Google Developer Summit (Google开发者大会) is Google's most influential annual flagship event in China. It introduces the latest Google product and technology updates and stories from the community to Chinese developers. Since the event turned purely online in 2020 due to the pandemic, the audience started to experience online fatigue (one-way communication, limited interactions, etc.). In 2022, Google Developer Summit became a hybrid event including both virtual and in-person sessions to cater to different needs and to bring developers together. An upgrade to the summit’s brand identity was needed to change developers’ perception of the brand: from unidirectional communication to open discussion, from buzzwords to genuine inspiration, and from peripherally to authentically helpful.
Chinese developers (the world’s second-largest developer population) are a highly diverse crowd – that has in common optimism and pragmatism - always coding for something better. Inspired by this diversity and common themes that we discovered after interviewing 17 of them, we created an open-ended tagline "Code for Better ___”, with an underscore to invite people to fill in their answers. A Chinese version of the tagline “Code for a Better Future Together” comes along to help the audience better understand the theme: code is also the key to unlocking a future full of possibilities.
The idea comes to life with a modular identity based on simple shapes inspired by both programming languages and China's famous puzzle, the Tangram. The shapes represent different answers to “Code for Better__”. When the shapes combine, they create an almost infinite number of possibilities and illustrate the incredible diversity of developers in China. Different symbols were generated on the digital badge every time when users pressed the website’s “share” button on their mobile devices. At the tentpole event, an interactive booth was set up for attendees to generate their symbols based on the answers to the questionnaire and print them out as unnamed tags. Similar answers got similar shapes so the shapes acted like matchmakers, bridging the gap between virtual and physical events. Participants can "visually" find people with common interests to further build their network without having to open their mouths.
Before 2022, all digital and social media creatives were 2D shapes. We gave our brand identity a fresh look by making the shapes 3D, in order to overcome users' online fatigue and to stand out from other similar programs. The 3D elements are used in the social announcement video, homepage hero module, offline digital screens and etc., balanced with 2D elements, to give users an immersive experience. Many 3D shapes combined to form a magic cube that was featured on the website and videos, representing a highly diverse, complex, but united developer community.
Google Developer Summit gained industry-wide recognition and expanded its audience reach across greater China with the acknowledgment of Google as a helpful brand. The summit attracted 1,500 offline attendees and over 10.59 million online video views in the two-day event, helping 735,000 developers up-skill, with an overall 4.7/5 satisfaction rate (vs. 4.6/5 in 2021). Feedback from online and offline surveys showed that 98% (vs. 97% in 2021) of developers agreed that Google is helpful. The campaign created unprecedented exposure, with a PR outreach of approximately 588 million impressions (vs. 525 million in 2021) and 51 million engagements (vs. 28 million in 2021) on social media with a flat budget in a market with increasing media investment by all major tech players. Segmentfault, a leading developer community in China, awarded Google Developer Summit as one of the most popular tech events among developers in 2022.