BA engages 350,000 fans on WeChat for CNY

British Airways has worked with Social@Ogilvy Beijing to lure Chinese social media users with its first WeChat campaign.

Targeting BA’s 350,000-plus existing Sina Weibo followers and users on its newly launched WeChat account, the festive campaign is a social networking app featuring shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins to chat with other users, including brands.

Celebrating the new year, the airline will deliver 2014 custom-made red envelopes to the doorsteps of the first 2014 followers of its official WeChat account @英国航空(BritishAirwaysChina).

Inside each red envelope was a new year greeting from BA regional CEO Tracy Dedman and promotional coupon worth 300 RMB (US$50).

Three randomly selected followers also won roundtrip BA tickets for travel between China and London in their gold-colored red envelopes.

Recipients are encouraged to share their good fortune and give out the BA-branded red envelopes to family and friends.

“Today travelers in China are learning more about us through social media than traditional media,” said Viktoria Williams, marketing lead, British Airways, Asia Pacific.

"For BA it is vital that we develop our mobile business in the China market where most consumers have gone straight to using social media and e-commerce on their phones instead of computers.”

“Social@Ogilvy’s campaign smoothed our landing into WeChat and we were delighted to have more than 10,000 followers join us within the first 10 days of its launch.”

Jeremy Webb, national director of Social@Ogilvy China, added: "We knew there would be a whole bunch of HONGBAO (red envelope) campaigns this year, so we needed something that would stand out.”

“Our offline to online approach was all about creating a shared experience that would create suspense across the community -- think “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” but in China, and with golden air tickets.”

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Project title: British Airways Chinese New Year “Gold” Red Envelope Social Campaign
Client: British Airways
Brief: A creative, engaging social campaign that rides on Chinese New Year buzz, driving awareness of the
BA brand, as well as promoting the newly launched BA WeChat account
Creative agency: Social@Ogilvy, China
Client Director: Jeremy Webb
Client and Strategy Lead: Ayur Wu
Social Media Community Management: Bowen Hu
Creative & Art: Dora Yin
Copywriter: Ben Xu
Producing and Delivery Support: Dwyane Chen
Exposure: BA official website, Online travel, vertical media, RTB media exposure