China Post #2

By Joe Duffy Dec 1, 2006

With any creative competition, it’s always daunting and somewhat discouraging to wade through the initial entries which the judges did online. So much, is so bad. It does help to be able to trudge through the dreck in the comfort of your own home or office – online judging is a godsend.

The entries this year were really no different, in terms of the ratio of good to bad, from any competition I’ve judged. The good news here is that the ratio has improved dramatically over previous year’s competitions in China.
The big change comes from young Chinese student’s ability to embrace innovation and develop original ideas. So much of the previous year’s entries were derivative and uninspired. While this has always been the case regardless of where creative competitions are held, it was particularly true in China.

It has also been evident in China’s business culture. In their hurry to “catch up” with other countries, following the years of Mao’s isolationism, the fast track has been to “knock off” successful ideas from other cultures and produce them for less. China is now making strides to correct this approach. The government, as well as successful business leaders realize that without true innovation through original thinking, China can’t compete on the world stage. Needless to say, it all has to start in school.

At any rate, judge for yourself. Take a look at some of this year’s finalists and see if you don’t agree with me, that they it stack up well against student and young professional work coming out of programs and agencies throughout the world.



1. Consumer Branding - MasterCard Brief

The acceptance and functionality of a credit card will always be critical—both in reality and in perception. But practicality lacks emotion. And practicality is not truly differentiating. In China, the credit card is still an infant industry, so how to keep the value of MasterCard's functionality yet find a way to add emotion?

MasterCard Global Creative Platform

Today, more than ever, there is a universal truth. Materialism is attractive, but it is not truly satisfying. Instead of pursuing rich lifestyles, people today are pursuing rich lives. They pursue quality time, personal relationships and lasting experiences.

Therefore, we need to link the practicality of MasterCard in buying both expensive and everyday items to these aspirational human emotions. This will provide consumers with a powerful new justification for spending and using credit. This fits the mindset of most consumers today who believe that most of their spending is truly necessary; who reject the premise that they use credit for "frivolous" purchases.

MasterCard Brand Positioning
The best way to pay for everything that matters.

The MasterCard Campaign Theme
There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard.

Advertising Objective
To create the relevant ‘Priceless’ communication solution that will engage our target emotionally while delivering all functional essentials, thereby strengthening consumer understanding of the brand and generate preference over the brand.

Target Audiences
Single, independent young adults, 20-28 years old. People who think life is for living.  They see the world as full of possibility and are constantly challenging themselves to get as much out of it as they can. Educated and with an ‘urban mindset’ - broad minded, interested in culture, environment. They are a good of responsible and reasonable spenders – they are spending all because of a good emotional reason of themselves

Mandatory Elements

• MasterCard logo in red & orange
• MasterCard Slogan: There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard
• MasterCard Priceless platform and purchase line (This is optional, students can evolve the priceless platform)

Media Categories
Print / Broadcasting / Interactive / Outdoor / Exceptional Innovation in media


2. Public Service - Hybrid Brief

Since the introduction of the Toyota Prius in Japan almost a decade ago, hybrid-electric passenger vehicles have emerged as a significant force in the car and SUV market. While still a small percentage of overall sales, automakers are recognizing the consumer demand for these vehicles as well as the benefit to their corporate reputation and bottom line. The popularity in hybrid vehicle technology has emerged due to increasing consumer concern over oil dependence, air pollution, global warming, and fluctuating gas prices. Hybrid technology can alleviate these issues, as the gas electric drive trains allow automakers to build vehicles with reduced smog-forming and global warming emissions with significantly higher fuel economy than conventional gasoline engines. Indeed, advances in hybrid-electric drive trains are a technological stepping-stone to zero emission fuel cell vehicles.

All hybrids, however, are not created equal. Automakers must build, and consumers must choose, vehicles that use hybrid technology to make the cleanest, most efficient vehicles on the market in order to increase consumer savings, reduce oil dependence and improve the environment. The first generation Prius and Civic Hybrid, for example, used a technology package to impressively increase fuel economy, but they still released significant smog-forming emissions (both the 2nd generation Prius and Civic Hybrids have corrected this problem). The Honda Accord Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h SUV have added an electric drive to a large, 6-cylinder engine, thereby boosting the power of the vehicle, but made far more marginal gains in fuel economy than if they had downsized the gasoline engine. Some models, like the Chevrolet Silverado “hybrid” pickup have made only slight conventional improvements to the existing vehicle, but have attached a hybrid label to attempt to paint a greener reputation for their vehicle and their company.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a US-based non-profit science and policy group, has created an online resource center,, to allow the public to learn more about the hybrid vehicle market and to help ensure that hybrid technology is not simply used to make our cars, pickups, minivans and SUVs more powerful, as has been the case with so many other advances in automotive engineering, but to maintain performance while lowering emissions and significantly increasing fuel economy.

Objective / Media Categories

Print / Exceptional Innovation in media
Create an ad that draws attention to the promise of hybrid vehicles and promotes the use of this technology in ways that illustrate the benefits to the consumer and environment. Use as a client.

Create a logo that captures the spirit of optimal hybrid technology use. The logo should be conceived as the universal stamp of approval for vehicles that maximize the benefit to the consumer and environment. The recycling symbol or Energy Star logo are examples of other types of universal seals of approval.

Make banner(s) or mini-site(s) that promotes the use of hybrid technology and educates consumers about the different types of hybrid engines available. It should link to


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