British Council engages Paddington to allure locals studying in UK

The British Council in Hong Kong is facing a challenge - the number of Hong Kong students studying abroad is in declined.

This has resulted in fewer graduates from secondary schools applying, ending up with a 6% decline in applications for undergraduate study as of last December, according to the council.

"Hong Kong is in the middle of a demographic decline where the pie for oversea education is shrinking," Anna Lee, marketing service manager, at British Council (education), said.

"Educational institutions in general are suffering the burnt of the slumping birth rate, you can see many secondary schools have been shut down. Our market share in Hong Kong is unaffected but we still need to strive for more market shares to face the general decline in birthrate."

Riding on the recent popularity of the British comedy movie Paddington, the council has adopted the popular bear in its ad campaign "Great" on print and OOH, complementing with a social media interactive games. A Paddington station replica and a photo booth at the Education UK Exhibition, in an effort to intersperse a dull-sounding field.

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"The campaign also captures a local insight that the young generation has growing interest in travelling. With the background of the iconic Paddington station, we hope to encourage Hongkongers to get on a journey and explore the fun in studying in UK."

Lee said the marketing mix for its "Great" campaign will expand digitally with a mobile app and a localised sharing platform within this year. Creative component is completed by British Council in-house team and brokered by local media firm China Act.