How do we launch a product without talking about the product?
• Huawei Honor were releasing their flagship 6 model in June 2014 and engaged us to maximise buzz of the phone for the launch and leverage that to drive sales.
• To protect themselves from the fiercely competitive and fast moving market they elected not to release any features of the product before the launch. Which meant for an interesting challenge for us; how do we sell a product without talking about the product?
We approached this unique challenge in two ways:
We knew that ‘Techies’ are hungry for specs and information about upcoming phone launches. As soon as they are announced they are shared around the web, discussed and compared.
What was initially a challenge – the client choosing not to release specifications early – we were able to turn into an advantage. By “leaking” tiny morsels of information (that may or may not be true) we could get ‘techies’ salivating for more information. And if the information they were receiving wasn’t always consistent, they would discuss and argue about which was correct for longer.
…all while protecting the client’s secrecy before launch.
But for the non-technically-minded we would need to connect on a more visceral level.
Through conversations with the consumer, we knew that this group of people had many dreams, hope and ambitions that they were afraid to realise. Leveraging this we developed the tagline “For the Brave, of being myself” to built a more emotional connection with what the brand is about.
1: Begin to generate buzz
2: Build upon the buzz to create anticipation leading up to launch
3: Live broadcast of launch event
4: Convert buzz into purchase
• Phase 1: Leverage the high public influence of portal sites with Native content
– Here we started to “leak” believable but often inconsistent information about the specs of the phone through IT sites as well as opinion leaders. And we used other opinion leaders to spread the information.
– At the same time, we created a native campaign with ifeng.com & 1463.com to start the conversation around bravely being one’s self. We intentionally avoided mentioning the product at this phase to keep the idea at the centre of the discussion.
• First we leveraged the capability of media editors, by using representative stories of celebrities and KOLs to interpret the spirit with true story of a real person.
• We also developed a series of celebrity posters containing encouraging statements, which allows consumers to easily share in social platforms under the topic #For the Brave of being myself#
• Hundreds of industry “secret discovery” articles were released by vertical sites
• Phase 2: build upon the buzz generated in phase 1 to create anticipation leading up to the launch around portal sites and IT vertical sites
– 3 days prior to launch, large, eye catching advertisement were strategically placed around portal and IT sites bearing intriguing message “June 24th, For the brave (of being yourself)”.
• Three days prior to Honor 6 official launch, impactful teaser ads to ensure high attention on launch date
• Phase 3: Live broadcast of the launch
– For the launch we redirected the attention earned in the previous phase to a live broadcast of the launch event.
– We partnered with IT verticals, video site and news apps to simultaneously broadcast the product launch event, live across multiple platforms.
• After creating huge noise of the brand spirit as well as the rumours surrounding the specs of the phone, we lead the attention to the launch event, broadcast across multiple sites.
• The fourth and final phase: an optimized mix of online and mobile media drove consumers to Huawei’s ecommerce platform to make reservations for the phone.
• After launch event, an optimized mix of online and mobile media drove consumers to Huawei’s ecommerce platform to make reservations for the phone
• 1000% + increment of Baidu index, up to 1,000,000 in the product launch day
• 10 million online reservations during the week after launch
• 150,000 phones were sold in less than 8 minutes
• Over 2 million handsets were sold in the first three months of availability
• The Huawei Honor 6 became the best selling mobile phone on ecommerce site JD.com less than a month after launch