28 members of the “70s generation” of people born in China in the 1970s were included in the “Words of a Generation” project launched by the world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman. A digital project aimed to offer an straightforward look at the lives of the people who have lived under major changes in China, Words of a Generation is useful for marketers, PRs and business owners who have plans of expanding in the country, to better understand needs and expectations of some of the target audiences.
“They are, in effect, the generation whose work and efforts, took a technically backward and largely rural country and transformed it into the second largest and consistently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In the space of one generation, over 300 million people have gone from near poverty to some form of “middle class” prosperity. Millions more have moved from the countryside to the cities. The world has never before seen a transformation of this scale. It’s not likely to again,” explains David Brain, president and CEO, Edelman Asia Pacific
The videos were filmed from September to October 2012 across four cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Chengdu and provide insights on some major aspects of the interviewees’ lives: Love, Work, Explore, Play, Consume, Dream and Connect.
Words of a Generation offers a window to the lives of some of those targeted by major companies. Now businesses are provided with excellent insight concerning the needs and expectations of this key audience. Even the general public can discover a different reality compared to what media usually presents on traditional channels. For every viewer, Words of a Generation is a chance to understand better how the past three decades managed to change completely the lives of people living and working in this part of the world.
“The world and marketers have been fascinated with China’s newly prosperous young, but what is less talked about is the 70’s generation; their parents and uncles and aunties who built the modern China that they have inherited. Right now, these are the ones with the money too and for marketers they are incredibly difficult to understand” added David Brain.
“We decided to commit this to video because we believe the substance of what they say is best seen and heard rather than produced in just another research report of quotes and stats.”
Marketers can use these findings to better understand these potential customers and create strategies that will meet their expectations. The videos reveal a lot of useful business insight:
Participant, age 35, Nanjing:
“The 80s and 90s generations care more about fashion, but I don’t. I care about the convenience and usefulness of what I bought.”
Participant, age 36, Shanghai:
“We may work for foreign companies, but we are traditional on the inside. We were educated in a traditional way.”