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.”)
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?