Brands cashing in on Year of the Rat, 2020.

Brands cashing in on Year of the Rat, 2020.

 IDENTITY Communications previews some limited edition Year of the Rat goodies that could be yours in 2020.

The global luxury-goods market will grow to US$386 billion by 2025 and Chinese consumers will account for 44 percent of that market. It’s no wonder Western brands are looking to leverage every cultural occassion to turn them into profit.

There is no bigger cultural occassion for Chinese than their new year. A week long public holiday, sparking the world’s biggest human migration with over 3 billion trips taken in China. Last year, some 413 million people travelled by rail and 73 million passengers travelled by air.

Source: The Guardian

The year of the rat starts on 25 January 2020.

The rat is a cunning creature. To determine the order of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, the Jade Emperor asked them to race. The Rat became the first animal in the zodiac by tricking the Ox into giving it a ride. Just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped off and crossed first.

Rats are seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, it’s a good year to pray for children.

But back to commerce. To celebrate the coming Year of the Rat, Western brands are releasing themed merchandise – some aren’t cheap.

This cool Chopard watch will set you back $US24,600. “Chopard is once again honouring Asian traditions by calling on the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi to create the dial of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat timepiece. This work of art highlights the theme of the next zodiac sign in the traditional Chinese calendar: the Rat, renowned for its intelligence and perspicacity. Each of the watches in this refined and powerfully symbolic 88-piece limited edition crafted in 18k rose gold is powered by an ultra-thin movement produced in the Chopard Manufacture workshops: the L.U.C 96.17-L caliber”, according to their website.

Gucci collaborated with Disney for their Year of the Rat collection, headlined by Mickey Mouse. The Disney x Gucci GG Marmont medium shoulder bag could be yours for $US2,980.

These uber cool Gucci x Disney kickers can be had for a relatively more modest AU$1,370. Well, what are you waiting for?

Gucci Ace sneaker

 

Holy red and gold lanterns! For the man who has everything, how about a box of Davidoff Year of the Rat cigars? 

Davidoff Year of the Rat cigar

More affordable is a Swatch Rat watch that comes in a cheesy gold and red box (US$100).

Davidoff Year of the Rat cigar

While the Chinese market has been lucrative for many brands, recent times have seen some notable missteps, ranging from alleged cultural insensitivity (Dolce & Gabbana) to offending China’s sovereignty, particularly recognition of Taiwan (Versace, Swarovski, Coach, Calvin Klein, Audi, Marriott Hotels, Qantas, Air France, British Airways) and of course, being seen as supporting the current the Hong Kong protests (Tiffany & Co, NBA).

Lots of opportunties in China and some cultural pitfalls.

Thang Ngo is managing director or IDENTITY Communications,  Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency.

 

 

SunRice and Identity Win NSW Premier’s Award for Multicultural Communications

SunRice and Identity Win NSW Premier’s Award for Multicultural Communications

Campaign Brief, 6 December 2019 

SunRice and Identity Communications, the multicultural communications division of IPG Mediabrands, have won the Business Campaign of the Year at the 2019 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards presented in Sydney this week.

The NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards (PMCAs) recognise excellence in the multicultural media and marketing industry. The PMCAs acknowledge the valuable contribution multicultural media and marketing plays in our society by helping people connect to their culture, identity and language. The awards also recognise the important roles played by journalists, editors and publishers in print, radio, television and digital media.

The campaign challenged stereotypes because it didn’t feature the usual cultural icons of red, gold and ‘8’. Instead, SunRice the Rice Breaker, depicted a Chinese-Australian family sharing a meal with their local Australian neighbours. Inclusion was a key message – as a rice brand that is universally appealing, SunRice is able to connect people of different cultures over great food.

The Rice Breaker resonated with migrant audience because it acknowledged that they also want to be successful in Australia and engage with the community – 66% of people who saw the creative said they would consider SunRice for their next rice purchase; it drove an 86% increase in SunRice followers on WeChat. SunRice also recorded a significant uplift in orders from retail partners. 

Says Andrew Jeffrey, head of marketing, SunRice: “SunRice is thrilled our campaign has been recognised with this award. The outstanding results demonstrate the crucial importance of audience insights in building authentic engagement with our Asian-Australian customers. The audience insight that Identity Communications brought to the table was invaluable.”

Says Thang Ngo, managing director, Identity Communication: “From day one, SunRice told us they wanted to build an authentic connection with Australia’s Asian community. The client recognised the importance of developing a robust strategy and bespoke creative.”

Client: SunRice
Head of Marketing & Insights: Andrew Jeffrey
Senior Marketing Manager: Shannon Cumberlidge
Brand Manager: Peta Thomas, Jeddah Ryan

Agency: Identity Communications
Managing Director: Thang Ngo
Creative Director: Yasmin Quemard
Art Director: Rachel Liang
Writers: Yasmin Quemard, Brenda Leung and Sean Zhu
Translation Management: Brenda Leung, Albert Han
Designer: Rachel Liang
Head of Strategy: Thang Ngo
Client Services Director: Angelica Naranjo
Production Coordinator: Murray Wallace
Lead Developer: Dipak Sadaula
Production Company: Clockwork Film
Media: Havas Media

SunRice and Identity win NSW Premier’s award for multicultural communications

SunRice and Identity win NSW Premier’s award for multicultural communications

AdNews, 6 December 2019

SunRice and Identity, a division of IPG Mediabrands, have won the Business Campaign of the Year at the 2019 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards.

The campaign challenged stereotypes because it didn’t feature the usual cultural icons of red, gold and ‘8’.

Instead, SunRice the Rice Breaker, depicted a Chinese-Australian family sharing a meal with their local Australian neighbours.

Inclusion was a key message – as a rice brand that is universally appealing, SunRice is able to connect people of different cultures over great food.

“SunRice is thrilled our campaign has been recognised with this award,” says Andrew Jeffrey, SunRice head of marketing.

“The outstanding results demonstrate the crucial importance of audience insights in building authentic engagement with our Asian-Australian customers. The audience insight that Identity Communications brought to the table was invaluable.”

Thang Ngo, managing director at Identity: “From day one, SunRice told us they wanted to build an authentic connection with Australia’s Asian community. The client recognised the importance of developing a robust strategy and bespoke creative.”

Other winning marketing campaigns at the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards:

Agency Campaign of the Year: Cultural Perspectives – Your Vote Will Help Shape Australia

Voting is a right for all Australians but enrolling, assessing candidates and casting a ballot is a challenge for people with low English language-speaking proficiency. The Your Vote Will Help Shape Australia campaign by Cultural Perspectives aimed to make voting easier and support increased participation by sharing voting information in 30 different languages across print, radio, and online.

AFL NSW/ACT Community Campaign of the Year – Hindu Council of Australia – Deepavali Fair
Aiming to increase Deepavali Fair attendance by 10% to 30,000, the Hindu Council advertised on Hindi satellite television channels, in Indian language newspapers, via social media and through flyers and banners around local schools and major intersections. As well as meeting attendance targets, the Council successfully increased sponsorship revenue by 15%.

Other winners of the 2019 Premier’s Multicultural Communications Awards:

Best Audio Report: Manpreet Kaur Singh, Shamsher Kainth, Avneet Arora and Maya Jamieson – SBS Punjabi
Best Audio-Visual Report: Andrea Booth – NITV, The Point
Best Print Report: Zia Ahmad – AMUST
Young Journalist of the Year: Xinrui (Rena) Li – Sydney Today
Best Use of Digital or Social Media: Sirine Demachkie and Kinderling Kids Radio – Mother Tongue
Public Interest Award: Avani Dias – triple j Hack
Alan Knight Student Award: Nadine Silva
Publication of the Year: AMUST
Lifetime Achievement Award: Antoine Kazzi OAM – El Telegraph

5 tips for your next Chinese Influencer Event

5 tips for your next Chinese Influencer Event

By Wei Ng, Account Director 

 

Last week, Identity Communications had the pleasure of bringing together a group of Chinese social media influencers, also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), to test drive Hyundai’s exciting Electric Vehicle range: the KONA Electric, IONIQ plug-in Hybrid and IONIQ Electric.

The day went down very well thanks to Sydney putting on a sunny face to keep the rain clouds away for our drive into the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Here are five tips that will help to achieve a successful event for client, influencers and project planner (i.e. yourself).

1. Do a site reconnaissance before the event day

This will take time out of your diary but it’s crucial if you want the day to pan out to expectations. As much as possible, we scouted possible driving routes to ascertain the best one, visited pitstops and ideate on photoshoots, ensured the lunch spot catered for a big group of guests and clocked the whole journey to see if we could fit all the activities in. Whether it’s a test drive, a sit-down function or any influencer event you are planning for, a full practise run is invaluable to minimise potential hiccups on the actual day.

The morning presentation is set up the day before.

2. Make sure everyone speaks English (or a common language)
On any other occasion, this wouldn’t even cross your mind. But to host an event where your social media influencers and the media organisations are planning to create content in Chinese, it makes sense to ensure that, while they’re well-versed in Chinese, they should also have an adequate level of English proficiency. After all, they will be required to translate your client’s press releases or answers to Q&As into Chinese, and can only do so accurately if they are proficient enough in English. That said, have someone who can be that go-to person for both clients and influencers to interpret information bilingually. For example, we had someone who spoke in Mandarin to the media and influencers throughout the day, for simple things such as rounding the group for a photoshoot with the cars or translating technical words about car specs. It helps to keep the influencers and media at ease when someone speaks their language.

3. Allow plenty of time for influencers to create and share content in real time
You may assume a test drive will merely involve a lot of driving, close-up shots of alloy wheels and peering under the car hood. None of that happened, except for the driving. Instead, there were drones, poses in scenic locations along the route with the cars, influencers gaping in awe as one of the Electric Vehicles self-parked, and A LOT of selfies. After all, it wasn’t about selling wheels. It’s about being inspired and finding the inspirational in these cars. Moreover, the influencers were immediately logging onto their social platforms to share as soon as they finished their selfies. The instant creating and sharing won’t be the full extent of what influencers are giving back to the day, but it is part and parcel. The more time you give them, the more they are able to share with their thousands of followers a taste of what’s to come and to build excitement.

A group shot posted online on the day immediately received hundreds of likes.

4. Engage a professional for photo and film shoots
The influencers are recorders of the event but to do the project justice, have a professional capture the day. This ensures you cover every aspect that’s important for your brand. It’s great for internal press releases for the client to share within the business. Furthermore, such content becomes your client’s property and can then be shared on owned platforms or for you to share with other media and gain additional PR.

A social media influencer being filmed on location

5. Involve the clients
The client is the brand expert. But technical specifications and brand history aside, Chinese social influencers love it when the client team takes the time to go through the whole experience with them, to entertain every question raised and to demonstrate what makes their product uniquely different. It’s akin to special treatment and that is something no press release or gift pack can match. The client will enjoy going through the experience too because if your invited Chinese influencers are being themselves, they’re sure to be entertaining and fun.

Scott Nager, Senior manager of Future Mobility and Government, demonstrating the Nexo’s self-parking capabilities.

A Slice of life in Tokyo, a view from the sushi train…

A Slice of life in Tokyo, a view from the sushi train…

I saw the video below from a tweet by Drew Coffman.

It made me smile.

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The slice of life realness and the varied reactions of diners are fascinating.

The GoPro image was taken by Vlogger Tkyosam, an American living in Tokyo who captures his adventures on camera.

But apparently not everyone is a fan. Sushiro, the sushi chain featured in in this clip, has banned photography in their restaurants and claim they will prosecute offenders.

Some have claimed there’s a gulf in terms of etiquette between East and West. I’m not sure if cultural differences are a major factor here. Apparently most of the negative reactions have been about privacy and food safety. They sound like pretty universal concerns to me.

Sometimes, it’s harder for people to recognise similarities because they are more concerned about finding differences.

I’d say, enjoy this clip. And smile.