The brand delivered gold-coloured envelopes reminiscent of the golden ticket giveaway in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 《查理和巧克力工厂》 to the first 2014 followers of its official WeChat account @英国航空(BritishAirwaysChina).
Inside each envelope, recipients found a new year greeting from BA regional CEO Tracy Dedman (高韵诗) and a promotional coupon worth 300 RMB (US$50). The envelopes, emblazoned with a gold BA 'coat of arms', features the airlines's motto, 'To Fly. To Serve', and a Pegasus icon to celebrate the impending Year of the Horse.
Three exceptionally lucky, randomly selected followers also won free air tickets to London in the campaign, developed by Social@Ogilvy.
Like many brands, the airline is moving to shore up its WeChat presence after the China Internet Network Information Center reported that membership in Sina Weibo declined by 28 million people, or nine per cent.
WeChat, a social networking app featuring streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins, has been taking a bite out of rival Sina Corp's Weibo, as admitted by Sina chairman Charles Chao as early as 2012.
Another reason for the WeChat campaign was that travellers in China are learning more about the airline through social media [rather] than traditional media, according to Viktoria Williams, marketing lead for British Airways Asia Pacific.
It is vital for BA to develop its mobile business in the China market where most consumers have gone straight to using social media and e-commerce on their phones instead of computers, added Williams.
"Social@Ogilvy’s campaign smoothed our landing into WeChat. We have more than 10,000 followers within the first 10 days of the launch,” she said.
"We knew there would be a whole bunch of Hong Bao (red envelope) campaigns this year, so we needed something that would stand out,” explained Jeremy Webb (周愚), national director of Social@Ogilvy China.
British Airways has been flying to China for more than 30 years. It offers daily flights from Beijing and Shanghai to London, and thrice-weekly direct flights from Chengdu to London.
Client: British Airways
Brief: A creative, engaging social campaign that rides on Chinese New Year buzz, driving awareness of the BA brand, as well as promoting the newly launched BA WeChat account
Creative agency: Social@Ogilvy, China
Client Director: Jeremy Webb 周愚
Client and Strategy Lead: Ayur Wu 武莹
Social Media Community Management: Bowen Hu 胡博文
Creative & Art: Dora Yin 尹禾
Copywriter: Ben Xu 徐奔
Producing and Delivery Support: Dwyane Chen 陈达远
Exposure: BA official website, Online travel, vertical media, RTB media exposure