Advertising and Marketing
Posted by Eric Mu on Friday, July 11, 2008 at 1:37 PM
A series of outdoor ads are circulating on China's Internet forums and may have the potential to cause a new round of anti-Western prejudice and conspiracy theories. Is the "Western advertising industry" is going to follow the "Western media" to become the next target of protest and boycott? (See this post (Chinese) on Anti-CNN.com for example, it's titled ' Amnesty International commissions multinational company to concoct advertisements about China mistreating prisoners'.
The ads are allegedly designed by TBWA's Paris offices for Amnesty International. The slogan in the ads is “After the Olympic Games, the fight for human rights must go on.”
It is said that this series won a bronze medal in this year's Cannes Advertising Festival, but your correspondent could not confirm this from the Internet.
Interestingly, TBWA is also the ad agency behind another series of Olympic-themed ads of a different type for Adidas. You can see them on Virtual China. They are unlikely to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.
Update (by Jeremy Goldkorn):
Also by TBWA; more information at Virtual China
Some commenters are questioning the source of these advertisements. A site called Ads of the World has a web page about the series of ads: Amnesty - Swimming. The page identifies the client as Amnesty International, and states:
And the plot gets thicker: An anonymous commenter to this Danwei post (see comments below) announces:
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Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.