The week in review: Gong Xi Fa Cai!, ‘Asians work too hard’, Singapore’s ‘hateful mob’ online, Coke and Pepsi bring happiness to China, Australia hogs media shortlist

Happy Chinese New YearChinese New Year means the weekly review a day early.

Story of the week, quotes of the week, best ads, worst ads, good week for so and so, bad week for such and such, you now get the idea.

The past week has seen a torrent of Lunar New Years ads (good and bad), agencies tussle over who should control a client’s social media budget, Google Glass get The Simpsons treatment, and the Hong Kong government use a cartoon bar chart to sell the value of statistics.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Story of the week

The Lunar New Year advertising bonanza.

Quotes of the week

Zeigler at Mumbrella360

Zeigler at Mumbrella360

John Zeigler, chairman of DDB Asia Pacific, India and Japan, on work life balance in Asia at the Mumbrella360 conference.

Asians work seven days a day. This is a big issue that we’re facing – and I don’t agree with it. In China, recently there was a case at one unfortunate company – it could have been any – where an employee died of overwork. But if you ask anyone in China, in particular, but it could be anywhere in Asia, they’ll tell you that they work six or seven days a week. And not just eights hours. Ten or 12 hours.

Carol Potter

Carol Potter

A story about Chinese consumers in The Economist quoted Carol Potter, the boss of BBDO China, who made an observation about what young Chinese think about P&G skin care brand Olay (P&G is a BBDO client):

Firms that thought they enjoyed a ‘first mover advantage’ have discovered that their brands are now seen as stodgy or old-fashioned. Olay, a cosmetics brand, defined skin care in China for a generation – but Carol Potter of BBDO, an advertising agency, reckons that “the new generation think it’s a brand from yesterday.” She adds that whereas Louis Vuitton once symbolised good and expensive taste in China, a new generationa is seeking different, subtler luxuries.

An comment (source wants to remain anonymous) overheard at a digital event in Hong Kong about IAB Singapore’s prospects for hitting its 2020 goal – digital is 20 per cent of marketing spend by 2020.

A generation of marketers will have be die before that happens.

Tale of two Richards – Coke V Pepsi. Swap fizzy drink brand names and insert quote from marketing director about how their campaign brings happiness at Chinese New Year.

Richard Cotton, director of creative excellence, Coca-Cola China:

”Through this beautifully crafted film, we hope that Coke’s optimism and positivity will inspire more people during CNY to reconnect with the people that matter most, their families. This is what real happiness is all about.”

Richard Lee, chief marketing officer of PepsiCo Greater China:

Chinese New Year is a tradition that runs through all our veins; the saying goes, ‘Whether near or far, home is still home. Whether big or small, happiness is still happiness.’ We hope to pass on this philosophy and bring happiness to everyone’s lives while encouraging them to bring happiness to others – ultimately making it a lifestyle and core value for the Chinese society.

Neil Hudspeth, chief digital officer, Leo Burnett Asia Pacific, argues why creatives agencies should control social media budgets, and not PR or media agencies.

As the guardians of clients’ brands, creative agencies are the natural orchestrators and managers of the brand experience and all digital engagements. Therefore, they are better suited to own the social media environment, where data is the new currency driving creativity, relevancy and precision.

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong talks about the reaction to reviled expat Anton Casey and what he feels about anonymous posting on the internet.

Yes, somebody has done something wrong, repudiate it, condemn it, but do not lower ourselves to that same level to behave in a way which really makes us all so ashamed of ourselves to become abusive, hateful mobs, especially online and anonymously.

We risk having an over-reaction, we risk having unrestrained, anonymous viciousness on the internet.

Mia Freedman, boss of Australian women’s news and lifestyle website Mamamia, is not pleased with the treatment “real” mum bloggers like herself get in the press:

The great news is that according to mainstream media, you don’t even need kids to be a Mummy Blogger. Just a vagina and an opinion.

Best ads

Coca-Cola. Coke reunites kids living in rural China with their parents at Chinese New Year.

Omo. A cute extension of the ‘Dirt is good’ campaign for Tet in Vietnam.

Guinness. Best watch this now, before it’s removed from YouTube. As Budweiser is the official sponsor for the Olympics, Guinness isn’t allowed on air. Nice bit of PR, while you can get it.

Sodastream. This Super Bowl ad, featuring Scarlett Johansson, was rejected by Fox for targeting Coke and Pepsi by name, but is benefitting from the PR that the resulted.

Budweiser. The beer brand’s Super Bowl ad features a bromance between a puppy and a horse.

Hyundai. The carmaker’s Super Bowl ad asks, remember when only dad could save the day?

Worst ad

Hong Kong government. An annoying cartoon bar chart is here to help the Hong Kong families through the power of statistics.

Best news headlines

Most inane Stomp posts

Good week for…

Dairy Farm Group in Hong Kong. The operator of the 7-Eleven, Wellcome and Mannings brands was the fastest growing advertiser in the territory in 2013, hiking spend by 25 per cent, to HK$689 million (US$89 million), it emerged from 2013 ad spend figures from admanGo figures.

Media agency Starcom. More shortlisted entries than anyone at the Festival of Media Awards. Australia was embarrassingly dominant, as it was last year.

Bad week for…

Thailand’s media industry. Industry body MAAT predicted sluggish growth of three to five per cent – and that’s not factoring in the effects of continued political unrest.

Google Glass on The SimpsonsWearable tech. Google glass got The Simpsons treatment.

Tobacco brands. A Marlboro man who appeared in the iconic  ads in the late 1970’s, Eric Lawson, died from a smoking-related illness.

Ad agency Host Singapore. Lost its ECD Noah Regan after less than a year.

Foreign journalists in China. A New York Times reporter became the second of the paper’s  writers in 13 months to get kicked out of China after his visa application was rejected.

Prediction for next week

Global agency HQs get frustrated that their most exciting growth market, China, is still on holiday.


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