How Max Mara Builds Hero Products Via Omnichannel Marketing

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 two campaigns: from Max Mara’s “TreasureIsland” campaign to VogueFilm’s launch in partnership with Chanel.

Max Mara’s “TreasureIsland” Leverages Hero Product Marketing 

BRAND Max Mara
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Red
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery, Offline Pop-up Store, Mini Program
FEATURED TALENTS Wei Daxun (26M Weibo Followers) | Guan Xiaotong (31M) | Wan Qian (6M) | Yvonne Ching (6M) | Fil Xiaobai (5M)

Max Mara launched the “TreasureIsland” campaign to promote the brand’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection. The campaign leveraged one of their hero products — the Teddy Bear Icon Coat — to develop extensive online-to-offline marketing initiatives. In addition to pop-up stores opened in Chengdu, Changsha, and Shanghai as well as a campaign-themed afternoon tea set rolled out in collaboration with the luxurious Shanghai Waitan Maoyue Hotel, the campaign featured an H5 mobile game that engaged WeChat users on a treasure hunt with teddy bears.

The campaign hashtag “TreasureIsland” has garnered over 110 million impressions over the past two months thanks to celebrity endorsements at offline events and various magazine covers. The teddy bear coat has become another iconic product on the heels of the brand’s signature caramel wool coats. The H5 mobile game, which can be accessed via WeChat and Weibo, has significantly driven customer engagement given its personification and gamification of the campaign.

This initiative marks a strategic move for Max Mara in China from a former low-key brand that barely launched hard-selling campaigns. In light of the hyper competitive luxury arena post-pandemic, the brand has looked to resonate with young consumers. With a focus on a hero product that can tap wider demographics, the brand kicked off digital activations, expanded offline presence, and partnered with celebrities in various age groups, which collaboratively facilitated a comprehensive marketing matrix that not only fueled sales but also further improve brand awareness.

Chanel Partnered With Vogue To Host This Year’s VogueFilm Ceremony

BRAND Chanel
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery
FEATURED TALENTS Zhou Xun (6M Weibo Followers) | Wang Yibo (36M) | Liu Shishi (36M) | Zhang Zifeng (13M) | Yang Mi (109M)

In celebration of Chanel’s involvement with cinema, the brand partnered with Vogue to launch this year’s VogueFilm event on November 19. Unveiled in 2016, VogueFilm is a brand focused on high-quality fashion filmmaking, in collaboration with A-list celebrities, models, and creatives.The films are delivered to audiences via Vogue multimedia platforms. Thus far, VogueFilm has collaborated with well-known Chinese film directors, like Xia Yongkang and Ye Jintian, and actors, such as Jing Boran and Chen Weiting. This year, VogueFilm produced the nine-minute short film “Le Vrai Ou (花的游吟),” featuring actress Zhou Xun, singer Wang Yibo, and the band Mandarin.

The campaign hashtag #VogueFilmFashionFilmGrandCeremony has garnered over 3950 million views, thanks to the brand’s extensive celebrity presence via social posts. With 36 million followers on Weibo, Wang Yibo’s post about the event received over 1.2 million likes and 925,000 reposts. Meanwhile, a short-cut montage of the event that featured 20 participating celebrities drove huge traffic on the official Vogue Weibo account.

Despite the current digital transformation of the fashion industry, luxury house heritage and cultural capital are still relevant to customers. By leveraging cinema and film, which is embedded in Chanel’s history and DNA, the house was able to reintroduce classic styles through innovative narratives and new faces, like the emerging band Mandarin. Meanwhile, its local media outlet, Vogue China, helped the initiative reach a wider audience on social media, thanks to its discerning editorial leads and well-built celebrity relationships.