As Visa was not top of mind for Chinese Visa card holders, we needed to directly make Visa noticed in China, especially amongst outbound travelers, to increase overseas transactions.
Visa faced intense competition from Chinese payment method, UnionPay, when it came to transactions overseas.
UnionPay dominated the market for Chinese overseas payments. Exacerbating the situation for Visa, all cards issued in China are UnionPay by default. UnionPay have a presence at key Chinese tourist hotspots abroad, giving the impression of a good coverage, and meaning that many Chinese Visa customers reverted to UnionPay when abroad.
It was essential that Visa cut through and clearly demonstrate its wider overseas coverage to Chinese tourists.
Visa wanted to appeal to young affluent Chinese customers who are more independent and willing to explore on their own when travelling abroad. This young audience are unlike traditional Chinese tourists who typically prefer group travel and visit only the most famous tourist attractions.
Our targets were defined as 25-40 years old, well-educated and with above average income. We tapped into their emerging behavior to travel independently, taking advantage of the changing mindsets about travel to change the way people paid with credit cards. A key influential group, these young aspirational Chinese were also a target segment that could spur on an online movement, helping to spread Visa’s overseas benefits to an even wider audience back in China.
When people consider travelling, they rely heavily on the experiences of others. So, when launching our campaign to increase awareness of Visa’s wide coverage overseas, we decided to directly influence the
travel experiences of young Chinese. We literally took the campaign outside of China to our targets’ favorite cities: Melbourne, Sydney and Seoul. There we planned to activate and engage young Chinese tourists with a different kind of travel experience, and clearly demonstrate the benefits of Visa’s wide
Our strategy: enable young Chinese to explore cities “off-the-beaten-track” both offline and online, enhancing their overseas travel experiences. We could then bring Visa’s brand message to life: “Wherever you want to be, Visa helps you get there” for youths to feel and experience the brand’s benefit.
Our idea “Visa Rental Bike”, equipped Chinese Visa customers with free bikes and mobile GPS devices to explore foreign cities “off-the-beaten-track” with Visa, extending to virtual experiences online that influenced more Visa customers back in China. We scoured Visa’s huge merchant database to design the best cycling routes around each city’s hidden gems, even pre-programming these on the devices, leading young Chinese Visa customers beyond tourist traps and directly to Visa-accepted merchants who may not accept UnionPay.
Word spread fast about Visa’s bikes online, with engaging content and a fictional Chinese tourist character who provoked young Chinese demanding different experiences. It generated massive social response and even the Chinese press reported the topic! Social KOLs, online videos, print and outdoor ads led targets to Visa’s website. Here, new routes and discoveries
found by Chinese Visa bikers abroad automatically updated Visa’s online hub of tourist information; exactly what our targets searched for.
Our campaign leveraged existing technology to create a unique connection with Visa’s targets and, at the same time, promote Visa’s extensive network.
We increased Visa’s outbound transactions by 40% YOY!
In just 4 weeks, in just 3 foreign cities, we attracted 7,486 travelers to Visa’s bike booths!
• Featured as trending topic on Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter) multiple times;
• Reached 1 OO+million overseas Chinese travelers(impressions), on line video 32million
views in just 1 month;
• Campaign site engagement reached 138%, more than 4X industry benchmark;
• Social sentiment increased by 5% YOY, gaining 244,582 new Visa followers.