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International Brand Marketing and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing


The 2008 Olympics will be played in Beijing at a time when international focus on China has shifted from their politics to their economy and culture. It will be interesting to see how China uses the Olympics to join our global community. How will the games affect China’s censorship and control of the media and the Internet? Will the Chinese government be more willing to tolerate different ideas and public opinions being introduced to and used by their people? Will they become more open in their government actions? How will they handle unfavorable publicity? Obviously, China sees this as a chance worth taking. Let’s see if it risks changing the way it communicates with the rest of the world.

I’m especially excited about how the Olympics will affect the Chinese market and industries. What opportunities will Chinese companies take advantage of, and how will they team up with foreign brands that are eager to enter their market? Budweiser beat out the German brewers at the 2006 FIFA World Cup to make the American brand known to loyal beer-drinking Chinese football fans. I’ll definitely be watching athletes compete at the Olympics, but I’ll also be keeping a score-card on which companies breakaway from the pack to score big points with Chinese consumers.

What strategies and media will be best in engaging Chinese consumers? What cultural preferences will the foreign brands play to? With reports showing Chinese Internet users currently at 162 million, how will foreign brands use the Internet, podcasts, and MP3s to reach them?

There are definitely games being set up for the 2008 Olympics, but not all of them will be played in the sports arena. Keep an eye on those big-game players and all the international teams!