Sherman Cochran’s article, Marketing Medicine and Advertising: Dreams in China, 1900-1950, elucidates how Chinese business people had used varied marketing strategies in order to appeal to the locals. Chinese entrepreneurs as well as Westerners attempted to infiltrate into this giant Asian market by including cultural beliefs and western alternatives in their advertisements.
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For example, Huang Chujiu capitalized on Chinese yearn for western solutions to their longstanding challenges to sell Ailuo Brain Tonic drug, which had both Chinese and Western naming styles in order to present itself as a possible solution to the natives (Cochran 71). The article reveals how Huang used his charismatic and slippery character to gain national recognition.
In another aspect, Huang took advantage of anti-Japanese boycotts in his country to bump into the national scene in selling Human Elixir. In these activities, Huang amalgamated his commercial ideas and societal tastes and preferences to realize continuous growth.
In carrying out mass advertising, Huang contracted artistic services from Zheng Mantuo and Hang Zhiying, who borrowed various fashion designs from the West. The two artists had to inculcate Chinese practices in designing their products in order to control the market.
When Chinese elites altered the Western culture, it became difficult for Chinese citizens to understand fully the provisions and practices of the West. This is evident from the numerous rebellions and boycotts that western nations witnessed during this period.
Even though the article presents Chinese as people who chose freely, it is not absolute since Huang and other entrepreneurs had to inculcate more of Chinese civilization in order to be certain of their continuous existence (Cochran 88). For instance, when Huang introduced the new medicine, he had to mingle traditional naming and Western style to remain relevant.
Besides, the technique that Huang used in advertising Human Elixir medicine by taking advantage of boycotts to paint the product as national reveals a society that is not actually free to decide on what to consume. Although China was in need of Western solutions to solve their problems, most of their slogans encouraged the locals to consume locally made products.
The scheme that businesses had to conform to the Chinese traditions displays a society that is not open to accept external products. Therefore, they only consume such products since there are no alternative from the local scene. In advertising Human Elixir, Huang covered large market by using simple symbols that both illiterate and literate Chinese consumers could read, comprehend, and remember easily (Cochran 85).
However, the use of boycotts and sanctions on foreign entrepreneurs as ways of making local entrepreneurs sell their products are ill motive acts.
This shows lack of appreciation for the support that Western countries had given China as well as their direct imitation of foreign models, ideologies, advertisement commands, and financial management tips. The move violates international trade agreements among trading partners, thus resulting in inter-state hostility.
The article fails to give clear opinion on business successful operation, as to whether it relies on societal expectations or commercial artists. From the analysis of mass advertising, it is evident that all the parameters play significant roles in business functions.
For instance, Huang used economic nationalism to include Chinese national symbols of flag and flagpole and trademarks representing national competitiveness and traditional harmony to gain market confidence (Cochran 89).
Zheng also painted portraits of classical Chinese beauties, but on limited scales. In these aspects, they were relying on society to advertise their businesses. In marketing and advertising, entrepreneurs always apply creativity, but they must be in line with the customers’ requirements. Even though entrepreneurs have to introduce new ideas, they must borrow ideas from other regions given the current globalization trend.
Cochran, Sherman. “Marketing Medicine and Advertising Dreams in China, 1900– 1950.” Journal of Advertising 2.1 (2008): 63-97. Print.