Rich media, social media

Once upon a time (well, actually just about ten years ago), YouTube was the go-to home for rich media, and it largely consisted of video, Java, audio, and vector graphics. The phrase ‘rich media’ was not yet widely known or used, but its potential had already begun to catch the eye of marketers and advertisers.

Fast forward to today and rich media as we know it – like Pokémon – has evolved. It is travelling all over the nooks and crannies of the interwebs in a quest for bigger and better things. Like selfies, rich media has found a comfortable new home on social media and it is there that is screaming for attention to all who are willing to listen.

The business of love

Yes, I know Valentine’s Day has come and gone but I promise this blog is not about actual love. Those who consider the prospect of finding the perfect present a challenge should be glad they don’t live in China – which has not one, not two, not three… but FOUR love-centred holidays that come with the expectation of gifts. Whether you love or hate these traditions, brands are embracing the notion of love in marketing and reaping the rewards. Why? Because love means big business!

Let me break it down.

Little Red Book

While the term Little Red Book in China may previously have brought Chairman Mao’s book of the same name to mind, today’s Chinese may associate it with something altogether different.

Little Red Book – the go-to online retailer for overseas luxury goods

Little Red Book – Xiao Hong Shu in Chinese – is an app that has attracted over 17 million consumers and $200 million in annual merchandise sales in just 3 years. Things don’t look to be slowing down, with the company recently having raised $120 million from major investors such as TenCent and ZhenFund.

Autumn in two worlds

This weekend, I spent a day at Sydney’s iconic Blue Mountains with an old friend. The changing colours of the autumn leaves drew us there, and the reds and yellows were truly beautiful. I was busily snapping pictures on my phone and posting the beautiful scenes on WeChat, and receiving lovely comments and likes instantly from my friends all over the world. The weather was beautiful, the air was crisp, and it was a very memorable day.

As we filled our hands with fallen leaves and pine cones, we felt lucky that we had visited at the right time to experience the beauty above us, around us, and under our feet.

Eggs and baskets

With belief in the resurrection  of Christ being so central to Christianity, Easter (falling on April 16 this year), and its lead-up, is a very meaningful time for Christians all around the world, with many attending church services even if they wouldn’t ordinarily do so. For the close to two thirds of Australia’s population identifying as Christian (according to Census, 2011) Easter also tends to bring to mind images of hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, baby animals, Easter egg hunts, and – of course – the Easter bunny.

But in the melting pot of Australia, cultural differences abound among various multicultural audiences celebrating Easter. The Greek Orthodox faith – for one – has some particularly noteworthy traditions around Easter.

We are Global

Why should brands invest in speaking to the new audiences in Australia? This is a question often asked by marketers. And there can be no better answer than what I see outside Emporium Melbourne at 5:00 am this fairly chilly morning. There are more than 60 young Asians already waiting patiently in the queue to purchase the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 –new Kanye West sneakers.

They look pretty well settled in their light fold up chairs, and look like they may have been there all night. A $250 pair can be sold online I am told by one informed youngster for $600 – a tidy profit. I take a quick walk before heading to the airport and watch a deal being done. One young guy sold his place in the queue for $200 to another punter.

Rule the roost with great guanxi

Lunar New Year (commonly called Chinese New Year) is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Asian culture. On the 28th of January, 2017 celebrations will come to a crescendo as we enter the ostentatious ‘Year of The Rooster’. This is tenth sign of the Chinese zodiac, and the rooster is generally said to be loyal, sociable and friendly (albeit, a little bossy). While celebrations go on for several weeks, the Lunar New Year period is typically a time when Chinese and other East Asian families come together with their family and friends to honour traditions, to enjoy each other’s company and to hope for a bright future.

Diwali – A missed opportunity for marketers?

Diwali (or Deepavali) is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by South Asians all over the world. It holds great spiritual significance and is the celebration of good trumping evil where fireworks and lanterns are lit, colourful glad-rags are worn, and delicious traditional sweets are exchanged over a period of 4 days.

And as the festivities are wrapping up (this year it ran from October 30 to November 3), it is the perfect time to reflect on whether or not this festival was a missed opportunity for Australian brands and marketers.

Confluence Festival of India continues to amaze and inspire

Since launching in July, 2016, Confluence Festival of India, the most significant showcase of Indian art and culture ever in Australia, has drawn huge crowds and unprecedented levels of interest in the Australian community and among Indian Diaspora.

In his festival message, Mr. Navdeep Suri, the High Commissioner of India in Australia described the festival as, “Some of the finest elements from the rich tapestry of Indian culture and civilisation for our friends in Australia.”