“Based on our on-going studies, we found that cultural inclusion is a significant aspiration for the majority of our multi- racial population,” says Dong. “Cultural acceptance, appreciation, inclusion and integration are what such people want and what this beautiful country should aim at.”
FCB Open has been working with Audi and Vodafone to develop marketing strategies and insights.
“Cultural nuances not only lie in ideas, but also in their detailed expression,” says Dong. “We base this on our existing IP about the seven cultural codes of New Zealand and we’ve analysed the implications of these codes for Chinese New Zealanders who have recently arrived in the last five years or so."
On Mother’s Day this May, FCB Open and Vodafone launched a WeChat video encouraging Chinese New Zealanders to say “I love you” to their mothers who may live in New Zealand or thousands of miles away. It was a way of overcoming the innate shyness that Chinese parents and children often feel about overt expressions of love.
“The key for Vodafone’s success in our local Chinese market is to have high CQ (cultural intelligence),” says Vodafone’s Olivia Shen. Shen is the telco's market lead for new Kiwis, brand and insights, and was integral in the Vodafone launch of Red Connect and WeChat for the local Chinese community in 2017.
“It was a great success. Both propositions helped us earn brand love from the local Chinese community,” she says.
Meanwhile across at Spark, a new campaign to tap into the Chinese New Zealander market was launched last November. Featuring staff from its Auckland-based OneWorld call centre as well as its stores, the campaign shared a message about a familiar voice and family. It was part of an attempt to reach the community which has seen Spark run a dedicated Chinese service programme for more than 10 years.
UMS is a full-service independent digital agency, specialising in social media, that partners with leading companies to connect their brands with Chinese consumers in New Zealand, but also specialises in marketing to Chinese communities in mainland China.
Jordi Du, UMS general manager in New Zealand, believes that when it comes to engaging and connecting with Chinese consumers, merely translating existing messages and content may not be enough. He cites a Nike example where a translation failed, drawing a huge backlash from consumers. Using the Chinese symbols for 'fa' and 'fu’, which translate to “be rich and prosperous” and to have “good luck”, the copywriters failed to understand that when these symbols appeared together it translated to a phrase meaning to ‘get fat’, which was hardly in keeping with the Nike brand values.
This is a perfect example of why understanding the nuances of the language is so important. Simply hiring a Chinese native speaker to manage the Chinese social media activity or hiring a translation firm to translate existing content into Chinese is potentially asking for trouble.
“Speaking to Chinese consumers in their native language is not only a sign of respect but it also demonstrates to the community that they are valued and important enough for the brand to make this effort,” says Du.
Multiculturalism is a highly contentious subject today and as important as it is for marketers to understand the new communities, so it is important for these new immigrants to embrace the culture of their adopted home.