The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Chinese New Year = Cheap Exploitation.
February 13, 2007, 11:29 am
Filed under: Comment

It’s coming up to Chinese New Year [it’s the year of the ‘pig’ if you were wondering] and Asia is going mental.

CNY is really interesting because it is dictated by cultural ‘rules’.  Everything has meaning from who the order you visit people right through to the ritual of eating the food … and I have to say, I do find it very exciting. 

Seriously, you can’t turn for decorations, drums, food stalls and bloody awful ads by brands trying desperately to capitalise on the present giving season. 

One of the best is this classic pile of poo from COKE – as they desperately promote their 8 product lines, simply because 8 is a lucky number in Asian culture.

It’s almost insulting … actually scrub that, it IS insulting … and shows just how greedy, arrogant and short-sighted the brand is. 

Mind you, as pathetic as that is, nothing beats this ‘gift’ from American Express.

OK, I admit it … I’m a platinum AMEX card holder. Sue me! 

I actually spend quite alot of money with them because I book all my flights and hotels with it – and given the amount of travelling I do, that racks up to be quite alot of dollars.

So imagine my surprise when as a ‘valued customer’ I was given A MOUSE MAT.

Ooooooooh, that really shows they care about me, doesn’t it. Hell, I mean that thing must be worth at least 4 …5 … maybe even 6 cents! 

This is one of the most pointless consumer gifts EVER … only beaten by Singapore Airlines who decided I was worthy of their absolutely butt-ugly diary.

Seriously, what World do these marketing people live on? 

Don’t they realise we know they just are buying cheap tat and then shoving their logo on it?  I’d rather they gave me nothing than insult me with this tosh.

I know they say ‘it’s the thought that counts’ … but let me tell you NO THOUGHT WHATSOEVER went into this! 

And before I go, can someone tell me what is it with Mouse Mats that companies find so attractive – apart from price? I mean, does anyone actually use one anymore – especially now with laser mouse [or is it mice?] 

Another great example of CRM … Customer Revulsion Marketing.

Right I hope I’ve assured a couple of you [Take a bow Pete and Ian!] that despite all the happiness and excitement I’ve had over the last few days – engagement isn’t going to change me, I’m still going to be the angry, old fart I’ve always been.

[Oh isn’t Jill such a lucky, lucky lady eh! Ha!]

PS: Because it’s CNY, I get a short holiday [Yay!] … well, I do after going to Hong Kong for a pitch and Tokyo for a meeting … so this blog might not be updated for a few days but I ask you – no, make that BEG you – to sign the sausage petition because it’s very, very important to a lot of people. Especially Marcus, Andy and me.

14 Comments so far
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I have a mouse mat. Morning.

Comment by Sacrum B. Rown

hey rob, you mustn’t forget, it’s the year of the golden pig, a once in lifetime opportunity to cash in on a particularly fortuitous occasion!

Comment by lauren

That Coca Cola ad is awful, still, at least they werent promoting 24 brands with white flowers…

No one uses THOSE kinds of mouse mats anymore. I think its seen as a cool gift by people who are 5 years behind the times. Google for instance sent us an LCD picture frame at Christmas, now THAT is a branded gift we like.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’d love to give a witty response but I’m late for my plane. Some New Year this is for me eh? Ha

Comment by Rob

Last new year I was in a hotel by Victoria Park in HK. It was packed every day, but going round the stalls was good fun!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Lucky bugger … I’m there for a pitch so will see and enjoy precisely sod all. Can you sense any bitterness in my tone? Can you? CAN YOU?

Comment by Rob

Nope, none at all. Can you sense any sarcasm in mine… eh!?

Hope the pitch goes well, at least you might get to see a few sites. I’ll be in Sheffield City Hall for their CNY event; not quite the same…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Don’t get me started on valentines day….

Sausages are go

Comment by Northern Planner


Comment by Marcus Brown

Funny you should talk about Valentines Day …

Comment by Rob

[…] Chinese New Year = Cheap Exploitation. […]

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I have to say something about the mouse pad.
1st – It is NOT a giveaway to the customers
2nd – It is simply an in-store POINT OF SALE trying to sell a ‘rewards’ program
3rd – Of course, I am the one who gave Rob the mouse pad as a gesture of our “blooming” friendship:) haha
4th – And yes, I am becoming one of those pathetic souls that I used to bitch about.

Comment by Confused Ex-suit

God bless you Angela … trying to justify the shite that you know it is. It doesn’t matter WHO it is for … the question is WHY THE HELL DID YOU GUYS DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Go on, answer that and still be trendy.

Comment by Rob

Do you have to spell out MY NAME? Am trying so hard to stay anonymous!
What’s wrong with the mousepad? Forget the term mousepad, it is actually an in-store POP. Wouldn’t that be considered INNOVATIVE in a corporate world?
Trying selling the idea of in-store branding (with mousepad as one of the display item) and I can be quite sure that they will applause your creativity and innovation.

Remember, it is not meant to be given away as freebies. But well, maybe some of your clients might just request to have one done as giveaways hahaha. Do give me one when its done!

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