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

Hanging On To The Past …

I appreciate I am the last person who should be writing a post with a title like this one, but recently – when I was in Hong Kong – I saw this billboard …

Now I get that once upon a time, HK was indeed a gateway to China and … in some categories, like law and, to a degree, international finance, it still has a significant role … but China is not this closed off country anymore, in fact I could argue it’s more commercially minded than HK so it seems this is the worst headline you should use to try and attract clients.

Without doubt there’s a role for advertising in HK airport for people traveling to China – especially Chinese tourists – but it’s not because they don’t have options there, hell they have more options that any other place in the World, it’s that you might help them want your option more than the countless others they’ll have available to them the moment they land.


19 Comments so far
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The message doesn’t make sense but neither does the visual. An incredibly narrow bridge that leads nowhere with posters placed so high that you would need to crank your neck to an impossible angle to see them. Have I just become John Dodds?

Comment by George

Thankfully there is only one John Dodds, but you are giving him a run for his money in pedanticness.

Comment by Rob


Comment by John

Thank you for proving my point there John.

Comment by Rob

Do you still miss Asia or has England charmed your heart? I am pretty certain you don’t miss America. Or working here at least.

Comment by George

Did you really not enjoy working in America Rob?

Comment by Pete

I would say it wasn’t my favourite time, but also tthe America I lived in was going through one of its most complex and broken times. As for Asia, I miss it with all my heart, but going back is not an option. It was a wonderful moment in time but it can never be replicated and Joe should it. I hope to go back often but England is my home now and for someone who thought he’d never move back here, the first few weeks have done a great job in showing me how stupid I was to think that way. It’s been amazing so far. Hustle, bustle, culture and creativity. I literally feel I can breathe in a way I’ve not had since Shanghai. Guess I’m a city guy.

Comment by Rob

Makes sense. It’s definitely not the America I originally moved to.

Comment by DH

look at you planner fuckers wanking yourselves off with planner bullshit while the east coast are still asleep. you think youre all so fucking clever dont you? well youre not because all youre doing is setting me up to come and smash your bullshit theories to smithereens. take that assholes.

Comment by andy@cynic

Consider it our birthday present to you …

Comment by Rob

A gift that didn’t cost you anything. What a shock Rob.

Comment by DH

The great irony is you still dress like it’s the 80s but you’re very good at calling out companies who are living in the past. I suppose the difference is you know you dress like that, which I never thought I’d ever suggest was a positive.

Comment by Bazza

Wow, that’s the weirdest compliment I’ve ever had. But to Lee’s point below, it’s not that they don’t realise what they’re doing, they do … they just want to act like they’re still utterly relevant despite being decades late. A bit like a 50 year old man that buys a Porsche and drives around with his sunglasses on thinking he’s hot shit whereas everyone else – especially these days – would just see him as shit.

Comment by Rob

Excellent point Robert however the reason behind it may not be ignorance, but ego. It must be hard to have once been arguably the most important market in Asia only to become a bit part player, except in the field of law and some areas of finance. It is not that long ago InvestHK were also communicating a similar message to global brands and they were well aware of the shift that had occurred over the previous 20 years. They just chose to act like it had not happened to give them a reason for existing. Fortunately they have now evolved their offering and messaging to business.

Comment by Lee Hill

I agree with you Lee. HK always had a superiority complex. For a Long time it was justifiably so. But after the country was handed back to Chinese rule, the country seemed to always struggle with its reduced iinfluence and power. I think this ad and your InvestHK example further shows that.

Comment by Pete

I agree too. I remember working with InvestHK when I started Sunshine there and tried to evolve their message beyond simply being about proximity. They hated it but after pointing out every other country in Asia was trying to attract foreign investment based on their closeness to China, we finally got them round with an idea based on the thought ‘proximity means nothing without influence’. Some good work came out of that including one that got banned by showing Yoko Ono and The Beatles. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob


Comment by Billy Whizz

commie as fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

Congrats! It seems that no planner warms up their seats in America anymore… it’s job hopping as a lifestyle…

Comment by Anthony D’Andrea

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