While reading is a pastime shared by many in China, sales of e-Reader devices such as Amazon’s Kindle never really took off.
Most readers preferred paper books, and as far as reading electronically is concerned, their existing mobiles and tablets worked just fine thanks to the Kindle app, launched in China in 2013 before Amazon was authorised to sell the Kindle e-Reader device.
So as Amazon prepared to unveil its most advanced e-Reader device yet – the Kindle Voyage – the question was: what would it take to wean Chinese readers off their mobile phones and tablets, and convince paper book readers to adopt a new reading device to enjoy the pastime with?
Targeting the white collar demographic that lived their lives online, Amazon tasked the agency with developing a digital campaign to help make this happen.
The agency discovered that, to begin with, people were just not talking enough about reading on social media. As popular as it was, reading was not considered something exciting to share on social networks. It was “geeky” and lonely, not cool and social.
The digital strategy therefore focused on igniting social conversations that helped reframe the reading habit among consumers, leveraging the social clout of China’s most influential key opinion leaders across different fields. Propelled by a series of multimedia executions in the form of video, games and imagery, the campaign fuelled the creation of user-generated content, driving the topic up the agenda among cyber citizens. Within a short time, reading became a pastime that was celebrated and shared, and thanks to the Kindle Voyage, a habit that is cool, fresh and du jour.
The campaign generated 200 million impressions and over 14,000 consumer posts and discussions online, making the campaign among the most successful in promoting reading in China in recent years. Significantly for Amazon, sales of the Kindle Voyage spiked by 40% as the campaign went into full swing, and units were completely sold out by end-2014.