Archives for category: Food & Drink

McDonald’s (麦当劳 – Màidāngláo) has just launched a new digital campaign in China.

The focus of this new campaign is the feeling of happiness, and it is aimed at urban Chinese white-collar workers. The campaign’s slogan is 快乐就是0负担 (Kuàilè jiùshì 0 fùdān), which roughly translates to ‘Happiness is 0 burdens‘.

McDonald's China - Happiness is 0 burden

For those confused by the awkward translation, the slogan is suggesting that true happiness is when you let go of the burdens of everyday life.

The TVC (which also headlines the digital elements) for the campaign is directed by and features the Chinese actress and director Jane Wu (Chinese name: 徐静蕾 – Xú Jìnglěi).

For those of you living outside mainland China, Jane Wu is an extremely popular Chinese celebrity – so much so that her Sina based blog was once the most clicked blog on the internet.

McDonald's China - Tudou Page

Within the advert Chinese people give their thoughts on happiness are, and the question of ‘what is happiness?’ forms the basis of McDonald’s new Tudou page. Go check it out.

Credit to: TBWA China

Lipton Tea or as the Chinese say Lì dùn (立顿), has become one of the most succesful Western brands in China. Unilever introduced the brand to the Chinese market in 2004 and it has since gone from strength to strength.

This month Lipton has announced three new TV commmercials / print campaign starring their brand ambassador and housewife favourite Takeshi Kaneshiro (Chinese name: Jīnchéng Wǔ – 金城武). Takeshi is a famous actor and singer of Taiwanese and Japanese descent but is a famous celebrity in China.

The ads themselves look to promote Lipton Tea as the ‘World’s tea expert’ and demonstrate how drinking the product gives you ‘vigour’ (朝气 – Zhāo qì) and ‘vitality’ (蓬勃的心情 –  Péngbó de xīnqíng).

Lipton Tea (China) - Takeshi Kaneshiro (1)

Lipton Tea (China) - Takeshi Kaneshiro (2)

Credit to: DDB (Shanghai Branch)

The videos above are Haagen-Dazs (or in Chinese 哈根达斯 – Hāgēn Dásī) 2010 ‘The Summer’ commercials. They are each around 4 minutes long and both feature stories about Chinese people’s favourite topic – love.

You may think it’s strange to have ice cream commercials in September, but as Chinese Haagen Daz fans will tell you  炙热的夏天会结束,但炙热的爱情却不会结束(zhìrè de xiàtiān huì jiéshù, dàn zhìrè de àiqíng què bù huì jiéshù) which roughly translates to:

The hot summer will end, but hot love will last forever‘.

How nice.

The video above entitled ‘For Love’ (为爱 – Wèi ài) was released online this month by Crystal CG. It’s an animation that resembles the great battle between the fast food giants KFC and McDonald’s as they fight to dominate China.

The history of KFC and McDonald’s in China
A logical place to start is the beginning. You may be surprised to know that it was KFC or as the Chinese call it Kěn Dé Jī (肯德基) who first entered China. Thursday 12th November, 1987 was the day when KFC opened its first restaurant in Beijing (shown in the image below).

McDonald’s aka Mài dāng láo (麦当劳) on the other hand, did not enter the Chinese market until 1990. Thus KFC had a 3 year head start.

KFC China: First restaurant in Beijing

The reason why KFC entered China before McDonald’s was because each produced differing research results of Chinese consumers. McDonald’s research said that the Chinese were very stubborn and were unlikely to take to McDonald’s products.

KFC on the other hand found quite the contrary, their research said the Chinese will love the ‘xīfāng de kuàicān’ (西方的快餐) which translates in English to ‘Western fast food’!

What happened next?
Well, at first, the restaurants sat peacefully side-by-side with KFC selling chicken and McDonald’s selling hamburgers – that was that. However, things soon turned ugly.

KFC vs. McDonalds - China Chicken Fight

McDonald’s was not satisfied with being second to KFC in China, so they started selling chicken wings too and so battle begun. In 1999, a full scale price war broke out between the two, but come 2004 despite McDonald’s attacks KFC‘s market share was 25% greater.

Why was KFC coming out on top?
The answer is simple. KFC understood and catered to the Chinese people far better.

Of course chicken was already a popular part of many meals in China but KFC did more than offer a new take on how to cook chicken, they adapted their whole product range to meet Chinese needs but more importantly their local needs. That’s right, province to province, and this gave KFC the edge over its rival as McDonald’s stuck firmly with its Western style.

Cue the McDonald’s fight back
In 2003, the McDonald’s slogan became ‘I’m lovin’ it’ and the importance the restaurant chain placed on the Chinese market was demonstrated in the advert they created which featured American singer / actor Leehom Wang (Wáng Lìhóng – 王力宏):

As well as this Maccy D’s began to open 24 hour branches, KFC quickly adapted an began to offer match the offering. The battle between the two was becoming fiercer and fiercer. The next plan of attack came in the form of McDonald’s drive-thru restaurants and these gave the big M chain a slight but key advantage.

McDonald's Drive Thru restaurant - China

McDonald's China - Nanjing

What does the future hold?

KFC is still outdoing McDonald’s and the chain is further catering greatly to the local Chinese markets as their recent ‘rice bowl’ ( ad campaign shows. However, McDonald’s are not giving up and their plans for next few years will certainly keep Colonel Harland Sander’s chain on its toes.

In fact McDonald’s has just kicked off its 20th anniversary celebrations in China with a lovely social media campaign on Douban.com

McDonald's Social Media campaign - Douban.com (20 years)

It seems the battle for China has really only just begun…


The message of the above commercial is 天天喝养乐多 (or in pinyin ‘Tiāntiān hē yǎng lè duō’) which in English translates to ‘Drink Yakult Every Day‘.

For those of you who don’t know, Yakult is a probiotic drink and just to educate you ‘probiotic‘ refers to ‘live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host’. hmm.

Yakult is actually originally from Japan and the Japanese call it ヤクルト pronounced in English as ‘Yakuruto’. The Chinese on the other hand call the drink, ‘Yì duō‘ (益多).

Anyway back to the marketing campaign. As well as the TV advert, Yakult has been promoting its product across China in a variety of ways. Including subway advertising to print ads which are shown below:

Yakult China - Image 1

Yakult China - Image 2

Yakult China - Image 3

Yakult China - Image 4

The Yakult brand is further becoming an extremely popular amongst urban Chinese citizens. Before I finish I thought it would make an interesting comparison to see the Chinese commercial against the current UK / USA TV ads:

UK

USA

Despite their current differences it wasn’t too long ago when the British Yakult ads were along the lines of China’s current commercials.

Credit to: M&C Saatchi (Shanghai Branch)

This is the latest spoof advertisement from the notorious ‘Hugo‘ (胡戈):

It’s a rather amusing take of 7-Up’s Chinese current promotion where Hugo demonstrates the downside of findng a winning 7-Up bottlecap. The video is already very popular in China.

Within 24 hours of being uploaded to Hugo’s official Youku page it had already been viewed over 150,000 times and has even been awarded honours for its immediate popularity.

Who is Hugo?
Hugo is known as 网络恶搞第一人 (Wǎngluò ègǎo dì yīrén) aka the first man to spoof the network.

HugoHe is from Wuhan (Hubei Province) and has previously produced a number of other spoof videos that can be viewed on Hugo’s Sina page. If you like his videos Hugo would like to let you know that he is available for work.

I will be following his latest spoof over the next few weeks to see how it progresses.

For some reason this ad makes me smile…

The commercial promotes COFCO’s (The largest food manufacturer, processor and trader in China) drink brand ‘Lohas‘.

The girl in the advertisement is the famous Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-Ling (林志玲). It’s not the most inspiring or original ad that I’ve seen of late, but it certainly cheered me up after a long day at work.

Credit to: JWT (Beijing Branch)

Sprite - Cool for Summer

Recent blogposts have been relatively lengthy of late. So here’s a quick post for you.

The advertisement below is one of three created for Sprite’s 透心凉一夏 (Tòu xīn liáng yī xià) or in English ‘Cool for Summer‘ campaign:

Sprite has created a branded site on renren.com. Renren.com is essentially China’s answer to Facebook known in English as ‘The Everyone Network). As part of the Cool for Summer promotion tickets to see popstar JJ Lin in concert are up for grabs, and in order to enter the contest Sprite drinkers must participate in various activities on the renren site such as video sharing.

It’s another great example of big brands trying to create online communities in the Chinese market.

Pepsi have recently launched a new TV campaign in China entitled, The Journey to Refresh.

The concept of the ad is loosely based on the novel Journey to the West (西游记 – Xī Yóu Jì) by ‘Wu Cheng’en’. It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.

For those unfamiliar with the book, it tells the story of a monk and his magical companions. Together they leave China to take a long and dangerous journey for India in order to collect the holy Buddhist scriptures. The tale was written roughly 500 years ago and you will struggle to find a Chinese citizen who has not heard of this famous title.

The advert itself features a band of young musicians driving through the desert in order to find the mysterious Cup of Victory. However, they soon find that this Cup is guarded by the ‘Spider Spirit’ and a fight quickly ensues. The ‘Master’ of the band quickly realises that the Queen is merely thirsty, so he passes her the Pepsi drink. Having tasted the drink, she in turn gives them the Cup of Victory with everyone now feeling refreshed and happy.

The making of the ad is shown below:

%d bloggers like this: