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Video: Video marks major step in national branding

03-04-2011 20:13 BJT

What elements represent China the best? Maybe we can find the answers in the promotional video "The China Image". The video has made quite a splash since its debut in New York City's Times Square in February. Chinese celebrities, elite and ordinary people appear in the video which presents the China spirit. Zhang Nini investigates the effectiveness of the campaign and what more needs to be done.

An estimated 1.7 million people pass through New York's Times Square daily. It has long been a prime location to promote major brands.

And this time the brand is China.

China's promotional video is divided into two parts. "Experience China" features 59 Chinese faces representing wisdom, kindness, courage, skills and wealth. The second part "China on the Way" is a much longer film covering the country's various fields and the daily life of ordinary people.

Professor Zhou Qing'an from Tsinghua University believes that the video marks China's first major step in national branding.

Zhou Qing'an, Director of Tsinghua Uni., Dept. of Journalism & Comm., said, "The promotional video is a breakthrough in international communication for China. It focuses on specific people with touching stories, rather than giving a big but blank picture."

Zhou believes while the video could help to build a healthy and positive national image, its influence is at best limited. A crucial link in a proactive PR strategy lies in crisis management, which challenges government response under severe conditions. 

China's immediate and thorough rescue efforts following natural disasters, along with its successful hosting of international events such as 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 World Expo are occasions which foster a positive image.

But this is something difficult to capture in a single video.

"The two sessions is another occasion where China is again being put under the spotlight..." Reporter Zhang Nini said.

"There are two things attracting the interest of the global media at the two sessions. One is Chinese democracy. The CPPCC and NPC are important occasions for the world to better understand China's political system. The second is China's agenda. The international media will find out the concerns of ordinary people through the issues raised at the meetings." Zhou said.

While government efforts are vital to national branding, Zhou believes that the efforts of all Chinese people are equally as important. According to the Ministry of Public Security, more than 150 million Chinese either visited or studied overseas in 2010. Every Chinese face is a face of China. And Chinese travellers to Times Square are just as effective at projecting their country's image as the video on the big screen.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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