Launching the world’s most downloaded-language learning app in the China market

Duolingo
Challenges

Establish brand position

In early 2019 Duolingo, the world’s most downloaded language-learning app, opened their first ever overseas office in Beijing, China, to tap into the world’s biggest language learning market. Sinclair was appointed by Duolingo to officially announce the launch of Duolingo in the China market with four new language courses while building relationships with key media and partners for future PR/marketing activities, driving downloads of the app in China, and raising the profile of the brand among consumers, edutech industry leaders and the business community.

Despite being free and also the most downloaded language-learning app in the world, Duolingo faced strong competition from China-based language learning apps. At the same time, the company is also preparing for an IPO and wanted to build up a visible presence in the world’s biggest market for language learning.

Approach

Strategy
An integrated strategy with PR and KOL components to excite users to download the new apps and to deliver key corporate messages through in-depth coverage in Tier 1 media.

Engage
Organised user event in Beijing that resonated with the brand mission to make language learning fun and created awards to recognise loyal brand users.

Profiling
Positioned China GM and Global CEO as spokespersons to the media to share both global and local insights into language learning.

Diversity
Promoted company’s diverse workforce including female Chief Technology Officer to engage with the media.

Public Speaking
Secured a speaking slot for CEO at the top edutech conference in Beijing to deliver key messages to the target professional audience.

Data-driven
To generate newsworthy coverage opportunities, worked with the brand to develop a report into language learning trends that was shared with media and public.

duolingo_casestudy
Outcomes
+60 million
through print, online and social coverage
14
brand interviews with tech, general and business media
40
media and KOL attended two events in Beijing
  • Over 40 media and KOLs attended two events in Beijing in 2019
  • Key messages were included into in-depth interviews with brand spokespersons
  • More than 7 videos were produced with KOL and shared on top Chinese social platforms Douyin and Billibilli
  • Data report was produced and shared with media offering insights into language learning
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