NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A monster from China has appeared in Times Square! Yes, that most famous commercial intersection in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, located at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. But no need to worry. As people familiar with this lively locale know, this is only another marketing campaign. In this case, it is an international one launched by Letv, a well-known technology company in China.
Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe, China's first ever movie on the theme of battling ghosts, has box office sales of a whopping 600 million yuan and is exclusively available online at Letv.com starting on November 5, 2015. At least part of this success must be chalked up to the work of Letv VIP, one of the key departments at Letv, who have launched a large-scale marketing campaign for the film. Above all else, their crowning achievement has been putting the monster from the movie up on a big screen in Times Square, the so-called "The Crossroads of the World." "This is a cool idea, as it lets me see that a monster other than Godzilla has once again occupied this attractive city," opined one American Internet user on the social networking site Twitter.
China-based Letv got its start providing Internet video services. Currently, it runs businesses in the areas of TV, phone, film, sports, music, and more. Moreover, Letv plans to open an intelligent automotive technology company. With such a wide range of business operations, the company is often viewed as a mix of Apple, Amazon and Netflix. Accordingly, becoming a Letv VIP allows users to enjoy the combined benefits similar to what Apple, Netflix and Amazon Prime offer under one roof.
According to the plan crafted by Letv VIP, this UGC-enabled campaign, whose centrepiece is the monster occupying Times Square, is conducted mainly through interactions with Internet users. This interaction takes place via Weibo, the popular Twitter-like social media platform in China with hundreds of millions of users, under the theme of "Call a Legendary Creature." Additionally, Internet users around the world are encouraged to share photos of their locations and nearby road signs to win super TVs, Leme headphones (one of the most high-tech pieces of hardware made by Letv) or free Letv VIP.
The monster's appearance in Times Square appears to be a bonus offered by Letv VIP to participants. After several Internet users shared photos of their locations in Times Square, Letv VIP decided to show the legendary creature on a big screen there for real. By all indications, the producer of Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe is quite pleased with this development.
The theatres on Broadway and Times Square's huge LED screens have become symbols of New York, reflecting the essential metropolitan characteristics of Manhattan. The density of large LED screens for promotional purposes at the intersection is comparable to Las Vegas, but Times Square holds more cultural clout. This has allowed it to become the world's most desirable stage for marketing events. The big screens here are now simply a must-have.
Social media has been developing rapidly in China over the past few years. Chinese netizens are highly active on social media and have contributed to a rich Internet culture, one which has even penetrated into daily offline life. The phrase "legendary creature" used in this marketing event, for example, was coined by Chinese netizens on social media and has snowballed into a cultural phenomenon online.
With an interesting and creative social media environment to look to, as well as the ability to mobilize sufficient resources for international presentation, Chinese marketing professionals have been inspired to make the best use of their skills. In this instance, Letv skillfully addressed two key pain points in social media marketing cases. First, they answered the question of "Why they care" with consumer insight. Second, they answered the question of "Why they share" with big incentives (9 super TVs + 90 Leme headphones + 900 membership codes) + user intervention results, i.e., the user can really make the monster appear. These clever answers to the two why's have led to great success.
"This movie sounds nice, I really would like to become a Letv VIP." said an American Internet user. By all indications, this type of sentence is what Letv VIP wants to hear most.