April 22, 2019

Follow Aarif Lee to California! Play like a local!

Written By: Angie Pascale

A new campaign created by WE Marketing Group and MeringCarson for Visit California promotes the creative concept ““加州大玩家The Bold Expert of Play in California.” In this campaign, Visit California’s Chinese brand ambassador, Aarif Lee, guides consumers to experience real and in-depth travel in California as the “expert of play.” As a long-term strategic and creative agency partner for Visit California and MeringCarson in China, WE Marketing Group develops insights and strategies to localize the brand.

Visit California has been actively marketing in China for more than 10 years through public relations, travel trade and consumer marketing campaigns, with the goal of inspiring Chinese travelers to visit the Golden State. As the Chinese traveler has evolved, Visit California has adapted its strategies to meet the current trends. Recent studies show that Chinese travelers with high spending power are Millennials from Tier 1 cities. These travelers have increasingly sophisticated lifestyles and are willing to spend on quality travel. Going beyond the typical iconic landmark photo stops, they seek more in-depth understanding of the destinations and authentic local experiences, and aspire to “live like a local.” This campaign goes one step further by leveraging the brand idea “Be Bold to Dream” and brand ambassador Aarif Lee to invite the audience to dream bold, play bold and become bold experts of play in California.

As the agency landscape is getting more specialized, with clients engaging multiple agencies in each market for brand, social media, public relations and trade coop channels, the job of integration becomes more challenging than ever before. In addition to working with global agencies Aviareps and MeringCarson on localization of global campaigns since the 2012/2013 fiscal year, WE Marketing Group was recently retained by Visit California for expanded responsibilities: developing digital strategies, generating local campaign ideas, and integrating consumer communications in the China market. 

The 2019 spring campaign takes consumers from awareness to consideration, and includes three phases in the coming months. Phase 1 focuses on awareness building, with a dedicated brand TV commercial airing in major digital portals, online video sites, cinema, WeChat moments, and Visit California’s own channels. Phase 2 includes a series of entertaining videos by travel theme and an H5 game for user engagement. Phase 3 includes an O2O event and new travel packages ideated from the campaign theme. 

The videos feature three travel themes: Dare to Detour (self-driving on Highway 1), Farm-to-Fork (California cuisine), and Inside Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood (entertainment). These videos can been found in video channels such as YouKu, iQIYI, and Tencent or through the H5 landing page.

WE Marketing Group’s Managing Director Kenny Wong explains, “WE developed The Bold Expert of Play in California campaign concept because we want to further localize the Be Bold to Dream brand platform in China, playfully educate consumers to give them a deep understanding of various California destinations, let them realize the unlimited possibilities, and eventually trigger them to plan travel to California to experience all this in person.”

About Visit California

Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that inspire travel to California. Travelers spent $132 billion in 2017 in California, directly supporting more than 1.1 million California jobs and $10.9 billion in state and local tax revenue.

About WE Marketing Group

WE Marketing Group (www.we-mkt.com), a member of Worldwide Partners Inc., is a leading independent marketing services group in China, providing end-to-end marketing services from corporate brand planning, brand strategy, product concept, creative, media planning and buying, digital and social media marketing, content management, PR and events to eCommerce management and CRM.  WE is unique in combining global brand management expertise with customer management expertise, from market entry to execution to sales. WE is known for continuously evolving and innovating, and has developed a "SMART RETAIL SOLUTION" that is data driven, tech enabled,creative empowered with business growth as end result.WE stands for the best of "West meets East" brand management and marketing innovation. WE's mission is to help local brands globalize and global brands localize. WE has over 300 employees in five office including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Nanjing, and works with agency partners worldwide to serve clients' global needs.

Written By: Angie Pascale