Denim brand Lee Jeans has kicked off the digital leg of its Fall/Winter '12 campaign in China that focuses on an influencer strategy based around the theme, "Free Your Night Side" using Tudou and Weibo micro-blog. A week since the online videos rolled out, it has generated 200,000 views and growing.
The brand campaign is also integrated with e-commerce to drive online sales to its Tmall (Taobao Mall), which opened in August.
On the mobile front, Angela Au-Yeung, national digital manager at Lee Jeans, revealed the denim brand has partnered with up-and-coming photo SNS app *DatouDatouTie that will roll out later this month.
The "photo booth app" will feature Lee branded stickers as well as encourage users to earn points by sharing content to their social networks to exchange TMall coupons that they could then use to purchase Lee apparel online.
With competition shifting from traditional denim brands to fashion brands such as Zara and H&M, Lee Jeans wanted to create an emotional connection among Chinese youths.
Instead of relying on paid media, Oli Goulden, group account director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Shanghai, said his team focused on tapping key online leaders (KOL), China's top bloggers, and celebrities to produce video footage that was distributed on Lee's branded Weibo page and China's online video platform Tudou campaign website.
While it is common for lifestyle brands to invite celebrities and KOLs to fashion shows or parties, Lee Jeans has gone a step further by inviting 30 top bloggers and celebrities to a surprise live, interactive theater event disguised as a fashion party at a converted warehouse in Beijing's 798 art district.
With the goal to capture the authentic reactions of these influencers on video, 80 professional actors were hired with 15 hidden cameras installed at the venue as the bloggers experienced various night scenes that ranged from being psycho-analyzed by doctors and nurses to entering multiple rooms with magic mirrors to recording their own music tracks.
As a result, a collection of 40 short online videos was produced and distributed on Weibo, Tudou campaign site, including the bloggers' own social media channels. Extra effort was put in to ensure the online video content was optimized to allow sharing and viewing on mobile platforms, Goulden added.
The actors in the videos were dressed in Lee's 2012 autumn and winter apparel, which could be viewed on the campaign site and tagged to drive traffic to the brand's Tmall site.
Eddie Peng, Lee's brand ambassador and Taiwanese actor also participated in an-hour long live Weibo chat that generated about 30,000 questions from fans with half of them on Peng's partnership with the brand.
"Lee wanted to connect and engage with our consumers through a totally integrated campaign with digital and social being the heartbeat of the ideation, creative development and execution," Neil Pryde, marketing director at Lee Asia Pacific said in a press statement.
The social media, e-commerce, and mobile aspects of "Free Your Night Side" campaign has been integrated with outdoor, print ads, and in-store.
It will run through to December in Mainland China, with selected campaign elements to be deployed across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The campaign involved various Ogilvy agencies in Shanghai from OgilvyOne, Neo@Ogilvy, O&M Advertising to Ogilvy PR.
Created by Mobile Now, DatouDatouTie is reported to have a million downloads since September. The app allows users to decorate their mobile images with cute stickers, including a variety of filters that are synchronized with Chinese social networks Sina and Tencent Weibo, RenRen, as well as Twitter. To encourage members to share photos using the app, each user gets rewarded with virtual coins to unlock more stickers and features.
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Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting. Connect with her @adalinelau or Google+.