Your Hong Kong – Your SCMP Campaign
2021 Finalist

Your Hong Kong – Your SCMP Campaign

South China Morning Post

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Overview of this campaign

SCMP’s main objective with this brand campaign was to remind all Hong Kong news readers of our inherent brand value proposition and our dedication to serving local readers. This was especially important at the time as the campaign was a key building block preceding the launch of our digital subscription service. Reminding our audience that we have supported Hong Kong with balanced, truthful news for over a century was a major requirement in communicating a reason to believe in and purchase our digital subscription product.

It was also important to maintain a strong, emotional and purpose-driven connection with readers in our home market as SCMP’s global growth over the last three years has been significant, expanding into N. America, Southeast Asia and Europe. It was therefore critical to remind our Hong Kong readers that despite this growth, we remain committed to covering the stories that matter in our home city and will continue evermore to support our readers with factual reporting and insightful opinion about Hong Kong.

While conveying a message linked to SCMP’s century-old legacy was positive, another objective was to ensure that the look and feel of communications were expressed in a dynamic manner befitting a news organisation that has so readily embraced digital transformation.

In addition, we also wanted to resonate with younger, newer audiences, which was a challenge as we were talking about the past and playing up to our audience’s existing perceptions. Our comms and video in particular sought to balance our legacy story with demonstrating our future-facing ethos. We wanted to make sure our younger tone of voice shone through to avoid a campaign that was just a nostalgic retrospective of “old Hong Kong”.

Finally, we had to make sure any featured news scenarios were a balanced mix of local and global impact stories, while ensuring we didn’t descend into a “news is bad” highlights reel which is easy with heavy news often carrying greater impact than soft news.

Results for this campaign

Having launched our brand campaign a fortnight prior to our digital subscription service launch, we quickly discovered that our Hong Kong readers were the largest audience segment purchasing subscriptions and we experienced dramatic growth in these local HK subscribers in our first month. 

We also found that mission-driven messaging and calls-to-action to subscribe onsite (e.g. support journalism) created greater impact than functional messaging (e.g. unlimited access) and this is clearly tied to the positive benefit of running the “Your Hong Kong, Your SCMP” campaign.

During the 2-week period where our brand campaign launched and was live, SCMP achieved over 1 million organic house ad and video impressions which resulted in a 106% increase in paid subscriptions. The campaign also had a positive impact on the SCMP brand with 76% of respondents from a follow-up survey on China competitive coverage, associating SCMP as "relevant" to them. In addition, we also ran a later survey to assess subscription drivers for our Hong Kong audience. 79% of respondents who were current subscribers said they were likely to renew their SCMP subscription plan which is a positive result for brand loyalty. 

A series of qualitative focus groups run after our brand campaign suggested the campaign was also helping to attract an audience who felt our brand persona was younger and more local than previously considered. The survey also suggested SCMP had a much clearer and defined standpoint with regards to our approach to journalism versus our global peers.



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