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MARCH 22, 2017 //  

The Intersection of Executive Visibility and Brand Perception in China

Bertelsmann.comBy: Richard Zhang

As Chinese audiences tend to be more impressed by personal narratives than corporate or third party perspectives, an executive can be a brand’s most persuasive storyteller. There are numerous opportunities for executives to share how their company mission and values contribute to, and justify, its success, which can have a significant impact on how a brand is perceived by consumers. As a result, PR strategists are pursuing executive visibility across channels to increase influence through the insight, humanity and style of the company’s leadership.

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Traditional Media

Leveraging traditional media remains a vital component of a successful executive visibility program. While traditional media consumption is on the decline, both state-owned and independent outlets remain a reliable source of information about government policies and industry trends for institutional investors, executives and older citizens. Meanwhile, independent media (e.g., financial, lifestyle and fashion, among others) has increased its influence through the delivery of high quality, in-depth content.

Trina Solar (an Allison+Partners client) is the world's leading total solutions provider for solar energy. Chairman and CEO, Gao Jifan, skillfully uses traditional media to build both his personal and corporate brands by regularly granting interviews, where he shares his POV on how to promote the development of the photovoltaic (PV) industry. His approach has infused the brand with a spirit of innovation and perception of quality that resonates with business leaders, social elites and consumers.

Social Media

China’s digital environment, the largest in the world, allows executives to reach millions of consumers at once, engaging in self-exposure that strengthens a brand’s reputation. The open nature of social media has enabled executives to share their insights, and have two-way conversations with consumers that strengthen their personal connections to the brand.

UL (an Allison+Partners client), the global safety and certification company, sought to increase visibility of its expertise helping Chinese companies expand internationally. Zhou Weifang, president of UL Ventures and regional lead for China, spotlights the company’s capabilities in this area by re-purposing his insights from traditional media interviews on UL’s WeChat account. This enables Weifang to converse with government, corporate and citizen stakeholders on issues related to health sciences, sustainability and workplace safety, among other services.

In this new era of corporate communications, pressure from the Chinese public for more engagement will further the evolution of executive visibility from one-way dialogues to two-way conversations that communicate the people behind the brand.

Richard Zhang is a vice president in Allison+Partners’ Beijing office.
MARCH 21, 2017 //  

How to Sell Toys When Parents See Little Value in Playtime

In China, parents buy fewer toys for their children than in markets like the U.S. or Japan. China spent an estimated $10.3 billion on traditional toys and games in 2015, less than half of what the U.S. spent, though China has nearly five times the U.S. population, according to Euromonitor International. That's partly because Chinese parents have tended to view play negatively, as a distraction from schoolwork. "Parents see play of little perceived value," something that doesn't fit into their core values of learning and development, said Ching Wang, marketing VP for Mattel in China. READ MORE
MARCH 21, 2017 //  

Google Tries to Stop Ads From Appearing Next to Hate Speech

Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesGoogle moved on Tuesday to protect its lucrative advertising business by giving marketers greater control over where their ads appear online, after major clients withdrew spots that were shown next to hate speech and other offensive material. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 17, 2017 //  

Allison+Partners names Serina Tan Singapore GM

SINGAPORE: Allison+Partners has upped Serina Tan to GM of its Singapore office.

Tan is managing day-to-day operations of the Singapore office, driving growth in the region and overseeing its client portfolio.

Tan is reporting to Allison+Partners cofounder and COO Andy Hardie-Brown in the newly created role. She is managing the operations of the entire Singapore office.

"My main goal is to drive the continued expansion of the Singapore office with a focus on the consumer, corporate, government, and tech sectors, Tan said, via email.

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Tan joined Allison+Partners as VP in 2014 and was promoted to SVP in 2015. She has driven triple-digit growth for the office and helped to expand its staff to a dozen employees, a well as bringing on clients such as The Economic Development Board of Singapore, Listerine, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Bosch, and Gaggenau, the agency said in a statement.

Prior to Allison+Partners, Tan was a regional account director at Porter Novelli, an account manager at Golin, and assistant communications manager at McDonald’s, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Throughout her career, she has worked with clients such as Hewlett-Packard and the Global Forum on Intellectual Property. She also helped to launch the first McCafe in Asia.

Allison+Partners has 26 offices worldwide and is organized by six practices: consumer marketing, corporate, global China, healthcare, public affairs, and technology.

In January, Allison+Partners upped Tracey Cassidy to GM of its New York office. The agency also promoted Emily Wilson-Sawyer this month to EVP, reflecting her role as head of the West Coast consumer practice and lead of the agency’s travel and hospitality specialty.

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MARCH 10, 2017 //  

The Story of "The Fearless Girl," From the Women at McCann Who Made Her

It’s been three days since McCann New York and its client State Street Global Advisors, under the cover of darkness, dropped a statue called “The Fearless Girl” into Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan.Staring down the 28-year-old Wall Street “Charging Bull” statue, she’s a potent symbol of female leadership in business, and of the need for companies everywhere to get more women on their boards and into other powerful positions—for reasons not just symbolic but practical, as companies with gender-diverse leaders simply perform better financially. READ MORE
MARCH 10, 2017 //  

Facebook Scores Major League Soccer Streaming Deal, Continuing Push Into Premium TV Content

Facebook is kicking at least 22 live Major League Soccer matches this season across its video platforms, under a pact with the league and Univision Communications’ Univision Deportes, which owns U.S. broadcast rights to the games.The deal reflects the social giant’s appetite for live sports — as well as other TV-style content, which is set to include original long-form scripted and unscripted shows. Last month, Facebook inked a pact with Univision to carry 46 soccer matches from Mexico’s Liga MX for users in the U.S. with English-language commentary. READ MORE
MARCH 10, 2017 //  

These Climbers Are Documenting Their Second Attempt at Conquering Everest on Snapchat

Last year, mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards set an epic goal: climb to the summit of Mount Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen—a feat accomplished by less than 200 people—all while documenting their journey on Snapchat. In April, they’ll be snapping from the world’s tallest mountain again, with the sponsorship of Eddie Bauer and Strava, a social network for athletes.Adweek caught up with Ballinger and Richards prior to their panels at SXSW in Austin to talk about the decision and how brands have benefited from supporting their efforts. READ MORE
MARCH 10, 2017 //  

Microsoft is shuttering its social network Socl, and yes, Microsoft actually had a social network

Microsoft took one last, loving look at Socl—their old social network you forgot about, that's been sitting in the corner, curled up on top of an old Zune blanket—and decided it was time to accept fate, just be happy for the time they had together, and set Socl free, letting it go quietly and peacefully. Yes, Socl is going the way of Ello, Peach, Yo, and so many other attempts to get you to get you on the platform, as it were, according to a post on Microsoft's FUSE Lab blog (via FastCo). Per the post, on March 15, the site will take off for the really nice farm of social media sites upstate, where it can run and play all day with the other defaulted social media networks. In its heyday, Socl, which began life as a research tool primarily aimed at students and social searches, also allowed users to create collages and memes and create mood boards like Pinterest, but could never find the traction it needed to stay alive.  READ MORE
MARCH 10, 2017 //  

Enable these Twitter settings to keep trolls out

Trolls thrive on Twitter—but a new update may hit 'em where it hurts.The social network deployed previously announced features Thursday that give users more control over the notifications they receive. Bottomline, you can disable notifications from people who haven't confirmed their identity on Twitter, meaning anonymous trolls can't spew their wretched swamp juice all over your @ replies. READ MORE
MARCH 10, 2017 //  

eBay Set To Launch Second Season Of Branded Podcast, Open For Business

WHAT: Trailer for the second season of eBay's branded podcast Open For Business.

WHO: eBay, Gimlet Creative

WHY WE CARE: Given how intimate the podcast medium is for listeners, the barrier to entry for brands can be staggeringly high. First, we have to find the pod, then decide to download, then actually listen to it, then maybe decide to subscribe and listen again. Multiple leaps of faith for something with a logo attached. But there are brands, and podcast companies, that have found their groove, and Gimlet Studios and eBay are two such examples. READ MORE
MARCH 9, 2017 //  

Facebook Rolls Out Snapchat Stories Clone in Facebook Messenger

Facebook is continuing its full-on assault on Snapchat by adding a Snapchat Stories clone to Facebook Messenger. Called Messenger Day, he new feature allows users to share photos with their contacts that disappear after 24 hours.Messenger Day comes complete with effects and stickers, and users can decide to share their daily story with either a subset of their Messenger contacts, or everyone who is connected with them on the messaging platform. New stories automatically show up on top of the Messenger contact list, and users are also notified if someone who they are chatting with has added anything new to their story. READ MORE