BBDO has launched its video content and production agency Flare in China in a bid to help brands engage with the country’s active social media audience.
Flare Shanghai will be tasked with creating video content including documentaries, live events, behind-the-scenes, interviews, case studies, teasers, product videos and photography shoots for clients such as Tourism Australia, HP and General Electric.
The launch of the global brand, which has 16 offices worldwide including six in the APAC region, is a response to the demands from BBDO clients for quality content.
The launch coincides with the latest online video forecasts from Zenith which forecast continued growth in global viewing habits with online video advertising expected to increase 23% to $27.2bn globally.
Awoo Lai, CCO of BBDO Shanghai, said China’s video market is developing rapidly as brands seek more ways to engage with consumers.
“There is unprecedented demand for excellent creativity, fast production and small budget videos. Clients are now more willing to spread the budget by making many videos and releasing them all, and then adjusting the budget arrangement according to market reactions to achieve more effective results.”
The agency is entering a competitive market and will be competing against production companies, advertising agencies, media and content companies, as well as China’s key opinion leaders or KOLs, who create social content for their huge audience of followers.
“In China, the video content market competition is extremely fierce, but the premium quality of thought, creative and execution, which can cut through the clutter, is often lacking in this sector,” said Lai.
Flare Shanghai will be led by Yeweng Wong, the former design director of Vogue Studios in New York, along with a team of producers, editors, and graphic artists.
Wong told The Drum China’s tech and social media savvy consumers expect brands to deliver good quality content.
“In addition to having the world’s biggest internet user base at over 513 million people – more than double the users in the United States – China also has the world’s most active environment for social media from blogs to social-networking sites to microblogs and other online communities. Brands need to create their presence for valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire their audience. When done right, their content will create a profitable or desirable consumer action.”
“Brands need to have a voice of authority, trust and leadership on social media," Wong continued.
"Chinese consumers are not only big consumers on social media compared to other markets, but they are also the fastest to embrace new technology. The majority of Chinese social media users have multiple social media accounts primarily with local players."
“According to surveys, Chinese consumers say they are more likely to consider buying a product if they see it discussed positively on a social-media site, and more likely to actually purchase a product or service if a friend or acquaintance recommends it on a social-media site,” said Wong.