Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jul 3, 2016

Cannes 2016: Chinese design fixated on pleasing customers; no grand vision

Campaign caught up with Shen Yiwen (沈亿文), co-founder and chairperson of Jamewish Brand Consulting, for her analysis of China's performance in the Design Lions.

We summarise her key points here:

  • I would say Japan is the strongest country in terms of design not just in Asia but in the world. Their designs are embedded with a grand vision for the company--not just focused on selling products, and not even focused on the outcome of the advertising campaign. The Japanese are designing not for today, but for the future.
  • There was one jury member from Dentsu Inc who had to constantly go out of the room as we were judging and discussing her project. She told Shen that the Grand Prix winner —“Life is Electric” for Panasonic, which was chosen for its creative bravery—has had no increase on sales for the past three years. The point was to change people's minds, people's behaviour, people's concepts of electricity and energy; even though the change may not be directly related to the consumption of the brand's products. It was more future-looking. 
  • A lot of Chinese design now is focused on pleasing customers, to appeal to their desires  and to conform to their expectations. But it should be to lead, rather than follow, customers. It should be one step ahead of our customers.

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