RE-IGNITING A LOVE FOR READING IN CHINA

TitleRE-IGNITING A LOVE FOR READING IN CHINA
ClientAMAZON
Product / ServiceKINDLE VOYAGE E-READER DEVICE
CategoryC02. Use of Social in a PR campaign
EntrantWEBER SHANDWICK Hong Kong, HONG KONG
PR Agency WEBER SHANDWICK Beijing, CHINA
Entrant Company WEBER SHANDWICK Hong Kong, HONG KONG

The Campaign

While reading is a pastime shared by many in China, sales of e-Reader devices such as Amazon’s Kindle never really took off. Most readers preferred paper books, and the relative few that read electronically used their mobiles and tablets. As Amazon prepared to unveil its most advanced e-Reader device in 2014, the brand faced the challenge of weaning Chinese readers off these devices, and convincing paper book readers to adopt a new way of reading. Amazon’s research revealed that there were two distinct types of readers in China: deep readers who are passionate about the hobby, and shallow readers who do enjoy it but lack the motivation to read more. The idea was to encourage deep readers to share their passion for reading more widely in the digital space and ignite social conversations that inspire people to reimagine the way reading is enjoyed. Propelled by a series of multimedia executions in the form of video, games and imagery, the campaign fueled the creation of user- generated content. Within two months, 3,000 people had immortalized and shared their Kindle reading moments on their social networks using the campaign hashtag #InLoveWithReading. Over 200 million impressions and over 14,000 consumer posts and online discussions were generated, making the campaign among the most successful in promoting reading in China in recent years. Significantly for Amazon, sales of the Kindle Voyage spiked by 40% as the campaign went into full swing, and units were completely sold out by end-2014.

The Brief

Amazon research revealed that there were two distinct types of readers in China: deep readers who are passionate about the hobby, and shallow readers who enjoy it but lack the motivation to read more. Deep readers don’t seem to discuss reading enough on social media because it is not considered exciting enough to share. While sales is important, it was crucial for Amazon that the Kindle Voyage made an impact on Chinese social media. It challenged the agency to generate 70 million social media impressions, 5,000 online discussions and 10,000 engagements for Kindle Voyage online to drive awareness and sales.

Results

Before the campaign, consumers were predominantly reading paper books, or using their existing mobile phones and tablets to read. As the campaign went into full swing, sales for Kindle devices raced up by a phenomenal 40%. Within just a few months following its launch, all units of the Kindle Voyage were completely sold out across China. The digital strategy was not only effective in driving sales for the product, but also succeeded to propel a social movement for reading. By 31 December 2014, over 200 million impressions and 14,000 consumer posts and discussions were generated using the hashtag #爱上读来读往# (#InLoveWithReading), smashing targets initially set. The brand’s video content has been viewed more than 200,000 times to date, and over 3,000 people posted their own Kindle-inspired reading posters online, helping to again propel the campaign hashtag.

Execution

To get reading into the social conversation space, the agency collaborated some of China’s influential social media personalities to engage their followers in discussions about reading habits in China. Videos featuring these KOLs showed reading in a brand new light, as they demonstrated how Kindle made the pastime much more enjoyable, meaningful and practical. Following this, a mobile app was launched that enable people to immortalize and share their reading moments on their social networks using the campaign hashtag #InLoveWithReading, while highlighting the books and passages that inspired them. An interactive quiz hosted on China’s popular social app WeChat added a competitive dimension. In the run up to the product’s launch, one poster a day was released on social media, featuring popular digital influencers with their Kindle devices in different settings. The images in turn inspired netizens to immortalize their own reading moments with the app.

The Situation

Most readers in China enjoyed paper books, or used their mobiles or tablets to read books using the Kindle app. In 2014, the Kindle Voyage e-Reader device was to be launched in China. Critically, the brand needed to get more people to change their reading habits and adopt the device in place of paper books and other mobile devices. It challenged the agency to develop a campaign that would ignite interest in the product and generate conversation on reading among audiences in ways that would move them to use the Kindle.

The Strategy

Over 70% of Chinese consider reading to be highly important but of those who read habitually, 66% prefer paper books. Most of those who did read electronically use their mobile or tablet devices to do so. Only 2.4% use e-Readers such as the Kindle. The digital strategy was two-fold: 1. Ignite social conversations that inspire people to reimagine the way reading is enjoyed, leveraging the social clout of China’s most influential key opinion leaders across different fields. 2. Drive consumer participation by using interactive elements that highlighted the Kindle’s features while positioning reading as a fashionable pastime Propelled by a series of multimedia executions in the form of video, games and imagery, the campaign aimed to encourage deep readers to share their passion for reading more widely in the digital space in ways the pastime seem fashionable and cool.

Credits

Name Company Position
Li Song Weber Shandwick China Associate Director
Andrew Jin Amazon Senior Digitial Marketing Manager
David Du Weber Shandwick China Senior Creative Director
Antony Cheng Weber Shandwick China Senior VP and China Head of Digital
Cathy Cui Weber Shandwick China Senior Consultant
Tommy Lin Weber Shandwick China Associate
Katrina Foxe Myburgh Weber Shandwick Head of Marketing
Manisha Jham Weber Shandwick Marketing Manager APAC
Gabrielle Lukes-Mooney Weber Shandwick Senior Marketing Executive