“If something is working don’t try to invent” is the common belief of marketers. Similarly, Bollywood and Cricket are the default platforms marketers in India use to connect with people. WeChat, the mobile messaging service from the Chinese Internet giant Tencent, is doing the same to connect with the Indian youth. The mobile messaging service, that has more than 300M users on the app has been pushing the app in India from the first half of 2012, along with Ibibo in which it holds 20% stake. Taking the marketing push further, the app has roped in young Bollywood heart throbs Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan as brand ambassadors of WeChat.
WeChat India connecting on social media
The messaging app recently launched a 30-sec TVC on social to launch the brand ambassadors as well as to promote the feature of voice chat. The video that was launched a week ago, has got more than 2M views at the time of writing this article.
The brand has used social media effectively for creating buzz before revealing the brand ambassadors. The Facebook page that has more than 503K fans, created interesting visuals that were used as a teaser for fans. Once the brand ambassadors were introduced, the brand launched the “WeChatter” Facebook contest. The objective of the contest was to create maximum buzz about the new TVC. The contest asked fans to share the latest video on their page, tag maximum friends and send a screenshot of the whole activity ASAP. The fastest entries were given surprise hampers. Even though it wasn’t a great idea, the objective of maximum reach for the new TVC was achieved.
In addition to this, the Facebook page has been uploading behind the footage images of the TVC and encouraging fans to join the app since the ambassadors are on the app too. Both Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan have created accounts on the app and right now if you follow them, you are served with the new TVC to watch.
Twitter, which has more than 3K fans is tweeting about the TVC and while I write, the Twitter account is updating with live updates about the press conference that is happening in Mumbai. #WeChatLive and #PhirKabMiloge hashtags have been catching the excitement of tweeps on Twitter too.
WeChat and its growth in India
WeChat which has been focusing in the Indian market by integrating with brands specially with Bollywood on the marketing aspect to create the buzz.
On the marketing bit, WeChat tied up with the Bollywood film – “Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola.” The social media marketing campaigns were designed in a way that users had to use the app to crack the contest and stand a chance to meet the leading star cast, Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma and also win goodies like free movie tickets. The same movie promotions were executed with the movie “Himmatwala” too but we are not sure how much the app has benefited with both the movies as their box office reports were not that encouraging.
Mobile messaging apps are the next generation of social networks and players from Asia are going to dominate the market. It won’t be just WeChat but apps like Hike, Line, Kakao Talk, etc. would be the ones who would be providing stiff competition to networks like Facebook. But with 190 million active users WeChat is for sure to give stiff competition to WhatsApp. However, WeChat will have to spike up some integration with mobile companies to integrate the app on devices like WhatsApp did recently by partnering with Nokia to integrate a WhatsApp button on Asha 201.
Nevertheless, WeChat will see some exciting times in a country where the love for mobile devices has been proliferating really fast and as I follow the tweets of WeChat it states that it is the No.1 app on iOS in India. WhatsApp, are you listening?
Corrigendum: The article has been updated to reflect the change that WeChat app right now has no India user centric features as it was mentioned before.