What’s that ad say? Chinese milk?

Chinese London Bus OMD

Londoners have been scratching their heads at the sight of over 400 red-double buses sporting ads in Chinese.  Well if you’re wondering what they’re selling…it’s Chinese milk.

Yili, one of China’s leading dairy brands and official Olympic sponsor of the Chinese sports delegation, have been targeting Chinese tourists and television viewers back home as part of its “Let’s Olympic Together” campaign.

Featuring ordinary people, Yili is trying to spread its message of healthy living during the games as an extension to its wider print, TV and internet campaign back home in China.

Western brands are increasing in popularity amongst affluent Chinese consumers, so Chinese companies have begun to advertise in the west to build a global reputation, even if westerners cannot buy those products.

This is not the first time Yili have moved into foreign markets.  Last year saw Yili’s Shuhua Milk make a cameo appearance in Transformers 3, after which sales rose 12%.

If Chinese companies are willing to spend millions of pounds targeting their customers in foreign lands, should we not be targeting them here also?

China’s ambassador to Britain said the number of tourists travelling to London for the Olympics from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will reach about 250,000.

Although the Chinese didn’t top the medal charts at London 2012, we are expecting them to top the spending charts.  According to British tourism officials, Chinese tourists have spent an average of £203.04 per purchase since the Olympics opening ceremonies, beating their closest spending rivals from the UAE by 10%.

The lower cost of luxury items in London continues to attract the Chinese consumer, but in recent years Paris has been the most successful at attracting the free-spending Chinese consumer.  Nearly 900,000 Chinese tourists visited France last year, whilst Chinese arrivals in the UK have steadily grown from 360,000 in 2010 to 540,000 last year.

With the growth in Chinese tourists set to continue post-Olympics, is it not time to start targeting this audience?


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