WHEN electrical appliance maker Midea wanted raise its brand awareness among a youthful and trend-following audience in China, Pico created a pop-up store in a popular Chengdu shopping centre to launch a promotional character called “M Bo”.
The pop-up was packed with gamified activities and supported by extensive online content to target a younger market segment. Pico’s team took their turnkey solution all the way from concept design to execution.
The location of the pop-up store – Chengdu 339 Plaza – was selected for its popularity among younger consumers. In keeping with the demographic’s expectations, activities designed for the pop-up would be diverse, interactive, and centred on a storyline for M Bo. The Pico team ensured that the storyline and accompanying spectrum of media promotion would also incorporate local culture and language.
At the same time, the pop-up’s most gamified element – the Escape Room – would invite online and offline visitors to explore the Midea brand and its products with a focus on technological excellence and relevance to the youth market.
– Gained 150+ million impressions
– 140 million+ views during the livestream
– Topic view rate of 10 million+
– 10 million video views
– 180,000 interactions
– More than 95% of participants were from the targeted group (35 years old or under)
– Over 90% of the participants said they ‘liked’ or ‘extremely liked’ the overall event design
Brand promotion began well before the pop-up’s appearance in the form of an online game on Midea’s WeChat H5 page. As well as designing the game, the Pico team also produced an Escape Room experience video. To relate it directly to prospective visitors, it included vernacular dialogue as well as familiar Chengdu scenes.
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Keeping its young, tech-savvy audience in mind, a further promotional effort before and during the event used KOLs from tech, gaming and other popular channels on platforms including Weibo, Douyin, Kwai, Youku and iQiyi.
Ultimately, the KOL strategy led to the creation of an Escape Room fan community, ready to experience the pop-up’s various activities. During the broadcast of the live experience, the KOLs also enabled online fans to interact with Escape Room users by voting on their actions.
Inside the Escape Room, displays and demonstrations of Midea home appliances were woven into the experience. Visitors encountering a refrigerator, for example, used the brand’s smart home app to access food freshness information as well as a password to the next stage of the game.
The storyline had players following clues to uncover five ‘clues’ that would recover M Bo’s lost memories and discover password keys to unlock the next step in their journey. After completing the game and experiencing a variety of products along the way, players were rewarded with tokens and entered into an exciting gift draw from a ‘blind box’ vending machine. Those who also shared their Escape Room experience on Weibo and followed Midea’s official account received an additional prize. Yet more prize giveaways occurred at intervals throughout the event.
Outside the Escape Room, the pop-up offered visitors more engaging experiences, including a colouring game and activities centred on M Bo’s ‘partner’, Technology Dog. The character’s creator, a local artist, was present on opening day to share his creative concept and lead the audience and his students to create more Technology Dog artworks together.
Leon Pang, of Midea Group’s brand communications department, said: “We aimed to make a big impression with this pop-up – online as well as offline – in only two days. As our target audience was young and tech-savvy, the method was to use an interactive gaming experience interwoven with product display and demonstration and brand promotion.
“The Pico team’s experience-first, digital-led approach brought it all together, from developing the Escape Room premise, to introducing the M Bo character, bringing our products into the experience, and facilitating how the online audience interacted with the live event.”