In the advertising industry, there is a classic creative technique called parody, which Donald Gunn calls Borrowed Format/Parody. It means to use classic works and IP in social culture to use it in advertising and marketing through borrowing, imitating, and recreating, and play a role in amplifying brand communication and enriching brand connotation and assets. This cultural IP includes historical figures, events, classic literature, drama and film and television works, folklore and mythology, etc.
In the first few years when I entered the advertising industry, I was always envious of so many IPs available abroad, but there seemed to be very few IPs available in China. Later, I slowly discovered that it was not that we had less IP available, but that our vision was too narrow and our thinking and concepts had not changed. There is a huge IP treasure house in front of us, but the problem is that we don’t know where the key to enter it is.
Does it have cultural connotations?
Although the national tide has broken the sky in the past two years, a large wave of brands got together to play traditional cultural IP, such as Li Ning in Dunhuang Yadan Devil City Silk Road Development Conference, Xtep opened the show in front of Shaolin Temple, and successively launched The Shanhai series and the Shaolin Temple joint series of “Shanhaijing”, not to mention the Forbidden City joint series products that many brands have made.
Although Guochao marketing is in full swing, in the application of IP, the vast majority of cases are just borrowing the form and pattern of IP to make product packaging, with a trendier design and a little more personality, and a joint model. In addition, it did not pay attention to the excavation of the traditional IP cultural connotation and integrate it into the brand value, and the marketing method was too single.
The commercial value of traditional IP, first of all, lies in its rich connotation at the cultural level, which represents a certain collective cultural psychology. Only by starting from the cultural connotation and integrating the cultural value of IP into the brand value, marketing can achieve the effect of two or two.
For example, from the perspective of marketing, Liu Guanzhang represents the traditional value of loyalty, Liu Bei is an inspirational symbol, Zhuge Liang is a symbol of wisdom, Lv Bu represents force, Zhou Yu represents elegance, and Huang Zhong is strong…the number of IPs is countless. . “Water Margin” represents brotherhood and the chivalrous spirit of “screaming when the road sees injustice”. “Journey to the West” can be said to be the growth history of a hero and the cultivation of human nature. “A Dream of Red Mansions” can interpret love, youth, and femininity.
Yanjing Beer has done a wave of campaigns in 2015. The brand concept is called “I don’t rely on mountains, I rely on brothers”. “Brothers” are in line with the beer consumption culture and the value connotation of the beer brand. So, what traditional IP do you think of when it comes to brothers? Of course it is Liangshan heroes who pay attention to loyalty, right?
Therefore, Yanjing cooperated with an illustrator to draw the Liangshan hero into 108 character images in the style of the young and Dangerous boy, turning them into a set of 108 beer products. A product launch conference was also held on October 8th, making this day a “Brother’s Day” for everyone to drink Yanjing together to pay tribute to the most iconic brotherhood in Chinese history-108 heroes.
This kind of interpretation is not just to design a set of product packaging for the Water Margin series, but to pay more attention to the “brother” connotation behind IP.
It’s a pity that Yanjing didn’t pay too much attention to this campaign. In fact, the male sentiment and consumption spirit of “I rely on my brothers” is enough to support the entire brand building, which is more culturally driven than Harbin Beer’s “Together Harbin Beer”.
This is the greatest value of traditional IP. The key to marketing is to integrate its cultural connotation into the brand, not just borrow an IP shell and design a co-branded product. After all, in order to make money, it is not uncommon for major luxury brands to pile up various traditional cultural symbols in product design without hesitation.
Huawei, which has captured the attention of all citizens in recent years, claims to have registered a copy of “Shan Hai Jing”. In fact, Huawei’s capture of traditional IP is far more than “Shan Hai Jing”. For example, its operating system is named “Hong Meng”, which comes from “Zhuangzi”, “Huainanzi” and other books, “Journey to the West” contain: “Since Pangu breaks the Harmony, the development is based on the clear distinction.” Hongmeng is a group of chaotic vitality before the world is divided. The operating system is called Hongmeng, and that kind of ground-breaking belief and momentum came out all at once.
Another example is the name of the server platform “Taishan”, which is stable enough to hear. Another example is the name of the mobile phone chip “Kirin”, the server chip “Kunpeng”, and the artificial intelligence chip “Shengteng”. The supernatural powers and vibrating spirits fully embodies Huawei’s romantic imagination for future technology.
The warmth and respect for history and humanity is cleverly injected into the brand spirit and culture. This is more appreciated than just a joint product design of traditional cultural IP. It is no wonder that Huawei can occupy such a high position in the hearts of the people.
In addition to Huawei, there is also BYD. Dynasty series models Qin, Song, Yuan, Tang and Han, I think this is the best product name for the car brand.
The emperor of the Han dynasty “black coat, (纟 Xun) color underneath clothes”, the two-color combination of Xuan (纟 Xun) is the most noble color. Isn’t BYD Han with red and black one of the most powerful and prestigious?
Even if you don’t talk about the brand connotation, in terms of product name recognition, easy to read and easy to remember, the name of the dynasty is easier to remember than those names that often use a long string of English letters + numbers.
What’s even more hateful is that in addition to long English + numbers, some car models are named in letter case. They also use Greek letters such as “α” and punctuation marks such as “-“, and PRO is added after the car model name. A lot of suffix versions such as, MAX, AIR, etc., in short, how come they are anti-human.
Still doing joint product design?
In addition to cultural connotations, traditional IP also represents a social consensus, which is a cognitive symbol that can be recognized and recognized by most members of society. Therefore, brands using these IPs for marketing can reduce consumers’ cognitive costs, and consumers can understand what the IP is promoting at a glance.
For example, in July 2020, Volkswagen designed a character “Kuafu” in order to promote its plug-in hybrid technology. Comparing the human pursuit of energy and power to the spirit of “Krafting the Father and Chasing the Sun”, consumers can immediately understand what the public is talking about. I think the integration of this spiritual core is very good.
This reminds people of Shell’s classic copy of the year “If the horse can’t catch up with the sun, we will put the sun on the horse’s back”. It talks about Shell putting solar collector panels on the horse’s back to bring mobile power to remote areas. Thousands of households in the pastoral area.
The text of this poster also mentions Kuafu: “Ancient Kuafu’s dream of chasing the sun has been turned into a small solar collector. After a long period of worship of nature, mankind has discovered that it is better to borrow the sun than Kuafu chasing the sun. Reward for work, let the sun’s energy become a sustainable energy source, which will accompany us endlessly forever.”
However, in Volkswagen’s “Kuafu” campaign, only a few videos were taken to explain energy and technology, and the dimension of Kuafu’s performance was too single.
Another example is McDonald’s 2013 Spring Festival marketing, which created the monster “Nian” based on traditional Chinese myths.
The legendary “Nian Beast” reappeared because of the launch of McDonald’s Chinese New Year set meal, asking consumers for their McDonald’s food. However, Nian Beast is as afraid of red and firecrackers as in myths and legends. As a result, he never misses McDonald’s every time. This makes McDonald’s Nian Beast series TVC full of fun. Moreover, the cute appearance and cute character of the Nian Beast are also loved by consumers. Many consumers strongly hope that McDonald’s will launch the Nian Beast dolls to purchase and collect.
McDonald’s re-creation of the “Nian Beast” IP not only fits the cultural atmosphere of the Spring Festival, but also adds to the joyful atmosphere of McDonald’s, but also allows the McDonald’s brand to win the recognition and love of more Chinese consumers.
When it comes to Spring Festival marketing, another thing that cannot be missed is Pepsi. In the Spring Festival of the Year of the Monkey in 2016, Pepsi not only created a commemorative can product for the Monkey King, but also invited six young children to join and filmed a story about the four generations of the Zhang family. People insist on using monkey play to bring happiness to thousands of households, fully conveying Pepsi’s brand concept of “bringing music home”. At the same time, Pepsi also planned an event marketing for the CCTV Spring Festival Gala for six young children, which greatly ignited public attention.
Under the blessing of the two major IPs of “Monkey King” and “Spring Festival Gala”, Pepsi won a complete victory. Focusing on the classic IP of Monkey King in “Journey to the West”, Pepsi’s gameplay includes not only product design, but also video micro-films, stars, events and topics. During the Spring Festival of the Year of the Monkey, the value of the IP of Monkey King is brought into play To be incisive, this is the real IP gameplay.
Therefore, on this basis, brands should create as many IP marketing methods as possible, instead of talking about IP and doing joint product design.
This is like the twenty-four solar terms. Thanks to the new media operators. Now that every solar term comes, we can see a lot of brand solar term posters in the circle of friends, reminding you of the arrival of the solar terms on time, and it can be regarded as promoting the tradition. Culture has made a huge contribution. However, the vast majority of solar terms WeChat drafts are mediocre in creativity, mediocre design, and mediocre copywriting. Apart from reminding you that the solar terms are up, they are meaningless at all, and they do not play a role in promoting the brand.
But in its 2018 solar terms posters, Pechoin compared each solar term to a goddess, thus creating the goddess of the twenty-four solar terms in Pechoin, which brought solar term marketing to life and jumped from a lot of mediocre solar terms posters. come out.
Therefore, the key to traditional IP marketing lies in whether companies can inject new thinking, new gameplay, and new ideas into the tradition.
Babies are everywhere, see how to pick them up
In fact, after thousands of years of development, we have a huge IP treasure house, which is everywhere. Compared with enterprises spending sky-high prices to invite spokespersons and sponsoring various popular IPs with huge sums of money, traditional IP does not need to spend money at all. It is completely free and waiting for enterprises to develop.
The only risk is that if the company improperly interprets traditional IP, it may cause offense to the public.
For instance, when the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class went on the market in 2016, it only made a poster of Guan Gong “pass 5 levels and cut 6 generals” to ridicule the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6L. As a result, the attention of the entire car circle was immediately grabbed. All car brands are following up, paving the way for the launch of the new E-Class.
In fact, looking back at the case we mentioned today, three of the four classics appeared. If we broaden our horizons, let’s look at the film industry.
For many years, when talking about traditional IP, it is all kinds of remakes and magical changes to Journey to the West. Dasheng has filmed countless movies, and it seems that there is no other IP available except Monkey King. But as soon as the movie “Nezha: The Devil Boy Comes into the World” was released, it immediately hit a box office of 5 billion.
Hezhong, a new energy vehicle brand, immediately changed its name to Nezha Automobile, declaring that it would create a brand connotation of “young, brave, and fearless”. Although “Jiang Ziya” movie box office collapsed in 2020, but the light media of “Nezha” and “Jiang Ziya” were released successively, the idea of creating a universe of gods is real, and there will be Wuershan’s “Feng”. “God” trilogy.
In our view, in addition to the four masterpieces, “Feng Shen Yan Yi” is another rising IP treasure house. What about the four famous dramas, how many treasures are there in “West Chamber”, “Peony Pavilion”, “Eternal Life Palace” and “Peach Blossom Fan”?
It can be seen that what we lack is not IP, but the vision and ideas of applying IP. In the United States, Volkswagen’s “Black Samurai” commercial at the Super Bowl caused widespread applause; in the United Kingdom, the “Guardian” adapted the traditional story of the Three Little Pigs and turned it into a massive campaign with unprecedented grandeur.
In Japan, Toyota Motor launched a marketing campaign called Reborn in order to revive the brand image of the group. On the one hand, the three masters of the Sengoku period, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Oda Nobunaga, and Tokugawa Ieyasu were moved into the advertisement, played by Takuya Kimura and Takeshi Kitano respectively. ; On the other hand, a live-action version of “Doraemon” was created, which is also a very exciting IP application.
There are cartoons, movies, fairy tales, and historical characters. Can furniture brand marketing be used by Luban? Why can’t tea brands use Lu Yu? You can use “Zhuangzi·Xiaoyaoyou” for drones, Jinling twelve hairpins for makeup, and Zhao Feiyan for slimming…
Regarding IP marketing, what we lack is creativity and imagination.