17 JUL. 2012

Digital in China: Lancome, Mobile, Six God

Lancome promotes its new lipstick through a sophisticated multi-channel strategy

Lancome has always been amongst the best in class when it comes to digital in China, a status that is only reinforced by its most recent campaign rolled out to support the launch of its new “rouge in love” line of lipsticks. The campaign, build around a website and a mobile platform, is called “A kiss conquers the city” and aims at touching young, digital savvy urban girls by playing on the connection between the user and her city. Users can upload their own pictures of urban life and customize them with colored lip marks that reflect different contexts. By uploading pictures at different times of the day, users can win prizes and unlock new lip mark badges.

The website also includes video in which products are clickable and lead to the brand’s e-commerce section.

The brand extends the experience through its iOS application on which fans can view brand videos, get product information, upload their pictures, browse other people’s contributions and check into Lancome corners in department stores to unlock special badges and win prizes. Even non-smartphone users can tune in to the experience through the campaign’s WAP website.

New mind blowing statistics about mobile usage

Ad and media conglomerate Group M recently released a video animation going over the state of the Chinese mobile market and highlighting key points about mobile usage in China. The video paints a picture of China as a leader in mobile usage and of Chinese mobile netizens as incredibly engaged.

As of today China has over 360 million mobile netizens. In 2015, the number of mobile netizens will surpass that of traditional desktop internet users. Amongst these mobile netizens, close to 200 million are smartphone users and China has become the world’s largest smartphone market. The mobile web is big money too with the 2011 m-commerce market reaching 11.5 billion RMB (growing 416% year on year) and 1 in 5 Taobao users accessing Taobao through mobile.

67% of Chinese smartphone users frequently take pictures of their meal and upload them on Weibo before they eat. This seemingly odd metric shows the degree to which mobile is embedded in daily life. Furthermore, on average Chinese smartphone users check their phone every 6 minutes and 38% of them spend over 5 hours a day on their phone.

These figures clearly show that mobile presents vast opportunities for brands to be more relevant to Chinese customers. Unfortunately these opportunities are still largely untapped with mobile getting less than 1% of total advertising and marketing spending in China.
Six God revives its brands through digital

Created in 1908, hua lu shui is a type of traditional Chinese floral water used as a fragrance but also known for its medicinal benefits and for keeping mosquitos away in the intense summer heat.

Six God (六神) is a national “hua lu shui” brand and has recently tried to revive its brand image on TV and now on the web. The brand recently released 3 videos on Youku: one of them shows the history behind the “Ai” leaf, one of the most important ingredients in making hua lu shui (a history which involves famous Chinese poet Li Shizen), the other goes over the history of hua lu shui and the third one features the “FeiChang fresh” singing duo composed of two Germans singing in Chinese about summer and hua lu shui.

Six God is also very active in Sina Weibo, its official account is followed by 150 000 fans and the brand is making good use of the coming of summer to promote certain hash tags such as “skin care tips for summer”. Six God’s Weibo activity cleverly capitalizes on the brand’s key associations and perception as an indispensable product in summertime.

Six God illustrates how traditional Chinese brands can fend off larger, better funded foreign competitors through digital. These brands with a strong heritage to promote and an established connection with their customers indeed have an edge in the digital playing field where brand content, earned media, local relevancy and dialogue are key factors of success.

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