San Mig's anti-celebrity drive for new ambassador

Instead of tapping local celebrities to be the new face, San Mig Light is picking a candidate from a contest as part of a branding campaign "Fit & Firm".

The campaign, which aims to build up a young and energetic image for the brand two years after its return in Hong Kong, is basically a contest that brings eight amateur models into three stages of physical challenges to vie for the year-long model contract with the company.

"We invited local stars with a vivid image such as singer Shwan Yue and Chrissie Chau to represent our brand. But as a developing company, we don't want the public to mix up our brand with celebrities. That's why we choose a face with less fame this time," said Haze Ken, brand manager of San Mig Light.

According to Ken, the price for using celebrities like Chrissie Chau can hit HK$200,000, while the new ambassador costs just HK$10,000.

As part of the campaign, physical challenge events will be held in Mong Mok and Tsim Sha Tsui in coming weeks, with one challenger who marks the highest score rewarded with the contract.

The whole process will be recorded and trimmed in a minute-long viral videos for Facebook and YouTube.

"Since our target is the young, who spend most of their daily time on Facebook,our marketing strategy will therefore be focusing on the social networking platform," said Ken. "We tend to keep the viral video short and fun to attract active Facebook users."

The whole campaign costs no more than $1 million, Ken said, adding that social media is a cost-effective way to market.

The campaign will also be promoted in print, targeting readers of New Monday, Milk, East Touch and U Magazine. Media duties for the campaign are handled by Starcom.