Interview: Marketing in China

21 Oct

So I just recently caught up with an old classmate of mine, Chris Ruffell – we went to elementary school together!

Chris runs his own video marketing agency Reel Marketer in Victoria, B.C., Canada, helping local companies tell their stories through the use of video. Chris asked me a few questions about my own experience with Advertising in China.

Here is a snippet of the interview:

I figure it’s common knowledge, hopefully even in China, that those in advertising have a screw a bit lose, zoo… compared to Western forms of advertising, how does advertising in China look?

DEBI BLIZARD: Great question. Advertising in China is quite different than in the West. In China, it is an industry that is still relatively young and one which comes from very different beginnings than the West. In China, ads first began as political propaganda to rally the nation during the Maoist era. It was only after China adopted a market-based economy and opened their doors to the rest of the world that brands moved in and staked their claim. Today it is a different China, a China that is constantly evolving – new conglomerate brands are entering the market daily, local brands are getting bigger and stronger, middle class wealth is accumulating and people are itching to find new ways to spend their money. But while the opportunity is undeniable, so is the competition. China is becoming so saturated with brands that it can almost feel like sensory overload at times – flashing lights, blaring screens, loudspeakers, pushy salespeople. People are becoming increasingly distrusting of marketing claims and it is becoming harder for brands to stand out in a way that feels authentic and genuine.

I wasn’t aware yet of most of those points in regards to East Asian marketing.. go on!

DEBI BLIZARD: The key is in realizing that advertising in China must be targeted, quite specifically – to make sure the brand message cuts through all the other crap out there and resounds with the right audience at the right time and place. We worked with global brands, trying to help them see what makes China so different from the West – understanding that certain things just won’t resonate in the same way, and sometimes in completely the wrong way than you might intend.

Check out the full interview at Reel Marketer here.


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