Tencent launches emotional video to connect “left behind” children with parents

Tencent and J. Walter Thompson Shanghai have leveraged a popular children’s folk song to encourage consumers to choose Tencent mobile top-up feature – and help keep rural children, left behind by parents seeking a better livelihood, connected with their families.

Over 60 million children are living with aging relatives in China’s remote, rural villages, left behind by parents who’ve migrated to cities to seek work. These villagers are often too poor to afford phones to help stay in touch.

To help these children, Tencent mobile top-up, Tencent charity and One Foundation established the Echo Plan in 2016, which since has set up dedicated hotlines in child service centres in some of China’s poorest villages to allow children to make calls to their parents. Every time a consumer chooses to top up their mobile phone with WeChat or QQ wallet’s top up feature, Tencent donates a portion of proceeds to the Echo plan.

“Give us the time of a song”, the campaign video created by JWT for Tencent, aims to drive awareness of the Echo Plan, and encourage consumers to make a difference by topping up phone credit with WeChat wallet instead of a competing service.

The film at the heart of the campaign shows village children in rural Guizhou singing Lu Bin Hua, a song taught to them by their parents, who’ve since left, that talks about the bonding between mother and child. A little girl says she’s like her mom to teach her another song. The films urge viewers to make that wish come true by choosing Wechat or QQ wallet to top up their phone.

“Charge for love”, which launched on 20 July on social media, drew two million views in the first week and spurred Tencent mobile top-up feature usage that, in turn, generated 300,000 RMB in donations in just two days. To date, the overall video viewership has reached over 30 million.

“Chinese consumers admire brands that make a difference in society. They also want to make a difference themselves. 'Charge for love' helps elevate the brand while encouraging consumers to make a difference simply by using Tencent’s services,” said Hu Gang, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson Shanghai.

“Nowadays, the internet has everything connected - including people’s hearts. Tencent mobile top-up strives to let the left behind children have more opportunities to talk with their parents and bring them closer,” said Vincent Lin, general manager of Tencent FiT financial department.