By Marissa Lee
A NEW batch of iconic products and brands has been identified after red-hot interest in the AsiaOne People's Choice Awards 2009.
Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the Asia-wide poll conducted by Internet portal AsiaOne, far higher than the 11,000 cast in 2008.
In the two-month poll, starting last November, readers voted for their favourite brands in 25 categories ranging from best bank to best buffet. This was an expansion from 11 categories in 2008.
At a ceremony yesterday at the Singapore Press Holdings' News Centre in Toa Payoh North, Wii Sports Resort was named as the hottest game, and Ion Orchard was the most popular shopping mall.
In the much-hyped food category, Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Paragon won most popular Chinese restaurant - and eatery with the best service.
Best buffet went to Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts. Mr Patrick Garcia Fiat, general manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts, was elated: 'We designed our restaurant based on feedback from people and focus groups, and for us the People's Choice Award is a seal of approval.'
It was also a happy evening for Changi Airport, which won best airport for the second year.
Mr Alan Lee, head of marketing and branding for the Changi Airport Group, said: 'A good brand is inspirational. At Changi Airport, everybody believes that Changi Airport is a testament to the Singapore story and is motivated by that.'
The Singapore Institute of Management bagged two awards for best private school undergraduate and post-graduate programme.
Its director of business and marketing relations, Ms Judy Wong, said: 'Education is not just a transaction, it's a relationship. A good education brand is not just about pushing and promoting the programme. It is about us unlocking and developing our students' potential.'
Awards were also given out in more novel categories such as best party venue. St James Power Station was voted the most happening place in town.
The Red Bull F1 Party was named party of the year. Mr Darryl Lim, marketing manager for Red Bull Singapore, said: 'This is something we're very excited about because it's the first time we've gotten an award for something we've done locally.'
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