After preparations since February, Nike is rolling out its first mobile campaign via WeChat, the Tencent technologies offering that is currently China's most popular social messaging app.
Calling it a 'sports brand subscription platform' with a 'Nike sports-on-the-go' concept, the brand will launch its official WeChat account, which is available on Android and Apple smartphones from 23 August onwards—in time for the Nike Festival Of Sport 2012 taking place in Shanghai until the 26th.
Before that, the QR code (above) is being utilised as a teaser ad for online display and outdoor advertising, such as on Baidu, taxis, posters, billboards, and on retail flyers, to draw attention to Nike's WeChat platform.
More than 100 million WeChat users will be able to opt-in to subscribe to Nike's account. Upon subscription, fans will be able to activate daily news feeds from Nike.
“WeChat is our ultimate platform to build up our CRM system,” said Vicky Huang, media manager of Nike Greater China. “We want to deepen the connection with consumers, from broadcasting to conversing, from 'one to many' to 'one to one'," she added.
“We chose the WeChat platform because mobile penetration for China's youths is extremely high, tipping over 50 per cent. In terms of usage habits, they practically depend on their mobiles for all forms of communication,” explained Stella Jamie Lui, digital partner of Team Nike at Mindshare.
RazorFish's Carolina Lam and Martin Li will be responsible for pushing daily content on the Nike WeChat brand subscription platform. Nike's mobile campaign will be launched in three phases. In the second phase, Tencent has allowed Nike's agencies on its open API (application programming interface) to integrate existing sports applications such as the Nike+ running app with WeChat.
Different from traditional text-based mobile communication tools such as QQ, SMS/MMS etc, WeChat supports voice chats (one to one and group) as well as sharing of photos and videos.
A Tencent spokesperson told Campaign Asia-Pacific that other multinational brands such as Pepsi and Starbucks have used WeChat for mobile campaigns before, but Nike is the first sports brand to do so in China.