CHINA’S FIRST DEMOCRATIC ELECTION by Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai for Vans



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Industry Shoes
Media Direct marketing
Market China
Agency Ogilvy & Mather Shanghai
Executive Creative Director Natalie Lam Razorfish
Creative Director Dwyane Koh
Art Director Yeesin Heng
Released March 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Direct Response Digital: E-commerce, Online Advertising, Brand Awareness & Social Media
Advertiser: VANS
Product/Service: FOOTWEAR
Date of First Appearance: Mar 10 2010
Entry URL:
Executive Creative Director: Natalie Lam (Ogilvy One)
Creative Director: Dwyane Koh (Ogilvy One)
Senior Art Director: Lin Ma (Ogilvy One)
Art Director: Yeesin Heng (Ogilvy One)
Senior Copywriter: Lala Wang (Ogilvy One)
Project Manager: Sky Xu (Ogilvy One)
Animation: Ido Du (Redworks)
Account Director: Damien Tew (Ogilvy One)
Media placement: Digital Campaign - Online/In Store - 14 August 2010

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
To introduce Vans’ two iconic star products - the checker Slip On and the ERA – to the fashion conscious Chinese youth, including both existing and new customers.

Vans just entered the Chinese market two years ago. Chinese youth are very brand-savvy, but they often cannot distinguish one foreign brand from another. In this booming lucrative market, lots of local Chinese brands would have foreign-sounding names hoping that they can get a share.

To cut through the clutter, the promotion strategy is to borrow something that’s quintessentially American yet impossible in China: the gesture of a democratic election.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
We turned a simple product promotion into a sensational “First in China.” In a tongue-in-cheek way, we pitched the shoes against each other in a race for “Originality” a la the U.S. presidential election. The checker Slip On represented creativity, the ERA for bravery. On a mini-site, each candidate campaigned for their beliefs through historical Vans content, the voters cast their votes in a ballot box. During the election period, campaign posters and ads were plastered all over Vans stores and pop culture portals online.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
Chinese youth love American culture. A democratic election isn’t just the quintessential symbol of American originality in their minds, but also something so unattainable that they crave the most.

The execution pushed the social boundaries and reflected the irreverent brand spirit of Vans. (Because of the sensitive nature of a democratic election in China, we used as much political innuendo as possible through the copy.)

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
-Campaign site traffic exceeded client KPI by more than 2 times
-99,105 votes collected from unique visitors
-Display Ads generates 824,897,620 impressions and contributed 1,763,017 clicks in total
-VoteVans widget download 602,472 times
-138,066 page views
-10 rounds of ePR topics generated 968,239 clicks