Some of us might not have known it at the time, but, damn, Hong Kong had some very good ad people and real characters who created a thriving industry- the late Mike Chu, Richard Lam, James Wong and Stoney Mudd, Tony Morias, Mark Hilltout, Clarke Mallory. Stasch Radwanski, Mike Fromowitz, Peter Thompson, Charles Wang, Louis Ng, my mate Mark Amdur, Eddie Booth etc.

Sure, we were competitive, but there was nothing wrong with that. It was passion, it was pride of ownership and it was a weird camaraderie.

Again, we didn’t know it at the time, but we pushed each other to become better at our craft.

These days, at least what I see on terrestrial television stations and cable channels in Hong Kong, is tired, client-driven sloppy work like a horrendously dubbed commercial for Colgate that gives me a nervous tic.

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(Source: India Times)

Who on earth is the Marketing Director to allow this embarrassment to be aired? And did the ad agency fight not to have it screened.

Colgate would create far greater awareness by donating the money spent airing this crud on the SPCA or any other charity.

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(Source: William O’Connor)

Then there’s music in advertising.

My mentor in advertising- Keith Reinhard- was a music guy- a creative guru who knew the power of music- not silly little “jingles”, but music tracks that gave the visuals- and brand- a personality.

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(Source: AEF)

If not for Keith, I really doubt that McDonald’s advertising would have stood out, something that all us creative directors on the account tried our best to never let this USP go MIA.

Hell, we had worldwide creative conferences to attend and no one wanted to have crap work shown and criticized.

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(Source: Casino)

Today, not only am I not “lovin it”, I’m not feeling it. McDonald’s and music doesn’t exist, and, in Asia, the brand has, like Pepsi and Coke, settled for lazy celebrity endorsements as its creative strategy, once considered taboo and a huge NO NO for the brand.

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(Source: Pak Media Blog)

Looking back, McDonald’s advertising was unadulterated American hokum that tugged at the heartstrings, but, hey, it worked for this all-American product that “told” consumers, You Deserve A Break Today.

Today, I listen to ditties produced for destinations and wince- cornball “maladies” sung by outta tune singers like one shocker written for, er, Macau that makes the place sound like Disneyland and with no mention of casinos, the hookers, the rabid gamblers, the hookers, the weekend jaunts to get laid- and the hookers.

What happened to Truth In Advertising?

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(Source: Rofl Cat)

I’d much rather hear about hookers, the “fishing pond” that is Darling where poor little things are part of a demeaning cattle parade for dirty old men and the Canadian “showgirls” on the make than this Pollyanna world advertised on television without any hint of “TJ Hooker” and The Hanky Panky and Wooly Bully.

At least, Macau is advertising itself as a destination though I really don’t understand why it needs to when the place is such a hugely popular playground for adults whereas Hong Kong keeps being pummeled by Singapore for tourism yet sits there like a dumpy char siu bau and does zilch.

At this point, I’d even settle for that old bore Jackie Chan playing the chin chin Chinaman and “endorsing” the city. But the Chan man has moved shop to Singapore in an ironic twist of fate.

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(Source: DJY IMG)

So, I sit here and watch wallpaper advertising from the heads of gremlins and lemmings, way too much emphasis on “social media marketing”, horrendous sponsorship advertising plus innocuous PR-led advertising for some brand of whisky featuring the ghost of Bruce Li with The Dragon’s daughter, Shannon, trying desperately to validate giving permission to use her father’s likeness. And knowing quite a bit about the great Bruce Li, he was a teetotaler who believed alcohol weakened people.

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(Source: Weird Hut)

A brand of whisky featuring Bruce Li?

You fucked up, Shannon and sold out your own father. Shame on you.

Having said this, all this mediocrity might have to do with Hong Kong no longer being a leader in advertising and having to pander to the lowest common denominator in China.

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(Source: Constructing Life Coaching)

Worse is that many who were once gutless sycophantic account servicing people- where IS that greasy account servicing moron Aaron Lau?- are today heads of brands on the Mainland and in charge of approving ad campaigns. Sad, isn’t it?

More sad would be is if that former head of DDBN in the region- Geoff Brown- who was finally exposed for the con man that he was and unceremoniously booted out, pops up on the Mainland.

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(Source: Viewallpaper)

Hopefully, as was always the case before. there is some very clever advertising being created and produced in Thailand and India- with the latter market showing the world that it can produce something more than commercials featuring the same cricketers endorsing everything from motorbikes to skin whiteners.

Let’s hope so.

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