If someone on the street were to pull you aside and ask you to name a few Chinese brands off the top of your head, would you be able to? I went out onto the streets of London to find out exactly this. The brands that were mentioned frequently were Alibaba, Huawei, Levono, Baidu, WeChat, Weibo, Xiaomi and BYD Auto. Although, there were still quite a few people who couldn’t even mention one.
According to Business Insider, 10 Chinese brands are set to take over most US households by 2020. However, today people are only able to mention a few brand names when we are only five years away from the estimated date.
Until 2011, Huawei was a brand that many western consumers wouldn’t have been able to identify. Today, Huawei has 17 R&D centres all around the world and thanks to their devotion to R&D more western markets are starting to resonate with Chinese brands.
Miles Young, a global chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather, states that the issue is due to the long-standing Sino-American tensions as political and even socio – cultural barriers stand in the way.
Justin Knapp, director of Ogilvy PR, explains “One of the biggest challenges for Chinese brands is articulating their vision and strategy, and in a different language, which is not helping. They are still not used to going global.”
But Chinese brands are trying. It can be seen that Chinese brands are getting better and better at creating good quality commercials. They either do it through hiring international agencies, creating western campaigns for western consumers or hiring top locally available experts in China. Huawei have been grasping western advertising quite nicely as the ads below have all been created by agencies’ Chinese offices though for foreign markets.
Slowly but surely Chinese brands are making their way into foreign markets. Who knows? Maybe you will buy a Levono tablet and Huawei phone while wechatting with your friends and family next year.
Levono and Ashton Kutcher have introduced a tablet that was designed by Ashton. Levono is increasing brand awareness through the ads as they are positioning themselves with humour to win over western markets. The ad received positive feedback from the public, which included fans of Ashton and others.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Title: Yoga Tablet/ 18 hours of Ashton Longform
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Title: Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 – Ashton Kutcher Massage
WeChat is China’s number one communication platform which delivers incredibly user-friendly experiences. WeChat is a true brand that tells its story in an emotional way, therefore it is an extremely powerful tool. Some countries in the western world where the product has been received well are: Brazil, the US and UK. Here are some ads that have been broadcasted.
香港版 Hong Kong Version：
菲律宾版 Philippine Version:
墨西哥 Mexico Version:
Title: Huawei Ascend P7, Excellence with Edge
Title: Huawei Ascend G6, To love is to share
Title: Secret Weapon
Title: No More Wasted Time
Title: Aways Say Yes