|The amazing feat of raising the water level of the Yangtze River is creating new avenues of commercial transportation throughout China. Here, cargo ships fill new harbors made possible by deeper water.
INSIDE THE ASIAN COLOSSUS
China as Market and Marketer
NAVIGATING AD LAWS AND CULTURAL PITFALLS IN CHINA
Number 4, Color Blue Are Taboo; No Statues of Liberty Allowed
HOW COCA-COLA SLICES UP CHINA
Five-Tier Strategy Built Coke's Sixth Largest Market
MCCANN ERICKSON WINS CHEVY AD ACCOUNT FOR CHINA
Chevrolets Set to Roll Off Chinese Assembly Lines This Winter
KEA'S GLOBAL REACH BOWS TO LOCAL CULTURE
Quirky But Clever Marketing Campaign Targets Elevators in China
MARKETING LOG CABINS TO CHINESE MILLIONAIRES
With Ten-Gallon Hats and Horse-Riding Guards Thrown In
MCDONALD'S EYES IMAGE AND CHINA MARKET WITH YAO MING HIRE
Basketball Star Stands Far Above Previous Endorsers
'The most advertising-friendly'
"Chinese people are perhaps the most advertising-friendly people on earth," said Tom Doctoroff, CEO of J. Walter Thompson Co. in China. "Due to a spiky mix of Communistic inhibition, and an explosion of lifestyle choices, Chinese people -- particularly the disoriented young generation -- need brands. Dazed and confused, they actively latch on to them. Logos are badges. Nike shoes are identity surrogates. Consumers are undaunted by cynicism. China is virgin territory."
But Mr. Doctoroff added that China's love of advertising hasn't yet translated into a cadre of local brands. "Where is China's Mickey Mouse?" he asked. The problem is that local brands often are inconsistent in their ad appeals. One drink product, LuLu, used three different pitches in six months, claiming it would make kids smarter, promote family harmony and even make skin softer.
Austin Lally, general manager of Procter & Gamble's beauty-care business in China, cautioned that "there is no such thing as China. There are 1,000 Chinas," where consumers have differing aspirations and spending power. "Marketers must grasp that complexity or fail," he said.
One constant among Chinese teenagers P&G talked to is that they are "tired of being interrupted. They are demanding fun and exciting commercials, ones they want to watch." In prior years, Procter would have reacted by "dialing up the volume of advertising." But within the last two years, P&G has been measuring the "watchability"of its TV commercials. And Mr. Lally said "where and when" consumers are receptive to the company's messages is just as important as the content.
Koichi Yamamoto, senior manager of Dentsu Communications Institute, gave
|Rance Crain, editor in chief, 'Advertising Age'
China, from my expert vantage point of having spent all of 10 days in the country, is an unstoppable phenomenon. My wife, Merrilee, and I took a cruise on the Yangtze River and we learned the country is raising the river to 125 meters above sea level (in one month in 2009 it will be raised the final 25 meters). All this will cause the relocation of over 1 million Chinese.
Any country that can raise water levels and relocate a million-plus people, and whose citizens unabashedly embrace advertising and buy branded products as badges of how far they've come, is a country I want to stay on the good side of. They take enormous pride in their considerable accomplishments, and one thing is for sure: You won't see any empty seats at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.