brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 2, 2013 12:32 PM
For its ad stereotyping Asians, GM has offered the standard 'we're sorry you're so easily offended' apology, with a brand spokesperson saying, "Our intent was not to offend anyone and we’re deeply sorry if anyone was offended."
In fact, it really is not a surprise that GM wouldn't immediately recognize the ad as offensive. While brands now go out their way to avoid racism targeting many groups, Asians are still typically not on the vigilance radar. Heck, even Iron Man 3, a film that has been criticized for pandering to Chinese interests, couldn't resist throwing a little barb in about how poor the Chinese are at English. (see above; "Man Iron").
GM added that it would make sure "this never happened again." Maybe not at GM, but this will happen again. It was just in 2002 that popular youth clothing line Abercrombie & Fitch was slammed for a line of Asian-themed shirts including one reading, "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White." The brand's response? "It's never been our intention to offend anyone." Sound familiar?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 15, 2013 10:45 AM
"A friendly reminder: Kyochon Restaurant's chicken is all supplied by the Tyson Company of America. All chicken products pass strict inspection and quarantine and quality controls. All chicken products are cooked above 174° C for more than 15-18 minutes and are freshly prepared. So, everyone has nothing to worry about."
So read the second of two Weibo messages posted Sunday about H7N9 from the South Korean fried chicken chain Kyochon, the first of which asked and answered the question, "Recently, is it true one shouldn't eat chicken?"
Meanwhile, on Tyson's Weibo account, the chicken supplier similarly asked, "Recently H7N9 avian flu has everyone running scared, should poultry and livestock meat be avoided?" Then there's KFC. Poor, poor KFC.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 21, 2013 11:01 AM
Following the countdown, the launch plans of a Kim Jung-Un lookalike are thwarted by a crashed browser. The dictator grabs a rifle, intent on immediately executing the cadre responsible for the embarrassment. But the fast-fingered lackey whips open a Liebao browser and saves the day. "Use Liebao. Launch Victoriously" reads the tagline. Then everyone starts Gangnam Styling because… of course.
Poking fun at ally North Korea is just the latest little stunt by China's Kingsoft to promote its new Lieboa (猎豹; Cheetah) browser. But is the world ready for a Chinese face on its Internet?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2013 01:09 PM
At the Mapo Bridge in Seoul, which now sports positive imagery.
South Korea has one of the developed world's highest suicide rates — and Seoul's Mapo Bridge has the sad distinction of a suicide hot spot. More than 100 people have tried to take their own lives there in the past five years alone.
But a recent partnership between the city of Seoul, Samsung's Life Insurance division and the Cheil Worldwide agency aims to provoke second thoughts among those who come to the bridge overwhelmed with despair.
The Mapo, which spans the Han River, is now equipped with interactive guardrail sensors that light up as people walk by, offering messages of hope such as "The best is yet to come." The bridge also displays kind words, jokes and other messages that were chosen in consultation with psychologists and other experts, according to Ad Age.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 12, 2012 03:22 PM
When the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Vegas on January 8, there will be a slew of new products to check out. There will no doubt be new innovations in refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, televisions, and pretty much every other consumer electronic you can (and can’t) imagine.
One new innovation that may greet visitors to Samsung's booth at CES: a new logo and brand identity. According to the rumor mill — via Droid-Life.com, which cites Australia's Channel News — the South Korean electronics giant has been mulling over a visual refresh for the brand, with Nike on the mood board as Samsung's marketing team seeks inspiration for a corporate makeover.
That's strictly one for the rumor mill, however, as Samsung has has confirmed to us that the rumor is indeed just that, and factually incorrect.
On the non-speculative front, the company has just reported record third quarter earnings, posting its fourth straight record quarterly profit ($7.4 billion) in the three months ending Sept. 30. Samsung said that “it has sold more than 30 million flagship Galaxy S III Smartphones in about five months,” as noted by the Associated Press, selling between 56 million and 58 million smartphones from July through September alone.
As Reuters notes, "Samsung is now looking to a new range of mobile products, such as its Ativ tablets using Microsoft's new Windows operating system, to propel growth." Sounds like a hint of what's to come at CES? Stay tuned.
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 26, 2012 10:16 AM
"1. Place fries and seasoning into the bag; 2. Seal the bag tightly and shake it like Psy’s "Gangnam Style."; 3. Open the bag and enjoy your fries."
Those are the instructions — translated from Malaysian — along the bottom of a McDonald's French fries bag.
Korean performer Psy — responsible for the K-pop video "Gangnam Style" that has become a global phenomenon, the #2 song in America and the most-liked video in YouTube history (take that, "Call Me Maybe") — tweeted a photo of the bag with the message, "They know how to do it Malaysia~!!!!! LOL."
An excellent viral campaign by McDonald's ... except it wasn't.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2012 12:21 PM
Just watching the video for Korean artist Psy's "Oppa Gangnam Style" is not going to cut it — you have to learn the dance and post your version online. That's helped the K-Pop video — with its catchy, pony-riding, wrist-crossing, hip-dangling dance — become a major global phenomenon.
The original video is now clocking in over 166 million views on YouTube, and has sparked hundreds, if not thousands, of Gangnam Style parodies and giving the cottage industry in Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" spoofs a run for the money.
Now, marketers are starting to take notice. In what might be the first instance of product placement in a Gangnam parody, Thai airline Nok Air has popped up in local spoof "Kamnam Style."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 19, 2012 11:53 AM
The Made In America Store is making the most out of a recent David Letterman complaint on his Late Show that "We can't even make our own back scratcher in America, why?" A press release announces, "In response, the Made In America Store has sent Letterman a Maple Landmark Back Scratcher, entirely made in America."
A new survey from Li-Ning, the Chinese athletic footwear and apparel company founded and named after China's most famous Olympic medal-winning gymnast, suggests that Americans might just be in the market for a Chinese-made back scratcher after all. In fact, the survey's highlight finding suggests that over 90 percent of US consumers are ready to buy a Chinese brand. Continue reading...