AdForum Exclusive: Michael Collins, Global Business Director of DDB New York, Discusses Creativity, Social Media and the New Huawei Account

DDB New York was recently tapped as the AOR for Huawei, a brand widely recognized across the globe, but that is relatively new to American consumers. 

by James Thompson

Michael Collins, Global Business Director of DDB New York, was kind enough to take time to answer 5 questions about the agency's new business acquisition, the creative culture at DDB NY, advertising during the hectic holidays, and introducting a Chinese tech brand to the American marketplace. 

AdForum: What about the creative culture at DDB NY makes it the perfect fit for Huawei Device USA, a brand at the "intersection of style, fashion and technology"?

Michael Collins: As the “Original Boutique Agency” with our fundamental belief that creativity is the most powerful force in business, DDB NY is ideally positioned to create unique ways for Huawei to appeal to US consumers and take on the crowded marketplace.

AdForum: DDB NY is about to launch the holiday phase of the Huawei watch campaign. What—other than the usual sales and marketing efforts—makes advertising during the holiday season different than the rest of the year?

Michael Collins: The holidays provide an opportunity to drive sales with a surge in consumer spending. This is going to be Huawei’s largest opportunity to sell units, but it is also the most cluttered time of the year in terms of marketing. Advertisers need to go beyond their standard efforts to make an impact during the holiday. On top of our sales driven digital plans, DDB and Huawei are leveraging the power of its media partners to do unique events and placements. We will be sponsoring and integrating into holiday pop-up events and gift guides with our fashion focused and tech publisher partners (GQ, Wired, CNET, Fancy) to invite people to engage with the product and see the true beauty and functionality of Huawei’s devices. We will also be launching a sweepstakes via social media during the holiday season that is focused on the importance of time. It will give consumers the opportunity to win great Huawei prizes, but also invite consumers to interact with and understand the brand in a unique way.

AdForum: What aspects of Huawei Device USA, as a brand, did DDB NY focus on when creating the Huawei watch campaign and how were those qualities integrated into the advertising?

Michael Collins: The Huawei Watch is an exquisite combination of technology and fashion that must be expressed from advertising to the buying experience and all the way through to the high quality product package. It is a premium product from an unexpected contender.

AdForum: What particular storytelling strategies did DDB NY use to position Huawei, a Chinese tech company, in the competitive and crowded tech sector of digital watches?

Michael Collins: In the smartwatch category, our ambition is to make “smart, smart again” and reflect that in our visual and verbal storytelling style.

AdForum: Will DDB NY use social media as a component in the advertising campaign for the Huawei watch? If so, how?

Michael Collins: DDB NY wants to make the world talk about Huawei – the smartwatch that redefines smart. Social media is a key element for the Huawei brand as consumers expect to converse and engage with Huawei through social media. DDB NY has created continual social content that consumer use as a source for product news, updates, customer service, and connect with the brand. DDB NY is promoting content that demonstrates Huawei’s position at the intersection of style, fashion, and technology. We are finding how this resonates with how consumers see themselves and engaging in robust conversation about the Huawei Watch.

DDB NY is also developing a PR worthy holiday social activation for the Huawei Watch complete with a sweepstakes, contest, shareable film, influencer kits, social media, PR, and a promotional site. We are telling a story so strong and disruptive that everyone, even non-Huawei customers, will talk about it. Our story takes the central idea of redefining smart, and shows how the Huawei Watch makes you smarter. How? By offering people 1,000 hours to pursue their passion and achieve greatness. This campaign will show the world how the Huawei Watch redefines what’s possible and promotes a more expansive lifestyle. 

Want to make your company shine?
» Switch to a Starter Profile
The Creative Industry Network

List your company among the leaders of the industry, promote your competencies, showcase your work & join an exclusive global marketing and creative industry network.

Create Your Company Profile