Yesterday, Jing Daily revealed the list of our top five Sina Weibo luxury campaigns for 2013, but there’s another major social media force that can’t be forgotten: WeChat. This year, the mobile app emerged as a vitally important platform for digital marketing in China, and we’ve been keeping track of what brands have been up to on it all year. As 2013 progressed, the number of campaigns and new brands on WeChat grew, as did the number of new marketing innovations used on it. Look below for our list of the top five WeChat campaigns. Let us know your own favorites in the comments or on Twitter, and check out all of our year-end coverage here.
1. Martell Cognac’s “Modern Elites” Campaign
In a campaign that combined both digital and physical marketing, Martell Noblige Cognac sent famous photographer Justin Jin to six Chinese cities to photograph successful creative professionals such as a film director and Shenzhen television host. Following in the path of “role model” campaigns created by companies such as Johnnie Walker and Mercedes-Benz, the Dangdai Mingshi, Yingxiang Xun Lu (当代名士•映像寻旅) campaign set up physical exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai airports showcasing Jin’s photography. For the WeChat component, the company set up QR codes next to the photos, allowing users to scan in order to have the opportunity to hear audio descriptions and be entered in a contest for a free plane ticket, as well as follow Martell on WeChat. The campaign was able to target Chinese travelers in a high foot-traffic area (many of which whom may be heading to duty-free shops to buy alcohol) while also allowing them to connect with the brand to receive updates long after their travels.
2. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Hybris Mechanica Online Contest
One main challenge for luxury brands is combining “high-tech” with “high-touch,” or in other words, conveying the full extent of a luxury product’s quality and heritage through a screen rather than seeing it in person. Luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre created a WeChat campaign aimed at educating its fans about the craftsmanship and history of the company by inviting users to take a 10-question quiz on topics such as the watches’ movement systems and number of screws in order to win prizes. This campaign as well as others earned Jaeger-LeCoultre recognition as one of the top brands on WeChat this year by L2 in a report on the top luxury brands on various social media outlets.
3. Coach’s Leehom Wang “Modern New Yorker” Campaign
Another brand that is listed by L2 as one of the most innovative brands on WeChat is Coach, which regularly sponsors campaigns such as its frequent free phone wallpaper designs and weekly giveaways in its “Try Your Luck” section. In November, the company sponsored a combined Weibo/WeChat campaign in which anyone who texted “Modern New Yorker” (摩登纽约客) to Coach’s WeChat account would receive nine puzzle pieces of a photo of brand ambassador Leehom Wang, which they were able to upload to Weibo once they put the pieces together for the chance to win a Coach poster autographed by the superstar.
4. Harper’s Bazaar‘s “Secret Weapon For Selfies” Campaign
As demonstrated by China’s plethora of beautifying selfie mobile apps such as POCO’s Meiren Xiangji, selfies are big business and in China. Fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar China decided to capitalize on this by running its “Secret Weapons for Selfies” (Chinese: 自拍神器) campaign, in which users were asked to submit a mobile self-portrait and name the “secret weapon” they used to take it, which could be either on the physical makeup or digital editing side. The campaign included a L’Oréal product giveaway and a grand prize of the opportunity to model for Bazaar Beauty.
5. IWC’s The Little Prince Campaign
Making use of the “voice message” function on WeChat, watchmaker IWC invited WeChat users to record themselves reciting their favorite quotes from the book The Little Prince in order to promote the company’s special-edition watch line in celebration of the novel’s 70th anniversary of publication. The company selected 10 winners to receive a gift. With new features consistently being added to WeChat, companies are consistently coming up with new ways to use them for marketing—in addition to voice, games and stickers are also tools that we may see some marketing innovation with in the future.
Angela Hou and Jasmine Lu contributed to this report.
If you want to learn more about WeChat marketing, join Jing Daily and China Luxury Advisors on January 15 for our “Weibo vs. WeChat“ webinar.