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 Balenciaga, Nike, and Loewe’s celebration of Chinese New Year 2021.
Balenciaga Celebrates Childhood For The Year Of Ox
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book, Douyin
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-Video, WeChat Mini Program, Offline Pop-Up Stores
FEATURED TALENTS Qi Wei (48M Weibo Followers) | Li Cheng Xuan (4M) | Zhuang Shan Shu (3M) | Mia Kong (954K)
On January 14, Balenciaga released its Year of the Ox capsule collection on the brand’s WeChat Mini Program. Featuring an adorable illustration of a Chinese zodiac ox and the brand’s new monogram created to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, the collection includes ready-to-wear for men and women, handbags, shoes, and accessories. The brand also launched several offline pop-up shops at Shanghai IFC Mall, Chengdu IFS Mall, and Changsha IFS Mall in addition to its official site, its Tmall flagship store, and selected boutiques in Asia.
The campaign hashtag #BigEyeLittleOx has received 67 million views as of January 26. However, the reception of the CNY 2021 campaign has been divided — some netizens adored the little ox cartoon while others thought the monogram with “niu” (the Chinese character for ox) was awkward and unfashionable. Worst, there were comments hating the China-targeted aesthetic of the campaign and calling for canceling the brand.
Balenciaga’s CNY marketing campaign aligned with the house’s overall low-key social strategy in China. In contrast to many luxury brands’ working with celebrity endorsements, Balenciaga has decided to reach the Chinese consumer via the unique and recognizable visual aesthetics of its products and campaigns. Despite being involved in several online controversies in the past, the brand has achieved a stronger online awareness and has strengthened its hero products, such as its Hourglass handle bags and Track sneakers, thanks to its growing social exposure.
Nike Reimagines New Year Resolutions For Lunar New Year 2021 Campaign
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-Video
On January 14, Nike launched its Chinese New Year 2021 campaign on Weibo and WeChat, drawing inspiration from “miaohui” (meaning temple gatherings) — a worship during Chinese New Year. By incorporating images such as Chinese knots, Spring blossoms, and firecrackers into the product designs, the campaign embraced traditional indigenous culture to celebrate the national holiday. Meanwhile, Nike released a one-minute short film to inspire audiences to make resolutions into practice via a storyline between a father and daughter.
The short film has been well-received among local audiences thanks to its creative and personal narratives, garnering 277,000 views within two days on Weibo. The campaign hashtag #DeterminationMakesResolutionComeTrue has received over four million views, with user-generated content sharing their New Year resolutions. Meanwhile, many hypebeast made their wishes for winning the drawing of kicks on the Nike SNKRS app, where they have mobile access to the most premium Nike sneakers.
Nike’s CNY 2021 campaign opted to deliver inspiring and positive sentiments — much needed during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The short film told an impressive and encouraging story from a micro perspective instead of simply highlighting the featured products of their CNY collection. More importantly, the limited-launch of the most popular kicks, such as Dunk and Nike Blazer, resonated greatly with local sneakerheads who are dedicated to collecting sneakers with unique cultural significations.
Loewe Releases Third Annual Short Video to Celebrate Chinese New Year
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat
MEDIUM Short Video
On January 28, Loewe released the third annual installment of their short video series “Family Inheritance” to usher in the Year of the Ox. The film explores three families — respectively in Anhui, Sichuan, and Shanxi province — that are dedicated to traditional indigenous craftsmanship, including making Yuting dessert, bamboo weaving, and banhua (colored woodblock paintings to celebrate Chinese New Year). The three short videos intertwine the Spring Festival, family, and craftsmanship.
The campaign post on Loewe’s official WeChat account received over 26,000 views within six hours. Instead of simply featuring brand products, the short films take a documentary approach, showcasing the craftsmen’s expertise in their respective fields, which allowed viewers to learn more about China’s intangible cultural heritage. Loewe’s consistent commitment to protecting craftsmanship worldwide continues to impress Chinese consumers.
Digital communication is becoming increasingly important for the post-COVID luxury market. By producing short films documenting the brand’s exploration of traditional craftsmanship in a range of fields, Loewe is celebrating both family bonds and the inheritance that is imbued in Chinese culture. Plus, the selection of the featured cultural products echoes the theme of Chinese New Year celebrations, setting a benchmark for luxury players looking to leverage cultural localization.