There is a very dark shadow hanging over Hong Kong these days like a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds, and much to do with a malaise which no one can put a finger on, and certainly not helped by the recent triad attacks on three high-profile local journalists and, every day, the emergence of another case of graft involving well-known businessmen.
The Kingston Trio once sang a song about how it takes a worried man to sing a worried song and, right here and now is a worried city needing a positive version of the Pied Piper of Hamlyn to come and chase out all the rats so we can start singing Happy with Pharrell Williams.
Frankly, if the HKJC, we’d set an example to all those who have a song and dance about “creating a better Hong Kong”- all words and nothing tangible- and take its highly successful- and proven- Happy Wednesday brand, marry it with the song Happy, plus all the regulars who make it to the mid-day race meeting to kiss the sky for a few hours, and take the brand outside of the racecourse like some Traveling Feel Good Happy Wednesday Show.
It’s time for a much-needed jolt of happiness- infectious happiness- that travels beyond “the punt” and into the streets of Hong Kong- Times Square, The Landmark etc- and, more importantly, into the hearts and minds of Hong Kong people.
If government-funded organizations like InvestHK, the HKTA- whatever happened to its daft Happy@HK campaign?- the absolutely flaccid CreateHK sit there thinking, “I’m alright, Jack, so Hong Kong must be doing fine”, well, that’s just civil servant fat cat Duncan Pescod-type drivel that we have never bought into and will spit out every time we hear this bureaucratic bollocks.
Hong Kong needs a boost and if it takes a racing club to provide it, great.
It’s a Feel Good job and someone’s gotta do it.
Anyone who has gone to the races at Happy Valley on a Happy Wednesday evening will know that whether at venues like the Gallery or Adrenaline and, especially, the Beer Garden, the experience is like Alice disappearing down that rabbit hole, meeting The Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and simply enjoying being underneath the stars, taking in everything around them, and living in The Now.
Of course, The Now doesn’t last until tomorrow and it’s here that Happy Wednesday can be expanded to become Happy Everyday.
Well, surely, there’s no time like the present to start putting some building blocks in place and no reason why, from being a Happy Wednesday night at the races, the brand cannot be enhanced and expanded through working with like-minded partners, the creative community and even bringing in the HKJC Charities and through the doors of the Asian Racing Conference it will host in May.
Knowing the complex and, often, territorial landscape and structure within the HKJC, can there be a way where everything and everyone comes together to sing the same Happy song off the same page?
Well, there’s a first time for everything, and the timing for a citywide Happy campaign like this is now- and one which will show the Club to the people of Hong Kong as being more than an organization hidden inside the racing pages of a newspaper.
Happiness driven by horsepower?