WeChat: Buying their way to the top of the world?
Posted on by Jason Li
I saw a version of this (adorable) ad on local Hong Kong TV a few weeks ago – it surprised me that WeChat had gone to new lengths to advertise its service. Before this, WeChat had been buying up traditional ad space on the tops of skyscrapers and in subway stations in Hong Kong (in the case of the latter, the ads feature local celebrities). But having Lionel Messi, probably the most famous football star today, in a long TV ad is a level on its own.
To place all of this in context:
- I haven’t seen any WeChat ads in China (though Amazon advertises plenty in subway stations in Shenzhen for example)
- WhatsApp only appears sporadically on billboards here in Hong Kong
- Line advertises (also on TV) using Korean celebrities and by partnering with convenience stores to offer redeemable trinkets
Google or Facebook never bought any TV ads, or hired celebrities to be its face; will it work for WeChat?