Japanese energy drink brand Pocari Sweat, owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical in Hong Kong, has plastered heat-sensitive stickers in bus shelters in its latest ad campaign.
The stickers change from blue to red when temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius.
Next to each sticker is a poster featuring a quick test to show whether you are indeed as dehydrated as you feel.
Bus shelter ads selected for ad placement are strategically located near sports centres, high-traffic residential and office areas where there are long queues of people waiting for the bus at rush hour. Another ad in the same bus shelters show girls who are also having a hard time dealing with the heat.
“The thermometer is most commonly associated with hot weather. Our media agency, Media Palette, searched for materials whose properties change with external factors such as UV light and temperature. They found a vendor who supplied us with a sticker that works through a similar mechanism to the UV sticker,” Anise Chow, senior marketing manager at Otsuka Pharmaceutical in Hong Kong, said.
“When the outdoor temperature exceeds 30 degrees, the sticker in blue, which is our brand color, turns red. This indicates that it’s very hot and pedestrian can then do the self-dehydration test and read our brand message along the way.”
She hopes that the visuals of the girls drinking Pocari Sweat in hot weather will encourage people to consume Pocari Sweat drinks themselves through empathy.
The bus shelter ads were also a good way of engaging customers. Chow says some passers-by were so intrigued by the heat-sensitive sticker that they even touched it to see what it was made of.
On social media, photographs of the sticker and bus shelter ads garnered comments about how hot it was in Hong Kong this summer.
A caring brand image created by the ads will help connect customers emotionally with the brand, Chow said.
“As long as consumers are bonding with our brand, sales will come afterwards,” she added.
The bus shelter ads will run until 7 August. The rest of the brand’s summer campaign includes a TVC, print, online and other out-of-home ads that will run until 24 August, with bus body ads running until mid-August.
The ads fall in line with the theme of Pocari Sweat’s campaign this summer: heatstroke prevention.
“In recent years, we began emphasising the functional benefits of Pocari Sweat in our ads. The anti-heatstroke theme this summer focuses on the benefits of drinking Pocari Sweat and the importance of keeping hydrated in hot weather,” Chow said.