The Social Edition is our weekly series which deep dives into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape. Every week, we highlight brand campaigns distributed on Chinese digital platforms — WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin, and beyond.
Our coverage spotlights global luxury brands, global beauty brands, and local Chinese brands. The latter gives insight into some of China’s most successful campaigns, which often come from local players, and are outside of the beauty and fashion space.
In this week’s roundup, we look at three campaigns, including Arc’teryx’s March campaign spotlighting female climbers, PUMA x AMI collab, and Veja x Marni limited-edition launch.
Arc’teryx Celebrates Women Empowerment Via Outdoor Sports
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short Video, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Liu Wen (26.1M Weibo Followers)
In March, Arc’teryx, the Canadian activewear brand, launched its latest campaign “Her Home Ground” which spotlights female outdoor climbers. Starring brand ambassador Liu Wen, the campaign also features 10 other women, including a host of outdoor KOLs and a group about to climb Luodui Peak in Tibet, China. The brand rolled out a series of livestreams on its WeChat channel between March 9-30, featuring mountain climbing online classes, which has been facilitated via the Arc’teryx Academy.
Arc’teryx opted for an alternative approach to celebrate International Women’s Day, and it resonated greatly with the brand’s target consumers. Meanwhile, Chinese supermodel Liu Wen’s endorsement made the outdoor clothing more fashionable and desirable to younger shoppers.
Arc’teryx’s nimble China market strategy of building loyal communities has been working. With workshops, clinics, seminars, and socials, the brand’s Arc’teryx Academies has done a great job connecting with local professionals who are also outdoor sports enthusiasts, offering them a safe and supportive space to advance their technical skills. Moreover, working with sporty, yet fashionable KOLs helps introduce the high performance brand to a wider audience while also tapping into the recent winter sports trend in China.
PUMA x AMI Collaboration Soars on China’s Social Platforms
BRAND PUMA, AMI
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short Video, Offline Pop Up Store
PUMA and the French fashion brand AMI have unveiled a gender-neutral collaboration, celebrating the bonds between family and friends. The collection features a co-branded graphic combining the AMI de Coeur, AMI’s signature symbol, and the PUMA logo on sneakers, tees, jackets, hoodies, pants, and accessories like headwear and bags. The PUMA x AMI collection has been available on both labels’ sales channels in China since March 16. Also, offline pop-up shops will open in Beijing and Chengdu.
The collection, a mix of Parisian, modern fashion, meshed with sporty and vintage aesthetics, has been greatly received by Chinese consumers. There were 730 UGC posts on Xiaohongshu in one week, including open-box review posts and outfit snapshots from fashionistas. However, some consumers complained on the brand’s social channels about low-stock issues. The brand replied it was due to international logistic difficulties.
Since Sequoia Capital China became the majority stakeholder in AMI in January 2021, the Parisian designer brand has expanded its online and offline presence, as well as elevated its digital strategies. With this collaboration, the label is expected to reach wider communities in China and consolidate its brand awareness. Moreover, the campaign spotlights the intimate connections between family and friends, which has resonated perfectly with the local consumers amid the ongoing COVID-19 spike.
Marni Partnered with Veja on Limited-Edition Sneaker Drop
BRAND Marni, Veja
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short Video, WeChat Mini Program
FEATURED TALENTS Zhou Bichang (31.8M Weibo Followers) | Xu Kai (19.5M) | Dong Sicheng (5.8M) | Song Ya Xuan (19.1M) | Yan Haoxiang (13.5M) | Song Yuqi (6.1M)
Marni, which is owned by the OTB Group, collaborated with the French footwear brand Veja to launch limited-edition sneakers in China. This collection is based on Veja’s classic V-10 low-top sneakers and the newly launched high-top V-15 sneakers, with a touch of Marni’s colorful graffiti. The featured products dropped on March 3 at Marin boutiques and the brand’s Tmall flagship stores and has been available on all sales channels since March 11.
The campaign hashtag #VEJAxMARNI has garnered 3.2 million views as of publication. Social traffic has been largely driven by celebrity endorsements from male idols like Dong Sicheng (also known as WINWIN), Song Ya Xuan, and Yan Haoxiang. Many of their social followers commented below the campaign posts to showcase their fondness for the collaboration.
The Italian luxury conglomerate OTB has been betting on China expansion with its mix of unconventional fashion houses. However, compared to the star of the group, Maison Margiela, Marni could use stronger brand awareness and more compelling storytelling to reach local luxury shoppers. Thus, the co-branded sneakers — revisiting a slightly nostalgic design with a DIY-inspired look — is a positive start, which should appeal to the younger generation who are into street fashion and unorthodox aesthetics.