Mad Men in China

Mad Men in China

American Tom Doctoroff can sell things to Chinese consumers when other Westerners can’t. In China, collectivism shapes consumer habits:

“So deeply rooted, says Doctoroff, is the Western belief in individual freedom, that it is nearly impossible for us to accept the fact that in Chinese culture, the individual does not exist outside of her network of familial and communal obligations. Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign, for example, wouldn’t appeal to Chinese consumers, who prefer to ‘stand out by fitting in.’ In China, conspicuous consumption … is a sign of upstanding citizenship rather than a mark of personal distinction.”

“Haagen Dazs … has adapted its brand to the Chinese market, focusing on public parlors where consumers can demonstrate their sophistication publicly by paying premium prices for ice cream, something they would never do simply to scarf down a pint in the privacy of their own homes.”

“How to Get Ahead in Chinese Advertising,” Jason Gots, Big Think


“Marketing in the Middle Kingdom,” Richard McGill Murphy, Fortune

Tom Doctoroff, JWT webpage


Short link:

Image (“Blogs Go Better with Coke!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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