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Article citation: Kim-Shyan Fam and Lisa S. McNeill, (2009) "Advertising and promotion in “new” Asia", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 21 Iss: 2, pp. -
Asia is where approximately two-thirds of the world's population lives. It has a total population well in excess of three billion people. They speak many languages and dialects, worship many religions and practice many customs and traditions. According to many cultural gurus, Asia is also a collectivist/high context oriented society. Is this view still valid in the twenty-first century? If so, how do we market to the consumers of “New” Asia?
The Special Issue is intended to tease out innovative advertising and sales promotion approaches undertaken by firms to effectively reach their target market. With increasing standards of living, the new generation of Asians, unlike their parents, are less concerned with frugality and tradition, instead developing a taste for branded items and luxury goods. This has brought about greater competition in the market place, with small grocery stores uprooted and replaced by international retailers with sophisticated marketing communication techniques.
Countries like China and India not only have populations over one billion, they have a fast emerging middle class. With a single child to raise, Chinese parents are doing the unthinkable – some will travel with their only child by train over two hours to major cities like Shanghai or Beijing in order to have him/her to attend an English language playschool. In India, parents are spending lavishly on their child's birthday party. The number of middle class Asian consumers is set to expand even more rapidly in the next few years. Using US$5,000 income per year as a benchmark, Wong (2006) claims there are over 80 million middle class consumers in China, 15 million in Thailand and 12 million each in India and Indonesia. Additionally, these middle income consumers enjoy more educational and personal development opportunities are well exposed to Western popular culture through their experience with foreign music, movies and television shows, have a strong interest in self-indulgence and personal entertainment, and tend to hold materialistic values (Dou et al., 2006).
The above highlights the importance of the Asian region especially amongst international marketers seeking a market share in these emerging economies. It is our hope that papers accommodated in this special issue may help these marketers to better strategize in these growing markets. We have selected a broad range of papers, encompassing consumer behavior, consumption trends, business to business relationships and education marketing, to highlight some of the key differences in New Asia markets. The first paper, by Warden and Chen, is entitled, “When hot and noisy is good: Chinese values of renao and consumption metaphors”. In this study the authors undertake a qualitative study of Chinese consumption in a cultural setting and found local values heavily influence consumption in Taiwan. The paper notes respondents closely linked the “hot and noisy” concept with their consumption behavior. The second paper, “The relationship between attitude and behavior: an empirical study in China” (Li, Mizerski, Lee and Liu) examines the effects of attitude towards behavior, subject norm and perceived behavioral control on a Chinese subject's evaluation of a tertiary education program. Results show that although the three components have a significant effect on a student's intention to enroll in an offshore program, the effect is contingent upon the program's country-of-origin.
The title of the third contribution is, “Commercializing artistic authenticity via collaborative design”, by Bai, Tan, Choi and Au. This study investigates the value of the artist's authentic identity in fashion design and art collaborations, and the efficiency of collaborative brand projects. An interesting study, which reveals that when launching an artistic collaboration each consumer group has its own unique art form requirement. Contribution number four focuses on “Four alternative models of online purchase behavior in the Asia Pacific region: a lesson of gender difference from South Korea”, by Muthaly and Ha. In this study, the authors attempt to model the development of e-purchasing behavior by examining the simultaneous effects of information, web interactivity, satisfaction and positive attitude on purchase intentions. Their views are that positive attitude and emotion will improve the explanation of e-purchasing model process. Significantly females are more likely than males to accept valuable information and to participate in web interactivity.
The fifth paper, by Stanworth, is entitled, “Developers and terminators in hypermarkets' relationship with Chinese customers”. Using a purposive snowball sample of Chinese hypermarket customers, the study revealed several determinants of service quality not described in the Western oriented literature. The author attributes this departure to the Confucian culture which is prevalent in Taiwan. The last paper is entitled, “The correlates of cognitive ageing and adoption of defensive ageing strategies among older adults”, by Ong, Lu, Abessi and Philips. The study was conducted in Malaysia using a sample of adults aged 40 years and above. Interestingly, the authors claim older consumers tend to view themselves younger than their chronological age. The authors conclude by advising marketers to better understand how older adults view “age” is useful for strategizing an effective communication campaign.
Overall, the contributions offer new perspectives on to how to effectively reach emerging middle class consumers in Asia. Although we have only selected six papers for this special issue, we were pleased with the large number of quality papers received. It is hoped that this special issue will spur continuing research interests in this dynamic Asian region. We thank all authors who submitted manuscripts to our special issue and commend the referees for assisting us in the review process. In addition we are grateful to Associate Professor Ian Phau for entrusting us with this issue of Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics.
Kim-Shyan Fam and Lisa S. McNeill
Dou, W.G., Wang, G. and Zhou, N. (2006), “Generational and regional differences in media consumption patterns of Chinese Generation X Consumers”, Journal of Advertising, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 101-10.
Wong, H. (2006), “MasterCard International Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Report”, MasterCard International, Hong Kong.