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5 brands in Hong Kong with great digital marketing strategies

5 brands in Hong Kong with great digital marketing strategies

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Hongkongers are familiar with using the Internet to search for information about a brand and even buy products and services online. In a recent survey conducted by We Are Social and Hootsuite, more than half (50.6%) of Internet users aged from 16 to 64 said they researched brands online before making a purchase; while 46.2% of them visited a brand's website in the past 30 days.

As customers leveraged the Internet to look for information, brands in the city spent a lot of money on digital advertising. For example, the amount of digital advertising in Hong Kong increased by 13% year-on-year to US$1.16 billion. Video ads enjoyed the highest growth last year as it was up 28% year-on-year to US$202.2 million. Search ads increased by 14% year-on-year to US$382.3 million, while banners ads' year-on-year growth (8.4%) was not as impressive as other categories. The amount spent on banner ads was US$470.8 million.

Currently, there are 7.05 million Internet users in HK city, equivalent to 93% of the entire population. Moreover, 88.1% of the population (6.68 million) are active social media users too.

In light of the importance of digital marketing, we turned to our Marketing Excellence Awards Hong Kong 2021 results to find out who our judges thought were the five best brands in Hong Kong. We've listed our top 5 winners alphabetically. Our list of agencies below won over our independent panel of high-calibre, client-side marketers not only by displaying the work they have done for clients, but also through their desire to nurture talent and create proprietary products for the execution of world class campaigns.

AIA International

In the campaign "AIA One Absolute – Full Protection", AIA International hoped to redefine medical insurance and was aimed at raising awareness about the new marketing plan that covered every disease and injury. The company said the campaign applied a new digital initiative to form segments based on customers' risk levels.

Also, the campaign leveraged its customer data platform to combine the intelligence of cookie-based targeting and its customer data to assess prospect segments based on customers' respective “needs” and “need levels”.

AIA International created segments using its agency’s data management platform, which tracked over four million unique device IDs in real-time. Then, it created basic segments based on stages of life and customers' primary interest, such as emerging affluent couples, parents with toddlers, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs, and health-conscious parents who were adept at managing wealth.

To enhance product awareness, AIA International produced a hero video across high-traffic channels, with messages tailored to their lifestyle and primary needs. For instance, mature couples with an interest in sports might have a high risk of heart attack or a stroke, whilst high achievers with travel interest might have a higher chance to get exposed to unknown diseases. The brand went further by optimising investment levels and scoring the risk level of individuals.

Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong


Many brands in Hong Kong leveraged the popularity of boybands MIRROR and ERROR. Although collaborating with celebrities has been a useful way to successfully engage audiences, Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong took a slightly different path by working with singer Alfred Hui and artiste Johhny Hui - both of whom are widely celebrated by many Hongkongers thanks to their impressive performance on ViuTV's reality show King Maker IV. Both of them formed a limited-time smooth boy band “Beeroar".

The company produced a music video capturing both Alfred Hui and Johnny Hui playing instruments, singing, and dancing, offering the audience an unexpected experience to show another side of them. After which, in response to the audience's positive response, Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong partnered with KKBox to host the first Carlsberg Smooth Draught Virtual Concert on Facebook. The company also produced a theme song DeliverSmooth for the campaign, leveraging an attribute of its products — smoothness to create a catchy jingle.

To further engage the audience, Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong also rolled out a behind-the-scenes video along with fun edits of its music video. Lastly, the company hosted a "Beeroar" live music concert in partnership with KKBox. The concert was live-streamed on KKBox's Facebook.

Coca-Cola China


In the “365 Taste of Home Kong” campaign, the company wanted to take action to help restaurants recover, and bring people together amid the pandemic. The first part of the campaign was to collect recipes from local families and put the stories into a social cookbook.

With more than 100 quality recipes and stories received, Coca-Cola selected the best three entries. Afterwhich, celebrities visited their kitchens and filmed the stories. The company also celebrated restaurants across the city, showed appreciation and support to all of its restaurant partners, and gave them a helping hand amid the pandemic. Coca-Cola partnered with more than 300 local restaurants and celebrated the unsung heroes behind the scenes.

At the same time, it invited Hong Kong-ers to support the restaurants, and help them boost their business, together with Coca-Cola. Additionally, a loyalty programme was launched to engage customers. They were also invited to join a programme to support all Coca-Cola partner restaurants, collect stamps after every meal, and redeem a free can of Coca-Cola or other beverages.

205446 reckitt durex.jpg

The company created "Durex Love Series Campaign 2020 to 2021" with four stages across multiple online touchpoints. It introduced the Durex LOVEcation Kit in December 2020 as the brand understood that Hongkongers all hoped to travel. The kit was like a suitcase and contained condoms, lubricant, flower pedals and indoor aroma, enabling people who enjoyed staycation to have a romantic yet intimate journey.

Then, in February 2021, Durex created a special gift for the audience at the Durex LOVEstation pop-up store located at Causeway Bay. Collaborating with Hong Kong-based illustrator Tse Sai Pei, Durex introduced 100 sets of romantic wish cards, with each of them containing a unique sexual touch. Couples could take a photo in front of a photogenic wall and create Valentine’s Day gifts by picking their card and condom, rekindling both love and sex on this special day.

During summer, Durex furthered targeted LGBTQ couples by collaborating with Influencer "Jie Jie & Uncle Cat" to illustrate the love stories of three pairs of LGBTQ couples in Hong Kong on social platforms. The illustrator even drew inspiration from the colourful pride flag to celebrate love of all forms. Lastly, the brand introduced Durex LOVEsignal, an ultimate love guide and video for couples, encouraging people to express love to their beloved ones and show intimacy 365 days a year.

ZA Bank

The virtual bank's campaign "‘Be the Game Changer’ (做壞規矩 做好銀行) was aimed at addressing users’ needs by leveraging technological strengths of virtual banks. It adopted an integrated strategy, leveraging digital channels with engaging content developed by owned social media platforms, business partners and influencers.

The bank offered multiple new services that fellow banks did not provide previously. For example, it launched the "ZA Card" to go with the campaign, allowing customers to choose their card numbers. It also rolled out two festive campaigns, including a collaboration with McDonald's Hong Kong in which customers could enjoy a HK$15 cash rebate after spending at least HK$30. Another campaign was to celebrate Chinese New Year, allowing customers to create a lai-see app interface with their creativity.

In addition to the campaigns, the bank launched a lucky draw to celebrate its first anniversary which guaranteed at least 1% of cash rebate. The bank also hosted two livestreaming events on Instagram, offering more than 1,000 prizes to the audience.

(Photo courtesy: 123rf)

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