Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Aug 7, 2015

Roundup: Recent Greater China happenings

A roundup of recent goings-on in Greater China: Birger Linke returns, Michael Jordan loses to Qiaodan, Alibaba accepts counterfeit reports in English and Oreo Flute Wafers makes a move on the 'sweet munching market'.

Roundup: Recent Greater China happenings

Birger Linke is back in China after two and a half years in Singapore and 13 months in India. Gastronomic marketing at the Da Paolo Group was his most recent client-side stint, before returning to advertising as creative director of Interone Beijing. Interone is "one of the few agencies that approaches a problem without department boundaries," he said. The sweetener is BMW, an account he will be looking after at Interone. Luxury cars 1; luxury food 0.  

People who have been to China might have noticed how copycat BMWs, with slight changes to the logo, become 8MWs. That's still a lot in common, though a Beijing court seems to be unable to discern commonalities. It has ruled, after a three-year lawsuit, that Chinese 'Qiaodan' shoes, with a suspiciously familiar swoosh and jumping man, do not infringe on Michael Jordan's brand. According to the court, the Qiaodan logo was in the shape of a silhouette with no facial features, so it was hard for consumers to identify it as Air Jordan. Because a silhouette is a silhouette is a silhouette.  

Maybe Jordan will get more relief from Alibaba's counterfeit reporting system, which has been upgraded with an English-language version. Complaints that may not get lost in translation can (finally) be filed for intellectual property (IP) infringements that occur on Taobao.com and Tmall.com. Filing a complaint does not automatically result in a takedown, however. The e-commerce giant seems to be serious in becoming more accessible to the West and more globalised in its operations, as earlier this week former Goldman Sachs vice chairman Michael Evans was named president of Alibaba Group to lead the execution of its international strategy.

A roundup about China cannot be without numbers, can it? Here are some findings from a mobile tracking survey by Dentsu Media conducted from May to June 2015 with 4,200 consumer samples. 99 per cent of the Chinese population in first-, second- and third-class cities have a smartphone, but this percentage differs from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech data from June 2015 showing a penetration rate among urban Chinese at 65.5 per cent. Nonetheless, with such high penetration, it is reasonable to observe more than half have shopped online using their mobile devices (Dentsu data), compared to a nine-market average of 47 percent.

Finally, either Mondelez or FCB has invented a new sector called the "sweet munching market" in a press release we received from the agency, plugging a campaign for the Oreo Flute Wafer. The product is "depicted as a long, sweet and crispy tunnel filled with wonders" in a series of animated films. We end our Friday by looking at an alien using an Oreo Flute Wafer to kidnap a girl from Earth, a Cupid dog accidentally flying into the wafer in its sleep, and a gluttonous cow falling through the wafer when lured by the cream lining it.

 

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