Neutrogena branded photo filter is applied to more than 70K mobile photos

Neutrogena recently teamed up with China?s leading location-based social app, Jiepang, to deliver a branded photo filter that was applied to more than 70,000 pictures in its first three weeks.

The smart photo filter, named ?Sunshine,? adds solar effects to an image according to the time of day that it is being used. Users of the Sunshine filter can also unlock a virtual badge that is redeemable for a special discount on Neutrogena products in both chain retail stores and online shops.

?The success of the effort owes to a delicately planned cross-platform conjunction,? said Kevin Cai, Shanghai-based social media manager of Johnson & Johnson. ?Young Chinese smartphone users have keen senses on social networks, especially those who use Jiepang.

?Statistics show that on average, each Jiepang user syncs their account with 3.1 other social networks,? he said. ?Since launch, both redeemable badge and smart filtered photos are being circulated on major social networks, gaining immense exposure for the campaign.

?The smart filter is a brilliant and innovative idea and we are very glad that consumers like it.?

Embracing mobile
The filter delivers valuable information such as location, temperature and UV rating while users engage with one of the most popular activities on mobile ? sharing photos.

Jiepang, which is similar to the foursquare app in the United States, enables mobile users to check-in at venues to earn points and badges. The app also includes photo tagging.

The photo filter supports Neutrogena's "Embracing Sunshine" summer campaign that encourages young Chinese females to enjoy sunlight by equipping them with knowledge on UV protection.

The effort launched in mid-May with a campaign site on Sina Weibo, the largest Twitter-like social media service in China that has an image-driven layout. All of the pictures shown were taken using the Neutrogena smart filter.

Awareness was driven by an announcement from Jiepang that by using the Neutrogena smart filter, users could unlock a virtual badge redeemable for a special Neutrogena product discount.

Integrated brand messages
On the campaign site, there is an ongoing photo contest where consumers are incentivized to vote on their favorite pictures taken with the Sunshine filter. Using Jiepang's open API, Neutrogena is able to curate great pictures that best showcase the branded smart filter and capture attractions in China or overseas.

?Awareness also spread because the smart filter is fun and beautiful, so most users shared their pictures and check-ins by syncing their Jiepang with other social networks,? Mr. Cai said.

Within three weeks of the launch of the campaign, not only had over 70,000 pictures applied the Sunshine filter, but they had been circulated over 250,000 times on a variety of Chinese social networks.

The Neutrogena effort is an example of how marketers can leverage mobile to integrate a message with a user?s experience as opposed to simply delivering a banner ad that can easily get overlooked.

Jiepang has partnered with brands such as Starbucks, McDonald's, Starwood Hotels and Louis Vuitton in the past.

?The Neutrogena Embracing Sunshine campaign sets to encourage outdoor activities,? Mr. Cai said. ?Jiepang is well-known for its large number of outgoing and socially active users.

?Plus Jiepang's cross social platform syncing function optimizes exposure of the campaign,? he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York