The campaign is thematically congruent with the brand's household appliance products. Chinese consumers traditionally buy their parents gifts to show respect during Lunar New Year, making this the best-selling season for household appliances. Practical gifts such as rice cookers are popular choices for adult children to send to their empty-nester parents.
But this year, alongside the gifts, some parents of Gome's customers will hear recorded messages from their children when they open their presents.
"Many people in this reserved culture have trouble saying 'I love you' to their moms and dads, so we created in-store activation at Gome allowing customers to tell their parents how they really feel," said Nicky Zhang, JWT Beijing’s senior creative director.
Customers who have made their purchases are invited, free of charge, to enter the 'Love Delivery Box' booth in the stores to record a voice message. The message is captured on a light-activated chip that is inserted into the gift box and delivered the next day.
According to the agency, customers who recorded their heartfelt words have been literally crying at the stores.
“For the Chinese, love towards parents is deep, yet restrained," Zhang said. "The older generation was not super expressive. You knew your parents loved you, but they never said it—and neither did you, growing up. But when we spoke with people of all ages, we found they wanted to express their love to their parents; and they really ached to hear it."
The activation is on offer in 195 Gome stores between 17 January and 5 February, alongside a TVC that is airing online on Youku. The whole campaign is aimed at giving the retail giant a leg up on its online competitors by positioning the brand as a talking point during this important holiday season, according to Luwen Li, Gome's marketing centre director.