A Pulitzer for resilience and PDF tales7 May 2020.Today’s issue is dedicated to the media business. A Pulitzer for resilience All you can see in the photo is a deserted street through a barbed wire set up as a blockade. The shops are closed and there is no traffic. A solitary man can be seen leaning against what looks like an electric pole. The street beyond the barbed wire is like a limb that is cut from the […]
DNA’s fall is a warning for Indian print media10 October 2019.“There was no email, no communication,” says an employee at the Mumbai-based English newspaper DNA. He’s not sure if he is still employed, though. Yesterday, Diligent Media Corporation-owned DNA pulled the plug on its print operations in a surprise announcement. In an advertisement in its newspaper, the company said it was ceasing printing of its Mumbai and Ahmedabad editions and would be digital-only. The 14-year-old newspaper had already closed down […]
Disney’s new China conundrumShanghai29 January 2020.It is not an exaggeration to say that Disney is a household name in China and synonymous with childhood and sweet nostalgia. Since Mickey Mouse’s first appearance on CCTV in 1986, Disney characters and their stories have been an important part of the collective childhood memory of Chinese people. Iconic characters like Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh made deep lasting impressions, partially because there were few domestic creativations that were as sophisticated and memorable in those early years after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Despite the inherently foreign Americanness Disney characters exuded, they became familiar and beloved friends to Chinese children.
Disney came to be China’s undisputed “guardian of childhood” and arguably the most beloved Western brand in the entire country, not just for children, but also young adults like Steve and Dalila, who tend to be highly selective when it comes to brand loyalty.
But as tension mounts between the US and China over trade, politics and human rights, it’s increasingly challenging for prominent brands like Disney to stay clear of these issues. In fact, no foreign brand in China can avoid contending with an unyielding authoritarian government more determined than ever to control every narrative on China, as well as consumers whose appetite for foreign goods are increasingly tempered by nationalistic pride.
Can the House of Mouse accomplish this without tarnishing its potently wholesome brand image?