|Title||52 MAYORS OF DANZHAI|
|Brand||DALIAN WANDA GROUP CO.,LTD.|
|Product / Service||WANDA DANZHAI VILLAGE|
|Entrant||OGILVY BEIJING, CHINA|
|Idea Creation||OGILVY BEIJING, CHINA|
|Idea Creation 2||DALIAN WANDA GROUP Beijing, CHINA|
|PR||OGILVY BEIJING, CHINA|
|Production||OGILVY BEIJING, CHINA|
|Additional Company||HILL+KNOWLTON STRATEGIES Beijing, CHINA|
|Selina Teng||Ogilvy Beijing||President|
|Autumn Guo||Ogilvy Beijing||Managing Partner|
|Xingsheng Qi||Ogilvy Beijing||Group Creative Director|
|Reed Collins||Ogilvy North Asia||Chief Creative Officer|
|Andrew Low||Ogilvy Beijing||Executive Creative Director|
|Kim Yu||Ogilvy Beijing||Creative Director|
|Zhiyang Huang||Ogilvy Beijing||Copy|
|Shen Yu||Ogilvy Beijing||Director|
|Joseph Rees||Ogilvy Beijing||Account Director|
|Michael Evans||Ogilvy Beijing||Editor|
|Simon Webb||Ogilvy Beijing||Senior Vice President|
|Wei Wang||Ogilvy Beijing||Vice President|
In China, one of the most tried-and-true advertising techniques is to use celebrity spokespersons. But the impact of mass celebrities is increasingly fading as they have become over-exposed. The influence that KOLs, however, who have who have built their following around specific communities of interest, remains strong. We wanted Danzhai to not only appeal to a wide audience, but to be a place that resonated with the core interests of a range of audiences. At the same time, we knew that we would need an approach that would keep Danzhai relevant as fads and sensations came and went. So we decided to recruit 52 volunteers to serve as Danzhai’s mayor, each spending one week in office in succession, focusing their time and attention to raising the village’s profile. These mayors includes KOLs from a range of specific (and sometimes niche) fields, tasked with both promoting their own specialty in Danzhai.
In June 2017, we opened online recruitment for the rotating mayor program, receiving more than 18,000 applications. The first mayor arrived in Danzhai in July and got down to work. As she spread awareness of Danzhai on her own social channels, Wanda amplified her message, creating a special account for Danzhai on WeChat, China’s most popular social app. Regular posts announced the arrival of each mayor and chronicled their work in the village. We partnered with five different news apps to post periodic reports on selected mayors whose unusual background or surprising projects were sure to grab readers’ attention. Like the mayors themselves, these partnerships spanned the wide spectrum of China’s online community, from youth-oriented Toutiao to government outlet People.cn relied on by older users.
By April 2018, over 4.5 million tourists had visited this previously unknown town, a 400% increase. These visits generated US$331 million in tourism income by the end of 2017, a 288% increase from the previous year. More importantly, the boom in tourism had a real impact on the lives of Danzhai’s residents. More than 10,800 people were lifted out of poverty, representing over 1 in 3 Danzhai residents living below the poverty line. Over 12,000 jobs have been created so far due to the program’s impact. Today, thanks to Wanda’s work, Danzhai is set to completely eradicate poverty a full two years ahead of the county’s schedule. We helped put Danzhai on the map for millions of Chinese and global travelers. Our campaign made 950 million media impressions worldwide, sparking an incredible 1,200% increase in online searches for “Danzhai Wanda Village”. The village’s official website gained nearly 8 million followers.
To attract visitors to the Wanda Group’s newest tourist resort in the isolated and unknown village of Danzhai, we handpicked influencers from China and around the world to each serve as mayor of the village for a week, each highlighting a different aspect of Danzhai’s local culture and sharing it with fans in their specific communities of interest. Relying on our mayors’ own social channels and partnerships with China’s most popular news apps, we introduced Danzhai to the world and boosted tourist visits by 400%, helping revitalize the economy and create jobs for local residents.
After opening recruitment online, we chose 52 individuals from among the applicants who we felt could best represent the diversity of Danzhai and share it with our similarly diverse audiences. For the very first mayor, we selected an online KOL who rose to fame as a food blogger. Upon arrival in her new village, she set off to create an interactive map of Danzhai’s local culinary specialties and where to find them, while also organizing a fundraising concert and hosting a series of livestreams showcasing Danzhai’s culture and crafts. In the following weeks, the post of mayor was filled by a diverse cast of characters including a photographer, a folk musician, a British fashion model and an entrepreneur who brought modern management techniques to Danzhai’s ancient tea fields.