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The future of China’s social media

China Social Media

This post comes from Jax Potter, an Account Manager at our sister agency Eulogy! London. Jax spent a week with DGC and attended Social Media Week in New York as part of our “Rising Star” exchange program. One of the seminars she attended was “The Social Media Future of China.”

The following post was originally shared on E!’s blog.

There are currently 618,000,000 internet users in China, making up 45.8% of the population. The access choice of these users is predominantly through a mobile device rather than on desktop. The user base is predicted to grow by a staggering 800,000,000 users by 2015, providing an even greater audience for brands to speak to.

Currently, Facebook and Twitter are both banned in China due to lack of content control and regulation by the government. There is a slight exception for this, in that businesses operating in Shanghai can have access to Facebook in order to sell and connect to international markets.

Obviously members of the public want to connect with each other in the social-sphere so local variations and amalgamations of multiple platforms are popping up all over China.

Probably the most well-known channel by brands internationally is Weibo, which offers users a similar experience to Twitter but with wider image sharing options. Government content regulation is beginning to be enforced on the platform and as a result, 28,000,000 people left the network last year.

Social Media Week speaker, Yuanbo Liu described emerging platform, YY as “Whatsapp meets Zynga, meets American Idol”. The network originally started as a way for gamers to share tips and talk to each other on level completion and what’s coming up next. It has now evolved to users uploading videos of themselves performing acts such as karaoke and spectators giving them virtual gifts as endorsement of their skills. Users can then cash in these virtual gifts for money and make a profit from their talents.

It doesn’t seem obvious what the brand opportunity is yet for selling to the Chinese audience through this network, but this is going to be one to watch.

One of the largest opportunities to brands wanting to attract and engage with a Chinese audience is capturing the interest of tourists. In Chinese culture, the act of giving and gifting is a very high family value and those going abroad are expected to bring back gifts and souvenirs as a token of their travels.

Carefully worded brand content can therefore have a big impact on companies looking to target Chinese tourists with British or international products.

The biggest local social media platforms in China at the moment are:

  • Tencent
  • Ren Ren
  • YY
  • Wechat

Interestingly, one of the biggest national days in China that provides opportunities for brands to sell in Singles Day. A day in which single people purchase gifts for themselves to ensure they receive something over Valentine’s Day.

This year, Single’s Day in China generated more money than Cyber Monday, demonstrating the huge opportunity for brands in China.

Looking towards the future, it seems content regulation is going to carry on being a big focus for the Chinese government so new social media platforms will continue to pop up.

Brands therefore, need to keep a constant eye on which networks are opening and look for ways to get their products in front of the Chinese audience.

Truth and Privacy in Advertising – Is it ‘Mission: Impossible?’

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As the advertising world continues to collide with the digital age, issues of consumer privacy and truthfulness in marketing are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. These were the topics addressed in an Advertising Week event Thursday evening hosted by MediaCom, Davis & Gilbert LLP, and Idevoita at the Liberty Theater in New York.

Following an introduction by MediaCom U.S. CEO Sasha Savic, Jonathan Salem Baskin – who co-authored the newly-published Tell The Truth with MediaCom’s own Sue Unerman – shared his views on the relationship between transparency, purchaser data, and the emergence of “brand truth” as a basis for effective customer relationships. He discussed why it is so important for brands to be honest and forthcoming with consumers, especially in today’s world where brands don’t only talk TO consumers, but also WITH them via social channels. The consumer has more power now than ever before, and advertisers can use this as an asset when they correctly – and honestly – engage with the buying public.

Also part of the presentation was a conversation between Ronald Urbach, Chairman of the law firm Davis & Gilbert, and FTC Commissioner Julie Brill. They addressed a wide range of topics critical to the advertising industry, from privacy to data collection and security, citing specific examples and particular responsibilities of the government agency.

The packed theater was addressed by the real life Frank Abagnale, who was famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the big screen classic “Catch Me If You Can.” Abignale told his life story from teenage runaway turned identity thief to convicted criminal and FBI informant and academy instructor.

Following the event was a cocktail reception at Lucille’s (inside B.B. King’s Blues Club) sponsored by MediaCom and Evidon.

What do you think are the biggest issues regarding privacy and advertising? What brands do you think “tell the truth” the best? Or the worst? Share your thoughts below.

Counting Down To Super Bowl XLVI: The Ultimate Pre-Game

The Super Bowl has turned into more than just a game — it is a two-week celebration with events every day building up to the big game. Although we have a seemingly “super” matchup this year, and many DGCers are excited that the Giants are playing, we’ve realized that the game isn’t the biggest attraction to the Super Bowl. There are parties, concerts, more parties, live tapings of every NBC show imaginable, and yes — more parties. You’ll find the Playboy Party, the GQ Party, the Coors Light Lodge Party, and even a celebrity poker tournament – all on February 3.

It’s a media planning frenzy from a PR standpoint. Every media outlet in the country will be covering the Super Bowl, looking for stories, pictures, and interviews. Everyone wants a piece of the NFL pie.

With such an action-packed schedule in Indianapolis and on your TV, we thought we’d share with you DGC’s top seven Super Bowl events (besides the game, of course).

7) Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl – Because who doesn’t love puppies playing football?

6) The NFL Experience – Each year the host city also hosts the NFL Experience, which is essentially the Disney World of football. This year it will be at the Indianapolis Convention Center, with NFL Charities donating $1 million of ticket sales to local Indianapolis communities.

5) EA Sports Madden Bowl – The athletes that couldn’t quite make it to the real Super Bowl get a second chance virtually.

4)  Pepsi Fan Jam 2012 – Folks tune in to watch Gym Class Heroes, B.o.B., and the All-American Rejects perform on VH1.

3) Super Bowl Media Day – Super Bowl Media Day receives more coverage than any sports interview ever should. With Eli Manning and Tom Brady leading the teams this year, Super Bowl Media Day offers a special treat for fans that get to watch from the stands. If you can’t make it to Indianapolis, you’ll be able to watch live on NFL Network – and it’ll be the top story on any televised sports news that Tuesday.

2) The Bridgestone Halftime Show – Although it’s been toned down since the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” of 2003, we’d venture to guess that some people are watching this year’s Super Bowl just to see the latest iteration of Madonna.

1) The Ads – Whether the game turns out to be a nail-biter or a total snooze, people will be buzzing during the game and the next morning about the ads regardless. And with companies spending an average of $3.5 million for 30-second spots, marketers hope to make a splash that will reach beyond the game.

With all this talk of pre-game hype, DGC is already looking forward to the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII in New York – let the planning begin!

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