Although the popularity of Transformers in China has reached the level of household names, in the past 10 years, Transformers has almost disappeared in China, and its market has been divided up by many non-Transformers robot toys and pirated imitation toys. Exhausted. Since 2004, Transformers toys began to return to China, but they have been acting in a low-key manner. The official has not carried out a lot of publicity. It was not until 2007 that the official publicity of Transformers appeared in magazines and TV, but it did not appear. There has been a large-scale high-profile publicity campaign. Therefore, although Transformers has shown a recovery trend in China, for now, China’s Transformers brand and market must be re-established and cultivated. In particular, under the current financial crisis, the profit of the toy industry has fallen, and it is even more necessary to fully tap the potential of this market in China. This article attempts to combine the status quo to discuss and analyze the status quo of the establishment, market cultivation and promotion of the Transformers brand in China. The following talks about the Transformers brand and its promotion, unless otherwise specified, it refers to the behavior in China.
1. Favorable factors for the development of the Transformers market in China
Although as the author stated in the previous article “Transformers in China-From Toys to Culture”, there are currently a series of unfavorable factors in the Transformers market in China, which have affected the further development of the Transformers toy market, but at the same time, we also see However, there are still quite favorable factors in this market. These factors mainly include:
(1) After 22 years of precipitation, “Transformers” has become a household name in China
As mentioned earlier, the popularization of the term “Transformers” has caused the public’s vague understanding of its true meaning. But we also clearly see that precisely because of the popularity of the term “Transformers” in China, only proper and correct publicity is needed to greatly raise public interest in Transformers. In other words, “Transformers” still has much to tap into the Chinese market.
(2) Children who experienced Transformers fever in the 8th and 90th have grown up and have the ability to consume independently
The so-called now and then, the children who were crying and asking their parents to buy toys, 22 years later, are already 25-40 adults, and they are distributed in all walks of life, becoming the mainstream of the current social backbone. They not only possess With independent spending power, many people have strong economic strength. These people still retain the fond memories of Transformers in their minds, eager to relive their childhood dreams, and hope that through various activities, they can prove their “big words” to their parents: “Transformers are not toys!”. Therefore, their “loyalty” to Transformers is quite high. Among young people in China, there is a huge Transformers consumer market that has not been fully tapped.
(3) China lacks “adults’ toys”
According to statistics, in the United States, more than 40% of toys are designed and manufactured for adults. In Japan, 84% of adults aged 18-69 have at least one cartoon toy, and nearly half of them have more than 20 toys per person. But in China, more than 6,000 toy manufacturers are only for children, and the adult toy market is only 1%. According to the survey, 64% of consumers indicated that they would consider buying suitable toys if possible, and 33% of adults think they like and are willing to buy toys. This also shows that as a toy suitable for the collection of Chinese young people, Transformers has a bright future in the Chinese market.
(4) Transformers professional website and online transaction process system already have a certain scale
At present, the two largest Transformers thematic websites in China-ACTOYS and TFCLUB (change league club) have been developed for more than 7 years, with tens of thousands of registered users. Among them, ACTOYS’s main function is communication and trading, for fans to exchange information and experience on the website, while TFCLUB focuses on the organization of data, and has the most complete Transformers database in China. These two websites are the main gathering places for Transformers fans in China. In addition, there are several small Transformers special websites. The existence of these websites has effectively promoted the communication and unity of fans across the country. At the same time, the online trading of Transformers toys is also thriving. Through the Transformers trading area of ACTOYS, fans can sell or exchange their collections and get what they need; through TAOBAO, there are many toy online shops. Selling cheap Transformers toys and peripherals. It can be said that an orderly development of Transformers toy market has formed on the Internet in China, and it is in the ascendant.
(5) Fans have frequent offline activities and private activities are increasingly prosperous
Marked by the gathering of more than 80 domestic Transformers enthusiasts in Beijing on August 11, 2001, China’s Transformers enthusiasts started frequent offline gatherings in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Tianjin, Chengdu, etc. A number of cities have already appeared in fixed enthusiasts and private groups. On this basis, through the active promotion of the majority of fans, ACTOYS and TFCLUB (change league club) organize fans from all over the world to hold one or two special Transformers special events in the local area every year, and in 2003 and 2006 in Shanghai With the strong support of fans in Beijing, Beijing and Guangzhou, two large-scale “Transformers China Annual Meetings” were held. ACTOYS also took advantage of the power of Jinan, Tianjin, and Beijing fans in Jinan in 2008. And Tianjin successively held toy exhibitions featuring Transformers. These offline activities have achieved great success. A series of gatherings and exhibitions strengthened the connection between fans, promoted their exchanges, and also promoted the knowledge of Transformers.
(6) The Chinese concept of age for “playing with toys” has changed
In the past, playing with toys has always been regarded as a child’s “patent” in China. It is generally believed that only children should play with toys and adults should not play with toys. However, with the reform and opening up, the new generation of young people’s ideological changes, and influenced by Japanese animation and surroundings, “playing with toys” has become a fashion for young people, and middle-aged and young people are no longer ashamed of “playing with toys”. “The craze for collecting animation peripherals has gradually formed. Under this new thinking, “Transformers” has the conditions to occupy the adult market in China.
(7) The shock caused by the 2007 Transformers live-action movie in China has not yet subsided, and the second one will be dazzlingly debut
After more than 20 years, the Transformers live-action movie has played a nostalgic card with realistic special effects. In the summer of 2007, it set off a craze in China, and the scene of “all people watching King Kong in empty alleys” appeared again. Toys for Transformers live-action movies are also out of stock. After a year, the craze has cooled, but it has brought thousands of young people back to the embrace of Transformers culture. In June 2009, the second Transformers live-action movie will appear again. There is no doubt that new stories, new toys, and new faces will surely generate a new upsurge again. The above factors, if fully utilized, will enable the Transformers China market to be fully explored, and may even exceed the current market conditions by several times.
2. Analysis of the brand promotion of “Transformers” in recent years
It is a great regret that genuine Transformers toys have been “insulated” from China in the past ten years. The past ten years has led to the loss of Transformers’ market in China. Rebuilding this brand in the Chinese market is undoubtedly not an easy task. According to our local investigations by some of the users of AC Mowan.com in various places, the public generally “does not understand” and “do not know” about the brand “Transformers”. In our previous Transformers special exhibitions, many visitors who came here also showed their ignorance of Transformers. This fully shows that the development of the Chinese market for Transformers needs to be solved from many aspects. Based on our observation and understanding, we will analyze the brand promotion of “Transformers” in recent years.
(1) Low profile in the scope of propaganda-the posture is well-defined, but biased
Around 2004, HASBRO set up an agency company in China to launch related Transformers toy products. However, in terms of external promotion, it was limited to publishing some advertisements in individual toy magazines and setting up counters in supermarkets in some large and medium-sized cities. Except for the supply of domestic small and medium toy stores, there is no major move. Since 2007, publicity efforts have been strengthened. For example, in June, we borrowed the reputation of movies and held many toy exhibitions based on domestic agents. In 2008, China Central Television launched an advertisement for new animated toys. HASBRO product counters are generally set up, and new cartoons are shown in the counters to attract customers-but in general, the promotion of Transformers has been low-key.
Historically, the high-profile publicity of Transformers has encountered setbacks in China. From 1987 to 1989, Transformers toy advertisements and animations were repeatedly broadcast on major TV stations (for example, Qingdao TV station broadcasted complete Transformers cartoons at least three times in the author’s memory), and all kinds of publicity can be described as overwhelming. According to enthusiasts’ memories: “I still remember walking on the streets of Chengdu at that time. As long as there were shopping malls, they would put up large banners without exception. They wrote letters like “Sell American authentic Hasbro Transformers toys”. In addition, what shocked me the most was that in front of the toy counter on the first floor of the mall, there were almost a crowd of people. Adults carried children on their shoulders and reached out to grab various styles of Transformers toys. The most popular is At that time, the machine insects were priced at about 40 yuan and the sound waves were priced at 60 yuan……. Chengdu TV was broadcasting the “Transformers” cartoon at the time, and there was a 15-minute advertisement before the start of each episode. The level of advertising was quite low. But the content excites me very much. Because these are all advertisements for Transformers toys sold by various shopping malls in Chengdu. In the advertisement, a few salespersons first took the unpacked Transformers toys in their hands and changed awkwardly. Then I turned all kinds of toys into robot shapes and placed them on the long counter. The spectacular scene really made me feel like I was returning to the Terracotta Warriors Museum!” But it was this kind of large-scale publicity that ultimately However, it caused adult disgust, and the trip of “Transformers” to China was finally strangled for a whole decade! In 2007, live-action movies renewed their enthusiasm, but soon fell into a trough, and it was rumored that they were suppressed again. In view of these facts, we believe that, due to special historical reasons, the promotion of Transformers toys should not be too high-profile to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
But at the same time, we also believe that the current propaganda methods are biased. One is to pay too much attention to the promotion of toys. Transformers have been suppressed in history, and some people even jointly proposed a ban on animation. The fundamental reason is not that animation, but that toys make children so obsessed that it affects their studies. We must know that China is different from the United States. Chinese people often pay more attention to children’s education than to the development of children’s spirit and personality. Playing with toys is fine, but once they affect their studies, toys will inevitably fall into the “cold palace”. The current publicity is limited to the display of toys. Obviously, a little carelessness will touch this “high-voltage line”. The second is too low-key. Low-key is good for self-protection, but the current publicity is obviously not only low-key, but too low-key. Compared with the deep-rooted misunderstanding of the term “Transformers” by the Chinese public, and the large number of inferior pirated and imitation versions of the reputation of “Transformers” toys In terms of damage, low-key publicity is not conducive to brand establishment and reputation correction.
(2) Traditionalization in the propaganda media-to avoid being a big fan, but limited by limitations
Judging from the current official media promotion of Transformers, it is limited to publishing toy advertisements on TV stations and magazines, but has failed to capture the online media. Compared to TV viewers or magazine readers, advertisements have indeed played a better role in publicity, and they are small in scale, avoiding “big trees attracting the wind.” However, due to its own characteristics, it also has great limitations.
One: TV stations have limited advertising content, limited time, and no fixed broadcast time. They are fleeting, and those who don’t pay attention are like a passing glance, and they will not leave a deep impression. Nowadays is the age of advertising. People have become accustomed to TV advertising. Many people even treat advertising time as “toilet time”. How can you pay attention to the Transformers toys in the advertisement when you take advantage of the time when TV shows are interrupted? For example, the recently broadcasted S-level animated Optimus Prime commercial is interspersed between the wonderful animations of CCTV Children’s Channel, but the broadcast time is exactly when the children go home from school to do their homework. Animations are not visible, and the commercials are not necessary. said. Even the author, as a loyal Transformers fan, waited a few days after hearing about it before finally seeing this ad on TV…
Second: Magazine advertising effects are limited to readers. The effect of advertising depends on the range of readers and reading volume of the magazine, and the current readership of toy magazines is really limited. Even the loyal fans of toys may not buy magazines, because toy information abounds online. Therefore, advertising in magazines does not play a big role in publicity-people who are not interested in toys will not buy toy magazines or pay attention to toy advertisements in magazines. People who like toys can search online To the relevant information, there is no need to use the magazine to understand.
At present, the Internet has already surpassed TV and print to become the largest media. If HASBRO seized the Chinese TV and created a miracle, then today HASBRO should seize the Chinese network. However, in the current Transformers propaganda, there is too little network utilization.
(3) Realization of publicity activities-vivid image, but limited impact
Since 2007, officials have held a series of toy exhibitions in Kunming, Shenyang, Shanghai, Beijing and other places, and held new movie toy release conferences. At these exhibitions and conferences, not only the movie version toys, but also other series of toys were displayed. Some exhibitions also received the assistance of local enthusiasts and exhibited some precious toys, which played a good publicity effect. But in general, the venue of the toy exhibition and the influence of the toy exhibition are limited to the local area. No matter how rich the exhibits are, how large the scale is, and how high the specifications are, it is always confined to one place. It is difficult for foreign enthusiasts or businesses to visit the exhibition directly. This is the biggest limitation of exhibition activities. Moreover, this series of exhibitions had no follow-up reports before and after the event, resulting in limited impact, and the impact period was short, making it difficult to impress people. Moreover, the holding of exhibitions often requires a large amount of capital investment, and the effect produced is not proportional to the capital.
In short, we believe that in recent years, domestic Transformers propaganda has received good results, but it is far from enough, especially the two aspects of the Internet and fans. Combining the history and experience of Transformers over the past 25 years, we have come to a clear conclusion that online publicity and fan participation are an important feature of “Transformers culture”, and it is also the biggest difference from other toy products. This has been confirmed in the history of the Transformers Annual Meeting in the UNIVERSE toy series in various countries and regions around the world. China is no exception. Therefore, the current brand promotion of Transformers in China must be improved.