FYI 12.10.08

COFCO hires MediaCom; Embry Appoints Mindshare; NBA Partners With OPPO; Kweichow Moutai Invests $212 M in Expansion Plan

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China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import and Export Cooperation (COFCO), has appointed WPP Group's MediaCom to handle media planning and buying for a new fruit juice brand, Lohas. Founded in 1952, COFCO is a leading grain, oils and foodstuffs import and export company and is China's largest food manufacturer.

The win follows a three-way pitch against another GroupM company, Mediaedge:cia, and Aegis-owned Vizeum. MediaCom has managed the media planning and buying for two other COFCO brands, Great Wall wine and Fortune oil for the past six years.
The Hong Kong-based lingerie firm Embry Group has appointed Mindshare's office in Shenzhen as its media and marketing partner. Embry distributes its main brand, Embry Form, a functional line called Fandecie, and its youth-oriented style brand, Comfit in 40 cities in China.

The WPP Group agency will handle strategic planning, marketing, communication and media implementation for Embry, which wants to build its brand more aggressively in China. Media buying will be handled by both Embry and Mindshare on a project basis.

There was no pitch. Mindshare approached Embry with a proposal to help the company reinforce its brand in China. Previously, media planning and buying were handled in-house.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has signed a multi-year marketing partnership that makes OPPO Digital the official mobile phone handset provider of the NBA in China.
NBA partners with OPPO in China
NBA partners with OPPO in China
OPPO is a Mountain View, Calif.-based electronics manufacturer primarily known for its DVD players but it has been expanding its handset sales in China, the world's largest mobile phone market.

In June 2008, for example, the company launched a candy-bar shaped mobile phone, Oppo A103, aimed at teenage girls in China.

"OPPO's young consumer base and extensive retail network will connect even more fans to our game and get them on the court," said Tim Chen, NBA's China CEO in Beijing.

As part of its agreement with the NBA, OPPO will promote basketball, lifestyle trends and its mobile communication capabilities to Chinese youth through the OPPO NBA University Challenge, a three-on-three basketball competition that will be held at 15 university campuses in 10 Chinese cities each year starting in spring 2009.

After a national championship, 15 winners will get a trip to the U.S. to take part in an NBA-style training camp and learn more about the game from NBA players and coaches.
Kweichow Moutai Co., China's top liquor maker, will invest 1.46 billion RMB ($212 million) next year to build new facilities and upgrade technology. The projects include building 10 plants, 17 warehouses, and other facilities to boost its annual production capacity by 2,000 tons. Moutai, a strong clear spirit distilled from sorghum and one of China's best-known national brands, is commonly served at business dinners and even state banquets.

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