2022 has been a challenging year for global brands in the Chinese market, given the recurring city-wide lockdowns in major luxury shopping hubs including Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing. The continued uncertainty has significantly impacted many brands’ marketing plans, especially when it comes to omnichannel campaigns and physical activations. Still, there were some impressive highlights nailed by a handful of agile and resilient players.
This year, luxury houses put stronger efforts into localization, beyond their regular seasonal and festive campaigns. Traditional festivals including Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Qixi (also known as “Chinese Valentine’s Day”) have become indispensable occasions for global brands, while newer occasions including 520 and the Double-11 Shopping Festival are also growing in popularity.
Below, you’ll find Jing Daily’s selection of the best 8 luxury brand campaigns of 2022. For more of our 2022 year reviews and highlights, read here.
Loewe launched its Spring 2023 campaign inspired by Chinese monochrome ceramics in December. The label’s new bag collection features colors such as Pale Aubergine, Tea Dust, and Pale Celadon as an ode to the power and beauty of a single hue. To pay tribute to the artisans of Chinese porcelains, the house produced a documentary starring contemporary ceramic artists Deng Xiping and Natasha Daintry as well as Wang Guang Yao, a professor and research fellow at the Palace Museum in Beijing.
From November 10 to 13, Loewe hosted a monochrome ceramics-themed exhibition at the ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, presenting Deng’s ceramic artworks to local visitors. The brand will also sponsor the creation of a new monochrome ceramics educational program at the Jingdezhen Ceramic University in order to preserve this ancient craft and its cultural heritage.
Louis Vuitton’s first permanent restaurant in China landed in Chengdu in November. Named “The Hall,” the restaurant is housed in the century-old heritage site of Guangdong Hall, next to the brand’s flagship store at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li — the city’s luxury shopping landmark. The menu is inspired by pan-European flavors with classics from both French and Mediterranean cuisine, and will be executed by visiting Michelin-star chefs (from China and abroad) who will swap out every six months. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner service as well as afternoon tea.
In celebration of the grand opening, the house rolled out an interactive game called “Mah Jump” (referring to mahjong) on WeChat Mini Program. The brand also commissioned Chengdu-born rapper Ma Siwei to produce a song called “What’s Your Style” (“啥子范”), which is the game’s background music.
In October, Lululemon launched its “Well-being for All” campaign in China in celebration of World Mental Health Day 2022. The month-long initiative aims to inspire people to take positive steps towards improving their physical, mental, and social well-being together with the activewear brand’s ambassadors and community members.
The campaign was kicked off with a 3D projection on the iconic Shanghai Broadway Mansion, which was used to share wellness tips from Lululemon ambassadors. In addition to a digital Well-being Hub on its WeChat Mini Program where users can check in every day to practice healthy habits, various offline community events have been unveiled across the country.
In September, Valentino unveiled its dedicated takeover of the coastal city of Qinhuangdao’s Aranya district, which allowed its Pink PP campaign to make waves on China’s social media. Between late September till the end of October, the beachfront Aranya Community Hall was painted in a shade of pink co-created by the brand and the Pantone Color Institute.
Alongside this landmark event, a local cafe at the Tang hotel had pink touches added onto everything, from coffee cup sleeves to ice cream cone holders. The all-pink visual merchandising like “V” logos and repainted parasols brought in quite a crowd, eager for the caffeine as much as the photo opportunity.
British luxury house Burberry collaborated with Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) to dress the short-video platform’s virtual avatars named Zaizai. “Douyin Zaizai” is a new feature that allows users to create their own avatars and socialize online. Burberry’s virtual apparel, accessories, and shoes featuring its signature TB monograms are available for fitting. Avatars styled with Burberry were also featured on the cover of fashion magazine ELLE China, presenting various lifestyles popularized by today’s younger generation, such as camping, surfing, and skateboarding.
Bottega Veneta told the most romantic story for the 2022 Qixi Festival via a short film spotlighting three couples cycling in the alleys and countryside of Qingdao, a port city in eastern Shandong province. The theme of the film, “Love, in motion,” echoes the concept of “craft in motion” that was proposed by Matthieu Blazy for the house’s Winter 2022 collection.
Distinct from typical Qixi campaign visuals, the film cast two same-sex couples, portraying the inclusivity of love and the chemistry between lovers. Rather than using stereotypical Valentine’s Day symbols like the color red or heart shapes, the Qixi-exclusive products featured in the film incorporated the iconic Bottega green. Though the brand does not have an official presence on Weibo, the film that it posted on WeChat Channel and Xiaohongshu received extensive organic engagements.
In May, Balenciaga launched a campaign which included a series of social initiatives and limited editions, all available on their official website and offline stores. The “5:20 Video Game Hall,” a virtual arcade featuring pixel art and a realistic soundscape, stood out. Alongside this was a release of 520-exclusive profile photos and WeChat memes that are free to download.
The hall’s mini-games resonated greatly with Chinese millennials, who grew up with arcade classics like Galaxian and Super Mario. As such, many WeChat users used the memes and profile photos. These assets functioned as a stamp of virtual identity, which helped the house to consolidate its digital relevance and expand its online communities.
In January, Dior launched a campaign to promote its Dior Vibe sportswear collection, featuring a full array of athletic gear like leggings, boxing shorts, and sports bras. In China, the brand rolled out a series of video workout tutorials by Chinese female athletes, including skier Zhang Hong, surfer Darci Liu, fencer Sun Yiwen, and gymnast Zhang Doudou. The house, alongside leading gym equipment provider Technogym, also unveiled an offline pop-up store at the Edition Hotel, Sanya, on January 14 to showcase the limited-edition items.