P1 defends its cutting-edge ad


  • Business
  • Saturday, 21 Nov 2009

PACKET One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd’s (P1) Sudah Potong? campaign has been viewed as “vulgar” or insulting to women, but there’s no denying the ads, run across various media including newspaper, TV and radio, have been making a marketing impact from the day it was launched in late September.

The radio ad won a bronze award at the country’s prestigious Kancil Awards recently.

P1, which together with Creative Juice-Sil created the ads for its WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) broadband services, says it has no intention of offending anyone.

P1 chief executive officer Michael Lai says the company is only pushing to cut the cost, wire and line, instead of anything else.

“The creativity is more edgy from that perspective. We are a challenger brand; we definitely have our brand DNA and we will do something to promote the brand, which is cutting edge and pushing boundaries,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.

It was reported last week that the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia was scrutinising the P1 advertising on television and radio.

Lai says the company would listen to the community on its advertising campaign for further action.

“The campaign is actually saying that it is time for mobile broadband, not to be tied up with wires. But of course, it is just symbolic. Don’t take it seriously,” he says.

Lai says the idea was created by its team and its creative agency after they have gotten some inspiration from the 15Malaysia short films, which are about how Malaysians do things and see ourselves.

According to Lai, the brand image of its WiMAX service is about the 4G cutting edge mobile broadband technology.

“We want the brand to relate to wireless, high speed and mobility. Think about the latest technology and consumers can connect to the world anytime, anyhow and anywhere. That is the mega trend we are moving to,” he says.

Lai says the campaign does help but there is a lot of things that have to be put in together to secure customers.

“Campaign and network have to exist at the same time. You will not able to do anything if you don’t have a ground team to serve the consumers. If you have the campaign but you don’t have the products, you are not going to get anything as well,” he elaborates.

The market could expect more advertising and promotion (A&P) activities from P1 going forward. It has set aside about 5% to 7% of its total revenue for A&P this year and the allocation for next year is still under review.

The success of its campaign could be examined through its subscribers base that reached 100,000 in 13 months and its next target is to get another 100,000 as soon as possible or shorter than six months.

Its service has currently covered close to 35% of the population in Peninsular Malaysia, making it one of the fastest telco players in building its network.

The company has planned to spend RM1bil to build up the infrastructure for its WiMAX from 2008 to 2012, which will give the company about 65% population coverage. It is also looking at business opportunities in the South-East Asian market either from investment or collaboration perspective.

It has recently acquired a facilities-based operator licence and wireless broadband access spectrum right from Singapore-based Pacnet Internet Corp (S) Pte Ltd for RM6.91mil.

P1 is the WiMAX operator and service provider arm of Green Packet Bhd.

On the ad war between by Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s (TM) Streamyx and P1 WiMAX, Lai says the company has no intention to create the ad war as it is too small to do so.

“We always believe in providing choices and it is important to have alternatives in a healthy growing market. You need competitiveness and the consumers and the country are the ones who benefit in the end,” he says.

He says there will be new players joining the field when a new revolution of new technology is coming in. “We have Yahoo which came in 1995 for the Web 1.0 and YouTube or Facebook all over the world for Web 2.0 currently.”

The market is saying that the WiMAX operators are eating into the current broadband market share of TM, which is using its existing copper networks.

TM is said to experience a smaller growth in net additions for its broadband service, while WiMAX operator P1 has been enjoying high subscription rates.

TM was quoted as saying that is only natural when competition comes into the market and choices are there whenever there are competitors.

It says there is a big difference between wireless and fixed line technology and it will strive to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Lai says the WiMAX technology is a 4G technology, which is engineered based on pure Internet protocol technology that is built for data and broadband.

He says it is important to have WiMAX in every country, adding that many countries are already using WiMAX currently.

Apart from Malaysia, the countries that are widely promoting WiMAX include the United States, Japan, Russia and South Korea. He says companies globally need broadband to compete in the fastest and more comprehensive ways.

“Broadband is no longer a privilege or a luxury item; it is a necessity,” he says.

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