VELVET Presents: What Are Chinese Travelers Saying About Your Brand?

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VELVET, the digital agency for premium and luxury brands, is excited to invite guests to a presentation about one of the most relevant tools for digital marketers today: social listening and tracking.

VELVET and 6Estates, an AI powered Big Data analytics company, will co-present insights from a study based on the online activities of Chinese outbound travelers to UK and France, as well as the digital discussions around UK and France between the peak travel months of October 2015 to April 2016.

Founded in 2014, 6Estates is a Singapore-based technology company that spun off from NExT a joint research center between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University of China, to provide global business real-time insights and predictions of consumer behavior and preferences with a focus on China.

Leveraging on large volumes of data collection and analysis with AI-based Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning & Knowledge Graph technologies, 6Estates processes digital consumer content to facilitate smarter marketing decisions to bridge the gap between global businesses of which are keen to understand the China market, and Chinese businesses competing in global markets.

Join us in discussing the results of a report based on over one million data points.

The invite-only event is part of a bi-monthly series co-organized with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.

Speakers:

Patrice Nordey, Founder & CEO, VELVET

Patrice Nordey is a digital veteran with over 15 years of e-business experience across Europe and APAC. He consults international companies on the deployment of Digital Marketing & Communication, Social Media, and e-Commerce in China.

Prior to VELVET, Nordey worked at L’Atelier, the innovation arm of BNP Paribas. During his 11-year tenure, he spearheaded major digital projects as part of the strategy department in the Paris head office before serving as APAC CEO in Shanghai.

Xu Tao, Head of Product, 6Estates

Xu Tao is a passionate Product Evangelist specializing in products and solutions that improve the consumer experience and generate consumer insights. Throughout his career, he has helped build web apps, mobile apps, data analytics applications, and virtual chatbots using NLP/NLG and machine learning technologies. Prior to joining 6Estates, Xu Tao was the Regional Product Manager for WDS, a subsidiary of Xerox.

Presentation:

  • Top sightseeing and shopping destinations in the UK/France
  • Top brands shopped in the UK/France
  • Top brands discussed online
  • Travel preferences by demographic
  • Purchasing patterns
  • Points of influence & impact (celebrity, events, news, public policy)

 

 

Event Recap: Virtual Reality for Brands

On Thursday April 21, 2016, VELVET organized the event Virtual Reality for Brands, featuring Crow’s Nest, a leading virtual reality content producer. The event was attended by members of the French Chamber of Culture and Industry, China (CCIFC).

Speakers for the event included VELVET CEO and Founder Patrice Nordey, Crow’s Nest Founder Eloi Gerard, Crow’s Nest Co-Founder Robert Ellis, Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch, and Thomas Cook Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret.

Guest tests out VR headset and demo.

Guest tests out VR headset and demo.

According to Gerard, humans have been projecting the self into reality since they started creating art. Virtual reality as we know it is the product of the convergence of smart phones and the internet. 2016 also marks the first year that affordable devices will be available to the masses—some could say it is Year One for Virtual reality.

Gerard went on to explain the difference between virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. The virtual reality experience is one of being submersed in an entirely different environment while augment reality involves placing virtual elements directly into real space. Mixed reality is where the virtual continuum extends from reality to augmented reality and augmented virtuality.

In terms of how brands use virtual reality, the popular options include events, cardboard (an inexpensive version of a headset made of cardboard), and in-store devices. Popular industries that use VR include travel, real estate, auto, and retail.

Eloi Gerard of Crow's Nest.

Eloi Gerard of Crow’s Nest.

Case Studies:

Automotive – PSA

The French car manufacturer commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a corporate video that contained scenes from the board room, test lab, and inside a car. The video was published to WeChat.

Retail – Metro

For its 20-year anniversary, the German supermarket commissioned Crow’s Nest to create a video that featured a host walking through a market to showcase the layout, products, and overall consumer experience.

Travel – Thomas Cook

The pioneering British travel agency decided to take advantage of the natural synergy between virtual reality and showcasing travel offerings. For the China market, it hired Crow’s Nest to produce a video that told the story of a Chinese couple’s holiday in Thailand.

As for the distribution model, it is easier in Europe because there are over a thousand retail locations and it is easy to distribute cardboards in store. In New York, sales increased by 300% after the introduction of virtual reality content. However, it’s hard to say for China, since the company started with virtual reality here, according to Business Development Associate Director, Solene Anglaret. In China, the company often distributes cardboards at Chinese partner company Fosun corporate events. The next step would be distribution at airports, sent to homes, and so forth.

Solene Anglaret of Thomas Cook.

Solene Anglaret of Thomas Cook.

Regarding whether virtual reality will replace real holidays, Anglaret seemed doubtful, saying that while she could imagine someone who wanted a quick pick-me-up by watching a travel VR video, for the most part, VR will aid in the decision making process.

What’s next in VR?

Youku Business Development Director Jim Lerch spoke about the potential for VRC (the virtual reality commercial), as well as branded entertainment and VR games. Youku (the “Youtube of China”) recently launched the 360 VR channel. Within Youku, there is a dedicatd APP. It is currently building out its VR product offering. Youku’s approach is content-driven, unlike competitor Tencent, which is more hardware driven.

VR content marketing is in its early stages. So what is the future of branded entertainment? One idea is doing original content teasers in VR, such as an extended movie trailer. Rather than a passive experience, it has the potential to be like a choose your own adventure.

VR e-commerce is another interesting prospect. Consumers will be able to experience a lifestyle and shop direct.

Jim Lerch of Youku.

Jim Lerch of Youku.

Of the four major players in the VR industry in China, Alibaba is the only one that is focused on content. The other three are closed ecosystems, similar to Facebook: Tencent (building out ecosystem with a headset and leveraging its user base), Baidu and LeEco.

But the industry is moving quick—Huawei also announced a headset.

Examples of VR for social media include meeting friends on the moon or having a meeting with your boss and coworkers who are all avatars.

Basically, VR is like the new internet and everyone wants to be Google and the challenge moving forward is about moving beyond the gimmick to create something sustainable, with longevity, Gerard concluded.

Get in touch to learn more about how to incorporate virtual reality into your marketing strategy.