The good, the bad and the downright sad

The first working week back after a long holiday is always a struggle, particularly when that holiday included long hours on the beach, watching Australia thrash the poms in the Ashes and many cold beers to wash it all down.

I’m usually glad to be back in Hong Kong, but the pollution choking the city and our TV screens has made the return even worse (just one week back and I swear my breathing is heavier than it was last week).

The one thing about Australia, aside from the great weather this time of the year, is that watching TV is made even easier by ads that are not only watchable, but enjoyable.

This set of Hello Beer ads from Carlton Dry are a perfect example.

With Chinese New Year on its way, we’re expecting to see a whole lot of advertising tailored around this special time of the year.

CNY advertising is big business. It’s a time when Hong Kong people spend a lot of money. Food is a central element of the holiday, as is family and friendship, all fertile territory for Hong Kong brands to explore, right?

But what we saw this week from Wellcome seems to go against all of that.

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No doubt I’ve completely missed the point here, but why do Hong Kong companies think it's okay to keep using rap songs to communicate a brand message? Didn’t former chief executive Donald Tsang kill it off when he partnered with Cantopop rapper MC Jin to send a Christmas message?

But not all is lost. Outside CNY we did see some quality work launch this week.

The first work from Ogilvy for Hong Kong brand Rio Mints might was a surprising move for a brand which had considered itself at the higher end of the confectionary market, but a purple nipple-licking lama is just plain funny and a welcomed change to Hong Kong’s largely conservative ad market.

A mixed week indeed, but here's to hoping that the weather (and the state of CNY advertising) gets back to a level where we can all consume it without feeling ill.