Tsingtao’s lighthearted ads introduce joys of Chinese drinking culture to Shanghai Expo visitors

Shanghai – Tsingtao and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising/Shanghai have teamed up to launch a fun new series of print ads just in time to greet overseas and domestic visitors to the Shanghai Expo.

Under the slogan “Drink Tsingtao, Understand China”, Tsingtao aims to capture the attention and thirst of the international audience by tapping into the Expo’s theme of cultural exchange. To keep it fun and light, the creative positions the iconic Chinese beer brand as a cultural ambassador for China and Chinese drinking culture. One advertisement, for example, introduces the Chinese custom of penalizing the late-comer with three beers, as illustrated by a cartoon character balancing three full mugs. Further demonstrating its focus on the overseas demographic, these ads feature English copy rather than Chinese, a rarity among ads launched domestically.

For modern, urban Chinese consumers, Tsingtao hopes they will recognize and embrace its new, energized brand image as the quirky illustrated advertisements show a more relaxed and youthful side of Tsingtao that customers may not have expected from the brand.

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“Tsingtao has been a mainstay in the Chinese beer market for over a century,” said Karen Liu, Vice General Manager & Brand Director, Sales & Marketing Center, Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd. “So we have a deep understanding of Chinese drinking culture and are eager to introduce its appeal to an international audience. We’re also very excited that the campaign resonates perfectly with the Expo theme of cross-cultural communication.”

“With this campaign, Tsingtao is truly forging a new creative direction by leveraging unique aspects of Chinese culture to connect with the 70 million expected visitors from home and abroad in a playful and memorable way,” said Joyce Chang, Managing Director of Ogilvy &Mather Advertising, Shanghai. “These ads feature cheerful and quirky cartoon illustrations – a significant departure from the more traditional advertisements in the Chinese beer industry that simply show an image of an ice cold beer. We think consumers will be pleasantly surprised.”

From May to mid-June 2010, the campaign will run in Shanghai and China’s eastern urban centers. The print ads will be displayed in channels selected for maximum access to international visitors including English expat magazines, Western restaurants and subway stations.

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