Many U.S. museums have yet to establish a WeChat presence, and even those that have them aren’t using the platform to create interactive holiday campaigns aimed at selling tickets or souvenirs to Chinese visitors. One museum, however, has stepped up their game recently with an innovative way to appeal to Chinese consumers this Christmas season.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, which only launched their official WeChat account in 2017, has created an Advent calendar in the form of a WeChat H5 page (an interface akin to a webpage within the app rather than a mini-program) which grants followers an opportunity to discover MoMA’s holiday-themed exhibitions as well as their museum store offerings.
The campaign went live on December 14 and will run until Christmas Eve, but on each of the ten days until Christmas, followers will receive a new surprise: learning about popular selfie spots in the museum, getting discount codes for the design store, and more. And, if they are really lucky, they will receive free gifts from the Design Store, including MoMA x KAWS holiday greeting cards, Champion sweatshirts, and artist-themed socks.
MoMA’s goal here is clear — to raise awareness among Chinese visitors about the museum’s various offerings, with a focus on selling merchandise from their Design store and increasing foot traffic to stimulate gift shop sales.
“We wanted to engage with our WeChat audience in a fun, interactive way that would encourage multiple visits to our platform,” said the Assistant Director of Tourism Sales and Marketing at MoMA, Carly McCloskey, “while also highlighting the museum’s unique retail component with a variety of gift suggestions and prizes.”
With some help from a third-party agency called China Luxury Advisors, the WeChat campaign developed fairly quickly. The idea was formed in October, the plan to execute it solidified in late November, and it was launched this past Friday.
The WeChat campaign was developed in just three months with the help of China Luxury Advisors
The quick project timeline reflects the museum’s serious investment in monetizing the latest consumer trends in China as they happen. Chinese millennials are cultural connoisseurs that want goods with a backstory and meaning, so they naturally gravitate towards items from cultural institutions like MoMA.
Aside from MoMA, very few U.S.-based museums with a WeChat presence have taken advantage of Winter holiday opportunities. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art only posted an article about gifts available at its store, but neither the Metropolitan Museum of Art nor the Philadelphia Museum of Art has posted any related campaigns.
“We hope this holiday campaign will continue to delight our fans and keep the momentum going,” McCloskey added. As of Monday morning, the museum’s WeChat post announcing the launch garnered more than 700 pageviews (the industry average is that less of 5 percent of followers view a post). MoMA told Jing Travel that their number of WeChat followers is expanding, with 84 percent year-over-year growth in 2018 so far, and over the last five years, MoMA has seen a 218-percent increase in Chinese tourists to the museum.
And those numbers will surely grow thanks to the museum’s new focus on China’s fast-moving social media trends.