by Melanie Vine
February 2nd, 2016

As the Kindle Voyage e-Reader device launch approached in China, Amazon realized most readers there enjoyed paper books, or used their mobiles or tablets to read books using the Kindle app. The brand needed to get more people to change their reading habits and adopt the device in place of paper books and other mobile devices.

Amazon’s research also revealed that there were two distinct types of readers in China: deep readers who are passionate about the hobby, and shallow readers who do enjoy it but lack the motivation to read more. Deep readers didn’t seem to be talking about their books enough because reading wasn’t considered a very exciting activity.

It became clear that Amazon needed to encourage deep readers to share their passion for reading more widely in the digital space in ways that made the pastime seem enticing, exciting  and fashionable, inspiring people to reimagine the way reading is enjoyed.

With this objective in mind, Weber Shandwick collaborated with some of China’s influential social media personalities to engage their followers in discussions about reading habits in China. Videos featuring these key opinion leaders demonstrated how Kindle made the pastime much more enjoyable, meaningful and practical.

A mobile app was launched enabling people to share their reading moments on their social networks using the campaign hashtag #InLoveWithReading, while highlighting the books and passages that inspired them. Posters featuring popular digital influencers with their Kindle devices in different settings were released, inspiring netizens to immortalise their own reading moments, further propelling online discussion on reading.

As the campaign went into full swing, sales for Kindle devices raced up by a phenomenal 40%. Within just a few months following its launch, all units of the Kindle Voyage were completely sold out across China.  The digital strategy was not only effective in driving sales for the product, but also succeeded to propel a social movement for reading. By 31 December 2014, over 150 million impressions and 14,000 consumer posts and discussions were generated using the hashtag #爱上读来读往# (#InLoveWithReading), smashing targets initially set.

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