Introducing SMART CONSUMER FILM- Bringing Chinese Consumers to Life


As part of our mission to bring the global leading-edge approaches to our clients in China, SMART@Resoance using film as a powerful way to visualize and understand local consumers.

Quite often, our client teams are geographically dispersed, with many key stakeholders not based in China, or not in-country regularly.   Therefore, our challenge is to identify an intuitive way for everyone to immerse in the reality their Chinese consumers – creating a brand solution from a local perspective, rather than foisting one on them from a global perspective.

SMART CONSUMER FILM – Key philosophy and principles for success

Personally (Jerry Clode, Director of SMART@Resonance), I have always been fascinated with the medium of film and how it could enlighten the human condition and create a powerful sense of empathy.  Before moving into commercial research, I taught Asian Film at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.   The courses I passionately taught included Hong Kong film, Japanese anime, Indonesian new wave and, the then, emerging Chinese scene, with a focus on the controversial China’s “sixth generation” directors.

More recently, I created a creative studio in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with two local friends, Fodao Unlimited.   Our primary work was the documentary “O Que e Nosso:Return of the Jungle” – a full-length feature focussed on how local musicians were dedicating themselves to rejuvenating areas of South America’s largest city, that had been deserted due to drug crime and violence.

See the film trailer here

For the film, I interviewed many local musicians, using many of the techniques and approaches I had learnt from creating consumer films in China – however to a much higher level of production.  In my time in China as an ethnography and moderator, I had the privilege to work with leading consumer film companies, an experience I somewhat religiously ‘gained lessons’ from, as I wanted to create my own vision of what filmography could achieve for clients.

Our aim with SMART CONSUMER FILM – The best in the world

Our aim with SMART CONSUMER FILM, is respectfully unhumble, we feel that the incredible gaps that exist regarding consumer understanding in China, can be powerfully addressed by quality, insight-driven film output.

Our objectives can be summarised as follows

  • Provide an immersive experience for our clients
  • Expose the reality of local consumers’ lives in their rawness
  • Ensure our insight is given full context, so direct action can be taken
  • Produce material that becomes as a reference point and source of inspiration
  • Better unite, global and local members of the brand team on the ‘central issues’

Soon we will be releasing a short film about the philosophy of SMART, with the simple, but essential, goal of highlighting the diversity that exists amongst Chinese consumers.  Quality film is a perfect medium to expose such an important reality.

Remember, if someone is telling you “Chinese consumers are all the same” – they are, quite simply, being lazy.

About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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