WeChat Case Study: Pepsi ‘brings happiness home’ for Chinese New Year

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During the lunar new year period, Chinese people send good wishes to friends and family. This case study looks at how PepsiCo, as part of a huge annual holiday campaign called "Bring Happiness Home," gave the tradition a twist.

Pepsi China’s "Bring Happiness Home" campaign blitz, in its third year running, had a WeChat feature that let followers send their own voice recordings to the account and have them remixed into a customized Pepsi theme song to share with friends and loved ones.

WeChat has a heavy focus on audio messages as many Chinese people prefer that to texting because typing in characters is time-consuming.

As a result, users could record an audio message on the Pepsi ad that would get mixed in with a soundtrack of the well-known "Bring Happiness Home" theme song.

"You could also add in effects like the sound of a train, and say, 'Mom, I'm on my way home,'" said Tim Cheng, chief creative officer of DDB Group Shanghai, which created the campaign. Another sound offer was a horse's gallop, to conincide with the Year of the Horse.

The brand message, coming mostly from the theme song, was subtle. "It's about spreading happiness, as opposed to 'buy Pepsi,'" Cheng said.

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