China’s capital and most influential city

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BEIJING -- While not China’s largest city, Beijing is definitely the most influential metropolitan center in that fast-growing Asian market. Since China joined the World Trade Organization, the capital has attracted dozens of multinational marketers who value its close proximity to influential Communist cadres. The opening of China’s telecom, finance and banking industries, as well as hype surrounding the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games, are helping Beijing steal some of the attention that used to be focused on Shanghai.

As a result, “China’s ad industry is not as Shanghai-centric as it used be,” said Viveca Chan, Hong Kong-based chairman-CEO of WPP Group’s Grey Global Group. “In the past, Shanghainese were more into new things and less brand loyal, while Beijingers were more conservative.

“But the success of Beijing’s tech industry, namely the booming number of Internet start-ups, has changed the mentality of Beijingers and instigated a lot of cultural changes, like more films and rock bands coming out of Beijing these days. This new breed of consumers is more knowledge-based, adventurous and tech-savvy.”

Beijing was already one of China’s most sophisticated and affluent media markets. All but two of the ten-most advertised brands on local TV are now Western products, a reality reflected in the growing number of locally-made campaigns that could run in New York or London. For example, a new TV campaign for Li-Ning, China’s leading sportswear brand, was filmed in Africa to promote the Beijing-based brand’s international ambitions. But local agency execs warn that Beijingers still are not impressed by flashy pitches, preferring instead no-nonsense information-based advertising.

Fast Facts: Beijing

Population: : 14.93 million
GDP (2004): $51.79 billion
Adspend (2004): $1.88 billion
Adspend (2003): $1.43 billion
Year-on-year increase: 31.4%
Adspend as a percentage of GDP (2004): 3.6%
No. of TV households: 2,422,000
Avg. min. viewed per day of all channels (aged 4+): 182.2
Basic cable subscription cost (per month): $2.17

Average cost of 30” spot during prime time on Beijing TV 1,
the city’s most-watched local channel*

18:20-19:35 - $4,518
19:35-19:55 - $5,482
19:55-20:35 - $4,578
20:30-21:33 - $4,819
*Based on rate card value.

Top 10 advertising brands on TV (2004)*
1. Oil of Olay - Skin Care /Toilet Soap / Liquid Soap
2. Rejoice - Hair Care /Toilet Soap / Liquid Soap
3. Crest - Toothpaste & Oral Hygiene
4. McDonald’s - Fastfood & Takeaway
5. Head & Shoulders - Hair Care
6. Gai Zhong Gai - Tonic/Vitamin
7. Safeguard - Toilet Soap / Liquid Soap
8. Taita Pharm - Tonic/Vitamin
9. Pantene - Hair Care
10. Colgate - Toothpaste & Oral Hygiene
*Local channels only, based on rate card.
(Note: six of the top 10 brands are marketed by Procter & Gamble Co.)

Top 10 advertising categories on TV (2004)*
1. Shampoo & Conditioner
2. Skin Care
3. Tonic & Vitamin
4. Passenger Vehicles
5. Toothpaste & Oral Hygiene
6. Toilet Soap / Liquid Soap
7. Fast food & Takeaway
8. Laundry Product
9. Sanitary Protection
10. Communication Equipment & Service
*Local channels only, based on rate card.

Top 5 Local Channels by Ad Revenue
1. Beijing TV 1 - Variety (Satellite)
2. Beijing TV 4 - Drama & Movies
3. Beijing TV 2 - Art
4. Beijing TV 6 - Sports
5. Beijing TV 3 - Science & Education

Sources: Nielsen Media Research & AGB Nielsen Media Research

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