Hong Kong agency organises 'breakup tour' for the newly single

Cathay Pacific, Airbnb, Carousell, KKday and Pamycarie participate in a co-branding exercise organised by Secret Tour Hong Kong.

Adele and Sam Smith are famous for turning breakups into Grammy-winning hits, but less musically gifted mere mortals may have to rely on the 768 million search results suggested by Google to get over a failed relationship.

Independent agency Secret Tour Hong Kong wanted to make it easier for the broken-hearted, by breaking down the healing process in its ‘Breakup Tour’ co-branding exercise with Cathay Pacific, Airbnb, travel platform KKday, online marketplace Carousell and jewellery brand Pamycarie.

To participate in the contest, the jilted must first pen a letter to their exes. Four ‘winners’ will get a five-day-four-night trip to Japan with an itinerary planned by the participating brands.

Understandably, the brands will provide some opportunities for retail therapy along the touchpoints of the campaign, but not before the participants sell mementos from their past relationships on Carousell. They will then be set to go, and later check-in to an Airbnb where they will receive a “break-up first-aid kit” prepared by KKday. Each winner will also receive a Pamycarie-crafted bracelet embedded with ‘discount chips’ redeemable at participating outlets.

Stephen Chung, creative partner at STHK, said the idea of a breakup tour was drawn from the insights from a Facebook IQ study which showed that users who have changed their relationship status to ‘single’ make 25% more travel-related purchases in the month following their announcement. More importantly, Chung positioned the exercise as a flagship campaign for the agency; the agency did the campaign for free as an experiment in co-branding campaigns. Most of the participanting brands have engaged STHK for small-scale social media campaigns prior to this initiative, although Cathay Pacific and Airbnb are collaborating with STHK for the first time.

“In Hong Kong, the budget of clients is getting smaller and smaller," Chung said. "When a brand asks an agency to create a campaign, the chances of it going viral is also smaller and smaller with so much information flooding the market.”

He expected awareness for each of the five participating brands to be potentially increased with the unique take of the campaign, although lesser-known players such as KKday and Pamycarie are more likely to benefit from such an initiative. The Facebook page of the ‘Breakup Tour’ has received over 1,500 likes since its launch earlier this month. Four Hong Kong-based KOLs tried out the tour in June and documented their experience in a promotional clip for the tour. 9gag and travel titles such as weekendhk.com are among the participating publishers in the campaign.

Chung has high expectations for the co-branding campaign, saying in his own Facebook post that it is a chance to showcase Hong Kong creativity to the world. “We decided not to buy page likes for this campaign, but to rely on organic growth through word-of-mouth,” Chung told Campaign. “If this campaign works out, we could maybe try the co-branding approach more frequently with our clients in the future,” said Chung.

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