For Western luxury brands, it might seem odd to be adding hearts and cupids to campaign images in the middle of May, but not doing so could be a missed opportunity to engage China’s lovebirds.
May 20 is China’s second unofficial Valentine’s Day after the Western holiday. The numbers “520” are used to express “I love you,” as the pronunciation of the two phrases is similar in Chinese. The festival was initially celebrated by China’s youth, but now their parents’ generation is joining in, all using the day as an opportunity to send gifts and messages of endearment to their friends and loved ones.
In the past week, many luxury brands have taken advantage of the opportunity to launch Chinese consumer-centric campaigns on social media for their love-struck customers. The following is a roundup of five creative marketing campaigns on WeChat that caught our attention.
Fine jewelry and watch brand Cartier stepped up its game this year by going beyond a simple promotional WeChat post and using gamification in its “520” marketing strategy. The brand invites its WeChat followers to find and express their love on May 20 through playing a “Pac-Man” game that features one of its iconic jewelry collections, the “Amulette de Cartier”. The brand chose the iconic 1980s Pac-Man game as a theme to trigger nostalgia and make an emotional connection with the post-80s generation of Chinese consumers, a popular target audience for luxury brands.
The game consists of five different mazes, each featuring a piece from the collection made of a different gemstone. When players complete all five missions, they will see the word “LOVE” and be able to purchase the featured pieces directly through clicking on the image.
2. Michael Kors
Accessible luxury brand Michael Kors opts for consumer engagement by encouraging its followers to leave love notes in the WeChat comments section. Every commenter who participates before May 21 has the chance to win a gift coupon.
The brand also has created a more interactive HTML5 page that prompts users to choose a love message to read into the voice recorder on WeChat that can be sent to a friend. Voice recognition technology helps create an animation of a message of love on the users’ screen before giving them a choice to either shop recommendations from their online store or find a brick and mortar location near them. To create the interactive message, users are first prompted to enter their name and phone number, helping the brand to collect data for further customer relationship management.
Coach is distributing coupons on WeChat to its fans to celebrate the holiday. From May 18 to 21, every user who spends more than RMB 3,800 can earn RMB 520 off with the coupon. Each follower can only claim one coupon.
This year’s 520″ campaign by Givenchy is aimed at affluent males, attempting to help them win the hearts of their partners. The brand’s promotional post on WeChat says, “If your gift can truly meet your partner’s expectation, then you are halfway there to win his or her heart.” The secret of achieving this, of course, is buying Givenchy’s classic pieces. In the post is a Givenchy gift list that includes handbags, clothes, and shoes.
Like Givenchy, the French premium fashion brand Lancel also invites its WeChat followers to buy its products on May 20 for the ones they love. Lancel, however, opts for more animated GIFs for its gift list that features handbags for both men and women.