Why Wufu Is on Everyone’s Mind This CNY

    Alipay’s AR campaign, which allows users to collect auspicious Chinese "Fu" characters for Chinese New Year, has benefitted many small businesses.
    Alipay’s augmented reality (AR) campaign, which allows users to collect auspicious Chinese Fu (福) characters for Chinese New Year, has benefitted many small businesses. Photo: Alipay
    Adina-Laura AchimAuthor
      Published   in Technology

    What happened

    Alipay rolled out its annual Five Fortune Card Collection campaign — also known as Wufu. The initiative has become a tradition that attracts families and friends who want to exchange virtual fortune cards this Chinese New Year.

    The augmented reality (AR) campaign allows users to collect auspicious Chinese Fu (福) characters, representing good fortune and blessings for the new year. Users try to collect all five fortune cards to win monetary gifts.

    Over 1,000 different brands have taken part in this digital campaign, giving out 288 million fortune cards through their Alipay Mini Programs by January 31 while seeing a 300 percent increase in the average daily visits.

    The Jing Take

    Alipay's Five Fortune Card Collection campaign has helped elevate the profile of small and medium-sized businesses. Moreover, it assists them in their efforts to connect with new consumer segments. For example, the “shake” and “draw a circle” functions available for visually challenged users helped businesses connect with a whole new part of the population. In fact, users collected more than 100,000 fortune cards through these new functions during the campaign. Considering that blindness and vision impairment are significant public health problems in China, marketers should use functions like these in other digital campaigns.

    Meanwhile, cultural institutions such as museums have also boosted exposure during this Chinese New Year period through digital collectibles inspired by tigers. During this campaign, 24 museums introduced digital collectibles powered by Topnod (鲸探), and 540,000 users successfully collected these virtual mementos. This digital campaign became a way to market the local art scene when galleries and museums suffered due to lost foot traffic and revenue.

    But SMEs were the biggest winners from the campaign as they gained leads to their web pages and increased brand exposure. For example, Cha Bai Dao (茶百道), a Chinese bubble tea brand, saw a 600-percent increase in the number of new unique visitors to its Alipay Mini Program since the start of the campaign.

    Thanks to the strong momentum behind it, Alipay's campaign helped SMEs reach more consumer segments with unique needs. And ultimately, the initiative helped many businesses achieve their business goals and boost brand awareness and revenues.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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