J. Walter Thompson’s Shower-Sharing Campaign for Sakura Goes Viral in China
A fun campaign for water-heater maker Sakura urging people to share a shower to drive home an environmental point has gone viral in China, with its videos of two men vigorously soaping and sluicing themselves – and each other - under a single shower head.
To promote Sakura Corp.’s new eco-friendly water heaters in mainland China, J. Walter Thompson honed in on the product’s defining feature – it produces half the amount of gas emissions of a regular water heater, which is better for the environment.
Viewers are told at the end of the video that: “Sharing showers can cut emissions by 50 per cent and so can Sakura’s Eco Water Heater.”
The point is not to actually share a shower but to achieve the same effect by buying the company’s product.
“It’s common to make a funny product look fun,” said George Shi, general manager of J. Walter Thompson Shanghai. “But it’s truly awesome to make a boring product look fun!”
The “Let’s Share a Shower” campaign ran from June 1 to July 7 this year. The videos quickly went viral, with 5.54 million views on Youku, the Chinese equivalent of YouTube. To keep the campaign family-friendly, private parts were pixelated.
The campaign included a game on instant messaging platform WeChat. Users picked a cartoon character to represent themselves and another to represent a friend, to create a funny animation of both sharing a shower which they could then send to the friend. Millions took part.
More than eight million users of Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, viewed the topic #let’s share a shower.
The Sakura homepage got 400,000 visits during the campaign and online sales of the product was 235pc higher during the campaign compared to the same period a year ago.