High as a kite? Meituan delivers craziness at Weifang Kite Festival

The International Kite Festival this year opened on 19 April. Different from last year’s slow and soothing livestream, the festival this year has gone “crazy” with brands trying to out-meme each other on the field, or rather, in the sky. This year, food delivery platform Meituan launched KFC (who is no stranger to craziness), Auntea Jenny, Pizza Hut, YH Tang and the fast food chain Wallace to the sky in Weifang.

Playing on the fact that “风” (feng, wind) in “风筝” (fengzheng, kite) sounds the same as “疯” (crazy), Meituan launched a video about “crazy” new items from the brands. The campaign promotes new items, as well as a prize draw with 62,465 free orders to be won. A “crazy press conference” (发布疯会) was held at Weifang where small “疯筝” (lit. crazy kites) were given out to visitors as gifts.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “How crazy is Weifang Kite Festival” garnered 8.54 million views since its launch on 21 April, while the official “Weifang Kite Festival” tag gained 57.78 million views in the past 30 days. MINISO launched a Loopy-shaped balloon as well as a kite with copy saying “Our boss asked me to launch Loopy into the sky, he said it’ll go viral, he’s crazy, whatever.” Brands such as Qia Qia Food, known for their sunflower seeds and Yili all sent branded kites into the April sky in Weifang.

Apart from “crazy literature” and related marketing taking over the meme culture and marketing aimed at younger audiences, there is another reason why brands all jumped on the bandwagon. If visitors flying creative and strange-looking kites and balloons (which have been going on for a few years) is considered UGC, then brands taking the opportunity to launch memeable flying objects can be seen as out-of-home (OOH) advertisements.

Harnessing the power of memes through UGC and special occasions online and offline, brands are trying to provide “emotional value” through resonant and entertaining messages.


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