Deadlines for Children in China: How Marketers Can Adapt | Marketing
Huge technological antitrust fines To impose time limits on short videos and games, China’s entertainment and tech sectors are facing regulatory upheavals that will have significant impacts on marketing strategies and budgets.
Douyin de Bytedance, the Chinese version of TikTok, started limit young users to 40 minutes per day. And it is not alone. Main competitor Kuaishou has a âteenage modeâ which imposes a 40-minute time restriction, although it is not mandatory.
These measures come in response to government pressure on providers of online games, live broadcasts, audio and visual content, and social media to implement time management tools, feature restrictions and purchase restrictions for underage users.
As kids who love short videos look for ways around Douyin’s restrictions, game providers are already scrambling to enforce a strict government limit of one hour of online play for children (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). According to According to Chinese media, these limits are a source of concern, for example, for esports teams, as they can result in a shortage of qualified players.
Short videos, live broadcasts, video games, and e-sports are all closely related to Chinese marketing, advertising, and e-commerce. What’s more, Chinese youth are the largest consumer age group in the market. And according to a MediaCom white paper, the gaming economy is an increasingly important marketing battleground.
âChinese consumers of all ages seek the game to meet a wide variety of needs, including learning, connection, social recognition and health,â Meha Verghese, editor of this report and member of Women to Watch Greater China 2021, said Asia-Pacific Campaign. âThe enormous growth of short video, AGCN and gaming platforms in China is a testament to the power of gaming and the opportunities it offers to marketers. “
The new rules for children are part of a broader regulatory crackdown on technology in China. In addition to restrictions on how they can use technology, companies have also had to give in to antitrust investigations. China’s market regulator last Friday fined Meituan 3.44 billion yuan ($ 534.3 million), equivalent to about 3% of its 2020 domestic revenues, concluding an antitrust investigation that has lasted for many years. month. Earlier this year, Alibaba was fined a record US $ 2.8 billion by the antimonopoly regulator, which represents 4% of its domestic revenue in 2019.
While antitrust investigations have the potential to dampen interest in tech giants, the two have quickly ignored the impact on their stock prices. With Meituan’s fine lower than expected, shares jumped more than 8% on Monday, October 11. Other Chinese tech stocks listed in Hong Kong, such as Tencent and Alibaba, all closed higher on the same day. Likewise, Alibaba’s stock jumped up to 10% at the start of trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange just days after its April fine.
With all of this in mind, how will marketers in China work with the new regulations and guidelines? In the current stressful situation, experts in China’s marketing industry will begin to adjust media investment and consider how to nurture long-term consumers of brands. Campaign gathered thoughts and insights from industry participants in China.
The Chinese government has always been very strict and careful in ensuring that social content complies with the advertising law, which is why even before the new policy was announced, marketers could not target children under. age 14 on any digital platform. Children cannot see any form of advertising on social platforms.
With the launch of this new policy, the biggest concern would be the limitation on usage time, which I think will lead marketers to make changes. Marketers will need to identify more precisely when to communicate with their audience, not necessarily through social communities but putting more effort into other media channels.
I believe that we need to review the investments on these platforms while reallocating the budget to other platforms to attract the attention of children at the right time. Communication with parents might also be a direction marketers are paying more attention to.
Consumers need games, for a short video e-commerce or influencers won’t change. Especially since the pandemic is not completely over, the need will continue to grow. The main challenge, I believe, is where and how to market – understanding your audience becomes crucial in order to identify the right times to reach out.
In the long run, I still think it’s important to nurture a brand. A brand that grows up with children will always be their first choice where an emotional connection is built.
Head of Greater China
These limits on gambling will certainly impact budgets targeting customers under the age of 18, so marketers should definitely focus more on the adult audience to avoid losing work.
That said, there are still plenty of opportunities beyond Douyin to market to a younger audience, including unabridged KOLs and traditional avenues like outdoor advertising, which are seen by all ages.
We are fortunate that many of our KOLs who make video sponsored by game customers are not game creators themselves. For example, several video game companies sponsored a popular dance channel to make a dance video with the theme song from their games. These types of KOLs work with many different types of customers (snack companies, shoe companies, etc.), so if there is a sudden change in the regulation of games marketing, they are not badly affected.
Game marketing (as well as game development) will focus on older audiences and their tastes. The biggest benefactor may be casual games.
While it can be difficult to quantify, there will certainly be a long-term impact on the industry. I think the impact will be greater on gaming franchises. Effectively, this will take away a lot of future nostalgia for game titles and characters. If you never got to play Zelda or Mario as a kid, you’re much less likely to keep playing these specific game series into adulthood.
Driving growth and innovation
Initially, I expect marketers will want to avoid any risk and therefore have more stringent platform requirements to ensure that under 18s are excluded from paid media campaigns and activations. on the platform. As we clarify new regulations, marketers may develop content and experiences specifically designed for ‘youth mode’ on Douyin and other digital platforms. If so, this would be a fantastic opportunity for marketers to tailor their communications to be relevant and useful specifically to young consumers, their future growth audience.
The recent restrictions are unlikely to have a major impact on marketing activity in these online “playgrounds”, as most marketers seek to connect with post-90s and post-95 adults who make up. now the majority of the user bases of these platforms. For example, over 60% of Douyin users are between the ages of 21 and 40. There is still a huge opportunity for brands to engage large audiences through online games and fun communications.
Children already have a major influence on many household purchases and they absorb sophisticated brand knowledge from an early age. In a recent study, 3-year-olds could remember an incredible 12 brands of snacks and 4 brands of clothing on average.
While recent policy changes may affect media choices in the short term, the long term goal for marketers remains the same: to create a strong and lasting brand preference among consumers from an early age to increase sales. current and future sales.
Online media will remain key channels in a brand’s marketing mix, especially to reach these digital natives. Yet the new limitations can spur the current ‘renaissance’ and reinvention of traditional media like outdoor advertising and television, as well as offline experiences that can create a lasting impression on young consumers when they are in the process of shopping. going to various activities and spending time with the family. For me, there are exciting times ahead for the marketing industry, as true creativity flourishes in the face of constraints.