Staff Reporters
May 22, 2020

Mindshare China’s esports boy wonder wins Digital Strategist of the Year

DIGITAL MEDIA AWARDS: Yi Liu, the leader behind KFC’s heavily awarded Colonel KI campaign, is taking brand relationships with gamers to the next level.

Mindshare China’s esports boy wonder wins Digital Strategist of the Year

Mindshare China's esports and gaming business started out as an experiment, but its captain, general manager Yi Liu, plays to win. As Mindshare's most-awarded unit, the team serves some of the world's largest clients and is growing rapidly in billings and new clients.

Liu helped launch KFC’s Colonel KI, a personified algorithm capable of generating highly accurate, real-time winner predictions for the popular eSports game League of Legends; it won over 30 local, regional and global awards, ranking as the world’s No. 2 most awarded campaign of the year globally in the WARC Media 100 for 2019. In fact, the gaming project with KFC is now featured in the China Advertising Museum as a permanent showcase.

See the full winner list and read about more winners

Success in China’s competitive esports arena doesn’t come without considerable speed and agility.

One of Liu’s key strengths is his ability to rapidly prototype and try out first-in-market solutions. Whether that means creating the largest set of collectable cards with gaming incentives for KFC, getting the first commercial in-game placement for mobile hit Glory of Kings, or working with virtual idols, the KOLs of the future, Liu’s concepts surprise even the most ardent gamers and developers. Meanwhile, to capture the attention of a nation living in quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak, his team created China’s first interactive movie on Tencent for Pepsi’s Chinese New Year campaign.

Liu, together with his team, garnered global coverage as a keynote speaker at Cannes Lions, talking about China’s unique gaming culture. Last year, Liu was also recognized for his achievements reshaping China’s marketing industry as one of Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40.


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