Archive | October, 2011

The Chicken and the Road

21 Oct

We were walking along the sidewalk when a lone chicken bobbed across the street in front of us.

It was late morning and the road shone slick with freshly fellen rain. The late September fog breathed down on us, scented with lavenders and rosehips and tinted by the candy-colored houses that emerged as we passed.

We were conversing – Amy, peppering the air with empty commentary and I, mustering a lazed reply when it seemed appropriate. Beyond us, the world was still, suspended in a gravity that pulled in every direction.

That’s when we saw her – the chicken, that is.

We watched dumbfounded as the creature blew out of a bush on the opposite side of the street and fluttered across the road in a streak of madness, only nearly escaping the screeching tires of a startled lady motorist. The driver’s eyes met my own and in that moment of shared astonishment and disbelief, I felt a strange bond to her – an acknowledgement of the crossing of our lives and a relief that our union didn’t come at a graver expense.

 

This chicken’s time had not come, not just yet.

 

I watched as the driver slowed the car for a second or two, as if contemplating the significance of our curious bond, and then just as suddenly stepped on the gas and zoomed off into the swallows of grey.

The hen shook out her lovely feathers and hopped gracefully up on the red curb, cocking her head to the side and pecking at the light spots in the cement. She was playing coy and I caught her beady eyes dart to where our feet stood a few paces away.

I took a step closer and squatted down (I always like to approach children and animals on the same eye level, it just seems more fair – for them).

It caught her off guard and her eyes darted quickly as her orange peel legs high-stepped backwards along the red curb like a miniature balance beam act. Amy commented how beautiful her feathers looked. I had to admit they were – the angora white feathers dipped in black were striking against the blood red of the curb and the sunflower petals strewn along the sidewalk in the aftermath of the morning garbage pickup.

‘I don’t think I can eat chicken ever again,’ she boldly claimed. It was the first live chicken she had ever laid eyes on.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview: Marketing in China

21 Oct

So I just recently caught up with an old classmate of mine, Chris Ruffell – we went to elementary school together!

Chris runs his own video marketing agency Reel Marketer in Victoria, B.C., Canada, helping local companies tell their stories through the use of video. Chris asked me a few questions about my own experience with Advertising in China.

Here is a snippet of the interview:

I figure it’s common knowledge, hopefully even in China, that those in advertising have a screw a bit lose, zoo… compared to Western forms of advertising, how does advertising in China look?

DEBI BLIZARD: Great question. Advertising in China is quite different than in the West. In China, it is an industry that is still relatively young and one which comes from very different beginnings than the West. In China, ads first began as political propaganda to rally the nation during the Maoist era. It was only after China adopted a market-based economy and opened their doors to the rest of the world that brands moved in and staked their claim. Today it is a different China, a China that is constantly evolving – new conglomerate brands are entering the market daily, local brands are getting bigger and stronger, middle class wealth is accumulating and people are itching to find new ways to spend their money. But while the opportunity is undeniable, so is the competition. China is becoming so saturated with brands that it can almost feel like sensory overload at times – flashing lights, blaring screens, loudspeakers, pushy salespeople. People are becoming increasingly distrusting of marketing claims and it is becoming harder for brands to stand out in a way that feels authentic and genuine.

I wasn’t aware yet of most of those points in regards to East Asian marketing.. go on!

DEBI BLIZARD: The key is in realizing that advertising in China must be targeted, quite specifically – to make sure the brand message cuts through all the other crap out there and resounds with the right audience at the right time and place. We worked with global brands, trying to help them see what makes China so different from the West – understanding that certain things just won’t resonate in the same way, and sometimes in completely the wrong way than you might intend.

Check out the full interview at Reel Marketer here.