According to Tencent’s Q2 2017 financial reporting, its income from social media advertising increased 61% YoY to 6 billon RMB, mainly from ads on WeChat Moments and WeChat Official Accounts. WeChat first launched ads on its Moments platform on 25th Jan 2015, with BMW, Vivo and Coca Cola all placing ads there. It was a big topic on Chinese social media at that time because many users believed that the algorithms which determined which ads they saw were based on their online behaviour and their WeChat connections. In response, some of the users who saw BMW ads on their WeChat Moments reposted these ads to show that WeChat categorised them as wealthy individuals or as persons with higher social status. It was a successful PR exercise to start with and attracted many other brands from various industries, such as Porsche, Lancôme, Nike, KFC, Disney Hong Kong and Australia Tourism. At the beginning, the WeChat Moments ads (WM ads) only supported the display of text messages with several pictures. Now, two and a half years later, what is the state of things in September 2017?
Today, the WM ad format has dramatically evolved from its earlier and admittedly somewhat primitive incarnations to become more interactive between advertisers and users. It also looks much more sophisticated with better HTML5 visual effects and more informative thanks to a larger display area. In addition to this, with better Location Based Service (LBS) technology, WM ads also able to better geo-target users and provide advertising for local businesses. With the ecosystem: WeChat Pay, WeChat Sport, WeChat Wallet and WeChat Voucher, advertisers now have the ability to better track advertising ROI in a closed loop which makes it unique to other social media advertising platforms like Facebook / Twitter or search engine advertising platforms like those provided by Google and Baidu.
Seven of the Most Recent WeChat Moments Ads
Below are seven examples of the latest WM ad formats that allow advertisers to be have more room and functionality and to create ads that are attractive, innovative and encourage more interactions between users and between users and advertisers. It is this interactive functionality that arguably forms the basis for a successful social media Ad. Porsche showed how fancy a WM ad can be. Four lipstick brands used WM ads to boost their brand awareness and sales during different festivals and occasions. SanYuan yoghourt stimulated its brand value with WeChat Sport with a WM ad designed to boost interaction, reposting and ad spread. Wang Steak, a premium restaurant launched a mini movie WM ad as an extension of a currently popular TV show episode, and thereby managed to expand their consumer base and target younger generation consumers.
- New car models from Porsche: This ad contains an auto play video, full screen size HTML5 display page and uses mobile’s gyroscope motion sensors to show different views of the cars. This new ‘card’ format in WeChat allows 10 times loading speed than other online video formats.