Despite China’s enormous market size, its advertisements don’t seem to stand up to other markets such as Japan, Australia, or the United States in terms of winning awards on the international scene. This year’s AdFest, an advertising festival celebrating creativity, was held in Pattaya, Thailand on March 8, and China’s performance was lackluster at best.
On this week’s episode of Thoughtful China, Andrew Lok, founder of advertising company Civilization and judge at AdFest, talks to AdFest President Jimmy Lam about why China’s achievements are disproportionate to its market size and stature.
The festival saw over 3,200 entries, and China sent in 500 entries represented by 90 delegates, the second largest number of entries. Of these, China won one gold, eight silver, and 14 bronze awards.
“I wouldn’t call it a vintage year,” says Lam. “Greater China did better in previous years.”
There are several reasons for the disappointing numbers. For starters, the creative process “is micro-managed so much, the passion of the original idea has been diluted,” says Lam. “Some print and TV work produced in China, craft-wise, is world-class. I guess what is lacking is either the edginess or that consumer insight that really makes you move, makes you feel that this is real.”