How Does Bottega Veneta Earn Cultural Credibility In China?

Luxury brands have been busy unveiling their Chinese New Year 2023 campaigns. Falling on January 22, the coming Spring Festival is an important one. It represents — thanks to Beijing’s recent relaxation of travel restrictions — the first chance in three years for many families to celebrate together. Bottega Veneta has captured the sentiment of this occasion with the launch of a series of online and offline initiatives.

The Italian house focuses on the concept of “Reunion in Motion,” inspired by the anticipation and emotion of returning home for the holidays. The warm memories evoked by the road back are captured in a short film by director Jess Jing Zou, as well as in a supporting installation and interactive WeChat digital activation.

The theme reflects creative director Matthieu Blazy’s vision of setting “craft in motion” so as to highlight craftmanship and movement in fashion. Such ideas have been center stage at both of Blazy’s presentations since his debut Fall 2022 season and the brand’s newly opened storefronts — like Shanghai’s IFC flagship.

Bottega Veneta’s flagship store at Shanghai IFC mall. Photo: Courtesy

Since Bottega Veneta appointed Blazy to take the creative helm, the house has intended a trajectory of long-term organic growth. Beginning November 2022, its newly validated Certificate of Craft program offers an “unlimited refresh and repair” policy for Bottega Veneta handbags: a milestone for sustainability, craftsmanship, and luxury as legacy.

In so many of its endeavors — from marketing and merchandising to the products themselves — Bottega Veneta has made strategic optimizations since the arrival of its new creative director. Jing Daily explores the Chinese New Year 2023 campaign, a good representative of these, alongside other recent moves to investigate the factors and objectives driving them.

Maintaining cultural relevance

Bottega Veneta’s Chinese New Year campaign film is made by the same director that created the “Love in Motion” film for the brand’s Qixi marketing. With a relaxed aesthetic and a soundtrack by Sega Bodega, the film is a continuation of its predecessor in that it portrays the inclusivity of love and the chemistry between partners — two aspects which were received well by netizens.

China Qixi Festival campaigns

Bottega Veneta’s “Love in Motion” film in celebration of the Qixi Festival was well received in China. Photo: Courtesy

This latest offering depicts a journey many of us can relate to: the journey home for the holidays. By train, car, or on a ferry, the various characters each make their own annual pilgrimage back to their roots. These respective journeys take them through the diverse landscapes of China, from cityscapes to mountain views.

In support of the release, a train has been given the livery of the following slogan: “On Roads that Lead Home, Happy New Year.” It will pass through various major cities in China with its seasonal message to highlight the campaign. Different landscapes from Dalian, Tianjin, Nanjing, Wuxi, Shanghai, and Shanhai Pass (where Bottega Veneta sent out the greeting on the Great Wall last year) will be encompassed in the journey.

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In addition to such physical initiatives, a digital activation will go live on WeChat in January featuring an interactive visual of a train journey that allows users to draw or write messages on the condensation of a moving window frame.

Winning the long game

Bottega Veneta’s agility in marketing comes not only from a respect for China’s culture but an understanding of its consumers. For Chinese, traveling home can be a time of introspection amid a busy life. As such, the idea of “Reunion in Motion” celebrates not only the notion of “craft in motion,” but also the importance of having time for introspection and spending time with the beloved people. This message echoes with Bottega Veneta’s values: Time is the ultimate luxury.

Building on the awareness it has achieved in China, Bottega Veneta recently launched its Certificate of Craft program to cement the enduring quality of its distinctive workmanship. This lifetime warranty program showcases a vision consistent with the brand’s founders. In this, it emphasizes a dedication to offering customers slow-fashion products: ones defined by exceptional materials and outstanding craft rather than mere newness. This attitude — sustainable, practical, and far-sighted — will make the brand’s products timeless. Its items will be passed from generation to generation: a lasting legacy.

Crucially, it indicates Bottega Veneta’s ambition of elevating its allure to top-tier clients. Will this strategic move pay off? The latest McKinsey China Consumer Report gives an interesting outlook. It points out, firstly, that Chinese consumers’ desire to save is at the highest level since 2014, and secondly, that they prefer premiumization. The Certificate of Craft aligns with both. At a crucial turning point, Bottega Veneta has ensured it remains ahead of the curve to win over this high-spending demographic — using culture, quality, and craftsmanship.