The Delicate Art of Creating a National Holiday

“Holidays have just gotten so commercialized that we’ve lost the true meaning.”

…or so one side of that conversation quips. However, with no other vision except pure, unadulterated commercialism as catalyst, the Chinese government is pulling no punches with it’s latest Holiday proclamation.

How could the world’s second-largest economy and renown manufacturing powerhouse, have so many of it’s companies struggle with brand-building? The country’s leadership wants to change that, and the State Council, or cabinet, has proclaimed that every May 10 from now on will be known as “Chinese Brands Day.”

Chinese Brands Day can be seen as a message to Chinese companies that the government wants them to focus more on branding as the market is trying to build its influence internationally.  There are only two Chinese companies on Interbrand‘s list of the best global brands,phone manufacturer Huawei (No. 72) and PC maker Lenovo (No. 99.)

One of China’s other goals is to change the connotations of “Made in China.” After years of focus on process, efficiency and manufacturing, a higher focus on quality products and services and a whole lot of brand lovin’ seems only natural. It remains to be seen how creative brands will leverage the holiday to stand out or engage audiences.

Why It’s Hot:

It will be interesting to see whether this holiday empowers consumers to rally behind brands in any meaningful way.  China is not short of holidays or brands, but will consumers really embrace this as a means to deepen connections with brands and will brands accept the challenge to love them back? It may be just stimuli emitted from the government in an effort to keep pace with top global brands, but it’s interesting to throw the gauntlet down and see if your business and marketing leadership picks it up and runs.


McDonald’s ‘Pay With Lovin’ Pays Off In WOM, Intent

We are all familiar with McDonald’s ‘Pay With Lovin’ campaign, having discussed it in Hot Sauce, prior to its SuperBowl debut. Now, independent brand monitors have shared results: an increase in WOM & purchase intent, w/little movement in favorability (sentiment was and is neutral).


– WOM saw a five percentage-point bump, with 29% of adults 18 and over reporting that they had talked about McDonald’s with friends and family over the past two weeks, compared to 24% just prior to the campaign launch.

– On game day, 36% of adults said they would consider making their next fast food purchase at McDonald’s; 11 days later, 39% said the same. One possible reason for the increase: people hoping to be chosen randomly for a free meal or watch others asked to perform a task, says YouGov.

Why It’s Hot: You might say the campaign is gimmicky, but it is fresh and new and kind of sweet…and, it worked. A 20% lift in WOM and 8% lift in PI are major accomplishments, especially for a brand that has such a huge volume base. This isn’t just reinforcing the idea that brand marketing should “be good”, but should “do good” (in this case, asking people to hug each other)!