tech wars

Google And The Battle Of Good Versus Evil

Posted by Laura Fitch on January 13, 2010 09:45 AM

Google shocked the world this morning with its threat to pull out of China after an investigation revealed that malicious cyber attacks originating from the country were targeting Chinese human-rights activists' Gmail accounts.

According to official releases and Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond’s blog post, the move was made because the attacks violate the company’s “do no evil” motto—an example of Google’s altruistic brand trumping corporate greed.

And yet, while the decision certainly aligns with Google’s brand message, its decision to pull out of China isn’t as simple as it first appears.  It is in fact, a brilliant spin on a tough decision that would have taken place at some point in the future anyway.Continue reading...

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china

Mixing Realities: Connecting With China's Gamers

Posted by Laura Fitch on January 1, 2010 03:05 PM

China's online gaming community is an untapped advertising and branding goldmine -- the country boasts the largest number of gamers in the world. Yet, despite the millions of online gamers in China, brand owners have not been able to successfully exploit the full potential of this lucrative demographic, reports Media Asia.

Though aloof, this market is not inaccessible. InGameAd Interactive, for example, implemented a marketing campaign for condom maker Jissbon by utilizing a discreet but deliberate approach to Chinese gamers. Jissbon condoms were packaged with an online game and sold at stores around Shanghai. The pairing quelled any social stigma or anxiety people might feel regarding the outright purchase of condoms. Says Steven Hu, CEO of InGameAd Interactive:

"Buyers could say to themselves, ‘Hey, I’m buying this gaming disc'... This [strategy] helped the brand achieve a huge differentiation in consumers’ eyes, and sales nearly doubled during the campaign.”Continue reading...

china

Chinese Architecture: The Bird's Nest, The Egg, And Now Mercedes

Posted by Laura Fitch on December 11, 2009 01:45 PM

Mercedes-Benz recently paid $75 million for the rights to feature its moniker on a new, 18,000-seat arena in Shanghai for the next decade, reports the New York Times.

Of course, in Western countries and other markets such as Japan, sports venues donning corporate names is a common sight. But not in China, notes The Times, where buildings are more likely to bear utilitarian names sans corporate additions.Continue reading...

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package design

Chinese Beauty Brands Flirt With The Power Of Packaging

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 24, 2009 05:46 PM

When it comes to cosmetics in China, the proof is in the packaging.

Domestic Chinese companies are increasing their prices to compete with foreign brands, but are not upgrading their products -- just beautifying the packaging. The beauty business is booming in China's urban centers, where cosmetics are considered an affordable luxury item by both male and female white collar workers.

Luxury brands such as L'Oreal, Chanel, Clinique, and Shiseido have effectively billed themselves as passports to beauty for millions of young urbanites with money to spend and a taste for fashion. The market has traditionally been dominated by foreign brands. However, now Chinese companies are catching on to the power of packaging. Yutaka Matsui, executive vice president of Inoac Packaging, told Plastics News:

"One year ago a lot of Chinese companies came to my booth and said ‘We like the packaging but it is too expensive. (But now) they see the foreign brands selling for a lot more in China… (and) they want to sell for higher prices. One easy thing is more gorgeous packaging.”Continue reading...

china

In China, Pricey CCTV Is Key To Reaching Consumers Nationwide

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 23, 2009 03:20 PM

No Chinese television station reaches more people than China Central Television (CCTV). From the far western mountains, to the humid southern provinces, to the rich eastern seaboard, every Zhou, Li, and Wang with a television watches CCTV.

CCTV’s annual ad auction serves as a "broad barometer of the Chinese economy and an indicator of the health of the country's consumer sector," reports the Wall Street Journal. CCTV’s recent auction saw ad sales soar 18.5% above last year's tally. The first bid went to liquor producer Sichuan Lang Jiu for a cool 33.3 million yuan (just over $4.8 million) for a slot in a program linked to the World Cup.Continue reading...

truth in packaging

Do Sweatshop Scandals Really Damage Brands?

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 20, 2009 05:59 PM

A five-part Global Post investigation charges big-name brands like Apple and Microsoft with sourcing from exploitative factories in Asia guilty of human rights and work safety offenses. But do consumers even care?

Sweatshop scandals make for eye-catching headlines, but seem to have little impact on a company's image or bottom line. Consumers are able to compartmentalize their own priorities the far-off needs of strangers.Continue reading...

traveling brands

Is China Buying The American Dream?

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 19, 2009 12:06 PM

Chinese consumers just can't get enough of American brands, according to CBS News. But as a resident of China, I disagree.

Certainly many brands, especially luxury brands, are relying on China to bolster sales numbers amidst dismal international earnings. But where is there actual evidence that Chinese consumers are specifically choosing American brands over others?

There are more Benzes on Beijing streets than Buicks, more Gucci sales than Coach, and hip kids are just as likely to be wearing Japanese designer BAPE hoodies as Nike kicks. China has a thirst for brands, period.

Where the brand comes from isn't as relevant as its reputation, and in this sense, the Chinese market is a very international one. There's no denying that certain American brands are doing a very brisk business here. Cosmetics giant Mary Kay is good example of the possibilities of branding hitting the bullseye.Continue reading...

china

Is Disney's Shanghai Dream A World Of Make Believe?

Posted by Laura Fitch on November 12, 2009 05:25 PM

Walt Disney Co. execs hope to cast a spell over China, but they're going to have to use more than just fairy dust to do it. The Chinese government recently cleared the American cultural giant to build a theme park in China's richest city, the first foray for Disney onto the Chinese mainland.

Though getting permission to build in Shanghai is a step forward, it doesn't guarantee a happy ending for Mickey and crew. Shanghai Daily reports that Disney's biggest competitiors aren't exactly worried about potential competition:

"We are (sic) born here and grew up here, and we know what the Chinese people want," said Ren Kelei, president of Happy Valley, the newest and biggest of Shanghai's theme parks.Continue reading...

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