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It takes more than just “showing up” to reach Chinese consumers

Joel on December 1, 2008 - 4:24 pm in Archive, Cultural Observations

I came across this post on the China Web2.0 Review blog about Lenovo’s recent online social media marketing campaign for its Ideapad S10 notebook computer. According to the post, the campaign made use of BBS, QQ emoticons, video and widgets/apps on A video advertisement for the S10 posted on Youku was viewed over 1.7 million times and the application was ranked the sixth most popular on the site.

The Advertisement:

The video advertisement is six minutes in length. The S10 computer is marketed side-by-side with a bear (see above). Both are strategically placed throughout the story.

Ad plot line: Begins with man breaking up with woman because she is too dependent on him. The director then takes us on her personal journey of growth. Along the way she pulls out her S10 computer to get advice from her ex-boyfriend via instant messaging, which always ends in frustration. The climax comes when she goes to visit her ex-boyfriend’s house only to find out that the real reason why he broke up with her was because he was terminally ill. She goes on to have an instant message conversation with the bear which now represents her boyfriend.

Back to the post…

Tangos, the author of the post, makes a great point. He noted that the Lenovo S10 campaign lacked an essential element to be truly effective: communication.

“S10 did not provide any channel for users to communicate with them; for example, the link to ‘developer of app’ on Xiaonei just leads you to the official site of S10, while links of other apps on Xiaonei will lead you to a user profile page on So they are using social media tools to do social media marketing, but they just did it in a traditional broadcast marketing way, instead of conversational marketing.”

The famous quote, “80% of success is just showing up”, does not apply to successful social media marketing campaigns in China. Content production is only part of the equation. Lenovo did show up. Its campaign made use of a wide spectrum of online social media tools, but an online presence alone does not guarantee lucrative advertising revenues. Companies must go one step further and provide a channel of communication to create a community in which potential customers can build up “buzz” around the marketed product.

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  • December 4, 2008

    good link/article Joel… thanks