Friday, January 2, 2009

Little emperors could solve the marketing dilemma for the demand of shark fin soup

I have been wondering if perhaps the communication strategy overseas has been too anglo-saxon in its approach to convince the primary audience - when you consider that the consumption of shark fin soup goes back to the Song and Qing dynasty, some 2200 years ago.

Shark fin soup has become so affordable and historical, that Asians feel they are entitled to consume this once imperial exclusive soup all the time. However, the message is not that Asian do not have right to eat whatever they want but the message that is not getting through is that Asians are being ignorant over the effects of eating this bowl of soup.

Past campaigns, appear to have focused on celebrities declaring that they will no longer not eat it, with the hope that people will agree too but Asians just do not think this way. Their attitude to this was best illustrated by the same way the papers in China ignored Yao Ming's declaration about his view on shark fin soup.

I believe the way forward is to influence the next generation of shark fin soup consumers, the little emperors. By educating the little emperors to see that there may not be sharks in the world if adults continue to order shark fin soup. Allow pester power to be the strategy while maintaining a strong position with the government to pressure restaurants to take it off menus.

Image source: 18.8kg Baby in Jilin, China

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