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: from “Burberry Generation” campaign to Peacebird’s Double-12 celebration.
Burberry Connects To China’s Gen-Z Consumers Via Young Artists
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Red
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-video
FEATURED TALENTS Shi Lu (340K Weibo Followers) | Yang Yuhao (64531) | Ju Yiming (456K) and five young photographers
On November 17, Burberry launched the ongoing project Burberry Generation, which highlights avant-garde young talents from different genres. The first volume featured the brand’s iconic Olympia handbag through the lens of five young photographers @xiaopeng_yuan, @No. 223 @HailunMa, @Huang Jiaqi, and @shen_li__. The second volume, which was unveiled on December 4, highlighted its Arthur sneakers via short films about three drummers – Shi Lu, Yang Yuhao, and Ju Yiming – sharing their journeys with music.
The campaign hashtag #BurberryGeneration has garnered over 13 million views on Weibo. Netizens have organically engaged by sharing their appreciation of the featured talents. But the overall social traffic is limited compared to campaigns that cast celebrities and idols, although the brand has offered rewards during each volume release. For the first edition, users who share the beauty of arcs in their daily lives on Weibo and Little Red Book have the chance to win complimentary campaign posters. Those who repost the second episode campaign and state why they adore the drummers can win drumsticks from the featured musicians with autographs.
Discerning luxury players now realize that the amount of social engagements is not the only way to measure the outcome of digital campaigns. Young consumers are scouting beyond sleek campaigns to find inspiration and knowledge in branded content. The Burberry Generation opted to collaborate with behind-the-scenes players (photographers and drummers) to showcase their featured products, and they didn’t just bring in diverse conversations — they also tapped into the niche online communities that follow those art genres.
PEACEBIRD Leverages Virtual Idol Economy To Celebrate Double-12 Shopping Festival
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall, Bilibili
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-video
FEATURED TALENTS Luo Tianyi (4M Weibo Followers)
To celebrate the Double-12 Shopping Festival, a sequel to Singles’ Day, PEACEBIRD Women teamed up with the virtual singer Luo Tianyi to launch a limited-edition collection. Under the theme of “Shining Like A Superstar,” the collection will officially debut on Tmall along with the song of the same title presented by Luo. The campaign’s short-video series, with four chapters, features fun pinky filters and E-girl-like aesthetics that are popular on Douyin.
The campaign hashtag “Peacebird Luo Tianyi Collab” has received over 2.7 million views on Weibo. The social traffic has been predominantly driven by the super topic of Luo Tianyi, where followers’ comments and interactions are based on their common interests in specific topics or figures. Most netizens intrigued by the collaboration belong to ACG (anime, comics, and games) communities, stating that the design of the featured products align with animated dress-up looks.
By collaborating with one of the virtual idols with the largest cult following, PEACEBIRD is counting on leveraging the virtual idol economy. From the dreamy, pinky photography filter to the exaggerated prints on the products, the collection targets local Gen-Z consumers who are into ACG culture. However, to elevate the social engagement, the brand should look to further explore the ultimate ACG destination Bilibili instead of Weibo, given that the far more users on Bilibili are interested in the ACG aesthetic.
Gucci Celebrated This Holiday Season With An Iconic Rerelease
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Douyin
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-video, Mobile Game
FEATURED TALENTS Yang Mi (109M Weibo Followers) | Xu Guanghan (5M) | He Sui (10M) | Wang Yueyi (2M) | Cecilia Song (11M) | Xu Jiaqi (12M)
On November 24, Gucci rolled out its latest holiday campaign, Gucci Gift 2020, which presents the retro vibes of holiday office parties from the 1990s. The campaign spotlights the rerelease of the brand’s iconic Marmont Handbags, now featuring glittery and colorful sequins. In addition to posting campaign photos and videos, the brand also offered gifting instructions and celebrity endorsements to netizens on WeChat. In conjunction with the release, Gucci debuted a mobile game via WeChat Mini Program called Conga Monster, which features the raster graphics and blocky pixels often associated with old-school video games.
The two campaign posts on WeChat have each received over 100,000 views. WeChat users showed their affection for the collection’s vintage design as well as the retro vibe of the campaign. Meanwhile, the newly-launched vintage-inspired green pattern and eco-packaging greatly resonated with Chinese consumers. Many comments claimed that the new packaging looks more sustainable and more premium than the previous one.
Among luxury players in China’s market, Gucci is one of the veterans of content marketing. The brand’s official WeChat account has become a digital mini-magazine, with localized editorial content that delivers global campaigns and regional activations. Its campaign posts feature local office slang, and its gift selections targeting Chinese luxury shoppers have helped elevate conversion rates. However, few users have been intrigued by the mobile game, finding it confusing. Luxury brands eyeing this tactic to increase customer engagement should scrutinize the game’s targeted players before deciding if a mobile game is worth betting on.