Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Apr 15, 2016

A.S. Watson melds CSR and marketing in 175th anniversary 'LOL' campaign

HONG KONG - The latest campaign activity for A.S. Watson as the group turns 175 years old is a large-scale volunteer visit to 1,750 elderly singletons across various districts of the city, and getting them to smile.

A.S. Watson melds CSR and marketing in 175th anniversary 'LOL' campaign

Plugging into the government’s 'Appreciate Hong Kong' initiative, the group's 'Project LOL' has kicked off with the volunteer visit as a highlight activity.

The aim, apart from publicising the group's corporate social responsibility, is to "show our care to the elderly in a creative and hilarious way", said Hanks Lee, senior corporate communications manager of A.S. Watson Group. The brand is using a local online influencer 'FHMedia' (熊仔頭) to teach Hong Kongers how to get along with the elderly. As part of Project LOL, ASW has also commissioned Hong-Kong-based agency Prizm to make a “smile meter” that rides on the culture of selfies.

Campaign Asia-Pacific talked with Lee about the campaign.

What are the objectives of the campaign?

With a history dating back to 1841, ASW is privileged to be able to witness and grow alongside Hong Kong’s transformation to become a global city and the centre of international trade. We have launched Project LOL in order to give back to our home city and serve our community.

Youth education is a key focus of Project LOL, and the usage of a KOL YouTuber, who is very popular amongst youngsters, makes perfect sense for the renowned retailing group which has put in a lot of efforts to develop the younger generation in Hong Kong with the A.S. Watson Hong Kong Student Sports Awards and the Watsons Athletic Club.

We also want to make the video informative for our volunteers as tips for their elderly visits, while at the same time [making it] humorous for the wider online population. If you look at the tone and manner we used in the video, we deliberately made it very HK-style and very down-to-earth to stay relevant to our audience.

How about the scale of it?

Special loyalty-club member promotions will be available from all of ASW's retail brands, including Watsons, Fortress, ParknShop and Watsons Wine throughout the year.

The online campaign will be launched on all the social-media platforms of all of our business units in Hong Kong, namely Watsons, PNS, Fortress, Watsons Wine, Watsons Water and Mr. Juicy, leveraging our extensive and strong network in Hong Kong to maximise the impact of the campaign.

We believe in digital. In 2014 we have set up an internal unit called eLab with US$60 million investment to accelerate the enhancement of our digital presence and also customer experience online within three years. ASW operates over 12,400 physical stores worldwide in 25 markets, yet we never forget our digital presence as this is becoming an important customer touchpoint.

Digital channels also give us a very responsive stage to engage with our customers under time constraints. As a matter of fact, the whole Project LOL took just three weeks from concept development to going live. 

It’s rare to have such investment for a single volunteer program, yet we believe this is the right way to introduce the project to the public. Our customers—HK people from all walks of life—are very savvy on mobile and social media.


Project: WeSmile
Client: A.S. Watson Group
Agency: PRIZM
Assistant Account Director : Kelvin Wong
Senior Account Manager: Zoey Chung
Account Executive: Candy Chan
Art Director: Winston Leong
IT Director: Timmy Tin


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