Marketing Movies on China Social Media

China is poised to become the largest movie market globally from next year. To match the local hunger for movie going, franchises need to think strategically how they best use digital platforms to promote and ensure box office success.

wechat star wars

Buying movie tickets on WeChat

In this digital strategy report, we analyze the successful digital approaches of recent blockbusters in China. The Star Wars, Kung Fu Panda and Lost franchises represented three different types of films for Chinese audiences – one foreign, one foreign but familiar, and one very local. In the report, we detail how each film leveraged their uniqueness, on digital platforms, to successfully engage China’s moviegoers.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to establish content partnerships to seed new cultural ideas to Chinese audiences.
  • How to successfully introduce a foreign cultural practice in China.
  • How to successfully engage celebrity and KOL talent as part of a wider brand engagement and story.
  • How to engage internet culture and language to create relevance and connection with a Chinese digital natives.
  • How to structure celebrity endorsement in a 360 media strategy.
  • How to creatively engage with China’s media culture to achieve brand differentiation and recognition.
  • How to create consumer relevance with creative deployment of brand assets (characters/stories).
  • How to connect digital activities with purchase outcomes through digital infrastructure design.

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Pepsi: Souvenir Can Digital Campaign

Determined to be part of New Year celebrations, Pepsi launched a comprehensive digital campaign to support the release of a souvenir Monkey King can. All timed to coincide with a movie based on Journey to the West released over the holiday period, based on the classic novel where the Monkey King is the hero.


In this insight report we reveal how Pepsi went well beyond tactical execution to activate Chinese consumers’ relationship to the heroism of the Monkey King. Using this as an emotive base, the beverage brand created a 360 digital approach that captured positive sentiment around China’s most important holiday.

What you’ll learn

  • How to leverage cultural values in a digital context
  • How to best leverage celebrity talent to create personal and genuine engagement
  • How to activate existing brand assets strategically to amplify a campaign
  • How to seed a promotion digitally – from introduction of assets to direct consumer participation
  • How to create a digital ecosystem that aggregates content from both social and traditional media channels
  • How to create a mobile ecosystem that maintains levels of engagement during a campaign
  • How to digitally engage Chinese consumers during holiday periods

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Members can download the report here. Not a member? Click here to become one.

Lufthansa Mini-Report: WeChat for Chinese New Year

For Chinese New Year, German airline Lufthansa created a WeChat account that allowed locals to personalize their holiday messages. Using a digital version of cut-out patterns and unique visuals, users could tailor their messages by uploading their own photos against a rich set of backgrounds, suited to the intended receiver.


Lufthansas CNY Gifting WeChat Campaign

The campaign provided a creative digital experience that generated a premium perception of the brand at a time of year when local consumers are swamped with mobile communication. Importantly Lufthansa did not push the brand explicitly as part of the campaign, instead using visuals to associate the positive experience with the premium airline.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to leverage visual design to create relevant experiences for Chinese digital consumers.
  • How to create a digital brand experience that allows users to personalize content.
  • How to include user-generated components in your digital strategy.
  • How to engage with China’s increasing trend of DIY in a digital context.
  • How to differentiate your digital activation as premium in China.
  • How to create associations to your brand through visual rather than explicit communication approaches.
  • How to engage a Chinese netizens by using local culture and symbols.

Download the report:

Members can download the report here. Not a member? Click here to become one.