Chinese Fans Finance Ad Campaigns On Crowdsourcing Platforms

Source: Advertising Age

When Chinese boy band singer Karry Wang turned 17 a few months ago, fans congratulated him by buying ads. Lots of ads. They booked time on 11 giant screens in Times Square in New York. In China, they put his face on a helicopter and on a light rail train. They bought outdoor ads in Paris, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Reykjavik.

Altogether, fans probably spent over $15 million on Wang, the lead singer in Chinese boy band TFBoys, said Ruey Ku, a Publicis Media exec in Shanghai. And that was not an isolated case.

For Chinese fans, buying out-of-home ads has become a common way of showing devotion for their favorite stars — a media-savvy, big-budget twist on the teenage tradition of taping posters over your bed. Chinese fans finance ad campaigns on crowdsourcing platforms, by selling T-shirts or making coffee-table books of photos shot by fans. Often, there’s a charity element too. Fans have planted trees, donated to animal shelters and given music lessons to schoolchildren, choosing causes they hope will please the stars they love.

Asia’s intense fan culture probably started in Japan or South Korea, but it snowballed in China, which has 1.4 billion people and online fan clubs big enough to make serious media buys.

“I think the mentality for fans is, ‘I love (my favorite stars), and my goal is to make sure more people know about them,'” said Ku, Publicis Media Content GM in greater China. “They’re willing to spend money or a lot of time to help particular celebrities or groups build their influence.”

Ku says Publicis Media hasn’t arranged any such buys, though it’s been tracking the trend of big fan love, especially for young male stars who are referred to in China as “young fresh meat.” (A Publicis Media team working on a Chinese reality show with a big star once couldn’t find hotels near the shoot because so many fans had booked rooms to be near him.)

For the crowdsourced ad campaigns, most fans can only afford small sums, but “very often, one or a couple of very wealthy fans will front a very big chunk of money,” Ku said. “They’re almost looking at their idol as an investment. They want to make sure he is bigger and can go even further and become even more massive and influential.”

Fans are also thoughtful about their media spend. For the 17th birthday of teen idol Wang in September, fans put his picture on a rail line in Chongqing, the city of his birth. Fans bought ads in Iceland because Wang had expressed a desire to travel there, and fans wanted to make sure his reputation preceded him.

Times Square is one of the most popular locations for Chinese fan ads; there are a lot of Chinese ads there in general, including propaganda ads from China’s government. Tourists inevitably are surprised to see ads there in their language and post pictures on Chinese social platforms, which gives them added resonance.

Branded Cities Network operates a suite of 11 screens at 3 Times Square in Manhattan, where campaigns paid for by Chinese fans have aired. The company says some of their requests have come through Chinese or South Korean agencies, though it couldn’t name specific ones. “We think it’s great,” said Michael Galkin, director of marketing and research. “If you have a bunch of people pooling money together you can make an impact halfway across the world.”

Earlier this month, an online fan club in China used the 11 Times Square screens to mark the 5th anniversary of quirky K-pop band called EXO, whose members are marketed as aliens with superpowers, like teleportation or healing.

Sally Yang, a 22-year-old college English major from the southeast city of Guangzhou, helped the fan club work on that campaign. The group functions through teams of volunteers, where everyone has a specific role; there are social media experts, translators, and people who raise funds by selling albums imported from South Korea. “What I do is support our idols, like sending them gifts when they have a birthday,” she said. “I just want to make them happy.”

Article Provided by Advertising Age

Netflix, Michael Bolton and Branded Cities Network Help Get You In The Mood This Valentine's Day.

This February, Michael Bolton and a cast of well-known comedians will be bringing a variety comedy show to Netflix. Titled, “Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special,” the Netflix original is a tongue-in-cheek program “designed to inspire the world to make love.”

Supporting the variety show is Branded Cities Network’s Bryant Park digital spectacular. In keeping with the theme of the program, Netflix has added a live counter to its creative, detailing how many babies have been “conceived” since the launch of the show. Netflix’s goal was to have the counter go from 0 to 75,000 over the course of the four-week campaign. Since something like this would typically fall outside the range of available dynamic content, BCN’s tech team needed to simulate the counter without the need of time consuming art renderings.

BCN’s VP of Technology, Shawn Taylor explains, “The significance of creating an auto counter that will go through the month and reach its final number is huge. Traditionally, the creative agency would need to render out a video for each change in the number, for multiple videos each day for 28 days. What we have done here is automate Netflix’s desired effect in an intuitive way so every time their spot plays, the number will increase towards the 75,000 goal.”

How Many Lids Does it Take to Make a Billboard?

Branded Cities Network, noosa yoghurt and their agency Project X recently partnered to bring a wonderful 3D embellishment to the streets of downtown Denver. Over 3,250 noosa yoghurt lids were used in the creation of this 3D spectacular, with messaging highlighting the yoghurt’s local Colorado ingredients.

"Vote to Count" Campaign Seeks To Drive More Americans To Polls

NEW YORK, NY — As election season kicks into high gear, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and its members today announced the launch of a national out of home (OOH) public service advertising campaign that aims to convert the negative connotation of labels into a higher purpose: voter registration and action at the polls.

The campaign reminds Americans that while all labels matter, only one label counts on Election Day: voter.

Labels are a part of politics and our goal is to celebrate those and competing viewpoints for the greater good. Combinations of labels representing the diversity of the American electorate – such as “gun-loving, fascism-hating, immigrant voter” and “idealist, activist, grandma voter” – send a message that while we can proudly own all of these labels as Americans, we must elevate them to a place of impact at the polls.

The campaign launched September 6 in Times Square with supported OOH ads covering billboards, bus shelters, subway cars, and more throughout New York City.

Design group Grand Visual developed dynamic content for digital OOH applications, including a live feed that engaged Times Square visitors.

OOH ads will also launch in key markets throughout the fall, including cities hosting presidential debates.

ADstruc Project X provided the media planning and procurement services, ensuring strategic placement for more than 3,000 digital and printed OOH ads.

The OOH ads will grab attention during this noisy campaign season and drive digital engagement by directing viewers to where they can access their state’s voter registration pages. An interactive label generator allows visitors to choose their own labels, showcasing what they value and believe, and share on social media. We encourage everyone to customize their labels and share socially.

This is a nonpartisan effort. We’re not trying to boost the standing of any party or candidate. We’re using OOH to provoke action in a way that is constructive during a time that really matters. US Census Bureau data from the 2012 presidential election shows that only about 65 percent of the American voting-age population was registered to vote, but 84.3 percent of those who were registered voted.

Article Provided by OAAA

CDOT Sends a Giant, High Message In Downtown Denver

Today, Branded Cities Network (“BCN”) announces its partnership with social influencing company, Blog Meets Brand (“BMB”) which will give advertisers the ability to customize their Out-of-Home campaign with a tailored, cross-platform social program guaranteed to drive additional impressions across the blogosphere as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

The partnership will give BCN and their clients the ability to promote their brand through a network of over 15,000 high impact influencers across categories and their blogs and social media channels. Impressions are tracked in real time, detailing level of engagement, adding a deep analytical layer to existing OOH metrics.

“I think what we are seeing here is another step in the natural evolution of the relationship of OOH and Online,” said Michael Galkin, Sales, Marketing & Research Manager at BCN. “Giving our clients the opportunity to extend their reach beyond the audience at our signage locations, and have the data to support that, is an exciting prospect.”

“As one of the most forward-thinking and sophisticated media companies in the industry, we’re honored to partner with BCN to help marry OOH marketing with social influencer amplification.” says Eric Beer, Co-Founder of BMB. “The speed and ease of our platform enables BCN to build, manage, and measure influencer marketing campaigns efficiently and effectively to create innovative marketing solutions for their clients both online and off.”

About Branded Cities Network Branded Cities Network is a digital and spectacular Out-of-Home media company with iconic signage in iconic destinations throughout the United States. The Branded Cities Network promotes national and local brands throughout its network of spectacular, static and digital sign displays.

About Blog Meets Brand. Blog Meets Brand is a influencer marketing platform that connects high-profile influencers with brands seeking exposure across social media platforms. It’s a faster, easier way to create unique native content for social engagements and implement promotional campaigns that leverage the reach and influence of today’s top influencers.