A great little print campaign for Inalfa Car Sunroofs. Very bold.
Credit to: JWT (Shanghai Branch)
Lipton Tea or as the Chinese say Lì dùn (立顿), has become one of the most succesful Western brands in China. Unilever introduced the brand to the Chinese market in 2004 and it has since gone from strength to strength.
This month Lipton has announced three new TV commmercials / print campaign starring their brand ambassador and housewife favourite Takeshi Kaneshiro (Chinese name: Jīnchéng Wǔ – 金城武). Takeshi is a famous actor and singer of Taiwanese and Japanese descent but is a famous celebrity in China.
The ads themselves look to promote Lipton Tea as the ‘World’s tea expert’ and demonstrate how drinking the product gives you ‘vigour’ (朝气 – Zhāo qì) and ‘vitality’ (蓬勃的心情 – Péngbó de xīnqíng).
Credit to: DDB (Shanghai Branch)
The videos above are Haagen-Dazs (or in Chinese 哈根达斯 – Hāgēn Dásī) 2010 ‘The Summer’ commercials. They are each around 4 minutes long and both feature stories about Chinese people’s favourite topic – love.
You may think it’s strange to have ice cream commercials in September, but as Chinese Haagen Daz fans will tell you 炙热的夏天会结束，但炙热的爱情却不会结束(zhìrè de xiàtiān huì jiéshù, dàn zhìrè de àiqíng què bù huì jiéshù) which roughly translates to:
‘The hot summer will end, but hot love will last forever‘.
The promotion was spotted last week by a British journalist in China’s Shenzhen airport. Since then photos of the ads have been posted in newspapers / websites around the world.
For those of you reading this blog in China, I will try to put the British upset into perspective. Princess Diana was a national heroine / treasure, she was adored by the British public when she was alive and even now 13 years after her tragic death.
Imagine if a British company started using Chairman Mao Zedong‘s image inappropriately – then that is how the majority of British people are feeling right now.
The Diana range was actually created in 1996, before her tragic death, but its the new advertising campaign that has caused all the controversy. The Chinese company had no intention of causing offence, they aimed to honor Princess Diana and wanted Chinese consumers to love and feel a British style.
In the last decade the Diana range has become extremely popular, and it is in fact one of the most influential lingerie brands in China.
It should be noted that the range was also inspired by Diana – the goddess of the moon. Unfortunately for Jealousy International the British public merely see the products as blatant exploitation.
The video above entitled ‘For Love’ (为爱 – Wèi ài) was released online this month by Crystal CG. It’s an animation that resembles the great battle between the fast food giants KFC and McDonald’s as they fight to dominate China.
The history of KFC and McDonald’s in China
A logical place to start is the beginning. You may be surprised to know that it was KFC or as the Chinese call it Kěn Dé Jī (肯德基) who first entered China. Thursday 12th November, 1987 was the day when KFC opened its first restaurant in Beijing (shown in the image below).
McDonald’s aka Mài dāng láo (麦当劳) on the other hand, did not enter the Chinese market until 1990. Thus KFC had a 3 year head start.
The reason why KFC entered China before McDonald’s was because each produced differing research results of Chinese consumers. McDonald’s research said that the Chinese were very stubborn and were unlikely to take to McDonald’s products.
KFC on the other hand found quite the contrary, their research said the Chinese will love the ‘xīfāng de kuàicān’ (西方的快餐) which translates in English to ‘Western fast food’!
What happened next?
Well, at first, the restaurants sat peacefully side-by-side with KFC selling chicken and McDonald’s selling hamburgers – that was that. However, things soon turned ugly.
McDonald’s was not satisfied with being second to KFC in China, so they started selling chicken wings too and so battle begun. In 1999, a full scale price war broke out between the two, but come 2004 despite McDonald’s attacks KFC‘s market share was 25% greater.
Why was KFC coming out on top?
The answer is simple. KFC understood and catered to the Chinese people far better.
Of course chicken was already a popular part of many meals in China but KFC did more than offer a new take on how to cook chicken, they adapted their whole product range to meet Chinese needs but more importantly their local needs. That’s right, province to province, and this gave KFC the edge over its rival as McDonald’s stuck firmly with its Western style.
Cue the McDonald’s fight back
In 2003, the McDonald’s slogan became ‘I’m lovin’ it’ and the importance the restaurant chain placed on the Chinese market was demonstrated in the advert they created which featured American singer / actor Leehom Wang (Wáng Lìhóng – 王力宏):
As well as this Maccy D’s began to open 24 hour branches, KFC quickly adapted an began to offer match the offering. The battle between the two was becoming fiercer and fiercer. The next plan of attack came in the form of McDonald’s drive-thru restaurants and these gave the big M chain a slight but key advantage.
What does the future hold?
KFC is still outdoing McDonald’s and the chain is further catering greatly to the local Chinese markets as their recent ‘rice bowl’ ( ad campaign shows. However, McDonald’s are not giving up and their plans for next few years will certainly keep Colonel Harland Sander’s chain on its toes.
In fact McDonald’s has just kicked off its 20th anniversary celebrations in China with a lovely social media campaign on Douban.com
It seems the battle for China has really only just begun…
Japan, Korea and other countries in Asia have been using foreign celebrities to promote their products for a number of years. Yet, a recent press release from the Associated Press stated that foreign celebrity endorsement will now become an integral part of Chinese brand strategies as they try to establish themselves in their domestic and international markets.
This turn of strategy is likely to have come about as Chinese consumers now find themselves bombarded with, much like their Western counterparts, advertising everyday. It is quite incredible considering that 20 years ago the Chinese advertising industry barely existed.
The country is developing rapidly in certain regions and this has been reflected in the nation’s advertising spend on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines which grew 14 percent last year to 597 billion RMB (around £5.4billion) – a truly colossal sum.
On my first visit to China I spent much of my time in Anhui Province (central China) and it was not until after a few months later that I visited Shanghai. I found the difference between Chinese people outside Shanghai and those living within the city was quite striking. The citizens of Shanghai are like ‘Westerners’; the way they walk, the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the technology they use is so different to the majority of Chinese people living elsewhere.
A recent survey of 15,000 Chinese consumers by McKinsey & Co. found that Chinese consumers are now “extremely brand conscious.” They demand the same things that any other consumer living in a developed country would.
These demands have arisen quickly, but advertising in China is still catching up – many people forget that China is still a developing country. In the US and UK brands have to be extremely innovative now to break through the advertising smog, but in China advertising is still relatively new and celebrity (particularly foreign) endorsement strategies currently have much greater effectiveness than they would in the western hemisphere.
To that end here are some examples of celebrity endorsements in China to date:
Let’s keep this short and sweet. Here are the latest Nike (耐克 – Nài kè) posters to launch in China. They are promoting Nike Free Run trainers and to be honest there’s not much more to say about them.
However, if you want to find out more about Nike‘s Chinese offering check out: www.nikerunning.com.cn.
Credit to: W+K Shanghai
Chinese car ads are getting better and better aren’t they?
My next question, but a non-rhetorical one, is why are Chinese consumers so obsessed with Long Wheel Based saloons? It’s a question that has bugged me for a while, and I can only assume that there is a ‘the bigger the car – the richer you are’ mentality amongst the wealthier Chinese citizens.
Nonetheless there is clearly a huge demand for these types of vehicles. Both Audi and BMW already have recently released Long Wheel Base editions of their executive saloon cars to grab a share of the growing Chinese market in mind. You may recall the previous post last week about BMW ‘s launch of the 5 Series Li.
So here is the Mercedes E- Class (E300L) or as you would say in Chinese Méi sài dé sī (梅赛德斯). It’s essentially a stretched version of their that is available in the European and American markets. It follows in the footsteps of the Mercedes S600 which has the greatest sales in China than any other country.
The technical details of the vehicle are neither here nor there but the advert itself is something I’m quite a fan of as it’s crafted with a beautiful Chinese twist. Just in case you fancy buying one, i’m afraid like many of the other new Long Wheel Base edition cars, it’s only available in China.
Credit to: Jung Von Matt