This year’s Tencent MIND Awards crowned brands hailed from a variety of industries, with 11 awards calling attention to the best of 2017’s crop of digital ad campaigns in China. Highlights from the gold award winner’s circle represent the crème de la crème, and have set a high-water mark for what’s possible in the country’s fast-evolving digital landscape.
Coming out on top
Nike and McDonald’s won the Apparel & Others and Branded Content awards, respectively, with the two brands also shared the “Best of the Best” industry-wide accolade.
Nike’s Runners Radio campaign made use of the Nike+ Run Club app and QQ Music with a new, intelligent design matching rhythm with pace, and monitoring run stats. The platforms saw 387,000 daily unique visitors and clocked 17 minutes of average listening time among runners.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s merged Tencent’s own anime, The King’s Avatar, with its food products. The campaign took product placement into new territory, as the series’ protagonist became a spokesman for the restaurant’s new Jumbo Cone. One McDonald’s restaurant was also outfitted as the official pilgrimage site for fans of the series, and a branded side story video was produced to promote the partnership, recording 17 million views.
The brand also landed both the Foods award and Social Media Award for its collaboration with QQ featuring the Minions franchise. Content included interactive games, selfies with Bob, Kevin and Stuart, and AR-ready burgers, with customised products scanned over 1.2 million times.
2017’s award winners
Lincoln received honours in the Auto category for its webcast produced by Tencent Brand Story Studio, featuring people travelling to the world’s furthest reaches in Lincoln SUVs. Tencent News, WeChat, Tencent Video, Kuaibao, Weibo and Baidu opened their channels to the campaign, racking up ten million views of the live broadcast, 171 percent growth over 20 days on WeChat’s index, 60,000 comments and 38.6 million views on Weibo, and 727,000 hits on Baidu from searches for “Lincoln China”.
Whisper landed the Personal Home & Care award for its work over encouraging the daughter’s of female migrant workers, or “Leftover Girls”, to talk about menstruation. The campaign raised awareness through a micro film uncovering the confusion of growing up, clocking 22 million views, and a charity activity with JD.com, with associated content receiving 15 million views.
In the Pharmaceutical & Insurance category, Amway took home gold for its multifaceted Nutrilite project, spotlighting the importance of living healthy. The campaign’s videos and articles received 26 million views, with KOL endorsements and an associated white paper to boot.
Xiaomi won the Consumer Electronics award on the back of a 12 episode video campaign featuring explorers striking out into 23 different countries to test the extreme qualities of the Mi MIX smartphone. The work spurred a total of 300 million video views and a reported 150 percent increase in brand preference.
Pepsi Cola snagged the Scene Marketing award by cooperating with QQ in its latest campaign centred on emojis. The icons were plastered on Pepsi cans and, through AR, were ripe for user interaction. Snapping a picture of a can brought the emoji images to life when viewed digitally. 7.26 million users engaged in AR interactions throughout the campaign, and the customised emoji stickers were used over 30 million times.
The brand also took home the Beverage award for its mobile QQ red envelope campaign carried out over Chinese New Year. Utilising LBS and AR, the brand made good on its slogan “bring happiness home”—20 million users exchanged red envelopes, 30.25 million coupons were distributed, and Pepsi’s QQ account rocketed from 0 to 3.18 million followers in just 15 minutes.
Taking home the Creative Data accolade was Decathlon, who used location-based service (LBS) targeting through WeChat Moments for the opening of a new store. The results were reportedly 40 percent better than traditional marketing strategies, and later adopted by 13 additional Decathlon stores.
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