Chinese advertisements on television, radio, newspapers and magazines make Ron Popeil’s television (“Set-it and Forget-it”) advertisements for direct response products runaway Clio winners. This is of course my (and shared by many) opinion due to American and western advertising professionals provincial, desire for advertising to be an art. One of the reasons might be that some advertisements are so well done it lifts the entire profession. Of course we also are hoping and expecting that the ‘cool’ looking ad or commercial sells products or services. China ads on all channels are busy, noisy and – different.
And that’s the most important thing to keep in mind. Any experienced marketing or advertising professional knows that what might work in the United States probably won’t work anywhere else but in the United States. Local culture can and should play a significant role in helping determine the most effective styles in delivering advertisements.
Yet I cannot help but be surprised that their approach works when I watch, drive-by, and read advertisements in China. Actually that could be said for much of Asia as I have noted the same trends in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Would they not respond to a western-style ad – dry humor, bizarre demonstrations or lush graphics and photographs? It appears we have our answer since the ads just keep on running.
The literal sounds of bells, dings, whistles and cartoon–like sounds used in advertisements in Asia no doubt are effective. I do sometimes wonder how much testing is done in Asia to be assured that the current style is the only effective style. Of course the converse should also then be in play – Chinese-style ads in the U.S. Hey it’s only fair. Testing the effectiveness of a completely different advertising style is unheard of. Creative and sales approaches evolve slowly overtime and what is revolutionary (think Apple 1984 ad) doesn’t seem to be as much a generation later.
The one thing that has not happened to me is that when I see most Chinese ads I really have no desire to watch them again an hour later – bowing to an old an incorrect stereotype.
Watch or listen to a few Chinese broadcast sports, and look at the ads and billboards. Would a U.S and generally western style of advertising be better and more effective?