INTRO: A day in our office often includes many hypothetical PR campaigns for clients and non-clients alike. Some of them are really creative, others are bold, and some are… well, they’re really out there.

We preach against wasting good ideas. So we started a series of posts looking at some fictional campaigns we would run if we had the chance. So sit back and see what the creative side of G3 Partners looks like. If you like what you see and read, contact us and tell us about your startup!

Perception = Reality. And for China, perception is working against the country and its potential to draw in tourists. Look at some of these quotes I found on the all knowing internet:

“Dirty enough to scare people.”

“China is famous for unsanitary environments.”

“Beijing is the real-deal China. It’s dirty. It’s raw.”

If you ever consider travelling to China, those are just some of the quotes you’ll run across describing the country’s sanitation situation. While no city or country could ever be crowned completely clean (you come close, Singapore), perceptions about China’s cleanliness are driven by hyperbolic headlines that seem convincing to people who’ve never visited the Middle Kingdom.

If Tujia, a startup that lists short-term rentals and hotels in China (like AirBnB), hired us to help make their service more attractive to international guests, our first task would be working to shift perceptions of China’s cleanliness.

What if China was clean?

We wanted to create a social media campaign that would actively combat existing entries online claiming that China is dirty and unhygienic. What we needed were clear examples showcasing some of China’s best landscapes and attractions to discredit naysayers. The user-uploaded photos of listings in Tujia fulfil this task perfectly.

Using a simple phrase ‘This is China’, we wanted to flood social media with pictures to refute the negative written accounts. Despite the photos being user-generated, some of them look like something out of a movie.

China4

Goals

With the campaign, the listings in Tuija become almost synonymous with the concept that China is beautiful. It gives a chance to showcase some of the more scenic listings and incentivizes others on the platform to do the same to rake in some of the traffic to their particular listing.

Between the user generated content, and positive imagery across social media, we could definitely see something like being run for Tuija.

How was it done?

  • We scoured the internet – in particular social media – looking for user generated thoughts on tourism in China, first-hand accounts of locals, and images
  • We created a concept aimed at combatting some of the user generated stories: This is China.
  • Searching through Tuija, we found photos from listings that showcased just how spectacular China could truly be in terms of natural beauty and residences
  • We then added the slogan to the images and distributed them across social media channels

Would this idea work?

When Dubai-based Emirates Airline first entered Korea, their PR agency, Burson-Marsteller took a “build the destination first” approach. Rather than trying to convince people to fly Emirates airline because of the high quality of service and the luxurious cabins, they branded Dubai as an ideal stopover destination. This was a monumental task, given that most Koreans had less-than-pleasant mental associations with the whole of the Middle East. As a result of this effort, Emirates Airline did indeed become a preferred choice for Korean fliers heading to Europe and other westward destinations.

We can see this campaign coming to live. Can you?

#ICanSeeThat

Images courtesy of Tujia found here and here.