THE RIDE BACK HOME

TitleTHE RIDE BACK HOME
ClientLENOVO
Product / ServiceCOMPUTER/TECHNOLOGY
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantKETCHUM Hong Kong, HONG KONG
PR Agency KETCHUM Hong Kong, HONG KONG
Entrant Company KETCHUM Hong Kong, HONG KONG

The Campaign

Lenovo, the world’s second largest PC maker, was using the influential Hong Kong market to study brand effectiveness. Research revealed that the most important brand attributes for Hong Kong consumers – from trustworthiness to international popularity – were areas Lenovo had opportunities to improve. The agency was brought in for a corporate branding campaign. It needed to cut across Lenovo’s different product lines and price points, maintain the aspirational message of the existing brand positioning “For Those Who Do,” and add the relevance and authenticity needed to engage new consumers. It couldn’t be a cosmetic fix. The product was technology, but the connection needed to be cultural. Having created a list of what’s hot in Hong Kong -- from green living to Korean pop music -- the agency sought a match between passion and product. Then one day it rode in the door. A cycling fanatic named Lee Minghay planned a 14,000 kilometer bike journey from Germany to his native Hong Kong and was looking for sponsorship. The team recognized Minghay as the epitome of “For Those Who Do” and his seven-month journey through Asia in 2012 as the perfect route to promote Lenovo’s message of authenticity, engagement and human potential. Lenovo supported Minghay in every aspect of “The Ride Back Home,” becoming part of the story and its ultimate triumph. Minghay arrived in Hong Kong to a hero’s welcome – thrown by Lenovo. Over the course of the campaign, brand consideration of Lenovo had jumped 9%, overtaking Apple to become Hong Kong’s most considered computer brand.

The Brief

Our campaign needed to make a personal connection with PC users, and raise Lenovo’s overall brand consideration and brand attribute scores. We set out to understand and identify the qualities which engage the Hong Kong PC consumer and use these insights to develop a new Lenovo branding campaign which would closely align with the brand’s “For Those Who Do” corporate brand message and appeal to mainstream media, beyond technology press.

Results

Driving the message home We landed 68 major earned media stories during the seven-month project, including 31 in-depth features. Seventy-eight percent of media coverage appeared in tier-one media, including general daily, business and lifestyle media, significantly extending brand reach beyond the IT arena. Lenovo saw a sharp 400% increase in Ride Back Home Facebook page visits and 65% increase in Lenovo HK Facebook page visits during promotion, with an engagement rate of 20.7%. Most striking of all, Lenovo brand consideration jumped 9% over the course of the campaign, overtaking Apple as Hong Kong’s preferred computer brand.

Execution

Put the pedal to the metal. The agency used a Hong Kong brand research and tracking firm to identify the most important brand attributes for Hong Kong consumers considering PC purchases. Additionally, we created a “hot list” of cultural and lifestyle passions among the demographic. The two strategic courses were brought together in the compelling storyline of Lee Minghay’s “The Ride Back Home.” The team guided Lenovo’s sponsorship of Minghay’s seven month journey in 2012, providing Minghay with Lenovo ThinkPads, a buillt-in webcam, a GPS component, and a Facebook following. Leveraging Lenovo’s “For Those Who Do” message, the agency assembled the Lenovo Doer Squad; five experts in weather, fashion, travel, fitness and IT support who offered helpful advice to Lee via Facebook and encouraged followers to join in. Traditional media sources were directed to the human interest story, which culminated in a welcome home party that maximized cross-media coverage.

The Situation

Researching the consumer, rethinking the brand. In the highly competitive world of personal computers and Hong Kong retail market, PC maker Lenovo sought to improve consumer perception of its brand and product attributes and to advance in the consideration set. The agency was asked to research PC consumers, form fresh new insights, and recommend a high profile new corporate branding campaign.

The Strategy

Find an engaging story We set out to study the consumer. Rather than probe their view of product claims and technology needs in general, our research sought to identify any aspect of culture and lifestyle that engaged them. The PR team decided to create a Hong Kong cultural “hot list,” narrowing subjects down by perceived relevance and authenticity, the two most important attributes for the branding campaign. We already had cycling on our short list when we were approached by Lee Minghay, who was planning a 14,000 km bicycle journey from Europe to Hong Kong and seeking sponsorship. We had considered and rejected other sponsorships. This was dramatically different though, a perfect fit with our cultural research. We would help sponsor, publicize and shape the story of “The Ride Back Home,” providing Minghay with a forum to connect genuinely with the target audience on an emotional and aspirational level.

Credits

Name Company Position
Elaine Tsui Lenovo Hong Kong Marketing Manager
Leslie Chan Ketchum Art Designer
Crystal Poon Ketchum Account Executive
Charlene Leung Ketchum Account Manager
Charmaine Lo Ketchum Account Manager
Carl Wong Ketchum Vice President