Telco HKBN Delivers Knockout Results With Hong Kong’s Biggest YouTube Live Stream, Starring Rex Tso

When Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) needed to drive awareness for a new quad-play bundle service offering, the telco giant turned to YouTube to create a holistic campaign around a live stream of one of Hong Kong’s biggest sporting events of the year: a marquee boxing match with locally born-and-bred boxing hero Rex Tso.

GOALS

  • Drive top-of-mind awareness in Hong Kong about HKBN and its quad-play services, and associate the brand with local boxing hero Rex Tso
  • Convert brand awareness into organic search and drive traffic to campaign site to maximize live stream viewership
  • Offer a high-quality live streaming experience for the online audience

APPROACH

  • Partnered with YouTube to exclusively live stream the Rex Tso fight
  • Combined Google products to generate reach and buzz, including Mastheads, 15-second YouTube reserve ads, premium direct deals through DoubleClick Bid Manager, and 6-second bumper ads with audience-specific targeting
  • Combined Google Display Network (GDN) remarketing and affinity targeting to drive action and engagement on HKBN’s website

RESULTS

  • 223% WoW (Week over Week) increase for HKBN brand searches resulting in 181% YoY (Year over Year) lift
  • 2.5X traffic increase to HKBN domains
  • 215K peak concurrent viewers across HD and 360-degree live stream feeds, and 1.2M views within 48 hours—the largest ever YouTube-managed live stream in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Broadband Network(HKBN) is Hong Kong’s largest provider of residential high-speed fibre broadband services. Earlier this year, the company rounded out its networking business by offering quad-play service bundles (combining Fibre Broadband, Home Telephone, Entertainment, and Mobile Services) with the aim of gaining market share and benefiting consumers.

While HKBN has broad consumer awareness for its core broadband services, the brand was starting fresh with the new quad-play offering. To build awareness, HKBN turned to YouTube for a holistic campaign that incorporated several YouTube products and tactics. The centerpiece of the campaign was an exclusive YouTube live stream around a premier Hong Kong sporting event: the 22nd boxing match for internationally renowned local phenom “Wonder Kid” Rex Tso. And to make sure the experience exceeded fans’ expectations, the match was streamed in both HD and 360-degree video.

“We wanted to bring a memorable experience that was above and beyond the expectations of Hong Kong’s people,” said Kim Hue, Lead of Marketing Communications and Co-owner at HKBN. “Being the first in Hong Kong to run a 360-degree live stream meant that we could bring an experience to our customers that was truly unique—something you couldn’t experience through traditional mediums such as TV. Using the latest digital technology also helped establish HKBN as a leader in providing innovative services to our customers.”

The quality of the viewing experience, along with the size and enthusiasm of the audience, naturally led to increased buzz and awareness about the live stream. Based on concurrent viewer stats, the boxing match was Hong Kong’s largest YouTube-managed live stream ever. That buzz around the fight and the live stream in turn not only drove consumer awareness for HKBN’s new services, but also enhanced the brand preference that led to increased organic search and traffic lifts for HKBN’s digital properties.

The campaign also put the full range of YouTube’s business solutions to work leading up to the event with targeted bumper ads, Mastheads, search ads, and GDN remarketing.

Here’s how the campaign worked before, during, and after the boxing event:

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Pre-fight

To promote the big day, HKBN announced the live stream using premium rich media Mastheads, 6-second bumper ads, 15-second video ads, and premium private auction inventory through DoubleClick Bid Manager.

HKBN also used specific audience targeting for the ads with “Sports Fans,” “Fight & Wrestling Fans” groups as well as in-market targeting for potential new customers for HKBN mobile service and internet broadband plans.

Fight night

Two live streams were used for the match. The HD stream ensured the broadest possible Hong Kong audience would be able to watch, and a 360-degree video stream set a new precedent for YouTube—and wowed audiences.

More than half the live stream audience (65%) streamed the fight on a mobile device. But viewers tended to prefer a more immersive experience: larger screens had longer view times. Viewers on smart TVs and laptops watched for roughly the same duration, nearly 20 minutes on average, which is more than twice as long as mobile viewing averages.

YouTube’s ad platform and Google Display Network helped us drive the reach we needed to ensure that Rex’s live stream was top of mind for everyone in Hong Kong on fight night.

And Rex Tso wasn’t the only champion that night. At its peak, the event hit a record 188K concurrent viewers on the HD stream and 27K concurrent viewers on the 360-degree stream. That’s a healthy increase over the live streams for Tso’s previous fights on competing platforms, which topped out at 146K concurrent viewers.

Post-fight results

When the dust settled, the combined live stream received 1.2M views of 30 seconds or more, and just as importantly, HKBN had reached 61% of its mass target audience in Hong Kong.

“YouTube’s real-time targeting signals allowed us to engage with people who were passionate about sports and Rex Tso as well as people who were interested in mobile phone plans—our potential customers. YouTube’s ad platform and Google Display Network helped us drive the reach we needed to ensure that Rex’s live stream was top of mind for everyone in Hong Kong on fight night,” said Becky Au, Senior Officer, Marketing Communications and Co-owner at HKBN.

The brand smartly followed up and sustained its momentum by remarketing HKBN ads to website visitors. As a result, the HKBN website saw a 2.5X lift in traffic, and a 10.7% engagement rate. Thanks to the buzz around the live stream, in the span of just weeks, HKBN’s brand interest shot up by 223% WoW. That’s especially remarkable when compared with a previous live stream sponsor, which only drove a 24% WoW increase in brand interest.

“We were thrilled to launch the largest live stream event in Hong Kong and achieve such high brand awareness for HKBN,” said NiQ Lai, COO and Co-owner at HKBN. “We were glad to have YouTube as a reliable and high-quality partner to bring such a historic moment to the people of Hong Kong.”

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Marketing takeaways

The combination of a hotly anticipated event with a known influencer and the smart use of YouTube’s campaign tools proved to be a powerful one-two punch for HKBN. For brands looking to replicate the campaign’s success, these considerations will be key:

  1. Is there an event that represents your brand and has the interest of a large, passionate fan base that aligns with your target audience?
  2. Do you have the right media strategy to promote and build excitement around the live stream or event?

  3. Does the event involve an influencer who represents your brand values?
  4. Can you offer an experience that isn’t available elsewhere?
  5. What tools and tactics will you use to continue the momentum after the event has ended?

By choosing the right event or moment; thinking through the before, during, and after; and thoughtfully harnessing all of the available campaign tools, brands can provide meaningful YouTube experiences that excite audiences and drive business results.

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