HAPA Knows What’s Good.


HAPA Knows What's Good.

Congratulations to my client Cuvée Penang for winning the Hospitality Asia Pacific Awards bronze prize for Best Club.

When Cuvée approached my company at the beginning of last year to take over all their marketing and branding for them, I knew it would be a lot of hard work, since the way I brand clubs and conceptualize strategies for entertainment outlets is very different to what 99% of clubs in Penang do.

I take a more international approach to things, and don’t localize the direction too much. One benefit of doing this is that people OUTSIDE of Penang can relate more to what you are doing and the result is an enhanced (and probably more sophisticated) brand image for the establishment regionally.

One of the toughest things to do for Cuvée was to select good musical acts and pair them with intelligent event concepts that would leave a lasting impression amongst clubbers/consumers.

The club was getting hit up by a million different promoters trying to sell cheap acts to them every day and I had to sift through mountains of rubbish to find performers who I felt would contribute positively to the overall brand image of Cuvée. There were many times when I was questioned as to why I didn’t approve this act or why I rejected that one.

Even when clients/suppliers wanted to hold events at Cuvée, I had to monitor every stage of the process to ensure that quality was maintained and the events were in sync with my brand vision for the club.

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Luckily, with 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, I had access to a fantastic roster of great DJs and we managed to bring down quality acts every single time. We even brought down an official Ministry of Sound DJ to Cuvée, and we broadcast his weekly radio show live from the club which was a first!

Another crucial part to the image of the club was to upgrade the quality of all the designs of promotional material.

I wasn’t satisfied with their existing designer, so my company took on design responsibilities for a couple of months while we hunted for a new one for the client.

The immediate reaction amongst people was that everything looked more sophisticated and classier (which is what I was trying to go for). Even after new designers were hired, I was still responsible for the design direction of all communications material in order to maintain the look and feel of everything.

For those of you who don’t believe in investing a lot into the design process, think again, because people really do notice the difference.

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In addition to these things, I also devised branding platforms specific to certain suppliers that allowed Cuvée to solicit a record-breaking amount of sponsorship for them and their sister outlets.

Just the incredibly successful Forever Young Privilege Card project alone brought in more than RM100,000 worth of sponsorship for the parent company in just 6 months.

When the Forever Young card was launched, we had queues of people clamoring to sign up for it at one of Cuvée’s sister outlets – Mois, which was pretty much dead and devoid of people at the time.

To everyone’s shock/disblief/amazement we even managed to help Mois COMPLETELY DESTROY national sales records for both Asahi beer and Absolut vodka on two separate occasions.

(Little known fact about these 2 events – I changed the design of all the agency-supplied advertising material as I felt they weren’t informative or attractive enough for the general public … sorry to the 4As agency hehe)

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But by far the MOST exhaustive part of this massive marketing task was to inject some personality into the place. This was a challenge because the club didn’t have a proper PR person, and ones that they tried to hire were ridiculously ineffective (some even did more damage than good to the place).

So I had to party.

A lot.

With all my friends. And and all of their friends too.

To make sure that everything was documented properly, I enlisted the help of my good buddy Leon Low to handle photography duties since there was a certain way I wanted the events shot and being a close friend of mine Leon knew exactly what I wanted.

Over the course of a year, we were able to craft an incredible image of the place and Cuvée’s reputation spread far & wide. I know this because I was getting msgs from friends all around the region saying they were making plans to come to Penang and party with me at Cuvée.

And party we did.

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The main point of this post is to let people know that a lot of work goes in the marketing and promotion of a club (if you want to do it properly) … at many points over the past year, many people thought that all I did was party and not much else.

But what you don’t see are the messages that start coming in from the manager at 9am and the ones that come from the owners at 3am.

Not many people know just how much time and effort I had to inject into the place over the past year in order for Cuvée to reach the level that I desired – actually a lot of the people working inside the company didn’t even know exactly what I was doing since I dealt directly with the top management and owners.

Hopefully now that I’ve shown them how to do it, their in-house team will be able to continue to deliver exciting entertainment experiences to consumers and win another award this year.

Good luck.

;)

Announcing weknowwhatsgood.com!


Announcing weknowwhatsgood.com!

Welcome to a new era of What’s Good? – I have decided to stop using my company’s web presence as just an online portfolio and instead produce a new type of online magazine for everyone’s enjoyment and entertainment.

This has always been a goal of mine and after months of hard work I’m happy to announce it today.

We will share trending topics from around the world that we find interesting along with deeply personal commentary from our editorial team. If you enjoy the content, please support us by liking the page and sharing it with your friends.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Please visit www.weknowwhatsgood.com

I HAVE TROUBLE (DRIVING) IN A STRAIGHT LINE

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

It seems that lately I have a problem when driving my car …

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

I can’t seem to drive in a straight line!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

See what I mean?

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

Hehehe … I think one of the biggest surprises for most of the spectators (and even some of the drivers) at the 2011 Conemasters x Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge was that none of of them had ever seen an Impreza go sideways in real life.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

I knew it would be exciting for people to watch (and super fun for me too) so I made sure I went as sideways as I could whenever possible.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

The other thing I did was lower my car as low as it could go. With this setting I couldn’t go over any speed bumps (or even go up the driveway of my own house) but it was super stable for gymkhana.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

The main thing that allows me to go sideways like this the Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) on my car. It’s a technology unique to Subaru and it allows the driver to send more of the torque to the rear wheels.

Full time all-wheel drive has the torque split at 50% front and 50% back but I can flick a switch and make it 35% front and 65% back!

Though this doesn’t make my car behave 100% like a rear-wheel drive car, I can still do really fun things like power oversteer.

I love drifting my car very muchieeeeeeeeeeee … hahaha

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge Official Photos

These photos are taken from the 2011 Conemasters x Mean Machines Official Photo Album on Facebook.

Click the link to check out many more awesome photos from the event or click on any of the above pics to see a larger version!

2011 CONEMASTERS X MEAN MACHINES GYMKHANA CHALLENGE – THANK YOU ALL!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The first thing I have to say before anything else is THANK YOU:

THANK YOU TO THE FANS.

THANK YOU TO THE SPECTATORS.

THANK YOU TO THE DRIVERS.

THANK YOU TO AUTO CITY.

THANK YOU TO INTRENASIONALE.

THANK YOU TO ALL MY CREW/HOMIES.

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPONSORS.

Thank you all for making the 2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge the BIGGEST EVER GYMKHANA EVENT EVER HELD IN NORTHERN MALAYSIA.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I was really stressed in the weeks leading up to the event, mainly because it was such a huge one – we were expecting a crowd of 100,000 people to descend upon Auto City for the weekend. How do you handle a crowd of 100,000 people? (For your reference, the most number of people attending a Formula 1 race in all the years it has been held at Sepang is 90,000)

I was so busy with every aspect of the event I didn’t even have time to get my car ready.

I didn’t  have time to change my clutch, change my brake pads or even change my transmission/LSD oil! The only thing I managed to have time to do was get my alignment done one day before practice.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

For the first time, I tried -3° camber on my front wheels. This was the most negative camber I have ever run on my car and I also lowered it to the lowest it has ever been.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

On Friday night, Jackson, the boys and  turned up at Auto City to set up but Auto City hadn’t barricaded off our area yet and there were still cars parked all over so there wasn’t much we could do except burn some rubber by doing donuts around the Kia sign you see in the background.

I thought -3° was a lot of negative camber to be running, but look at Jackson’s KE70!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

For the weekend of the event, we were staying at the Ixora, a brand new hotel on mainland Penang, just 10 minutes away from Auto City.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The hotel is very contemporary, modern and classy. I can safely say that it is the most beautiful hotel on the mainland right now and I am really happy that we stayed here!

All of us who stayed here had nothing but compliments about the Ixora, and I highly recommend this hotel if you are ever looking for a place to stay on the mainland.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

The hotel arranged parking for us outside the main entrance, so we parked all our cars here after a hard day’s racing.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

My good buddy Remus, owner of Motorsport Playground, drove his AWESOME R33 GTR all the way up from Kuala Lumpur to compete in the All-Wheel Drive Category with me. He came up with French urban artist Mega, who designed the kick-ass graphics on Remus’ GTR.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s a shot I took outside the hotel at about 2am on Friday night/Saturday morning.

Do you like my orange rims?

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s Remus and I at breakfast before heading off to Auto City on race day.

The Ixora has a really dope buffet breakfast yo!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I don’t think many people had seen an R33 competing in a gymkhana prior to Conemasters and it was certainly the first time that Remus had driven his beast like this.

To say that it was an unbelievably awesome sight would be a gross understatement and the wall-to-wall spectators who were there will attest to that.

Don’t worry, we’ve captured ALL the action on video so you’ll be able to see it soon!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

What’s Good? blogger Sean Tierney flew all the way from Hong Kong to attend the event and check out all the cars. We gave him a ride in all our cars and by the end of 2 days, he was walking like this.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I asked Sean to stay on a few days so I could take him to try as much dope Penang cuisine as possible and every meal was basically a perennial feast of as much good shit as we could cram onto the table

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

In return for all the food, Sean kept up entertained by wearing an endless number of awesome t-shirts.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Alvin Lee (Dzeus VIP, Crap) came and hung out with us too. I’ve known Alvin for a few years and we’ve talked online, but this was the first time that we actually spent some time together and it was all good.

Alvin’s new nickname is BB so if you ever see him, please call him that.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

One of the “Faces of Mean Machines” this year was US Import Model Amy Fay and we hung out for a bit after the event.

Amy is a CRAZY GIRL and FREAKS THE FUCK OUT OF ME.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

But she has some dope ink!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Check out this back piece by Tokidoki!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Sean kept inviting people to taste his rainbow, and guess who obliged? Hahaha

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

Here’s Amy enjoying an illustration of Malaysian-style hot dog.

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

I took Sean to as many of my favorite food spots as possible and he really seemed to enjoy the food. I was glad to be able to let him try all the awesome food we have here in Penang!

2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge

All in all, it was an incredible week that none of us will forget soon.

I don’t know how to describe the adrenalin and rush of the event, the amazing level of driving that we saw or the insane enthusiasm of the spectators.

All I can say is THANK YOU again to every one involved and we are ALREADY working on the NEXT CONEMASTERS EVENT.

Jackson and I would like to thank our sponsors Epic Sound & Light, Image Foundation, DC Shoes, Ixora Hotel and Tom’s Stickers for supporting us and helping to make the 2011 Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge such an unforgettable event!

MISS MEAN MACHINES 2011

Miss Mean Machines 2011

It’s Sunday but I had a meeting with Andrew, the organizer for Mean Machines, at Auto City.

As our event is just over a month away both of our teams have been incredibly busy and we haven’t really had a chance to sit down to give each other updates.

Andrew has been running all around the country to promote Mean Machines and talk to exotic car owners to get them to display their cars at the show, and I’ve been busy trying to put all the logistics for Conemasters x Mean Machines together.

Miss Mean Machines 2011

We met at Naza World, where Andrew was also supervising the photoshoot for the 2011 Miss Mean Machines finalists.

Miss Mean Machines 2011

I can safely say that the girls this year are 100x hotter, cuter and friendlier than the ones last year.

All you perv-oops I mean “Guys With Cameras” are going to be in for a treat.

Miss Mean Machines 2011

Largest performance motorsport and motoring event in the Northern Region?

I think WHOLE of Malaysia is more likely – remember, last year Mean Machines had 100,000 visitors!

I’m SUPER SUPER PYSCHED for the event, and hope that everyone will come and check out the show!!!

Conemasters X Mean Machines Gymkhana Challenge
15 & 16 October 2011
Juru Auto City
Penang Malaysia

P.S. For those who are interested in entering the gymkhana, please send an email to conemasters@gmail.com so we can provide you with the relevant information.

DORIFTO NEKO’S NEW RIDE

Dorifto Neko's New Ride

My boy Victor aka Dorifto Neko just got back from Australia and within one week of returning home he had already sourced and bought a new car – a Mazda RX-7 FD3S.

Dorifto Neko's New Ride

The FD3S has always been one of my favorite cars. I think the styling is classic and the car still looks so fresh even though it was first released in 1993.

Dorifto Neko's New Ride

The RX-7 is a great addition to the What’s Good? team and I’m happy to report that Victor is already planning an impressive build for the car and will be campaigning his FD3s in gymkhana, drift AND time attack events.

Welcome back, fatty!

THE OFFICIAL CONEMASTERS VIDEO IS HERE!

Check it out – the official Conemasters 2011 Gymkhana Challenge video that I spent all of last week putting together.

If you like the video, please help us share it with your friends.

The URL for the video is www.vimeo.com/badboyben/conemasters

(If you watch it on the Vimeo page, you can see a much bigger size)

I’d like to thank all the Conemasters crew for their help and all our event partners for their support again.

Thank you all so much!