Picked these up from LRB Forums; it’s a collection of “sleeping action” shots of typical Chinese acrobatic/kungfu activities done in a sleeping position. Smartly done; each model lies on the floor, wherein the set is set, and a simple 90 degree turn of the camera gives an effect of action while the model sleeps.
Got this one from the guys over at DMG; it’s a Volkswagen ad, executed beautifully; the story removes the pretentiousness of glamour, replacing it with a mischievous twist. This humanizes the brand, rather than the stale “buy this car, become famous” we have “you don’t need glamour, glamour comes standard.”
When I think of the brand Guinness, I think of dark, heavy frothy beer; perfect for a late night drink, perhaps in a semi-modern, upscale bar; usually during a causal business meeting; “business drunk” (which I’m told is similar to “rich drunk” but have yet to verify personally). Now I know that I’m not like you, and that we are all individual beautiful snowflakes, etc; but I did feel I was sort of close to the mark when thinking of Guinness.
The latest campaign by BBDO has me wondering though; cause instead of associating feelings of being “business drunk” the ads make me think of androgyny; so perhaps the branding is now “unisex drunk”? “bisexual drunk”? Hark unto thee, if you’re not prepared, do not click the below link, cause you may not feel disgusted, but you’ll probably feel a little disturbed.
I picked this one up from LRB forums. It’s campaign for YangHe, a famous alcoholic spirit in China.
What’s interesting? Looking online many non-Chinese think this campaign is great; but to a local Chinese it looks totally ridiculous. The campaign depicts several ancient heroes including Zhang Fei, a warrior general of the Three Kingdoms period (around 200 A.D.) in several “softer” artistic pursuits like weaving flower designs into cloth.
If you’re a “foreign devil” then no doubt when you look at this campaign you’re gonna think “hey that looks Chinese and there’s an ad slogan there; probably a winner!” But before you make your judgements, lets first cover how the Chinese see Zhang Fei and his fondness for random decapitation.
Ah yes; the holy grail of advertising is to somehow link your brand to urine. Wait; that doesn’t sound right…
I’m not sure what the thinking behind this one was; I guess they were able to check the “catch attention” box; but whether they got the “memorable brand message” is something else altogether; cause in this case, do you really want the reader to remember the connection between your brand and pee?
The mind of the consumer: When I think of BMW I think “high-class”, “sporty”; when I think of Rolls Royce, I think “elite”, “elegant”; when I think of Volkswagen, I think “pee”. Hmm, something seems to have gone wrong with the branding there, but maybe it’s just me and my anti-pee mentality.
Here’s a cute campaign, excellent art direction and visuals tie together a memorable piece, sort of like a knife wrapped in hello kitty pajamas. Pretty universal in message: parents be paranoid; the message is communicated through a typical landscape of childhood dreams, which upon closer inspection reveal dangers such as eating pins, stepping on mines, or being attacked by a scorpion hiding in your hamburger.
This campaign by the Beijing Women and Children’s Development Foundation warns parents to look closer at what they are feeding their kids. This could come in the wake of food scandals in China (most notably the SanLu melamine milk scandal which killed 6 kids, and made 300k others ill).
This message is especially important in China, as cut throat competition leads to short cuts that could potentially harm customers, or in this case, customers’ kids. Great campaign that seems to hit the mark.
Audi’s recent campaign is interesting, albeit a semi-copycat of an earlier 2008 VW campaign; it features a mud splattered into traditional Chinese painting on their off-road Q7. So ya ok; we can check the appropriate boxes:
1. There is a car in the ad? Check. 2. There is something off-roadish about the ad? Check. 3. There is something Chinese about the ad? Check.
Do these check marks add up to selling the car? Maybe. But the tagline: “Sprinkling the Passion” which brings to mind “golden showers” (nudge nudge) certainly doesn’t help the sale. I mean c’mon – use “splashing” or “shooting” instead – at least it’s more manly. How many “man” things sprinkle? I can only think of one (apologies for the sudden mental imagery).
Here’s a cool magazine ad from DHL; simple, clean, and effective. The main communication here is you can “instantly” send a package from China to Japan. Unfortunately the imagery that represents China is pretty similar to the imagery that symbolizes Japan, so at first look, it seems like the two recipients could be down the street from each other.
Probably better would be a Chinese man handing something to a Caucasian woman in New York; but hey great communication is great communication; and this ad hits the mark.
I picked up this from LRB’s forum. These ads for Mengniu (a major China dairy giant) launched in early 2009; the product is fruit yogurt drinks that combine fruits, vegetables, milk and nutrition targeted to Chinese teenagers.
This is a great example of empathizing how Chinese kids really feel, and their uncontrollable desire for simple indulgence. This is one of the few ads that doesn’t talk about doing well in school, respecting parents, and supporting a harmonious society.
Instead what we see is a celebration of the superficial; Mengniu encourages Chinese kids to do what they feel; which means goof off in class, illegally download mp3′s and movies, and generally indulge in superficial attention-deficit behavior.Whats great is these ads cut through the clutter and strike a chord; they say: “It’s OK to be a kid”.
I picked this one up from LRB’s forums. It’s an Ariel washing detergent campaign that looks visually striking, which is great; but whether it pushes sales at point of purchase is another thing. It’s easy to get lost in the creative – it really jumps out at you; but I had a hard time remembering the detergent as the creative takes over the entire thing.
Case in point, if you switched the brand for any other detergent brand, would it effect the message? Probably not. With interchangeability of Brand’s that arguably say the same thing, it seems the more strategic (though likely less entertaining) route would be an increased focus on the Brand, rather than the creative. Perhaps this is an issue with FMCG products? Maybe yes, maybe no.
I picked this up from LRB’s forums; this campaign features very beautiful imagery – and a message that’s a bit off from what you’d expect – “everyone has their own reason for running”. What the ad doesn’t really communicate is what the reasons are – rather there are just nice shots of people running.
You really can’t help but think “and…?” and try to figure out what’s trying to be said. To assist, I’ve added my own interpretation below. If you can think of something better, please comment. Further, if you can think of how your reason fits Adidas’s brand message – and exactly what’s being communicated (except the fact Adidas has a lot of money for seemingly frivolous ad campaigns) I’d love to hear what you have to say.
This is a pretty cool campaign for scissors; replacing the widely recognized (in China at least) art of paper cutting, with “iron” cutting, the ad hits on Chinese traditional values, while also stating quite clearly that the scissors sold are sharp, tough, and can cut accurately.
Now whether or not you can actually cut images out of iron with these scissors is another issue, but as for message – it’s a pretty creative way to get the point across for an arguably difficult to advertise product.
Here’s a pretty gross ad. At first I thought it was kinda funny (which it still is), but then I thought, “Well shouldn’t it also take all surround odors out of the air, rather than contain the one shooting at your face?”. But then this is sort of like dissecting a “knock knock” joke, ie: modest effort, negative returns.
Fart jokes are great, but then I’m a guy and I’m also immature. That then begs the question, is TianTian targeting immature guys (who we’re probably the source of the smell to begin with)? Or are they targeting someone else with higher standards for environmental odors?
Volkswagen hired renown creative designer Li Ming Ming (李明明) to design posters for the Beetle. Based on the 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac, Li created an engaging series of ads – though they do seem to miss a key element: comprehension.
Jalen recently posted an interesting entry in LRB’s Forum; it shows a series of pretty crazy/shocking images of Chinese culture in “comic book” art fashion – it empathizes with white collar workers, little princesses (spoiled daughters), menial workers, “Mah Jong” women, and internet junkies.
It’s a funny campaign and gives light insight into the minds of the instant noodle target market. Fun and easy, different, unique, effective.