October 1st marked the 70th anniversary since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Different from other cultural festivals, this one was meant as a demonstration of the rising national power of China. Chinese citizens both at home and abroad tuned in to watch the pomp and circumstance of the national parade; Chinese national flags lined Beijing streets. It was a day of great national pride and one that western luxury brands should take notice of.
It was only a short time ago that the Versace, Coach, Swarovski, and Givenchy T-shirt controversies agitated Chinese netizens regarding the brands’ ambiguous attitude towards Hong Kong and mainland China territorial issues. Many Chinese celebrities volunteered to resign from their brand ambassadorships, and Chinese consumers chastened the brands on social media or scratch them out of their shopping list. However, learning from the D&G previous disaster, the brands immediately apologized and claimed to respect the sovereignty of China’s territorial state.
Now, amid this special holiday, and perhaps in an effort to win back these patriot consumers and create a China-friendly impression, many western luxury brands and retailers have launched — for the very first time — special products or campaigns to celebrate China’s 70th anniversary.
Versace posted celebratory imagery, incorporating its DNA on social media channels. Here Versace created a red handbag image with number 70 buckle.
Givenchy released a limited-edition 70th anniversary T-shirt. On the left corner of each T-shirt is a hand embordered number from 1 to 70, and each personally signed by Givenchy’s creative director Clare Waight Keller. On their WeChat post, Givenchy posted a video of a Chinese model expressing her love to China, and another featuring Clare Waight Keller signing the 70 T-shirts. Netizens responded enthusiastically — many wrote, “love Givenchy” under the post, though some were also skeptical: “Leveraging our national holiday try to wash clean, huh?” wrote Weibo user Liangkele. By the time of this publication, the WeChat post garnered over 332,000 page views and over 200 likes.
As a Western beauty retailer, Sephora chooses to celebrate the holiday launching an entire China Red themed collection — lipstick, blush, and eye shadow. Netizens commented on the beautiful color and how well fitted it was for this holiday.
Swarovski’s celebration post on WeChat used a pair of golden sparkles to highlight the number 70.