Knowing your audience: Hong Kong

Interesting seeing some TV ads in Hong Kong that address social problems:

One ad aims to raise public awareness about safe work sites, and to increase action by employers in making workplaces safer.   The ad ends with a reminder that a safer workplace means increased productivity, and more money for the company!  Imagine if a WorkSafe ad in your location ended with this message.  Where I am from, this message would likely leave viewers puzzled, even turned off, and it would be unlikely to result in desired behaviour change.   But knowing your audience’s values and motivations is critical, and this can take a long time to guage accurately, for outsiders.

Another ad in Hong Kong aims to raise public concern for the environment, and two strategies can be identified.  A local celebrity hosts the ad and delivers the message, and the ad appeals to the importance of family.  I think environmental consciousness-raising ads in North America are often ineffective because too frequently, they lecture.  I don’t believe that behaviour change by scolding works.  The Hong Kong TV ad appeals to behaviour change for the sake of viewers’ children.

Interesting examples of the assumptions we make in carrying our own culture around with us, and that learning about an audience is not, and should not be, a simple process.

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