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“老男孩”——80后的怀旧情愫

译者: lfmoh 原作者:BILL POWELL
发表时间:2011-11-30浏览量:2015评论数:0挑错数:0
老男孩这部片子让很多80后为之动容,80后步入了社会,慢慢成为了社会的中坚力量,但是,我们依然怀念我们80后才有的情怀。
One evening late last year, Yong Yue-peng, a 35-year-old pharmaceutical salesman in Shanghai, flicked on his laptop and went to the site Youku.com, China's version of YouTube. There, he clicked on a made-for-the-Web film that had generated some buzz in Internet chat rooms and the Chinese press. The film — called Old Boys — was about two middle-aged men, friends who had been aspiring musicians when they were young and now had rather humdrum careers. They decide to enter an American Idol — like contest, performing a tribute to one of their musical heroes from the 1980s: Michael Jackson. Yong was transfixed. "Every detail in the film was accurate — the music, the dress, the way things looked in those days," he says. "By the end of it, I was very emotional, almost in tears." He wasn't alone. According to Youku, some 35 million people watched the 43-minute film on its website.

去年某天深夜,35岁的上海医药销售员永岳鹏打开自己的笔记本,登上优酷网,为了看一部最近网上聊天室和媒体都津津乐道的网络电影《老男孩》。电影讲的是两个儿时挚友,梦想成为音乐家的中年男子,现在都只是干着一份平淡无聊的工作。后来,他们为了向他们80年代的音乐偶像迈克尔.杰克逊致敬,决定参加类似美国偶像的选秀节目。永岳鹏看后,心中为之一震。“电影里每个细节都表现得很到位——当年的音乐,当年的着装,当年看事物的方式,”他说,“电影的最后,让我很感动,眼泪几乎都掉了下来。”不止他一个人有这样的感受,根据优酷的点击率统计,有3千5百万人在网上观看了这部43分钟的电影。

Old Boys wasn't just a one-off creation by a couple of unknown filmmakers that miraculously became popular. It was one of 10 short Web films to appear on Youku, sponsored by one very big Western company that delighted in seeing the films go viral online: Chevrolet, General Motors' iconic American car brand.

《老男孩》火了,但靠得可不是几个不知名的电影制片人一下子的灵感激发。他的赞助商可是西方一家大公司——美国通用标志性汽车雪佛龙,它乐于看见电影在网络上传播,老男孩只是他在优酷上投播的10部网络短片之一。

The film's extraordinary success is telling evidence of a new commercial paradox: China in 2011 has a mere three decades of experience with modern capitalism; its breakneck economic growth — and the skyscrapers, bullet-train tracks and factories it has produced — has rapidly transformed its urban landscape. In this frenetic era, advertisers are discovering that China's rising consumers don't always fit the traditional new-money mold. While flashy cars and luxury brands certainly play a part in the lives of China's nouveaux riches, conjuring up a simpler time, a past that wasn't actually that long ago, can win the attention of a lot of young aspiring Chinese consumers. In 21st century China, nostalgia is in.

这部电影的火爆,证明了一个新的商业奇论:中国到了2011年,已有几乎三十年现代资本主义的经验,拔地而起的摩天大楼、横空出世的子弹头火车还有遍地开花的工厂,这种极为快速的经济发展,使得城市面貌焕然一新。在这个疯狂的时代,广告商发现中国的新生消费者偶尔也想尝尝旧。车子,牌子固然是中国新生富人生活中可不少的一部分,但是,回味一下过去那段离现在实际上并不遥远的朴素时代,还是能引起很多怀揣梦想的中国年轻消费者的共鸣。21世纪的中国,怀旧风兴起。

The allure of the not-so-distant past is particularly powerful for China's young middle class, around 200 million people, most of them city dwellers — a generation that came of age as the country's historic transition to a market economy was just taking hold. In contrast to their parents, they have known little hardship (by Chinese standards, anyway), and their future not only seems bright; it is theirs to make. They are, says Edward Bell, group-planning director for Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai, "the pioneers of China's transition. They are helping create the growth that defines today's China, and they are benefiting from it. They are where the money is."

这段不是很远的过去对于将近2亿年轻的中国中产阶级有着巨大的吸引力,他们大部分都是城市长大的一代,经历了中国刚刚转型到市场经济的时候。他们不像他们父母品尝过苦日子,他们的前途不仅光明,而且未来由他们来创造。奥美上海集团策略总监钟桥轩说:“他们是中国转型后的第一批人,中国当今的发展前景,是他们来帮着创造,并且从中受益。他们在哪,钱就在哪。”

Figuring out what makes them tick — what pushes their buttons in an advertising sense — is a top priority for any company hankering for a piece of China's huge, increasingly affluent consumer class.

弄清楚什么能让他们动心,什么能触动他们的广告神经,对于想分得中国这个巨大且增长中的消费市场的一杯羹的公司来说,是最为重要的。

Not surprisingly, China's advertising market is surging. The market has grown by more than 20% a year for the past five years, to $54 billion last year, according to ResearchInChina, a Beijing-based market-research firm. As in the U.S., the Internet is China's fastest-growing ad market. Online ad spending grew by more than 80% last year and accounts for roughly 10% of China's overall ad spending, more than twice its share in 2009. Not only are global ad agencies like New York City's Omnicom and Dublin's WPP expanding rapidly in China. Smaller homegrown agencies like Shanghai-based Rayken are also entering the game, picking off major global accounts from their Western counterparts.

所以毫无意外,中国的广告市场高歌猛进。据北京市场调研公司ResearchInChina的数据显示,过去五年里,中国广告市场每年增长超20%,去年达到540亿美元。和美国一样,中国的网络广告是发展最快的。去年网络广告增长超过80%,差不多占据所有广告份额的10%,比2009年翻了一倍。不仅像纽约奥姆尼康和都柏林WPP这样的世界知名广告公司在中国扩张迅速地盘,连本土的一些像上海瑞凯这样的小广告公司也在进入,和这些西方对手们争抢中国市场的份额。

The Fine Line

“三八线”

On Madison Avenue, nostalgia — taking consumers to a place they "ache to go again," as Mad Men's Don Draper would say — has long been standard fare for Western advertisers. In China, figuring out how to harness the persuasive power of nostalgia is a far more recent phenomenon — and a much trickier one to navigate. For the first 30 years of Communist Party rule, China was an impoverished country where market economics had little or no place. From 1966 to '76, much of the country was consumed by the chaotic Cultural Revolution, when millions of "bourgeois" Chinese were persecuted and sent off to rural provinces to work as farmers.

 在美国广告业,复古风会让消费者身入其境,“再次回味过去”,正如广告狂人中的主角Don Draper 说的那样,复古风是西方广告业一直以来标准的经营模式。在中国,弄清楚如何驾驭复古风,让复古风在目前的气候下更加有煽动力,这需要更多的揣摩研究。在建国后的三十年期间,中国只是一个贫瘠的国家,几乎没有市场经济。在1966年到1976的文化大革命期间,数百万的“走资派”要不被关了起来,要不被送到边远农村当知青,全国市场因为文革变得混乱不堪。

For some, evoking those memories can be painful and political. Consider, for instance, the western city of Chongqing, where the powerful party leader Bo Xilai is publicly trumpeting a patriotic "Red campaign," gathering thousands of people a few times a week in city parks to sing Mao-era songs. The campaign has struck a chord with some older residents, but it has also turned off many others. Even some of Bo's colleagues in the Communist Party are said to be uneasy with evoking that turbulent era.

 对于某些人来说,回想这些当年的记忆很痛苦,政治斗争太强烈。在西部城市重庆,市委薄熙来掀起一股公众的“唱红”运动,在公园里,一周举行几次好几万人规模的唱毛泽东时期歌曲的活动。这场运动引起老一辈市民的共鸣,但是,也有相当多人对此不感冒。甚至薄熙来在党内的一些同僚也认为,对唤起当年那段混乱的日子的记忆感到有点不舒服。   

Foreign and local companies with nostalgia-infused campaigns have to walk a fine line. But deftly used — striking personal rather than political themes — nostalgia can offer as powerful a message in Chinese ad campaigns as it has in the West.

 想搞复古风运动的国内外广告公司,必须不能跨越那条“三八线”。准确地运用怀旧情绪,针对个人情感,抛开政治主题,复古风运动在中国也能像在西方一样,为消费者带来强烈感受。

Yong, the pharmaceutical salesman, is the target audience. He and his wife Hui-qing live in a small apartment in a middle-class neighborhood. She is expecting their first child, and so they are looking for a bigger place. They would like to buy a flat — at the moment they rent — but a housing bubble in Shanghai is making that difficult. "I don't think there's much of a chance we'll find a place we can afford," says Yong. His job pays reasonably well but is "intensely competitive. Sales don't come easily. I often work 12 hours a day or more." Yong and his wife may seem like Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class in the new China, but the idea that they have the world on a string and are happily living out the Great Chinese Dream "is kind of funny," Yong says.

像永岳鹏这样医药销售员就是目标消费者。他和妻子惠清(音译)住在小公寓,邻里邻外都是中产阶级。妻子现在怀着第一胎,所以他们想要个更大的房子。他们想买个单元房,但是上海的房地产泡沫让他们望洋兴叹,到时候他们就租个单元房住。“我觉得我们能找到买得起的房子的可能性不大,”永说。他收入不错,但是“竞争太激烈了,销售没有那么容易做。我经常每天工作十二小时,有时更多。”永和他的妻子看起来像是中国的新贵夫妇,但是那种世界尽在掌握和幸福中国梦的想法简直就是个玩笑,永说。

Ads that evoke a simpler time, either with humor or pathos, can resonate with consumers like Yong and his wife by providing a fleeting and much needed "psychological safety net," as Ogilvy's Bell puts it. GM's Youku campaign is just one example. Last year, a pop song made reference to two cartoon characters that were featured on the cover of junior high school textbooks in China in the 1990s. Giordano, a Hong Kong — based clothing company, plastered the images of the two characters on T-shirts and distributed them in all its major markets in China. The shirts sold out within days. Taobao, the eBay of China, soon thereafter introduced an online store called Memories for the Post-'80s Generation, which has generated more than $10 million in sales in the past nine months.

 奥美的钟桥轩认为,无论用幽默还是悲痛的方式唤起那段朴素岁月的广告,都可以引发像永氏夫妇这类人的共鸣,因为他们需要这样的共鸣作为他们暂时的“心灵的栖息之地”。通用在优酷上的投放活动只是其中一个个案。去年,以90年代高中课本上封面上两个卡通人物为题材的歌曲广为流传,香港佐丹奴把这两个卡通人物印到了T-恤上面,然后投放到中国各大城市。几天时间,这些衣服就卖光了。不久后,淘宝就引进了“80后的记忆”的网络商店,在过去的9个月,营业额就超过了1亿美元。

The nostalgia play also helped save one of the most famous brands in "post-liberation" China, the Forever bicycle company. The Shanghai-based firm is, in its own way, almost as iconic a brand in China as Chevy is in the U.S. In the 1950s, there were four consumer products — the four so-called bigs — that represented the ultimate status symbols in the then poor country: the wristwatch, the radio, the sewing machine and the Forever bicycle. In today's China — the world's largest market for cars — bicycles are a much tougher sell. "To many people nowadays," says Chen Shen, the young CEO of Forever, "bicycles evoke poverty. Who would want a bike," he says, "when everyone else has a car?" That widespread sentiment, followed by a downturn in China's economy after the global financial crisis, brought Forever to the brink of bankruptcy by 2010.

 复古风也让解放后中国最有名的自行车公司之一——永久牌自行车活了起来。这家建立于上海的自行车公司,几乎和美国雪佛兰一样,是行业里的标志性品牌。在50年代,当时穷困的中国,有四种消费品代表着身份的象征,一般统称四大样:手表,收音机,缝纫机和永久牌自行车。今天的中国,是世界上最大的汽车消费国,卖自行车是相当困难。“现在,对于很多人来说,”永久自行车的年轻CEO陈升说,“买自行车让人联想到穷。所以,当每个人都买汽车了,还有谁会买自行车?”在全球经济危机,中国经济下滑的大环境下,这种悲观情绪的蔓延让永久牌在2010年走到了破产的边缘。

A digital-ad campaign evoking what Chen calls "a calmer time" — alongside the launch of a new line of simple, classically designed bikes — helped get the company back on track. That may seem counterintuitive for a bicycle maker trying to shed the link between its product and poverty, but the campaign worked. One of the ads depicts a father teaching a son how to ride. The setting is urban, circa the late 1970s; there are no skyscrapers visible; father and son ride around an old neighborhood, down narrow alleyways between low-slung houses. Neighborhoods like that barely exist anymore in urban China; they have slowly but surely been razed over the course of several decades of hypergrowth. Sales of the bike line featured in Forever's nostalgic Web campaign surged by 30% in the year after the campaign's launch, says Chen, which helped give the company some "critical financial breathing room" as it restructured.

 但是,一场陈总称之为“和平时代”的网络广告活动帮助公司走上了正轨,活动广告中显示的是一排简单,经典款式的自行车。在自行车制造者的既有印象中,自行车和贫穷是关联的,但是这个活动打破了这种印象。在其中一个广告里,描写的是父亲教儿子骑车。背景是在70年代末的城市里,没有高楼大厦,父子在周围都是矮平房的胡同里骑车。这样的场景在现在的中国城镇几乎是见不到了,这种小院慢慢地被几十年的高速发展给吞噬掉。陈总说,以永久牌为题材的网络复古活动投放后,自行车销售量大涨30%,这给公司的重建赢取了“非常重要的喘息机会”。

Generation Stress

 80后的压力

The idea of wooing China's young, emerging middle class with nostalgia hasn't come from market research or focus groups, marketers say. Instead, each advertiser has had its own little eureka moment. When Joan Ren, deputy head of marketing for Chevrolet in China, first screened Old Boys, she knew the company "was onto something. I knew it was going to be big, and it was immediately apparent why." Ren is one of the marketing brains behind Old Boys. In her early 40s, she is a bit older than the generation Chevy targets for models like its popular Cruze — she graduated from college back in the easier days "when there still was supposed to be a government job waiting for you" — but she is an avid student of the '80s generation. As products of the one-child-policy era in China, the '80s set has been stereotyped as "a spoiled generation, kids — and particularly boys — who get whatever they want." The country's economic success since this generation entered the workforce has, if anything, only reinforced that idea. But the truth is more complicated than that. The '80s generation, says Ren, is the first that is "independent, that has been able to chart their own course from the start, and they have reaped many of the benefits of China's transition to a market economy." The flip side of that, she says, is that nothing, once they get into the workforce, has been handed to them. "Big pressure," she says, is a constant.

 市场调查员认为,借用复古风向中国新兴的年轻中产阶级讨好的想法不是从市场调查研究的结果或是专业策划团队想的。其实,每个广告人都有那灵光一现的时刻。雪佛兰中国区市场副主管任琼第一次把《老男孩》投到网上播放时,她就知道“公司有事要干了。我知道电影会火,人们很快会明白它为什么会火。”任就是老男孩的幕后推手之一。她刚40多岁,比雪佛兰科鲁兹的目标客户的年纪稍微老了点,她很早就从学校毕业了,那时候,还是政府分配工作。但是,在80年代,她也是个充满猎奇心的学生。作为独生子女长大的80后,早就被贴上“毁掉的一代”的标签,他们,尤其是男孩,想要什么就有什么。现在,国家的经济发展很成功,而这时80后一代已经步入社会工作,他们不论做什么,都会让“毁掉的一代”的印象加深。但是,事实可远不止这么简单。任认为,80后是第一代具有“独立性,能够重头规划自己人生,并从中国的市场经济转型受益良多的一代”。对他们不利的一面是,当他们进入社会时,他们手上没有什么资源可发展了。“压力大”,任说,会一直伴随他们。

Pressure of precisely the sort that Yong described: find an affordable house in a crazed property market, work exhausting hours on the job and make sure your child is at the top of his class. "The idea that this generation has it easy is understandable in a historical context," says Ogilvy's Bell, "but it's really not right. This is a generation that has to sprint just to stay where they are. I call it Generation Stress."

 永岳鹏把这种压力具体化为:要买得起高房价的房子,要呕心沥血地工作确保小孩能得到好的教育。“用以前的老观念看,对80后有‘衣来伸手,饭来张口’的娇惯印象是可以理解的,但是,这种印象真的不对。80后无论在哪,他们都得为自己的立足之地奋斗。我认为这就是‘80后的压力’。”奥美的钟桥轩说。

No wonder its members like to look back fondly once in a while. A few months ago, Ren attended a national meeting of all the Chevy dealers in China. Most, she says, are in their late 20s or early 30s, and almost all are men: Generation Stress in formation. On the last evening of the convention, there were two special guests, the stars of Old Boys. As they sang and played music from the film, the audience "went crazy — they loved it." For the 300 people attending, she says, the emotional punch of a simpler time could not have been more obvious. "Half of them were laughing," Ren says, "and the other half crying."

  所以,无怪乎80后偶尔喜欢回头看看自己的过去。几个月前,任和中国的雪佛兰经销商一起参加一场全国会议。她说,大部分经销商的年纪在三十左右,而且,几乎都是男的:他们就是有压力的80后代表。在会议结束的最后一晚,来了两个特别嘉宾,老男孩的两位主演。他们唱起了电影里的歌曲,低下的观众们都疯了,他们太爱听了。她说,与会的300人,显而易见,都被这朴素的情怀所感染。“一半的人在笑,”任说,“一半的人在哭。”

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