacking issue to, say, several passengers traveling on stolen passport information during immigration.

With respect to social media, crowdsourcing operation is at full swing in locating, contributing, and sharing more information regarding the crash at Tomnod, a website allowing for the pinpointing of locations as to where the crash would have happened. Using the crowdsourcing information, researchers hope to triangulate and concentrate the physical scope of the most probable location of the crash, thus helping the international military plus search-and-rescue effort in gaining more information about the crash at hand.

If you wish to contribute more information regarding the crash in co-ordination with the international organizations and institutions, please help now. 25,000 people and counting are already participating at large at http://www.tomnod.com/nod/challenge/malaysiaairsar2014.

香港真的可以 “Live it, Love it”?

在一個強調成功和消費的城市,貧窮或人際關係比較弱的人很容易被邊緣化。緊張的家庭關係和身心疾病把問題無限放大。

住在香港,無私地愛香港。

無私的愛是不會有歧視,不會要求回報。無私的愛是發自內心的。

立於港島西區,聖巴拿巴會之家成立於1987年,提供外展支援於貧困病人、露宿者,及居住在板間房的人士。歡迎他們來到這個清潔、關愛,和有支援的環境作臨時休息。除了飽飯,對於有需要幫助的人,中心亦會提供個人故事分享會,從中加強如會人士的自信和希望。加上,他們還可以在討論聖經和參加崇拜來感謝天主無私和無限的愛。中心亦提供在職培訓及津貼獎勵,項目包括去除蟲患和星期日晚餐準備。

幫一幫,捐一捐。。。

你是有許多方法可以支持和貢獻的,例如聽他們的故事、幫助他們理髮,和跟他們一起參加崇拜。你還可以幫助中心賣旗籌款和舉行慈善演唱會。也可以捐舊衣服、捐食品、或用支票方式來捐錢。

愛一愛。

「貧窮」不只是包括沒有錢、沒有飽飯,或沒有一個遮風擋雨的屋頂。沒有關愛跟信仰是會打擊人自信和對這個世界社會的看法。愛是要培養和分享的。無私的愛是可以把信心再次帶給貧困人士。

EXP Restaurant & Bar 值得再「玩」多一回。

(This was originally written in English on July 27, 2013. You may read the original post here.)

EXP Restaurant & Bar 是一個人人電子遊戲娛樂文化為主題的餐廳和酒吧,位處於溫哥華West Pender Street。從Triforce Burger到Red Dead Lemonade ,對於打機迷是真的不可以錯過。

因為不想排長龍,所以就跟朋友在六點之前去這個餐廳吃晚餐。進入大門就看見一個 Street Fighter 3的街機櫃。

脫了光致變色眼鏡之後,才發現餐廳真的是一片漆黑。坐下時也發現餐廳各處都有電視機廣播Legend of Zelda和Marvel vs Capcom的遊戲。餐牌飲食的名字全部都跟流行的遊戲文化有關。越看越有趣。服務員走過來兩三次,問我們是否可以下單,但我已經被這些特別的餐牌迷上了!我真的很想祝賀寫餐牌的撰稿人!

最後,我訂了一個Triforce Burger。

根據餐牌的Triforce Burger, 漢堡的牛肉餅是真的有一個Triforce (三個三角形的符號)烙在上面。加上,漢堡還有炸雞胸肉、兩條煙肉、生菜、黃油麵包,和香脆薯條。我也很久沒有吃過一些凍了一樣脆的薯條。全個晚餐真的是美味無窮!

我真的會呼籲其他朋友跟未來同事來EXP Restaurant & Bar,尤其是由美國來加拿大的朋友。這將會是他們吃飯的第一個去處。餐廳的食物跟氣氛真的是念念難忘。好像埋單上的字眼說”Please Play Again!”,真是值得再來「玩」多一回。

對我來說,這個餐廳是得到滿分。我雖然不飲酒,但無論怎樣說,這是一個遊戲天堂的餐廳和酒吧。

Conventional – the Con-Goers’ App

A Conventional Train of Thought

They say, all big ideas start small, and the current idea that is swimming in my head is of no exception. My main inspiration comes from the fact that my friends are prepping themselves up to attend a convention in Vancouver. Some attend conventions to mingle with friends, like I did for the past two conventions. Some attend conventions to make new friends, like I did. Ditto regarding what I did in terms of attending panels, talking and buying commissions in the dealer’s den, partaking in the late night dances, etc.

Unfortunately, due to the end of my university career, I had to move back to Hong Kong, which means leaving my friends behind. While mulling over about the convention, I started thinking about how conventions give perks to its attendees. The first thing that comes to my head would be early bird deals and membership package benefits, acquired through payment (obviously). During these few months, I was reading about redeemable coupons that one can purchase at online sites such as Beecrazy or Groupon. I also read about how digital means of entertainment, the points that one earn while gaming, could be converted into points of redemption for coupons. So I thought to myself, why not strike this digital marketing iron while it is hot by aiming at where brands and companies of all shapes and sizes would congregate, i.e. right at the conventions!

Three Cs: Convenient Convention Coupons

First things first, I only did some internships in the fields of online marketing, writing adwords copy, brief Facebook copy promoting corporate blog copy, but I do not have a degree in marketing in general. Hence, please excuse me should I fail to answer the question of “How?” in procedural detail. In addition, I have typed in “convention” in the Google Play search box, and while there are apps detailing specific conventions that are happening up and around the world, there isn’t one that is relatively on the meta level.

In my opinion, nothing beats being “actually there” in a convention. Sure, social media marketing is important in getting people convinced, and psyched up about the latest innovation, etc., however, being actually there to talk with people face to face is more tangible, not to mention, more reliable than even, say, a Skype one-or-one/conference call with others. Using a different example, say banana boating, it is more satisfying and exhilarating to hold onto the very rungs of the titular boat as you get surfed and turfed at one too many knots per hours than to watch a Youtube video of someone’s GoPro first person montage of the same act..

Of course, should this idea really take off, it will bring a lot more exposure to conventions. The attendees will be excited and happy to earn points that they can use and spend at other conventions in the forms of perks and membership discounts, and share the tales online in the social media networking world that is today – a classic win-win solution. Now comes the hard part of describing the “How”.

When you register for a convention, you have several options, ranging from the most basic to the most exclusive. The most basic tends to include a con book or a con brochure, and admission to all panels, events, the dealers den and artist alley for all the days the convention is in session. Additional membership benefits at higher prices may include a lunch social with the convention staff and the convention guest of honour, a convention T-shirt, and perhaps even coupons for discounts at dealer dens. Lucrative options may also include tour deals in the local area where the convention is held, a chance photograph and drawing with the convention crew, just to name a few.

In terms of how to earn these points, I have provided a small, not exhaustive list of the stated ways, not ranked in any order. The points will not be transferable between different individuals and people creating multiple accounts to “farm” for these points will have their acquired points, coupons, and deals voided.

  • the more lucrative the package you have purchased during registration, the greater the amount of points you will earn
  • additionally purchasing tickets for convention events and goodies not included in the basic package but are present in the more splurgy ones count
  • being a volunteer for the convention staff, hosting panels, DJing for the crowd being a dealer in the dealer’s den
  • being the winner in con-held trivia and game events and competitions
  • getting an autograph from the Guest of Honour or the Con Chairman/woman.
  • donating extra to fund the con effort or its sponsored organizations
  • getting your content published in the con book or con brochure
  • and much, much, more.

The points may not have an expiry date, but of course, the redeemed coupons do. In addition to using the points to redeem discounts for one convention or a set of conventions, attend multiple conventions to get larger perks.

A tentative idea that I have in terms of the “how” is to implement a standard 5 by 5 Bingo Board option. The placement of the “objective” squares will differ from person to person,but will usually consist of text such as the geographic location of the con to the industry/genre of the con. One con may fit in several criterias and the user is at his or her liberty to select the square, but only one square may be filled per con at a time. Furthermore, like standard bingo, a wildcard square will be at the centre. Should the user fill up a line like in standard bingo, a larger, more opulent deal would be awarded, like an automatic lucrative package option for registration, with all the perks included. I could only fathom the magnitude of benefits should the user be a fervent convention attendee, and fill up every square on the board…

Categorization of Conventions

Now a bit of the boring part. Thus being the reason I leave this to the end of the blog post. Conventions can fall into many categories, be it Anime, Trekkie, Video Game Expos, and the like. Resembling a standard coupon code page and interface like the ones I have mentioned above, the user can also select the genre/type of convention, the deals they currently offer, from a drop-down menu on the top of the screen, or search it by the searchbar.

A Silly Little Idea

I can anticipate the plethora amount of bugs this app would have in its beta version, but hey, that is what beta is for. The hard part would be the convince as many convention chairs around the world that this would be a good idea to be invested in. Oh well, all expeditions have to start from somewhere, right?

Just for the Heck of It. Google App Description Copy

CONVENTIONAL

Download this useful app to get the latest news, deals, and coupons of conventions and expositions happening around the world. With an extensive list of categories spanning anime, video game expos, Trekkies, and more. The easy-to-use and conventional interface allows you to stay one step ahead in being informed and to acquire that edge in attendance perks.

Earn points at conventions, and redeem them for the upcoming ones! A non-exhaustive list include

  • Registration will net you a certain amount of points. The better the package you have registered for, the more points you will earn.
  • Volunteer at the Con, or be a dealer, a panelist, or a DJ!
  • Contribute content to the Conbook
  • Get an autograph from the Guest of Honour!
  • Participiate in the Con-exclusive events and competitions such as cosplay, trivia, etc.

Earn even bigger perks by attending multiple conventions. Fill in the Bingo Square with the conventions you have attended. Nail a line, and get even bigger perks, such as a greater discount on more opulent registration packages!