A.S. Watson turns 175, LOL

To celebrate its 175th anniversary, A.S. Watson has launched a philanthropy programme “Project LOL” in hopes of bringing love and laughter to the community.

First time ever, the 175-year-old brand has decided to go digital for the CSR initiatives. Several digital marketing campaigns are built to publicise “Project LOL” to make the programme more visible to the Hong Kong general public, especially the digital-savvy audience.

To support the event of “Elderly Day 2016”, the company has tapped local YouTube influencer FHMedia/熊仔頭, who is popular among youngsters, to create a funny and hilarious video to arouse internet users’ interest and to teach Hong Kong people how to get along with elderly.

“We want to make the video informative to our volunteers as tips for their elderly visit service, while at the same time relevant to the wider online population by having humorous conversation in their language. It’s rare to have such digital investment for a single volunteer service, yet we believe this is the right way to introduce the programme to the public with the potential audience online for corporate communications,” said Hanks Lee, senior corporate communications manager of A.S. Watson Group.

Riding on the selfie culture, ASW has commissioned its digital agency Prizm to make a “smile meter” in form of web application called “WeSmile” – a digital campaign that allows people to upload their happy photos and then get their happy index in a bid to make Hong Kong a happier city with positive energy so as to align the mission of Project LOL.


“Smile is universal, it is one of the most powerful ways of influencing others and relaying happiness, which transcends the boundary of language and ideologies. The new digital marketing campaign is about encouraging people to show appreciation to each other, and share their smiles with friends and families,” said Malina Ngai, chief operating officer of A.S. Watson Group.

Both campaigns will be launched on the social media or digital platforms of all of its business units in Hong Kong, namely Watsons, PNS, FORTRESS, Watson’s Wine, Watsons Water and Mr. Juicy at the same time.

When asked the reason why ASW leverages social media platforms to launch the campaigns, Lee explained Hong Kong customers are very mobile and social media-savvy, so they believe such channels are the best way to engage in a more personal manner to build brand relevance to our customers.

“We believe in digital and put a lot of efforts – in 2014 we have setup an internal unit called eLab, with US$60m investment in 3 years to accelerate the enhancement of our digital presence and also customer experience online; in this project we also worked hand-in-hand with eLab team to ensure the best user experience,”ASW operates over 12,400 physical stores worldwide, yet we never forget our digital presence – this is becoming a customer touch-point which is more and more important to our brands,”

Lee said ASW operates over 12,400 physical stores worldwide, yet the company never forgets its digital presence, “this is becoming a customer touch-point which is more and more important to our brands”.

“Digital channels also give us a very responsive stage to engage with our customers under time constraint; as a matter of fact, the whole project took just three weeks from concept development to live, it is a highly engaging approach to do corporate communications which offers interactive delivery of message to the audience.”

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