Moto pushes IM phone with Tuzki

And other news in Greater China

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BEIJING--Motorola is appealing to instant messaging fans in China with a new handset, Moto Q8, equipped with a Qwerty keypad and thumb wheel and Windows Mobile 6 software. Created for Asia’s 200 million instant messaging users, dubbed “serial communicators” by the U.S. handset giant, the Q8 phone allows users to access mobile applications like e-mail and instant messaging while web-surfing, listening to music, downloading MP3 files and videos, and blogcasting.

“When you look at the culture of young professionals in Asia today, so much of it revolves around continuous communication within peer groups. Instant messaging and personal email are indispensable for these people,” said Beijing-based Edward Bell, regional planning director at Ogilvy & Mather, Motorola’s ad agency.

To market the phone, Motorola has appointed a Q8 brand ambassador, a popular online animated rabbit icon called Tuzki. Created by Chinese cartoonist Wang Momo of the Beijing Broadcasting Institute, Tuzki has become hugely popular with QQ instant messaging users in China, and with MSN users throughout Asia, because of the character’s ability to convey a variety of emotions.

Tuzki is a big hit among young consumers who use phones and the internet for interactive activities such as chatting, blogging, downloading and watching music and videos. The campaign is running primarily in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as some developed second tier cities in China.

“We needed a very creative and interactive platform to inspire the target audience,” said Nils Andersson, Ogilvy’s exec creative director, Greater China, in Beijing. “Since Tuzki is already popular online, we focused on developing a viral campaign that aims to appeal not only to the millions of Tuzki fans but to the revolution of expression sweeping across Asia.”

Danone loses latest battle in its fight for Wahaha brand
SHANGHAI--A Chinese arbitration body has ruled in favor of Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co.'s claim to brands it created with its foreign partner, Groupe Danone.

The Hangzhou Arbitration Commission's decision is a blow to the French group's position in the Chinese market, and is seen as a warning signal to overseas investors operating in the mainland, which has, at best, patchy protection for foreign trademarks and intellectual property rights.

The dispute between Danone and Wahaha, partners in China since 1996, erupted earlier this year when the French food company complained the founder of its local partner, Zong Qinghou, had begun developing and distributing his own line of products and brands, particularly a successful mineral water, using the expertise, manufacturing technology and distribution channels created by the joint venture. Also at stake is the right to use the Wahaha name, which has become one of the most recognized local brands in China.

Paris-based Danone claims Wahaha transferred control of the relevant trademarks in the initial joint venture agreement signed by both parties 11 years ago. Wahaha's founder says the local government office rejected that agreement and that the right to use the trademarks was never transferred to the joint venture, 51% controlled by Danone. And Danone's right to claim the trademark has expired, the local partner alleges.

Danone prevailed in a related arbitration ruling earlier this year in Stockholm and says it will appeal the decision in the Hangzhou People's Court. The high-profile case has been closely watched by China's business community and has also attracted political attention. It was discussed during a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and China's President Hu Jintao last month.

Coke to sponsor 2010 World Expo in Shanghai
SHANGHAI-- The Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to be a global sponsor of World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which will draw up to 70 million visitors to Chinese city. The exhibition is estimated to become the biggest Expo to date, according to the U.S. beverage giant, and it is being billed as the largest public event in human history. Coke is the first U.S. company to have independently become a global partner of the World Expo, and also the only international company committed to sponsor four of the largest public events in China’s history--the 2007 Special Olympics, the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the 2008 Paralympic Games and the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

China's ad market growth topped $15 billion in Q3
SHANGHAI--China’s advertising market continued to report double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2007, reaching RMB 115.7 billion (US$15.7 billion), according to global research company Nielsen Co.

Television gets most of China's ad dollar, RMB 93 billion ($12.6 billion), accounting for 81% of the nation’s total advertising pie. Newspapers take 17%, while magazines accounted for just two percent. Compared with the same period last year, ad spending in these three mediums grew 15%, 10% percent and 16%, respectively.

Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and beverages are the three most-advertised categories in China, accounting for 45% of total ad spending in the mainland. Spending in other categories such as computers and accessories, travel and tourism, government and social organizations, including educational institutions, and telecommunications grew significantly during the latest quarter.

Online advertising in China also posted double-digit growth in 2007, according to the latest AdRelevance report from Nielsen Online, which tracks and analyzes online advertising, industry trends, advertiser activities and campaigns.

Online display advertising in China reached RMB 2.6 billion ($353 million) in the third quarter of this year, a 14% increase over the previous quarter. Online advertising for the year to date totaled RMB 6.6 billion ($895 million).

“The online advertising market in China is booming and catching up fast with advertising in traditional media. Judging by its current growth rate, we anticipate that the year will finish not only achieving double-digit growth in online advertising, but also reaching the RMB 10 billion mark in value terms,” said Sail Ma, Nielsen Online's analytic and research director, for Greater China and Southeast Asia.

In the past nine months, the top 50 advertisers accounted for 47% of total online advertising market, and 31% of total campaigns by number. Big spenders included FAW-Mazda, ING Group, Eachnet, Lenovo, Samsung, China Mobile and Nissan.

Focus Media acquires in-store digital ad network
SHANGHAI--Focus Media will acquire Shanghai Cgen Digital Media Network Co., which operates an in-store digital advertising network in the mainland in a cash-and-shares deal worth up to $350 million. Four-year-old Cgen works with more than 25 retail chains including Carrefour, Lotus and Wu-Mart, covering dozens of Chinese cities.

Shanghai-based Focus Media is already China's largest digital media group, operating tan out-of-home advertising network using audiovisual digital displays that reach urban consumers at strategic locations in buildings and stores. It is also a leading provider of mobile handset and internet advertising in China.

GSK uses real-life stories to promote Fenbid pain reliever
BEIJING--GlaxoSmithKline has created a marketing campaign in China for Fenbid, using real-life stories to promote the ibuprofen pain relief brand as a product that helps consumers conquer difficulties as well as stopping pain. One TV spot running through January 2008, for example, shows a teacher who built a school for poor children near Beijing. His long hours of strenuous work led to muscle and joint pain alleviated by Fenbid. The campaign, also running in print, radio, outdoor and online media, was created by Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing.
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