How Marketers in China Are Using WeChat

Durex

Durex uses WeChat in a culture where public discussion about private issues is uncommon. Fans curious about love, sex and relationships get a response from a real person, even at 2 a.m. “We try to be there when you expect a friend to be there for you,” said Ben Wilson, marketing director for Reckitt Benckiser in China. Each week, a “newsletter” of Q-and-As is sent to Durex’s WeChat friends.

Nike

Tens of thousands flocked to Nike’s Festival of Sport last summer, sampling everything from skateboarding to football to golf.
AKQA created a badge-collection system using WeChat’s QR-code scanner, replacing a paper passport. Fans completing certain challenges could win a chance to meet stars like LeBron James.

Intel

London Olympics competitions largely took place in the middle of the night in China. So Intel hired two celebrity hosts to provide audio updates three times a day. Each morning, they summarized the previous night’s events. At lunchtime, fans were given an Olympics or Intel-related contest question. In the evening, the hosts announced winners along with another sports update.

Starbucks

To reach customers through music, Starbucks asked fans: “How are you feeling today?” They responded with an emoticon, and Starbucks answered with a song to match the mood. The chain added 270,000 WeChat friends over the four-week campaign. “We don’t just push offers at you,” said Marie Han Silloway, Starbucks’ marketing chief for China. “We start a personal conversation.”