Video Ads Are Taking Over Your WeChat Moments

Matthew Brennan Tencent


This weekend WeChat launched moments video ads (example above). They also made a very interesting announcement which gave away a big clue as to their plans for Chinese New Year 2016. The two things are linked. Read on to find out how.

6 Advertisers

Video Ads
Static picture adverts started appearing in moments from January 2015. The ones launched this weekend are much more engaging. Altogether 6 brands launched video ads (see above pic):

  • Each of these brands spent reportedly over 10 million RMB for their campaign.
  • The initial video is limited to 6 secs.
  • The click through video can be from 30 up to 90 secs.

Previously it was set that individual users can only see 1 advertisement in their momemnts every 48 hrs. This limit seemingly has now changed. Within 48 hrs, 3 of the above brand’s video adverts entered your writer’s personal moments feed. We expect this limit to be increased even further during the coming Spring Festival time (more on this later).


Above: KFC’s Christmas Bunny Advert

Who sees which adverts?
The adverts you see indicates a lot about what kind of person WeChat thinks you are. A wealthy businessman should be far more likely to see the recent Porsche advert for example. WeChat can tap into a huge amount of personal data (see previous article) from almost all smart phone users in China and can use this to target adverts. Here are some of the criteria Tencent uses for deciding which adverts you see:

  • Age and gender
  • Region of China (Tier 1, Tier 2 etc.)
  • Make of phone and type of network  (e.g. iPhone 6S, 4G)

In addition WeChat tags us all based on our interests in different areas. Currently WeChat is reported to use 17 different kinds of interest tags:

Education, Tourism, Finance, Automobile, Real Estate, Home Decoration, Clothing & Accessories, Food & Beverage, Life Services, Business Services, Beauty, Internet & Electronic Goods, Sports, Health, Parenting, Games, Politics & Law

Interacting with an advert increases the likelihood of your friends also seeing the same ad.

Untitled5Above: Click through video for KFC’s ad

The Future of WeChat Ads
Below is a video of a Star Wars 360 degree interactive Facebook news feed ad tested this September. It’s not too hard to imagine similar kinds of adverts appearing in your WeChat moments very soon.

Video length: 33 seconds

Facebook makes the majority of it’s money from adverts. Tencent currently makes the majority of their money from ‘value added services’ (usually micro payments in games). But you don’t need to be Donald Draper to figure out the huge, mostly untapped, potential of moments ads. People under 35 in China don’t watch much TV anymore. It’s state run, uninteractive and quite frankly… boring.

Above: Not entertainment

They certainly aren’t reading newspapers. Hmmm… I wonder where everyone is spending their time these days?

Above: Spot the person not checking their WeChat moments

Yep, mobile is where the all action lies for advertising in China. Which means WeChat is where all the action lies, which means moments is… yeah you got it.

Scan QR Code for this weekend’s BMW Video Ad

Chinese New Year 2016, it’s coming…
Last Chinese New Year, WeChat scored a home run with their sponsorship of the Spring Festival Gala TV Show. The number of Chinese sending virtual Lucky money to each other made global headlines and kicked off the trend of WeChat payments that’s has continued to grow and grow this year. Quite a tough act to follow.
Above: WeChat’s dream for the next Spring Festival

Are Moments Ads the Key?
Tencent announced 3 days ago that all revenue received from moments ads in the 5 days before and after Spring Festival eve will be sent back out to WeChat users in the form of lucky money. Not coupons or discount cards just straight up money!


That’s right folks, WeChat said just said they gonna make it rain in your moments for Spring Festival 2016!

BTW: Now might be a good time to link that bank card if you haven’t done so already.