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Use of Experts in Advertising in China

We looked briefly at endorsements by authorities in China. Let's consider it again here. Acknowledged authorities are used by manufacturers all over the world, but their power of persuasion goes virtually unquestioned in China. The influence of ascribed status in Chinese culture is most conspicuous in the use of authorities and experts in marketing campaigns.

The influence of experts has increased considerably in the course of economic reforms. The bulk of Chinese R&D and product development is conducted in a network of research institutes. In addition to the large national institutes, there are also research centers established by provincial or municipal governments. As a part of the reforms, the research institutes now also have to provide at least part of their income. One of the ways for them to generate income is to help manufacturers improve their production processes or to develop their inventions into marketable products. An easy way for Chinese researchers to make some extra money is to assist manufacturers in promoting products. Many write articles about the products that appear in prominent publications; others promote the products at seminars, etc. Those who enjoy national fame may even be featured in television commercials.

Status is not only ascribed to people, but also to buildings, locations, etc. It would be an impossible task to make an exhaustive list of Chinese products that use the Great Wall as their brand name. There are Great Wall cigars, Great Wall wines, Great Wall computers, and Great Wall canned foods. Famous foreign locations, like the Egyptian pyramids, are also popular as brand names in China. In a similar fashion, status is ascribed to a famous brand. This is a trait of Chinese culture that has regularly forced western companies to litigate against Chinese imitators of their brand-name-with-identical-logo packaging. One of the brands suffering most from this "honor" is Coca-Cola. Several colas have emerged and disappeared in China after Coca-Cola's booming success in the country. The most interesting domestic cola product was Shaolin Cola, named for the famous Shaolin temple, the cradle of Shaolin kung fu.

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 583

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