5 tips for your next Chinese Influencer Event

5 tips for your next Chinese Influencer Event

By Wei Ng, Account Director 

 

Last week, Identity Communications had the pleasure of bringing together a group of Chinese social media influencers, also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), to test drive Hyundai’s exciting Electric Vehicle range: the KONA Electric, IONIQ plug-in Hybrid and IONIQ Electric.

The day went down very well thanks to Sydney putting on a sunny face to keep the rain clouds away for our drive into the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Here are five tips that will help to achieve a successful event for client, influencers and project planner (i.e. yourself).

1. Do a site reconnaissance before the event day

This will take time out of your diary but it’s crucial if you want the day to pan out to expectations. As much as possible, we scouted possible driving routes to ascertain the best one, visited pitstops and ideate on photoshoots, ensured the lunch spot catered for a big group of guests and clocked the whole journey to see if we could fit all the activities in. Whether it’s a test drive, a sit-down function or any influencer event you are planning for, a full practise run is invaluable to minimise potential hiccups on the actual day.

The morning presentation is set up the day before.

2. Make sure everyone speaks English (or a common language)
On any other occasion, this wouldn’t even cross your mind. But to host an event where your social media influencers and the media organisations are planning to create content in Chinese, it makes sense to ensure that, while they’re well-versed in Chinese, they should also have an adequate level of English proficiency. After all, they will be required to translate your client’s press releases or answers to Q&As into Chinese, and can only do so accurately if they are proficient enough in English. That said, have someone who can be that go-to person for both clients and influencers to interpret information bilingually. For example, we had someone who spoke in Mandarin to the media and influencers throughout the day, for simple things such as rounding the group for a photoshoot with the cars or translating technical words about car specs. It helps to keep the influencers and media at ease when someone speaks their language.

3. Allow plenty of time for influencers to create and share content in real time
You may assume a test drive will merely involve a lot of driving, close-up shots of alloy wheels and peering under the car hood. None of that happened, except for the driving. Instead, there were drones, poses in scenic locations along the route with the cars, influencers gaping in awe as one of the Electric Vehicles self-parked, and A LOT of selfies. After all, it wasn’t about selling wheels. It’s about being inspired and finding the inspirational in these cars. Moreover, the influencers were immediately logging onto their social platforms to share as soon as they finished their selfies. The instant creating and sharing won’t be the full extent of what influencers are giving back to the day, but it is part and parcel. The more time you give them, the more they are able to share with their thousands of followers a taste of what’s to come and to build excitement.

A group shot posted online on the day immediately received hundreds of likes.

4. Engage a professional for photo and film shoots
The influencers are recorders of the event but to do the project justice, have a professional capture the day. This ensures you cover every aspect that’s important for your brand. It’s great for internal press releases for the client to share within the business. Furthermore, such content becomes your client’s property and can then be shared on owned platforms or for you to share with other media and gain additional PR.

A social media influencer being filmed on location

5. Involve the clients
The client is the brand expert. But technical specifications and brand history aside, Chinese social influencers love it when the client team takes the time to go through the whole experience with them, to entertain every question raised and to demonstrate what makes their product uniquely different. It’s akin to special treatment and that is something no press release or gift pack can match. The client will enjoy going through the experience too because if your invited Chinese influencers are being themselves, they’re sure to be entertaining and fun.

Scott Nager, Senior manager of Future Mobility and Government, demonstrating the Nexo’s self-parking capabilities.

The right balance in multicultural marketing

The right balance in multicultural marketing

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?

Maybe not…

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 recreates modern migration experience in cultural campaign

SunRice recreates modern migration experience in cultural campaign

AdNews, 4 February 2019

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 breaks stereotypes with Chinese New Year campaign via Identity Communications

SunRice breaks stereotypes with Chinese New Year campaign via Identity Communications

Campaign Brief, 4 February 2019
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”.

CREDITS

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

IPG’s Identity Breaks Stereotypes With SunRice Chinese New Year Campaign

IPG’s Identity Breaks Stereotypes With SunRice Chinese New Year Campaign

B&T Magazine, 4 February 2019

One of Australia’s most successful food companies, SunRice, is discarding the usual cultural clichés this Chinese New Year for a more authentic portrayal of 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’.

SunRice head of marketing Andrew Jeffrey said: “Chinese New Year is the biggest cultural occasion for the community, and we wanted to be there to celebrate this special occasion with them.

“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 Communications 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”.

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.

 

CREDITS:

Client: SunRice

Head of Marketing & Insights: Andrew Jeffrey

Senior Marketing Manager: Shannon Cumberlidge

Brand Manager: Peta Thomas

Agency: Identity Communications

Managing Director: Thang Ngo

Head of Studio: Tobias Young

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

Client Services Director: Angelica Naranjo

Production Coordinator: Murray Wallace

Lead Developer: Dipak Sadaula

Top 5 Tips for Marketers during Chinese New Year 2019

Top 5 Tips for Marketers during Chinese New Year 2019

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by almost 1.5 million people in Australia. IDENTITY Communications, Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency has 5 tips for marketers looking to cash in.

The Year of the Pig starts on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. Get ready for a sea of red and gold, paper cut pig icons, red packets, dragons, and gratuitous use of ‘8’ and ‘luck’ as marketers jostle for the lucrative Asian dollar. Examples of brands cashing in from last year include Chobani (above) and ANZ (below).

What’s wrong with red and gold?

It wouldn’t be in the festive spirit to deride these attempts as bad example of multicultural marketing. Overwhelmingly, ‘red and gold’  has been the approach of marketers and their multicultural agencies over the years. So basically everyone had done it to some degree.

It isn’t the wrong thing to do, but there are drawbacks, which has been best articulated by Alain de Botton.

“The problem with cliches is not that they contain false ideas, but rather that they are superficial articulations of very good ones” Alain de Botton.

5 ways to avoid being superficial in Chinese New Year marketing.

1. Demonstrate cultural understanding rather repeat cliches

Coca-Cola’s approach in 2017 was to put family reunion front and centre rather than default to the road often travelled of new year cliches. Apart from red, which is Coke’s corporate colour, the usual festive cliches have been dialed down.

2. Be confident to stand out

Can a brand win the hearts and minds (and wallets) of their customers without resorting to cliches or even promoting their brand. Against the sea of red and gold, Pokka, Singapore’s number one ready to drink tea beverage brand takes us back to what’s important during the new year, without gratuitous product placement.

3. Inject your brand into the Chinese New Year season

Apple highlights their phone’s product benefits in Chinese New Year commercials. Three Minutes, a Chinese New Year short film was shot on an iPhone X by director, Peter Chan. The tactic showcases iPhone X’s high quality video capabilities via Chinese New Year.

Vodafone’s unlimited calls to China for Chinese New Year campaign compared the ‘unlimited’ promotion feature with the seemingly unending Great Wall of China.

Disclosure: I worked on this Vodafone campaign at a previous multicultural marketing agency.

4. Don’t try to out-Chinese the Chinese

In all of the examples above, the brands weren’t trying to dial up cliches to demonstrate understanding. If you’re marketing to Australian-Chinese, it’s also important to recognise these migrants have come to Australia for a better life. Demonstrating this might take you further than repeating cliches.

While not a Chinese New Year campaign, IDENTITY’s TVC for client, SunRice reflects the the migrant experience – what could be a more uniquely Australian-Chinese experience than having your Australian neighbours over for dinner for the first time? SunRice has effectively claimed the territory of bringing their customers the best of both worlds, a point of difference their competitors can’t compete with.

5. Be inclusive

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by those in China as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea. The festive season is about reunion and inclusiveness, so marketers should also remember to include all cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Brand should use the inclusive term of ‘Lunar New Year’ rather than making it just about China.

Vietnamese celebrate this festival also, they call it ‘Tet’. The commercial above by food brand Knorr for Tet in 2017 appeals to parents who yearn for their children to celebrate tradition in the face of encroaching Western culture. When their children asks for Pizza to celebrate the New Year, mum cleverly gets the family cooking banh chung, a traditional Tet food.