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 Bulgari’s debut in Tmall and its 520 campaign, Burberry’s non-profit project featuring Chinese intangible cultural heritage, as well as Arc’teryx’s sustainability art exhibition at UCCA Lab.
Bulgari Takes the Lead With 520 Valentine’s Day Celebration
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short Video
FEATURED TALENTS Ding Yuxi (9.8M Weibo Followers) | Yukee Chen (10.7M)
Bulgari debuted its flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion on April 18, along with the launch of its 520 (China’s Valentine’s Day) campaign. In celebration of the upcoming festival on May 20, the house launched a bracelet and a pink and a black Bulgari Serpenti Forever crossbody bag in collaboration with “Hey Box,” Tmall’s new product operation center. These special editions, as well as the brand’s signature products, are now available for pre-order on the Tmall flagship store.
Starring actor Ding Yuxi and actress Yukee Chen, Bulgari’s 520 campaign has been well received on the brand’s social channels. The 20-second campaign video featuring the two stars hit 3 million views and was reposted 151,000 times on Weibo within two days. Meanwhile, the hashtag #Bulgari’s Tmall Flagship Store Grand Opening garnered 5.4 million views on April 18, marking a substantial engagement.
Given the uncertainties of offline retail amid Shanghai’s lockdown, Bulgari’s bid on digital channels is an agile step to offset its physical store footprint slump. Featuring a high-end and distinctive browsing page, its flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion not only offers customers the same shopping experience and premium services as brick-and-mortar boutiques, but also communicates brand stories rooted in Rome through an intimate and interactive method.
Burberry Launches Non-Profit Project To Support Intangible Cultural Heritage
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat
MEDIUM Image, Short Video
Celebrating China’s intangible cultural heritage and the work of women, the “Burberry Craft Designer Training Project” kicked off in January in collaboration with China Women’s Development Foundation and China Textile Industry Federation. The first stop, featuring Kaili in Guizhou Province, invited 20 Miao women to discuss the integration of modern design into traditional craftsmanship, which was documented in the short film “Under the Skin.”
The campaign film showcasing the Miao group’s embroidery, batik, brocade, silver jewelry, and indigenous clothing design has received many positive reviews on Weibo, WeChat, and Douyin. It has garnered 1,811 likes on Douyin so far, along with widespread appreciation of the house’s approach to local culture. Some netizens also shared their travel experiences in Guizhou — and how impressed by it they had been.
With the rise of short video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou, intangible cultural heritage (a field that was once ignored by the Chinese) has been exposed to a broader audience. Burberry is not the first to have tapped this trend: luxury labels like Loewe and Marni have previously spotlighted ancient homegrown craftsmanship in their campaigns. But such issues are sensitive. Global brands must be careful to respect indigenous culture and not fall into Orientalism.
Arc’teryx Mount Sustainability Art Exhibition at UCCA Lab
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short Video, Offline Exhibition, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Zhang Dachuan (11.5K Weibo Followers) | Philip Tinari (38.4K) | Zhang Na (172.9K) | Cui Dan (1M)
UCCA Lab and Arc’teryx co-hosted the “REBIRD Sustainable Art Exhibition” between April 13 and 17. Devoted to environmental protection, the exhibition presented sustainable art pieces from the Arc’teryx × Greater Goods collection — a design project dedicated to promoting sustainability and upcycling through functional, desirable offerings. In addition to the pop-up show, the campaign included art criticism from Chinese KOLs who are vocal about sustainability in fashion, including designer Zhang Na, UCCA’s deputy general manager You Yang, and Cui Dan, founder of sustainable fashion content platform CanU.
Given UCCA’s reputation in China’s art sector, Arc’teryx has certainly found the right partner to kick this project off. However, with the social following of the KOLs smaller than those of A-list celebrities like brand ambassador Liu Wen, the traffic of the campaign was moderate compared to others featuring high-profile influencers.
Thanks to UCCA’s endorsement, as well as written pieces from the KOLs sharing their takes on the collection, this campaign engaged not only fashion and outdoor sports enthusiasts but the art community as well. But the exhibition’s run was fairly short. This, combined with COVID restrictions, meant both the offline footprint and online distribution were likely negatively impacted, as media and KOLs based outside of Beijing would have found it difficult to attend in-person.