You’ve been given a granny product, in this case a cold and flu remedy, 999. Your brief is to make it appeal to the young generation. What do you do?
Serviceplan Greater China paired it with another granny product. Then the agency turned both on their heads.
The look and feel of 999 Cold Remedy had remained the same since it was first launched in 1991. It comes in a very plain green and white box and its core proposition is Feeling Warm, from Heart to Heart. Longjohns are worn by older Chinese people every winter. They keep them warm through winters that can get bitterly cold.
Neither of these products was hugely appealing to younger, trend-conscious Chinese. They were seen as outdated. Not wearing longjohns made them more susceptible to colds.
So Serviceplan reimagined both of them. Together.
The agency turned longjohns into trendy patterned leggings and gave them young, tongue-in-cheek styles, like Won’t Get Cold Youth, which looks cold but keeps you warm inside inside; Wearable Luck, which will make your wishes come true; Regimen Punk, that turn you into the hottest dancer at the club; and Client’s Logo Bigger Version, an ironic dig at the youthful obsession with wearing the largest designer logo as possible on your clothes.
A series of retro posters designed by Danni Wang and Er Suo, art directors at Serviceplan Beijing, became a social media sensation.
The campaign became the hottest search on Wechat and Adquan, a leading online media and industry interactive information service platform for the Chinese advertising industry, and a trending hashtag and topic on the search engine Baidu and Weibo, the Chinese Twitter equivalent.
It also reached the No. 2 spot on Weibo’s hot search and stayed there for 2 hours – usually the top 3 spots are taken by celebrity gossip. A video of the campaign had more than 21.5 millions views with a 130 million trending hashtag and 15,000 interactions.
More than 10 Government-owned media outlets shared the campaign. There was a 790% of increase on WeChat search on the day of launch, and a 560% increase of views on 999’s official WeChat feed.
Serviceplan Greater China chief creative officer, Chong Kin, commented, “The great thing is that more than 430 million impressions of the 999 Cold Remedy campaign have been generated through social media and mobile apps.”
Agency: Serviceplan Greater China
Chief Creative Officer: Chong Kin
Executive Creative Director: Ballball Wong
Account Directors: Mark Liu & Gao Jing
Art Directors: Danni Wang & Er Suo
Copywriter: Emily JIn
Business Director: Erin Li
Social Media Manager: Alison Feng
Head of Creative Support Unit: Cedar Tian