Archives for posts with tag: branding

For the 2016 Olympics Coca-Cola has adapted it’s global campaign idea to the Chinese market. The 2016 Message: “Gold” is not about winning at all costs.


The campaign is an example of how marketers in China try to tap into the national zeitgeist. China experienced years of fast-paced economic growth and development; growth has slowed, and the government has pushed to rebalance the economy to something more sustainable. That feeling has trickled down to ordinary people too, with a sense that after years of striving to get ahead, it’s time to take stock of what’s important.

“People are trying to lead a more balanced life – it’s not about winning at any cost,” said Richard Cotton, head of creative excellence for Coca-Cola China.

See the video and further background from AdAge here.

Coca-Cola partnered with internet giant Tencent and its social network Qzone, which has 588 million monthly active users. It has a feature similar to Facebook’s “On This Day,” which offers prompts about memories people have shared in the past. Coke is sponsoring the memories, turning them into “Gold Moments.”


A hard hitting campaign from Japanese premium cosmetics brand SK-II, supports Chinese womens’ fight agains the suffocating notion of ‘leftover women’.   It captures a new form of femininity in China – confident, independent and uncompromising in terms of what they will achieve in their lives.

SK-II outlines the cultural phenomena of the ‘leftover women’ as a form of psychological torture for women you must face at the pressure of getting married ‘to a certain man’ of a ‘certain station in life’.

The brand has been active on social media using the hashtag #Changedestiny.


See this campaign and the article in full from Social Brand Watch here.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat are the platforms that get most of marketers’ love in the U.S., but digital practitioners could learn a thing or two from WeChat, China’s booming mobile app that’s one of a growing number of messaging apps brands are watching closely.

The Chinese app boasts more than 600 million users, and some reports claim more than 50 percent of those users open it 10 times a day. While that still pales in comparison to Facebook’s 1 billion daily global users, Tencent-owned WeChat has a tight grip on China’s social and mobile industry compared with competitors like Line and Viber.

Thomas Graziani, co-founder of Chinese agency WalktheChat, which specializes in WeChat marketing spoke with Adweek about how marketing and advertising works on WeChat, which has significant differences from U.S.-based platforms.

A few things marketers should know about WeChat:

It’s the Facebook of China… but more
To grasp WeChat as a marketing platform, it’s important to first understand how the app works and why people use it.

In the U.S., the average smartphone user opens a handful of apps every day to text friends, check email, use social media and take pictures. In China, WeChat is all of those apps rolled into one and is sometimes the only app consumers use.

Here is a short list of things the app lets folks do:

  • Message friends
  • Pay bills and manage their bank accounts
  • Order food
  • Buy clothes and movie tickets
  • Book cabs
  • Make doctor’s appointments
  • Post to social media
  • Send money to friends
  • Check in for flights
  • Read news

Getting onto the platform takes some know-how

There are two options for building a brand following on WeChat: a subscription account that lets brands push out one message per day and a service account that caps the number of brand messages to one a week. Both require setting up an account.

With subscription accounts, brands can push out consistent messaging, which WalktheChat recommends for marketers that already have a strong content-marketing strategy.

Service accounts, on the other hand, reach more people but can’t be used as often by marketers. According to Graziani, these accounts are better suited for brands that want to do more than use the platform for branding—including e-commerce and customer service.

In either case, it’s hard to break through the clutter, and the app requires brands to act more like users than marketers.

“Because people spend all their time on it, it’s extremely competitive to get attention from people,” Graziani said. “The platform is not making it easy for brands to reach users.”

Similar to how digital marketers approached Facebook years ago, brands strive for a lot of followers because WeChat is a numbers game.

See the full article form AdWeek here.

Tencent first became known for its instant messenger service and games, and is now one of the biggest tech firms in the world. The WSJ’s Wayne Ma explains how Tencent got so big.

See video here.

Holiday Inn recently released a new campaign which is gaining lots of praise across China.

The brand sought to freshen up its image and wanted a campaign that would speak to a clientele split equally between business travelers and families. The campaign also had to make the brand’s global proposition about “the joy of travel for everyone” resonate in China and stand out creatively in a country where tourism has exploded and people are being exposed to more hotel brands.

The result is a film about a business traveler and a family traveler who are the same person – the mom.

The solution was actually inspired by the personal experience of the brand’s chief marketer. Emily Chang, Greater China chief commercial officer for the parent company, InterContinental Hotels Group, told a story about getting heart-rending messages from her daughter during business trips. So Ms. Chang surprised her – instead of taking her to a piano lesson, they went for an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn.

HolidayInn_Moments of Joy_1-thumb-400x312-201187

“We often talk about this phrase, ‘Work-life balance.’ It’s interesting because that depicts the seesaw, work’s on one side, life’s on the other,” Ms. Chang said. “I think for these travelers, they’re not one or the other, they’re fully integrated.”

The film also resonates in a country where working moms are the norm (and where, like everywhere, mothers are conflicted about whether they’re spending enough quality time with their kids.) About 72% of Chinese women ages 25-34 with children under age 6 are employed, according to the All-China Women’s Federation.

The video is being pushed out online, and the brand also bought airtime during some of the most-watched Chinese TV shows, singing contest “The Voice of China” and “Dad, Where Are We Going?” a reality show about celebrity dads roughing it in rural locations with their kids. Because both those shows feature real, personal stories, the brand thought they would catch consumers in the right frame of mind to receive Holiday Inn’s message.

See the video and full story from AdAge here.

Brands need to recognise themselves not as vehicles of consumerism but as intricate entities within the broader system of culture. 

Chinese consumers are seeking a more active and healthier lifestyle, as they have better awareness and seen more media coverage on key issues like pollution, the environment, and food safety. These increasingly health-conscious Chinese consumers represent an important growth opportunity for companies selling their products and services across a myriad of industries from health & wellness, sports & apparel, through to pharmaceuticals and even into more niche categories. However, to attract these consumers brands will need to be more forward thinking in their marketing approach. 

In the food industry, for example, 14% of Chinese respondents claim to be eating more healthy food now, compared with 13.1% in 2012, according to CTR China National Resident Survey (CNRS-TGI). The awareness among Chinese people of the bad effects of junk food has also risen by 15% in the past two years alone. Yum Brands, the parent of KFC and Pizza Hut, has enjoyed fast business growth as China’s fast food industry grew at an average rate of over 12% per year from 2009 to 2014. It is the largest western restaurant operator in China with over 6,500 outlets and 50 % of its global revenues come from China alone. But the shift in consumers’ attitudes towards food quality changed, its business was inevitably impacted: KFC’s sales in China in the second quarter of 2015 dropped 10% from a year ago. 


Changing socio-economic and political parameters, shifting perceptions of the role of consumerism, increasing competition as well as consumers’ familiarity will not only change the market in the coming years but also consumers “immunity” to promotional messages. Brands need to fundamentally re-evaluate; from the way they view their broader role within society and construct strategies to the way they carry out research, communicate and innovate. The key is to recognise themselves not as mere money-making machines and vehicles of consumerism, but as intricate entities within the broader system of culture. 

We can find strong locally relevant brands in many markets worldwide, including China where culture is now a critical area that marketers can no longer neglect. From health to sports to food & beverage, brands have started to see great success by adopting a culturally tapped marketing strategy which combines the past, present and the future, fusing nature and technology simultaneously to give a cutting edge positioning in all their brand communications.

See the article in full from Kantar China Insights here.

“Five-year plans” may sound like rusty Communist lingo – but in China they are matters of real importance as they outline government plans for the following 5 years. The plans set a direction for the country’s economy, social development targets, and – judging from this year’s iteration – online video view count.

China’s five-year plans are typically heralded by a series of glowing articles in state media. But not this year, it seem the Chinese Communist party has decided to release a psychedelic video promoting the new plan.

The video was realised earlier this week on Twitter. As Twitter is blocked in China, putting the video on that platform implies that it is specifically meant for those outside of the country. The video does represent an odd change in pace for Chinese propaganda. Conventionally, films or videos praising the Communist Party were produced for domestic Chinese consumption. But over the past several months, there have been more examples of pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) videos aimed at foreign audiences.

Lets see if this video gives them the credibility they were seeking…