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BMW: NOTHING BUT SHEER JOY

TBWA\JUICE CHINA, Beijing / BMW / 2022

Awards:

Gold Cannes Lions
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Case Film
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Social & Influencer?

The most authentic and influential engagements during the Lunar New Year in China do not come from brand stories, but from people and their wishes to each other for the coming year. Our culturally resonating and meme-able brand content film, which ran alongside diversified formats and add ons generated massive engagement, all of which facilitated sharing of festive wishes between people. The campaign attracted huge participation including spontaneous celebrity influencers, turning it into a cultural theme during the festive period. Everyone who used the campaign content to express their Chinese New Year wishes became our influencers.

Background

Each year, we are tasked to create a Lunar New Year campaign to fulfil BMW’s brand promise of bringing joy to consumers during this period of family reunion. But advertising during this festival in China is as difficult as Christmas in the West. Expensive, crowded, and full of long emotional stories about family and reunions. How to stand out when every story about family has been told? How to be seen when every brand is spending huge amounts on media. How to make it brand relevant so ad-saturated consumers can remember who was talking?

Describe the creative idea

The “Nothing but sheer joy” campaign uses mixed media, visual gags, and the energy and pace of music to show a mind-boggling interplay between a horse (BMW’s Chinese name translates as “Precious Horse”) and the tiger. The film plays on the Chinese words “Ma” horse and “Hu” tiger in a straight forward, repeating and memorable audio-visual feast. The two words combined “Ma” and “Hu” also have a second Chinese meaning, “don’t be too serious, just enjoy.”

This seemingly crazy and mind-blowing campaign went for the most direct path to joy which sits at the heart of BMW’s brand promise, and was extended to diversified engagement formats. Our goal: no tears, no pressure, nothing but sheer joy to share with each other.

Describe the strategy

While everyone cherishes the Lunar New Year, it can also be a stressful time with work pressure, holiday planning and COVID-19 uncertainty. In 2022 it was projected that overall travel would decrease by almost two thirds compared to before the COVID-19 outbreak (from 2.9 billion 2019 to 1.1 billion 2022).

Meanwhile, people were increasingly using social media to express their wishes when travel was restricted. In 2021 during the same festive period, we observed 17 million more users active on key social platforms WeChat, Weibo and TikTok.

During these difficult times, what we need most is a bit of lighthearted entertainment to laugh and share.

We took a risk and overturned a decades old heavy-hearted story convention of new year wishes, and went for a social first approach, with the most direct and engaging path to joy.

Describe the execution

To spread the joy, every element was designed to maximize engagement:

 

The campaign started with the release of the engaging launch film featuring iconic imagery, three days before the Lunar New Year eve. Attention was ramped up with a customized media-mix approach:

- The campaign launched on owned social platforms with 10 posts, which was further spread by dealers;

- The film was featured in pre-rolls in 1,470 cinemas across China and pushed by the top 8 smart TV brands.

 

Social media was hacked by using influencers to ignite multiple streams of UGC. E.g., sweaters with iconic imagery were sent to key influencers on the styling platform - Red, while China’s TikTok launched a dance challenge.

 

The engagement peaked on the Lunar New Year eve with the release of 30 collectible digital red packets and stickers as gifts for fans to share, which extended the influence of the iconic imagery.

List the results

The campaign broke nearly every BMW viewership and engagement record on every social platform. But more importantly, the success was driven by consumers who amplified the campaign by generating UGC on multiple social platforms, even on platforms that weren’t part of the campaign! Fifty dealerships also created their own dance videos from the campaign assets, further extending influence. The launch in cinemas was so popular, a fan recorded it and uploaded the video to China’s TikTok. The post received 200k likes!

· 258 million video views

· 4.02 million social engagements, igniting 688,000 pieces of UGC content

· 140k new fans across social media platforms, 65% from Gen Z

· Spontaneously re-posted by 28 influencers (including superstar Jackson Yi), generating over 1M likes

· Cultural topic, widely discussed on Weibo (China’s Twitter) and transferred by fans into new and niche social media platforms

· Net Sentiment Rating: 88.5%

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