Chinese singer/actor Lu Han (鹿晗) started his second annual “Make a Wish” campaign on Weibo on 2016 Thanksgiving day (November 24, 2016). It invited Weibo users to publish their wishes on Weibo with the hashtag of #鹿晗愿望季# (Lu Han’s Make a Wish Season) and also introduced brands to help realize fans’ wishes.
The whole campaign lasted seven weeks and ended on January 12, 2017. The whole campaign had an accumulative impression of 5.13 billion, created 15.23 million Weibo posts and has attracted about 132,000 fans, according to the Weibo home page of the campaign.
Lu, 26, ranks No.7 on 2016 CelebrityZ Top 100 Most Valuable Celebrities report.
Each week has a theme, ie: Thanks, opportunity, meet for the first time, growing up, gift, childhood, and why you started in first place (感恩，机遇，初见，成长，礼物，童年和初心). Brands were invited to join for one week based on their positioning. Altogether more than 30 Chinese and foreign brands joined, including KFC, Canon, Yili, Air China and Penguin Publishing House.
Some participating brands
Kantar Media CIC data showed that brands did earn healthy exposure through partnering in the campaign.
Brand: Yili Weikezi milkshake drink
Brand: QQ Music
Engagement: 4,372 Impression: 12,103K
Engagement: 9,186 Impression: 60,555K
Engagement: 2,348 Impression: 5,953K
Engagement: 1,645 Impression: 4,672K
NSR* (Net Sentiment Rate) analysis of participating brands
Lu’s team had also developed a mobile phone game “Lu’s Town” (鹿晗小镇) for fans to make a wish and then collect coins to join lucky draws. If they had accumulated enough points or drawn certain cards, they could redeem some gifts. Users were allowed to make as many wishes as they like but only the first seven wishes on each day would bring them points.
Screenshots of Lu's Town HTML 5 game
Besides going to the virtual town, fans could also win awards from sponsoring brands directly. For example, Canon had produced Lu Han canvas bags and snack brand Tenwow Group had promised fan groups that if they could meet certain criteria (such as buy Tenwow products or play games on Tenwow Weibo page or Tmall shop homepage), they would sponsor the fans’ activities to show their support of Lu.
Data source: @鹿晗工作室; Data period: 2016.12.1-2016.12.31
Kantar Media CIC says:
From the success of Lu’s “Make a Wish” campaign, we can see it has revolutionarily reversed the position of celebrities in their partnership with brands. Usually, it is for brands to launch campaigns and sign suitable celebrities to endorse and take on roles pre-designated by brands. But in this campaign, Lu is the one to take the initiatives and pick brands to join him.
What changes will be brought by this new pattern?
Firstly, because such campaigns carry more personal appeal from the stars and will draw more fans compared with brand-centric campaigns, it will give maximized exposure for brands and likely lift sales more effectively.
Secondly, since the celebrity has created a good platform and communications channel, brands will find it easier to design and execute their campaigns. Also, they don’t have to worry about rules and terms to require what the stars will do because they’ve written rules for themselves already.
However, there is also a disadvantage in it: because it is initiated by celebrities, brands are in a passive position. To avoid being led by the stars throughout the process, brands had better design some spin-off mini-campaigns: on the one hand, it helps celebrities to achieve their goals; on the other hand, brands can earn back some control over this campaign as well. Fans will also regard these brands as more proactive partners of the celebrity and more attracted by these brands.
Source: Kantar Media CIC