Since its launch in 2011 by Chinese tech giant Tencent, WeChat, or Weixin as it’s called in Chinese, has taken the Chinese community by storm, becoming its leading social network with more than 800 million active users today. Since then, many foreign companies and brands have successfully adopted this social mobile app to engage their customers in China and beyond, and Pepsi is one such successful WeChat marketing case study. Let’s take a look at how it has implemented its WeChat digital marketing strategy.
PepsiCo, Inc., a US multinational food, snack and beverage company based in New York, is, by net revenue, the second largest F&B business in the world, manufacturing and distributing its products in more than 200 countries worldwide. Its brands consist of Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker and Gatorade.
1st WeChat Marketing Case Study: Theme Song
Over the Chinese New Year period in 2014, Pepsi developed an in-app technology that allowed WeChat users to share audio greetings in the form of a remixed, customised version of their “Pepsi Delivering Happiness” theme song. In its 3rd year running, the campaign let followers send their own voice recordings to the account, remix it with the Pepsi theme song and share it with their family and friends.
This campaign is very successful as firstly, WeChat is heavily focused on audio messages because many Chinese prefers tat to text messages which is time-consuming. Also, users can add in effects like the sound of a vehicle or a horse’s galloping sound (coincides with the year of the horse) or animal, add in a message that says, “I’m coming home!” and send it to their families. Pepsi’s brand message, in contrast, was subtle and comes mostly from the theme song. It avoids brands’ usual hard sell tactics but brings the message across successfully.
The campaign was a resounding success, giving Pepsi a massive increase in social awareness during the Chinese New Year, with viewership of more than 870 million across all websites, videos and applications such as WeChat, TMall, Pepsi China official website and CCTV.
2nd WeChat Marketing Case Study: H5 Games
Another WeChat marketing case study of Pepsi is the games campaign that it launched over Chinese New Year in 2017. The campaign developed two H5 games, one of which let the player send fireworks to his family and friends, and the other game is a mini game symbolized by a rooster, the Chinese sign associated in 2017.
Creative and simple, the games allow users to share with their loved ones and created a viral effect for Pepsi, driving sales and revenue drastically.
Pepsico’s WeChat marketing case study showed that with a bit of creativity, any brands can stand out from the crowd, and in this case, by adopting a unique strategy and consistently applying it year on year, PepsiCo managed to build good engagement and garnered an initial batch of followers, which turned into long-term growth for the company in China.
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