Coca-Cola, a brand known for happiness, brought China to tears with its latest TV campaign.
In a country where actions are valued over words and strong emotions are rarely shown, it is a testament to Coca-Cola that they reduced Chinese consumers to tears of joy with this TV advertisement.
The overall message of the campaign was simple enough, focussing on family reunion at the time of Chinese Spring Festival/New Year. This is China’s equivalent of Christmas and it’s when everyone makes their annual trip home to be reunited with loved ones.
Coca-Cola calculated that after the Chinese leave home to start work, they return home for just 7 days on average per year to see their parents. According to the advert, “Excluding the time for rest, they only have 45 days in total to spend with their parents in their lives”.
In a country where the family unit is paramount, 45 days isn’t much.
Coca-Cola dominating Chinese social media
(1) The Chinese New Year Video Campaign (above)
The Nickname Bottle Campaign
Similarly to Coca-Cola’s nickname bottle campaign in the West, Coca-Cola individualised bottles for Chinese consumers.
Weibo played an essential role in the campaign, using Chinese celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs) to help attract mass attention from Weibo users. Once celebrities and KOLs shared their personalised bottles online, Chinese netizens near and far wanted in on the action.
Netizens simply chose what they wanted to have printed on the bottle and then they just had to pay delivery fees. The personalised bottle itself was free of charge. The campaign was used as testing ground for Weibo’s payment system, Weibo Wallet.
The success of their Weibo social media campaign was monumental:
– First day, 300 bottles sold out in one hour.
– Second day, 500 bottles sold out in half an hour.
– Third day, 500 bottles sold out in five minutes.
– Fourth day, 300 bottles sold out in one minute.
The Lyric Bottle Campaign
The lyric bottle campaign featured lyrics from a famous song on the bottle of Coca-Cola. Chinese consumers need only scan the bottle and they could hear 10 seconds of the song itself.
This campaign also utilised celebrities and KOLs together with Weibo trending topics to help promote the brand.
Although the campaign started on Weibo, it later moved onto the platform of Weibo’s main rival, WeChat. Using WeChat, netizens could scan QR-codes to unlock and share musicians with their friends.
Furthermore, these QR codes could open campaign minisites featuring short video animations for the 10 second lyric clips. These animations could be shared amongst friends through news feeds and as emojis in conversations.
Coca-Cola’s Engaged … Are You?
Coca-Cola have mastered the art of engaging with the average Chinese consumer; it’s time you engaged them too.
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