Why MyMall.Sg Will Not Work

mymall.sg has been making its rounds on Singapore TV lately, and this entry is just to say: it doesn’t work.

What is mymall.sg?

It is a new marketing platform based on a combination of two mediums: television (TV) and the web.

A splash screen showing a “keyword” will appear at the end of a TV advertisement affiliated with mymall.sg. A voice-over will announce to you to “go to mymall.sg now” and “type in the keyword”, so that you can “find the best bargains”.

Sounds simple enough. Now, how could this not work? Let us count the ways…

The Keyword Problem

First of all, there’s a problem inherent in having their site usable only if a visitor has a “keyword”. People who don’t have this keyword will not be able to use the site at all.

They’re expecting people to (a) write down the keyword; (b) memorise the keyword; or (c) have a computer at hand so they can immediately type in the keyword.

Most consumers, especially those who watch TV, are lazy. Lazy people generally don’t do (a) or (b), they won’t write down or memorise the keyword. They’re most likely do (c), use the computer and watch TV at the same time. Here’s a rhetorical question for you: how many adults do you know simultaneously use the computer and watch TV?

The adults I know who watch TV are just hoping for a way to just tune out of the work day; they don’t want to think at all about anything, they just want to sit down, relax: to stone in front of the TV. And you expect them to memorise or write down a “keyword” that is not guaranteed to be useful?

So, if we stick with (c), we’re looking at the younger people, who are the most likely to simultaneously use the computer and watch TV (despite protests from parents for them to “do one thing at a time.”)

Small Market

That’s a pretty small market to conquer if you ask me.

Add to that that mymall.sg advertisements happen only every once in a while, and we’re looking at a few hundred people, probably tens, out of tens of thousands of viewers, tops. In other words, a potential response-rate of say, 0.1 – 1%.

Target demographic found, let’s see what they’re selling

Now that we have found that there are tens to hundreds of teenagers and young adults who might visit mymall.sg and actually type in a keyword, let’s see what deals these people have.

I have seen only one advertisement so far, that of OG.

OG is a departmental store, selling generally clothes and household items. It appeals to women in their late twenties, early thirties, up to, say, early fifties. This was probably not OG’s best choice of marketing channels. Thumbs down

I asked my 14-year-old brother, who watches way more TV than me. He told me he has seen a few more: Harvey Norman, Sony Walkman, and Royal Umbrella Rice.

Harvey Norman is an electronic store. From personal experience their main customers are young adults, twenties to thirties, buying electronics like TVs, computers, washing machines and the like. Again, like OG, these people are too old for this marketing channel. It must be said, though, that they do appeal to the younger crowd in their carrying of smaller and cheaper gadgets like shavers, MP3 players and mobile phones. Thumbs undecided.

Sony Walkman needs no introduction. They probably hit the sweet spot with this marketing channel. Target demographic: tech-savvy, multi-tasking students and young adults with some cash and a high propensity to spend it. Thumbs up.

Royal Umbrella is a brand of white rice. All I can say is, “WTF?” I mean… WTF? This is so totally wrong that I don’t know where to begin. Wrong demographic, wrong product. “Wow! Who would have thought? The greatest, wildest bargains on white rice, now online!” Thumbs down, down, DOWN.

And that is why, ladies and gentlemen, mymall.sg will not work.

Update: 11th July 2007

Much as I had predicted at the start of the year, MyMall.Sg has disappeared. This concept was doomed for failure from the start. There just wasn’t enough motivation for people to use it. How was the concept sold to its target consumers? Who were its target consumers?

12 thoughts on “Why MyMall.Sg Will Not Work

  1. I just tried it and it didn’t work! I keyed in ‘Nokia’, then Nokia handphone’ and got the reply that says that my keyword is wrong. What keyword are they expecting?

    What I find even more irritating is that slab of advertisement on the top lefthand side of the TV screen right after every commercial break. The slab is so huge it can totally cover the actor’s face and one is left wondering what is happening for that few minutes. Whose stupid idea is that deserves to be fired! Can someone please do something and remove that from our TV screen? We want to watch our TV show and not what is going to happen at 10pm, ok!!!??

  2. lol JF… yes, yes. mymall.sg is terribly confusing.

    They tell you it’s a “mall” you can find great bargains in. But malls are supposed to make it “easy” for you to find stuff, not difficult!

    I sense your pain.

  3. It’s just another creativity form of advertisement. You dun really find good bargains, but rather arouse interest, which may eventually increase consumer awareness of a product/brand to create an opportunity to sell to the consumer.

  4. Advertising on a TV is a long time commitment, depending on how you present to an audience, it may take a considerable replay to make a viewer remember it. eg. When you think of cola, what do you remember? you will recall pepsi cola or coca cola? If one day they were to stop advertising on the media (paper, radio, TV, etc) the next generation might not be aware of this brand name and eventually give them a miss, and generation down, it might just disappear

  5. To solidified a brand name or product, it cannot solely dependent on a single type of media, to create maximum exposure, it has to explore various means, and this mymall is simply another media for them explore on and reach the consumers

  6. Hi walker,

    I do agree with some of your comments, especially about that of “exploring” various media, which is in this case, televsion. I believe, though, that you were talking less about the media than about the mymall.sg marketing concept (using the keywords and such).

    I do agree that they should try out various types of advertising methods in order to find out what’s best for them. My argument, however, is that the concept is flawed, and, depending on how much they pay to be “featured” on mymall.sg, not one that has a good ROI (return on investment) for the advertisers.

    When you say you can’t “really find good bargains” on mymall.sg, when the advertisement states specifically that you will, it can be considered false advertising, can it not?

    It will increase exposure, definitely, as much as vandalising a wall with your product’s name or image can. But will it create a value-added response? Do people feel more compelled to buy these products after viewing them on mymall.sg? And if they do, does it justify the price these advertisers pay to have their products featured?

    “Advertising on a TV is a long time commitment” you say, but what do you mean by that? I would argue that all types of media require a certain amount of commitment. Are you saying that TV is the exception to the norm and requires additional commitment?

    What I am arguing here is that this concept if it stays as it is, without major changes, will not work.

    Much like those stores selling pet food online were all the rage during the dot-com boom, but which were really just hot air getting caught up in the whirlwind of the Internet hype, mymall.sg will crash down into oblivion in the near future.

    I would love to hear more views on this.

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