Investigation of an Advertisement Campaign in China: Comparison with Ad Campaigns in UK Introduction: The concept of marketing communication has evolved to encompass a wide variety of strategies, including celebrity endorsements, in order to attain uniqueness and thereby to “attract viewers’ attention” (Zafar & Rafique, n.d. , p. 53). The use of celebrity endorsement in ads has become a popular trend in Asian countries including China also and many studies have suggested that this strategy has a “reasonable impact customers as per their attitude and purchase intention” (p. 62). This paper analyzes an ad in China that endorses a celebrity.
It will also compare this ad with one of the similar nature from UK. A Brief Description of the OPPO Mobile Advertisement in China Starring Leonardo Di Capri: Hollywood movies are hot favourites in China and the strategy of Leonardo Di Capri, endorsing OPPO mobile for has been effective despite the “staggering $5 million” (OPPO Mobile: Leonardo Di Caprio “Find Me” Advertising Campaign, 2011). The ad, with an intriguing storyline, is divided into five parts and towards the end of each part it identifies the product’s name.
The story revolves around a man, enticed by a mysterious woman, who allures him into finding her by the OPPO Mobile’s GPS tracking system and finally she calls him on his cell, definitely an OPPO handset. The main attraction of the ad is the way it intrigues the audience right from the beginning, when the woman draws the words “Find Me” on the glass (OPPO Mobile Campaign – Starring Leonardo Di Capri, 2011). The man, intrigued with the woman, pursues her. The ad suggests that OPPO mobile helps the user to find what one pursues or navigates the user to the exact location where he or she intends to go.
Chinese audience rather leans to the western culture and traditions in the modern day, with the country’s emergence as a global economic power. Thus, people have enough purchase power to buy the product that the ad promotes. Both the male and female players are of the typical nature that can attract the Chinese audience. Therefore, the ad is very effective in its purpose of attracting its audience and can make them take purchasing decisions based on the celebrity that endorses the product.
It also has been very effective in the selection of the celebrity to endorse the product as Leonardo Di Capri is an iconic figure that appeals to a general audience. However, in the context of China, his selection seems best suited as his features complement the concept of a Chinese male. On the other hand, if the ad were to present Denzel Washington or Will Smith in the lead role, it may not appeal to the Chinese audience as their physical features are in absolute contrast to the Chinese male.
Thus, overall the ad has been effective both in terms of the theme it portrays as well as the main features of the celebrity that endorses the product. Comparison of the Chinese Ad with the Sharpie TV Commercial in UK, Featuring David Beckham: Advertisers in UK design and produce ads based on the cultural norms and other preferences of the UK population. The UK audience rather enjoys football than a Hollywood movie as England has enviable traditions in football. The Sharpie pen advertisement, featuring David Beckham, becomes relevant in this context.
In this ad, the legendary footballer is seen signing autographs on soft drink cans, magazines and even on the breasts of ladies’ jackets. The ad has been deft and subtle in its development of the idea of the star liking the pen by first showing him notice it and then wanting it badly as the storyline progresses. He even tries to snatch out of the hands of a little girl but the ad shows the latter winning her pen back alluding to the idea that she loves her pen so much and wants in back so badly.
The lyrics, “Give it to me, I gotta get it; I want it” accompanies most of the scenes, which gives a romantic aura to the ad (David Beckham: Sharpie TV Commercial, 2011). The advertisements in Chinese market as well as UK market heavily use celebrity endorsement for marketing products to the consumers, as can be deciphered from the OPPO mobile ad in China and the Sharpie pen ad in the UK. The most striking similarity between both the ads is that they portray their culture as well as tradition in unique ways.
The OPPO ad portrays the Chinese inclination towards action in line with Shaolin and Bruce Lee. China is a country where martial art is a part of their culture and the people in China enjoys action movies. They are very savvy to the American culture, especially in the context of Hollywood movies. Chinese movies have also remained hits in the American market. Thus, there has been a good amount of cultural integration between Americans and the Chinese for a long time.
Thus, the ad capitalizes the appeal of Hollywood tradition in the Chinese market by portraying Leonardo Di Capri in the lead role in the ad. However, the ad also considers the fact that it must cater to the tastes of the Chinese audience and hence casts a man that suits the Chinese concept of a male icon. Similarly, the Sharpie ad casts David Beckham in the lead role, because his image matches the English perception of an iconic hero.
This ad depicts a romantic allusion in line with the English tradition of romantic poets like Keats and Shelly, which is in contrast to the action oriented theme of the Chinese ad, which focuses on the Chinese preference of Hollywood action movies. Another major difference is that while the UK ad places significance on the English tradition of football, the Chinese ad relies on the elements of intrigue and action by featuring a man in hot pursuit of a woman. Another major difference is that the UK ad casts an English man, who complements the English notion of masculinity, whereas the Chinese ad casts an American albeit a figure that matches the Chinese notion of men.
Another significant attribute of the UK ad is that it represents the man as a romantic, who falls in love with a pen and attempts to steal it or grab it from the fans, who approach him for an autograph. In this way, he instils in the audience an affinity towards the product. Thus, this ad can be seen as appealing to the tender side of people.
On the other hand, the Chinese ad rather appeals to the masculine side of people. However, both the ads can be perceived as the classic examples of the use of celebrity endorsement, based on the tastes and preferences of the audience and are effective tools through the understanding of the intended audience. Conclusion: Celebrities have great influence over customers’ decision making relating to brands they want to purchase. This trend is highly prevalent both in the Chinese as well as UK markets and, therefore, advertisers in these countries heavily rely on celebrity endorsement for promoting the sale of their products.
However, advertisers also consider the cultural norms and preferences of the consumers in individual countries while designing the ads, as can be discerned from the differences in these countries. However, they make sure that the ads appeal to the audience in the countries concerned and are capable of persuading the consumers to buy the products that are being advertised. References David Beckham: Sharpie TV Commercial. 2011. YouTube. Available at [Accessed 07 March 2013].
OPPO Mobile: Leonardo Di Caprio “Find Me” Advertising Campaign. 2011. China Smack. com. Available at [Accessed on 07 March 2013]. OPPO Mobile Campaign – Starring Leonardo Di Caprio. 2011. YouTube. Available at [Accessed on 07 March 2013]. Zafar, Q. & Rafique, M. n. d. Impact of Celebrity Advertisement on Customers’ Brand Perception and Purchase Intention. Asian Journal Business Management Sciences, Vol. 1/11. pp. 53-67. Available at [Accessed 07 March 2013].