Council burnishes gold's image in China

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[Shanghai, China] The Chinese have always loved gold, but its appeal to an older generation as an investment or ornate gift is lost on young Chinese consumers. A concerned World Gold Council (WGC) is trying to modernize the image of gold jewelry as fun, sexy and fashionable in China, the world's fourth largest gold producer and fourth largest consumer of the precious metal.

The WGC, a Geneva, Switzerland, nonprofit association of the world's leading gold producers dedicated to promoting the use of gold for everything from dentistry and coins to gold jewelry, is working with Bartle Bogle Hegarty to influence China's $12 billion-a-year jewelry market.

It's not an easy sell. Although gold jewelry has been a symbol of wealth and good fortune for centuries, it has been shunned over the past 10 years by China's more fashion-conscious young consumers, who recall parents buying gold jewelry as an investment or as prestigious but gaudy gifts for older family members.

To reposition gold in TV and print work, WGC's print ads feature stylish women adorned with gold jewelry who are caught in a personal moment. In one, two confident young women express a sisterly bond through their body language but their expressions and choice of jewelry also suggest competition, supported by the tagline, "We're sisters. We're best friends. We're rivals."

"Initial consumer testing strengthens our belief that this campaign can achieve a strong emotional attachment with the target audience and at the same time will continue to push K-gold's brand image towards contemporary, fashionable, approachable, versatile and confident," said Singapore-based Albert Cheng, WGC's managing director, Far East.

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