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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).

China

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

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.

Singapore

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

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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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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hong Kong’s Industrial History : How Plastic Flowers Built A Global MetropolisIn the years after World War II, buying a bunch of plastic flowers was trendy, not tacky, and Li Ka-shing built their novelty into a business empire that now spans the globe – more on Hong Kong here

Pinwheels  for sale Hong Kong.

Airline vlogger faces backlash, including a death threat, for his negative review of Singapore Airlines – TODAYonline – Singapore gets its unofficial 50 cent army

The durable history of Casio’s durable G-Shock watchthe company gets asked all the time about how it might create a smartwatch that lives up to users’ rugged expectations for its storied brand, but that any such product would have to be a G-Shock first. “I believe you can rest assured that it will be uniquely G-Shock in its form factor, unlike anything we have seen before.” If Casio carries its tradition forward, you’ll be able to read all about it—right on the face of the watch itself

Inside the Feds’ Battle Against Huawei | WIRED – interesting that it misses out on past behaviours of concern such as the T-Mobile robot arm technology theft and the African Union system infiltration (paywall)

No Free Lunch, but almost: what DoorDash actually pays, after expense — #PayUp – uberization of workers in action

EU’s former ambassador to South Korea suspect in China spy probe | South China Morning Post – shit meet fan

Facebook does not understand the marketplace of ideas | Financial TimesThe first critical flaw in Mr Zuckerberg’s thinking is the idea that the marketplace for goods is efficient without regulation. Much of the thrust of economics over the past half century has been to understand what regulations are needed to ensure that markets work. We have tort laws that ensure accountability if someone is injured and we don’t allow companies to pollute willy-nilly. We have fraud and advertising laws to protect consumers against deceptions — recognising that such laws circumscribe what individuals may say and publish – well worth reading the rest of the article (paywall)

Fun With Charts: A decade of Apple growth – Six Colors – I wonder if these values were normalised to compare like with like?

Marine Commandant: ‘The Farther You Back Away From China, They Will Move Toward You’ « Breaking Defense – take the fight to them rather than the other way around

How Loro Piana serves ‘nomadic elite’ with €7,000 cashmere coats | Financial TimesA recent report from consultants Bain & Co argued that new growth in the luxury goods industry was going to be driven by brands that go beyond just offering shoppers a product and were able to also provide a mixture of new experiences and ideas, and even provoke emotions

LinkedIn – Louis Vuitton menswear fall/winter 2020 lifestream – its odd to see a YouTube style lifestream on LinkedIn. Engagement seems to be relatively low given Louis Vuitton’s million-plus followers

A new way to find clothes, shoes and more on Search – bringing back Froogle, I suspect this is to counteract Amazon in product search and advertising

Betfred owners make millions from company treating gambling addicts | The Guardian – now that’s vertical integration

New Tesla registrations in California nearly halve in fourth quarter: data – Reuters – which tells you something about the value proposition of Tesla

Jeff Staple On How Streetwear Set The Tone For Today’s Mainstream—And What To Expect Nextnow, a single post can disrupt everything. A single verse from the right musician can kill off an entire brand. So the velocity at which retailers must adapt had to catch up. They could no longer wait for the Vogue “September Issue” or New York Fashion Week to see what was hot. It was blatantly obvious down to the exact number of “likes.”

Chow Tai Fook, Sa Sa closures deepen Hong Kong retail crisis | Campaign Asia – this is about deflating an overinflated retail and real estate economy. Its popularity was from the prevalence of adulterated products in China and the lack of sales tax in Hong Kong. Chow Tai Fook failed to look at international expansion and has no one to blame but its board of directors

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Things I liked this week

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The Mercedes Benz 500E gets profiled by Doug DeMuro. It is the ultimate sleeper car with only mildly flared wheel arches give a hint for the vehicles performance.

Great talk by Shafi Goldwasser from the University of California, Berkeley on the relationship between algorithms and the law. It was given in Tel Aviv

Algorithms have enormous power over our lives from health and finance to credit ratings or the ability to get criminal bail.

Academic Jack Goldsmith on the complex relationship between Jimmy Hoffa, the US trade union movement and the mob including its rise and fall. This is a good hour long interview but worth while having on in the background.

Ogilvy did this nice advert for Boots

But what’s for more interesting is this burn in the More About Advertising blog

Ogilvy took over the reins from Mother a couple of years ago – Boots didn’t want to move but its owners did a Davos WPP deal – since when it’s been a bit iffy.

More About Advertising blog

Hair Love is an animated short that addresses the complex nature of Afro American hair. But its got as much attention for its sponsorship by Unilever brand Dove as its craft. Is is changing the relationship between art and advertising. I was reminded by Guinness Nigeria development of action films for the African market in the past.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Google acquires Pointy, a startup to help brick-and-mortar retailers list products online, for $163M | TechCrunchbuilt hardware and software technology to help physical retailers — specifically those that might not already have an extensive e-commerce storefront detailing in-store inventory — get their products discoverable online without any extra work – reminds me of the kind of thing you’d expect Tencent or Alibaba to do as China has led in O2O e-tailing

San Francisco’s Robot Restaurants Are Going out of Business – thin margins don’t support high capital costs of automation

11152015_Cathay Pacific Cargo_B-LJA_B748F_PANC_NAEDIT

Cathay Pacific: Aircraft Changes & Flight Cuts to North America – SamChui.com – interesting cuts on previously big earning routes

Mediatel: Newsline: How the UK is quietly importing a sinister political phenomenon“I have read so many predictions and trends about journalism in the past few weeks. The most significant trend, mostly unacknowledged, is that of politicians realizing they do not need to provide access or engagement with journalists, or even tell the truth, to be electable.” – where is this going?

Make your China marketing pop with these pop culture tips – POP MART: the designer toy market in China is booming. Not that surprising given historic popularity in Hong Kong and Japan – in many respects culturally China is a laggard

Silicon Valley and National Security – United States Department of State – basically you’re all a bunch of Quislings

Fundamentals simply do not matter in China’s stock markets | Financial Times – Muddy Waters Research has demonstrated that for years, its also the reason why you should be wary of Chinese companies with foreign listings

Framed — Pixel Envythree paragraphs in and it is already setting up the idea that personal privacy and public safety are two opposing ends of a gradient. That’s simply not true. A society that has less personal privacy does not inherently have better public safety; Russia and Saudi Arabia are countries with respectable HDI scores, brutal censorship and surveillance, and higher murder rates than Australia, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom

Sugar Bear’s Don’t Scandalize Mine was a go to record for me, but I’ve never seen a music video of it until now

What Does Taiwan’s Public Think About Election Interference From China? – The Diplomathyper-polarization in views between DPP and KMT supporters highlights the difficulty in addressing cybersecurity and China more broadly. To reach a consensus requires first acknowledging and disrupting the echo chambers in which disinformation campaigns thrive, then the government must implement election transparency policies to more easily expose disinformation efforts. However, with increasing animosity between parties, this consensus may be hard to reach. Citizens may also be concerned that any steps the government takes are limiting their freedom of speech or other rights (paywall)

China: no longer the place to be for young Singaporeans? | South China Morning Post – China no longer a place to do business

Try as It Might, Germany Isn’t Warming to Huawei – The DiplomatHighest on their list of concerns has been the risk of exposing the future German 5G network to large-scale espionage and data theft on behalf of corporate and political actors in China. In recent years, Germany’s intelligence agencies have reported a steady increase in Chinese government-directed espionage and hacking activities against German targets, primarily with the aim of acquiring corporate secrets. China is now considered the source of the majority of cyberattacks against Germany. In 2019, some of the largest German companies confirmed that they had been targeted by a new wave of cyberattacks that likely originated with the Chinese government. During a parliamentary hearing on the issue of Huawei in October, Thomas Halden­wang, the president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz), claimed that Chinese espionage and cyberattacks have been expanding into more and more sectors of the economy and the state. According to Haldenwang, while Chinese cyberattacks in Germany were previously focused primarily on private corporations and technology

China Manufacturing:”Elvis Has Left the Building” | China Law Blog – “China’s rising costs, tricky regulations and increasingly unstable geopolitical situation are forcing more manufacturers to move production elsewhere” and we should expect this exodus to gain speed in 2020, “despite the prospect of a minor US-China trade truce.”

Marketing research: Chinese celebrity brand endorsers – Daxue Consulting – Market Research China – interesting turnover in celebrities and increased focus on where there influence lies. China no longer has the Jackie Chan type celebrity endorsement. Which was all things to all people. Chan was legendary for the amount of products that he promoted which became a joke

Bose and HERE Fuel AR Experience Innovation By Combining Location and Audio Technologies – Semiconductor DigestHERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today announced a collaboration with Bose Corporation to jointly enable their respective developer communities to deploy augmented reality (AR) location applications and services. This collaboration gives HERE developers access to the Bose AR platform and spatial-audio capabilities, and extends the HERE platform, positioning and mobile SDK location technologies to developers building audio AR applications and experiences. – ok so turn by turn direction or tourist style apps probably. The most interesting thing for me was that Bose AR isn’t just the audio enabled frames but recent noise cancelling headsets as well

SPH print newspaper ad sales dive 20% on year | Media | Campaign AsiaSingapore Press Holdings, the parent company of The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, and other news publications, saw overall revenue drop 3.8% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – interesting acceleration. Part of which is down to media agencies making more money from digital and some due to changing consumer habits. I’ve started taking a print newspaper subscription again as I value the juxtaposition good print design can bring

NYT: Russian hackers successfully targeted Ukrainian gas company Burisma – AxiosPublic awareness of the Burisma hack cuts both ways politically. For former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations. For the Trump campaign, it means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label

Hair Love,’ Sponsored by Dove, Earns an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Short | Muse by Clio – poses interesting questions about the role of brands in media

John Lewis marketing boss Paula Nickolds departs before starting | The DrumAnusha Couttigane, principal fashion analyst at Kantar, said that whoever takes the lead will need to rethink its long-running, and arguably tired, festive advertising strategy which has relied on blockbuster, tear-jerker creative to encourage shoppers into stores. “John Lewis needs to continue evolving its digital marketing efforts. While the company’s Christmas mascot, the accident-prone dragon Excitable Edgar, was warmly received, the debut of the brand’s Christmas advert is simply not the event it once was,” – quite a burn right there.

Sonos hits Google with lawsuit over wireless speaker patents“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology” for years. Sonos and Google collaborated in 2013 to add the Play Music service to Sonos speakers, and more recently, the two worked to bring Google’s digital assistant to Sonos speakers, alongside Amazon’s counterpart, Alexa. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years,” Spence told the Times, “Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate,”

With nothing to lose, loners build future in China’s hollowed-out north – Reuters“Social classes are fixed,” Li said. “The poor can never achieve anything. When you encounter problems, if you can solve it, great. There’s not much you can do otherwise.” – interesting consumer comments that explain the slow down in China’s economic growth

Dark Patterns after the GDPR: Scraping Consent Pop-ups and Demonstrating their Influence by Nouns, Liccardi, Veal, Karger and KagalThe results of our empirical survey of CMPs today illustrates the extent to which illegal practices prevail, with vendors of CMPs turning a blind eye to — or worse, incentivising —- clearly illegal configurations of their systems. Enforcement in this area is sorely lacking. Data protection authorities should make use of automated tools like the one we have designed to expedite discovery and enforcement. Designers might help here to design tools for regulators, rather than just for users or for websites. Reg- ulators should also work further upstream and consider placing requirements on the vendors of CMPs to only allow compliant designs to be placed on the market. (PDF)

Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America | Reveal – some 25 percent of US residential property is now owned by anonymous shell companies

Daring Fireball: Apple’s One Remaining Use of the Word ‘Macintosh’ – probably not the smartest move given the amount of IP and goodwill in the brand and rapacious competitors who make early Microsoft look like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation