The Social Edition is our weekly deep dives series which analyzes 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 and beauty as well as local Chinese brands. It sheds light on some of the country’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: Loewe’s collab with Chinese brand ambassador Leo Wu, Tom Ford Beauty’s new fragrance ambassador, and C-beauty label Florasis’ collab with homegrown designer brand Susan Fang.
Loewe Launches New Candle With Chinese Brand Ambassador
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu
FEATURED TALENTS Leo Wu (44.2M Weibo Followers)
On July 13, Loewe launched a scented candle with cucumber essence, created in collaboration with the house’s global ambassador — Chinese Gen Z actor Leo Wu. The candle comes in two sizes, priced respectively at $97 (650 RMB) and $238 (1,600 RMB), and is now available at the company’s offline boutiques and WeChat Mini Program. Announced in February 2022, the appointment is not only attributed to his name (which of course shares the same first four letters with that of the label) but also his dedication to his art, which aligns well with the brand DNA.
Having first appeared as a child star, Leo Wu gained recognition in 2015 for his performance in the historical drama Nirvana in Fire. His appearance in recent films such as Upcoming Summer and My Country, My Parents, as well as the TV series Love Like The Galaxy have secured constant online traffic, which contributed to the sales of the collaboration. Over 600 Weibo users commented below the campaign post with their order confirmations for the candle.
Luxury groups have taken their partnerships with brand ambassadors to another level by launching collabs with them. Last month, Tod’s released a capsule collection with its ambassador Xiao Zhan, which sold out within one day across offline and online channels. And now Loewe has seized the opportunity to convert Leo Wu’s social influence into sales. With his endorsement, the business’ fragrance line is expected to develop its awareness in the local market.
Tom Ford Beauty Announces Chinese Actor Bai Jingting as Fragrance Ambassador
BRAND Tom Ford Beauty
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, Tmall, Douyin
FEATURED TALENTS Bai Jingting (33.7M Weibo Followers)
On July 12, Tom Ford Beauty appointed Chinese actor Bai Jingting as the brand’s fragrance ambassador in China. The announcement campaign features the beauty label’s signature White Suede perfume, one of the most popular scents in the Chinese market. The brand also rolled out an exclusive bonus for online consumers who joined its membership program on Tmall, offering the celebrity’s portrait with his autograph.
With 33.7 million followers on Weibo, Bai Jingting was cast in the time-travel/whodunnit streaming series Reset broadcast earlier this year, which received broad recognition among local audiences. His endorsement drove massive online traffic for the brand, garnering a combined viewership of 60 million for the campaign hashtags on Weibo within 8 hours. Many of his fans spontaneously posted about his partnership with the brand to show their support.
The endorsement of famous men has become a magic weapon for sales, one that many brands are finding hard to give up. Compared to androgynous looks in previous years, traditional masculinity is now preferred by brands in their visual assets. Bai Jingting is one of the faces that fits this shift, given that he has taken on more “masculine” roles such as that of a police officer in You Are My Hero. In Tom Ford Beauty’s case, given that the featured fragrance is a gender-neutral scent, finding the right face will not only leverage fan’s buying power but also inspire more men to become consumers in this field.
C-beauty Brand Florasis Collaborates With Designer Brand Susan Fang
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, Tmall, Douyin
MEDIUM Image, Short Video, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Susan Fang (102K Weibo Followers)
In celebration of this year’s Qixi Valentine’s Day, C-beauty brand Florasis collaborated with homegrown designer label Susan Fang to launch a dedicated beauty collection. Including an eyeshadow palette, lipstick, and an eyebrow pencil, the collection features pearls as a major element of the packaging designed by Fang. To promote this, the company released a campaign video co-created by photographer Yin Chao and digital art studio Roubit which depicts a virtual land of pearls, full of romantic vibes.
The unexpected collaboration between Florasis and Susan Fang excited Chinese fashion and beauty lovers. As of publication, the campaign hashtag #FlorasisQixiGift had garnered over 12 million views while the short video had been watched by 32,000 Weibo users — thanks to its dreamy and futuristic visual effects. Meanwhile, the business leveraged extended reality technology (an umbrella term encapsulating augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality) in its livestream channel on Tmall, receiving 230,000 views on July 11.
This fashion and beauty collaboration is not the first of its kind in the domestic market. For last year’s Qixi Festival, Estée Lauder initiated a partnership with local designer house Shushu/Tong to drop a limited-edition beauty gift box. Given that beauty players need to bring a sense of newness to their hero products, teaming up with fashion designers on exclusive packaging has proven to be an effective approach to festival marketing. Well known for her “fairy” aesthetic, Susan Fang is a perfect match for Florasis’ pearl-themed Qixi campaign.