What Happened: With the Year of the Rabbit approaching, Lunar New Year campaigns are proliferating like the proverbial bunny. To celebrate China’s most important annual festival with Gen Z consumers, cosmetics giant Maybelline New York works with bunny-eared urban art icon “Namito” on the Maybelline x Namito limited edition collection. Namito’s lipstick-red pout and cutesy appeal appears emblazoned across select products.
The activation includes an interactive pop-up exhibition at Raffles City on Shanghai’s North Bund, with a setup that encourages social media posts and livestreaming. Shoppers can follow a treasure map to experience interactive offline installations, try the products on, take selfies with different Namito rabbits to unlock surprises, and ultimately buy the range at retailer Watson’s. Along the way, they can refuel with a customized Orange Earl Latte, a custom Maybelline x Namito collab with hip coffee shop Algebraist.
The Jing Take: Maybelline New York is no stranger to creating buzzworthy crossover campaigns. Last year’s M&M’s set, for instance, proved a memorable hit with Chinese consumers. Following a strategic restructuring of the L’Oreal-owned label in 2022, the current edition reflects Maybelline’s focus on optimizing its online and offline mix in China: by integrating both channels to drive social engagement and brand loyalty, especially amongst Gen Z shoppers.
“In order to adapt to the changes in consumers’ demand, we’re focusing on creating original and powerful innovations designed specifically for Chinese Gen Z, to support our strong makeup expertise and a more engaging consumer journey,” explains Mehdi Khoubbane, vice president of L’Oreal China.
Riding on the 2022 co-branding wave, Maybelline New York’s choice of rabbit-themed IP Namito, created by Chinese-French urban artist Lune Zhang, manages to be distinctive and characteristic. It stands out. And Namito’s pursuit of freedom, confidence, and courage will resonate with today’s young Chinese customers while aligning with Maybelline’s core values. The limited-edition beauty products – including Maybelline Fitme Flush Tint, Hypersharp Extreme Liner and Superstay Matte Ink – not only pay tribute to local aesthetic heritage in a powerful way but appeal to Gen Z’s desire for playful personal expression.
The campaign has already achieved high online engagement with its creative “retail-tainment” approach. Livestreamers have even begun dressing up as “Namito girls” to show off different New Year beauty looks to their followers. But the real win is in how the brand has combined the online and offline worlds: creating fun, lively spaces for the spring festivities that drive community building, social sharing and New Year sales. An immersive shopping loop.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.