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From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign


Build brand awareness and equity for Chinese brand Midea by turning the U.S. launch of their innovative new window air conditioner, Midea U, into a viral social moment. With a small budget and minimal existing social presence, help the brand stand out as much as its unique product. 

Strategy and Execution

Our connected social strategy, creative and media teams worked closely together to create #ACUpgrade, an irreverent, social-media focused campaign that tapped into both nostalgia trends and reboot culture, and culminated in a branded hashtag challenge on TikTok.

During a hot and frustrating summer, #ACUpgrade and Midea U offered everyone some relief. With high design and smart features, it makes other window ACs seem outdated—to help consumers see the value in this upgrade, we partnered with actor Mario Lopez. Most famous for playing A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell (1989–1994), Mario made headlines this summer as he was about to reprise the role for a long-awaited reboot. So who better to tell the story of Midea U than an expert on ACs old and new?

We began by updating Midea’s social channels with retro photography and fun copy, juxtaposing dated technology with the advanced new Midea U and teasing an #ACUpgrade message. Then, Mario joined the conversation by posting teaser content followed by a 60-second video highlighting the features of the Midea U.  Through these social channels, the consumer was led to either the product pages for the Midea U on Midea’s website or to the product page on Amazon where they could purchase the product. 

We then partnered with TikTok and leveraged their Creator Marketplace—a superstore of influencers that TikTok has a direct relationship with—to amplify the #ACUpgrade dance challenge. We chose specific influencers based on audience demographic and content type, strategically involving them in the campaign to leverage their familiarity with our audience and inspire their fans to get involved in the challenge without having to be “the first person to make the video.” Our influencers populated our branded hashtag challenge page and spurred content creation and views from thousands of TikTok users.


The #ACUpgrade hashtag challenge received over 4 billion total views, with 900 million video views in first three days. $1B+ were garnered during the challenge ($3B total views). And 788,000 users participated by submitting videos with the hashtag.


Video for #ACUpgrade

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Digitas, Midea

Entry Credits