Launching the ThinkPad Edge in China: Lenovo Red Balloon Campaign


If you had looked high in China’s sky on April 7, 2010, you might have noticed something a little unusual – a giant, bright red balloon. If you had checked online, you might have seen something equally unusual – a firestorm of excitement. 

Built by GPJ to generate a tremendous amount of buzz for the launch of the ThinkPad Edge in China, the Lenovo Red Balloon campaign combined a contest-based promotional strategy with the power of viral networking. 

GPJ and Lenovo’s interactive marketing strategy was to release ten ThinkPad Edge emblazoned red balloons across greater China, offering 300,000 RMB (over $45,000) and three laptops to the first individual or group that located all ten. In order to have a shot at winning, contestants needed to mobilize their online networks. 

Armed with the URL for the contest microsite, contest participants set out to connect with friends, family and associates in different parts of the country. This quickly turned into a viral campaign, with information being passed through SMS, social media, online forums, IM and word of the mouth.

Word of the contest was also picked up across national media outlets and the blogosphere, giving contest participants plenty of sources to pull from when sharing the details of the competition.

Hugely successful, Launching the ThinkPad Edge in China: Lenovo Red Balloon Campaign has become a model interactive marketing case study for activating a consumer base. 

In the three weeks following the launch, the contest microsite received 432,906 visitors – equivalent to about 1 million RMB in advertising. In addition, 2,287 teams of people registered as teams, with some teams counting over 600 team members. 

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