To revitalize young audiences' love for Nescafe, the company needed to demonstrate Nescafe's innovation and understanding of youth culture.
Key performance measurement areas included sales, brand love, media impression, and digital content engagement.
Objective and Context:
Nescafe operates in a traditionally celebrity-heavy category. Other bottle coffee brands, as well as brands like chain coffee shops, tend to hire celebrity spokespeople. By working with China's No. 1 virtual idol, Nescafe associated itself with innovation.
In this campaign, Nescafe targeted young consumers by partnering with Luo Tianyi, a virtual idol. It was a first-of-its-kind campaign in the bottled-coffee industry.
Generation Z consumers were the target, as they are young and easily distracted.
The target audience represents the second generation since China's one-child policy launched in the 1980s. This means they grew up alone and with no cousins. They long for companionship. In their solitude, they have been captivated by virtual idols, or vocaloids, who are anime-like characters with singing voices synthesized by computers. This makes vocaloids truly open source. Fans of vocaloids can upload any song they want at any time and vocaloids can perform for them on demand.
To win young people's love, Nescafe cooperated with China's most beloved virtual idol, Luo Tianyi, and created a customized and personal experience for young coffee drinkers to have with their idol.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Nescafe partnered with virtual idol Luo Tianyi and created customized bottles. Using AR, consumers could scan a purchased bottle to play and interact with one of China's most beloved idols.
Combining the power of a virtual idol with China's top social platforms, Nescafe was able to reignite young consumers' passion for its coffee, delivering a massive sales boost.
Nescafe enabled Luo Tianyi to give each consumer a customized greeting. To unlock Luo Tianyi's personal voice greetings, the consumer simply needed to scan the Smoovlatte bottle. Once scanned, Tianyi showed up on a dedicated page, inviting consumers to interact with her. By playing a small game, fans were able to unlock her personal voice message. Tianyi's messages were customized based on the location, weather, mood, horoscope and time of the day.
To further amplify the campaign on social media, Nescafe made it possible for fans to share their personalized greetings on WeChat, China's top social platform, encouraging posts and discussions with friends. On Douyin, China's top short video app, Nescafe created a filter with Tianyi's music videos, so that fans could interact with her in person.
The mobile investment drove high-quality interaction among fans while Nescafe adopted big data technology to customize the experience. Finally, Nescafe targeted Luo Tianyi's fans through China's biggest youth culture website, Bilibili, and aired a bespoke Luo Tianyi Nescafe video during double 11, China's biggest shopping festival.
In China, bottled coffee is losing ground among young audiences. Its key advantages, convenience and flavor, are losing appeal when consumers can get the newest viral bubble tea drinks delivered in under 30 minutes. Among people between the ages of 15 and 25, growth in the bottled coffee category is 30 percent slower than older audiences, according to CNRS.
On top of the category challenges, Nescafe faced other obstacles. Though it has massive awareness among Chinese consumers, owing to its long history in China, it nonetheless has been perceived as less trendy, with little surprise to offer younger audience.
By leveraging a cultural icon, Luo Tianyi, Nescafe brought content and audiences together. The campaign reached almost 87 million fans on Weibo, China's top micro-blogging app, because of a personalized experience powered by data and culture.
Impressions for the branded song of the campaign hit four million in just in two days with 240 branded emojis downloaded. Almost 87 million fans were targeted on Weibo. The December 2018 Brand Health Tracking report revealed that Nescafe's brand image increased five percent year-over-year with young consumers.
This campaign, which collaborated with a virtual idol to reach young consumers, was the first of its kind in the bottled-coffee industry.