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Switching-Time - Lee Jeans - Low Budget Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: Switching-Time, Shanghai, China
Company Description: Switching-Time is a Sino-Swiss integrated boutique communication agency providing tailor-made services and solutions for fashion, luxury, lifestyle & beauty brands. Founded in 2012 by Taiwing Tian and Florent Chapatte, the agency has more than 35 employees in Shanghai. Switching-Time is aiming to be the leading agency with both creative thinking and excellent execution skills
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Low Budget (Under $10,000 / € 7,000)

Nomination Title: Lee Jeans x SMILEEY - Smiley Workday

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

GENESIS

In China, the most important denim customer both in terms of purchase volume and influence is the urban millennial creative worker.

This is a group that wear branded jeans in the workplace, and the brand is part of their creative identity. A key insight is that while creative workers tend to love what they do, they suffer from – as most people – Monday blues.

In cutthroat competition with other denim brands, Lee’s strategy is to strengthen its relationship with this crucial group.

With this in mind, the agency was given 10,000 USD to propose a small but razor sharp and impactful campaign to support Lee’s new SMILEEY collection.

GOALS

Ultimately to increase sales of the SMILEEY collection, the goal was to cement the emotional connection between Lee and the workplace as a creative playground through spreading happiness and positivity among the creative cast and its followers.

DEVELOPMENT

The origin of the SMILEEY collection is the collaboration with Lee and the Smiley; an iconic symbol that stands for happiness, creativity and freedom.

The creative idea was to use the hybrid SMILEEY symbol to address the consumer insight about creative identity and Monday Blues.

On a shoestring budget, the agency designed a campaign targeting Shanghai’s hub for creative workers, the equivalent to New York’s Madison Avenue: Yanping Road.

The tactics was a community approach. We engaged local small businesses and neighbors to join forces under the SMILEEY umbrella – all done through good-will and an aim to collectively spread positive vibes, with no commercial agenda or fees involved.

The SMILEEY took over the area during two weeks, kicking off on a Monday morning. All coffee shops were SMILEEY branded, with staff wearing SMILEEY apron, serving SMILEEY branded coffees, and encouraging SMILEEY-branded pictures for social sharing. Outside the metro stations, the SMILEEY team greeted the creatives with balloons and redeemable QR coupons for SMILEEY coffees. We instituted “SMILEEY Happy Hours” with baristas visiting offices, treating employees to free SMILEEY coffee.

We also seeded the campaign with selected online creative celebrities and influencers.

RESULTS

And boy did we make the creative workers of the influential Yangping Road smile! Through the campaign, we:

-engaged with our most important customers and influencers on key message – having fun and smiling when working in Lee Jeans
-we engaged directly with hundreds of creative workers
-created a ripple effect of positivity around Lee, as people spread the happiness on their social media
-consumer Weibo and WeChat posts estimated to reach 200,000 people in our target group
-converted the SMILEEY into sales numbers so impressive that the local China team got called out on a global level
-the sale through in the retail stores close to the targeted area for the campaign was a whopping 16% higher than the sales through for the other retail stores.
-Noteworthy is that no other marketing initiatives took place at the same time. Lee attributes this increase to the SMILEEY Workday Campaign.

“We have never even heard of such an effective campaign for such a low budget – or almost for any budget!” Vincy Ho, Senior Marketing Director Lee Jeans China

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-To increase sales of the SMILEEY collection, Lee wanted cement the emotional connection between Lee and the workplace as a creative playground through spreading happiness and positivity among the creative workers and their followers.
-On a shoestring budget, acting on the insight on tackling Monday Blues, the team engaged the community around Shanghai’s “Madison Avenue” to unite under the umbrella of SMILEEY Workday.
-With no fees involved, an entire street re-branded into SMILEEY workday for two weeks, engaging with the creative cast, encouraging them to share the good vibes online.
-The sale-through in the retail stores close to the targeted area for the campaign was a whopping 16% higher than the sales through for the other retail stores.
-Noteworthy is that no other marketing initiatives took place at the same time. Lee attributes this increase to the SMILEEY Workday Campaign.