QQ Star Milk is a nutritional milk drink for children, owned by China’s leading dairy company, Yili. To combat declining sales in China, QQ Star Milk needed to increase brand awareness among parents as the purchasers of the drink. Customer research showed that interest in the natural environment had increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the brand’s target parent audience needed support with educating children whose schools had temporarily closed.  Working with Mindshare, QQ Star Milk partnered with the Discovery Channel to create an Augmented Reality (AR) microsite experience which entertained users with immersive wild animal encounters while educating them on protecting the natural environment.

To access the AR experience, customers could either click on one of QQ Star Milk’s interactive adverts, promoted online on social platforms and via influencers, or scan limited-edition bottles of QQ Star Milk. Amplified via an online livestream event from the Kenyan grasslands, the campaign engaged millions of users and tripled QQ Star Milk’s market share in comparison to competitors’ over the same period.

Objectives & Aims

QQ Star Milk positions itself as a partner in childhood development, aiming to support parents on their child’s educational and developmental journey. During the Covid-19 pandemic, sales declined.

QQ Star Milk tasked Mindshare with increasing its brand awareness, consideration and market share.

Implementation, Execution & Tactics

Yili consumer research showed that Chinese interest in the environment and natural wildlife had increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, due to stay-at-home restrictions, families were not able to go out or travel to see nature. At the same time, parents needed help in educating children who were also staying at home during the pandemic’s school closures.

The strategy was therefore to devise a mobile marketing and social media campaign which would provide parents with educational support while teaching children about animals and environmental protection.

QQ Star Milk partnered with the Discovery Channel, to capitalise on its credibility as a thought leader in nature-based entertainment, and for access to relevant, rich content.

Mindshare built an AR experience and microsite for QQ Star Milk which featured wildlife content and allowed children to interact with animals in an immersive way. For example, users could virtually help an elephant to take a bath or solve survival problems for lions. Parents could take pictures of their children with their favourite AR animal and were invited to share these online.

Downloadable, personalised social media posters/images also allowed users to share their commitment to protecting the environment. The microsite and AR experience could be accessed by directly scanning limited edition bottles of QQ Star Milk, or by clicking on QQ Star Milk’s online adverts.

The microsite was launched via a livestream event from the Kenyan grasslands, broadcast across China’s nine leading internet platforms on International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22nd ).

The AR experience and its content were also promoted via a social media marketing campaign on China’s video-sharing platform Douyin and on the country’s leading social community Weibo. On Douyin, parents and children could find out their personalised animal guardian, which would then interactively appear on screen. QQ Star Milk also partnered with leading Chinese parenting influencers on Douyin and Weibo to issue advice and tips on how to protect the environment and wildlife from their channels.


As well as generating support from Government agencies, environmental NGOs and China’s official media, 2.4 million people engaged with the AR experience. The campaign also delivered 4.3 billion impressions, and six million live stream views.

QQ Star Milk’s increased reach also tripled its market share over the same period.

Independent research from Weibo also showed brand preference increased by 59.7% and consumer recommendation by 144%.