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 Neiwai’s latest installment of its NO BODY IS NOBODY project, L’Oréal’s first-ever virtual idol, and JNBYHOME’s debut pet collection.
Neiwai’s Brave Stance On Body Diversity Pays Off In China
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall
MEDIUM Short-film, Image, Podcast
Chinese lifestyle brand Neiwai launched the second installment of its NO BODY IS NOBODY project on March 1. The initiative debuted in February 2020 with a series of documentaries exploring female body diversity, sparking extensive conversations on the topic on social channels. This year, the brand broadens the context to female power. In addition to telling stories about eight women with various body types in short videos and photographs, the campaign features in-depth content production in the form of a podcast about feminist discourse, bringing together more female consumers with shared values.
Neiwai’s approach breaks away from the male gaze and leans into women’s perspectives, resonating greatly with female Chinese consumers. In turn, netizens showed their love for the brand’s appreciation and celebration of female power and inclusivity: The campaign hashtag #NoBodyIsNobody has received over 7.48 million views, and the teaser video has garnered 61,600 views on Weibo within one day.
Neiwai has developed a consistent narrative that celebrates women’s empowerment, strengthening its brand awareness in the local market. Unlike other brands that collaborate with celebrities or fashion/entertainment KOLs, Neiwai features normal women — without ideal looks or body shapes — in its campaign, making the brand more relatable to broader consumers. Moreover, the podcast episodes, which star female KOLs with professional backgrounds, generate in-depth conversations on career, family, and self-exploration that help build loyal brand communities.
L’Oréal Creates Virtual Idol To Connect With Chinese Female Beauty Shoppers
BRAND L’Oréal Group
On March 1, the L’Oréal Group announced its first-ever virtual idol named Mr. Ou (欧爷), along with his personal female assistant. Mr. Ou’s persona is set to be a 24-year-old Chinese-French eco-minded entrepreneur involved in the beauty industry. Ou plays multiple roles under various social columns: he serves as the news minister and brings users the latest beauty trends in “Mr. Ou Know-How”; he is an ingredient expert uncovering the secrets in cosmetics in “Mr. Ou Talks Ingredients”; he introduces celebrities and KOLs to users in “Mr. Ou Face to Face”; and he also delivers sustainability initiatives in “Mr. Ou for Public Welfare.”
The appearance and personality of the character alludes to “Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice,” a Chinese female-oriented mobile game that allows players to text, chat, and call the male leads. This type of perfect-looking young male caters to many Chinese female consumers’ aesthetic preferences. However, there is criticism on the art design of the virtual idol: “the characters are roughly designed and painted.”
The animation of creating Mr. Ou aligns with East Asian consumers’ preference for two-dimensional virtual characters. Influenced by Japanese ACG (anime, comic and games), Chinese consumers show higher interest in animated characters as compared to digital avatars. Moreover, the technical requirements and financial investment of creating a 2D character are much less involved than developing a digital avatar that looks more human. Thus, the L’Oréal Group’s foray into virtual idols is a promising start in China’s market, especially highlighting the character’s social capability and sustainability mindset.
JNBY Sets Its Sights On China’s Booming Pet Economy
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Mini Program
JNBYHOME, a sub-brand of the Chinese fashion house JNBY, has collaborated with the pet product designer brand Pidan to launch JNBYHOME’s first pet collection. The debut features pet dining sets, pet apparel, toys, pet nests, and more, creating a one-stop pet destination. In addition to pet products, the collection includes pet-friendly loungewear meant to improve relations between consumers and their puppies and kittens.
The WeChat post announcing the partnership between JNBYHOME and Pidan has received over 8,400 views within two days, and pet enthusiasts showed high expectations for the collection by spontaneously sharing photos of their pets. The functional and well-designed featured products resonated with young Chinese consumers, many of whom are willing to invest a lot of money in their pets.
This collaboration is not the first between these two brands. Their first launch was a limited-edition box that includes matching loungewear, an eye mask, and a kitten’s bow tie. This latest edition further tapped into China’s pet consumption market, which is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 18.2 percent over the next five years and account for more than one-eighth of the global market by 2024, according to Euromonitor. Moreover, this consumption is mostly driven by single, urban customers with relatively high disposable income. Therefore, JNBY’s foray into the pet lifestyle arena will not only help it reach a broader audience with pets; it will also diversify the brand’s image among young consumers.