Product / ServiceUNILEVER
EntrantPHD Shanghai, CHINA
Media Agency 2 PHD Shanghai, CHINA
Entrant Company PHD Shanghai, CHINA
Media Agency PHD Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Benny Xu Unilever China Brand Building Director
Liang Gao Unilever China Brand Building Manager
David Porter Unilever China North Asia Media Director
Echo Tao Unilever China Media Manager
Grace Zhao PHD Planning Manager
Leah Wu PHD CHINA Planning Exec
Nishtha Mehta PHD Mobile Capability
Kel Hook PHD Head Of Strategy

The Campaign

You would think a country that has become the second largest economy in the world would have plenty to smile about? While China’s rapid economic development has lifted millions out of poverty, it has come at a cost – People in China are just not as happy as they used to be. Our audience of young post 80’s urban Chinese have spent most of their lives striving for success in an ever-growing competitive landscape. The result? While material wealth has improved living environments, it has not necessarily improved quality of life. Zhonghua toothpaste, a local brand with a 60 year history in China, took it upon itself not just look out for the dental health of a nation, but help China’s stressed out urban middle class discover their smile again. Creating a branded content campaign that challenges our audience to discover their one reason to smile.

Success of the Campaign

Combining thought provoking branded content, smart use of digital and social and first time OOH channels, Zhonghua’s Smile Campaign generated plenty of results to smile about: • No.1 Brand Total Awareness • 24% sales volume growth vs previous year • 20% Increase on sales vs. category growth • Over 100 million “smiles” were shared • 725,000,000 Digital impression • 27+ Million Chinese watched the branded micro movie on digital and TV • 8,060,000 Reaches on Sina and Tentent Microblogs • 2,300,000 photos were shared via mobile app StoryCamera • 2,240,000 Searches on key words • 52% Increase of WeChat followers in total • ROI reached 790%

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched and executed across each channel in the order of implementation.

The centrepiece of the campaign is an 8-minute short film, starring China’s Julia Roberts, leading actress, Yao Chen. The story centres on Yao’s character, a world-weary photographer burnt out by urban life. Gaining a glimpse into her future, coupled with the wise words of a worldly newspaper street vendor, Yao’s character understands the importance of finding her one reason to smile. The film appeared on China’s top digital video online and mobile platforms Tencent and Youku, aired on national TV and supported by integrated digital campaign, including social media activation partnering with selfie app Story Camera, Zhonghua detected the level of someone’s smile in their selfie pic, generating smile points linked to a social programme sponsoring corrective oral surgeries for infants. Offline support included magazine, PR, events and using the central newspaper vendor character as a catalyst became the first brand to advertise on over 1600 newspaper stands in Shanghai.