If you’ve roamed the streets of the world’s megacities over the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed a new emblem brandished across some of their more famous landmarks. Those visiting the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris, or the Empire State Building might have seen Chinese electronics company TCL’s logo, projected on or around the structures in true bat-signal style.
The campaign is plastered across the globe, making its way to London, Sydney and Rome as well. TCL is a brand that has been in consumers’ peripheral vision over the last few years, but their latest campaign is part of China’s next export boom in innovative brands, and marks a move to appeal on a much larger scale.
This type of work is a strong push for TCL, not just in establishing their brand, but in advancing their marketing strategy worldwide. We've seen billboards fade, replaced by banner ads, which have also gone the way of the dinosaurs. So what does this new breed of campaign say about the marketing terrain on which we're treading? Perhaps, that platform takes a backseat to approach when the results are as astounding as turning the flood lights over legendary structures.
When you take traditional advertising, and turn it on its head, its tried and true assets once again reveal themselves: eye-catching visuals with a lasting impression, constant exposure, and (especially in city centres) enormous audience reach.
The campaign is also a nod to the quality of TCL's products. What better way of communicating the strength of a brand built on electronics, than using the tech itself to light up advertisements? The message and the merchandise complement one another. The global projection advertisements campaign put TCL's innovative flagship products in the spotlight which had won many international awards. For example, products like TCL X6 XESS private theater won "Quantum Dot Technology Gold Awards" at IFA 2017 in Germany, and TCL T-GUARDIAN series air conditioner won IFA Intelligent Security Innovation Gold Award in 2017.
An international appeal
TCL’s international brand awareness is on the rise. Its core products in the global market include LCD TVs, which TCL claim currently rank third in the world in terms of sale, and LCD panels and mobile phones, ranked fifth and eighth, respectively.
The company has taken full advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative set forth by China’s president Xi Jinxing, encouraging connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. TCL has penetrated more than 20 countries across Europe, ranking third in market share in France, with steady growth in Italy, Poland and Germany as well, launching its new line of smart TVs at IFA 2017 in Berlin. The event marked the company’s first global launch event. In tandem with the launch, the flagship product series was advertised across airports and city centres across Western Europe.
Meanwhile, in North America TCL is making a sizeable footprint, with a 94.7 percent year-on-year increase in market share. Q3 of 2017 had a particularly strong showing, where the company's market share sharply increased from 10.4 percent to 16.3 percent.
The company’s efforts have landed them international accolades as well, appearing in BrandZ’s Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017. Announced at CES 2017, the company was also featured in IDG’s list of 2016-2017 Global Top 50 Consumer Electronics Brands, and 2016-2017 Top 10 Consumer Electronics Brands from China.
A history of highlights
TCL has found success in several different marketing approaches. Sports marked one of the company’s first forays into the global spotlight, when they sponsored Australian Open from 2007-2008. The company was also a founding partner of Avaya Stadium, home to Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, supporting the team, the stadium itself, and the TCL 4K Bar housed within Avaya. Further ventures include sponsorships with the Rose Bowl stadium, the UCLA Bruins, and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.
In 2011, the company partnered with Hollywood for the first time as an international promotional partner for the release of Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, following up with marketing efforts for blockbusters like Jurassic World, The Avengers, and The Fate of the Furious. Los Angeles’ iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre also bore the name TCL Chinese Theatre starting in 2013.
Buliding on this reputation, TCL has helped to dispel the 'made in China' stereotype that has nagged so many well-positioned brands in the past. With their unique global marketing initiatives, and a strong track record of success, great things are on the horizon.