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WAAWO Kids’ Watch



Seen those yellow-claddelivery boys scooting around town recently? That will be LineZero then; fastfood delivered to your door by a company that seemingly takes its imageseriously. That its website and app are decked out in the same colours isevidence that local firms are finally jumping on the branding bandwagon, andsilencing the paper clip counters in the process. It doesn’t have to cost afortune; just a little well thought out preparation is all that is required.

Sameis true of WAAWO. Anyone who spends too much time involuntarily watching theNanjing Office Tower Advertising Channel will have noticed the big spend overthe last month or so to market the cute little watch for kids that doubles as aphone and location detector. With our little one turning five recently, we feltit was the perfect birthday present; something fun to play with while givingoverbearing parents etc. the peace of mind their child is where she should be.And she can call when she needs us. What joy!

Orso it goes. Or so it wants to go. With Branding and packaging that would notlook out of place in Harvey Nicks, it’s in the psychology and execution thatthe problems lie. In the aftermath, do I call her? No. Does she call me? No.She can’t. See below.

Step1: Open the box, gasp a little at how well it has all been put together andthen gasp a little more that this is in fact a product borne of our ownNanjing.

Step2: Read the instructions (no English here; it wouldn’t have been thatdifficult. No proceeding to Go. No £200)

Step3: Scan the QR code, download the app and enter the Unique Product Identifier.

Step4: Assign users (phone numbers permitted to call the “watch”)

Step5: Become annoyed that the device can only call the first doting user entered;disclaimer: unless The Nanjinger, and presumably the light of your eye, is toodim to use the device’s one button to select a different person.

Step6: Watch, enthralled, as your child plays delightfully with the device forprecisely one minute, in which she very quickly discovers she can’t call herfavourite parent along with truly appalling battery life.

Step7: Leave said device on charge, pretty much continuously, while the little onemoves onto to more intoxicating but simple attractions.

Step8: Become worried as alert over-consumers of local media report of allegationsthat the device’s code can be easily hacked, revealing where your child is tothe unintended.

Undoubtedly,the WAAWO is selling by the bucketload and recouping its advertising budget.But how many kids are running around with the blue or pink little wondersactually strapped to their wrist? How about a few other colours, if only forpolitical correctness? Plus the simple personal choice of taste?

HopefullyVersion 2 will address all this. In the meantime, WAAWO rely only serves as anexample of how far our supposed second tier city still has to go. In the localdialect of Shanghai, where this kind of thing is sorted, there is even anexpression for it; “pretty pillowcase, but inside only stuffing”.

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