[PR & New Media] Mr. E Goes Easy to Shanghai EXPO---Viral Video Campaign

Executive Summary
This proposal is to build a viral video campaign for British Embassy in China, to help UK tourists having an easier, more convenient and fun trip to the Shanghai EXPO.The campaign will be based on social media, using viral video to create a cartoon character to attract attention, gather interests, and build up online communities to share handy tips and touring information for UK citizens who want to travel to Shanghai and visit EXPO.

It will be running throughout the whole EXPO event (May—Oct), and evaluation will be carried out along with the execution to better monitor and adjust the campaign to gain better results.

With the opening of the grand event EXPO approaching, tourists’ interests are increased, all participating countries start promoting their own pavilions to attract visits. However, the basic information for tourists as where to live, where to eat, how to visit, and what’s difference between EXPO trip and an ordinary tourist trip to China are still provided mostly by traditional travel agencies or books.

Shanghai is a metropolitan which has a huge population and all the hustle & bustle of a big city. Over the years, foreign tourists often find themselves a bit at lost in the city which is five times bigger than London, and it takes time to figure out all the information from different travel books and magazines.

The Shanghai EXPO mascot Haber, is more of an image with less practical functions as providing touring information.

Therefore, UK embassy in China wants to provide UK tourists coming to China a new integrated platform to get specific and handy information about EXPO trip in a fun way to help them enjoy it to the most.

Share useful tips and handy information about travelling in Shanghai, help UK tourists enjoy a simple, easy trip to Shanghai for EXPO, save the usual hustle & bustle during travelling in a metropolitan of an unfamiliar country.

Key Message
Go Easy to the Shanghai EXPO!

Target Audience:Tourists who are
UK Based
- Interested in travelling specifically for EXPO
- Unfamiliar with
- Aiming at an easy & fun trip instead of exploring & experiencing

- Create character & brand by stop animation
Mr. E would be the brand for this campaign. E stands for easy, enjoy and EXPO;Mr. E’s characters would be a bit laid-back, clumsy, not fussy, has passion for exotic travelling but not really into DIY trip, quiet, with a sense of humour;
The unique style of stop animation decides it’s the best way to present such characters of Mr. E, as its usage of real texture to create original, genuine, fun and nostalgia atmosphere.

- Attract interests by viral video

Appearance of clumsy but cute Mr. E in a simple viral video with little background introduction will attract interests from audience in a relatively short time. Stop animation style has its own charm in terms of attracting interests.

- Build up connection with audience through online community and real-life interaction

After the viral video, online community will be built up on the basis of widely shared interests for Mr. E. It’s a direct and integrated communication channel with target audience. And the real-life appearance of Mr. E and its interaction with audience will help to maintain and increase the connection in an emotional level.

- Share information through social media platforms

Mr. E will share his tips and useful information during travelling through social media platforms, so that any members of the online community will be receiving the information at real time, in a simple way.

Tactics (Timeline included)

- April: Mr. E appears in stop-animation viral video
First Viral Video launch on Youtube, a month’s time given for spreading out;
Background introduction will be as simple and short as possible to raise general curiosity;
No youtube channel would be set up at this stage to keep the video genuine and close to the audience

- May: Mr. E has online community
Based on the growing interests, Mr. E will have his own fan page and twitter account;
Mr. E’s facebook fan page will mostly be used to upload pictures and videos of him travelling in EXPO, and to start discussion and chat inside the community, while his twitter account will mostly be used to release useful tips and travel information. The function of the two social media tools will be clearly separated so that audience don’t get confused and know exactly where to find the information they want;

Mr. E will not have a blog---this is decided by his character: being a bit laid back and wanting to save as much trouble as possible, Mr. E is not into writing more than 140 words quite often and prefers to share in a more direct and easy way;

Mr. E will have a second stop animation video and then, have his own youtube channel, which would be used for the sequel throughout the EXPO period.

For the start, Mr. E will share tips regarding “where to stay in Shanghai”, recommending convenient hotels with personalities and reasonable prices.

- June: Mr. E shares tips of restaurants in Shanghai
Mr. E continues to share tips and information of restaurants in Shanghai through Twitter;

If Mr. E find some places really convenient with reasonable price or eat, he will leave his image somewhere in the building or the place, anyone find his image will be getting a small travel kit through online community, related pictures will be updated accordingly on facebook to create heated discussion and attract interests to go out in Shanghai City to find Mr. E’s image;

3rd stop animation video updated on Youtube channel, theme of restaurants too;

- July: Mr. E shares tips of “what to see” in EXPO and in the city
Mr. E will give a general introduction of “things you can’t miss out” in EXPO, both on facebook and twitter, to raise enough interests and participation;

Meanwhile, Mr. E will continue to explore Shanghai in his own way: easy, convenient and fun.

There will be more specific transport information shared in terms of “how to get where”, which will also be updated mostly on twitter only;

4th video will be updated on youtube, to keep audience interested and emotionally connected

- August: Mr. E introduces pavilions representing different countries
Mr. E will go to visit the most representative pavilions, pictures taken with certain part of pavilions as background of Mr. E and shared on facebook, start a quiz of “which country does this pavilion belong?”

This is just for fun experience and no prize or awards will be given

Mr. E’s 5th video will have both stop animation and real video footage, to leak the first bit of surprise

- September: Mr. E goes from stop animation cartoon into real life world
A real Mr. E (a prop man wearing costume) pops up at different landmarks in the city and EXPO at random time, doing funny things or doing nothing, in the crowd, making clumsy movements but with happy and satisfied expressions, start the discussion of “Look, Mr. E is there, he’s around us!”

- October: Mr. E interacts with the community
Online community members bumped into Mr. E on street and being videotaped and shared online;

Mr. E walks into UK pavilion as the highlight of the whole campaign. Representatives from the British Embassy in China will welcome Mr. E and give him a simple guide of the pavilion. Those who are lucky and bumped into Mr. E will be invited to attend the small event too;

Pictures and videos will be shared accordingly

- Future
After measurement, Mr. E may continue his journey to South Africa in June.
(Brand to use for British Embassy in
South Africa)

Activities of Facebook fans and twitter followers will be monitored throughout the whole campaign:

- How many fans/followers in total;
- Quantity and content of daily discussions;
- How often new discussions and replies to old discussions appear

Visits of youtube videos on a daily/weekly/monthly basis;

Analysis in depth regarding youtube viewing traffic

General awareness and discussions about Mr. E on Internet( New Media Coverage)

Traditional Media coverage of Real Mr. E’s appearances (escudo event) in September and October.

Sample Interviews at the end of the campaign to measure target audience’s awareness and interests of Mr. E.

Measurement reports will be provided on weekly and monthly basis, and a final report will be provided one week after the whole campaign finishes.

The Importance of Lobbying for NGO development in China

NGO, shorten for Non Government Organization, has been independent from government since the day it was founded in western society. Of course NGO needs a good relationship with the government under most situations, but sometimes those activist groups also go directly against decision makers, which is accepted by the whole democratic society.

However, the development of NGO in China is quite different. As the NGO research expert, researcher of China Science Institute in Environment Research Center, Mr. Kang Xiao Guang expresses: " In recent years the amount of NGO has increased obviously. However, the real development of NGO is still low. The influence of these NGOs to the political and economic aspects of Chinese society is still limited. According to international NGO standard, these can not be counted as real NGO."

One of the main reasons is that in current political system, each NGO has to be supervised by two seperate government departments, which then results in neither department being willing to take the responsibility to supervise. Then without the official recognition, NGO can't be legally recognized. The lack of communication and trust between the two sides then restrict the development of NGO.

And that's exactly why NGO should pay more attention to lobbying in terms of developing in China. Even if you are a NGO, you need to keep a close relationship with the government. That's how things work out in China. Don't dream of becoming an activist group and express ideas by parade. Such things dont exist in this country.
All the biggest NGO in China, such as China Red Cross, Soong Ching Ling Foundation(SCLF), China Youth Foundation, are all seen as "semi-government" organizations, while others like Oxfam, Greenpeace and WWF all have their ways to develop: Oxfam is based in Hong Kong to keep its independence, Greenpeace hires former employee (Ms. Yong Rong) of Chinese Embassy in Africa as the Executive Director of Government and PR, while WWF, being the first one to sign the agreement and accept the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, has always been in a good relationship with the government. None of those really successful NGOs can afford to lose the support of the government.

The latest PR event initiated by WWF is the Earth Hour, which has won great media coverage (especially online), and WWF successfully convinced 33 governments in different cities in China--which is an astonishing triumph, if anyone has any idea of how difficult to persuade a Chinese local government to join in something that does not necessarily and directly link to the "official achievements". It also shows how successful WWF is in terms of building up and maintaining relationship with the government.

33 cities in China that have participated in Earth Hour Event.


WWF China:

Oxfam China:

Greenpeace China:


Take it Slowly--- the recent online campaign of PETA Asia

Over the years, PETA Asia has been developing steadily in mainland China. The strategies can be concluded as two main methods, one is to invite celebrities to become spokesperson and gain publicity and awareness from the public. And the other way is to take action against cruel animal treatment. Its key messages are: becoming a vegetarian to save the planet and anti fur in fashion industry.

Generally, the public takes a hesitate attitude towards vegetarian and anti-fur action.Thousands of years' culture has made being a vegetarian more connected to Buddhism, while normal daily Chinese food contains various vegetables and sometimes it doesn't make any differences between normal food and vegetarian food. Chinese people take food as part of the culture and holds pride for it.

However, the celebrity approach PETA Asia has taken has shown quite great influence to younger generation who are more concerned about environment and global warming. And then their opinion will influence the whole family. Combined with the religious effect, more and more people are either becoming a vegetarian or accepting vegetarian lifestyle.

As PETA's approach is much mild compared to its style in western world, Chinese people find it more acceptable.

The latest celebrity for PETA is a Taiwanese actress, and the above posters enjoyed high exposure on media.

However, recently PETA launched a new online campaign on one of the most popular social media website in China: Douban.com, with the slogan as "Fish is your Friend, not Food."

The moment this slogan appears on Douban, discussions went heated. Most people got irritated and think PETA is being "ridiculous".

One Douban user said: "No more dogs and cats for food, that's what we are supposed to do. No chicken and no fish? That's just too extreme."

Days after the campaign launched, a new online campaign was set up by Douban users, called "Veges are your friend, not food." For the sarcasm to PETA, they used pictures of vegetables made into cute shapes.

This is followed by some bloggers revealing PETA being extreme activist groups in foreign countries and called for public's alert of "What kind of actual organization is PETA". Articles have numerous visits and been copied to all major forums, which has clearly effected PETA's reputation among online communities.

To try to convert Chinese people into vegetarians, it takes time. Nobody could change overnight from eating dogs into becoming friends with fish. Years of efforts from PETA and other NGO such as WWF has greatly improved the situation for animal rights in China. However, it should not be taken for granted that the same pace would work to change people's eating habits.

Nothing extreme can work out in China, and the fundamental reason lies in Confucianism. As an activist group famous for all kinds of extreme escudo events, PETA needs to take it a bit slowly.

Related links:


A Second Thought about Political PR in North Korea

Maybe I AM getting a little obsessed with the absurdity of this country's peculiar political environment as it always reminds me of the darkest twenty years of "Culture Revolution" in modern Chinese history.

A second thought about political PR in North Korea. Maybe it is not accurate to say that the country has no political PR as the political propaganda to the public and to foreign visitors are also part of the special political PR. And I have to admit no matter how ridiculous we think it is, North Korea is doing an excellent job of political propaganda to the people.

A lot of pictures in North Korea taken by a Hong Kong resident called himself Pazu (online ID) who has paid a recent visit there. Thanks to him and his Nikon (which has a "hide" button to prevent all the pictures been deleted by the local authority), we can have a peak of the real situation in North Korea.

All pictures copyrights reserved to Pazu.

The Media

All the great stories about Kim Il Sung

All the stamps are for propaganda too(are stamps part of the media too?), 216 is the birthday of Kim Il Sung

In the train, in the hall, both Kim Il Sung and Kim Jiong-il's images but been seen everywhere at any time.

Only Kim Il Sung's statue is facing the South( In East Asia culture, facing south means the respect)

The simple way of repeated appearances of images and messages has worked quite effectively. North Korean people today still holds strong worship to their political leader and to their political system.

North Korean people are waiting for the tourists to leave, and then bow to the statue of Kim Il Sung and show their respect and worship.

Pazu's full ablum about North Korea: http://www.douban.com/photos/album/24923563/?start=0