NZ marketing man builds video bridge with China

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As New Zealand is celebrating Chinese language week – and one Kiwi’s mandarin-language video series is reaching tens of thousands of Chinese speakers in China and New Zealand.

The series is created by Aucklander Simon Young, who describes it as “the world’s only online platform in Chinese, for Chinese, by a Kiwi.”

While New Zealanders are used to viewing video on Facebook and YouTube, Chinese viewers are more familiar with WeChat and Sina Weibo, as well as a slew of new live video streaming apps.

Every weekday, Young and his team in Auckland create a piece of content – including video, text, images and voice messages.

My New Zealand is a unique offering, going beyond the usual scenery and luxury images to focus on culture and real life experience,” Young told M+AD.

“We’re building a bridge between cultures,” he says. “There’s a real hunger from Chinese people to learn more – not just about superficial things, but about how to live in New Zealand, and what the culture is like.”

Roughly two thirds of the audience are in China, with the remaining third mostly in New Zealand.

Why does Young do it? “Firstly, this is something that New Zealand needs. We have record numbers of migrants, many from China, and a real risk of isolation for new migrants due to the language barrier.

“This series is a great way to let people understand New Zealand culture. And that’s also something for us Kwis to reflect on, too,”

Secondly, says Young, there’s a commercial imperative. As ceo of local marketing agency syENGAGE [offices in Shanghai & Karangahape Rd], Young has worked with NZ brands for the last five years in reaching Chinese audiences online.

“The struggle is real,” he says. “China is complex and the cultural and technological differences are huge. Kiwi businesses tend to be under-resourced for this kind of thing, so we’ve built a vehicle that they can more easily use, rather than shoulder the whole burden themselves.”

My New Zealand is the first video series in Chinese for Chinese, by a New Zealander, about New Zealand.

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