WeChat is releasing a brand new eye-catching ad format featuring large visuals and surprise ‘easter eggs’ in time for the Chinese New Year holidays in February. The New Year ads will be the largest WeChat has rolled out with a format of 960 by 960 pixels, offering a more compelling proposition for visuals to encourage action and engagement from WeChat users.
‘Liking’ will flip the advert’s image to reveal 1 of 3 kinds of easter eggs for users. The first easter egg flips to show a New Year’s greeting from a celebrity, while the second turns over to give the user a red packet or promotion. The final easter egg gives users a branded Chinese New Year sticker pack for users to send to friends over the holiday. The easter eggs are an interesting touch, the novelty of which could well increase the shareability of adverts.
Talking of shareability, WeChat is introducing a new share function for the Chinese New Year ads. Previously users only had the option to like or comment on ads, but the new share function means users can send the advert to a friend, or share on their WeChat Moments. When users share in a chat with friends, the ad shows in a card format with high priority placed on the visual. Posts to moments will look like normal shares from public accounts.
WeChat is also introducing greater flexibility with text to complement the new visual features. Ad text is broken into a title (no more than 12 characters) and a description (no more than 15 characters.) The text can be aligned at the top of the visual, the bottom of the visual, or with the title at the top and the description at the bottom of the ad.
The new sharing functions opens up a world of extended reach for brands. The big winners in this respect will be brands who design adverts for the new format that have shareability as a key consideration. Storytelling is going to be more important than ever.
The new ads will be in testing stages during the first week of February, with the official rollout beginning Thursday, February 8.