Taiwan tears

posted Aug 1, 2011, 8:09 PM by Loose Tube   [ updated Jan 10, 2012, 7:24 AM ]

Marketing professionals in the Anglo-Saxon world have refined advertising into the pseudo-science of getting the audience’s attention, particularly by focusing on strong visuals involving sex, shocking headlines and humor. In order to resonate, the emotions communicated by advertising must be closely tuned to stimulate those of the target audience. If the message is too extreme, the audience may turn over the page, change TV channel or browse away. This explains television ad directors’ obsession with trying to make us laugh in 30 seconds. In Taiwan people enjoy a laugh as much as the next person, but ad directors face another challenge; making their audience cry in 3 minutes. 

The "Dream Rangers" advertisement is based on a true story and brings a passion for freedom and adventure to the fore. The ad was hugely popular and somewhat surprisingly the campaign was on behalf of a bank. As motorcyclists we may view the emotions being conveyed as part of the universal motorcycle language, but in Taiwan which has the highest concentration of motorcycles in the world, this language is understood and interpreted in some way by everyone. Furthermore, it does not involve motorcycle performance or "lifestyle". 

The situation with 2-wheelers perhaps mirrors Italy's early relationship with scooters. Such vehicles were not viewed as luxury fashion statements but rather an integral part of daily life. They delivered people to work and school, cruised the streets on a Saturday night and chaperoned many a first date, eventually by osmosis becoming a beloved part of the culture. As key events occur in the life of many a Taiwanese, a scooter will probably have been involved. The ad agency recognized the role of the motorcycle in Taiwan culture as an invention that accompanies citizens throughout their lives and which can sometimes, carry us to our dreams. The message touched a collective nerve and viewers felt inspired to make the most of their lives.

Some firms analyse the public's attitudes in detail, others use intuition, but as globalization progresses there can be little doubt that even though knowing your audience is a standard starting point, greater diversity will increase complexity. In this case they at least found a language that everyone understood. Whether all of this elicits a positive consumer response is the next big question, the answer hidden perhaps deep in a web database, but certainly one simple bank is now more famous across Taiwan.