Sunday, 5 December 2010

Adidas Chinese Adverts

In each and every country in which they sell their products, global organisations have to be very careful to change their advertising message in order to attract the local market.  With China becoming one, if not the biggest, consumer of sports goods globally then companies like Adidas have had to change the way that they do things.

For instance, if you have a look at the top video featuring Chinese defender and midfielder Zheng Zhi.  The Shenyang born star who has played for Celtic and Charlton Athletic is seen in a number of what you might call patriotic poses.  The video, as well as his monologue that goes with it, stresses the importance of the Chinese Republic and the people in his career and the video shows them, in animated form, helping him to score.

Together with the nation rather than for individual triumph was the key to this clever campaign.  Buy Adidas and be a good communist all at the same time.  Clever, subtle and highly targeted advertising.

It is exactly the same with the video above featuring Zhi again as well as a number of other notable Chinese athletes.  Again, the emphasis is very much on the mass of the Chinese people helping these sports stars to victory over the others.

Individual achievement is carefully underpinned but also undermined in as much as the responsibility for success is handed over to the Chinese people who as good communists subvert their own identity to the good of the many over the individual aspirations of the one.  Or at least that's how it goes if you are feeling generous and not in the least cynical.

The final video which was made for the 2010 Olympics and only shown in China features the enigmatic diver Hu Jia.  Notice how Adidas subtly change the message of their slogan Impossible is Nothing to suit the market.  Again, Jia is helped in his ascent to the top of the diving game by the Chinese people who, in ghostly animated form, literally give their bodies over to him as a platform from which to raise the country's sporting profile.

No one ever said it would be easy - the marriage of rampant commercialism with Chinese communism.  However, Adidas is one of those brands who have carefully thought about their positioning in the market there and acted accordingly.  As each and every TV ad must be approved by central government, their shift in terms of their advertising from the pursuit of individual glory to collective achievement is subtle and well done. Best Blogger Tips
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