Mobile advertising trends have certainly picked up over the last 12 months, with a number of companies trying to find new, non-obtrusive ways to appeal to the public. However, the Chinese mobile market could be even bigger, with over 527 million people using devices in the country. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that advertising has picked up even more over there.

The New York Times reported that the shift in advertising is quite a stark one, as three years ago, nearly half of the advertising dollars went towards television, while only 14 percent was devoted to digital devices. (This comes from statistics provided by ZenithOptimedia.)

Lately, though, more companies lean towards the digital front, with next year expected to show a huge shift towards more technologically based advertising and less on traditional television.

“It’s the first time we’ve had an enormous middle class emerge while being digitally connected,” said Jeff Walters, a partner with the Boston Consulting Group in Beijing. “It sets the stage for why digital advertising is so important.”

In the midst of it all are social sites, but not more worldwide-based ones like Facebook and Twitter, which are blocked in the country. As a result, more local favorites, like Tencent’s Weixin (WeChat) are thriving.

Other companies are benefitting as well, though. Coca-Cola has managed to use the WeChat QR code system as part of a Lyric Coke campaign, which features popular lyrics like “Baby I’m sorry” and “I love summer” that can be shared electronically – an ideal way to get the advertising message across without overwhelming the user.

With this set-up, more unique programs can be used to appeal to the casual Chinese device user, according to Shaun Rein, founder and managing director for the China Market Research Group. “What is happening is that Western brands have to create new aspirations that the Chinese consumer wants,” he explained.

That’s not to say it’s an easy process, as the landscape of Chinese internet can change at the drop of a hat, and marketers have to find new ways to keep up – in different ways than the United States and other overseas markets. Fortunately, some products, like Weixin, have no trouble keeping up to task.

“I’ve been here four years,” said Chris Jones, executive creator director for Wunderman ad agency in China. “In that time I’m now on the third dominant social network – first it was Renren, then Weibo and now it’s WeChat.”

Still, some companies need to be aware of certain campaigns that work – and ones that don’t – as they adapt to this new market. Grabbed the right way, however, there’s no reason why a savvy company can’t thrive within China over the coming year.

More details on the report can be found here.

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