Section image

Stack of Books

Cherries
oil on canvas
22 x 20 in
1981

Penny Machines
oil on canvas
23¾ x 29¾ in
1961

Stack of Books
oil on canvas
30 x 24 in
n.d.

Seven Suckers
oil on canvas
19 x 23 in
1970

Twin Jackpots
oil on canvas
30 x 46 in
1962

Ties
oil on canvas
20 x 26 in
1980

Cake Slices
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in
n.d.

Here - and here to stay

Understandably, the West has difficulty grasping the scale and complexity of Asia Pacific’s potential development. China is, after all, not just one country; it consists of more than 30 provinces, with so many languages and dialects that even Mao Tse Tung had to take an interpreter when travelling. Incidentally, the population may well be closer to 1.5 billion rather than 1.3 billion. The Chinese government consistently seems to underestimate its statistics, like those for GDP growth, but, whatever the true figure, it is still equivalent to four or five Americas. Likewise, India’s 1.2 billion plus population covers 27 states.

Of course, only 200-300 million Chinese can currently afford the goods and services being marketed to them, but even this is already almost equivalent to all of America and is a dynamic situation, one that will change rapidly in the coming years. There are over 700 million mobile phone subscribers in China. Of those, over 500 million subscribe to one company, China Mobile (one of the top 10 most valuable world brands) – equivalent to more than one and a half times the population of the US.

Furthermore, India, itself equivalent to three to four Americas, seems to have been stimulated into more rapid growth, driven perhaps by neighbourhood envy and the Chinese model of state-directed capitalism – although India bills itself as the world’s fastest-growing democracy. Look at the dogfight for the Indian phone operator Hutchison Essar, which Vodafone won in a market growing now by 15 million subscribers a month, even more than China at eight million a month. There are now 540 million subscribers, with Airtel having 124 million and Reliance and Vodafone having around 100 million subscribers each.

This really is back to the future. In 1820, China and India generated around 49% of worldwide GDP. But by the early 19th century, Meissen and Wedgwood were undermining the high-quality, high-price Chinese porcelain industry with similar quality, but cheaper products. It is the exact reverse today. China and India are heading for the same share of world GDP in 2025 that they had in the 18th century, having bottomed out at 8% in 1973. China’s development has been rapid and will continue, but not without bumps. The government is conscious of overheating, and an imbalance in rates of development between the coast and the hinterland. There has, it is true, been a slowdown in 2008 and 2009, but the recent Party Congress has set an 8% target for GNP growth in 2010. Fears of social unrest will push the government to implement more fiscal stimulus if necessary.

Evidence of China’s arrival on the world stage is everywhere – its confidence at Gordon Brown’s G20 summit last year, President Obama’s low bows to the Chinese leadership and, most visibly, the Beijing Olympics. Few self-respecting multinational companies bent on expanding into China or national companies seeking to grow inside or outside China missed out on the branding opportunity presented by Beijing 2008. The Chinese government committed $45 billion of investment around the Games, in contrast to London’s $14 billion for 2012. Beijing was a whopper but it will not end there. The Municipality of Shanghai is investing $3 billion in Expo 2010 and there will be the Asian Games, in Guangzhou, this year.

Watch out for increasingly subtle Chinese military and economic influence, too. Take the recent economic contact with Fidel Castro in Cuba to counterbalance Taiwanese tensions. Or Chinese investment in Galileo’s GPS systems, which drew a coruscating response from the Pentagon. Equally, Beijing will not be prepared to rely on America to defend its vital and growing energy supply interests in the Middle East and Russia, as its recent energy deal with Russia showed. It is busily building trade bridges throughout the oil- and energy-producing regions of the world, particularly Latin America and Africa.

It is in Africa that China is changing trade relations, with more than 800,000 Chinese reportedly participating in projects there. Increasingly, Africa is the continent of opportunity, rather than war, disease and poverty. President Muammar Gaddafi’s volte face has energised North Africa and Egypt, and China’s focus has drawn the attention of Western governments seeking to curry favour, too. We at WPP have invested in Smollan and The Jupiter Drawing Room in South Africa and Scangroup in Central and North Africa. In Africa, as well as China, sport plays a symbolic role. The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is an iconic event for the African continent and one in which our agencies dominate.

There is another challenger to American dominance – the Muslim world. Already, Muslims number 1.6 billion people or a quarter of the world’s population. By 2020, they will account for 2.1 billion or approximately 30% of the world’s projected population. The recent struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq and continued tension with Iran, really only continue the 1950s Suez conflict, the oil crisis of the 1970s and the invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s.

Westerners have made little attempt to understand the Islamic mind and assume that Muslims share their value systems. This is wrong-headed and short-sighted. Muslims are different and it will be increasingly necessary to make a serious and sincere attempt to understand them – something President Obama’s administration clearly grasps. WPP will be announcing new Muslim marketing initiatives at the Muslim conference in Kuala Lumpur in May 2010.

BrandZ Top 20 risers 2010
Year-on-year brand value growth
Rank brand $m
Brand
value
%
Brand
value
growth
1 Samsung 11,351 80%
2 Baidu 9,356 62%
3 MasterCard 11,659 57%
4 Next 2,569 54%
5 Visa 24,883 52%
6 HP 39,717 48%
7 Verizon Wireless 24,675 39%
8 Apple 83,153 32%
9 IBM 86,383 30%
10 Amazon 27,459 29%
11 Goldman Sachs 9,283 25%
12 HSBC 23,408 23%
13 O2 10,593 23%
14 Skol 2,722 22%
15 Corona 5,196 21%
16 Evian 907 21%
17 Budweiser 15,991 20%
18 T-Mobile 13,010 20%
19 Barclays 8,383 20%
20 VW 6,994 20%
Source: Millward Brown Optimor (including data from BrandZ, Datamonitor and Bloomberg)
Contributions to advertising country
Source: GroupM
Contributions to advertising medium
BrandZ Most Powerful Brands 2010
Top 20 global brands by value $m
Rank Ranking
change
Brand Brand
value
2010
Brand
value
2009
Brand
value
2008
% chg
10
vs. 09
% chg
09
vs. 08
1 = Google 114,260 100,039 86,057 14% 16%
2 2 IBM 86,383 66,622 55,335 30% 20%
3 3 Apple 83,153 63,113 55,206 32% 14%
4 (2) Microsoft 76,344 76,249 70,887 0% 8%
5 (2) Coca-Cola* 67,983 67,625 58,208 1% 16%
6 (1) McDonald’s 66,005 66,575 49,499 -1% 34%
7 3 Marlboro 57,047 49,460 37,324 15% 33%
8 (1) China Mobile 52,616 61,283 57,225 -14% 7%
9 (1) General Electric 45,054 59,793 71,379 -25% -16%
10 (1) Vodafone 44,404 53,727 36,962 -17% 45%
11 1 ICBC 43,927 38,056 28,004 15% 36%
12 5 HP 39,717 26,745 29,278 48% -9%
13 (2) Walmart 39,421 41,083 34,547 -4% 19%
14 2 BlackBerry 30,708 27,478 13,734 12% 100%
15 11 Amazon 27,459 21,294 11,511 29% 85%
16 (1) UPS 26,492 27,842 30,492 -5% -9%
17 4 Tesco 25,741 22,938 23,208 12% -1%
18 18 Visa 24,883 16,353 n/a 52% n/a
19 6 Oracle 24,817 21,438 22,904 16% -6%
20 14 Verizon Wireless 24,675 17,713 19,202 39% -8%
Source: Millward Brown Optimor (including data from BrandZ, Datamonitor and Bloomberg)
*
Value includes Lites, Diets and Zero.

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