WATCH Suning turn a baby into a heater

Suning, the China-based digital and home appliance retailer which entered Hong Kong two years ago, will air a new ad campaign from tomorrow in an attempt to earn trust from local customers.

Developed by Metta Communications, the commercial is themed around a the faces of “Suning Men” with a tongue-in-cheek approach to back it up.

In the 25-second ad sees a Suning man assists a couple shopping for what appears to be a giggling baby. Once it arrives home it transforms into a heater. All this is to convey a message that the chain considers each product as a potential family member for each client.

Metta Communications founder Andrew Lee, who developed the “Suning Men” idea, told Marketing the brand had faced hurdles in earning local consumer's trust, largely due to its "Made in China" tag.

Lee said the problem of trust deficiency remains between Hong Kong consumers and China-based companies and it speaks mainly to the lack of brand familiarity. He said one remedy is to attach a friendly face to the brand.

“Suning Men is designed as an exemplar to represent the brand, which is in need of a refreshed image to gain public trust.”

He added as most digital and home appliance chains are basically selling similiar products, it is a highly competitive market especially for a China-based company like Suning.

“We adopt a refreshing image (Suning Men) and entertaining approach to attract audience in the first half of the spot then end it with some tangible messages to deliver the brand's value to audiences. It is the most effective way to increase brand visibility and acceptability."

From tomorrow until June, the ad will run on TVB Jade, Pearl as well as onboard train TVs on East Rail Line and West Rail Line, with print executions to be included.