Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz
Aug 2, 2012

Five things you need to know about crafting creative media campaigns in China

Chinese consumers today are spoiled by choices in terms of products and services, so breaking through requires creative media campaigns. Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz, head of invention at Mindshare China, shares some tips.

Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz, head of invention at Mindshare China
Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz, head of invention at Mindshare China

1. Cultural mastery

Owing to the Open Door Policy in 1979, three generations have compressed together to form a collective brand consciousness; thereby a new system of consumerism in China has produced the hunger for new products.

Chinese culture may be complex, however the people are inevitably homogenous in human nature. The strategic processes towards addressing this culture through the media remain globally constant. Nike's 'Social DNA 1.0' media campaign incorporated the global social media trend on Chinese social media platforms such as QQ, Ren Ren and Sina to personalize their message.

2. Concept is king

The key to success is to deliver ideas that are part of popular culture. That is, ideas you love to share.

En route to this success, one may channel the controversial Ai Wei Wei: be influenced by popular culture, and in turn influence it further. Placing a mirror up to society through media reflects the two-way communication between your brand and the consumer.

Range Rover's 'The evoque effect' graphic novel campaign identified the popular use of social media in China and people's fascination with celebrity, thus creating campaigns incorporating the two.

3. Context is all

Within the realm of context in media, it is poignant to maintain original thinking and possess informative and relevant cultural insights.

Cultural insights allow for a successful appropriation of media in China. Navigating appropriate media channels requires a reflection of the brand's values and local cultural dynamics, done so by evaluating prescribed human truths, based upon cultural insights. Nike's 'social DNA' campaign examined the role of social media and utilized these platforms to target the Chinese consumer.

4. Content conversation starters

Driving conversation about media campaigns requires the portrayal of engaging ideas through storytelling. The story told should showcase the brand's values, incorporating key characteristics that increase virality and conversation of a media campaign in China: over-the-top humour, feel-good content, entertainment, and originality.

Employing all attributes is not necessary, however acknowledgement of these characteristics to create hype in China is surely means for employment. Kotex's 'Stuff girls don't say' campaign utilized Weibo's key opinion leader An Xiaoqi and Weibo to start conversations about menstruation.

5. Celebrity influences

China's key opinion leaders fall in the hands of celebrities. Products endorsed by local celebrities and placed in international films, stimulate a desire for the product by the local Chinese consumer.  Celebrity-led media campaigns include Cecilia Liu in Vichy's 'Serendipity Spa' webseries, and the presence of Chinese American comedian Ken Jeong slurping a ShuHua Milk in the Transformers 3. ShuHua Milk created a buzz on Weibo, with 10 per cent of all tweets mentioning the brand, and 3 million comments online.

The success of such media campaigns like ShuHua Milk lends itself to determining how Chinese consumers can differentiate and identify products with others in the same category.

Campaign China

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