Archives for posts with tag: Shanghai

Shanghai’s Guangyin Yoga Club (光胤瑜伽) became famous outside China this week. The marketing idea implemented to promote the club hit international websites and the story quickly spread across numerous sites.

The idea itself (from February 2010) placed one of the club’s yoga masters in a wooden box that was placed in various locations across Shanghai. The yoga master would then pop his hand out of the box with the club’s business card in his hand and this greatly surprised passers-by.

Guangyin Yoga Club - Man inside a box

It was a simple, effective, original, and widely talked about execution that won the yoga club far more customers than it had expected, plus the total cost of doing it was £74.

A truly great piece of creativity, one only wishes that every marketing campaign was this cheap and easy to implement but still made the client extremely happy.

Please do take a look at the original post on Ads of the World.


iPhone 4 - China (中國)

September 25th marks the day the so-called ‘revolutionary’ iPhone 4 launches within Chinese shores.

You may be asking why is the launch being mentioned on a blog about advertising? Well, the answer is because the reaction of Chinese citizens to the product launch is a perfect example of how Chinese consumers are changing.

iphone 4 launch - Beijing Store

Despite being labelled a ‘developing country’ over 200,000 iPhone 4 devices were pre-ordered from Chinese telecommunications firm China Unicom and thousands were even prepared to queue outside for 2 days outside Apple’s Xidan Joy City store to get their hands on one.

iphone 4 - Apple store launch (Beijing)

This reaction highlights how disposable income among urban Chinese citizens has soared, and the fact that Apple have uncharacteristically decided to release the product so soon after its US launch demonstrates how the organisation has realised this and wants to make sure it profits as much as possible from the wealthy Chinese population.

Steve Job’s firm has even opened two more Apple Stores in the country (doubling the number in China previously to four) in order to meet the increasing demand from Chinese consumers.  Although ironically the demand for the new iPhone 4 in China is far exceeding the supply.

iphone 4 ChinaWith so much wealth flying around in the urban areas, it’s important to remember that there are still many, many Chinese citizens living in rural regions still struggling to get by each day. It would seem the gap between rich and poor is further increasing and one wonders what the Chinese Government can do help balance things out.

Nonetheless the success of Apple’s iPhone 4 launch will act as a bright beacon to Western firms looking to enter the Chinese market, and a battle between the rapidly growing domestic brands and their developed Western counterparts seems somewhat inevitable.

Chinese car ads are getting better and better aren’t they?

My next question, but a non-rhetorical one, is why are Chinese consumers so obsessed with Long Wheel Based saloons? It’s a question that has bugged me for a while, and I can only assume that there is a ‘the bigger the car – the richer you are’ mentality amongst the wealthier Chinese citizens.

Nonetheless there is clearly a huge demand for these types of vehicles. Both Audi and BMW already have recently released Long Wheel Base editions of their executive saloon cars to grab a share of the growing Chinese market in mind. You may recall the previous post last week about BMW ‘s launch of the 5 Series Li.

So here is the Mercedes E- Class (E300L) or as you would say in Chinese Méi sài dé sī (梅赛德斯). It’s essentially a stretched version of their that is available in the European and American markets. It follows in the footsteps of the Mercedes S600 which has the greatest sales in China than any other country.

The technical details of the vehicle are neither here nor there but the advert itself is something I’m quite a fan of as it’s crafted with a beautiful Chinese twist. Just in case you fancy buying one, i’m afraid like many of the other new Long Wheel Base edition cars, it’s only available in China.

Credit to: Jung Von Matt

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:



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)

I’d like to introduce you all to Forever Bicycles (永久 – Yǒng jiǔ).

Forever C Bikes

For those of you who have no idea who this organisation is I’ll give you a quick introduction. Forever Bicycles stretch back all the way to 1940 when the company was orignially founded as Shanghai Forever Co. Ltd.

50 years down the line the organisation was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and following the turn of the millenia the company turned it’s focus to creating eco-friendly products.

Forever Bicycles produces four million bikes per year and is the top domestic producer of bikes  in China. This week the organisation announced that a new range of bikes will launch shortly under the brand Forever C (永久C).

Forever C logo
One can draw comparisons of this new brand / range to Adidas’sAdidas Orginals brand. It essentially takes old styled bikes and gives them a modern makeover. They are as the cool kids say – retro.

So why the name Forever C?
Well the ‘C’ has six meanings:

  • China — 中国 (Zhōng guó)
  • Classic — 经典 (Jīng diǎn)
  • City — 都市 (Dū shì)
  • Colourful — 多彩 (Duō cǎi)
  • Cycle — 自行车 (Zì xíng chē)
  • Culture — 文化 (Wén huà)

With the above in mind, the new brand offers consumers bicycles that are light, eco-friendly, stylish, and modern. They are available from September, and the Forever C website launches August 20th 2010. As part of this announcement Forever C has already released some seriously cool print ads (below):

Forever C - Print Ad 1

Forever C - Print Ad 2

Forever C - Print Ad 3

Forever C - Print Ad 4

Forever C - Print Ad 5

Forever C - Print Ads 6

Forever C - Print Ad 7

I don’t know about you but I’d love to get my hands on one…

Forever C - Bicycle

Have you ever wondered what happened to the mighty and British Rover car brand?

The Rover Logo (Left) and the Roewe Logo (Right)

Well here’s a quick history lesson for you. Instead of going all the way back to Rover’s origins in 1878, we will begin in 2005 – the year when MG Rover was declared insolvent. After which in 2006, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), who actually held the intellectual property for the Rover 75 car design and was in the bidding for MG Rover brand, announced their own version of the Rover 75, which they called the ‘750‘.

In the summer of 2006, SAIC then announced their intent to buy the Rover brand name from BMW, who still owned the rights to the Rover marque. However, BMW refused their request, due to an agreement with Ford which gave the latter firm control of the brand. Unable to use the Rover name, SAIC created their own brand with a similar name and badge (pictured above), known as Roewe (荣威) or in pinyin ‘Róng wēi’ pronounced Rone-way in English.

Roewe 350

Roewe launched in 2007. Many westerners assuming that it was just another Chinese copycat brand, when in fact it was entirely legitimate.

Now in 2010, Roewe are producing cars left,right and centre. Most recently the organisation has produced the Roewe 350 (shown above) and below are three advertisements to promote their latest model. Two of the adverts are in English too so no need for the usual translation / lengthy explanations…phew.

So sit back and enjoy.

Credit to: THINK Advertising Agency (China)

Unbeatable Title Image

Following the success of China’s very own version of Ugly Betty entitled “Ugly Wudi” (丑女无敌) which was created for the Dove brand and is pictured below. Unilever has devised yet another TV drama series to promote ‘Clear‘, the anti-dandruff shampoo brand.

The star of Ugly Wudi

The series is titled 无懈可击(Wú xiè kě jī) aka ‘Unbeatable‘, which is a play on words of Clear‘s tagline 无屑可击 (Wú xiè kě jī) which means ‘No flakes can strike‘. Notice the second character varies between the two but the pronunciation is identical.

The Unbeatable series will have 36 episodes which all include the underlying message that using Clear shampoo prevents dandruff. If you’re thinking this type of thing would never work, let me tell you, Dove’s demand in China increased by 21% and it’s brand awareness tripled thanks to the Ugly Wudi show.

Unbeatable follows the trials and tribulations of a group of young people (played by famous Chinese actors / actresses) and how with their “unbeatable” spirit, overcome challenges in career, relationships and life. The heroine is a fresh graduate who landed a job in an international public relations agency,whose key client is, would you believe, – Clear shampoo.

Unbeatable in acton

The whole story was developed around Clear’s four-phase brand communication strategy:

  1. Dump — 甩了欺骗者 (Shuǎi le qīpiàn zhě)
  2. Trust — 信任拍档  (Xìnrèn pāidàng)
  3. Self-breakthrough — 突破自我 (Túpò zìwǒ)
  4. Unbeatable — 无懈可击 (Wú xiè kě jī)

However, what is even more intriguing is the social media strategy which is being implemented to create buzz around the series. Firstly, they have created a branded mini-site within the TV section of (A Chinese website which provides news, media, information and entertainment) which can be viewed by clicking here.

Unilever has also produced a video of the series theme tune which can be downloaded and an online game is also soon to be released around the series, both of these additions, of course, include the Clear shampoo brand.

Unbeatable advertisement

It often surprises me that these type of campaigns are so successful in China, but would never really work in the UK. The British audience have a distinct distaste for blatant promotions within or around their favourite TV shows. In the UK, brand’s have to be more subtle in their approach.

In fact, a great example of this oddly enough comes from Unilever. The firm recently created a branded mini-series around Mad Men, which aired during the show in the States, but it was met with abhorrence from the majority of the American audience. Although, some viewers have said that when fast-forwarding through the commercials they stopped at the one in question thinking that it was part of the actual show. So maybe it has worked, have a look below, what’s your opinion?

This week it was announced that China’s State Council Information Office have hired Lowe & Partners advertising agency – Shanghai Branch – to produce a 30 second advert that will boost the nation’s image abroard.

Forbes Most Powerful Chinese Celebrity List (2009)
The ad (in production below) will feature 50 famous Chinese citizens from all walks of life. This includes:

  • Yáo Míng (姚明) — the tallest basketball player in the NBA, playing for the Houston Rockets and stands at 7ft 6in tall.
  • Láng Lǎng (郎朗) — a fabulous pianist of Hong Kong citizenship but was recently named an official worldwide ambassador for the Shanghai Expo.
  • Yáng Lìwěi (杨利伟) — the first man to be sent into space as part of a Chinese mission.
  • Guō Jīngjīng (郭晶晶) — an athlete who has the world record for winning the most Olympic gold medals in diving.
  • and finally Dīng Lěi (丁磊) — CEO of NetEase (a chinese internet company) and one of the wealthiest men in China. A surprising choice as he quite clearly represents the success of capitalism.

China’s leaders will also make a brief appearance. As well as the ad, a 15-minute film to be shown at a number of international events, is also in production.

China National Promo Ad - Production Photo

Why are they making this ad now?
According to a BBC survey, that was carried out in 28 foreign countries including the UK, many foreigners or Lǎowài (as the Chinese love to say) have negative views of China – the majority stem from Beijing’s handling of Tibet. To that end Chinese leaders want to show the world that China is now developing into a “prosperous, democratic and progressive nation”.

The ad will first broadcast on October 1st, 2010 – 国庆节 (guóqìng jié) which in English is the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.

Further developments about the campaign and the ad itself will be posted on this blog as soon as the information becomes available.

Here is the recent TV ad promoting the new BMW X1 which launched in China last month:

The advertisement features the song ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz and is part of the 宝马之悦(Bǎomǎ zhī yuè) or in English the ‘Joy of BMW‘ campaign, which launched in April 2010 with these print ads:

Joy of BMW (China) - Poster 1

Joy of BMW (China) - Poster 2

The BMW X1 itself is actually rather special, as it is manufactured in China at BMW’s Shenyang Plant which produces vehicles solely for the Chinese market. The price of the car ranges from 358,000 RMB  to 522,500 RMB (£33,000 – £48,500) so certainly not cheap. What is more BMW are hoping to target the young so I would expect to see a few of these cruising around Shanghai’s city centre very soon.

Before I finish I’d like to mention that when the X1 launched at the 2010 Beijing Motorshow, BMW released new print ads (shown below) that pulled together themes of the car, man, heaven and nature. Quite beautiful wouldn’t you say?

Joy of BMW - Beijing Motorshow (Poster 1)

Joy of BMW - Beijing Motorshow (Poster 2)

Joy of BMW - Beijing Motorshow (Poster 3)

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