Anna and the King of Siam review

Each virtue carries a vice, and in case of ‘Anna and the King’ it’s the extreme amount of detail. Margaret Landon describes Bangkok of the late 19th century through the eyes of an unlikely English teacher. The widow Anna Leonowens arrives in Bangkok with her son, and observes it with both admiration and disgust, as […]

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Western brands in China: hits and misses

(Originally posted on Seventy-Magazine.com) Western companies looking to expand their business often underestimate the competitiveness of the Chinese market. Often, what stands in the way of success is a lack of understanding on what Chinese consumers value and how they shop. But then there are some that have done their research, made local partnerships, made […]

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The false start of QR codes in the West versus China

(Originally posted on Seventy-Magazine.com) Around ten years ago, when you used a urinal in a popular bar or cinema in Europe, chances were you had an advertisement poster in your view, with a big QR code in the lower right corner. Western marketeers used the QR code primarily to redirect people to their advertisements or […]

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Contextual China

(Originally posted on Seventy-Magazine.com, and in Dutch on Marketingfacts) When we think about China, we often reduce nuances to black and white absolutes. Either China is a country with oppressed people and smog-filled skies, or it is the juggernaut that will inevitably rule the world’s economy. Neither of these views is particularly useful, and rather […]

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Modern luxury in China: no more same old bling

(Originally posted on Seventy-Magazine.com) With 300 million rich Chinese consumers, China’s takes an 8.9% share of the global luxury market — although it’s probably more if you consider Chinese tourists who buy luxury products outside of China. On the surface, luxury advertising in China is similar to that in the West. There are all the […]

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12 Rules for Life review

It’s a controversial book due to Peterson’s public appearances, but the book itself is rather tame in its content (although often dramatic in its tone). It has obvious parts (listen to others, don’t blame other people, toughen up, be honest, take risks, do meaningful things, enjoy life)— it has great and inspirational parts — entertaining […]

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A list of simple solutions

I’m a simple guy and I like simple things. I like books that are easy to read, wine that is easy to drink, and insights that I instinctively know are true. I grew up in a small town and never went to university, so maybe I’m just too dumb to understand why some advertising proposals […]

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Colours of Tmall

This is just for fun, ok? A big part of my job in Shanghai revolves around e-commerce, especially Tmall — which owns over half of the online retail market in sales volume. So browsing through Tmall on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but notice the vivid colours, and how they’d create interesting swatches. It started […]

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Joy City

These photos we taken near a shopping mall in Shanghai, called Joy City. The shopping mall has all kinds of shops from global luxury brands, and even a ferris wheel on the roof. This area, next to it, is one of the many old low-rise neighbourhoods that’s demolished in Shanghai, as in other big cities […]

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Tap the mind to grasp the enormity of change in China

The mind is a mysterious place. We can never fully understand what goes on in the mind of someone else. We can never see and feel what others think or feel. Nor can we ever share our own thoughts and feelings without first translating them into words or actions, by which they’ve lost most of […]

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