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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tablet demand in China gaining momentum from epidemic | DigiTimes – compared to global demand drop of 20% predicted for tablet computers. This is a fascinating change. Any explanation of this tablet demand is just a hypothesis. My own guess is . More tablet computer related posts here.

Great mix by Andy Weatherall. It is interesting that for a considerable amount of time there was destination radio and a loyal taping culture. Some cassette decks featured timers similar to a video recorder. People would set them up before they left. Prior to digital formats becoming commonplace, I remember die-hard fans using VHS Hi-Fi audio recording to capture these shows in as high a quality as possible. More listening material here.

Targeting v context | Campaign Live – really interesting article by Dave Trott. I’d argue (like Dave has) targeting and context together is what matters, rather than targeting or context.

Experts react to Google’s Brexit-driven decision to move UK data to the US – Business Insider – also probably Google trying to avoid double-jeopardy between EU and UK law presented by UK consumers being out of the EU

Victoria's Secret
Victoria’s Secret by Eternity Portfolio

WSJ City | Victoria’s Secret goes private at $1.1 billion valuation – this is down from over $7 billion. This marks the end of an astonishing destruction of value. The company was also quick to get the power of online. Designers now think live-streaming their show is a matter of course. Back in 1999 I worked at an agency where we did their first live stream. They were also quick to get into e-commerce.

WSJ City | Grocers Wrest Control of Shelf Space From Struggling Food Giants – is this really news? Interesting that Clorox and General Mills are called out though

Hackers can trick a Tesla into accelerating by 50 miles per hour – MIT Technology Review – MobilEye complains that it would also fool the human eye, but most humans would at least question it. Artificial smarts isn’t intelligence

Banned recording reveals China ambassador threatened Faroese leader at secret meeting | Berlingske – the problem might not be Huawei but the Chinese government with Huawei just a conduit – but yeah

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Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: 2 minutes

DingDing – a Chinese equivalent of Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype was getting 1-star ratings in Apple and local app stores. Many school children are in lockdown due to the corona virus Covid 2019 and having to use the app as a virtual class room. DingDing was the most downloaded app in the Apple app store on February 5

They weren’t happy and bashed the app across app stores. Some of it was acting out and some was trying to get the app removed from the stores all together.

With its ratings dropping rapidly across app stores. Marketers put out this meme literate video. In it the DingDing mascot cries and begs children not to penalise it. It seems to have worked in terms of stabilising its rating.

Click to expand the video and wait through the short advert (sorry about that). There is an international version of DingDing called DingTalk that is often used by cross-border teams. The iOS and macOS versions are nicely designed. And unlike WeChat it doesn’t send your messages in the clear. But as with any software designed for the great firewall, use with care.

Back when I worked in-house at Yahoo!, Google seemed to get media coverage with ease. The Google Maps campaign around the Oscars reminded me of this. Google Maps collected famous movie locations and showcased them on Google Maps. Trendwatching has a great case study on the campaign.

Chinese brand Yili-owned baby milk formula brand JinLingGuan (JLG) decided to make its own smart speaker for parents. Which I found a bit odd given the amount of voice products available in China. But it seems more like skill-building and product giveaway in conjunction with Xiaomi. It built a parenting skill that featured 1,200 questions.

Key parental insights according to Mindshare:

  • 62.5% of young parents in China worry they are not good enough for their children
  • 70+% of mothers experience postpartum anxiety

Results according to Mindshare

Programme drove over 55 million Q&A sessions, 210% more than expected

Over USD$2.2m (RMB¥15m) in sales and all 10,000 smart speaker gift sets sold out

This is just tremendous – Legendary Disco Producer Cerrone Walks Through the Making of his 1977 Hit ‘SuperNature’ | WhoSampled 

Cerrone 3 Supernature record cover
Record sleeve cover for Cerrone 3 Supernature

Stories of Apple – John Couch on Lisa’s software revolution and the perils of market research – more posts on Apple here.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Regulating AI in health and care – NHS Digital – no privacy expert on this panel – which is a bit concerning given they are talking about the business opportunity and regulating AI. More machine learning related posts here.

120627-O-ZZ999-004
Dutch army Maj. Christiaan Hoff, left, and Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cmdr. John McHugh, right, perform oral surgery to remove a tumor from a Filipino woman aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) June 27, 2012, in Samar, Philippines

Coronavirus: Hong Kong restaurants install physical barriers between diners to allay contagion fears – interesting design hack by restauranteurs – I wonder what it will do to restaurant noise levels?

The ‘Alpha Female’ Look is Big in China. Brands Take Note. | BoF – good for Dr Martens (paywall)

Bulgari Is Pulling Out of Baselworld 2020 Because of the Coronavirus | Robb Report – I am surprised that Baselworld hasn’t been re-scheduled already

Kering Halts Spending in China on Coronavirus Fears | BoF – I’d have still done brand advertising to do contra-cyclical brand building but otherwise their approach makes sense

The Karakax list: how China targets Uighurs in Xinjiang | Financial Times – surprisingly manual process rather than machine learning driven. China has set up a research lap for technology in law – think pre-crime and done some of the first thinking about regulating AI

You Can Pay People to Style Your Houseplants – The New York Times – corporate florist now do homes as well (paywall)

“With the Beatles,” by Haruki Murakami | The New Yorker – great read

It’s time for global businesses to admit it: China isn’t a good investment – The Washington Post – right sentiment, but the wrong reasons. China is important but too prominent in the global supply chain and a source of weakness. Multiple sourcing makes more sense

With Harsh Words, China’s Military Denies It Hacked Equifax | New York Times – yeah right. I think its a totally gangster move, really smart work which is why they would do it (paywall)

Chinese retail is getting a nationalistic boost – Inkstone“The millennials are more faithful to Chinese brands which are capable of delivering equally good quality products like those from foreign powerhouses, if not better,” said Xue Ying, senior marketing manager of Dr Yu. Fashion brands no longer see Hong Kong as bridge to 1.4 billion consumers – Inkstone – an increasingly nationalistic youth

Coronavirus response benefits Watsons: YouGov | Campaign AsiaHong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, who’s majority-ownership of the Watsons franchise is well-known, pledged HKD$100 million (US$13 million) to combat the coronavirus. All of these responses appear to have been met with popular approval for the brand. Since the start of the year, Watsons’ Current Customer score has risen from 20.2 to 29.0, a rise of +8.8 points. Its Recommend score has risen from 9.9 to 16.9 , an increase of +7 points. Finally, its score on YouGov’s Buzz index has jumped from 8.6 to 25.4, a significant increase of +16.8 points. – Li Ka Shing always comes out of a crisis better than he went in

Coronavirus Test Kits Sent to States Are Flawed, C.D.C. Says – The New York Times the failure of the kits means that states still have to depend on the C.D.C., which will mean several days’ delay in getting results. The C.D.C. announced last week that it had begun shipping about 200 kits to laboratories in the United States and roughly 200 more to labs in other countries. Each kit can test about 700 to 800 specimens from patients, the agency said. – this is frightening (paywall)

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

CivicScience | Convenience Store Food Taking Aim at Fast Food – god this brings back memories of fishballs and curry sauce in the 7-Eleven convenience store common in Hong Kong. More stories on retailing here

7-Eleven at Tung Chung (Lantau Island) MTR station
7-Eleven convenience store in Tung Chung (Lantau Island) MTR station circa 2006

TBWA HK offers service pack to help brands through “financial winter” | Advertising | Campaign Asia – sales over brand building. More on this later

What the Heck Does Luxury Mean Now? | GQa new and enticing definition of the word emerged with flawless-diamond clarity: big European houses hired a swath of truly cool designers who rewrote the rules of exclusivity and quality, breaking brands free from its tiresome cliches about who and what was indulgent, beautiful, and elegant. Figures like A$AP Rocky and Frank Ocean became the new doyennes of style and taste; Alessandro Michele, Virgil Abloh, and Kim Jones became worldwide superstars; and Supreme convinced a new generation that you could make inexpensive stuff with the rigorous sensibility of a fashion house. Things that were once secret became matters of global pop-cultural importance—a lot of people now follow the haute couture and menswear shows like others follow football

PopSockets, Sonos, and Tile Ask Congress to Rein in Big Tech | WIREDit wasn’t until PopSockets agreed to spend $2 million on retail marketing that Amazon finally clamped down on the fakes and knockoffs. Amazon denies this, and says that worked “with PopSockets to address our shared concerns about counterfeit.”But there were still other problems: Barnett says Amazon frequently lowered the price of PopSockets products, and then expected his company to make up the difference—even though that was never part of their contract. Amazon would “dress up requests as demands, using language that a parent uses with a child, or more generally, that someone in a position of power uses with someone of inferior power,” Barnett wrote in testimony sent to Congress. Am I shocked that Amazon is playing hard ball in the way that everyone from Tesco to Wal-Mart have done? No. But the problem isn’t the tactics per se, but the scale at which Amazon operates. Also Tesco and Wal-Mart might try and tear your face off with look-a-like private label products, but they won’t intentionally cross the line into selling counterfeit products

Twitter picks 2019’s most creative brand campaigns – Some interesting tactics, all of which look like PR and are run of the mill in nature

How China’s state-owned enterprises milk listed subsidiaries – Nikkei Asian Review – no surprise in this report but nice to see it explicitly stated

Facebook apologises after Xi Jinping name translated as an obscenity – While China does not allow its citizens to access Facebook freely, the country is the company’s largest source of revenue after the US. Facebook is setting up an engineering team at its Asia-Pacific office in Singapore to focus on the lucrative Chinese advertising market, Reuters reported this month.

How Britain’s big retailers missed their online moment – most traditional retailers still operated separate pools of stock, often in different warehouses, for stores and online. This really surprised me

Old Masters, New Clothes: Highsnobiety’s Latest Streetwear Collab | Sotheby’s – STFU – this is just taking the michael. Years from now, I might look back on this as the peak of the current premium streetwear bubble

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Jargon watch: treasure hunt

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Treasure hunt as defined by NPD is the process of consumers bargain hunting. It might be discounted pricing on items or looking for substitute pre-owned products.

Sale
Sale

Discounted items used to be seen in the retail trade as the preserve of older consumers alongside couponing. But as empirical experience going along to discount outlets show bargain hunters reach across social classes, income levels and age groups. Discounted products accounted for 3 percent growth in retail, even while retail declined by 1 percent overall in the last quarter.

As for pre-owned goods, whilst NPD thinks that this is a millennial trait – vintage clothing stores, crate digging for records and and eBay are evidence that this trait isn’t new.

Admittedly the motivation that they are ascribing to vintage shopping by millennials and gen-z adds environmental aspects to vintage consumption. (Though is probably quality aspects as well as apparel globalisation and fast fashion have gone hand-in-hand in the demand for heirloom design).