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Hong Kong Jockey Club on how to tell a good story at the right timing

Hong Kong Jockey Club on how to tell a good story at the right timing

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In the Yahoo Asia Big Idea Chair Awards 2023, The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) took home the Outstanding Award for Best Branding Campaign and Merit Award for Best ESG Campaign with its “HKJC x Yahoo ‘With You. Then. Now. Always.” campaign, notably achieving remarkable results without celebrity power and massive campaign budget.

Yahoo sat down with Judy Sun (pictured), executive manager, community marketing, HKJC, to learn more about its winning ingredient.

Yahoo: Congratulations on the awards! How did the team feel about the accolades and what do these recognitions mean for HKJC?

We’re tremendously honoured to have such a strong showing at the awards – The Big Idea Chair Awards has always been an important award, so it is a great acknowledgement of the entire team’s professionalism.

However more than marketing excellence, these awards are also resounding recognition of our commitment to society's betterment. As an organisation, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has been serving the community for close to 140 years, from facilities such as clinics and schools in the early days, to our present strategic focus on critical and emerging needs across a wide range of sectors.  

Today ESG is a concept of growing importance in society, but we are inherently ESG-focused by design. So, the Best ESG Campaign award is a testament to our history and effort, while the Best Branding Campaign tells us that people care about our contribution.

Yahoo: How was the team able to encapsulate so much history and happenings in a single campaign? Can you tell us more about the strategy and design behind it?

The campaign was launched for the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong as a special administrative region. As the city has evolved, so has our commitment to society, so we thought of sharing how the HKJC has stood with and evolved with Hongkongers in this quarter of a century.

Our campaign had to be as authentic as our work and service, and reality meant that we would not be using celebrities for attention grab, so we went with another form of celebrity – our people, their stories.

We were fortunate to have many staff, beneficiaries, and community partners throughout the years, all with tremendous stories to tell, so we designed our campaign to give these real people a platform to share their authentic stories, without using star power and a big budget.

Yahoo: Did the timing of the campaign also play a role?

We launched at the tail-end of COVID-19, and we were all still grappling with the pandemic’s impact and its aftermath – it was not the greatest time.

We had this sentiment in mind when we designed the campaign and hoped that by showcasing the ups and downs of everyday people, and more importantly their positive journey and can-do spirit, we could inject hope, helping the city slowly yet surely find its way back up.

We believe we have the obligation to help lead the city forward, and we are immensely proud of both this responsibility and how this campaign contributed to that cause.

Having a good story Is fine, but being able to effectively tell it to an effect is still a tall order.

We are thankful to have Yahoo’s support with its holistic media platforms that have allowed us to reach our target audience via content, editorial, display, social media and even outdoor media. Having all those options under one roof made our media dollar effective while not compromising on effectiveness.

As for the audience, one segment we wanted to reach was the younger generation and while the stories’ authenticity stands us in good stead, it is also true that “the medium is the message” and having content platforms such as Betterme and OLO Magazine from Yahoo helps a lot.

Yahoo: How are you looking forward to 2024 and beyond?

The future is exciting for us in two ways – marketing, the proliferation of marketing technologies will give us the tools to better engage with different generations, particularly the younger ones.

The other is on ESG. With it becoming more of a shared imperative, HKJC looks forward to continuing and being a big part of its development.

This article is sponsored by Yahoo.

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