The Little Red Book of Branding – Linda Tischler
“Five years ago, the top-10 brands in China were American,” says Kevin Swanepoel, marketing and interactive director of the One Club, the international organization of advertising pros. “This year, the only American brand in the top 5 was Coke.”
But brand-building is a slow game, and the creativity-quashing Cultural Revolution left the country with little strength in bourgeois skills such as marketing, advertising, customer service, and imaginative thinking. That’s why the One Club has been holding advertising seminars in China for the past four years. The idea: to feed the vast creative labor demand that’s developing as multinational ad agencies establish beachheads in the country and local shops ramp up. The students’ eagerness to learn is stunning; their execution often comes up short. “When we ask a Chinese student to do an assignment, we usually get a Chinese version of an American pop poster,” Swanepoel says. “We say, ‘Guys, you’ve got to own your own history.’ ”
See also “The Gucci Killers” from Fast Company.