Chinese Advertising Makes Total Sense When I Do Mushrooms

06 Sep Chinese Advertising Makes Total Sense When I Do Mushrooms

Ni hao ma, friends. Katzo Polo here, back from the Orient to teach you fine folks about the magic of Far Eastern advertising.

So let’s dive right in, shall we?

The first thing you should know is that almost all Chinese advertisements look like this:

photo-1j

Yes, I realize these images are sideways. Our CMS was being persnickety.

Notice the three core elements of the composition:

1. Weirdness

2. Baby peeing and/or emerging from flower

3. Unintelligible symbols which are probably Chinese characters, but who really knows

You’re probably asking: Jonathan, is all Chinese advertising really this bizarre? Well, you tell me.

photo(11)-resized-600.jpg

Be sure to note the URL: www.kedo.gov.cn. Is this a GOVERNMENT AD?

photo(12)-resized-600.jpg

Oh… I actually think I may understand this one, only I wish I didn’t.

Look, the truth is that “weirdness” is a subjective and relative concept. As my Chinese tour guide liked to say, “it isn’t right; it isn’t wrong; it’s just different.”

Different, indeed.

For one thing, marketing communications are bound to be a bit different in a “communist” country. (I put communist in quotes because in some ways modern China is an exceedingly capitalist society.) But what really bothers me about communism is that —

[THIS IS SECTION MUST TO REMOVED BY PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC. PLEASE TO ENJOY CHINESE LOYALTY OATH:

本 网北京3月20日讯 记者赵阳 为引导广大律师牢固树立做中国特色社会主义法律工作者的信念,自觉践行“忠诚、为民、公正、廉洁”的核心价值观,切实提高律师队伍思想政治素质、职业道德 素质和业务素质,不断增强律师的职业使命感、荣誉感和社会责任感,培育和形成中国特色社会主义律师执业精神,司法部决定建立律师宣誓制度,并于前不久下发 了《关于印发〈关于建立律师宣誓制度的决定〉的通知》。

决定明确参加宣誓人员范围,规定了组织宣誓仪式的机构、时间和宣誓方式,对宣 誓仪式和宣誓程序等都作出了具体规定。经司法行政机关许可,首次取 得或者重新申请取得律师执业证书的人员,均应参加律师宣誓。律师宣誓仪式,应当在律师获得执业许可之日起3个月内,由设区的市或者直辖市司法行政机关会同 律师协会,采取分批集中的方式组织进行。

决定规定,律师宣誓誓词为:“我志愿成为一名中华人民共和国执业律师,我保证忠实履行中国特 色社会主义法律工作者的神圣使命,忠于祖国,忠于人 民,拥护中国共产党的领导,拥护社会主义制度,维护宪法和法律尊严,执业为民,勤勉敬业,诚信廉洁,维护当事人合法权益,维护法律正确实施,维护社会公平 正义,为中国特色社会主义事业努力奋斗!”誓词充分体现了近年来党中央国务院对律师工作和律师队伍的新要求,体现了修订后律师法的精神和“忠诚、为民、公 正、廉洁”的核心价值观。]

— so that’s what bugs me about communism. Anyway, thanks to government control, there’s no Facebook or Twitter in China. And that’s significant, because most of the avant garde advertising in the US is being done through social channels.

So it stands to reason that without a strong social component, traditional advertising would have an added need to challenge and surprise its target consumers. Hence advertisements like these:

osim-kung-fu-3-560x869-resized-600.jpg

3 out of 4 sleepy dragon impersonators choose Osim pillows.

leonardo-di-caprio-find-me-campaign-560x343-resized-600.jpg

I know, Leo. I’m concerned about your endorsement choices also.

More on my China adventure coming soon…

Jonathan Katz
sbxmarketing@speakerboxpr.com
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