Brand campaigns in airport: what to keep in mind while organizing a promotion campaign in the airport in China.
Chinese love travelling. When you think about it from a brand perspective, that’s a lot of potential eyes to capture. If you are thinking to launch a promo campaign in China, do not forget to take into consideration the following learnings which we got while organizing promotional campaigns for Russian Airlines in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Airport advertising services in Tier 1 cities in China, such as Beijing or Shanghai, have vast experience of working with the foreign companies and have a set of guidelines to follow while organizing a campaign in the airport. The managers of these advertising services speak good English and are ready to assist finding the best solution for the brand. Developing the similar campaign in a smaller city, such as Guangzhou, maybe more difficult as it requires to have a local expert in your team to go through all the stages of the process.
You need to plan minimum 2 months to get the campaign approved with all airport services. All the materials, including advertising brochures, exhibition concept and mock ups should be approved by the airport services in advance.
We had to think whether to take a Chinese staff team who speaks English or a Russian team who speaks Chinese. We know that the language can still be a barrier to target Chinese consumers. The second challenge was that all our team members should have a working visa and an official permit (so candidates with a student visa were signed off from the list). We’ve seen hundreds of resume and video presentations, had live castings to choose the main and secondary casts for the cities where we planned to have our promotion campaigns. As the next step we had to outline both responsibilities for the booth, create working schedules, adjust promo uninform, perform product and event trainings, create live chat for internal communications, issue work permits for the territory of the airport and so on. Unfortunately, even signed contract cannot always guarantee that a host will be in time for work. Our supervisor had always a Plan B and our hosts from the secondary cast were always ready to jump in for a replacement within 1 hour.
Control is an essential part of any production process. It is considerably hard to carry out all quality control of Chinese-made products being abroad. We do have our own database of Chinese producers and factories offering promotional products. Even with qualified and trusted suppliers we follow the procedure of developing and approving a mock-up and have to plan 10 to 14 working days for that in advance before the main production. A member of our team also always joins the inspection of semi-finished and finished goods to assure the final quality of the produced items.
It was essential for us to combine online and offline experience, that is why we were using WeChat – one of the most popular social media platforms in China – to promote offline activities in the airports. Our promotion brochures had a QR-code: anybody could scan it and start following the brand account in WeChat. On our booth we encouraged selfies for additional brand endorsement and additional interaction with the brand.