Reimagining West Kowloon Cultural District by NDN Group

Campaign: Reimagining West Kowloon Cultural District by NDN Group

Company: NDN Group (HK) Limited 

Client: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA)

Project Summary:

West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is a world-class cultural quarter of tomorrow, and the Xiqu Centre and the Freespace Centre are two signature venues residing within. Visitors were reluctant to visit the two venues as COVID-19 rages.

Each destination faced its unique challenges. The Freespace struggled to bridge contemporary art and the public, while the Xiqu Centre was perceived as traditional and at odds with the youngsters. We began with conveying the multitudes of contemporary arts to the public and altered the perception towards the Xiqu Centre, using presentations and channels that are favourable to youngsters.

To tackle the challenges, NDN Group joined forces with the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) and an artist to animate the murals at the Freespace and convert them into Instagram filters and Whatsapp stickers. Blending AR and interactive components, we curated a vivid and engaging interactive journey over mobile devices and elevated the on-site experience.

We animated the murals at the Freespace and converted them into Instagram filters and Whatsapp stickers, which would mesh on the user’s face. The visual components of the AR filter would move along the user's facial expression. We also designed a set of four IG filters for visitors and to enhance the on-site experience, in which users can enrich their photos taken at Xiqu Centre via the filters and leveraged micro-influencers to keep the public connected under social distancing. Portrayed as a chic and edgy hotspot, WKCD now presents a youthful and approachable image that appeals to the public, especially the younger audience.


Xiqu Centre - A lively atrium with a raised podium and a space used for presenting the rich and ancient culture of Chinese traditional theatre. However, the fact that Xiqu is not mainstream music and a lack of exposure. It isn't easy to promote it to young people.

Freespace – Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the West Kowloon Art Park – presents multi-genre performances and events. It produces boundary-pushing collaborations and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performances. However, as a relatively new venue for performing arts or shows, its awareness is comparatively low in Hong Kong. Some may not know its location, purposes and components. In addition, Contemporary Arts or Arts, in general, is abstract and distant for many, regarding the shows the venue holds.

Low Engagement On-and-Offline among Youngsters

The misperception limits the size of their audience and prospective visitors. Local youngsters, as a prominent and continuously aggregating driving force on and offline, are excluded, resulting in low engagement on-and-offline. Except for the stunning instagrammable photos, the other content could not resonate with youngsters and was thus not engaging, resulting in low engagement figures and venue traffic.

Impact of COVID-19 on offline traffic

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, has greatly impacted the number of visitors to the Xiqu Centre and Freespace. The offline traffic plummeted during the pandemic due to the protocols and cancellations of shows, but it created an opportunity for the WKCD and its venues to play a bigger role in the digital sphere, especially on the social side where the majority of young people spend their time on.


Rebranding the Xiqu Centre - Reimaginate Xiqu:

1. Increase awareness of Xiqu Centre - To reposition/redefine the Xiqu Centre as a venue for lifestyle and get to know more about venue uniqueness - the hybrid of traditional Chinese culture and modernity
2. Enhance engagement with the public - To engage with the young generation via an innovative digital marketing campaign
3. Drive traffic to XiQu Centre - To attract the public to come and experience the venue with enhanced visitor experience with digital features and a range of programmes available in the week and weekends

Awareness Campaign on Freespace Riding on the Freespace Mural:

1. Increase the awareness of the Freespace by associating “Free and Chill” with the venue and promoting the vibes and contemporary arts among the public
2. Enhance the engagement with the public - To engage the public with the Freespace in an interactive digital marketing campaign with art elements
3. Drive traffic to Freespace - To encourage the public to visit the mural to discover and experience the themes: performance, rest & reflection, and play at or around the venue


Freespace - Online and Offline Campaigns
> We had a collaboration with Calvin Ho @AtomicAttack , an artist and graphic designer, to create a mural on the Freespace exterior wall. We also created two Freespace mural-featured IG filters to engage the audience during the pandemic. While the social distancing measures tighten, we rolled out the Freespace mural mask IG filter and downloadable WhatsApp and Signal Freespace Mural stickers to interact with our audience remotely, living the ‘Free and Chill’ spirit anytime and anywhere. When the situation gets better, we launch the Freespace Mural IG filter for visitors to use around WKCD, especially in front of the mural wall, enhancing their visiting experience.

Xiqu Centre - Online Campaigns
> We created a set of Xiqu Instagram filters and leveraged micro-influencers to keep the public connected under social distancing. On the other hand, targeting the right audience group is critical in a successful campaign. As such, for the interest-based, we targeted people who were interested in art, music, lifestyle, food and common interests of local young people. Furthermore, we also focused on retargeting consumers who have engaged the WKCD’s website and social media to recapture their interests and enhance further engagement and actions. Considering we were targeting youngsters, we focused our campaign on Instagram.

Xiqu Centre - Offline Campaigns
> Whilst WKCD Team rolled out shows and activities that aroused young people’s interests and increased its awareness, such as Music After Work @ Xiqu Centre, Laubak Livehouse Live Music, Tea House Theatre Experience, and more. We amplified the promotion of these exciting events online and further boosted the venues’ engagement and impression on the media.


The results were promising. In the end, the Instagram campaign went viral. We reached 1.7M impressions and 38K engagements on the Xiqu Centre’s social media feeds. The Xiqu Centre’s Instagram filters reached 1.7K impressions and 3,000 open rates where 80% were aged 18-24. Using the power of micro-influencers, we reached 127K people and 22K engagements, where 76% were aged 18-30.

For the Freespace's social media feed results, we reached 740K impressions and 170K engagements. For the Instagram filter, we had 2,000 impressions and 1,400 open rates, where 88% were aged under 34. We had 5,600 organic downloads for Whatsapp and Telegram stickers. Not to mention, another achievement - a mural filter was featured by Arts in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Tourism Board. By combining the online and offline experience, we brought contemporary art and culture to the public.

We connected with youngsters by offering them an innovative digital experience at the Freespace and Xiqu Centre. Visitors are no longer limited to seeing arts in a gallery or theatre. With the Instagram filter, the Freespace Mural (filter) spiced up the on-site experience at the Freespace when the social distancing measure loosened. With the intelligent use of AR and interactive mobile experiences, we successfully blended the art piece (the Freespace Mural), venues (the Xiqu Centre and Freespace) and the public together. The areas were fully occupied with digital experiences which maximised the venues’ experience.