Chris Kyme: Postcard from Hong Kong

Chris Kyme_April2016.jpgIn our latest "postcard from..." series, Chris Kyme (pictured) discusses an off the wall approach to media.

Just recently near my office in the heart of the hustle and buses of Causeway Bay, something intriguing caught my ever watchful ad-man eye.

Some posters for a well known brand which were plonked on a wall along with all the usual stick em up flyers that you expect to see on a street hoarding - property leasing notices, DJ nights and Clockenflap music festival (which these days hardly needs publicity, such is its place in the annual calendar).

But these ads were not of that variety. They were for Jolly Shandy, a well known local brand drink, and I thought they were jolly quite nice. Not in a stunning 'must-be-up-for-a-gong-or-two' sense, but really quite fresh in a way we seldom see in the public arena of Hong Kong outdoor these days. There was a brand idea in there. I mean, if I was being nit-picky I would say that calling a shandy drink 'Edgy but Jolly' sounds quite relevant, although I would question saying 'Hurt but Jolly' because how can a drink be hurt? I would have just stuck with the edgy, but alas, I'm not here to discuss the finer points (of which maybe I'm misinterpreting anyway).
Jolly.jpgJolly 2.jpgWhat I am curious about though is, what on earth were they doing up there among the usual non-paying suspects, when they are for a brand which traditionally has not been short of a dollar or two for media spending? Now it was not the first time I had seen the work, as it had been banded about on local social media. But I was baffled by this rather unorthodox appearance, and had a stab at figuring out what it was doing there, drawing several possible conclusions:

1.    The client really is a bit hard up these days and this was a great way to save on the media spend.

2.    Research has shown that especially thirsty small business owners in the market for a shop to lease are the core target audience now in the shandy category.

3.    The campaign didn't get past the client and the creative team decided to take media placement into their own hands to ensure the campaign meets the qualification requirement for the upcoming Kam Fan awards.

I've no idea what the correct answer might be, maybe you can tell me (answers on a postcard to), but all I know is it's nice to see someone trying for a change.

But it also has me wondering about another idea. What if someone who was a media site owner, decided to champion great work, by offering dirt cheap spaces for any campaign which they deem worthy of being shown to the public? So that only good work would qualify (needed to be vetted by trustworthy gatekeepers of course). I like the idea of this because then a campaign like this Jolly work would have a place to shine properly.

Or would that be opening a scam of worms?

Chris Kyme is chief executive officer at Kymechow, Hong Kong.

Read Chris' first Postcard from Hong Kong.
Read Chris' second Postcard from Hong Kong.
Read Chris' third Postcard from Hong Kong.
Read Chris' fourth Postcard from Hong Kong.

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