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Mobile penetration varies hugely among APAC nations, however in developed countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore more than three-quarters of the population own a smartphone.

In response to this consumer trend APAC marketers have to place greater emphasis on mobile, which has resulted in some extremely creative campaigns.

Having previously investigated stats on m-commerce from the region, here are eight excellent examples of mobile marketing campaigns from APAC.

And for more information on digital in APAC, download one of our latest reports:

Nike+ battle against the elements

Nike used mobile marketing as part of a campaign to promote its Hyper product range as a way for runners to keep warm in the winter months.

The sports brand posted a video on Sina Weibo which showed two runners caught in a battle against four seasonal super villains: rain, dark, cold and snow.

Users were encouraged to add the four elements as friends and were sent daily taunts to motivate them into heading out for a run.

People could then log their runs with Nike using the hashtag #WinAgainstTheElements, and were awarded points if their route brought them up against any of the four elements.

A dedicated Nike site hosted a leaderboard to congratulate the runners who went up against the toughest conditions, while also recommending relevant Nike products. Personalised missions and badges could also be unlocked as rewards. Overall Nike+ users ran 44,528km in 24 days. 

Google World Wide Maze

To show off its new Chrome browser on mobile and desktop Google created a ‘World Wide Maze’ game that allowed users to turn any website into a 3D game that could be played using a smartphone.

In order to play users had to use Tab Sync to connect Chrome on their PC and mobile, then search for any site they wanted to play.

The smartphone then acted as a controller allowing the user to manoeuvre a ball around a virtual maze. Points were allocated based on speed and the number of items they picked up along the way.

The benefit of this campaign is that it’s an entertaining, innovative game that also encourages people to connect their mobile device with a desktop, thereby allowing Google to find out more about them and improve ad targeting. 

Sunshine Aquarium Penguin NAVI

This is another example of a mobile campaign that used augmented reality mainly as a PR tool.

Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo created an app called ‘Penguin NAVI’ that used AR penguins to guide tourists to its location.

It looks great and probably gained the aquarium some additional PR that might just have got more people through its doors.

Check out this video, it’s very cool...

Yihaodian’s 1,000 stores

Chinese Pureplay online grocery retailer Yihaodian used augmented reality back in 2012 for a publicity stunt to help it steal some marketshare away from the major supermarket chains.

It established 1,000 virtual stores around China that could only be accessed using a location-based, augmented reality smartphone app. The idea was that it combined the best parts of the online and offline shopping experience. 

Clearly this campaign was designed to gain publicity for the retailer above anything else, as it’s incredibly inconvenient to do your shopping while walking down a fake shopping aisle in a public place while staring at a smartphone screen. 

However it proved to be a success, as Yihaodian’s revenue increased by 17% in three months.

Adidas ‘The Highest Goal’

This campaign takes some explaining as the video doesn’t really show what’s going on.

Adidas hosted a live event during a Japan World Cup Qualifier where fans were invited to use their smartphone to make a virtual throw-in to striker Shinji Kagawa on a 200-metre high projection screen in downtown Tokyo.

Users had to access a mobile site and log in via Facebook, then make a throwing motion using their smartphone.

Users who performed a successful thrown-in (I don’t know how it was judged) were rewarded by having their Facebook profile projected on the screen next to a shot of Kagawa shooting a goal. 

Thousands of people took part in the game and the event was broadcast online showing a leaderboard of participating fans.

One measure of success is that the average time-on-site was 30 minutes, but it’s also a very spectacular campaign that rewarded players with an extremely unique prize.

Nike and WeChat at Festival of Sports

In 2012 Nike partnered with messaging app WeChat to try and connect with a youth audience at the Shanghai Festival of Sports.

WeChat users could scan a Nike QR code to add the brand as a contact on the social network, allowing them to engage in real-time conversations. 

Users could also access information about Nike sponsored sports events at the festival and have their images shared on big screens around the event.

I couldn’t find any information on success metrics for this campaign, but it’s an excellent creative idea and one that works as a data capture exercise as well as a marketing initiative.

Tesco's virtual stores

This is a well-worn example but one worth including as it shows how effective mobile marketing can be when it’s used in the right context.

Tesco wanted to increase its marketshare in South Korea without increasing the number of stores, so it created virtual stores on the subway. 

When commuters scanned QR codes on the displays the item was automatically placed into their shopping cart so they could make a purchase while on-the-go.

More than 10,000 people scanned the QR codes, leading to a 76% increase in the number of new registered members and a massive 130% increase in online sales.

McDonald’s 'Happytable'

In 2013 McDonald’s used NFC as part of an app that was intended to keep children entertained in its outlets.

By placing an NFC-enabled smartphone on a McDonald’s table in Singapore kids could take control of a virtual car and drive it around to collect different prizes and fight bad guys.

NFC smart tags placed around the table acted as different parts of the track, with each tag telling the user where to drive their car. 

McDonald’s rewarded the fastest times with apple pies, sundaes and other food items.

Again there are no statistics available to help gauge it’s effective, but McDonald’s did subsequently launch additional games, so we can assume that it was at least partly successful. 

David Moth

Published 11 March, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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