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 Chinese DTC fragrance label To Summer’s New Year launch, Burberry’s latest campaign featuring winter sports, Fresh’s collaboration with Pop Mart.
Chinese Label Wins With Limited-Edition New Year’s Fragrance
BRAND To Summer
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Offline Pop-up
Chinese DTC fragrance label To Summer (观夏) launched three exclusive gift boxes celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year 2022. Drawing inspiration from an old Chinese saying, “In Me, The Tiger Sniffs The Rose,” the set includes a tiger-like scented candle, a bottle of fragrance, red envelopes, and a perfume bag. The limited editions not only symbolize the auspicious wishes of the fortunate in making money but also shows the brand’s dedication to traditional Chinese crafts, such as paper-cutting and woodblock. Consumers can purchase them through the brand’s WeChat Mini Program, its offline presence in Beijing, and a popup in Shanghai.
Consumers have shown strong interest in To Summer’s Chinese New Year special launch, according to their comments below the campaign post on WeChat. However, as the brand only drops products once a week through its WeChat Mini Program (its only sales channel so far), consumers have been complaining about the drop mode. On the flip side, the drop’s limited accessibility has increased To Summer’s brand desirability.
With 24,000 UGC posts and 104,000 followers on Xiaohongshu, To Summer is now one of the fastest-growing homegrown fragrance brands preferred by local shoppers. Though it owns only two permanent offline stores, To Summer has built solid brand awareness in this highly competitive Chinese market by tackling a pain point of digital marketing in the fragrance sector — communicating scents without spraying them. Through developing consistent storytelling based on the brand’s oriental roots, To Summer has successfully entered the ranks of premium fragrances and progressively expanded its categories.
Burberry Taps China’s Winter Sports Boom
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat
MEDIUM Image, Short-video
FEATURED TALENTS Zhang Yiwei (826.5K Weibo Followers)
On December 17, Burberry rolled out the tenth installment of its ongoing Burberry Generation project, starring Chinese professional snowboarder Zhang Yiwei. The one-minute campaign video showed Zhang wearing a Burberry check puffer jacket at the Songhua Lake Skiing Resort. The brand pairs the athlete’s dedication to snowboarding with the idea of “exploration and tribute to freedom” rooted in Burberry’s DNA.
The campaign video has received 15,100 views on Weibo and 1,000 likes on WeChat Channel and has reached both a hardcore sports audience and regular users. Netizens with knowledge of snowboarding showed their respect for Zhang Yiwei’s talent and commitment to the sport. Meanwhile, others were eager to learn more about the jacket’s performance due to Zhang’s endorsement.
Since Burberry launched its Generation project last November, the house has collaborated with young, avant-garde talents from different industries, including music, sports, and fine art. In this installment, Burberry tapped into the budding trend of winter sports ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing by partnering with a professional snowboarder. This crossover resonated well with local young consumers who want more than just sleek campaigns to find inspiration from branded content.
Fresh Collaborated with Pop Mart to Celebrate Chinese New Year 2022
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short-video
On December 15, Fresh, the LVMH-owned beauty label, launched a limited-edition product — Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence — in collaboration with Pop Mart’s popular character Molly. The special set includes its signature essence in a colorful Chinese New Year blind box package, along with a Molly toy dressed up with Tiger zodiac elements and red packets. The set is now available for presale and lottery on the brand’s Tmall flagship store.
Weibo users had mainly positive reactions, saying the toys with Tiger zodiac elements are adorable. Some also mentioned Fresh’s brand ambassador, Roy Wang, in their comments to support their idol. On Tmall, the special beauty set priced at 999 RMB ($156.8) has so far received 300 preorders. Moreover, across all social platforms, netizens are actively engaged to win complimentary sets, especially the blind boxes inside.
From luxury houses like Shang Xia to beauty names such as Little Ondine, Pop Mart has become a go-to partner for brands when it comes to tapping into the blind box hype. In Fresh’s case, the beauty label tackled the Year of Tiger (2022) CNY marketing campaign with a safe and creative approach. The Meng culture (translated as “cute” in Chinese) has proven to be a timeless therapeutic appeal to local millennials and Gen Zers. Thus, the partnership with Pop Mart will enrich the storytelling of its evergreen product and likely lure new blind box enthusiasts to the brand.