Wake Up Your Idea
Sunday, March 23, 2008
  Singapore's Happiest Person & Other Tales Of Fiction
I came across this piece of news on tomorrow.sg regarding the 'search for Singapore happiest person' and thought it was quite interesting. On closer inspection though, I realised that the local media has sunk to a new low. Below is my reply as posted on the Tomorrow.sg entry regarding this distastefully disguised marketing strategy:

You guys do know that this is a marketing gimmick right? Apparently, this 'search' has been initiated by the 'Global Leadership Academy Pte Ltd' (doesn't have a website) which in turn was created by the Phillip Merry Consulting Group - owned by Phillip Merry with a staff size of 4 key persons (probably there should be other clerical staff members).

In reality, all this is just a marketing ploy for an event entitled 'The New Science of Happiness and Well Being' that will be held at the Singapore Expo on April 16 & 17. That's what you will see if you visit the competition's website, simply-happy.com. In fact, the link button to the actual competition takes up about 1% of the whole home page which just advertises the 'conference' and the speakers involved in the event.

It is pretty obvious that the organisers are the least interested in actually 'searching' for the happiest person and, in all probability, will be just choosing the first best candidate they come across in the pool of entries. Although the event was arranged much earlier, at least before January, the 'search' itself is only 2 weeks long from March 16 to 30 - for a nationwide search? Not to mention the 'results' will be out within a week (April 4th) after the closing date?

Of course, as a marketing idea, it is a success because the (stupid/blind/slow-news-day) mainstream media have picked up on it and made it sound like a national campaign. Well, If you're interested in paying between S$988 and $1,388 to sit down and listen to speakers who are probably going to tell you, "you're spending too much money, that's why you're unhappy and stressed", I have nothing against that.

But for those who think this is a great (independent/genuine) campaign and the 'winner' will be really 'the happiest person in Singapore', then please think again, because this is just another lucky draw...

I have nothing against a bit of enterprise and even concede that it may be a necessary evil, but I think in this case, the public is being misled.

This Is Real Happiness, By The Way

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There'll be a new happiest person in Singapore born tomorrow.

After he/she finds out he/she has struck toto.

Hopefully me, but probably not, cos i forgot to buy, and i'll be in camp tomorrow!
hi Guys - this is Philip Merry the guy who originated this "tale of fiction". glad to see that you are at least talking about happiness. i'm a brit who has lived in singapore for 18 years. Some facts first - global leadership academy and philip merry consulting firm are both owned by me and do the same things - run team and leadership workshops - serving singaporeans and others for 18 years - i never advertise and this was our first ever confrence.

I launched this conference 3 months ago to get people talking about happiness in singapore - there is far too much stress and cynicism here. in February I dreamt up the idea of Singapore's Happiest search - not as a marketing gimmick - but to get people talking about happiness. when nominations started pouring in i was real happy that at least some were interested. then my wife and i decided that we would like to have all these wonderful happy singaporeans - free of charge - at our conference. And so we invited both nominee and nominator to attend. Had all turned up the cost to us would have been $400,000 - not a problem as this conference at all times was designed as a gift to singapore by bringing the world's best researchers here. as it turned out only 56 nominees/nominators turned up so the cost to us was only $62,000. Hope that lets you know that this was not a marketing gimmick as it did not send more people to our conference at all. and yes i do have a small staff of 4 people - does that matter?

but glad to see that it caused you to discuss this - and if you want more "free stuff" go to Authentichappiness.org as there are lots of free info on how to be happy and not so cynical - i think you may enjoy it - worm regards to all of you - philip merry
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