THE VOICE

TitleTHE VOICE
ClientVISA INFORMATION SYSTEM (SHANGHAI) CO.
Product / ServiceCREDIT CARD
CategoryB03. Consumer Services
EntrantPROXIMITY CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Entrant Company PROXIMITY CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Advertising Agency PROXIMITY CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Advertising Agency 2 UNCLE ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai, CHINA

The Campaign

Our target audience has strong beliefs about not traveling like the past generation of Chinese travelers. They want to explore beyond typical landmarks and are strongly against cliché travels. However, there is a strong stereotype of what Chinese travelers are like, and our young Chinese travelers are often overgeneralized because of this stereotype. They need a voice that represents their way of travel. We started by creating a series of satirical online talk shows featuring a character called Big Feng, who praised typical unoriginal cliché Chinese travel. Coupled with increasing international coverage of the way Chinese travelers were behaving abroad made the topic something our audience could not ignore. They were eager to agree with a brand that echoed their mentality and at the same time delivered to help them. This set the stage for Visa to showcase how Visa was there to help them travel differently and explore deeper experiences. A campaign site was equipped with virtual experience functions and useful information which was attractive to them. A Visa branded video showcased a key opinion leader taking on a challenge, and being able to complete them with Visa. All this is eventually supported with on-ground pop up stalls in popular Chinese tourist destinations, renting out free bicycles and GPS devices that were pre-loaded with Visa’s off the beaten track merchants, letting our consumers truly experience travel in a different way.

The Brief

The key objective was to raise awareness of the Visa brand in order to drive payment preference with Visa when they travel overseas. Research shows that today’s young Chinese travelers no longer have the same mentality as before. The unique insight is that they are no longer interested in group tours and just visiting famous landmarks. Instead, they want to embark on journeys that allow them to discover themselves and engage in novel experiences. (Source: 2013: asiatraveltips.com) The research however, did not reflect the stereotype that was given to the Chinese travelers. This was an opportunity for Visa to be the brand that can help give them a Voice and increase Visa’s brand awareness.

Results

• 40% increase in outbound transactions from previous year • 32 million video views in one month • 100+ million impressions, equivalent to 98% of overseas Chinese travelers in 2014 • 66% campaign site engagement, compared to industry benchmark of 16% • 65,000 re-tweets, 4 times the industry standard • 244,582 New Visa Followers, double the number in one month • Social sentiment toward Visa increased to 97.3% , 5% increase from the average of previous year • The social activity was listed on the Sina Weibo “Hot Topic” ranking, 3 times

Execution

• Teaser/2 weeks (Jan 22- Feb 3) • Key online video site, social platforms • Created satirical online talk shows featuring a character called Big Feng, who endorsed typical travel behaviours of the China audience. The show got the attention of young Chinese and became a rallying cry for them to vent their frustrations. Launch/ 4 weeks (Feb 1 – Mar 4) • Key online video sites, social platforms, Visa’s own media platforms, on-ground event • Visa then launched a branded campaign. In hip tourist destinations off the beaten track, Visa rented bicycles equipped with a GPS showing unique Visa merchants. Key opinion leaders are invited to be our ambassadors to further Visa’s wide acceptance. Sustaining /1 week (Mar 5 – Mar 15) • Key online video sites, social platforms • Visa thanked consumers by bringing Big Feng over to Visa side. Visa’s strength of unparalleled coverage and the spirit of traveling differently are further amplified at this phase.

The Situation

Chinese travelers are very attached to their local payment brand - China Union Pay, even when they travel abroad. This affects the volume of cross border transactions, as well as the awareness of the Visa brand. Visa needed to leverage a PR approach that will allow our consumers to understand that Visa is the brand that could be the voice for them. Unlike China Union Pay that is available only in major merchants, Visa with its unparalleled coverage is widely accepted, even in the small store in the corner of a quaint street, letting them experience the different kind of travel experience that they are looking for.

The Strategy

Our target audience is an increasingly independent-minded generation. They are always challenging the social norm via their actions and eager to let their voices be heard by actively engaging in evocative social topics. The travel videos drove our consumers to feel stereotyped by the general population’s behaviour, and got them defensive, rallying them to debate and voice their opinions. This coupled with increasing international coverage of the way Chinese travelers were behaving abroad made the topic something our audience could not ignore. They were eager to agree with a brand that echoed their mentality and at the same time delivered to help them. This helps set the stage for Visa to step in and when Visa showcased its brand story of travelling differently, its strong resonance was something that our consumers were ready to help endorse on Visa’s behalf.

Credits

Name Company Position
Wai Foong Leong BBDO/Proximity China Chairman & CCO, Greater China
Sharlene Wu BBDO/Proximity China Managing Director
Kit Koh BBDO/Proximity China Executive Creative Director
Airy Han BBDO/Proximity China Creative Director
Eric Wu BBDO/Proximity China Producer
Nicole Ma BBDO/Proximity China Creative Paterner
Alvina Yeah BBDO/Proximity China Group Account Director
Anita Hsieh BBDO/Proximity China Associate Account Director
Steven Ruan BBDO/Proximity China Group Head
Renee Zhang BBDO/Proximity China Planning Director
Stacy Yu BBDO/Proximity China Digital Planning Manager
Crystal Lin BBDO/Proximity China Group Account Direcor
Abby Yu BBDO/Proximity China Senior Account Executive
Pride Fang BBDO/Proximity China Project Director
Natalie Kat OMD China Managing Partner
Nicky Shen Uncle Advertisement Co. Ltd Senior Account Manager
Jessie Fu OMD China Business Director
Anson Bei Uncle Advertisement Co. Ltd Group Account Director