My thoughts on soft power, marketing, and branding

  • i was reading this thread and saw something that kinda relates back to what i was telling @secondstrike about my thoughts on soft power.

    the OP writes:

    The best way to break the cycle is to make asian brands bigger and more popular, and to grow asian brands, we must choose asian brands over white brands when given a choice. (ie. Uniqlo over H&M, Samsung over Apple)

    …Which i can definitely understand the incentive behind (supporting Asian-only brands). The issue, though, is that it’s sometimes difficult to support a brand just for the sake of supporting it when the products it sells simply does not look nice. I’m using Uniqlo as an example in this scenario. While yes, H&M is a white brand, the style of their clothes do not look tacky. They mostly stick to neutral colors, timeless fashion and/or fashion that is the IN thing among girls at the moment.

    Uniqlo does not do this. They sell rainbow-colored shapeless jackets that even my 80 year old grandmother would not want to be caught dead in.

    If I had to choose an alternative Asian brand to support instead, I’d pick Forever 21 (which is owned by a Korean family). Like H&M, they mostly choose colors that can be easily coordinated and they mostly stick to fashion that they know WILL SELL to young women.

    And no, I really don’t think any amount of marketing can help a brand with ugly clothing become popular. I don’t have solid data to back up my thoughts on this but common sense dictates that a potato sack, regardless of how much you try to advertise it as fashionable, can never be fashionable.

    Just like how kpop is slowly becoming more popular in the west yet you don’t see millions of white men rushing to get bowlcuts or slather make-up all over their faces.

    I’m not disregarding the power of marketing altogether. I just think that marketing can only help the success of a brand (or country or music group, etc…) to a limited extent. The rest is up to the quality of the brand itself and how AESTHETICALLY APPEALING it looks.

    The same goes for soft power. A country’s entertainment industry can be hyped up to the max but if its music, movies, fashion statements all flat out suck, then we can’t expect its soft power to be that influential. And when it comes to soft power, everything HAS to be on point; music, movies, fashion, make-up style, sex appeal, etc…in other words, great musicians can’t constantly be performing in Uniqlo jackets as that would completely ruin the sex appeal aspect of the country’s entertainment industry (which has the greatest impact on its soft power).

    I’m mostly using kpop as evidence to back up my claims here. Sure, kpop managed to gather a niche following of non-Asian girls but that’s all it is; niche. In spite of its (admittedly) impressive dancing and music, many of which (this may be subjective but imo) surpasses that of western dancing and music, its flower boy fashion is, by and large, still unappealing to MOST women. So in spite of how hyped up it is and how it has everything on point EXCEPT for fashion, the vast majority of women in the west are still not falling all over Korean/Asian guys. This is why I think marketing can only help to an extent and why when it comes to soft power, I firmly believe that EVERYTHING has to be on point; not just the music, the special effects in movies, the dancing, the acting, the singing, etc…but also the fashion and overall aesthetic appeal.

    Anyways, just my two cents on the topic.

  • @secondstrike They lived in Asia though so not sure if they were emulating Jennifer Aniston if they didn’t know who she was. I think they were mostly concerned that their make-up wouldn’t show on camera so they made sure that it did? LOL.

    Anyways, gotta go feed my baby boy now. Ttyl.

  • administrators

    @natalie_ng Jennifer Anniston legit looks like a man, but she had nice hair. Brad Pitt is crazy. Your relatives were probably just emulating what they saw. That can be forgiven if they just starting out.

  • @secondstrike LMAO for the sake of our image, hopefully it got banned.

    Lol, I forgot to mention. The reason why I said some folks in my family have convinced me that some Asians just have horrendous taste was due to people like my aunts. When I was a kid, we had to take family portraits and some of my aunts showed up with make-up like this:


    I tried so hard not to laugh. I kept staring and my mom had to pull me away, told me it was rude to stare and she went on to explained to me that some people just have bad taste but that it doesn’t mean I can stare at them, lol.

    Ever since then, I realized that some of us just have some weird ass preferences when it comes to how we present ourselves.

  • administrators

    @natalie_ng Fuck no. I meant Hong Kong. They are not pajamas, but they look like them. It’s the kind of thing that looks out of place in public. I can’t even find it. Maybe it got banned.

  • @secondstrike When you said “HK”, do you mean Hello Kitty?

    And why did you wear pajamas out in public?

  • administrators

    @natalie_ng Brutal. I remember my parents giving me those ridiculous HK pajama clothes when I was kid. Got laughed at, but took me a bit longer before I connected dots.

  • @secondstrike Your theory is very possible. But…having seen the type of shit some folks in my family consider attractive, I feel like I need to be straight up honest and say that some Asians just have ridiculously horrendous taste when it comes to fashion, make-up, or anything that involves aesthetic appeal.

    You know how the chola eyebrow is popular among Mexican women? The same concept sort of applies to a lot of Asians. A lot of them just see bowlcuts as attractive. A lot of them don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing a hot pink shirt and neon green leggings. Btw, I’ve seen a decent number of Asian tourists wearing that combination of colors back when I was in California.

  • administrators

    @natalie_ng My gut tells me they hire really book smart people who are basically nerds, geeks, virgins, etc so they’re getting soft power from people who are anti-soft power.

    That, or they are infiltrated by wm, lus, etc.

  • @secondstrike It’s funny because you basically have to dumb it down to kindergarten level, lol.

    And I think the reason why you have to explain this is because of what I said earlier–some folks just simply can’t judge what looks good and what doesn’t.

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