ShanghaiZhan: All Things China Marketing, Advertising, Tech & Platforms

Ali Kazmi & Bryce Whitwam

ShanghaiZhan is a raw, lively, and regular debate about China tech, advertising, creativity & the intersection of it all. Join hosts Ali Kazmi and Bryce Whitwam, for timely discussions on all things China marketing, coming to you directly from Shanghai!

Pernod Ricard's Pierre Delfosse on 11/11: the Day After the Dust Settled
Nov 17 2021
Pernod Ricard's Pierre Delfosse on 11/11: the Day After the Dust Settled
In this episode, we talk with Pierre Delfosse, E-commerce Director at Pernod Ricard China, on the world's largest shopping festival, Double 11, which climaxes on the 11th of November of every year. We are still big in Japan. We are a lot bigger in Hong Kong (S.A.R.) and even bigger in the USA. In this episode we discuss: 1. What we shopped for Double 11 
 2. How has the spirits business evolved over the past 7years 
 3. What Chinese consumers drink, white, yellow, and brown. 
 4. Jiu Jiu or September 9 is Spirits Day in China 
 5. Imported spirits hold 1.5% of share of spirits (minuscule when you put into consideration how much Baijiu is drunk in China). 
 6. Success offline leads to greater success online, especially on that day – building brand is massively important 
 7. Double 11 is not an Alibaba thing alone, all platforms are Double 11 crazy 
 8. Building owned traffic and reducing dependency on the platforms. 
 9. Pierre enjoys Glenlivet and Cognac but sometimes cheats with a Blue Label. 
 10. Don’t drink and drive. 
 Join us next week for another exciting show as we are investigating the evolution of sport. Music: "Bad Cough Syrup" by Bryce Whitwam: to Shanghai Zhan, aka. Shanghai Station. The only station in Shanghai’s world-famous metro that only exists as a podcast. Listen to Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi debate with guests on their experiences and aspirations for China. Bryce and Ali are connected to China for over 20 years and are still in Shanghai working in the industry. They are both fluent Mandarin speakers, with Bryce reading and writing, while Ali gets away with using his thick Beijing accent.
Talking Trash on China: The Sustainability Race With Richard Brubaker
Dec 16 2021
Talking Trash on China: The Sustainability Race With Richard Brubaker
China is one of the fastest-growing economies and faces serious sustainability challenges. Like the hosts, today’s guest completes 20 years in China, all of it helping China and the rest of Asia with real issues on waste, waste management, and social responsibility. Richard Brubaker is Founder & Managing Director at Collective Responsibility and Executive Volunteer at HandsOn China. He draws comparison to the US and has lessons to offer on what they can do better. 1. Picking sustainability because of a mega Sichuan earthquake. 2. Exporting sustainability to the rest of the world. 3. Look out the window, you don’t need to look too far. 4. Takes time for companies to get out to do stuff. 5. Serving the community with HandsOn, the easy one to talk to. 6. ESG, EHS, sustainability is a lot more than trash talk. 7. Marketing & brand management blamed getting a bad rep. 8. Do good, get good talk, be like Starbucks, do little things well, every day. 9. “Efficient sustainability” ready for export from China 10. No one consumer in China map them against a problem to help solve Welcome to Shanghai Zhan, aka. Shanghai Station. The only station in Shanghai’s world-famous metro that only exists as a podcast. Listen to Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi debate with guests on their experiences and aspirations for China. Bryce and Ali are connected to China for over 20 years and are still in Shanghai working in the industry. They are both fluent Mandarin speakers, with Bryce reading and writing, while Ali gets away with using his thick Beijing accent. More about Richard Brubaker: Website: Page: "Bad Cough Syrup" by Bryce Whitwam:
Shiseido’s Carol Zhou on C-Beauty & Big China Beauty Trends for 2022
Dec 28 2021
Shiseido’s Carol Zhou on C-Beauty & Big China Beauty Trends for 2022
China’s Beauty market is #2 behind the US at US$71 billion (Euromonitor 2020), and it’s expected to be the world’s biggest in 3 years. Chinese women today are notably confident and embrace their own identity and style. Popularly, we call this "C-Beauty" as it competes with the more identifiable ‘J’ & ‘K-Beauty’. ShanghaiZhan welcomes Carol Zhou, Sr. Vice President for Innovation & Investments at Shiseido China to talk to us more about defining Chinese beauty and the big trends for the upcoming year. In this episode we talk about: 1. Our newfound stardom as KOLs by hitting over 8000 downloads 2. Carol’s 2022 beauty resolutions 3. Carol’s journey to becoming a beauty expert and having the best job in the business 4. The rise of C-Beauty, beauty diversity & what Chinese women want? 6. Global brands balancing act in China: the girl with freckles are to be celebrated 7. The “clean beauty” trend in China: What it is and what it is not 8. “Adjacent spaces”: Shiseido’s innovation growth plans 9. “Medical beauty” & why is it growing so quickly? 10. Global vs. local beauty brands: who is leading where and why? 11. Offline or online? What’s the future of beauty offline as online continues to grow? 12. Are brand stories still important for C-Beauty or is the market still highly imitative? 13. How has Covid affected the China beauty industry? 14. Beautiful men 15. C-beauty in the metaverse. Believe it or not, there’s an App for that! (and yes, metaverse made it into the conversation) Welcome to Shanghai Zhan, aka. Shanghai Station. The only station in Shanghai’s world-famous metro that only exists as a podcast. Listen to Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi debate with guests on their experiences and aspirations for marketing in China. Bryce & Ali are well connected to China for over 20 years and still work in the industry in Shanghai. They are both fluent Mandarin speakers, with Bryce reading and writing, while Ali gets away with using his thick Beijing accent.
BONUS EPISODE:  Bryce Whitwam:  Why China Has Leapfrogged the World in Digital Marketing
Jan 2 2022
BONUS EPISODE: Bryce Whitwam: Why China Has Leapfrogged the World in Digital Marketing
ShanghaiZhan podcast host, Bryce Whitwam, expounds on the sophisticated Chinese consumer and innovations in the Chinese marketplace on "The Reorient! Podcast", interviewed by Jesse Freidlander on September 1, 2021. "The Reorient! Podcast" is available on Apple Podcasts. 1. Bryce's life story: from South Dakota to Shanghai 2. China's marketing evolution, starting 2010 3. The early days of China advertising: expanded distribution makes any ad campaign look successful 4. 2015: The marketing transformation of China begins with the growth of social media & e-commerce 5. Global vs. China market: what are the key differences? - Think 14 different engagement channels to buy a printer! 6 . The world of China's influencers: 5 different layers serving different purposes 7. Building brand equity in China is all about enhancing customer experience 8. Global vs. local brands: what local brands can do better 9. The pet food category in China takes a lot from female beauty trends 10. Why the Chinese consumer is so sophisticated & demanding for choice, and they've become addicted to the whole experience 11. Chinese psychographics: why China isn't as homogenous as you think 12. China GenZ: still rebellious and individualistic, but within a framework 13. China shares American archetypes: work hard & you can be successful, too! 14. Lower tier & upper tier differences are becoming less obvious, thanks to e-commerce 15. GenZ: Western vs. China: what are the similarities and differences? 16. Do Japan and Korea still have an influence on China's GenZ? 17. How will the China market evolve in the world of Covid? Some China brands get it.
Wavemaker APAC CEO’s Gordon Domlija:  Bold Predictions for 2022:  PART 1
Jan 13 2022
Wavemaker APAC CEO’s Gordon Domlija: Bold Predictions for 2022: PART 1
What’s in store for the industry in 2022? During the first half of our two-part series, we speak to Gordon Domlija from WPP media agency, Wavemaker, about what brands in China need to do to stay relevant, and why client in-housing agency work isn’t necessarily that easy of a task. Gordon also reflects on his career, why he came to China and the first place, and, despite being the Asia-Pacific leader, chooses to remain in China, despite Covid restrictions. This episode is co-sponsored by our good friends at Campaign-Asia. 1. Gordon’s path to the ad business: it started in a nightclub and ended up at the Howard Johnson’s 2. Why Gordon Stays in China as regional CEO 3. China + Asia: There’s still a gap (and China is ahead) 4. How Gordon does his job without being a regional seagull 5. Working with platforms in the region is about collaboration because you can’t do everything well 6. What are clients’ expectations for 2022? 7. Is China too performance-driven? 8. Marketing predictions: Are brands now asking brands to drive private audiences or 1P? 9. What’s the advantage of agencies in the world of corporate in-housing? Welcome to Shanghai Zhan, aka. Shanghai Station. The only station in Shanghai’s world-famous metro that only exists as a podcast. Listen to Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi debate with guests on their experiences and aspirations for marketing in China. Bryce & Ali are well connected to China for over 20 years and still work in the industry in Shanghai. They are both fluent Mandarin speakers, with Bryce reading and writing, while Ali gets away with using his thick Beijing accent. For everything ShanghaiZhan:
Wavemaker APAC CEO’s Gordon Domlija:  Bold Predictions for 2022:  PART 2
Jan 19 2022
Wavemaker APAC CEO’s Gordon Domlija: Bold Predictions for 2022: PART 2
Here's part 2 of our fantastic interview with Wavemaker's APAC CEO, Gordon Domlija. In this episode, Gordon discusses the challenges of managing a regional agency during Covid, and how his focus has been on creating a corporate culture in some markets that may have not seen each other for the past 2 years. Gordon also discusses the need for structural organization in his agency to meet the changing needs of his customers. You can also get Gordon's take on the Prada Wet Market - his agency did the work! 1. Hiring & retaining people & how Covid-19 has affected agencies in Asia 2. How does the industry keep the best people (it has lost the plot)? 3. Build your agency culture around fun 4. Structural re-organization is the big theme for 2022. 5. With massive discounts in China e-commerce, aren't we all racing to the bottom? 6. Gordon's take on the Prada Wet Market installation - brands just wanna have fun 7. Is China still a good market for foreign brands? Welcome to Shanghai Zhan, aka. Shanghai Station. The only station in Shanghai’s world-famous metro that only exists as a podcast. Listen to Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi debate with guests on their experiences and aspirations for marketing in China. Bryce & Ali are well connected to China for over 20 years and still work in the industry in Shanghai. They are both fluent Mandarin speakers, with Bryce reading and writing, while Ali gets away with using his thick Beijing accent.
Evolving From KOLs to Chinese Influencer Groups:  Insights Guru, Julien Lapka
Feb 8 2022
Evolving From KOLs to Chinese Influencer Groups: Insights Guru, Julien Lapka
What's the future of influencer marketing in China? To insights expert, Julien Lapka, successful brands focus on influencer groups rather than KOL powerhouses such as Austin Li. It comes down to uncovering unique insights, not often found in databases. Julien is the founder of Inner Chapter, an agency that turns insights into commercial IP. Julien is also co-owner of Revolving Door, a speakeasy behind a small coffee shop, located near XinTianDi in Shanghai. Today's episode is sponsored by our friends of Campaign Asia. 1. Why open a speakeasy and what's behind the name, Revolving Door? 2. How did you get into the insights business and why set up your own shop? 3. How e-commerce has dramatically how you uncover insights 4. Trends in Shanghai should not represent China trends. 5. The 2 Chinas: Those who work hard to survive & the others who can afford to "lie flat" 6. The rise and popularity of Dystopia 7. Insights Mining in 2022: Home Visits Still Work the Best 8. Home Visit Insight War Stories: Turning Tea Leaves into Skin Rejuvenation Post-Surgery Product 9. Data Looks at Past-Behavior - It doesn't predict the future 10. First Installment of Taobao Silk Market: The Squid Wins! 11. Do Chinese brands have the upper hand? In which categories? 12. Julien's favorite innovative Chinese brand: HeyTea 13. Building brands that will last needs more than KOLs but influencer groups 14. Connecting "spicyness" to behavioral psychographics - spicy as a stress reliever 15. A/B Test: Knedlíky or Jiaozi: the answer will surprise you!
Genesis Motor China CEO Markus Henne:  Building a Luxury Auto Brand in China
Feb 28 2022
Genesis Motor China CEO Markus Henne: Building a Luxury Auto Brand in China
Meet Genesis Motor China's CEO Markus Henne as he describes his experience of building a luxury auto brand in China from the ground up. Markus joined Genesis Motor in 2019 from a distinguished career at Mercedes-Benz, and it has only been since October of 2021 that they have begun to distribute cars. How to build a luxury brand amongst all the competition? How to keep customers interested for 6 months after they have put down their deposits? Today's episode is sponsored by our friends of Campaign Asia. 1. How did you end up in China and what are you driving these days? 2. What's different about a Genesis, and what's it like working in the car industry these days? The advantage of a blank canvas 3. Hiring people outside of the industry is key to the Genesis Experience. 4. Advantage Direct-To Consumer model, especially in China 5. What aspects of the Genesis Experience can be exported from China? 6. Big brands want to go to Direct-To-Consumer but they are bound by tradition 7. How do you keep Chinese customers active before they can get their car? 8. NEV/EV - is there a difference in customer experience from regular petrol cars? 9. EV & Petrol: appeal to different consumer groups 10. Expect the big auto players to come back against the new NEV players, but it will take time 11. How do you define Genesis luxury? What is "Athletic Elegance"? 12. How do you define luxury in the after-sales world? 13. Any big differences working for a Korean company vs. a German? 14. Hong Xiao Rou or Schnitzel: It's Schnitzel!
Can Chinese Beauty Brands Go Global? - Lisa Shiqi Yu + Elijah Whaley
May 2 2022
Can Chinese Beauty Brands Go Global? - Lisa Shiqi Yu + Elijah Whaley
We're taking a much-needed break from Shanghai's recent Covid lockdown to talk about the globalization of C-Beauty. What will it take for Chinese beauty brands to go global? How important are influencer networks and what is the role of technology? Will fast-fashion platform, Shein.com's use of AI predictive analytics be a beauty industry game-changer? We're joined by Lisa Shiqi Yu, Founder, and CEO of GENLAB Group, based in Shanghai. GENLAB is a selective incubator supporting purpose-led entrepreneurs to complete their global vision. We are also joined by Elijah Whaley, who is VP of Marketing for Gainfluence, a company specializing in influencers for NFT & crypto projects. 1. Lisa and GENLAB's mission: finding Chinese brands with purpose, sustainable platforms, willingness to go global, and a bit of fun in their DNA. 2. Introducing Zeya - Hard Soda with No Pressure 3. Beauty & Influencers: Is the China KOL model exportable? 4. Moving beyond the First Year Momentum That Most Chinese Brands Face 5. China's Supply Chain Product Mindset to Meaningful Brands: What's Learned From Western Brands 6. Convincing a Chinese Brand Owner Wanting To Go Abroad to have a World View: It's Tough 7. Brand Building Outside of China for Non-Beauty: Leaning on Product 8. The Shein.com Story - From Fashion to Beauty? 9. Data Hub vs. Philosophical Brand Hub: who will win? 10. Perfect Diary: Will They Be China's L'Oreal? 11. Should a Brand Embrace Private Traffic? 12. A/B Test: Baijiu, Rocky Mountain Oysters, Cucumber Soda & Kool-Aid
The Leaving China Show
Jun 10 2022
The Leaving China Show
This episode is for those who are thinking of leaving China, maybe now or in the future. In this episode, we're joined by 2 "experts of experience" who left China to return home and can share their experiences about adjusting, why they left and what they really miss. For many, especially the expatriate population, the Shanghai lockdown has become a time to re-evaluate future priorities as foreign companies consider reducing both staff and investments in the country. Meet Milo Chao who is currently the Chief Strategy Officer for ad agency, DDB Chicago. Milo was formally CSO for DDB China and later, TBWA. Milo returned to the US in 2019. We're also joined by Ker Gibbs, who is currently an Executive in Residence at the University of San Francisco. Ker is best known as the past President of the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai from 2019 to 2021 but has been in China for most of his career. He returned to the US in the early part of the year. 1. Why did you come to China, why did you stay so long and why did you leave? 2. When is the right time to leave? Has Shanghai lost its mojo? 3. Will Shanghai change past the lockdown? Will expats leave or eventually come back? Is this the fall off the cliff moment? 4. The evolution of Shanghai: now we're in a more developed stage & the role of foreigners have changed. 5. Foreign companies vs. Foreigners: How will China adjust post-Covid? 6. Returning Home: How do you prepare for repatriation? What are the transferrable skills? 7. If you can make it in China, you can make it anywhere...China is still an important market 8. Expect 2 years to get acclimated to your home culture leaving China 9. Keep your networking prospects and start right now before you leave... 10. The post-China job market realities: a. WFH is the new normal. b. Growth of the Gig Economy. c. Big global labor shortage 11. Are there still opportunities in China? Yes, but be prepared! 12. A/B Test: Ding Tai Feng, Cui Jian, Baguettes, and the Shangri-La!