As competition rises in China, we are noticing that Chinese brands, in particular, technology brands, are really placing emphasis on creativity and story telling to build brand affinity. In a recent video campaign, on Tencent Video, Alipay has used the metaphor of the ‘perfect girlfriend’ to communicate the support and care their mobile app zhifubao （支付宝）can deliver on a daily basis.
The ad’s main character is a geeky local guy, who is first seen picking his nose and playing on a gaming console. Normality is broken, when “Baby” is introduced to us, as his surprisingly beautiful girlfriend. She does everything for him – cooks, gives him money when he needs, brushes his teeth, tucks him in at night. When he leaves the house to get a cab, she even hails a taxi in the rain for her boyfriend, to the amazement of others, who are thinking out loud “What’s a girl like that, doing with a guy like him”.
At the end of the video, Baby is revealed to be a figment of his imagination – what Alipay’s payment app would be like if it was a person, the perfect supporting girlfriend.
Take a look at the video here, be patient with the pesky ad at the start
Why this is noteworthy from a brand and marketing standpoint
- Despite featuring the idea of a relationship, the ad plays creatively on male and female stereotypes in urban China, without delving into strong sexual innuendo – so a level of sophistication noticed
- Further evidence, our how local tech brands, are focussing on building a relationship with their consumers, beyond convenience and transaction – international brands take note
- It feels humour will reemerge in Chinese communication, not in the traditional areas such as beer in the West, but in tech, a space that is more imbued with freedom and creativity in China
- From an insight perspective, further evidence of the intimacy and personal relationship that local consumers have with mobile technology – negatively this can be read as dependence, but positively it is an enabler. Brands it is best to be on the latter side of this equation, be an enabler.