Tales of the sunken sofa | MARKETING Magazine Asia

Tales of the sunken sofa


Whatever we preach about sitting up straight and working at the table, the sofa is our new island. And only if it could tell stories about us since an MCO of any kind began….

Today, I touch upon some truths which may explain why sofas are caving in…

Entertainment
Never before in recent modern history has television glued us to the sofa like ever before. Add a tablet or two and some mobile devices, you have a major happening party to rival any 72-hour Punjabi wedding.

Binge watching has redefined the term couch potato as weekdays blur into weekends and you remain spoilt for choice, left with “nothing to see”. 

Any oaf, sitting on a decent sofa, will tell you TV viewership has gone through the roof, while the Guardians of the Media Galaxy still play cat and mouse to get their pound of flesh before confirming  airtime for clients.

Shocking: media owners spend up to billions to set up their stations/platforms and at the end of the day they are at the mercy of a media planner in a multi-cubicled shoplot in SS2 (great kway teow places there), who has no clue where Simpang Renggam is, makes the buy call from his/her RM50,000 paid-up capital outfit.

While Astro’s TV viewership increased by 43% as daily time spent rose 30% since the start of MCO, there has been no noticeable shift in media investment by advertisers accordingly.

A similar trajectory can be made of Media Prima stations.

Where are the “real-time” experts now, who love to excitingly guide clients to where the eyeballs are? Where? Where?

E-Commerce
Sofa shopping is the new lifestyle.

According to Statista, as of Q2 2020, Shopee (with almost 1,000 employees), led the Malaysian e-commerce market as the most clicked e-commerce site in the country. Followed by Lazada, PG Mall and Lelong. The subsequent rankings depend on who you talk to.

As some say, the votes have yet to be counted!

With around 38.3 million clicks, Shopee is the leading online shopping platform in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. 

… Well, my sofa may never see a V but it has clear symptoms of Us and Ws all over…

Malaysia is expected to maintain a leadership role in online sales across the region; our eCommerce sector was valued at RM15.4 billion last year and this was well before COVID set in.

But laughing all the way to the bank this year are global tech giants (chart above).

Events
From webinars, Zoom meetings and virtual learning, our sofa pillows are getting more learned than us these days. While celebrating goals, birthdays, awards, elections, ride-hailing, good food, travel offers and more.

E-commerce players are also focused on Livestreaming events and in-app games to increase user engagement.

I feel marketers should look at these new consumer behaviours rather than the tired metrics from the same ‘pulse of the nation’ barometers.

Use your heart when making your media decisions, the math will only get you so far. There are already so many truths staring at your face right in your own home.

In the meantime, I wonder if sofa sales have gone up…

According to Khoo Yeow Chong, President of the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC), furniture makers are expecting a V-shaped recovery this year.

Well, my sofa may never see a V but it has clear symptoms of Us and Ws all over.

To all you sofa refugees out there, throw me a pillow if you agree.

(Photo credit: 123RF)