Coinciding with the launch of China CEO Tom Doctroff's book, Billions: Selling the the New Chinese Consumer, JWT China issued a press release with the headline, "Understanding and Embracing China's Different Worldview Is Main Theme of Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer, by JWT's Tom Doctoroff," which offers 12 facts about the "Confucian Consumer." While the release may seem like yet another harmless attempt by a marketing entity to neatly lump together the traits of billions of people and slap a cute title on it, some who watch the country's culture closer have taken issue with the oversimplification and incorrectness of the 12 facts.
The main complaint is the trotting out of Confucius to "frame the market for American business people" writes the China Herald weblog that doing so "creates the illusion that there is one driving force in the Chinese market you can use as a beacon in an often chaotic situation." In an article on Danwei written by Jeremy Goldkorn who works in the Chinese ad biz, he offers a a point by point analysis of the release and ends with "bullshitting is part of the game in the advertising industry." While we have no idea who's right and who's wrong on this whole Confucian Consumer thing nor are we equipped to make judgement, we do know Goldkorn's statement is as true as the Earth is round.
Advertising Goodness calls our attention to a couple self-promotional ads that McCann-Eriskson created. With imagery that features well known icons, the ads, very simply, make a powerful and convincing statement. We like.
While this last holiday season generated an inordinate amount of agency holiday cards filled with the usual inside humor, self-effacing irony (does that make any sense) and kitsch quotient, one never thought a simple agency holiday card would merit the attention of uber-marketing site MarketingSherpa (open access until Jan. 15) but one agency cracked through the barrier. Enlighten, whose card, called Holiday Party Excuse Generator, gave visitors a means to gracefully back out of attending the overbearing plethora of industry holiday parties generated 50,000 visitors who sent 20,000 email excuses, got named Macromedia Site of the Day, received loads of press attention and helped grow traffic to the agency's site 400 percent with visitors who spent 75 percent more time on the site than usual.
Not bad. Not bad at all for what used to be a last minute, let-the-interns-do-it, love-the-client endeavor. And, to boot, not bad at all having the work analyzed and featured in front of 150,000 marketing and advertising professionals courtesy of MarketingSherpa. It seems the Holiday card will now become the new agency self-promo.
South African photographer JoNo Nienaber posts some of his work on Flickr and yesterday he posted an image he shot of a woman wrapped in frilly white bed sheets and commented for all who wonder why advertising, at times, can be so much fun, "another day in the ofice... hardly work when you're shooting this!" How true and not to mention all those media interns as well.
To help economic development in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, city officials have, after asking for relief from corporate sponsors, has signed a deal with media buying club, MediaBuys to seek out corporate involvement for Mardi Gras in February of 2006. The deal is in reaction to a December 7 Wall Street Journal article stating the City of New Orleans was asking corporation to pay $2 million to sponsor Mardi Gras. MediaBuys will solicit "Official Presenting Sponsors" and help the city find additional funding from "Corporate Supporters" willing to collectively pay for a major Mardi Gras advertising support campaign.
Now here's an agency we like. Or maybe it's the country. It seems the entire agency gets the holiday week of whether clients need work done or not. But Belgium's Duvall Guillaume in Antwerp isn't without a heart. In their absence during the holidays, the agency has left behind a holiday card in the form of a do-it-yourself ad so clients see what it's like when they ask their agency to "just do this quickie for us."
We're not sure the folks over at Freestyle Interactive are going to like what we have to say about their Ask Santa Now Christmas card. Either a programmer fell asleep or Santa suddenly became dumber than people who think Ashley Simpson can sing. Our chat session with Santa tells the whole story.
Fighting their way through the clutter of agency holiday cards, agency AQKA would like us to know something a bit more important than who's designed the coolest Chrismukauanza card. The important news is that the agency has been named by Ad Age's Creativity as the magazine's first recipient of its interactive Agency of the Year Award. Kudos for witty holiday cards is all well and good but give AQKA a hand. These first, best only things don't come along very often.
Tequila has put together an interesting holiday card that scrolls horizontally and shows off the agency at it's holiday party. Well, a staged holiday party and a holiday party rife with product placement. From Nissan to the Energizer Bunny to Pepsi One, products intermingle with agency employees as they get festive. One might assume there be at least one time during the year, we advertising folk could be without our brands but no, the rule our lives whether we like it or not.
Well Ant Farm Interactive co-opted It's A Wonderful Life for its Christmas card so it is without surprise we received another co-opted card. This time it's from Grey San Francisco and it features actual footage from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer but with a voice over that talks about how Christmas could really use an ad campaign. Hmm... not a bad idea with all the politically correct fame Happy Chrismukawanza is getting these days. Perhaps the lowly Christmas holiday could use a little marketing juice.