In Hong Kong certain auspicious dates assume an importance in terms of good fortune and money making potential that they don’t have elsewhere. The idea of turning the calendar into a wealth creation opportunity in Europe would have no traction but that’s all different here.
Take Hong Kong Resorts, for example, the managers and owners of Discovery Bay. They are launching their wedding packages on December 12, 2012, that’s 12.12.12. If you get married on that day, will it really make you healthy wealthy and wise? Who knows? But rest assured the Chinese calendar seems to be able to come up with an endless supply of similarly significant dates. So if you miss this one, don’t worry. There will be another in a few months time, even if it is not quite so auspicious. I am sure HKR will be one of many to jump on the significant date bandwagon.
Another one the caught my eye this week was December 12, 2012, as the ideal date to register new Hong Kong companies for HK$12. On 12th December 2012, HKWJ Tax Law & Partners, in conjunction with its affiliate Triple Eight Limited, is celebrating a “unique once in a life time combination of Date, Time and Year, which will not happen again until the year 3012, that is not until 1,000 years later!” Well, they have a point. We’ve had 10.10.10 and 11.11.11 and can’t have 13.13.13 until someone rearranges the calendar.
HKWJ Tax Law & Partners and Triple Eight would like to make their clients and friends aware of this special day by offering them the opportunity to incorporate a Hong Kong Company for as little as HK$12 on 12.12.12. I have no idea what it costs normally but this seems a bargain, even if you don’t believe in the number games. Hope this won’t lead to a territory-wide rush to register companies that day, given the sell-by date on unusual combinations. As it is, weddings will be backed up at Cotton Tree Drive and City Hall that day, without queues waiting to register companies too.
What’s in a name?
You can’t move without hearing about branding these days, with endless experts lining up to tell you how to promote and position your products and make a fortune. It was interesting looking at the cars in Macau last weekend, plastered with corporate sponsorship logos. Does this really boost sales? How do you measure that? And what is it that people notice or subconsciously remember?
Brand and advertising gurus will tell you it’s all subliminal, and they love sports events because people are in a happy upbeat mood and unconsciously link the good feelings from attending these events with the products they see around them, forming a strong mental and emotional connection. So even if you are not aware of it, the constant and subtle bombarding filters through and you get a happy buzz when you see whatever it is in another advert or on a shop shelf.
So you have to wonder how it works when you can’t actually advertise what you want to promote; well, not totally. Take the recent Formula One Grand Prix event in Abu Dhabi. Alcohol advertising is banned there. So the Whyte & Macaky Scotch whisky folks had a problem. What did they do? Instead of the usual name, they kept the logo and colours and layout but instead inserted: “Wendy & Keith” for Whyte & Mackay. Curiously, this would seem to work better than the real thing. It catches your eye, makes you think, smile and register the brand consciously. They could be on to something here.