The Bank of East Asia, the 98-year old Hong Kong-based bank, has taken its first step in content marketing with a promotion video that fools viewers into thinking it is juicy, paparazzi-produced content.
The video was first released on local broadcaster TVB's Facebook page yesterday, with a caption stating "[Exclusive news]" and highlighting that celebrity Nancy Wu (胡定欣) has developed a close relationship with a new Kung-Fu star. At the end of the video, the two celebrities revealed they were applying for the tax loan programme by the Bank of East Asia.
The viral video has generated more than 157k views, 2.1k likes, 183 shares and 102 comments in a day, around 80 of which responded with an "angry" emoji for getting pranked.
Marketing has reached out to The Bank of East Asia to determine conversion rates for the ad.
Kelly Chan, business director at PHD Media Hong Kong, who developed the strategy with the bank, told Marketing that the reaction so far was positive. "We are taking a bit of a leap of faith with this pranking approach, but luckily many turned out to be enjoying the joke.
"The focus of the video is to promote the bank's tax loan programme, but the bank also wants to impress the audience with a lively style."
She said that the video targets young executives and aims to go viral by appealing to people's common interest in celebrity relationships. Because Wu is currently on screen with TVB's latest drama series, gossip about her life is likely to draw attention.
Chan added that the video was developed with TVB online, so it would appear on all online platform by TVB and their broadcasting channels J2 and iNews.
It will also be shared by Wu and Alex Yung (容天佑) on their Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on several gossip Facebook page like Peanuts Daily and King Jer.