If you see "Made in China" on something you are thinking of buying, will you buy it or think twice? Tainted toothpaste, poisonous pet food, tainted milk powder. A series of scandals involving Chinese-made products in recent years make people worry that a bad reputation threatens to derail China's status as the "world factory."
But the reality isn't that bad. My recent analysis of an ad which was designed to promote Chinese-made goods shows that it was somewhat effective.
This 30-second television commercial, produced by the China's Ministry of Commerce, debuted on CNN two years ago amid people's negative perceptions of and concern about Chinese products. The whole process of filming and airing cost tens of million of yuan.
To me, this ad is quite different from others I have researched, which simply focus on promoting a particular brand. Rather, it is aimed at promoting China's national image in foreign countries. As an marketing researcher, I would like to know how foreign audiences react to this ad and the effectiveness of it.
To judge whether an ad is effective, the first thing is to see whether people are willing to see this ad and know what message the ad is trying to convey. Then we ask, do people accept the message?
My study is a three-country survey of the US, UK, and Australia that involves 1,200 respondents, 400 in each country. The selected countries are among the top 10 destinations for Chinese exports.