NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 14, Guangdong, China-based advertising firm GIMC staged a marketing event for internet+ study abroad agency iAbroad. An eye-catching ad about a Chinese father who had become rich overnight by investing in coal mines ("hao die" in Chinese) showing off his overstudious son ("xueba erzi" in Chinese) was displayed on the large billboard overlooking New York's Times Square. The ad was designed to capture the attention of the public and increase the brand awareness of iAbroad while communicating its core philosophy of "iAbroad is about protecting every person's dream that connects them with the world".
The ad was simple but had strong emotional impact and appeal. Two images alternated on the main screen: one saying "You are awesome! I am a coal boss! You will be admitted to the leading universities!" in Chinese, surrounded by firecrackers, a necessary component of New Year's and other celebrations in Chinese culture and one that represents a festive atmosphere, while the other image depicted a man who is holding in his hands the acceptance letters from the leading universities and a Chinese ancient imperial edict-style scroll saying "Jin Bang Ti Ming! Du Zhan Ao Tou!" (You have passed the examination! You are the champion!). The words "Proud of you, iAbroad!", in English, ran along the top of the image.
The ad, with strong Chinese cultural characteristics, not only attracted the attention of passers-by, but also aroused the curiosity of many who are unfamiliar with Chinese culture. "Hao die", roughly translated as "coal bosses", is, as a concept, not currently a common one outside of China, and, in China, are synonymous with upstarts who have become rich by exploiting coal mines there. "Xueba erzi" refers to students who are exceedingly zealous in their studies and often get high marks in examinations. The combination reflects the phenomenon of the huge number of well-off families in China who are sending their children to study abroad.
According to GIMC, a lot of popular online terms with Chinese origins such as "gelivable" and "niubility" have, in recent years, made their entry into the Urban Dictionary. The appearance and increasing popularity of such words with Chinese origins entering the mainstream outside of China reflects the blending of Chinese and global cultures. GIMC hopes that "hao die" and "xueba erzi iAbroad" (or clever English adaptations of the same) will soon be added to the Urban Dictionary. They chose to run the ad on the LED screen overlooking Times Square, as the famous square has become a key locale where Chinese firms and organizations have found that they can successfully communicate their message to global audiences.
The debut in Times Square was iAbroad's first public appearance since its inception. The agency chose to run the ad during the back-to-school season in Europe and the US, in a move to increase the brand awareness of iAbroad across the sector.