Yili Campaign Uses the Sides of Buses to Tell the Extraordinary Tales of Ordinary Chinese Folk
Although the London Olympic Games has not officially opened yet, a group of ordinary Chinese people have attracted the world's attention ahead of the games themselves. On July 23rd, 400 red buses adorned with Yili's Chinese logo and photos of selected Chinese individuals caught the eyes of many people on the streets of London.
Notably, the protagonists of the campaign are not renowned Olympic stars such as Liu Xiang, Sun Yang and Li Na, but truly salt of the earth individuals whose extraordinary experiences reflect the Olympic spirit – an elderly couple who have traveled the world together, a retired senior who was determined to run the marathon as his life's final mission, China's premier exhibition basketball player who can no longer play due to his heart condition but whose loving heart shines through nevertheless, and the 727 Cycling Team who traveled all the way from China to London by bicycle. These ordinary Chinese individuals, along with Yili, showcased to the whole world the attention that people across China are paying to their health in a new era on this occasion of the Olympic Games.
This is the second time images of ordinary Chinese have collectively appeared in one of the world's iconic cities following the short film promoting China shown on the large screens overlooking New York City's Times Square. At variance with the New York campaign which featured celebrities, the London campaign introduced ordinary folk and their extraordinary insights into health and life. Many believe that the move helps the world better understand China – a country that not only is home to the world's second largest economy and has always placed high in gold medal competitions, but is also narrowing the gap between itself and the world's developed countries in terms of quality of life and attention to health. As the driver of the campaign, Yili hopes to promote the concept of healthy living across China, by using the Olympic Games as a platform. "Yili has been advocating a healthy lifestyle. We think the true meaning of health involves the combination of physical and mental health. This combination enables one to experience the beauty of life, and in turn make life more wonderful. For this reason, we chose to tell the world the stories of real stars – salt of the earth people such as Run Lao Li, and the individuals who are members of the Happy Backpackers – on the international platform of the Olympic Games. We believe everyone can be healthy as long as he or she can be at one with the essence of what it means to be alive," said Zhang Jianqiu, executive president at Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group.
Yili has served as the dairy products supplier to the Chinese sports delegation for eight years since 2005. The group has been providing continuous nutritional support for more than 10,000 athletes at 640 training venues in 32 training camps. During the London Games, Yili hopes to promote the concept of a healthy lifestyle in China by leveraging the popularity of the event, while providing nutritional support for the Chinese sports delegation in London. In order to fulfill its brand promise of "Not Only Providing Healthy Products, But Also Advocating Healthy Lifestyle and Striving to Evolve into a World-Class Healthy Food Group", Yili has pulled out all the stops in its communications efforts, including the public service advertisement featuring three Olympic champions, Liu Xiang, Sun Yang and Li Na, the "Let's Olympic Together" campaign launched in collaboration with Youku for selecting civil health benchmarks and collecting videos and the current campaign showcasing images of ordinary folk on the buses of London.