My first Chinese New Year holiday spent in China is almost here as we all prepare to say a less than fond goodbye to the Year of the Rat and welcome in the hopefully more auspicious Year of the Ox.
In an effort to get at least a little downtime over the festive period, I’m working pretty much around the clock to clear some critical projects, including a special edition on Hainan’s booming offshore duty free market. The problem – although it’s a good one – is that there is so much happening in Hainan, that virtually every day is spent analysing and writing up more breaking news while the stockpile of feature work remains largely intact.
Such is the workload – especially with seriously depleted editorial resources as the result of the pandemic – that I sometimes feel that I need a body double. And hey presto, this week I found one, and a particularly apposite one too given the arrival of the Year of the Ox. It came courtesy of a long-time associate in China, Ziqin (Kelly) Gao,
Kelly is the Founder of Qinrive Asia, an outstanding independent agency that aims to “stir up the digital times, combining consultancy with holistic communications to provide a range of marketing solutions”. Qinrive’s headquarters are in Hong Kong with offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Kelly’s business champions what she calls the ‘New 4C Marketing’ methodology (creative-content-commerce-community) for digital communications. Qinrive was honoured as a top 100 agency of 2019 worldwide by MADCon, not surprisingly as Kelly is a walking, talking, WeChatting guru on all things digital.
Kelly does a lot of work with leading beauty brands and related to the fantastic Kiehl’s Chinese/Lunar New Year campaign, she sent me my own personalised ‘Moxie the Ox’ plush toy.
Moxie is all part of the Kiehl’s Chinese New Year collection, which features works by illustrator Weitong Mai in an exclusive collaboration. Weitong’s creatives focus on adventure, gifting and good fortune – all of which surely await as the world emerges from the pandemic over the coming year – while Kiehl’s seasonal skincare offer celebrates with the ‘Ride Home with Kiehl’s’ message.
Moxie, courtesy of Kelly, is now Martin, and is taking pride of place in my new home-based Moodie Davitt Asia HQ study alongside Orry the Oryx, part of Qatar Duty Free’s fine destination range at Hamad International Airport.
As always when I refer to an artist in a story, I like to discover more about them. So who is the clearly uber-talented Weitong Mai? Well, courtesy of Kiehl’s I discovered that she is a China-born Canadian illustrator currently based in London, whose dreamy and ethereal art has been seen in a variety of collaborations. Her use of delicate lines and rich colours is designed to transport Kiehl’s into a beautifully whimsical world.
Take a look at the images from her website and you’ll see what I mean. Oh to have such miraculous talent.
Kiehl’s Luna New Year limited-edition packaging features a zodiac illustration of an Ox. True to his hardworking nature, Moxie the Ox is on his way home from work, just in time to bring in Lunar New Year with his friends and family. Well, courtesy of Kelly and Kiehl’s, and with both Moxie and the real Martin now having a body double in place, I’ll surely scale what had seemed not just a hill but a whole mountain range in time for the holidays.