Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jul 3, 2016

Cannes 2016: China at risk of becoming a "giant supermarket"

Campaign caught up with Peter Shen (沈翔), chief creative officer of Cheil PengTai China, for his analysis on China's performance in the Direct Lions.

From the Chinese-language interview with Shen, we summarise his key points here:

  • China's entries in the Direct category were using very singular forms of communication indeed, but differed from the Grand Prix in that they were not interesting enough to filter through to social content in order to form direct relationships with consumers. The ideas lacked certain scalability and cut-through ability.
  • Granted, China's media landscape toughens the task, as there are simply too many media tools to deploy. And in China, using grassroots influencers, internet celebrities and KOLs to speak to their fans is also considered a form of direct marketing, but again, those ideas are more concerned with pure reach instead of a core concept.
  • There is a risk of China becoming a "giant supermarket", as the plethora of e-commerce price wars is leading to an unhealthy, overly-discounted market. Every imaginable date combination is being turned into an "online shopping festival", from the initial Double Eleven, to Double Twelve, to 520, to 618. Even industry practitioners can't remember all of them, not to mention the consumers. All these 'direct marketing campaigns' are actually really promotional tactics, and increase the risk of branding in China becoming homogenised.
Topics

Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

Uproar: Are animal portrayals in ads a new brand risk?

Advertisers and agencies love animals, because animals sell. But a Year of the Tiger Gucci campaign that made activists growl shows that the definition of what’s appropriate may be evolving when it comes to using the world's fauna.

1 day ago

Mark Heap on ‘moving across the aisles’ to ...

Media agencies offer broadly the same services as one another, and use propositions like ‘good growth’ and ‘people first’ to establish an identity. But what do these mean, in practical terms, and how do they influence leadership strategies? Mark Heap takes us inside the industry.

1 day ago

The ride of the tiger: Feast your eyes on BMW's ...

While other brands make long, dramatic Chinese New Year films, the carmaker and TBWA's Bolt have programmed in a very different route: 90 seconds that's 'nothing but sheer joy'.

1 day ago

The Beijing Olympics: A non-starter for global sponsors

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: Beijing-based sports-marketing expert Mark Dreyer says the games will see largely Chinese brands targeting the China market, with many employing Chinese-American skier/model Eileen Gu.