Made in China Part 3 : Made in China, Made with the World?!?

The new "Made in China" advertising campaign has received a lot of media coverage over the past few weeks and is interesting for a number of reasons, most importantly that this is the first (?) time the Chinese government has come out with a major, international ad campaign. The campaign, done at the behest of the Ministry of Commerce and prepared by the advertising firm DDB with the tag line that served as the title to this post as well as "Made in China, Made WITH China". The ad focuses on daily items, like a pair of (Nike?) athletic shoes, an (iPod?) mp3 player, and a luxury French bag.

The idea is that while many of the daily products that you use are Made in China, the reality is that they are designed by experts far away from China and that Made in China doesn't say anything about the quality of the item. Its an effort to remind people that not everything Made in China is low quality and potentially dangerous. Its interesting to note that the ad was originally supposed to come out during the numerous scandals of last year and the government (rightly) decided to delay it, though the fact its coming out at Christmas is also worth noting, if this was done purposefully, the government deserves a lot of credit. The ad will initially air on CNN in Asia and the United States.

Will the campaign do much to change the minds of foreigners? Probably not. Most consumers don't care that much and for those that do, Made in China is already poisonous. It doesn't seem like the target of the campaign is necessarily those everyday consumers who are sitting in front of their televisions but instead for small businessmen and entrepreneurs who are going factory hunting and may not have considered China or have misgivings about locating their production there. The idea's furthered by the fact the campaign was delayed during those scandals of last year, instead of being used as a proactive defense of Chinese production. Putting out the ad at that time would seem to say that while lots of things are Made in China, its on the companies (and their quality control people) to make sure that quality products are made there.

What say you and do you think the ad will help change the opinion of the common American consumer?

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