Chinese consumers are bombarded with advertising and are tuning it out, but savvy marketers can still cut through by understanding Chinese culture, according to a market expert.

“People are pretty much bombarded by all the different kinds of advertising campaigns with posters and print ads shouting out loud… They actually get into a very numb state of mind when they are faced with all this information,” said Sami Wong, research director of APAC for morphological research firm Concept M.

Speaking at the recent Qual360 APAC event in Singapore, she explained that advertising lends itself as an outlet for Chinese consumers to experience and live out their ideals mentally. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Six strategies to overcome consumer apathy in China.)

And, she added, advertising that highlights functional features resonates with the rational side of Chinese consumers, while a feel-good ad or TVC painting a rosy picture of family life in a perfect home environment can appeal to the desires of Chinese consumers.

“It’s really tapping into people’s ideals. They really aspire to live in this type of situation and have this very loving, harmonious family outlook, which is the persona they are trying to create and present,” Wong said.

Likewise, enabling Chinese consumers to project themselves into a fantasy, ideal world is another way brands can connect. “For example, they feel very aspired towards luxurious lifestyles. They aspire to have these very harmonious family life dynamics.”

Some brands attempt to have their advertising heard by simply being as unavoidable and annoying as possible, but Wong warned that this can have a negative impact on the brand.

“They do have a bit of psychology behind it: they are so annoying that they condition you without your awareness, and it becomes a very hypnotic effect,” she said.

“They force that message into your head. You don’t even have a choice. Everywhere you go, you just start to notice that message. But because it’s so annoying, basically your brand’s image and essence have been destroyed or even influenced negatively.”

Sourced from WARC