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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

This Dog's For You: Budweiser Advertising at a Dog Meat Restaurant in Yulin

Tomorrow is a special day in Yulin, Guangxi — the first and biggest day of the Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. And for the first time, I will be observing the festival person. I hope to better provide some important context that I feel much past reporting in Western media about the festival lacked. So there will certainly be multiple posts here in the future about dogs in Yulin, the festival, and the more general culture of eating dog meat in China.

To get the ball rolling, in the spirit of highlighting the everyday side of eating dog meat in China I will first share a photo of one of the easy-to-find restaurants which feature or serve dog meat in Yulin year round like many (many) other restaurants I have seen across China — no festival required. So here is the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) on Dabei Road:

Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant (樟木狗肉管) in Yulin, Guangxi


Restaurant signs with advertising for alcohol — typically baijiu or beer — are a common sight in (at least some parts of) China, and the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant didn't pass up on this practice which at the very least helps save money on signs.

So if you want to wash down your dog meat with a cold (or outdoor / room temperature) American Budweiser beer, Camphorwood might be the perfect place.

Budweiser themed sign for the Camphorwood Dog Meat Restaurant


The signs with Budweiser advertising would really be something if they included Budweiser's retired dog mascot Spuds MacKenzie.

Regardless, the Budweiser slogan on the sign says, "Be Your True Self". So fear not if you don't want dog meat. According to the sign you can get assorted cow or pig innards & meat there too — also with a Bud.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Lingering Father's Day Display in Yulin

At least one sign of Father's Day in Yulin could still be found today at the Nancheng Department Store (南城百货).

Father's Day display at Nancheng Department Store in Yulin, Guangxi


It isn't unusual in China for holiday displays in stores or restaurant to remain long after the respective holiday is long past. The special Father's Day promotion was over according to the posted dates. But perhaps people could still get a deal if they asked.

Anta "Dare to Dream" shirt

Friday, May 31, 2019

Uncle Sam Wants You in Yulin, China

Uncle Sam wants you . . .

job advertisement for a beauty care store with a depiction of Uncle Sam

. . . to work at a Color Lady (出彩丽人) beauty care store in Yulin, Guangxi.

This is far from the first time in China I have seen Uncle Sam in job advertisements. But it is the latest I unexpectedly found myself face to face with this popular symbol of the United States and pondered its usage here.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Billside Rivierh Mini-Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in Hedong

I had intended that a post about a Jumbo Wuzhou Bus parking area with art above it would be the last on the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme. But then I had an opportunity to ride the mallest Jumbo Wuzhou Bus. I did. And that post was supposed to be the real end of it all.

Really.

You know where this is going . . . Yes, this will be another Jumbo Wuzhou Bus post. The reason? Well, I saw a remarkable mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus tonight.

mini-mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus at night in Hedong


Two things made this bus grand enough to notice and to share. One, I saw it in the area locals would call Hedong (河东). I hadn't seen one there before. Two, before I had only seen larger Jumbo Wuzhou Buses with advertising. This was the first commercialized mini-mini I had seen.

The ad is for the "Billside Rivierh". I'm guessing they were aiming for the "Hillside Riviera", but I can't say for sure. What I can say for sure is that this ends the Jumbo Wuzhou Bus theme.

OK, I'm not totally sure.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An Apparent Mismatch for a Name: Mini Jumbo Wuzhou Buses in Guangxi, China

Hong Kong formally names its minibuses, like the one which appeared in the previous post, "public light buses". Wuzhou, a city in the Chinese autonomous region Guangxi, also has minibuses. But instead of "public light bus" they have another name on them.

mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus (梧州珍宝巴士)


The "Wuzhou" and "Bus" parts of the name "Jumbo Wuzhou Bus" make obvious sense. "Jumbo" is less clear, though, since these are minibuses. If that is the jumbo size then what's the mini size?

A larger bus can help begin to clear up the mystery.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus


They have the same name on them, which is the name of a bus company. This is clearly stated in smaller Chinese print elsewhere on the buses.

Jumbo Wuzhou Bus logo


Like buses in Hong Kong, some buses have advertising.

full-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus with advertising


However, you won't see advertising quite like what's on the minibus in the previous post. Hongkongers have greater political rights and more freedom of speech than people in mainland China. The "Tell Right From Wrong, True From False" slogan was part of a campaign for the Labor Party's attempt to win a 2018 Kowloon West by-election. But China still limits Hongkongers' rights to a degree that leads some people to claim Hong Kong doesn't have real democracy. These limitations were evident in Kowloon West election when the Labor Party's original candidate, Lau Siu-lai, was barred from running due to her previous stances regarding Hong Kong's self-determination.

Back to more mundane matters . . . in Wuzhou there are buses in between the mini Jumbo Wuzhou Bus and the regular-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Bus in terms of size. So here are two mini-plus Jumbo Wuzhou Buses:

two mid-sized Jumbo Wuzhou Buses


The word "珍宝" in the Chinese name for Jumbo Wuzhou Bus would often be translated as "treasure". But it is also a loanword in Cantonese meaning "jumbo" because of its similar sound to the English word. Like in Hong Kong, Cantonese is a commonly spoken language in Wuzhou.

I can't shed more light on what inspired the choice of "jumbo". But if you want to dig more, it might be worth looking into the Guangzhou buses with a similar name and logo.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Holiday Coke & Mahjong in Jiangmen

Things are still slow in these parts, thanks to the lunar new year holiday. But life progresses nonetheless. Some mahjong even happened today in Jiangmen, Guangdong.

Coca-Cola ad and people playing mahjong in Jiangmen, China

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Lunar New Year Spirit Is Already Coming Out in China

The Lunar New Year, also known in China as the Spring Festival, isn't until February 5. But it isn't to early to see signs of it in China's stores.

Yesterday at a store for V.S. Holiday, a men's clothing retailer headquartered in Zhongshan, China, I saw a sign announcing their Spring Festival sale.

Spring Festival sales sign at at V.S. Holiday store in Zhongshan


And not long after that, also in Zhongshan, I saw employees setting up displays of Lunar New Year items for sale at a Carrefour.

Spring Festival items for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan


Notably, at both V.S Holiday and Carrefour there were also clear signs of the upcoming Christmas holiday as well. So much holiday spirit . . .

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sales, Gift Cards, and a Turkey Leg: Some Retail and Personal Thanksgiving in Zhongshan

Most Americans would likely be surprised to learn that Thanksgiving is celebrated, even if just to a minor degree, in China. This isn't using the word "Thanksgiving" to refer to a traditional Chinese holiday with similar themes. This is the Thanksgiving celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November as in the U.S., though with some differences.

Based on my own observations and conversations with people, my sense is that in general people are far less aware of the holiday than Western holidays such as Christmas and perhaps to a lesser degree Halloween. And those who are aware of it tend to be younger in age. In short, I would describe it as not being a big deal, but it's there to a degree. Yes, "a degree" leaves a lot of wiggle room, and I need it here.

Like with many other holidays in China, some retailers are happy to jump at the opportunity to use the holiday for a promotion. For example, in Xiaolan, a town roughly 20-25 km (more than 12 miles) from Zhongshan's central area, the entrance to a Superior City Department Store had a distinctly Thanksgiving theme.

Thanksgiving Day promotion at the Superior City Department Store in Xiaolan, Zhongshan


The signs explicitly mentions the Thanksgiving holiday along with a special opportunity to earn a 50 yuan (currently about US $7.20) shopping card if you spend at least 888 yuan. The number 8 is considered very lucky in Chinese culture, and its use is unlikely accidental even in the Thanksgiving setting.

I can't answer why the gift card isn't 88 yuan as well. And admittedly, it wasn't entirely effortless for me to sort out the English message on the sign, which notably doesn't appear in Chinese.

sales sign with "The Chance Is Only This Time Miss, Wait Another Year. Happy Thanksgiving"


I believe the intended meaning is something like: "Now is your only chance. Miss it and you'll have to wait another year."

In central Zhongshan, I saw a few other Thanksgiving sales.

Thanksgiving Day promotion at China Gold
China Gold jewelry store


Thanksgiving Day sale sign at a Xiaomi Mi Home Store in Zhongshan
Xiaomi Mi Home Store


Sign for a Thanksgiving Sale at Erke in Zhongshan
Erke — a Chinese sports brand


Also, you could buy a Thanksgiving themed gift card at Starbucks.

Starbucks gift cards for sale in Zhongshan, China


Or you could participate in a Thanksgiving event at Meten — an English language school chain — which took place a couple of days after the holiday.

Sign for a Thanksgiving Day event at Meten


And I came across one American-style restaurant — Hey Farm —offering a special Thanksgiving meal.

signs for Hey Farm Thanksgiving Day special meal in Zhongshan


Now I will switch to a brief account of my personal Thanksgiving experience — in particular my dinner in Zhongshan. The Hey Farm option didn't appeal due to the lack of turkey. I suspected a few other Western-style restaurants might have special meals for the day, but I figured they would already be fully booked.

So I focused on a option that has worked well in the past, including last year in Wuhan, and planned on a buffet at a Western hotel. This year, things didn't go quite as smoothly. I initially expected to eat turkey at the Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel. However, to my surprise that afternoon I discovered they wouldn't have a turkey or anything else special for the holiday. After that, I went for plan B and just showed up hoping for the best.

I am pleased to say the Hilton Zhongshan Downtown indeed prepared a turkey for their buffet. There didn't appear to be anything else special to Thanksgiving in their offerings but no matter. I scored a whole turkey leg, and the cranberry sauce gravy was excellent.

chef cutting off a turkey leg


Additionally, for the first time ever I drank a Haizhu beer — a brand from neighboring Zhuhai —with my Thanksgiving meal.

Yes, shrimp, snails, and bamboo too


To top it all off, I also enjoyed a good dose of horse milk baijiu. I must say I enjoyed the flavor, not easy for a 52% alcohol drink to manage.



Merriment followed.

So thanks to Zhongshan for giving me a taste of Thanksgiving as I'm used to having back in the U.S. The horse milk baijiu really made it though.

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.