How Calvin Klein matched WeChat with outdoor ads to drive sales

Calvin Klein uses WeChat and outdoor ads to drive footfall

Calvin Klein (CK) drove a 50% increase in sales volume during a campaign for Chinese Valentine’s Day last year by matching up WeChat with outdoor screens.

As Asia readies itself for Chinese New Year and the West for its own Valentine's Day, the campaign, carried out in August last year, has some fitting lessons for brands wanting to chime into cultural calendar moments.

The campaign used interactive outdoor screens in China to encourage passers by to scan a QR code and share a picture of themselves with friends on WeChat. In doing so, users were rewarded with a potential free gift and were lured in with the chance to be shown on the big screen themselves.

Marci Wu, business director for Kinetic China, the agency behind the campaign, said the idea tapped into the young target audience’s show off tendencies.

“Chinese millennials and GenZ love to show off. Here, CK gave young consumers the opportunity to literally upload their photo on the Mega LED, becoming themselves the main attraction for passerbys and making more people want to get their photos up on the screen too,” explained Wu.

Turning this into footfall is another matter, however, and Benjamin Bourinat, global director of social media at Kinetic said the success of this campaign could be replicated via other mobile tools but that the key was knowing where the end journey needed to be.

“We’ve had great success with mobile scanning around the world, but there are other tactics that trigger conversion: chatbots, in-feed or proximity ads and even AR. The first step is to understand where the end of the journey should be – at a specific location or an e–commerce site, so we can plan the mobile experience accordingly. The second step is the ensure that the experience is contextually relevant so people want to act on it.

In the case of WeChat, which is what we call a ‘Super App,’ as it integrates a variety of social functions (Facebook, WhatsApp, Tinder, Instagram, Snapchat all together), we used the platform to bridge the gap between online and offline. After uploading the photo and message on WeChat, passerby got a prize to redeem in nearby CK stores, increasing footfall and sales,” he said.

According to Kinetic, after one hour 808 people scanned the code and 504 people took a photo, with 76 photos shown on the LED screen. The campaign also increased nearby store’s traffic and sales, with one of the nearby stores seeing a 50% sales volume increase compared to the same day one year prior.

Tencent, the owner of Wechat, recently announced that it was growing its international operations in order to help foreign brands understand the possibilities of the WeChat platform, both in China and outside.

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Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

All by Charlotte