As enthusiasm for travel grows among Chinese consumers, this group increasingly looks overseas to satisfy their thirst for adventure and exploration. A multitude of must-see tourist hotspots makes Australia one of the most desirable overseas destinations for Chinese tourists. BridgeClimb, on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, has long been a ‘must-do’ tourist attraction in Sydney, and has previously won numerous local awards. While the Sydney Harbour Bridge is in itself well-known and instantly recognizable, BridgeClimb as an experience has not been. Many Chinese consumers were not even aware that it was possible to climb the bridge.
At the same time, the media environment also began to experience increased competition. It has become increasingly difficult to obtain free-pitched media coverage from Chinese consumer media outlets. Emerging out of this trend, social media has begun to play an increasingly vital role in brand communication.
The big challenge was – how could we best position BridgeClimb to build awareness and gain consumer interest among Chinese travelers through the right fusion of continuous PR coverage and social media campaigns?
BRIEF & OBJECTIVES
Raise brand awareness through both Chinese traditional media and social media channels and generate consistent brand exposure throughout the year.
Convince independent Chinese travelers that the Sydney Harbour Bridge is not only a must-visit landmark in Australia, but that it is a destination best explored through BridgeClimb.
TARGET AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
The make-up and consumer behavior of overseas Chinese travelers is evolving rapidly. In 2016, 51% traveled independently to Australia, rather than with tour groups as was previously more common. This new breed of independent travelers is continually motivated to seek out new opportunities and also tend to be more critical. They desire multidimensional and authentic travel experiences. For finding information and making travel plans, they do extensive pre-departure research on vertical travel sites, Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and popular social platforms and arrive at their destination knowing exactly what their itinerary is.
Create unique and highly sharable experiences all year round on top of the Bridge in order to drive constant hype around the activity in key pre-departure consumer research channels.
CREATIVITY AND ORIGINALITY
‘CLIMB ACROSS CULTURES’
Our engagement principles steered away from hard-selling and instead put emphasis on creating real and genuine human connections on the bridge.
Through the ‘Climb Across Cultures’ integrated marketing campaign, we were able to create a distinct intercultural lifestyle brand that framed the core differentiators of BridgeClimb’s offering and helped build a multi-dimensional brand that lives and breathes with the travelers themselves.
EXECUTION AND TACTICS –
Building on an essential Chinese New Year family activity to generate attention during one of the peak seasons for Chinese family holidays – karaoke on top of the bridge. The campaign also asked social followers to vote on songs they thought should be included in an ‘ultimate karaoke playlist’. This resulted in instant excitement among music influencers and mainstream lifestyle media, pushing the overall viewership of this initiative to over 1,000,000 within just one week.
The ‘Bridge of Magpies’
Bridges have long been seen as symbols of love in the Chinese cultural context – largely stemming from an ancient romantic tale – the ‘Bridge of Magpies’. Acting on this insight, we invited six couples to climb the bridge on Chinese Valentine’s Day. Featured stories, published on the WeChat platform, resonated strongly among the Chinese audience. The campaign touched the hearts of many and received widespread media attention – totaling 28 media releases in three days.
‘Climb with Tai-chi’
Given the rising popularity of tai-chi across many cultures, we organized the first ever tai-chi event atop Sydney Harbour Bridge. The unique event was picked up by over 30 Chinese media outlets, including leading news portal ‘People.cn’. Supplemented by reposts from a significant number of Weibo news and travel accounts, this campaign achieved a total viewership of over 500,000.
A 360-degree amplification program was developed to ensure campaign visibility across key pre-departure channels.
EXCITE WITH LIVE ACTION
KOL trips and live broadcasting were organized with BridgeClimb to showcase the experiences of a variety of BridgeClimb product offerings. In-depth social content from KOLs was leveraged on a monthly basis. Live broadcasting from influencers offered a vivid demonstration of the experience itself, which reached an audience base of over 3 million people in China. Inspired by the success of this digital activation, a fixed device was installed for on-going live broadcasting.
ENGAGE WITH INSPIRATIONAL TRAVEL CONTENT
WeChat, the multimedia content platform, was used to publish weekly magazine-quality editorial including product promotion and intercultural lifestyle content features.
Weibo, which increasingly functions like Twitter, was used as an interactive brand catalogue, with diversified content categories showcasing beautiful visuals and a spontaneous daily content plan that adapts to the latest travel topics to achieve maximized organic viewership and engagement.
CONVERT WITH CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS
Partnership with OTAs was established to amplify campaign effectiveness, recruiting Chinese climbers during festivals and special product launches, such as Karaoke Climb. This coupled with BridgeClimb’s initiative to integrate Alipay, the most widespread digital payment solution in China, ensured optimum conversion in key booking channels.
It’s all in the numbers.
TOTAL SOCIAL MEDIA
TOTAL SOCIAL MEDIA
TOTAL SOCIAL MEDIA