Adapting Content for a Chinese Audience: What We Learned from Durex

Did you know there are more than 730 million active social network users in China? It’s one of those can’t-miss opportunities that should be part of your brand’s marketing strategy, because understanding how to reach the Chinese market is a game changer. With this, content is key.

They say ‘content is the king’, and from what we see, Durex takes the crown. Although the condom business can be a tough sell, Durex has found that sweet spot where function and likable humor meet to market their brand. There are three marketing tactics we learned from Durex in their strategic approach to adapt content to a Chinese audience.

1. Be Culturally Relevant
It is important to know the cultural characteristics that differentiate the average Chinese consumer from his or her counterpart in the West. For Western brands, this means having an understanding of the cultural roots, values, and traditions to connect with the Chinese market on a personal level. A great tactic to ensure your brand establishes cultural relevancy is to promote content that aligns with the holidays celebrated by your target audience.

Durex uses this approach by leveraging multiple Chinese holidays and international ‘day’ celebrations on Weibo. For example, the condom brand references China’s 15-day New Year festivity in a post that reads, “Have You Eaten?”. Together with the accompanying image, Durex associates their brand with the holiday tradition of indulging in tangyuan (glutinous rice dumplings).

Durex also marketed their product for International One Night Stand Day, on April 19 (419: for one night), and the post received almost 2,000 comments and 2,500 likes!


2. Share Attention-Grabbing Statistics
Adapting your marketing strategy also means creating relevant and relatable content that is memorable, such as an interesting statistic. Durex got creative in marketing their brand with stats that speak to the number of people worldwide that engage in activities that benefit from their product.

With this, Durex also uses this strategy to market the statistics for sexual desirability, differentiating between men and women over a month’s time. In the post below, the condom brand uses graphs, indicating a flat line to identify men’s cravings and a curved line to show the fluctuation of a women’s menstrual cycle.


3. Use Smart Hashtags to Host Topics
Using a hashtag to engage readers is a strategy that adapts to the language of the audience. Hosting a topic means posing simple, fun, and relevant questions to your audience. For example, Durex hosts weekly topics such as asking, “If your cell phone rings during sex, would you pick it up?” and uses the hashtag, #durexnobs, to promote participation with their brand.

What’s your take on the saying, ‘content is the king’? Who takes the crown? We look forward to seeing your thoughts on this one!

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