“I’m here to talk about how to play with Tencent,” Anna Gao, general manager of platform marketing and mobile e-Sports told a crowd of ad agency professionals and creatives at the Tencent Mind Conference yesterday in Shanghai.
She might have been speaking for all of Tencent’s content marketing platforms that were trotted out on stage heralding their audience size and achievements.
|Related: Tencent promises higher integration for advertisers|
The main message? You don’t merely want to play with Tencent because of its size and popularity but because it will work with you through technology to make marketing more “fun” by making its content mobile-friendly, fan-friendly and interactive.
So what kind of “fun marketing” opportunities were laid out for marketers?
“This may be the best time for the music industry in China,” Helen Lo, general manager of corporate strategy for Tencent Music Entertainment group.
That’s because the popularity of streaming music platforms has revived its fortunes, once depressed by copyright infringement.
So not only have Tencent's platforms QQ Muisc, KuGou and Kuwo seen huge growth in the past few years, but also China still vastly underspends on music compared with markets like Japan or even Hong Kong.
Music is all about personal taste and social sharing, so Lo sees growth in more products like karaoke functions letting subscribers sing along, record themselves or in groups and sharing socially.
Developing China’s own music scene is important through support platforms and allowing livestreaming events.
Marketing opportunities include sponsoring online and offline music shows, working with celebrities on livestreaming to request certain brand gifts and also buying digital albums and sharing to ingratiate brand names to a singer’s fan base.
Another is working with branded apps like Nike’s running club to recommend music from streaming platforms based on how fast you run, before being recommended suitable running gear.
Video and big screen
“Content is not just content” said Ann Wang, general manager of video commercialization and performance advertising, pledging more cooperation with brands on creating protected content.
This means more product placement in online reality shows, and more brand appearances in animated series, like McDonald’s showing up in an anime clip that was screened.
It also means more opportunities around live-streaming of popular current affairs events like space launches and fashion launches.
Plus more co-produced movies from Tencent Pictures like Wonder Woman, King Kong, and another set to be announced in December.
Gaming and reading
Livestreaming of big eSports gaming events will continue. Gao stressed how Tencent can capture fans’ emotions on gaming platforms to work with brands to incorporate figures (like KFC’s Colonel Sanders) and logos (like BMW) directly into repackaged game content.
Promoting a pan-entertainment platform, Gao noted the company can also leverage its comics and China Reading platforms to understand the tastes of fan communities better.
Brian Ding, deputy general manager of Tencent Sports was perhaps the more pessimistic of those presenting.
The sports industry has not been as robust as it could be in China, he says, since the rights to pro sports leagues are so expensive and so competition of Chinese leagues in sports like basketball and soccer need to develop to a higher level.
After explaining Tencent’s plan to help sponsor the growth of local sports leagues in China to raise the bar, he told marketers that regardless of the health in the industry there’s plenty of value for brands in sports marketing.
He cited popular advertising around Chinese Olympic teams and the rising popularity of pro sports leagues like the NBA. Ding expects as more sports viewing transfers from television to more interactive online and mobile platforms there will be more meaningful sponsorship opportunities that engage more with fans.
Disclosure: Campaign Asia-Pacific was a media partner for the Tencent event. However, the content here was produced solely by Campaign's editors.