Since our SunRice campaign launched during Lunar New Year, we’ve had lots of interest from clients and prospects. They’re particularly interested about IDENTITY Communication’s view on multicultural talent in creative.
I always start with this story…
“Box Hill is a well-known Chinese suburb. There are all Chinese billboards on the street and 9 out 10 are Asian faces. You see more international (non-Chinese) people in Shanghai than here” Weibo post.
It came up in branding work for a large retail client earlier this year. During the insight and discovery phase, this nugget unlocked a crucial insight that had us reassessing our recommendation. Surely, you’d expect Chinese in Australia to love being in an area that is predominantly Chinese, right?
In higher education, particularly in courses which Chinese international students are the predominant group enrolled, these students are finding that too much of a good thing might not be good after all. Some are craving more diversity in their class and express an interest to mix outside of their group to get a more authentic experience of Australia and Australian education.
That’s lead us to this insight:
Being lumped in with people like you all the time is comforting at first, but before long, you want to explore and experience more of Australia. After all, isn’t that why migrants and international students come to a sunburnt country?
But how should we treat these audiences in multicultural creative? Is it to make sure everyone is represented, like below?
But what if you miss one group? Awkward. And how do you avoid producing creatives that come across as tokenistic?
Take a look at NAB’s Life – More Than Money campaign above. A well told story that focuses on a universal truth. We all love and want success for our children, don’t we? So let’s tell that story from one perspective, in this case, it’s an Asian-Australian one.
The single-minded focus makes this creative more powerful, more compelling. It’s one of my favourite ads of recent years.
Context is important, too. Instead of being a United Nations of representation, bringing it back to what’s authentic and real.
The Rice Breaker, our campaign for SunRice, depicted a uniquely migrant experience of inviting your neighbour to dinner for the first time.
It’s real, it doesn’t feel tonkenistic.
Migrants don’t live in their own bubble so we should find ways to represent that in creative.
How does that compare with multicultural creative you’ve seen lately? Where does it fit in the tokenistic/cliche to authentic scale? Think about the Chinese New Year creative you’ve seen lately… red and gold, 8’s, papercut pigs, smiling Chinese family in traditional costume, much?
Oh, and make sure this more inclusive approach is reflected in your media investment. Your media plan should use all relevant touch points; a ‘mainstream’ channel like Out of Home might be just perfect to extend your campaign reach.
I’m glad IDENTITY’s work has inspired and stirred interest. Really looking forward to seeing great creative that genuinely reflects modern Australia.
Seen any other great work lately? Share it with us in the comments.
SunRice is discarding the usual cultural clichés this Chinese New Year with a new campaign that aims to create a more authentic portrayal of an Asian-Australian family.
The campaign depicts a new-migrant experience – hosting their Australian neighbours for dinner for the first time. The initial dinner table awkwardness is immediately overcome when a bowl of Sunrice arrives.
The spot positions SunRice as the ideal cultural “rice breaker” in the situation, launching to coincide with Chinese New Year.
“Chinese New Year is the biggest cultural occasion for the community, and we wanted to be there to celebrate this special occasion with them,” SunRice head of marketing Andrew Jeffrey said.
“As a proud Australian brand, we want to show our Asian consumers that we understand the aspirations of modern Asian-Australian families. Our Asian family is proud of their heritage, but they are also eager to be part of the Australian community”.
The campaign creative was developed by multicultural communications agency, Identity.
Identity MD Thang Ngo said: “There are around one million Chinese speakers in Australia, making this audience highly attractive for brands.
“Just using red and gold colours or number 8’s in creative doesn’t cut-through anymore. It’s not new, doesn’t stand out and doesn’t demonstrate an understanding beyond cultural clichés.
“Brands need to demonstrate more sophistication and deeper understanding if they want to build an authentic connection with this valuable audience”.
The campaign will be rolled out on SBS TV and Chinese and Vietnamese channels including pay TV, digital, print, Weibo and WeChat social media and bi-lingual out of home.
SunRice is celebrating Chinese New Year with a campaign via Identity Communications, Sydney, featuring an Asian-Australian family.
SunRice is launching a national campaign depicting a new-migrant experience – hosting their Australian neighbours for dinner for the first time. The initial dinner table awkwardness is immediately overcome when a steaming bowl of SunRice arrives, proving that SunRice is the ideal cultural ‘rice breaker’.
The campaign will be rolled out on SBS TV and Chinese and Vietnamese channels including Pay TV, digital, print, Weibo and WeChat social media and bi-lingual out of home.
“Chinese New Year is the biggest cultural occasion for the community, and we wanted to be there to celebrate this special occasion with them,” says Andrew Jeffrey, head of marketing at SunRice. “As a proud Australian brand, we want to show our Asian consumers that we understand the aspirations of modern Asian-Australian families. Our Asian family is proud of their heritage, but they are also eager to be part of the Australian community”.
The campaign creative was developed by multicultural communications agency, Identity. Says managing director Thang Ngo: “There are around one million Chinese speakers in Australia, making this audience highly attractive for brands. Just using red and gold colours or number 8’s in creative doesn’t cut-through anymore. It’s not new, doesn’t stand out and doesn’t demonstrate an understanding beyond cultural clichés. Brands need to demonstrate more sophistication and deeper understanding if they want to build an authentic connection with this valuable audience”.
Agency: Identity Communications Creative Director: Yasmin Quemard Art Director: Rachel Liang Writers: Yasmin Quemard, Brenda Leung and Sean Zhu Translation Management: Brenda Leung, Albert Han Designer: Rachel Liang Head of Strategy: Thang Ngo Managing Director: Thang Ngo Head of Studio: Tobias Young Client Services Director: Angelica Naranjo Production Coordinator: Murray Wallace Lead Developer: Dipak Sadaula
Production Company: Clockwork Film
Client: SunRice Head of Marketing & Insights: Andrew Jeffrey Senior Marketing Manager: Shannon Cumberlidge Brand Manager: Peta Thomas
Sean Zhu, Identity Communication’s business analyst shines a spotlight on a potential audience that’s worth $32b.
If you’re a marketer, I can recommend a group in Australia that is over 626,000 in size and contributes $32 billion to the Australian economy. They’re easy to reach as they’re concentrated in major cities. They’re young, most are between 18-26 years of age, are tech savvy, enjoy entertainment and travelling and embrace new experiences. They should be a marketer’s dream. But this group maintains a strong connection with the homeland and homeland media channels, so your ‘mainstream’ media may not get through to this large and lucrative group.
You’ve probably guessed, they’re International Students, a potential multicultural marketing segment for Australian brands.
The numbers are up….
International Student enrolment includes those studying in the Higher Education, VET, Secondary Schooling, English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
In 2017, there were 796,529 enrolments. This represents a 12% increase on 2016 and compares with an average annual enrolments growth rate of 4% per year over the preceding ten years.
Higher education a greater contributor
44% of international enrolments in 2017 are in higher education and 27% in vocational education (VET) out of the total number, with China and India being the two largest contributing countries.
VET: The VET sector accounted for 27.2% of total enrolments, India contributed the largest share of in the sector. China was the next largest source country followed by the Republic of Korea and Thailand.3
ELICOS: The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector accounted for 19.4% of total enrollments in 2017. China was the largest ELICOS market followed by Brazil, Colombia and Thailand.
Higher education: The higher education sector had the largest share in 2017. China and India accounted for 53% of enrolment. The larger proportion of Higher education means two things: – Longer time spent in Australia which brings more opportunities for brands – But they maintain their home networks including social channels, knowing they will return
Tuition Fees International Students are not eligible for most of the scholarships or student loans and need to pay each semester in advance. Typically, the costs are:
ELICOS: $250 – $350 per week, 10-60 weeks
VET: $1,000- $20,000 depends on the degree and institution
Higher education: The average tuition fee for undergraduate students is around $29,000 per year; Master’s degree ranges from $20,000 to $37,000. For example, an International Student studying a Bachelor degree of Marketing and Media (3 years full time) in Macquarie University, the estimated annual fee is $36,450. These fees tend to increase each year.
Geographically concentrated on NSW & VIC
NSW and VIC is home to nearly 70% of international students. And in NSW and VIC, International Students make up one in three students at many universities.
This is a young group of consumers, perfect for entertainment, travel, banking, FMCG, food & beverage and beauty brands
Reach these audiences via their preferred channels, such as WeChat, Weibo, YouKu, to name a few
Tailoring your creative to specific multicultural audiences will deliver a 100% increase in engagement, says Thang Ngo. Marketers need to see the value in true bespoke multicultural creative to capture the attention of their entire audience.
Almost five million Australians speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2016 Census – up 20% from five years ago!
Brands looking for new growth opportunities are increasingly eyeing their multicultural marketing potential. But when the ‘rubber hits the road’, marketers and their agencies rightly devote time and resources to getting the media schedules right but often default to running their ‘mainstream’ creative assets when clearly bespoke creative would be considerably more effective.
How effective you may ask? We are seeing a 100% increase in engagement in some instances when culturally relevant creative work is introduced.
Advertising basics recognise the complementary contribution of media and creative in an effective campaign. But at the first creative development hurdle for their multicultural campaign, advertisers are often signing off on less effectiveness by running mainstream creativity.
Many clients think it’s too hard or costly to develop bespoke in-language creative for their brands, overwhelmingly opting to translate their existing ‘mainstream’ creative. I am sure that instinctively clients know that a lack of relevant creative reduces the performance of their campaigns.
Their media schedule might provide great reach and cost effectiveness, but the creative could turn the audience off.
Of course, one size does not fit all. Budget, timing and other factors come in to play in the real world. Here are some considerations that might help focus more attention to multicultural creative development:
Budget – If the marketing budget is limited, it might not be feasible to invest in bespoke creative because it might take a disproportionate share of the budget.
Timing – In-language creative often takes longer to produce, sourcing the right talent from a limited pool and translation lead time might complicate your logistics.
Creative capacity – There isn’t the breadth of creative and production talent compared to mainstream, so this may impact on the quality of the message you are crafting.
Collaboration – Consider if your current creative agency could work with a cultural consultant during creative concept and development.
Face to camera – If it’s just a voiceover, then consider re-voicing the commercial.
Customise static assets – TV production requires a larger budget, but if you’re doing a print advert that has talent, consider shooting the mainstream material with a mix of talent or shooting talent that’s from a relevant community for your campaign.
Product benefit – Particularly in the beauty category, a well-known culturally relevant talent may be the inspiration for this audience, so maybe subtitling is all that’s needed. However, if the benefits of a beauty product might be better demonstrated on someone with a skin tone similar to your target audience, the talent choice may not be appropriate.
Your brand – If you are a major multinational, and you’re investing a significant budget in media, is there an expectation that you should develop tailored creative for the target community?
Brand sentiment benefits – In an environment where creative is almost always translated from mainstream, consider the significant uplift in positive brand sentiment from investing in bespoke creative.
ROI – Brands that appreciate and focus on tailoring their creative to multicultural audiences will reap the benefit of a little extra investment. It’s advertising 101.
Ignore the importance of multicultural creative development at your own peril.
Thang Ngo is managing director at Identity Communications.