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Doraemon drone show to light up HK: Why this move is brilliant for local tourism

Doraemon drone show to light up HK: Why this move is brilliant for local tourism

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The world’s first Doraemon drone show will take place over Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour on Saturday, where over 1,000 drones will take flight to display images of characters from the popular manga series, including Doraemon, anywhere door (隨意門) and take-copter (竹蜻蜓). The 15-minute show will also feature voiceovers by local voice actors. 

This is part of Hong Kong art studio AllRightsReserved's (ARR) plan to tease an upcoming large-scale exhibition “100% DORAEMON & FRIENDS” tour in the city, following the launch of 100 Doraemon sculptures outside Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui back in 2012. 

The latest exhibition is done in partnership with the character's parent company Fujiko Pro, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Doraemon’s creator Fujiko F Fujio (藤子·F·不二雄).

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to ARR for more information. 

Don't miss: HK to stage world's first Doraemon drone show on Saturday

The initiative has in fact drawn mixed reactions from netizens. Social monitoring firm Meltwater saw a total of 364 mentions from Hong Kong social platforms, with 23.9% positive, 72% neutral and 4.1% negative sentiments.  

Keywords associated with the performance include “Victoria Harbour”, “friends”, “Doraemon”, “Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau”, “Avenue of Stars”, “global”, “Japan”

Meanwhile, media intelligence firm CARMA saw over 250 mentions related to the Doraemon drone show over the past three days. 

Specifically, 40.8% of the mentions were positive, while only 0.6% were negative. The positive sentiment was primarily driven by excited netizens, many of whom were thrilled about the return of a large-scale Doraemon exhibition, according to Charles Cheung, CARMA’s HK general manager.   

Interestingly, many comments on the official Instagram page of “100% Doraemon & Friends” referred to Doraemon as “Ding Dong.” This indicates that a significant portion of the audience expressing interest in the show are from the generation that enjoyed Doraemon prior to 2005, when the Cantonese name “Ding Dong” was used instead of “Doraemon”, Cheung added. 

“This nostalgia suggests that the drone show is likely to resonate strongly with those looking to relive their childhood memories,” he said.  

Leveraging nostalgia to boost tourism 

Industry players from the hospitality and travel sector MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to commended the move as this can create considerable buzz leveraging the popularity of the beloved character Doraemon.  

Given that Doraemon is a collective memory of Hongkongers and is cherished by generations, Eva Lui, director of marketing communications, The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman Hotel, said this unique and innovative event is sure to generate a lot of excitement and anticipation among both locals and tourists.  

“It showcases the creativity and technological advancements of the city, further solidifying Hong Kong's position as a hub for entertainment and cultural experiences,” she added.  

As a teaser of the upcoming Doraemon-themed exhibition, the drone show is also likely to create considerable media buzz, therefore will likely result in good media coverage and reach numbers, according to Philip Chau, regional director, marketing performance and operations, Asia, Sun Life, citing the impressive ROI a Sun Life drone show has brought to the company earlier.  

Don't miss: Sun Life HK celebrates 131 years with heartwarming regional campaign

From a branding perspective, this also creates positivity and excitement with the mass audience, therefore bringing a positive sentiment to a brand, especially within a market like Hong Kong where people are often in a busy environment, he added. 

“This can also be a good signature event, which can act as a platform, on which various social media and digital marketing gamification campaigns can build on and expand on its marketing value.” 

Offering innovative memorable experiences

Doraemon's enduring popularity across Asia is a testament to its status as a beloved and successful intellectual property.  

As part of Hongkongers collective memory, the upcoming Doraemon drone show represents the convergence of a beloved pop culture icon and the increasing consumer appetite for innovative memorable experiences – a combination that is sure to draw strong interest and attendance, according to Mildred Wong, director of brand development and field marketing, Artyzen Hospitality Group.  

In today’s experience-driven economy, events such as the Doraemon drone show align perfectly with the trend of marketing as an ongoing narrative rather than a one-time affair, Wong said.  

From a travel business perspective, this type of immersive, experiential offering also provides another compelling reason for both visitors and locals to explore Hong Kong.   

Park Lane HK’s Lui said Doraemon fans from around the world may travel specifically to experience this one-of-a-kind event.  

“The show's cross-generational appeal ensures that it will attract a wide range of audiences, including families, anime enthusiasts, and nostalgic adults who grew up watching the series. This can lead to increased footfall, longer stays, and increased spending in Hong Kong, benefiting the local economy and tourism industry,” she added. 

The initiative also has the potential to significantly boost the hotel and restaurant business as local and tourists will be looking for guestrooms and restaurants which are able to view the Drone Show, for example at Park Lane’s SKYE bar as well as harbour view guest rooms. 

“We do see an increase of guests enquiring about the show for that evening plus it is the weekend of the citywide event for Hong Kong Soccer Sevens where tourists and locals are already spending the weekend out for entertainment,” Lui added. 

Envisioning Hong Kong as the first stop for another round of the Doraemon exhibition may fill many citizens with excitement, however, it requires tremendous creativity to truly captivate the crowd, said Eva Kwok, director of marketing communications, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.    

“Cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Singapore have already set a high standard with their remarkable light shows and drone performances[...] I am eager to learn about other initiatives from the government and tourism board that can enhance our efforts and leave a lasting impression on visitors,” she added. 

Join us this coming 26 June for Content360 Hong Kong, a one-day-two-streams extravaganza under the theme of "Content that captivates". Get together with our fellow marketers to learn about AI in content creation, integration of content with commerce and cross-border targeting, and find the recipe for success within the content marketing world! 

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