In the past few years, Chinese Valentine’s Day, a.k.a., Qixi, has proven to be a battlefield where luxury brands can win over Chinese consumers’ hearts. This year’s holiday will fall earlier than usual, on August 7, but many brands started planting gift ideas into consumers’ minds for sometime now. While it’s a standard to release exclusive collections via WeChat Mini Program, here are some different marketing strategies that luxury brands are utilizing this year to stand out:
Prada: Panorama & In-Store Experience
The Italian luxury fashion house Prada knows how to craft the ultimate Qixi experience, with both online and offline initiatives. The brand developed a pop-up WeChat Mini Program, providing a panorama experience for users to explore an illustrated virtual garden, where they can also unlock personalized love messages and purchase gifts from the capsule collection. Consumers can experience Qixi in-store as well. The collection is available at selected Prada stores with special installations, including a temporary flower station, where customers may purchase flower bouquets created by floral artists up to the day of the festival. To build up buzz, on July 25, Prada will unveil on its social media channels, as well as on prada.com, a love-themed digital campaign casting young up-and-coming Chinese models, such as Chen Yin, Chen Yuanyuan, Yang Hao, and Zhao Jiali. Through a series of videos, each will tell their unique process of unwrapping a gift, the protagonists interact with Prada products and different species of flowers — from rose to tulip to peony, showing their personal interpretations of love.
Valentino: Hunger Marketing & Star Power
For Qixi this year, Valentino debuted a secret gift box with videos of two of their brand ambassadors, Zhang Yixing and Tang Yan, posing with the box while smiling mysteriously, with the words, “You are a wonderful risk. I will take you” above them. According to the brand, the box (priced at about $1455) contains three Qixi-edition items and gifts from the celebrities — just enough of an offering to tempt fans. The results show that many of them “took the risk.” The gift boxes sold out within 20 minutes after going live. For those who missed out, they can purchase special holiday items on July 18 through the brand’s WeChat Mini Program and Tmall.
Chloé: It Bag & KOL Marketing
Instead of launching multiple products for Qixi, Chloé focused on creating the IT bag by Aby Lock and in partnership with the inimitable Mr. Bags. Being one of the first brands to start their Qixi promotion early, Chloé launched the bag via WeChat Mini Program on July 15. Within one minute of launch, 66 of the bags (which were priced at around $2007) were sold, and all 199 bags in the limited edition sold out within 7 hours. The formula for selling out It bags can’t happen without star power, however, and in addition to Mr. Bags’ royal bag watchers and collectors, the post also included dozens of celebrities, much like the #cholegirls who showcase the bags by wearing them during their daily lives to create buzz.
Bvlgari: Early Release & Mobile Game
Italian jewelry brand Bvlgari was the first brand to release a limited edition on WeChat for the holiday — a post published on July 1 highlighting the Divas’ Dream necklace (priced from $1527- $2690) and the classic Serpenti Forever bags, which are available for purchase on the brand’s WeChat. Fans can take a quiz to get a gift option that matches their ideal definition of love.
Christian Dior: Mobile game
In a quite playful fashion, Dior asked fans to unveil its Qixi Dior Amour collection with a mobile game. Fans can play Cupid to match collection letters with a list of merchandise, from handbags, shoes, accessories like scarves, glasses, and jewelry. The brand has also invited four celebrities to be styled in Dior head to toe, including the brand ambassador, actress Angelababy, and perfume ambassador Wang Ziwen. Fans can purchase via online boutique and limited release in retail stores.
Louis Vuitton: Special products
For consumers who might want an “out-of-box” gift idea, Louis Vuitton has a wide variety of products, such as a music box, a toy in LV bag, and earbuds with LV logo. On their WeChat Mini Program, sections are divided by female and male; the brand also indicated which products are Qixi exclusive items, which makes it easier for the bag snobs to select from.
Gucci: Unique storytelling
Gucci has created exclusive items to lure millennials who would appreciate a good Greek story. Besides the double G symbol, Gucci’s Qixi edition included elements like a star, a heart, and a shooting star, which is believed to be a blessing from the God of Sky, Astraeus. There are also Sylvie styles handbags, wallets, shoes, and scarves available for purchase via WeChat Mini Program.