|Title||HONG KONG LIVE IN BANGKOK|
|Brand||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD|
|Product / Service||HONG KONG AS CHOICE TRAVEL DESTINATION|
|Category||B07. Events & Stunts|
|Entrant||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Idea Creation||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Idea Creation 2||FARMGROUP COMPANY Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Media Placement||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|PR||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|PR 2||FARMGROUP COMPANY Bangkok, THAILAND|
|Production||HONG KONG TOURISM BOARD Singapore, SINGAPORE|
|Jennifer Loke||Hong Kong Tourism Board||Senior Manager, Marketing - Southeast Asia|
|Crystal Tham||Hong Kong Tourism Board||Executive, Public Relations|
|Wandee Lerdsupongkit||Francom Asia||Account Director|
Seven key Hong Kong attractions formed a complete story of a family fun travel destination. However, in order for media and consumers to fully grasp the fun elements, we made Hong Kong come to life in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand with larger-than-life interactive installations of these seven attractions to engage both media and consumers. This was the first time Hong Kong conducted such an event in Bangkok and the other competitive destinations only conducted typical road shows focusing on sales purchase. Thais are deeply spiritual and would often pray for their families at a hugely popular Che Kung Temple in Hong Kong. As a media hook, we created the temple replica at the event which would speak right to the hearts of Thais (media & consumers) since they believe that wishes made at the Che Kung Temple would come true.
To build anticipation, a pre-event press release headlining that HK was coming to life in Bangkok was disseminated, along with photos of the Thai celebrities engaging with our Hong Kong attractions. Interview opportunities with HK spokesperson, celebrities, were pitched to TV, print, online, with great success as there were various angles to cover – from business strategy to Hong Kong developments to celebrity experience. Closer to event, celebrities posted on their social media to rally fans to meet them at the opening ceremony. Posts obtained high views, likes, and shares. On event day, apart from the media briefing session, media interviews and media tours were held to introduce the family-friendly aspects of the attractions. A full-page article ran on top daily Thai Rath to encourage consumers to join in the opening ceremony to hear from the popular celebrities’ sharing of their love for Hong Kong.
The event was a tremendous success by many counts. The atrium was crowded with fans, media, and consumers all jostling for the best spot to witness the ceremony and interact/play with the installations from the seven attractions as well as visit the Che Kung Temple to get their ‘fortunes’ told. The media turnout was better than expected with 51 influential media titles vs the targeted 40. Total PR coverage recorded a whopping 95 clippings across different media types with a total value of more than HKD2.37M vs the targeted HKD1.5M. There were 12 x Tier 1 TV channels, 7 x Tier 1 Print titles covering the event with recorded interviews on broadcast TV. The coverage was extensive and covered various grounds – business strategy in promoting family travel in Thailand, Hong Kong’s latest developments especially the attractions, and most importantly how family-friendly Hong Kong was. Sales were above expectations. Consumers queued way before the event to purchase the special offers and packages were sold out in 30mins. Total travel packages were sold to 1,378 persons, mainly family travel packages with 820 room nights. Total attraction tickets sold were 1,511. Feedback from the Thailand trade representative, participating attractions representatives, as well as participating travel agents, were positive, with many consumers interacting with the booth, posting on social media, and enjoying the family-fun side of Hong Kong. Due to the unfortunate event of the revered Thai King’s passing on Oct 13 (1 week after our event), some coverage were not published.
As part of the wider public relations strategy in Thailand to build the brand equity of Hong Kong as a travel destination, the key communications message is to position Hong Kong as a fun-filled family destination for the young and old, as Hong Kong is more known to be a vibrant cosmopolitan city for the trendy. A high-profile large scale lighthouse consumer event was seen as a key to break through the clutter of competition from the likes of Japan, Korea, Taiwan – destinations that are perceived to be family friendly.
The key target audience is families, who can afford overseas holidays, thus the location was a huge premium mall with high footfall. The approach was to target a wide variety of media including travel / lifestyle. To do that, we invited a HK government official and two popular Thai celebrities who were passionate about Hong Kong, to officiate the opening ceremony as guests-of-honour. Through this strategy, we were able to pique the interest of news/business desks from Tier 1 national dailies and TV, and influential entertainment titles / beats across national Terrestrial /Digital TV, key print, popular online media, and influential bloggers as this is the first appearance after maternity break for the celebrity. For a more complete Hong Kong Family Fun story to media, a media briefing session before the opening ceremony was conducted to share with them in more detail family-friendly aspects including the seven key attractions.