Early adopters of technology had no problem with the Motorola A732 phone's new intelligent writing system but we needed to combat a near "techno-fear" wariness among not-so-gadget-savvy consumers. Knowing that animation is wildly popular in China, we created a thumb-like cartoon character to star in a viral campaign in which urban adults aged 18 to 28 could demonstrate their natural creativity, individuality and sense of fun.
As the phone's new system was about self-expression and liberating creativity, we enticed owners to discover and display their own talents in a thumb-painting competition using the A732's Bulletin Board System painting function. The nucleus of the idea was to empower consumers to ignore their inhibitions and discover just how user-friendly the intelligent writing system could be.
Communications platforms, such as an animated story and a Thumb Boy game featuring special e-cards to be sent via instant messenger, inspired users to create their very own Thumb Boys and post them on a website to compete for the public vote in a beauty contest. An explosion of participation on a truly massive scale led to a social phenomenon online, as Chinese consumers seized the opportunity to join in the fun.
The Motorola A732 website enjoyed a record-breaking 10,044,969 visits, while 89 million - more than the population of Germany - Thumb Boy e-cards were sent via the Internet. Sales targets were smashed, with 100,000 units passing over store counters until stocks were exhausted in Q4. The campaign also helped Motorola's share of the mainland China market double to 23% in 12 months. The campaign took viral marketing in China to record heights and attracted widespread industry praise.
MindShare Beijing - Aaron Tsoi, Arthur Li, Dan Sui, Julian Newby
GroupM Beijing - Su Tong, Esther Yang
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