“Made in China” ad campaign, and its “secrets”


“Made in China, it is everywhere”, recently the Commerce Department produced an advertisement of a international image promoting “Made in China” brand and started to air on CNN Asia. This ad is deliberately made to rebuild and strengthen the “Made in China” reputation in the global market.


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According to CCTV

Liu Libin, Director of China Advertising Association of Commerce said "We’ve had this idea for years, and we feel such an ad should improve the image of ‘Made in China’. We’ve invested tens of million yuan on the whole process of filming and airing."

Brand study expert said "More countries have launched anti-dumping investigations since the beginning of this year. China’s been through the most severe trade containment since entering the WTO."

The theme of the ad is “Made in China, Made with the world”. It aims to highlight how Chinese and overseas firms work together to produce high-quality goods.

In the ad:

A morning jogger is tying his shoelace, the label on his running shoes says “Made in China with American Sports Technology”

A family is eating breakfast, their refrigerator is printed with “Made in China with European Styles”

Two fashionable girls are walking on the street, the MP3 players they have says “Made in China, with software from Silicon Valley”.

The French top model’s fashion wear is printed with “Made in China, with French designers”.

A businessman looks out from an airplane window, on the body of airplane writes “Made in China, with engineers from all over the world”.

From CBN 

“Made in China” image advertisement secrets revealed

20091201-made-in-china-02 This is Chinese government’s first attempt to run commercial advertising to shape the overall image of China’s manufacturing industry at the international mainstream media.

Ministry of Commerce official who participated in the advertising campaign confirmed yesterday to CBN reporter that the Chinese government was behind the promotion of the ad, “We have been very much in favor of it and was also very supportive.”

It is reported that under the support of the Ministry of Commerce, participated in the advertising campaign are 4 of its subordinates, China Advertising Association, Machinery and Electronic products import and export chamber of commerce, light industry and handicrafts Textile Import and Export Chamber of Commerce.

Mechanical and electrical products accounted for more than half of China’s exports. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Association was deeply involved in this work. The Chamber of Commerce told CBN reporter yesterday that the advertisement broadcasted in the country and also attracted attention widely. Therefore the Electronic Chamber of Commerce will soon hold a press conference on this particular issue, public disclosure of preparatory work for the overall planning and the funding of the operation.

According to CBN reporter, the entire ad production ran through a market bidding process. The winner was DDB Guoan advertising production company. This is an international 4A advertising company, CITIC Guoan Group and the world’s largest advertising company – Omnicorn Group joint venture. DDB Guoan produced the ad, their creativity was making “Made in China” to “Made with China”, the concept of upgrading. The Chinese translation for the slogan was “Made in China, the World’s cooperation.”

The earliest appearance of the coverage of this ad was reported by “Media” magazine website (www.media.asia) which was based in Hong Kong. It said Guoan had won the bid last year, and the Commerce Department was also planning this advertising campaign last year, however because of the “Melamine milk powder” incident, advertising launch was delayed. (This was later denied by the Commerce Department official)

This ad first aired on CNN Asia channels. “People’s Daily” English version said the ad will also broadcast on CNN’s several major international markets, including North America. It is said that Ministry of Commerce has purchased advertising time for 6 weeks, but yesterday official who was interviewed by CBN did not confirm this.

At present, the evaluations of the ad on major websites are positive. From “Media” magazine’s website, 89% of the total 305 votes like the commercial.

Beijing Shuo Guang business Consulting Co. Ltd. CEO Simon Cousins said to “Media” magazine, “I think during the global economic recession, western consumers are more concerned about the ‘Made in China’ product safety and China’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

The president of a well-known Children’s products manufacturing group in Jiangsu said to CBN yesterday, the Chinese government making international advertisement is to help reverse the long-term distorted image of Chinese products. He said when products like Chinese toys were found to be “problematic” on the U.S. and European markets, they actively looked for causes. In fact, sometimes the design aspects of the problem were caused in Europe and United States, rather than defects that were “Made in China”. But the foreign media often blamed China without any explanation. But he also said that to truly maintain and expand the market, must rely on its own brand and quality.

An import and export company in Zhejiang said to CBN, as expressed by the ad, as China’s manufacturing industry are now fully powerful enough to manufacture high-end products, and many companies have a strong market in Europe and America, they have long been out of the cheap low-end era. In this view, during the decline of the global economy, this ad will help “Made in China” to keep their international market shares.

  1. As long as the products stay cheap and the fat cats cry, I don’t give a fuck where it’s made.

  2. I wanna see a new chinese aircraft carrier that says, ‘made in china, with technology from the USA’

    1. Yes sure you do – and how about the ICBM rockets up your dumb ass!
      Saying … “Made In China”!

      1. Even if we jacked your tech, we’ll make 200 for every one you guys produce. Repeat after me: naval, gangbang.

  3. “In fact, sometimes the design aspects of the problem were caused in Europe and United States, rather than defects that were “Made in China”. But the foreign media often blamed China without any explanation.” True. I witness it often. Development technical sheets coming from abroad are incomplete, contain mistakes, have impossibilities etc. You must really have eyes everywhere to get the product right. But when something slips through its always immediately finger pointing to China. Also don’t forget that imposed price targets from abroad often make it almost impossible to meet quality.

    I think the ad campaign is good. It promotes the cooperation and willingness to work together, and is not just a national “made in” campaign as many other countries have.

  4. Technology is never complete, as our awareness of things seldom is. It should not merely be quality we are aiming for. Sustainability is the keyword here.

    Made on “planet earth”.

  5. Currently “Made in China” should really be “Made in Guangdong” or “Made in Fujian”. Guangdong and Fujian are the places where most your cheap stuffs (electronics, cloths, furnitures and kitchen wares) were made. But you will see more MIC products from other parts of China like cars, airplanes, high-speed trains and clean energy generators.

  6. When I saw this ad the only thing I could think is how it highlights China’s lack of innovation, creativity, and design.

    It’s rare when something is designed in China.

    Sure it’s made in/with China, but it’s not created by China.

    This ad just opens the door to bigger problems.

  7. LOL….what the ad is conveying is that even though the crap stuff is made in China, it’s designed, engineered, styled, programmed by the great people who bitch about it being low quality…. these great people need to be blamed also, since they’re the almighty “creators” of these cheap crap products….

    So proud at being copy cats! IMITATION IS THE BEST FORM OF FLATTERY!
    You imitate our buildings, our roads, our cars, our clothes, our way of living ,even the word COOL etc
    You imitate the nazist in suppressing people, in killing people, in torturing people…..
    You exploit your own poor people with low wages so that some of you get rich
    We NOW avoid buying toys, foodstuff and anything MADE IN CHINA that would hurt,maim & kill our children (as you have killed so many of your babies)…LIKE THE PLAGUE!

    1. I don’t know where you come from. Maybe the U.S.? What do you know about imitate? Do you think the whole U.S. is orginal? Everything you got originates from the Europe. Thousands of years ago, many techonologies were brought to Europe from the ancient China. But we never call it imitate, we call it sharing and communication. You kown what’s worse than imitate? Rob and Steal! Westerners robbed and stole precious antiques from China and put them in the museums and being so proud of their collection. Interestingly, you said we are exploiting the workers? What? Do I need to mention what you’ve done to the Indians, the black people? Are you people anywhere superior? What’s more, ask yourself, who are the workers working for??? The US companies!!! You guys can’t afford labor cost in your country and came to China and now you say we exploit workers? Please be reasonable. Please save the huaman right talk. The unethical wallstreet guys made the whole country suffer from economic recession and hold more than 80-90% of wealth. How can you still be so proud of your country when you people are acctually living in hell? And the toys? I don’t know whether you know something that is called trade barriers? Those were things made up by your country to prevent export form China deliberately! And I beg you not buy anything from China from now on!

      1. Now, now, no need to be so defensive. Can’t you admit that China has problems on a scale that simply can’t be compared with a place like America? (Hell? Heh, Detroit, maybe, but that’d be like judging a horse based on the pimple on its ass.)

        Once that is admitted, you can get on with solving the real problems.

        I suppose you could compare the Chinese human rights/racism/copyright situation to America of 100 years ago, and the comparison would seem accurate in some ways. But do you really want modern China to be comparable to the US of 100 years ago? I think you’d have to admit to the rapid change and progress that the US has undergone to deal with some of the shameful episodes of its history. No country is perfect, and only the American equivalent of a Fen Fen would try to claim that the US is perfect; every country has shameful things that have to be faced in order to be put right.

        That said, “LP BALE” does seem a bit like a US fen fen (chauvinist). But why let that sort of person goad you? 🙂

    2. You are too funny!

      If you are an American, you certainly didn’t invent the language you are using now! Nor the concept of ‘democracy’, even though you are living a bastardised version.

      A nation of thieves and copycats which became well fed enough to then spin off some original inventions… and now believing that the whole world revolves around them!

      Well done!

      Or are you going on the white superiority track and claiming credit for all French, German and English inventions?

  9. Well done China. On the world stage, you can forget humility. Self promote – US style. Tell us the good you are doing, rather than wait for us to find out for ourselves. Otherwise you will be the victim of CNN-like reports that only focus on the bad. On the world stage you cannot play victim. Well done.

  10. I can see the UAW and other labor groups in North America and Europe having a field day with these commericals come the next cycle of elections – for populist candidates that are going to go for the unemployed/low employed vote.

  11. No need for the ads, people in the west are now poor and trade ‘down’ to survive, and will buy more CHinese goods; if not, they can live in a cave.

  12. Has any other exporting nation had to do this? Does South Korea have to explain to consumers that buying their products is not really so bad? Has the Taiwanese government ever contemplated such a propaganda campaign? In one generation, the perception of the Made in Japan label revolved 180 degrees and shows no sign of ever fading.
    I see this advertising as a way of diverting attention from the many quality issues and economic policies that are the main blemishes on Chinese exports.
    Oh, and cry me a river about how hard it is to deliver quality when the blueprints are confusing. If there is doubt, nobody ever lost face for verifying. The Chinese solution, more often than not, is to ship whatever comes off the assemblyline and to let the salesagents deal with the fallout.

  13. In 1994 a dutch guy named Aad Ouborg founded a company called “Princess”. Today it is an internationally operating company in household equipment. By its distinctive approach the company has grown exponentially over the years. “Princess” is the largest supplier in the world of small chrome household products and is also known for its design products. Worldwide working distributors in more than 75 countries contribute to the further development of Princess. “‘To do business is to entertain” being her motto, “Princess” achieved a turnover of EUR 63 million in 2008. Lately Aad decided to sell 51 % of his shares to a German company. He will stay connected to Princess and the company will be run in pretty much the same way. “Princess” will independently be in charge of her products, but will also continue to do so under the brand name NOVA. The activities of “Princess” in China and Hong Kong are interesting for the Germans, as they expect to profit enormously by gaining access to the network of “Princess” in the field of product development, purchase and distribution – due to so called “synergy advantages”. “Princess” will remain to be a part of the Ouborg Group; its other activities in the field of entertainment, sports, and hotels are retained.
    As far as I know, “Princess” never mentioned anything about her products being
    “made in China”.

  14. “Made in China”‘s bad reputation will only start to change when the yuan is floated, and all the low-end manufacturers are thereby put out of business (i.e., those type of goods can move to some yet poorer country, Cambodia, Mocambique, et al., thereby to create image problems–as well as generate the first step in industrialization–for someone else), and China’s higher-end manufacturers can get on with creating higher-value, brand-dependent products of their own. Companies such as Lenovo and Haier are already on this track, and not really helped by the image problem created for China by its own lowest common denominator.

    Trying to “pass the buck” of responsibility isn’t helpful either. If some big brand name passes faulty designs to the Chinese engineers or manufacturers, they’ve created a problem for themselves and their own brand–when consumers inevitably discover the defect. Mistakes and miscommunication do happen, especially when you’re talking about a global supply chain covering many different languages, time zones, and expectations. But the reality is that wherever the problem was caused, it harms both the commercial brand and the ‘made in China’ brand. This does put some onus on the Chinese manufacturers to not just throw up their hands and say ‘mei banfa’ when they meet some design specifications they think are “impossible”, then produce the faulty thing anyway: they have to effectively communicate with the other parts of the supply chain in order to solve the problem, and thus not create fallout for both commercial brand and the brand of the end producer country.

    Another step that would be needed to really deal with this problem (I doubt a simple ad campaign is going to do much for foreign consumers used to treating shoddy China-made goods with suspicion), is proper oversight of the production pipeline in China. Why? Because many Chinese operations may have a Potempkin village-like “main facility” that is up to the latest international standards, etc; then they source the actual production to small factories where the conditions are terrible and the facilities are little more than medieval. This stresses the fact that without a transparent system of proper oversight and inspection, production pipelines are likely to devolve into this ‘lowest common denominator’ approach, defeating any attempts to improve/modernize China’s industrial standards for basic commodity goods. And don’t get me wrong, the blame should be fully shared between the foreign buyers who don’t do enough to ensure their Chinese productions are really what they seem to be and the Chinese government for not zealously inspecting/protecting industrial conditions within China (in most cases, its government figures who own or profit from rent on these sub-standard ‘sourcing’ factories). I look askance on the argument that foreign buyers create the problem by setting unreasonably low sale prices; as long as there is no oversight of industrial conditions, the necessary conditions exist for those low prices and Chinese manufacturers will ‘relent’ to low outgoing prices, knowing that they can slip around the system to make greater profits.

    In essence, the Chinese government and the foreign manufacturers would seem to bear the responsibility to make sure there is a proper ‘mei banfa’ floor on prices/conditions for manufactured goods. Since both the Chinese government and foreign manufacturers *also* benefit from the current system where there the price floor does not correlate to the quality requirements, I don’t really see “made in China” improving its image for the foreseeable future. Since foreign manufacturers are only beholden to their shareholders and the fickle pressures imposed by consumers, I don’t see them as the sustainable option for maintaining a demand for higher quality in Chinese manufacture. Thereby it would seem that the main responsibility here (thus far shirked) lies with the Chinese government… and the clearest action they could take to improve the standards of “made in China” would be to cut off the profit motive between government owners and substandard factories and begin proper inspection across the board.

    So in the end we see that the world’s distrust of the “Made in China” brand boils down to a distrust in the motives and inspection capabilities of the Chinese government. No big surprise there, right?

  15. I don’t care where it’s made. I am very open to international trade, but if quality control or common sense is not present, then I will not buy it. At a former company that I worked for, we were sourcing to China, and as the quality of the products declined, we brought this up to one of the Chinese owners. Their response: “This is good enough in China.” If China is going to compete in the global marketplace, they need to live up to the standards of the market(s) they are targeting. Sure, some of the things we hear in the media might be exaggerated, but at the same time, have you seen the crash test videos of the Chinese cars that were supposed to hit the U.S. market? They are a joke! If that is a microcosm of industry in China; Do these Chinese companies not THINK!? Japan has done it right. Korean made products have improved dramatically over the years. Yet anything made in China remains questionable. Start delivering world class products, and I will buy them. Don’t spend money on advertising to try to trick me…

      1. As is new my new ‘imitation’ i-phone. Compared to its world class example it may be a simpeler version perhaps, but still it seems to offer a lot of value for less than half of the money. The same goes for my laptop, microwave, guitar, camera, fruit blender etc.
        To make an argument, it is quite easy to find examples that validate a preconceived idea. Still it might me less easy to make a general judgement that is both critical and fair to a nation struggling to meet international expectations that go far beyond the quality of consumer products.

  16. “Made in China, Made with the world”.

    It’s all a bit too ‘one world; one dream’. And look how that turned out.

  17. I don’t think it’s a shame to sell cheap products. China is the world’s leader in economy of scale and should be proud of it, instead of wasting money on trying to get other fields it is not even ready for. The reason why Chinese products are considered to be cheap doesn’t lay outside China – it is inside China. The government should introduce a stronger copyright and promote education, so more and more of the design and development of products can be done in China. This won’t mean that there’s less money in Europa and USA, eventhough a lot of people are afraid of that. It means that Euroepan and Americans can concentrate more on basic research, services and management, which is even more valuable.

    But so far, it’s impossible to send the development of our machines to China. There’s only one Chinese guy working in our company, and he’s originally from Hongkong, grown up in Europe. We’d be already very pleased if we could send more parts of the production to China, but this is still more of a dream, as no one over there knows how to produce our products. But maybe in a few years… if China is still cheap enough then and can still compete with eastern Europe or South America

  18. “This won’t mean that there’s less money in Europa and USA, eventhough a lot of people are afraid of that. It means that Euroepan and Americans can concentrate more on basic research, services and management, which is even more valuable.”

    The problem with that equation is that, it won’t mean less money for the Europeans and Americans. Yes it means less job for the Euros and USA but, the ones with jobs will makes 3-10 times more money. You can’t feed a population if only 20% of the population is working and getting paid equivalent to the rest of the %80. Like in many American communities most of the youth wants to be somebody, like a rock star, athlete or just plain wealthy. Unfortunately there are only 100 slots available but, 100,000 people striving for that same goal. Crazy right. Its the truth and its not China’s fault either. China does needs to dream a little more to innovate/create and USA/Europe needs to wake up from the dream/past realities and motivate to be something else except a superstar.

  19. Made In China or Made WITH China is still the same as of today – they have to keep prices low coz of basic needs, give them another 10 years and they can proudly say MADE IN CHINA with pride and ppl will want to buy MADE IN CHINA….

  20. It is good to find Chinese views on things so I am happy to find China Hush.
    Concerning Americans buying Chinese made products, I try NOT to buy things made in China because generally the quality is poor. Even if the price is low, often the product breaks and then you have to buy another so the resulting price of buying “Made in China” is high.
    China is in the position japan was in the early 60s when “Made in japan” meant poor quality but in 2010, “Made in Japan” means high quality. Perhaps, 20 years from now, “Made in China” will mean high quality.
    An example of how I (an American) buy things. When I buy tools, I consider how I will use them. If I only expect to use a tool once, I may buy “made in China” but if I will need to use it more than once I will not buy “made in China”.

  21. I dont know. I think that it will take much more than an information campaign to erase the stigma attached to Chinese products. The problem is that most of the products made in China are low quality.

  22. Do we have any feedbacks about how this ad has been welcomed in Europe and in the US?
    Has the spot been successful to create a new image of China in foreigners’mind?

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