中国 | china | 중국 初 | hygiene | 기본 工艺学 | technology | 기술 新加坡 | singapore | 싱가포르 电信 | telecoms | 통신 铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Consumers don’t believe use of personal data leads to more relevant ads, report finds | Campaign AsiaThe report also found that consumers still trust TV ads over their digital counterparts. On average, consumers are twice as likely to say TV ads provide a more positive impression of brands than common digital formats. The top concern about digital platforms amongst those polled was fake news on social media (53 percent), followed by cyberbullying, online predators, child endangerment online and children’s data privacy. “While consumers embrace the technology, there remains a multitude of concerns regarding advertising on the technology. These concerns are a significant reason why TV actually still remains the medium most likely to provide a positive impression of brands,” Juhl said. – So why would you recommend digital for brand building activity??? Supports Gartner’s position that businesses will move away from personal data. More on personal data targeted online ads and ad blocking here.

Street Media
Television via Flickr account Naked Faris

People call for boycott of filmmaker Sam Morales after alleged catfishing of trans woman | Rappler – interesting online scandal in the Philippines at the moment with apparent complex catfishing of gay men and trans-women

Facebook eyes multibillion-dollar stake in Reliance Jio | Financial Times – if the board game Risk was about global telecoms infrastructure instead of military conquest, the truism ‘never fight a land war in Asia’ would change to ‘never buy a carrier in India’. I can’t see how Facebook is going to do any better with its holding than Vodafone etc

Singtel-backed OTT service Hooq enters liquidation | Advertising | Campaign Asia“Global and local content providers are increasingly going direct, the cost of content remains high, and emerging-market consumers’ willingness to pay has increased only gradually amid an increasing array of choices,” a Singtel statement said. “Because of these changes, a viable business model for an independent, OTT distribution platform has become increasingly challenged. As a result, HOOQ has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs of an independent OTT distribution platform.” – it will be interesting to see how people like MUBI and NowTV do moving forwards

Recession pushes Hong Kong shoppers to sell their luxury goods | Financial Times – interesting article however the speculation on mainland Chinese trading in secondhand luxury might be impeded a bit. A mix of fakes and and a desire for new things. They would need to have strong trustworthy authentication. And might want to vent that market abroad as well as Japanese players like Brand-Off have managed

Inside China’s controversial mission to reinvent the internet | Financial Times – this sounds like a right mess. We’ll soon have a splinternet

How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policymakers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks | The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science | Oxford Academicweak or subtle interventions are often most effective for the would-be propagandist. In particular, outright scientific fraud—intentional publication of incorrect, fabricated, or purposely misleading results—is not only unnecessary to influence public opinion on topics of scientific inquiry, it is also riskier and often less effective than other forms of manipulation. Biased production, which does not involve fabricating results, is a successful strategy for misleading the public. And in many cases, biased production is itself less effective than selective sharing – HT Ian Wood

What Does the Symmetry of Your Logo Say About Your Brand? – asymmetric conveys excitement. I was left with so many questions, like what about rotational symmetry in a logo?

Madison Avenue Insights | The Next Big Thing in Media & Advertising: Simplification – great read by Michael Farmer, but will they look with a clear eye at the current digital marketing being done from a brand marketing perspective?

“Krisenmarketing”: Warum Werbungtreibende nun ihre Etats nicht einfrieren sollten › Meedia – yes its in German but it comes out fine in Google Translate: Financial, insurance or telecommunications companies in particular should instead rely on customer-centered communication and pick people up instead. They would have to show existing customers that they are there for them during the crisis and offer solutions. For example, Deutsche Telekom is doing exemplary with its campaign “We connect Germany” and the specific services. Banks could also help with liquidity shortages.

London has the highest productivity levels in UK PwC – without productivity improvements levelling up isn’t going to work. Interesting that London performed this high, yet was lower on females in employment with a higher female unemployment rate

中国 | china | 중국 初 | hygiene | 기본 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 新加坡 | singapore | 싱가포르 铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅

CNY 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today is the start of CNY 2020 (Chinese New Year 2020). January 24 is ‘New Years Eve’. It is the year of the rat, which symbolises another start in the Chinese horoscope cycle. Here are some of the best examples of adverts celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY 2020).


Nike China benefited enormously from this advert done by Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai. Which is a take on the politeness of ‘oh no, you shouldn’t have but on a very amped up level’. Reminded me of my interactions as a small child with my Granny in Ireland ‘Ah go on, go on, you will, you will’ aspect a la Ms Doyle in Father Ted. Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% which provide runners with an unfair advantage play a starring role in the film.

The Great Chase by Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai for Nike China

By comparison, Adidas’ effort is beautifully made; with really high production values and a riot of colour like you’d expect for Chinese New Year. But in my opinion, it lacked that killer idea and talkability compared to Nike.

Adidas 新年造萬象 – Adidas CNY 2020 by Haomai Advertisement Co., Ltd

As with other countries Apple China’s shot on… series of adverts merges film directors, storytelling and ‘eats its own dog food’ by shooting using the Apple iPhone 11 Pro. As in previous years Apple stays away from the usual cliches. For CNY 2020, Apple tells the story of a single mother and her child. Single parents are seldom visible in Chinese advertising as so much emphasis in society is put on marriage. It’s well worth a watch.

Last year’s advert focused on the ‘taste of home‘.


Malaysia’s Chinese community may only make up 30 per cent of the population; but its Chinese New Year adverts punch above their weight in comparison to other countries and CNY 2020 was no exception.

Telenor-owned Digi Telecommunications film Home is about the family visiting an aspirational daughter in her new home for lunar new year. It cuts through some of the chintz of the celebrations with a working class family grafting away, but ultimately family bonds conquer all.

Panasonic Malaysia’s video takes a little while to get in the swing but when it does I could imagine it being a right ear worm. You put this on TV and radio to get a really efficient campaign. It also stays away from being overly sentimental.

Panasonic Malaysia – Sek Bao Mei

It wouldn’t be a round up of Chinese New Year adverts if there wasn’t at least one that tugs at the heart strings. Malaysian RHB Group who provide banking services came up with this tear-jerker. If you don’t well up just a little you’re a sociopath.


One of the weakest efforts that I have seen this year was this effort by Dyson to promote the air purifying qualities of their fans. The sole nod to CNY 2020 is the brief red envelope with an engineering drawing on it at the start of the video. I don’t know who commissioned this for Dyson; but they should be hanging their head in shame.

SingTel’s recent festival related advertising have pulled on the heart strings, and been ‘anti-millennial’ – like The Gift shown for last Christmas. By comparison this one is a classic situation comedy highlighting all the benefits of connectivity. The humour reminded me of the Hong Kong film series All’s Well That Ends Well – which are usually in cinemas over Chinese New Year.

Prudential Singapore have a wider campaign going called #MindTheGenerationGap over CNY 2020 and have put together some nice branded content like this cooking programme with lovely interstitial animations

中国 | china | 중국 初 | hygiene | 기본 新加坡 | singapore | 싱가포르 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩 한국 | korea | 韩国

Things that made my day this week

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Amazing Singaporean content on what its like to lose a child.

Hong Kong bakery’s ‘anti-extradition bill’ mooncakes and cookies leave customers hungry for more | South China Morning Post – given that grandparents often hold more pro-establishment views than their children and grand children I can imagine that this likely to make for very tense mid-Autumn festival celebrations

Nor “Pheonix” Diana is the first hijab wearing Malay women’s wrestler

Yunying Huang challenges the Eurocentric perception of techno-culture in China | It’s Nice That – think Chinese meme culture and cyberpunk dropped in a Blendmatic 5000

Amazing video from SamBakZa – Korean ska.

中国 | china | 중국 创造力 | innovation | 독창성 初 | hygiene | 기본 新加坡 | singapore | 싱가포르 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Things that made my day this week.

China landed a space ship on the far side of the moon and is currently exploring it. The Chang’e 4 space ship is named after a Chinese goddess who reputedly lives on the moon. It carried the Jade Rabbit 2 rover. Chang’e was kept company on the moon by her pet jade rabbit.

This is a huge achievement. It has been fifty years this August since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. NASA has plans for its Saturn rockets, but the actual knowledge to build that size of rocket is being relearned through its SLS programme. NASA engineers now marvel how 1960s era welders managed to manually create perfect long welds in the rocket motors with lost craftsmanship.

Secondly there is the context of the Chang’e project. China builds programmes thinking in terms of decades. It will be doing invaluable research and the space programme may spur Chinese innovation just like what happened in the US during the 1950s and 60s. You couldn’t have had Silicon Valley or many household goods without space programme knowhow. The Chinese would be much more open to harvesting resources from the moon and beyond. In the same way that the Apollo programme was a part of the cold war, Chang’e is part of a wider political context. Premier Xi is focused on China’s rejuvenation that includes

  • Ethnic based national(ist) pride. China’s Han ethnicity makes up over 90 per cent of the population. The Chinese government recognises 50 different ethnicities in the country
  • Pride in Chinese culture and elimination of inferior western culture in China
  • Technological supremacy
  • Social progress
  • Supremacy in hard and soft power

So it was with a certain amount of irony that the Chinese space program published a post on Weibo quoting Pink Floyd’s Breathe from Dark Side of The Moon album.

China's space program Weibo account celebrates Chang'e 4 and Jade Rabbit 2 by quoting Pink Floyd

Pepsi tried to tap into the space age excitement with its early entry into the pantheon of this years adverts celebrating Chinese New Year. This is a seven minute long film that’s part of an integrated marketing campaign around the theme of ‘Bring Happiness Home: Reach for the Stars’

Talking of Chinese New Year adverts, Singtel is another one who is rolling out their campaign a bit earlier than most other brands this year. It follows on from last years advert that focused on the family reunion dinner. You can see the best of last year’s Chinese New Year adverts here

This afternoon I have been listening to the this glorious homage to 1980s R&B. Lizzo’s Juice is a great pastiche of TV tropes together with a great song. I discovered it via Matt Muir’s Web Curios. Whilst you’re listening to the song go over and sign up for his weekly newsletter right now. (Don’t worry I’ll here until you come back).

This week has been CES in Las Vegas, which explains why the magazine type stories in news programmes have been about gizmos or robots. I found the show pretty disappointing this year. The biggest news was more of a business story. Apple has managed to get iTunes movie and TV series store on Samsung TVs. In addition several brands signed up to support Apple’s Air Play standard for video and HomeKit standard for your internet of things. Quite what all this means for Apple TV sales is another thing. What I found far more interesting was exploring the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame – IEEE Spectrum. Going through it is instructive. Zojirushi’s Micom Electric Rice Cooker from 1983 brought early artificial intelligence into the home with its use of fuzzy logic to cook rice to perfection. Fuzzy logic then went into image stabilisation and auto focus on cameras and camcorders. Fuzzy logic sold on the benefits and concealed the technology from western consumers. Machine learning techniques are likely to become common in a similar way rather than the current hype. I still lust after the Wadia Digital 170i Transport. 46 years after launching the Technics SL-1200 turntable, they rolled out the SL-1200 Mk VII. This is particularly interesting as they originally stopped production a decade ago and scrapped the tooling. At the time, there wasn’t considered to be enough interest to keep production going in Osaka.

中国 | china | 중국 商业 | business | 상업 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 新加坡 | singapore | 싱가포르 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

Marketers need to be cautious with Chinese zodiac signs

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We’re less than a month away from the year of the pig on February 5, 2018. Marketers need to be cautious with Chinese zodiac sign usage.

Chinese new year is a time of gifting. It may be red envelopes with cash, Christmas style gifts (like a new iPhone), or zodiac animal themed gifts. Shops often gift if you buy above a certain amount. I bought a sweatshirt in Decathalon and was given a Mickey Mouse towel free to celebrate the year of the rat.

If you have a premium bank account you might be given a zodiac ornament of some type. Coffee shops like Pacific Coffee and Starbucks get in on the act with zodiac animal themed merchandise and gift cards.

The pig presents some unique challenges for marketers.

On one hand it can be seen as a kawaii or cute looking creature, like the Hong Kong cartoon character McDull. A pig is also seen as gluttonous and fat. Chinese and other east Asian cultures are not shy about saying if someone is fat. This means that consumers can more be sensitive about their body image.

Year of the pig

Starbucks Hong Kong seems to have upset a small but significant number people who have shared their dislike on Facebook.

Starbucks Hong Kong year of the pig (2019) merchandise

They didn’t want a pig faced coffee tumbler because of what it implied about them whilst they used it.

Starbucks Hong Kong year of the pig (2019) merchandise

Hong Kong clothing brand Giordano have played with the concept of the pig in their promotions. Again the association between this design on clothing and the wearer could be an interesting one. The idea of a fat year, meaning a prosperous year maybe lost in translation for some Hong Kongers.

Giordano Chinese year of the pig 2019

The key takeout for brands should be to practice critical thinking. They need to go beyond the cute design and repetition of last years gift with a different animal design. Think about the context and interaction of the end user with the product. What does the symbolism say about them?