When you think of visiting China, you might consider the history of Beijing, the sophistication of Shanghai, or the ancient terracotta warriors of Xi’an. But is the Western city of Chengdu on the itinerary for YOUR next trip to China? With its recent rapid development, Chengdu was ready to welcome the world. But we weren’t quite on the map for travelers. We needed to give people a reason to go. That was our challenge. Our solution was to establish the city via its famous and lovable icon, the Giant Panda. We launched the Facebook page to recruit ambassadors for Chengdu Pandas around the world and named them Hopefuls began their PandaQuest on a Facebook App, where they registered to become the next Pambassador and completed simple activities to create personal, shareable content like panda-fying their cover photo. It was important that we could identify credible, influential candidates that were truly passionate about panda conservation, so we put their friends at the center of the experience. To really stand a chance, hopefuls needed to collect friend testimonials and supportive “panda hugs" to prove themselves worthy of becoming a Pambassador. To fuel conversation around the world, we created original, localized and easy to share content for 9 different countries in 7 languages to give our single brand Page a truly global feel. Singapore posted hand-drawn panda comics, the UK jumped on the Gangnam style meme with “panda style" and the US tracked the birth of the San Diego Zoo’s panda cub. We optimized our local content from page insights to publish more of the stories our audience loved. Finally, we used Page Post Ads and Sponsored Stories to share Chengdu pandas beyond our fans, to engage with their friends, and ignite the graph to reach millions of people around the world. In three months, Chengdu Pambassador touched over a tenth of the Facebook universe. Our Facebook page results went beyond expectation: - Reached over 110M people - Grew the community to 411,000 fans from zero - 45,000 PandaQuest entries worldwide, and 405,000 supportive actions from friends - 29% People Talking About This - 6.8M Facebook Actions taken by users - Majority of posts received over 2,000 interactions. - 10+ posts received over 30,000 comments likes, comments and shares. - Facebook Ad CTR of 1.14% - Even Mark Zuckerberg Liked a post early in the campaign, helping Chengdu Pambassador propel to a remarkable level of global engagement. Quickly, pandas dominated conversation both online and offline: - 1.6 billion media impressions - Facebook media: 369 million impressions, 37% of which earned their way into the NewsFeed. - Traditional Media: 900 media outlets across 30 countries in 13 languages, including coverage on Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, British BBC, Global Al Jazeera, Japan’s Kyoto News and CCTV China.
Awareness tracking on Facebook confirmed that Chengdu Pambassador had successfully connected Chengdu as the home of the Giant Panda, achieving our communication objective. Correct identification increased from 19% to 43% in the UK, from 14% to 27% in the US and from 58% to 75% in Singapore (source: Facebook brand tracker, December 2012). Most importantly, by connecting Chengdu to its most lovable icon, pandas, we were able to drive a 30.3% increase in international visitors to Chengdu year on year from 2011 to 2012, well ahead of China’s national tourism growth, estimated at 1.2% (Source: China National Tourist Administration statistics).
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