Case Study: British Airways on Wechat


British Airways has done a brilliant job alongside the British tourism board on wooing Chinese tourists. They’ve very strategically capitalised on the cultural heritage with plenty of historical and interesting nuggets to educate and share with their audience.

In this highly successful campaign over Chinese New Year, they engaged 350,000 fans on Wechat, giving away “golden tickets” à la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

with 3 random lucky winners selected to go on a China-London trip and the first 2014 followers got 300RMB

in their red packet (hong bao).

  • The 2014 red packets alone cost over100K USD
  • targeted advertising to demographics on several channels (website, online travel platforms with real time bidding).
  • There were 3 golden tickets of return flights from China to London – a big PR hook and on traditional media, which broke down the exclusive boundaries of wechat. Launching an online campaign alone targeting wechat alone is a challenge with the closed network,  so the novel idea and PR support boosted engagement.
  • They also fully leveraged the British Tourism Boardon weibo to spread the world in partnership. Given how the UK is the new China tourist destination with France on its way out, the government and tourism board has injected lots of funding into this as well as readily support British brands seeking to engage the Chinese market. (see Harrods eg)

This campaign works brilliantly as is simple to claim, visas unlikely an issue with the tourism board support. Airline companies and tourism boards offering flights as prizes gives the sense of instant gratification and a prize the winner can readily claim.

Juliana Loh

Juliana is a freelance marketing communications strategist with more than a decade of experience in the field of advertising, journalism and luxury hospitality, with a focus on China and the Asia Pacific region.

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