Regrettably En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya (AJ), the Group CEO of MAS, still refused to provide answers to the several pertinent questions posed to him regarding the designing of new pale blue livery of MAS and the re-branding exercise, in HERE, as follows:
- When was the decision made to change the livery of MAS to pale blue?
- Who made the said decision to change the livery?
- Was MAS Board consulted before proceeding to change the livery?
- Did MAS obtain approval from the Cabinet for the change of the livery?
- Which company was appointed to provide the design of the new livery and so-called re-branding of MAS?
- Who appointed the designing company for the job?
- Was there an open tender for the appointment of the designing and re-branding company?
- What was the total cost of the said designing and re-branding work for the new livery?
AJ responded with lighting speed to address the issues of uplifting the AirAsia X Sdn Bhd 35,000 passengers in MAS where e-mail was sent out in the early hour at 12:26 am in HERE, and information leak on the ferry flight aka “Hooray Flight” in HERE & HERE.
It would appear that the decision to change the livery on the whole fleet of aircraft and re-branding MAS was hatched and decided in the early part of this year. Yours truly isn’t sure whether it was done before or after the appointment of En Al-Ishal Ishak, as the SVP for marketing and promotions, in January 2012. This is a new position specially created by AJ. AJ must have a special vision otherwise he wouldn’t have created this new post. May be with the setting up of this new post the turning around of MAS will be faster than expected, in HERE.
But it would appear that the commissioning of the designing of the new livery and re-branding exercise was done after the appointment of En Al-Ishal Ishak. En Al-Ishal Ishak has said:
“said 2012 will be a breakthrough year for Malaysia Airlines on its path to recovery. We recognised, however, that we could not achieve financial success without clearly defining our brand positioning. Ogilvy understood this and throughout the pitch process, were best able to translate our message into a powerful campaign idea,” in HERE.
It seems that En Al-Ishal Ishak is a very low profile officer in MAS. He was previously from Baraka Telecom. May be he has been working too hard to market and promote MAS for the past six months. Hence the low profile. Can anyone help to enlighten us about this new recruit that was parachuted into MAS after the share “suap”?
Despite the massive losses of RM2.5 billion as proudly announced by AJ, AJ has increased the marketing/promotions budget of MAS from 2% (in 2011) to 4% for 2012 of its total yearly revenue. Presumably with such budget AJ woould be able to “turn around” MAS at a faster pace.
If we were to take 2011 revenue of RM13.9 billion for 2011 the total budget for 2011 was RM278 million, then the 2012 marketing/advertising budget will be RM556 million! Therefore, AJ has RM556 million to help him turn around MAS and repair the battered image of MAS after the share suap!
No wonder AJ was not too bothered when more than RM10 million has been spent by MAS to sponsor Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ QPR, which was almost relegated recently. Perhaps AJ knew he still has another RM546 million more play with for marketing/promotions to turn around MAS.
Under AJ, we have been told again and again that MAS is bleeding. Profitable routes like Bandung, Surubaya, Dubai and others were terminated. AJ also gave up the additional profitable route to Sydney, which the Cabinet awarded to MAS exclusively to operate from July 2012 to 2013. The additional Sydney route was given on a silver platter to AirAsia X Sdn Bhd. After MAS terminated the Bandung routes, AirAsia added an additional flight and its fares has gone up to almost double since. Yet, AJ has said that Bandung route was not profitable.
AJ seems to be more interested in re-branding of MAS with new livery and mass advertisement. AJ must have taken the cue from Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (Tony). As early as 14-9-2011 Tony was already talking of turning around MAS by re-branding, in HERE.
Re-branding cannot turn around MAS with new livery and cutting its profitable routes as both of which could not increase its revenue. Such exercises will only increase unnecessary expenses and loss of revenue.
Mass advertising through the mass media is not the answer to re-building a brand like MAS. As has been said before MAS already has a brand name and there was no need to start a brand awareness campaign.
Changing of the MAS livery from two vibrant colours of red and dark blue to one single pale blue will not be seen as an effort to increase revenue for MAS. However, it was just dumping good money for nothing. This was an exercise in futility and it will only add to MAS losses. I doubt if AJ and En Al-Ishal Ishak could justify such a sum of RM556 million for marketing /promotion budget when AJ was talking about cutting staffs transport allowance of RM10 for those working in KLIA.
Successful brand building is determined by more good customer experiences/services rather than implementing new livery and re-branding campaigns. Put in bluntly, MAS should be concentrating on how to improve its overall customer services. Making its customers feel satisfied and happy to fly with MAS. MAS should be looking after the welfare of the staffs well especially the crews, who are interacting directly with its passengers, so that they could perform better than before. At every touch point, MAS must ensure that its staffs are properly trained, attentive, polite and helpful because such qualities will ensure the return of the passengers to MAS.
Perhaps MAS staffs especially the crews can tell us how they have been treated by MAS under the new management after the share “suap”.
How could customers be happy when top executive of MAS like Rashdan flouted the “No Infant” policy in the First Class cabin?
It was most unfortunate that AJ was condoning abused of power by Rashdan and didn’t bother to send letter of apology to the First Class passenger, Mr Hii, who was so upset by the disturbance caused by Rashdan’s baby as can be seen from the Voyage Report, in HERE.
It would appear that AJ has emphasized on media campaign with the new single colour livery, the pale blue. MAS unlike the low cost airline which needs constant advertising and media blitz about its low cost fares. Customer service is the lowest in its priority. MAS is a premier airline which needed an excellent customer service.
Until this date AJ is still refusing to answer the above pertinent questions. AJ was so quick to praise Rashdan with two e-mails in a span of two hours, and issue warning e-mail about the leaking of the ferry flight/hooray flight and etc.
From the artworks produced by Landor Associates (Londor) in London, the new livery of single colour was meant to be used for all the aircraft of MAS including the turbo prop and not restricted to the A380 as announced.
The cost of the designing and re-branding by Landor cannot be cheap. Please see below the remaining artwork provided by Landor on 17-2-2012 at which time Rashdan, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun were still in MAS.
Hopefully AJ will now provide honest answers to the above twelve questions. More importantly, what was the total cost of designing of the above livery and the re-branding exercise where Ogilvy & Mather and Landor were commissioned.