Jason Wincuinas
Dec 5, 2014

Wrap up: 9 things you need to know this week

HONG KONG - Here’s our weekly windup of key things that got us thinking and readers talking this week: a perplexing pun quash in China, app communities, nearly naked in Singapore, low-tier opportunity, Facebook video ads, Asian programmatic, Absolut music, digital war rooms and the year in review.

Wrap up: 9 things you need to know this week

1. China might PUNish advertisers

Word play is fun, funny and possibly illegal for China’s TV advertisers. The government unveiled a new draft of rules that, depending on the interpretation, could take the pun out of watching TV. 

The State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has called for a strict adherence to "standard" language. It goes so far as to turn provincial-level broadcasters into pun police, obliging them to check for "correctness", and to strongly suppress "non-conforming" content. It’s an odd ask for a country where the language is alive with the sound of sound-alike words with dissimilar meanings. But since the new rules don’t apply to the mobile world of digital ads, you can still rely on a few more iPuns for the moment.

2. Now the nudes from Singapore

Well not totally naked, because that would be against the country’s vagrancy laws (section 27 specifically). But Spanish clothier Desigual’s 70-person in-house marketing team wants Singaporeans to strip down as much as they can bear to. The first 100 au naturel customers in the Orchard road door on 11 December get to pick out a new outfit to put over their birthday suit.  The clothing company says it strives to be different and this will certainly be something new in Singapore; expect it to give the brand decent exposure.

3. There’s gold in them there tier-3s

Looking at out-of-the-way places like Quanzhou and Wuchang, a new study from Carat combines consumer data with crowd-sourced interviews and pictures to illustrate the scale and opportunity that China’s lower-tier cities represent for brands. Often dismissed as underdeveloped, these emerging markets, within China’s overall emerging market, have quietly been upgrading their quality of life as consumers have simultaneously boosted their buying power. The combination is a new wave of consumerism that brands should take seriously. The “The next goldmine 2.0” report gives insights and tips for marketers who want to localize and engage these upwardly mobile low-tier (but climbing) consumers.

4. Build community to create engagement

Another look at China exclusively from Campaign is how brands can use apps to drive sales—not so much though coupons or discount offers but through social interaction. It’s an especially pertinent tactic for engaging younger generations in China. According to data from comScore, China’s internet users are among some of the youngest in the world; 62 per cent are under 35. Build inroads to that demographic today and you may have a customer for life. And as shown in the Goldmine report mentioned above—that’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

5. Speaking of community engagement

Facebook this week announced new features for its mobile app advertising, which includes autoplay video ads. The company claims the mobile ads have highly predictable reach and frequency.

6. The year of living programmatically

Campaign has been reporting on the growth of programmatic buying across the APAC ad industry with increasing frequency. Much of that story has been about western ad-tech firms putting down roots in Asia. But this week we had a report of a Japanese demand side platform (DSP) expanding into other Asian nations. MicroAd already has data centers in Japan and Singapore and plans for more as it grows into the region. The company also announced a partnership with Ambient Digital, a Southeast Asia ad network. As more people in Asia’s population centers go online and more brands recognize the scale of the opportunity (and beef up their digital skills) we see this trend as an irritable force over the next five to 10 years.

7. Also on the digital armory

Major brands have been setting up in-house social media hubs this year. The digital command centers have tools for social listening, data collection, content creation and social-media management all under one roof, at the company not an agency. But can brands go this route alone? Since coming on the scene, social media has mainly been the purview of agencies. But as digital and data have flooded every facet of reaching people, the evolution has blurred the lines between what is media and what isn’t, as well as who should be driving it or cultivating the expertise. How’s your brand adjusting to the digital disruption? And are you ready to enter the arms race on your own or are there still advantages to having an agency partner?

8. Absolut artistry

Absolut Vodka, a drink that’s meant to taste as close to nothing as possible, has shown an abundance of taste with its artsy ad campaigns over the years. If you want to learn from the brand and pick up some tips for adding musical artist to your branding line up, the company’s brand director, Afdhel Aziz, has seven insightful tips for you.

9. The year in review

For the end of the week in review we’re plugging our year in review. We’ve picked some of the biggest deals, pitches and disasters of the year. From this week until 19 December (when our bulletin goes on vacation until early 2015), we’ll be spinning out top stories that that had the biggest industry impact through 2014. From innovations to breakups, read our picks that paint a picture of a notable year.


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