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: from NEIWAI’ new brand ambassador announcement to Sephora’s collaboration with Chinese local beauty brand.
NEIWAI Announced Tong Yao As Brand Ambassador
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Tmall
FEATURED TALENTS Tong Yao (9M Weibo Followers)
On September 21, lingerie and lifestyle brand NEIWAI officially announced that actor Tong Yao would become its brand ambassador, helping the brand deliver its female spirit of “coexisting softness and strength.” The announcement primed audiences for the label’s participation in its first-ever “Tmall Super Brand Day,” which will take place on September 25. Under the theme “Everything is good, from inside and outside,” the brand will bring together its global spokesperson, Faye Wong; brand ambassador, Tong Yao; and other female opinion leaders from various industries to help leverage the initiative. Meanwhile, to help it achieve a wider reach, the brand will launch the same look each spokesperson wears in the campaign, its bestsellers, and 50,000 sets of limited-edition gift boxes on Super Product Day.
The announcement that Tong Yao would become NEIWA’s brand ambassador has been reposted over 1,000 times on Weibo. Thanks to the character Tong plays on this year’s phenomenon-level TV series “Thirty Only,” Gu Jia, she has attracted a huge number of followers over the last two months. Netizens have commented that she perfectly represents the status of China’s modern women, who embrace life’s challenges with courage and confidence.
On the heels of its partnership with Faye Wong, NEIWAI unveiled another collaboration, this time with Tong Yao. Her impressive on-screen roles align nicely with the spirit of modern women that the brand represents, and faces like Wong and Yao easily resonate with its target customers, who themselves have a growing sense of independence. When casting a potential brand ambassador, brands looking for sustainable growth should focus on relevancy rather than simply the size of a star’s fanbase.
Sephora Teamed up with Chinese Make-Up Artist To Launch Exclusive Beauty Lines
BRAND MAOGEPING, Sephora
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Tmall
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery
FEATURED TALENTS Mao Geping (791k Weibo Followers)
Mao Geping, one of the most established makeup artists in China, is also the founder of MAOGEPING cosmetics. His beauty line was inspired by classical poetry, paintings, and costumes that symbolize Chinese cultural origins. On September 19, Sephora announced its collaboration with Mao to launch a premium beauty brand “MAOGEPING LIGHT” that is sold exclusively at Sephora. The product categories of the new line are similar to his original line, but with higher-end packaging and stronger brand positioning.
The 2 minute campaign video introducing the collaboration has received over 1.2 million views on Weibo. Unlike younger beauty KOLs who produce makeup tutorials and product reviews on a regular basis, Mao Geping is well-known for his innovative and practical makeup skills that are not limited to particular products.
Ahead of MAOGEPING, Sephora partnered with another homegrown cosmetics brand, Marie Dalgar, with a similar approach, releasing a high-end line “Marie Dalgar Color Studio.” The collection targeted a higher-tier market, with elevated product quality, packaging, design, and pricing. The collaboration has helped Marie Dalgar’s overall brand image and value. This shift unveils that domestic beauty brands that were alluring consumers with a “cost-effective” approach need to develop a diversified strategy, in order to survive in the highly competitive market. Meanwhile, the collaboration between Sephora and local brands continues the international beauty retailer’s move to more localization initiatives.
CHANDO Leverages Content Marketing To Tap Gen Z Consumers
MEDIUM Short Film, Imagery
Chinese beauty brand CHANDO unveiled a campaign called “Next Station, Freshmen,” which is dedicated to college freshmen. The four-minute short film documents the experiences and struggles of three high school graduates amid the pandemic over the first half of 2020. Simultaneously, across 22 university subway stations around the country, the brand advertised the campaign slogan: “There is no destination for dreams, only next stops.” CHANDO also invited Weibo users to share stories they had about gaokao (the college entrance examination in China) along with the campaign hashtag. The users who end up posting the top-10 reposted stories will receive freshman gift packages from the brand.
Weibo users already actively share their experiences with gaokao — one of the popular topics among Chinese people. The campaign hashtag “Next Station, Freshman” has already gotten over 76.6 million views, and many college students have commented about how the film touched them profoundly while reminding them of their gaokao memories.
This fall semester will provide a new start for freshmen in China after the continued postponement of school reopenings and college entrance examinations amid the country’s lockdowns. CHANDO approached its younger target base with a common journey, and it improved the brand’s relevancy with Gen Zers, many of whom are college students. Aside from producing content that young consumers can relate to, the campaign slogan was also inspired by the voice reminders in Chinese subway stations – another familiar experience for the target audience.