Two weeks ago, a highly-anticipated celebrity wedding ceremony in Vienna, Austria took China’s social media by storm. Luxury brands like Chloé, Roger Vivier and Ermenegildo Zegna, plus destination marketing agency Vienna Tourism Board, which sponsored the newlyweds, received great social media exposure. The buzz indicated how celebrity weddings are — after a bit of a backlash — again becoming a marketing window for brands in China.
The bride Tiffany Tang Yan (唐嫣) is a well-known actress in China who has starred in a number of popular TV series like My Sunshine and Diamond Lover. She is also the brand ambassador for luxury brands Chloé, Bally, and Roger Vivier. The groom Luo Jin (罗晋) is also a famous actor and worked with Tang in many TV series before. He was invited by Cerruti to attend Paris Fashion Week early this year. Ever since they became a couple, there was speculation on when and where they would hold their wedding ceremony.
On October 28, Luo and Tang’s wedding ceremony officially happened at Vienna’s Schloss Belvedere. It immediately became the trendiest topic (#晋嫣#) on China’s social media platform Weibo, viewed by 2.05 billion users and commented more than 386,000 times.
The Vienna Tourism Board, who was the venue sponsor of the ceremony, wrote on Weibo that it hoped the event could attract more Chinese tourists to visit the city. The destination marketing agency noted the city has already been highly popular among Chinese tourists to Europe. Luo and Tang’s wedding could help to emphasize Vienna’s landmarks and rich cultural resources and show people why it was an ideal place to host a wedding.
Luxury brands that placed products at the wedding ceremony were well-prepared to ride the swell of publicity.
French luxury powerhouse Chloé, whose creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi designed an evening gown for Tang, posted six Weibo feeds from October 28 to November 1. In a video, the brand showed Chinese consumers how Ramsay-Levi worked with Tang to make the dreamy dress that she wanted. It was handmade at Chloé’s haute couture workshop in Paris, taking a total of 650 hours to finish. All six posts generated online interaction that was much higher than that of Chloé’s average level.
In particular, photos of Tang dressed in Chloé and dancing with Luo (who was dressed by Ermenegildo Zegna) were widely praised by Chinese netizens. Many users asked about the brands of Tang’s dress and bag and expressed their approval to the designer.
The luxury shoemaker Roger Vivier also bet on the wedding’s marketing potential. On October 25, three days before the ceremony, the brand’s Weibo account officially announced Tang as its Chinese brand ambassador, attracting more than 14,800 comments and 81,800 likes. On November 11, Roger Vivier posted a campaign video that featured Tang and her bridal shoes.
An overall positive feedback for the luxury brand campaigns associated with Tang and Luo’s wedding seems to show that product placement in China has made a comeback. Two earlier grand weddings by China’s power couples, Yang Mi and Liu Kaiwei (in 2014), Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy (2015), also features a large amount of luxury product placement but did not win too much love from consumers.
Yang and Liu’s wedding happened in Bali and featured brands like Swarovski and Bvlgari Hotel. It was criticized for being too commercial and not private and warm enough. Huang and Angelababy’s (featuring Dior, Chaumet, Tissot, and many others) was named by China’s state media People’s Daily as a bad example of conspicuous consumption. The latest wedding, in comparison, was low-key and less commercial, only working with brands that Tang has an existing partnership with.