Can Lululemon’s Footwear Launch Beef Up Its Growth In China?

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 lululemon’s footwear collection, L’Oréal China’s 25th anniversary, and Gentle Monster’s social campaign leveraging celebrity power.

Zhang Changning Launches Lululemon Footwear in China

BRAND Lululemon
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short-Video, WeChat Mini Program, Offline Tutorials
FEATURED TALENTS Zhang Changning (4.5M Weibo Followers)

On March 23, Canadian athletic brand Lululemon officially launched its first footwear collection in China, including women’s running and training shoes and a slide. Consumers can experience the shoes via the AR try-on function on Lululemon’s WeChat boutique. The launch campaign starred four athletes, including Chinese indoor volleyball player Zhang Changning.

Chinese women showed highly positive reactions to the footwear launch. The campaign hashtag #LululemonOnFeet garnered 1.1 million views in one week, with many UGC posts including product reviews — and even whole outfits styled on the sneakers. Men, too, left comments below the campaign posts on WeChat, eager for their own Lululemon footwear in the future.

The label has built a strong community culture in the global markets, China included. This year, they initiated a series of offline and online running events, and hosted panel discussions on the newly launched Blissfeel women’s running shoes in Wuhan and Kunming. Thanks to well-developed communities in major cities, the company has consolidated connections with local runners and yogis — and so leveraged WOM marketing both online and off.

L’Oréal Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary in China

CATEGORY Cosmetics
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short Film, Livestream

March 25 marked 25 years of L’Oréal China. The brand launched a documentary short film Evolution Together, Endless Life to look back at its key milestones in the country. Highlighting the business’ mission to “create the beauty that moves the world,” the film sheds light on the development strategy for the next quarter-century, which consists of organic growth, diversity and inclusivity, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, technology, and evolution. The group also livestreamed its 25th anniversary press meeting.

The 6-minute short film received 2.5 million views within five days, which is substantial for a campaign video. Online traffic was driven by beauty labels under the conglomerate, which shared the post on their respective Weibo accounts. Meanwhile, many users who are fans of Li Yuchun (brand ambassador of YSL Beauty) commented below to show their support.

Since entering the mainland in 1997, L’Oréal has become its largest cosmetics group, with sales increasing by more than 20 percent for the past two consecutive years. According to the company, China is its core strategic market — and expected to become its biggest. The firm is working hard to achieve this. Greater effort can be seen at the brand level as well as through corporate communication, which will consolidate its image among stakeholders.

Gentle Monster Leverages Celebrity Power To Connect With Followers

BRAND Gentle Monster
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short Video
FEATURED TALENTS Cai Xukun (36.3M Weibo Followers)

On March 31, Korean premium eyewear label Gentle Monster launched a campaign named “HAUS Mystery,” starring Chinese male idol Cai Xukun. The campaign film features the celebrity presenting a virtual tour of the brand’s flagship store in Shanghai, Gentle Monster HAUS, and sharing his personal experience visiting the immersive retail space. The social campaign was released one day before the lockdown of the western area of Shanghai, where the shop is located.

Though this has ruled out physical access, the social campaign sparked massive online traffic thanks to the idol’s huge social followings: on Weibo, the campaign hashtag #HAUSMystery and the video itself hit 7 million and 3.1 million views, respectively, within six hours. Cai’s futuristic decor, in keeping with the conceptual merchandising at the store, impressed many netizens.

Before this, Gentle Monster unveiled its “Jental Garden” pop-up space in celebration of its collaboration series with Blackpink’s Jennie at global flagship stores, including the Shanghai one, on March 20. However, offline traffic has been negatively impacted due to the current COVID control measures in the city. With this new campaign leveraging celebrity power, the company is expected to connect with its audiences virtually, translating into real-world visitors when the lockdown is lifted.