Ad spending in China continues to drive up

shutterstock_285829940

Great to hear that our friends in China are taking online advertising seriously. The shift in budget to the digital space is evident that there is strong digital demand and companies are rushing to fill that spot. In retrospect, the internet was probably a small percentage of the overall country’s consumption of advertising. Today the amount has whipped up by more than 30% from an estimate of 14% to a staggering 49%. This would place China significantly ahead of the entire world. I remembered working with several China counterparts whom I felt they are ever so keen to embrace new technologies and trends happening on the digital space.

These days in China, advertisers are serious in understanding the consumer’s appetite and analyzing how people are getting themselves comfortable with what the online world had to offer. Especially for mobile consumption, data and content are often used for streaming, shopping and chatting. With the launch of major companies like Alibaba and Taobao, the use of mobile is imperative as e-commerce becomes integral to our daily lives.

Regardless of the current economic climate, the power of digital and its possibilities gave people strong faith and continues to boost ad spending throughout China. I do find the statistics to be rather impressive, considering the regional prudence in this economical uncertainty continues to loom across the region. Definitely very exciting as digital innovation becomes more and more prolific. The opportunity to grow and create new exciting options is readily available. Im expecting to see more awesome work happening in China!

More info and details can be found here.

Advertisements

Print that house

3dprinted6-640x427-c 3dprinted8-640x427-c 3dprinted1-640x427-c 3dprinted2-640x427-c 3dprinted7-640x427-c 3dprinted5-640x427-c 3dprinted1-640x427-c-1 3dprinted9-640x427-c

You gotta to be kidding. Assembling a house in 3 hours from 3D printing? Check out this ridiculously amazing technology from China. The Zhuoda Group managed to create a 200 square feet home from scratch in merely 3 hours. Although they have been very lip tight on the materials and technology for the built, it is nonetheless a display of awesome work from the Chinese company. It actually took the company only 10 days to concept and finish the project. With six printed modules consisting fractions like the living room, kitchen, bedroom, toilets and more, the house is not only quick to fix, but also enduring in nature. It is said to supposedly withstand fire, water and even earthquakes. Now that is something to reckon with. Not only is the cost of the project extremely manageable, it also bring 3D printing to a whole new level. Im starting to see more of how 3D printing will influence our future.

KFC China

KFC

 

This is definitely one of the most insightful article with regards to China, a fast and growing market.AdAge reports the recent campaign by KFC in China on how they are adopting the cliche but sure-win approach of celebrity endorsements. This campaign by Ogilvy, takes celebrity endorsements onto another level. What interests me is how receptive the market in China is from their reaction to many stale marketing tactics. Using a group of five influential celebrities, the campaign aims to go for the kill through not only a collective celebrity power, but also tapping on the celebrities’ social fan base. Taking into consideration that one of the actors has a staggering 72 million followers on Weibo, it is potentially a lethal marketing cannon.

As much I believe, China is quickly becoming a very digitally savvy nation. Ogilvy Shanghai, fully aware of this rising trend, leverages on it with their digital campaign for KFC. They immediately focus on using these celebrities to advertise on engaging social media activities. One for instance, aims to motivate fans to compete against one another over the amount of “likes” for their favorite celebrities. Another very fruitful insight from AdAge talks about the fact that KFC has been one of the biggest and most successful food chain with the longest history in China, since its penetration 27 years ago. A whopping 2,600 outlets in China alone is seriously no joke. A bigger market equity than McDonalds by itself is an amazing feat.

However, as the the brand suffers a decline in operations, branding and sales due to the avian flu outbreak and health inspections, it was devoid of a good strategy to fight back. Now with more marketing campaigns and excellent strategic brand initiatives, the brand is taking back its helm.

What I believe to be extremely essential is an extract from Adage‘s article:

“Celebrities are often used as a quick and easy way to sell products in China,” acknowledged Graham Fink, Ogilvy & Mather‘s chief creative officer for greater China. He pointed out that the same celebrities are often tapped by many brands.

“I think that more and more people are beginning to see through this ‘cheap’ tactic, and the brand will ultimately suffer as a result,” he said. But if the celeb seems “genuinely involved in the message they become more believable, and this is what we are trying to do with KFC.”

Another one:

A top national executive for KFC’s parent company, Yum!, noted that China is the world’s biggest digital society (with 618 million people online) and that Chinese consumers are “moving at the speed of a bullet train.”
The brand is seeking to revamp its menu and offerings every 12 months and I believe this would constantly refresh their image and presence in the eyes of the consumer. When done effectively, shall be a very deciding factor when it comes to triumphing strict competition between competitors on an industry level.
More:
Milind Pant, president and chief operating officer for Yum! China, wrote in an email that “urban Chinese are becoming the most digital savvy group in the world, offering opportunities for brands to innovate and communicate.”

The menu revamp is part of what KFC has labeled its “restage,” which includes new product packaging, uniforms, store designs, a mobile app, an e-menu and a prepay takeout offering.

And of course, not forgetting that bigger companies comes with a heavier inertia and requires longer time to maneuver effectively.

“I think it’s very difficult to steer such a big chain in a new direction,” he said. “And it took this situation with the antibiotics to really force them into making some fairly dramatic changes … A complete revamp of the brand is a good idea.”

Wedding in IKEA?

1261_cropped
Courtesy of Ikea China/Yu Studio

Nothing beats brand intimacy when it comes to building consumer relationships. Proclaiming your benefits and unique propositions blatantly, in hopes of eliciting greater brand recognition creates passive communications, which would never connect your brand with your consumers. There is never one fixed methodology when it comes to building a brand’s emotional attachment together with your consumers. Cultural differences create diversity in our society, and it is vital that the right approach be adopted to create the most impactful marketing initiatives. IKEA China is one of the few really amazing IKEA outlets that recognizes the needs and culture of the chinese market when it comes to retail marketing. And trust me, they completely nailed it. I refer to an article at Adage.com which features an article on a short interview with IKEA’s marketing director, Ms. Camilla Hammar. In the interview, Ms. Hammar explained how IKEA China has changed its approach towards the chinese shoppers and how they learn to accept their customers getting all too comfortable with their products.

Ms. Hammar: People literally getting into the beds, taking off their shoes, getting under the covers. Not just one person, but sometimes as a couple or with a child. 

One of the most bizarre marketing initiative that IKEA China has rolled out, involves the in-store marriage ceremony of 3 couples! IKEA China has learn to understand the fact that great effective work requires not just great ideas and executions, it is also the knowledge of understanding the market you are trying to sell to. Check out more of the article here.

The bridge

Screen shot 2013-11-10 at PM 01.43.18Screen shot 2013-11-10 at PM 01.43.54

 

WOW. Don’t you just love architecture? When I first saw visuals of this proposed project for the bridge design for China’s Hunan province, I was truly impressed. What was even more shocking was the government’s agreement to take on this adventurous design. Kudos to the authorities for approving this splendid spectacular structure. Dutch firm NEXT Architects, who just won an international design competition shall begin this pedestrian bridge next year. The structure spans across the river in Changsha, China’s Hunan province. The design is comprised of three paths which interleave, rise and fall, creating waves in an organic yet optically illusive manner. The idea behind this approach was inspired by an ancient Chinese folk art simulating a knot from the culture. The bridge runs 150 meters (492 feet) in length, rising 24 meters (79 feet) high. Amazing. 

“The construction with the intersecting connections is based on the principal of the Möbius ring.”  Project Architect Michel Schreinemachers

 

Ancient paintings from China 700 – 1900

Pomegranates, Autumn Mallows, Chrysanthemums, Blue Magpies and RoosterNine Dragons

Ren Renfa Pomegranates, Autumn Mallows, Chrysanthemums, Blue Magpies and Rooster

Bare Willows and Distant MountainsCourt Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk

Check out some of the masterpieces of ancient paintings from China during 700 – 1900  at the V&A. They are available from 26 October 2013 to 19 January 2014. A lot of inspirations and ideas can be drawn from ancient paintings especially the way it is made and created and the culture behind it. China has one of the longest ancient history and it is definitely worthwhile to check these out.

Designed by Apple in California

“Designed by Apple in California”. Big deal? That was the question I had for myself towards the end of the commercial when this liner slaps across the screen. There wasn’t any new tech nor content in the commercial. Not even the slightest amusement can I derive from this commercial. It is simply dull.

Apple’s commercial, “Designed by Apple in California” seem to have garner more attention than it expected. But not in a really pleasant manner. The commercial received a low score of 489 out of 900 based on the Ace Metric scale. Apple commercials never used to be boring nor sterile in any fashion. I still remember the Apple vs Microsoft commercials featuring the Mac talking to Windows with lots of quips, barbs, sight gags, and one-liners. The recent commercial has been a flop by many and haven’t been getting a lot of healthy publicity.

In fact one of the reasons attributing to the commercial’s bad reviews was the lack of information as well as the tonality depicted. While Apple remains a tech giant in it’s league, it has given viewers great disappointment by delivering a commercial that focus solely on it’s branding. Recently, Apple has been going under a lot of fire by the general public as well as their fans for the lack of unveiling great technology. People are starting to see a drop in the company’s standards in terms of their products and business operations.

As a solution to the lost of market share, it is natural to adopt an approach to regain consumer confidence by taking up the branding option in your marketing communications. This could be a desperate attempt to revive the spirits of their dying fans. I have to say, too much of these is not going to work. I theme these commercials as ‘fillers’. They aren’t exactly the kind of commercials you want to show to your viewers at this point of time. Your fans want ‘gamechangers’, new tech that would awe them. An arsenal of new equipment to let them stay amazed and keep their faith in the brand. Definitely not some rapport building brand commercials during such dire times.

Strides made by Apple towards their goal of regaining confidence has been futile. I hope to see more amazing work from Apple that would rekindle my love for the brand. Do you like the new Samsung commercials? What do you think of them compared to Apple’s new commercials?