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Showing posts with label Marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marketing. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fog Machines, Doves, and Target Heads: More Singles Day Promotions in Zhongshan

dancers at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan
Dancing for Singles Day in Zhongshan, China


A number of promotions for Singles day began early last week in Zhongshan. In one of the many signs that retailers weren't content to celebrate Singles Day on just one single day, on Saturday, the day before the holiday, a Chotef (周大发) jewelry store at the west end of the Sun Wen West Road Pedestrian Street held a Singles Day promotion including performances.

Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


During the late afternoon, I saw some women dancing, similar to an earlier Halloween performance elsewhere in Zhongshan. Unlike what I saw at a similar promotion at a jewelry store in Ganzhou, there wasn't a dancing dinosaur, but at least there was a fog machine.

fog machine working at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


When I passed by later during the evening, I caught the end of another performance.

evening Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


For a change of pace that many children seemed to particularly enjoy, afterwards a magician performed.

magician with a white dove dancers at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


A live dove appeared thrilled about its magical appearance.

I didn't return to this location on Singles Day, but presumably there was more of the same. Elsewhere, I didn't notice much occurring other than the typical sales for the holiday.

But there was one thing which really caught my eye. Earlier, I shared an example of a Singles Day promotion at a store for the Chinese clothing brand La Chapelle. A La Chapelle store at another mall in Zhongshan was holding the same promotion, except they had a display I hadn't seen before.

La Chapelle display for Singles Day with targets for women's heads


Using dartboards for heads in a Singles Day promotional display of women's clothing seemed . . . off target. Since this didn't seem like something I would miss and I was later near the first store I had noticed, I double-checked, and indeed it had no similar display. So perhaps La Chapelle didn't intend for its stores to depict women's heads as targets, and this is a single lone example.

In any case, though some stores have concluded their Singles Day promotion since the holiday is over, some haven't. So if you want to enjoy Chotef's special deals for the holiday, you have until November 19 — eight whole single days extra.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

From Halloween to Singles Day at Toys "R" Us in China

Not so surprisingly, the Halloween sale at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China, ended on Halloween — October 31. Also not so surprisingly, it was only a short time before the store began another promotion. From November 2 until November 11 Toys "R" Us will celebrate Single's Day with a sale on a variety of toys.

Singles Day sale display at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan


As described by Lisa Lacy in an Adweek article about the holiday not taking off in the U.S.:
Singles Day started out [in China] as an anti-Valentine’s Day movement among college students in 1993. They picked 11/11 because it’s a date comprised of ones. The concept: Treat yourself.

Alibaba co-opted it in 2009 as an excuse to push winter coats, and the rest is history: Since then, China’s online audience has grown to more than 800 million consumers by Alibaba’s count. Along the way, Singles Day has matured into the single biggest shopping day in the world—selling more than $25 billion in 24 hours last year.
Children are indeed single, so I suppose it fits. The promotion is perhaps more reflective of how many businesses use a variety of holidays for promotions without necessarily intending any deep connection between the products on sale and the actual holiday.

Many other retailers in China are having Singles Day sales, including a store for a Chinese clothing brand that is a short walk from the Toys "R" Us.

Singles Day sale at La Chapelle in Zhongshan


The impact of the holiday on sales, including online, will be closely watched to see if it provides further indication that China's economy is slowing. In any case, if you are thinking of buying a mini foosball table, now might be your best time — especially if you're single.

Singles Day sale on mini foosball table on then Toys "R" Us China website
Source

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Black Dumplings, Gourds, and a Meaty Mannequin: Halloween Spirit in Zhongshan, China

In past years I have shared Halloween-related scenes from cities such as Taipei in 2011, Changsha in 2012, Shaoguan in 2015, Shenyang in 2016, and most recently Changsha again in 2017. The posts have numerous photos of people in costumes, promotions, and food. Perhaps some day I will fill in some of what I missed sharing here, which includes Halloween experiences in Dalian, Shanghai, and Zhuhai. But for now I will share a sample of what I saw in Zhongshan, since it is where I spent Halloween this year.

One of the earliest signs of Halloween I came across was a promotion at 7-Eleven stores which began weeks before the holiday. Yes, I gave the three black cuttlefish items a try.

Halloween black cuttlefish foods at 7-Eleven in Zhongshan, China


The dumplings were tasty with some Sriracha-style sauce, but a couple of them were rather soggy. The sausage was too dried out. The cuttlefish balls were OK. None of it was as good as the black spidery pizza I tried at Pizza Hut in Shenyang two years ago. At least 7-Eleven had a special price for getting the three together. Not all the items were specially made for Halloween, but the dumplings are now gone.

To wash down all of that cuttlefish ink, 7-Eleven had a special Halloween deal on . . . Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey lemonade and cola drinks of course.

7-Eleven sign for Halloween sale of Jack Daniel's drinks


Moving on . . .

Three years ago I saw a Halloween display at n RT-Mart in Shaoguan. This year in Zhongshan, RT-Mart kept up the Halloween spirit.

Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Their selection possibly surpassed what was available at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan. Also, the display had a dark area inside of it where glowing items could be tested.

children playing with toys inside a display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


A Carrefour in Zhongshan similarly had Halloween items for sale.

Display of Halloween items for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


Carrefour took it up another notch, though, with a Halloween gourd display.

Halloween display of gourds for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


The Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall had a Halloween-themed food fair as part of celebrations for the one year anniversary of its newest section.

Halloween-themed inflated arch at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


Several nights before Halloween, the fair was packed.

Halloween food fair at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


None of the food itself was any different from what could appear at any other food fairs, but at least one of the sellers was in the holiday spirit.

man wearing a caveman costume


There was also occasional dancing.

young women dancing


On Halloween day there were a variety of activities. The Lihe Plaza shopping mall appeared prepared for a musical performance, but I didn't stick around to listen.

Stage with a halloween theme at Lihe Plaza


One popular gathering area that night was the central outdoor area at the Central Power Plaza shopping mall, where there were several people painting faces as part of a promotion.

people gathered for Halloween activities at Central Power Plaza in Zhongshan


By 10 p.m on Halloween night at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall, many of the vendors at the food fair had already packed up and departed. But even with a now sagging arch, there were still photographic opportunities.



Some bars, including one at the mall, also got into the holiday spirit. In part because most are far separated from one another, I didn't bother with a pub crawl — so no photos. I also won't be sharing a set of photos of people dressed up for the holiday. See the earlier posts for plenty of those. But here's one of a pirate sitting at McDonald's on Halloween night:

young woman wearing a pirate hat sitting at McDonald's in Zhongshan, China


Finally, for the first time ever I will award a winner (of what I happened to see) for best Halloween spirit. Carrefour wins hands down. No, the Halloween items for sale or the glorious gourds aren't what led to this special distinction.

Instead, I introduce the Halloween Dried Meats Witch:

female mannequin dressed in dried meats and wearing a Halloween witch hat


Perhaps that will become a popular costume for next year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Only a Few Halloween Jack-O'-Lantern Buckets Left at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan

More than three weeks ago a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan already had out its Halloween display. It remained in place this afternoon, but there were noticeably fewer items available — suggesting the Toys "R" Us has made more than a few Halloween sales.

Halloween items for sale at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


The small jack-o'-lantern buckets seemed to have especially been a hit.

More about the Halloween holiday in Zhongshan later. It's now time for me to see some of what Halloween night is like here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Straight from National Day to Halloween: Another Toys "R" Us Promotion in China

The month-long National Day holiday promotion Toys "R" Us held in China, which featured deals on toys such a Nerf guns and Hamsters in a House, ended yesterday. Today, a Toys "R" Us store in Zhongshan hadn't skipped a beat and had already moved on to the next great thing: Halloween.

"Halloween Headquarters" sign at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Most of the related items appeared to be on a single rack sitting at the front entrance of the store.

Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


I wasn't at all surprised by the Halloween promotion or it lasting from October 9 to October 31. After all, I've seen more impressive displays of Halloween items for sale before, including at an RT-Mart in Shaoguan. And last year in Zhongshan I saw a promotion running during the same period of time. That one was a bit more surprising, though, since it featured a Halloween sale on cosmetics.

Monday, October 8, 2018

More Toy Guns and Hamsters Too in a Holiday Sale at Toys "R" Us in China

Last week I posted about Toys "R" Us commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China with a holiday sale featuring Nerf guns. I had seen the toy gun special at two different stores in Zhuhai, China. The very next day after writing the post, I happened to come across a Toys "R" Us store in neighboring Zhongshan. Unsurprisingly, this store offered the same deal.

Nerf gun National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Despite the sale, perhaps some parents don't think the best way to celebrate the holiday is to buy a gun which shoots projectiles, even if cushiony. Fear not, Toys "R" Us had another holiday special, this one on Silverlit laser tag guns.

Silverlit laser tag National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Some people may even find creative ways to use both types of toy guns at the same time.

For people who just aren't into any sort of gun, there were some other items on special as well. For example, if you fancy hamsters with a penchant for burgers, Hamsters in a House can do that.

Hamsters in a house National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Notably, according to the sign this special didn't start for two weeks until after the ones for the guns. I don't know why. I also don't know if these hamsters would appreciate a Nerf or Silverlit gun.

In any case, the month-long holiday promotion at Toys "R" Us ended today. This doesn't affect most toys sold there, but you will now have to pay more for some guns and rodents.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Toys "R" Us Celebrates National Day in China with a Special Deal on Toy Guns


"Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at Toys "R" US in China
A "Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at a Toys "R" Us in Zhuhai, China

Whether in Mudanjiang far to the north or in Zhongshan far to the south, during recent years I have shared some of the National Day sales I have come across in China. Recently in Zhuhai, a city bordering Zhongshan on China's southeastern coast, I saw a promotion that might strike some people as more notable than others because of the retailer and products involved.

The promotion was at Toys "R" Us. Although the U.S. based company no longer has stores in its home country, stores still exist elsewhere, including China. Asia in particular has been a bright spot, and the company hopes to sell its stores there, though there are complications at the moment.

So I wasn't very surprised to see a Toys "R" Us promotion for National Day at two different stores in Zhuhai. And I wasn't surprised the "Golden Week" holiday sale lasts for over a month. And I also wasn't surprised by the "I ♥ China" roller coaster on some of the signs.

Portion of Toys "R" Us "Golden week Toys Fun" sign with "I ♥ China" rollercoaster


But I will admit, they did do something I didn't see coming. They commemorated the founding of the People's Republic of China by featuring a special price for a Nerf toy guns combo — the N-Strike Elite Retaliator and the Microshots N-Strike Elite Firestrike.



Save 49.9 yuan! (about U.S. $7.25)


Retaliate against who? The signs didn't specifically say.

In any case, the special on Nerf guns reminded me of my old posts about children in China conducting "war training exercises". Now, to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China they can do it at a discount.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Another National Day Sale at War Ground in Zhongshan

Three years ago at a store in Zhongshan, War Ground — a military-themed clothing retailer — had a sale for China's National Day, which commemorates the founding of the People's Republic of China. I wasn't surprised at seeing the sale in Zhongshan, since earlier in the year I saw the same store having a sale for International Women's Day. Last year I saw the store having a sale on National Day, but none of the signs visible from the outside made an explicit reference to the holiday.

Not only is it now National Day once again in China, but today I arrived in Zhongshan once again. So of course I checked the store. This year it is back to having a clearly labeled National Day's sale.

War Ground store in Zhongshan, China, with a National Day sale


A later post will feature another National Day promotion in China this year. It is at a retailer much more familiar to people outside of China and perhaps inside as well. Their promotion has more bang in it than the one at War Ground.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

(Person in) Bear (Suit) Frightens Young Woman at a Shopping Center in Ganzhou, China

After hearing a startled scream at the the Zhonglian Shopping Center (中联商城) today, I saw a bear making sudden sharp movements with its arms approaching two young women. Of course I did the only thing possible and captured several moments which followed during which the young women refused the bear's offering and fled.

person in bear suit handing out flyers


young woman hiding behind her friend from a person in a bear suit


young woman jumping away from a person in a bear suit in Ganzhou


Fortunately, nobody was injured (and nobody was in any real danger). The two young women walked away laughing at times. They also made sure the bear didn't follow them. The bear left them alone after that, though, and appeared frustrated in this instance it had failed its primary task — handing out flyers.

The aggressive approach the person used wouldn't at all be common or accepted for a person in normal attire, but putting on a costume can open doors for performance. I have seen similar suited tactics before in China and have wondered how much of it is the result of the person genuinely believing it could be effective versus the person simply desiring to entertain themselves or others while performing a potentially monotonous or frustrating job.

In any case, as I left the shopping center I now had new question in mind. What would occur if this bear teamed up with Ganzhou's dancing Tyrannosaurus?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Kindergarten in Shenzhen, China, Welcomes Students With a Pole Dancing Show

Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan
Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan, Guangdong (October 2017)


Six years ago I met a college student working part-time handing out printed advertisements for a pole dancing school in Changsha, China. Later, I met another student doing the same. After asking a few questions about the school, she invited me to take a look myself. Soon I was having an enlightening conversation with a manager during my first visit to a pole dancing school.

Since then, in a number of other cities in China I have come across signs of more pole dancing schools, and the activity's popularity has grown as a way to stay physically fit while enjoying oneself. Although pole dancing occurs in some locations, such as nightclubs, where it can more typically be found in the U.S., there are differences between the two countries in how it is perceived.

Still, when I first saw a remarkable tweet today from Michael Standaert, a freelance journalist based in Shenzhen, indicating his children's kindergarten had put on a pole dancing show for the young students on their first day of school, I wondered if it was some sort of joke.

He wasn't joking.

Below are most of Standaert's tweets on the topic, including videos of children watching pole dancing performances and some of his replies to others' comments. The tweets are from multiple threads and presented in the order they were tweeted. Read to the end to learn the school's decisive response.

It looks like opening day will be a bit different next year.














Thursday, August 16, 2018

Balloon Sculptures, Singing, and a Pelvic Thrusting Dinosaur: The Grand Opening of a Jewelry Store in Ganzhou, China

When I stopped by a jewelry store with a notable logo on the afternoon of its opening day in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, there were a few customers inside, but all was otherwise quiet. Especially given the hot weather and low pedestrian traffic at the time, this wasn't so surprising.

When I stopped by again later in the early evening, the weather had cooled down and the activities to celebrate the grand opening had heated up. Given what I have seen at a variety of promotions elsewhere in China, I wasn't too surprised to see somebody wearing an inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining people, especially children.

person in inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining


At an entrance to the store, somebody else was creating balloon animals and sculptures. I have seen the same thing at a number of jewelry stores elsewhere.

Balloon artist making a balloon model for a girl


There was also a stage set up besides the store. While I was there a woman sang, also not so uncommon for events likes this one.

But then things came together in a way that wasn't so typical in my experience, and it was something to behold.

I didn't know a Tyrannosaurus could move like that.

On reflection, the movements were somewhat similar to how some cockatoos dance to music. Not only are birds dinosaurs, but the Tyrannosaurus is more closely related to a bird than to a Stegosaurus. Perhaps that's what the person had in mind, though I am not aware of any birds dancing quite the same way.

In any case, the dancing felt a bit surreal to watch. I can't put the experience fully into words, so I have shared a bit of it in the video below. Although the Tyrannosaurus stopped dancing, or whatever it was doing, and returned to other activities while I watched, I kept filming a bit longer. There is more to observe than just the dinosaur, though it steals the show.

Take a look:

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Cat and Dog Debate the Best Peppers for Steaks in a Restaurant Chain Ad in China

Houcaller (豪客来) is a widespread Western-style steak restaurant chain in China, and I have seen it, and some imitators, in numerous cities. A recent promotion of theirs recently caught my eye as I was passing a bus stop in Shenzhen.

Houcaller ad for red pepper and black pepper steaks


The ad features a red pepper steak with bones and black pepper steak without bones. The ad asks who is more correct in their tastes. The cat apparently prefers the red pepper steak and the dog prefers the other. I would have associated a preference for bones more with dogs, but maybe the black pepper would win them over after all.

Beside the dog is a Chinese phrase which can be interpreted as "Dare to be black" or "Of course, black". But it's also a bit of pun, presumably intended, because in slang the phrase means "dare to mock yourself".

I haven't tried either of these steaks, so I can't help settle this debate. I think the last, and perhaps only, time I went to a Houcaller was about 8 years ago far to the north in Anyang, Henan. It was a fascinating experience. I'll save that short story for another day. No cats or dogs were involved.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Dinosaur Dining on Bus Passengers in Hong Kong

The "Meet The T. Rex" tram wasn't the only example of dinosaur-themed vehicular advertising I recently saw in Hong Kong. In the other case, the vehicle was a double-decker bus instead of a double-decker tram.

Jurassic World movie ad on a Hong Kong bus


Similar to the trams, Hong Kong's double-decker buses are commonly covered with a single advertisement. In the above advertisement for the movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the special setting offered the opportunity to make it look like some of the passengers are about to become a snack. Most Hong Kong buses are safer than this.

For those wondering how I photographed the bus from this angle, I must admit it required a quick reaction, especially since I was heading the opposite direction. And of course I was sitting on the second level of a tram. Unfortunately (fortunately?), it had no dinosaurs on it.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A "Meet The T. Rex" Tram in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's population is greater than 7.4 million people. According to a careful examination of my web traffic statistics, most of them didn't read my post about the Tyrannosaurus rex currently on display at the IFC mall. So fortunately there are other ways for Hongkongers to discover they have an rare opportunity to see a South Dakotan dinosaur for free. The other day while I was across the street from an historic building in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, a tram rolled by with a "Meet the T. Rex" advertisement.

Hong Kong tram with a "Meet The T. Rex" ad going by The Pawn in Wan Chai, Hong Kong


I have long been intrigued by some of the implications of advertising on trams and previously shared many examples in 2011 and in 2012. None of those included dinosaurs though.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Working, Not Working, Traffic, and Sales: A Few Labor Day Scenes in Zhaoqing, China

Today was Labor Day (May Day) in China. And today I was in Zhaoqing, a prefecture-level city which borders my previous locations — Yunfu and Jiangmen.

As I have seen during past Labor Days elsewhere in China, today . . .

Some people worked.

Paifang Plaza


Some people enjoyed their day off work or school.

yellow bridge at Paifang Park in Zhaoqing
Paifang Park


Some people sat in traffic.

heavy traffic on Duanzhou 4th Road in Zhaoqing
Duanzhou 4th Road


And some stores had holiday promotions.

Jessy Line's International Worker's Day sale sign


Zhaoqing is a popular tourist destination in the region, and the increased crowds (and hotel rates) were easy to spot during the three day holiday period. More about Zhaoqing later after I first return to posting about Yunfu. For more Labor Day photos, see past years' posts featuring scenes in Shenzhen and in Yinchuan