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

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Return to the New Year

The day after International Women's Day many of the related promotions at stores and restaurants were over, though some continued. For Topsports, that meant a return to the "Happy New Year" spirit, even though 2018 began two and half months ago and the current Year of the Dog began almost a month ago.

2018 Happy New Year sign at Topsports in Jiangmen


 May Day is just so far away . . .

Friday, March 9, 2018

Food, Shoes, and Jewelry: International Women's Day Sales Promotions in Jiangmen, China

In past year's I have shared some of the International Women's Day sales promotions I have come across in Zhongshan, in Jieyang, and in Guangzhou. At the moment I happen to be in Jiangmen —another city in Guangdong province. So yesterday I spent some time walking through several shopping malls and nearby shopping areas in the city. There was no shortage of promotions for the holiday, though many stores had no sales or had unrelated sales, including lingering Lunar New Year promotions.

As in past years, one noticeable aspect of the promotions were the various names used to identify the day. Yet I didn't see a single example where the standard Chinese translation for International Women's Day, 妇女节, was used. Instead, Chinese names which would translate as "Goddess Day" (女神) and "Queen's Day" (女王) were common. Some places went with "女人节" which could also translate to "Women's Day" in English. And a number of stores included the day's name in English, often going with "Queen's Day" or "Women's Day".

Chen Yan in Sixth Tone mentions a possible explanation for why the formal name in Chinese was avoided:
More and more young Chinese women are shunning International Women’s Day, a problem that is partially due to nomenclature. Women’s Day is translated as funüjie, a word that contains a term that youngsters increasingly use to refer to older, married women and that connotes a certain frumpiness and a lack of sophistication.
That still might not fully explain the choice of Watson's — a health & beauty care chain store. They went with "我们节" which could be translated as "Our Day", seemingly quite a big difference in meaning. But there's a catch. Written in pinyin, the first two characters are "Wo men".

Watsons Women's Day promotion


Just to be sure, I asked an employee and she confirmed that indeed "Wo Men's Day" referred to International Women's Day and was a cross-language pun. At the very least, it strikes me as a curious choice.

Whatever name stores settled on, the promotions went on.

So if you were seeking a Women's Day special for Californian-style food in Jiangmen yesterday, you were in luck.

Hey Farm restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Other Western-style food options were available as well.

Seasons restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something Asian? Well, there was Thai.

Thai restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


And if you wanted Yunnan-style, there were options as well.

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Baked goods? No problem.

Madeli bakery Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen



Some tea? Loving Tea beckoned the goddesses.

Loving Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shiny Tea did as well.

Shiny Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something simple and healthy? There was a fruit store that didn't miss out on the day.

Fruit store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


There were many options for clothing.

YMR clothing store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

G2000 Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

OU Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shoes and hand bags were on sale too.

Losiny Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Losiny Queen's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Dusto Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

ZuSOON Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Topsports Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Glasses? No problem.

Loho Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Along with a number of other jewelry stores, both China Gold and Hong Kong Gold had promotions.

China Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Hong Kong Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking health & beauty care products without a "Wo Men" theme? Mannings, a chain similar to Watsons, went with the more typical "Queen's Day".

Manning's Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


And, yes, you could go to the supermarket for some Goddess Day savings.

Vanguard Empress Day promotion in Jiangmen


Finally, while several nail salons I passed didn't have a promotion for the day, IMP Nails was ready for Queen's Day.

IMP Nails Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


So finding an International Women's Day deal in Jiangmen, and elsewhere in China, wasn't at all hard yesterday. But not everybody in China thought that was a good thing. And so on International Women's Day, some feminists who criticized how the day was observed were censored.

The promotions went on though.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Late Night Buds in Jiangmen

In response to a photo of riverside eating and drinking in Jiangmen, one question was "Budweiser?"

Yes, those are bottles of American Budweiser beer on the table. Those there weren't the only people drinking Buds. And on another night at this dining establishment — 星期五 (Xīngqīwǔ — Friday) — I drank a cold one myself while looking out onto the river and waiting for some roasted fish.

bottle of Budweiser Beer next to Jiangmen River


Chinese-brands Tsingtao and Harbin were available as well. I went with Budweiser since it seemed fitting for this outdoor eatery which prominently featured the beer on its signage and menu.

Friday "星期五" roasted fish outdoor riverside outdoor eatery in Jiangmen at night


Most of the nearby riverside options similarly feature Budweiser.

roasted fish outdoor riverside outdoor eatery in Jiangmen closed during the day


outdoor riverside outdoor eatery in Jiangmen closed during the day


All of these places only open at night, which fits the mould for a type of place I personally associate with serving Budweiser in some parts of China. In Jiangmen, I have also noticed Budweiser advertised at multiple karaoke establishments.

"Unleash your true self" Budweiser ads in Jiangmen


So if you want to sit by the Jiangmen River and drink some Budweiser, there are options. And if you want some roasted fish as well, you're really in luck. The ginger squid is good too.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rain and Monochromatic Adidas Themes in Taipei

Many people lined up with their umbrellas today at the Taipei Xinyi VieShow Square to have their photo taken. The large crowd for the outdoor promotion, even on a cold rainy afternoon, suggests Adidas got something right.

people with umbrellas waiting in line to take photos at an Adidas promotion


people with umbrellas waiting in line to take photos at an Adidas promotion


people with umbrellas waiting in line to take photos at an Adidas promotion

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Language School Wants to "Make Taiwan Great Again": Cheers for Donald Trump in Taipei

During my travels the past couple of years I have seen images of Donald Trump in a variety of settings, such as at a newsstand in Taiyuan, on the wall of a noodle restaurant in Hong Kong, and at a stall selling paper cut portraits in Shanghai. The past few weeks it was an advertisement on a building in Taipei that most caught my attention.

Cheers language school advertisement with "Make Taiwan Great Again" and image of Donald Trump


The "Make Taiwan Great Again" slogan which accompanies the image of Trump on the advertisement for Cheers International Education Group is a clear play on Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan. While the use of English in advertisements isn't uncommon in Taipei, it is especially fitting given the focus of Cheers: foreign language training.

The Cheers page on Facebook features the same slogan and image of Trump:

top section of the Cheers International Education Group's Facebook page


Trump is depicted making a sign with his right hand, as best as I can tell not one which has been captured in an unaltered photo of him. Since the thumb is extended it isn't a standard horns sign, though perhaps a horns sign was intended. The hand sign does match the American Sign Language sign for the acronym "ILY" — standing for "I love you". But there's a twist here. The palm should face towards the object of the love. So the hand sign in this case could be interpreted as "I love myself".

Whatever the advertisement's designer had in mind, that a language school in Taipei would use Trump's message and image in this way raises questions about how he is perceived here. I am not aware of any scientific polling results on the matter, but both positive and negative opinions about Trump could be found in Taiwan when he was elected. Anecdotally and more recently, I have come across a mix of opinions as well. For example, when Trump came up in a conversation with a Taiwanese friend who strongly dislikes him, she commented that a surprising-to-her number of people in Taiwan view him positively as President of the U.S. due to his business background. And a local political activist I met mentioned that some Taiwanese hope Taiwan's next president will be like Trump for the same reason.

So while The Trump Organization could see the advertisement as impinging on their brand, Donald Trump may first see it as indicating some of his appeal abroad. A bigger test, however, may be whether a Taiwanese politician ever prominently features Trump in a positive fashion as part of a political advertising campaign. Barack Obama can already claim that achievement.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Models, Dogs, and Lobster: The Breeze Center in Taipei Welcomes Valentine's Day and the Lunar New Year

A Valentine's Day promotion at the Qsquare shopping mall in Taipei left me wondering if the Lunar New Year, another potential holiday for a promotion, falling close to Valentine's Day this year influenced the decision to start the promotion nearly a month before February 14. Yesterday I saw that the Breeze Center, a luxury shopping mall in Taipei, had also began a Valentine's Day promotion on January 18. But it marked the start of their Lunar New Year promotions as well.

A series of banners with "Happy Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day" were easy to spot

"Happy Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day" banners at the Breeze Center in Taipei

"Happy Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day" banner at the Breeze Center in Taipei


Although the holidays are mentioned together, the text size on the banners highlights the Lunar New Year holiday more. And at one entrance, while the Lunar New Year theme was clear, including that it will be Year of the Dog, there was nothing specifically indicating Valentine's Day.

Entrance to Breeze Center decorated for the Lunar New Year


On Breeze's website for all of its shopping centers in Taipei portions of four images are currently featured, one appearing at a time and all with holiday promotions. One, like the banners at the mall, mentions both holidays.

"Happy Chinese New Year & Valentine's Day" image on the Breeze website


Another only mentions Valentine's Day.

"Happy Valentine's Day" banner by Breeze


And another only mentions the Lunar New Year.

"Happy Chinese New Year" banner by Breeze


All of the previous banners include female models. One other, which only mentions the Lunar New Year, does not. It has a cooked lobster instead.

Banner for Breeze's Chinese New Year Gift Guide with image of a cooked lobster


The promotions are a sign of how Breeze is handling the proximity of the holidays. Perhaps they will convince some people there is nothing like new shoes for celebrating Valentine's Day and lobster for the starting of the Year of the Dog — all purchased at Breeze, of course.