Gentle Monster’s New Shanghai Store Long-Form Multimedia Tale on WeChat

While most WeChat posts about new store openings are straightforward – without a fancy game or mini-program – Gentle Monster was more creative in presenting the store’s design highlights to lure foot traffic.

A disruptor in the retail space, the Korean sunglasses company Gentle Monster recently announced the opening of their new Shanghai store via WeChat last week. Often, Gentle Monster designs their stores to look like a museum exhibition, with their sunglasses displayed throughout the retail space almost as decorations. The WeChat post cleverly took the role of an exhibition curator, using multimedia to explain the inspiration behind every detail.

Gentle Monster used multiple posts to illustrate the story behind each exhibition.

Gentle Monster used multiple posts to illustrate the story behind each exhibition.

The theme of the new Shanghai store is “The Mobitucture,” the speculative space in which humans live during the 13th month. The idea of 13 months was created with French animator and artist Ugo Bienvenu — the concept explores human society at a post-apocalypse time, named 13 months. The post included a video, which made the retail exhibition seem like a scene out of “West World.” Other details highlighted were the corners of the store, which were presented in a multi-photo format, showing how the plants were combined with the environment to produce fresh air, and how large-scale devices were used to search for the next habitable living space.

The post also included Chinese actress Wu Jinyan, in gif format, exploring the interior of the store. Photo: Gentle Monster/WeChat

The post also included Chinese actress Wu Jinyan, in gif format, exploring the interior of the store. Photo: Gentle Monster/WeChat

At the end of the post, users could purchase the featured oversized and low bridge fit sunglasses at premium prices (from $200 to $500) via the company’s Mini Program. As it turns out, the post attracted 13,000 page views and 43 people recommended it, which is decent considering the post was published about two weeks ago. In comparison, Burberry’s renovated Shanghai flagship store post attracted 8,388 pageviews within one week.

Since it first launched in 2011, the high-end Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster has established a reputation for avant-garde aesthetics, challenging traditional marketing methods in the eyewear industry. It immediately gained popularity among many Korean A-list stars like Gianna Jun, Kim Woo-bin, and Lee Jong Suk, and their influence spread through Asia. But Gentle Monster gradually shifted to a new strategy; by partnering with different artists to discuss the bigger topics of society, individualism, and technology to capture the attention of millennials who pursue anti-establishment ideals and are attracted to avant-garde styles. Previous store themes include “Once Upon a Future,” where aliens and robots live alongside humans, and “Red Wide Open,” which pays tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic film “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Here are some key points to create an engaging WeChat post:

  • Treat your post like a fashion magazine, campaign photos and videos are great visual aids
  • Prioritize storytelling than product display
  • Don’t forget to add a link to buy

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Case Study, Retail, Social Media