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SBD Global/July 11, 2013/Media

Chinese Messaging App WeChat Makes Global Push With Football Player Lionel Messi

China's messaging app WeChat "is stepping up its courtship of users outside its home market," kicking off an int'l ad campaign featuring football player Lionel Messi, according to Anita Chang Beattie of AD AGE. WeChat already "has more than 300 million registered user accounts, including 70 million outside China, mostly in Asian markets." Tencent, the Internet giant that developed WeChat, "has previously promoted the app in markets such as Thailand, India and Mexico using local celebrities, but the Messi campaign is the first time Tencent's using a single ad to target multiple markets." Tencent spokesperson Katie Lee said, "He's well known in a lot of markets globally. He is a WeChat user and he's used the product for a while." The campaign "targets 15 markets," including Argentina and Spain, where Messi is a superstar. The others are Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey (AD AGE, 7/10).

FATHER'S DAY: CAMPAIGN INDIA reported the global film titled "Father's day" introduces Messi as "World Player of the Year" and "Great Dad." Created by Stardust USA, it shows him "helping an old lady entertain a crying infant using the app's video calling feature." Stardust USA Managing Dir Dexton Deboree said, "Creating a campaign that incorporated the unique features of the application and working them around Messi was both challenging and fun at the same time" (CAMPAIGN INDIA, 7/8).
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