Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Aug 31, 2015

Greater China, condensed: Toms being a brand of its word, Sohu-iQiyi fight, more

The theme for this Monday's roundup can be summed up in two words: promises and pledges.

Greater China, condensed: Toms being a brand of its word, Sohu-iQiyi fight, more

The coolest campaign we've seen in the past week integrates technology, utility and charity. For the next five weeks in five Chinese cities (Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi'an), Toms will bring virtual-reality filled trips to selected riders of Didi's private car service (see right). Via a VR headset showing a four-minute film of Toms employees donating shoes to a Peruvian primary school, this campaign is a follow-up to an earlier May philantrophic push urging folks to exchange barefoot selfies for free shoes for children in need. That's (virtual) proof of a brand doing what it says it will!

That contrasts survey results from a China Customer Experience Index from Forrester Research, where 42 per cent of 60 brands in five industries claim that improving the online customer experience is top priority, yet none of them surveyed rated excellent. In fact, 80 per cent are delivering merely "mediocre" customer experiences while only 15 per cent qualified as “good”, according to 9,000 skeptical Chinese consumers. Of those that are "good", smaller banks have greater incentive to try harder, as losing a potential lifelong customer is more costly than to the large incumbents.

A separate study has confirmed how iQiyi and Youku are dominating online video (or OTV, as the market likes to acronymise it) scene with stiff competition among themselves. This fact was mentioned in another article we wrote about the problems of video advertising last week. According to GroupM's Shan Hai Jin's analysis, iQiyi tops the market, especially among the younger generation. In the consumers' minds, iQiyi and Sohu, a much smaller player, are actually much alike (see below). "If Sohu gets enough funding, it will become another iQiyi soon," the study predicted.

In other news, Maxus has appointed Milton Liao as VP for Southern China, starting tomorrow. He reports directly to Annie Hsiao, Maxus China's president, and will be responsible for all operations including client servicing and new business development in the Southern China region, a unique market with its own language system and cultural background. Prior to Maxus, he was VP of Orient Life, overseeing the establishment of the new pharmaceutical company, from product positioning to new launch. We think Maxus' current client Pfizer may benefit from this hire.


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