Congratulations on the launch of the new WeChat-based magazine, YŌU. How does Cedar Hong Kong participate in its production?
We’re a content marketing agency, so everything we create is done with clients. And we were very excited to produce the first-ever WeChat magazine for Taikoo Li Qiantan (TLQ), the soon-to-be-opened retail complex located in the Qiantan district of Shanghai.
For YŌU, we built a new magazine from the ground up. We always work really closely with our clients, so we spent a lot of time absorbing TLQ’s objectives, brand positioning and key messages. Then we based the whole magazine and approach around that, from the tone of voice and content filter to how the stories would look.
We were involved in every stage of creating this magazine, from ideation to writing, editing and designing, to tailoring content that works to deliver the TLQ brand messages – but it’s a collaborative process with the client, and we were constantly discussing the stories and the approach of the magazine throughout its production.
Tell us more about YŌU's audience beyond TLQ tenants. In which aspects do you think a WeChat-based online magazine has advantage?
With content marketing, it’s important that we reach out to our audiences in a way that is natural to them. YŌU is a lifestyle magazine that is distributed via WeChat; and for our Shanghai audience, WeChat is easily accessible and convenient. It is a platform that our target audience uses heavily daily. With our publication placed within the TLQ WeChat public account, this can further support the magazine's, and keep us closely connected with our readers even in between issues.
One of TLQ’s key brand messages – and the concept that is at the core of TLQ’s development – is wellness. How can we live well? So we have created a dynamic magazine that supports our target audience, Shanghai millennials and Gen-Zs in particular, in finding what wellness means to them.
Was launching a WeChat-based magazine a big experiment for you?
This was our first time producing a WeChat magazine, so it was certainly something different. But having said that, we also felt like our storytelling know-how from other digital and print formats was still the key thing that would make this magazine really shine.
Of course, planning a magazine for WeChat comes with a whole other set of considerations, such as readability, functionality, and design. Still, we wanted to stay true to a traditional magazine, too. So our first challenge was to recreate the same immersive experience of a physical printed magazine, but also incorporating things that you can only do on WeChat. We’ve certainly learnt a lot!
We really want to explore this platform's possibilities – there is so much we can do in terms of storytelling, including audio, video, graphics and animation capabilities. We’re looking forward to introducing even more of these ideas in our upcoming issues.
What kind of stories are you looking for? Are you open to story pitches?
Although YŌU is a magazine associated with the Taikoo Li Qiantan project, the entire world of wellness is something we’re drawing on as inspiration. We’re always looking for news, trends and ideas on what’s happening in the broader world of wellness, especially in Shanghai and the country as a whole. So we’d be happy to hear about all of these from PRs – especially if it’s relevant to our audience.