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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Are TV ads dead in China?

recent survey reveals that the rising digital video ad budgets for 2013 rely less on traditional media cuts than anticipated.

When it comes to video, advertisers and marketers around the world haven’t shifted completely towards digital yet, safeguarding budget for TV.

China, however, presented different results.

At the beginning of 2012, new government regulations were implemented to ban all commercials during TV dramas on mainstream media. The country’s advertising expenditure in traditional media took a huge cutdown, hitting it’s lowest rate in nearly five years.

Even companies with giant budgets lik KFC and McDonald’s reduced their advertising spending on traditional media to 5%, seeking for more affordable channels and major agencies like BBDO admitted to have shifted 50% of their budget from traditional to digital ads.

The question is: is there really nothing left to explore for marketers in traditional media?

According to a report published by Ericsson this August, analyzing China among 7 other key markets around the world, 62% of people use social networking sites and forums while watching TV on a weekly basis. A number that has increased of 18% since 2011. Unsurprisingly, 67% of these TV viewers surfs social networks from mobile.


China’s 380 million mobile internet users are already using social networks while watching TV driven by search for collectivity, sense of curiosity, gratification by being with others.

Is up to marketers to recognize where, when and how to tap into this trend and through innovation, social media and technology build a successful strategy around it.

TV ads might be dead in their traditional form, but through mobile, they might just find a new, unexpected potential.

Here’s an example of how Coca-Cola exploited this trend in Hong Kong earlier this year. Get inspired!

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