British Airways launches red envelopes Chinese New Year WeChat campaign via Social@Ogilvy

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Lucky ticket.jpgSocial@Ogilvy, Beijing has launched British Airways’ first WeChat campaign to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the airline’s social media followers.

Social@Ogilvy developed a festive campaign to lure BA’s more than 350,000 existing Sina Weibo followers to the airline’s newly launched presence on WeChat, a social networking APP featuring shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins to chat with other users, including brands. Reminiscent of the golden ticket giveaway in the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,”

BA delivered 2014 custom-made red envelopes (monetary gifts given during Chinese holidays and special occasions) to the doorsteps of the first 2014 followers of its official WeChat account @英国航空(BritishAirwaysChina).

Inside each red envelope was a new year greeting from BA regional CEO Tracy Dedman and promotional coupon worth 300 RMB (50 USD). Three exceptionally lucky, randomly selected followers also won roundtrip BA tickets for travel between China and London in their gold-colored red envelopes. The red envelopes are emblazoned with a gold BA coat of arms that features its motto, “To Fly. To Serve.” and a vintage Pegasus icon to celebrate the Year of the Horse’s arrival. Recipients are encouraged to share their good fortune and give out the BA-branded red envelopes to family and friends.

Winning Ticket.jpg“Today travelers in China are learning more about us through social media than traditional media. For BA it is vital that we develop our mobile business in the China market where most consumers have gone straight to using social media and e-commerce on their phones instead of computers,” said Viktoria Williams, Marketing Lead, British Airways, Asia Pacific. “Social@Ogilvy’s campaign smoothed our landing into WeChat and we were delighted to have more than 10,000 followers join us within the first 10 days of its launch!”

“We knew there would be a whole bunch of HONGBAO (red envelope) campaigns this year, so we needed something that would stand out,” said Jeremy Webb, National Director of Social@Ogilvy, China. “Our offline to online approach was all about creating a shared experience that would create suspense across the community — think “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” but in China… and with golden air tickets.”

The campaign ran from January 10-22, 2014 ahead of the Chinese New Year. Following the success of its first WeChat campaign, BA now plans to develop more in-depth customer communications and services for its WeChat portfolio.


Project title: British Airways Chinese New Year “Gold” Red Envelope Social Campaign

Client: British Airways

Agency: Social@Ogilvy, China

Client Director: Jeremy Webb

Client and Strategy Lead: Ayur Wu

Social Media Community Management: Bowen Hu

Creative & Art: Dora Yin

Copywriter: Ben Xu

Producing and Delivery Support: Dwyane Chen