The Knockout: A Marketing Master Class
"The Knockout" finale recently aired, and what a phenomenal drama it was. Compared with the previous popular dramas, its popularity reached everyone regardless of gender, age, and social status. But, in addition to its popularity among the general public, the story, the insights on the world and on people, and the content in general is especially interesting for anyone dwelling in the marketing world.
What makes a good story?
Almost anyone who watched “The Knockout” can recall the “Pig Feet Noodles”. As it says in the series “When I was little we didn’t have any money, so when we got the chance we ate a bowl of pig feet noodles. My sister ate the feet, my little brother ate the noodles, and I had the soup”.
Why did this trivial thing left such a deep impression?
· It provides an image, the noodles and the pig’s feet, that not only provides a visual representation, but also a flavor;
· To put it simply, with one sentence the whole picture of the hardships of the whole family and the relationship between the brothers has been told clearly and straightforwardly;
· Repetition, this story has been told many times in the dialogues between Gao Qiqiang and Anxin, and in the dialogues between the Gao brothers too. When we are telling the story of a brand we shall first think “do I have a symbol as strong as the ‘Pig Feet Noodles’? Is it worth repeating? Is it simple enough?”.
The other side of the brand
Moved by his unhappiness, Xin – the protagonist of this series – as a straightforward, persistent and idealistic hero appears even a little incredible in an environment where everyone seems to be forced to do something. But it doesn't feel "false" or too unrealistic.
When we build a brand, we tend to create a positive image, but what often happens is that the feeling we are trying to share does not resonate with the public.
On the contrary, in this era, brands that have experienced difficulties and even problems leave a more profound impression. Oriental Selection, Huawei, Hongxing Erke, Baixiang... Everybody saw the struggle, hardship and dark situation of these brands and were inadvertently touched.
Communication should be "light"
In “The Knockout”, Chen Shuting's sister-in-law actively discusses and quarrels on social platforms. Her reading volume on Weibo reached more than 600 million, ranging from clothing, conversation, hairstyle, etc.
In such a fast-paced, good versus bad anti-drug drama, a touch of bright color and some details unrelated to good and evil are even more impressive.
We may call it the “light rule”. The world of public opinion is a world of communication. It is common knowledge that simpler messages spread the fastest. When we publicize, we should not forget to "make things as easy on the mind as possible". Only by creating a “light” topic, the word can spread faster.
In summary, there are five key points worth noting:
1. Tell a good story: vivid symbols, simple logic, and constant repetition.
2. The brand shouldn’t hide its “other side”, including suffering, frustration and failure.
3. Communication should be "light", and lighter content is easier to spread.
4. What can be expressed in simple details is more moving than “heavy” and boring content.
5. Keep in mind that communication is unpredictable and that public opinion is nuanced.
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Read our original article published on WeChat at: The Knockout: A Marketing Master Class