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Brand South Australia gains traction in China

Lifestyle

THE distinctive brand mark of the state of South Australia became the focal point of a month-long push into China by the state government and local businesses.

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Chinese consumers will see the brand mark larger than life on more than 50 mega-screens at RT-Mart stores throughout China after a 15-second rotating commercial was launched at the end of May.

The commercial, which features actress Lily Ji and extols the benefits of South Australia’s fine food and lifestyle, is expected to be seen by 300,000 Chinese consumers a day as they enter stores over a two week period.

The commercial was produced by South Australian production company 57 Films for Brand South Australia and the Australia China Development Company (ACDC), and is distributed in China by Unimedia.

Karyn Lanthois, the international marketing manager of ACDC, said that market research by Unimedia found that RT-Mart consumers are interested in international travel and high quality products.

“We have strategically placed the South Australian brand in front of the Chinese consumer whilst they are thinking about food,” she said.

Beyond the mega-screens, the brand mark was also recognised by the governor of Shandong province, the sister state of South Australia.

While addressing more than 600 Chinese businesspeople attending the opening session of a South Australian trade delegation last week, Governor Guo Shuqing said that his province saw South Australia as the entry point for trade with the rest of Australia.

“Our relationship with South Australia is a window, a platform, for trade with the rest of Australia,” he said.

The brand mark was specifically designed to convey this message, with South Australia depicted as a doorway in the centre of Australia.

Darren Thomas, the CEO of Thomas Foods International and the Chairman of Brand South Australia, was instrumental in developing the brand mark.

Thomas travelled on the 250-strong trade delegation and was pleased to see the brand achieving its goals.

“The brand mark had to clearly identify where South Australia is in this big wide world, and I think the iconography clearly shows that,” Thomas said. “After being so closely connected to the brand I was very proud to see the way it was being used and we looked professional and coordinated as a group of individuals from many different backgrounds and industries.”

Another delegate, Collin Martin, the director of Martin Real Estate, said the brand helped with introductions in the formal business settings of China.

“The brand creates access and a red carpet through the doorway to South Australia for all businesses and the government of Shandong,” Martin said. “It signals the seriousness of South Australia, that we are willing to do business in China.”

The South Australian brand mark was developed more than two years ago and can be used by any South Australian entity by registering with Brand South Australia.

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