‘How Do You Speak Your Brand Voice in Chinese?’ Advice From Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai

ECD Vivian Yong shares tips for marketers looking to enter China

Headshot of David Griner

LONDON—When a global marketer first comes to China, the temptation can be to try so hard to “fit in,” the brand ends up looking even more like an outsider.

“A lot of Western brands came in like, ‘Hey, I’m part of you!’ So they’re trying to be Chinese,” says Vivian Yong, executive creative director of Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai, “which people are immediately going to say: ‘No, you’re a foreign brand. I know you’re a foreign brand. But I can like you as a foreign brand.'”

While Yong was in London for this year’s D&AD festival, serving as a juror in the awards show’s Integrated category,  Adweek caught up with her to learn how brands from the U.S. and elsewhere can enter the Chinese marketplace successfully by respecting what makes the massive, diverse country unique and also being true to the brand’s voice.

Check out the video above to learn what Yong believes marketers should keep in mind when expanding into China.

One example she mentions of a U.S. brand finding the right advertising balance in China is her own office’s work for Nike Women, whose “Further Than Ever” spot from earlier this year highlighted the cultural and internal forces that can stifle women’s passion and potential:



@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."