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  • Writer's pictureAkina Wong

Why does context matter to video marketing? A comparison between Audi and BMW

The landscape of marketing in China has been swiftly shifting to a KOL-driven model thanks to the rise of the Millennials and Gen Z consumers who are more social media savvy than their elder generations. And the two luxury automobile manufacturers Audi and BMW who have been operating in China since early 2000s understood that preference. While Audi joins hands with Wang Yibo, a post-95 singer and racer who is also one of the beloved idols with the highest commercial value, BMW goes for the post-00 Chinese singer Yi Yangqianxi, who also goes by the name of Jackson Yee.

Both brands have developed a fairly prominent presence on the Chinese digital sphere with Audi seeing nearly 2.5 million followers on its Weibo account and BWM followed by some 1.8 million.

But the larger follower base does not seem to be advantageous in Audi’s latest campaign, which featured its brand ambassador on the eve of the Motor Show held in the city of Chengdu.

The 30-second video where Wang can be seen reading out a pre-written script seems to have bored viewers with its plain content. And the celebrity’s signature on the exhibited vehicle’s rear-side window does not seem to flesh out the campaign, which aims to Define One’s Own Cover, or #我的酷盖自定义# in Chinese.

The short video has attracted roughly 6.28 million views with the presence of the celebrity and brought out more than 520,000 voices. But the video is an underperformed in comparison with the 92 million views and 2.1 million voices generated by the video created by BMW.

The latter joined force with Tmall Super Brand Day, a campaign introduced by the Chinese B2C ecommerce platform Tmall in 2015. It gives a 24-hour period for participating brands to offer unique experiences, promotions and special offers on their Tmall storefront.

Leveraging this event, BMW created the idea of a BMW Convenience Store where the brand spokesperson Yee takes the role as a store manager, and it presented the store virtually in a 15-second video. Internet users were invited to have a virtual viewing on the brand’s flagship store and online purchase is also available.

The convenience store also turns out to be an ideal medium to extend those online engagements to its offline event. As the store was showcased at the Motor Show in Chengdu.

Having contextualised the content, BMW saw an overall Share of Voices at 65.1% during the campaign period, nearly doubled the number at Audi (34.9%).

With more brands becoming accustomed to China’s digital marketing, speaking to the country’s young generation of consumers through social media and using the voice of KOLs have already been commonplace for marketers in China. What brands need to consider next in order to stand out, is how to interpret their ideas in an engaging way through contextual campaigns.


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