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 Miu Miu’s sustainability initiative in collaboration with Levi’s, HermèsFit’s first offline pop-up exhibition worldwide at Chengdu, and MAIA ACTIVE’s Spring/Summer 2021 campaign.
Miu Miu Connects With Gen Z By Upcycling
BRAND Miu Miu
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo
MEDIUM Image, Short-video, Offline Pop-up, Mini Program
FEATURED TALENTS Yang Chaoyue (17M Weibo Followers)
Upcycled by Miu Miu, Miu Miu’s sustainability initiative in collaboration with Levi’s and featuring a selection of classic denim pieces re-fashioned by the house, launched on May 18. A pop-up store is open at Shanghai iAPM mall from May 18 to 30, and the collection will also be available on the brand’s website and select Miu Miu boutiques worldwide. Meanwhile, the brand rolled out an interactive WeChat Mini Program, allowing users to customize campaign posters with their own photos.
Chinese actress Yang Chaoyue endorsed the campaign, and her attendance at the opening event drove strong social traffic for the brand. The campaign hashtags #UpcycledbyMiuMiu and #LevisxMiuMiu garnered a combined 74-million views, most of which came from the young star’s 17-million Weibo followers. Her girlish look seamlessly matches the Miu Miu brand image, according to positive responses from netizens.
Since the younger generation’s perception of ownership tends to be more dynamic, they are keenly aware of sustainability and open-minded about resale and recycled products. Plus, the vintage trend has become popular among Chinese fashion fans, with the country seeing a recent surge in local vintage shops and resale platforms like Plum. Though the prices for the reworked collection are relatively higher than the house’s typical ready-to-wear products, the approach should elevate the brand’s image and awareness via new customers.
Hermès Launches Pop-Up Gym In Chengdu
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo
MEDIUM Image, Offline Pop-up Exhibition
On the heels of the HermèsFit launch on WeChat in early May, the Maison unveiled its first offline pop-up exhibition worldwide at Taikoo Li, Chengdu, from May 20 to 23. The gallery space featured a gym setting with a yoga room, boxing bags, and storage cubbies decorated with the Hermès signature orange. Visitors made their reservations via a brand WeChat Mini Program dedicated to the athleisure campaign.
The campaign hashtags #HermèsFit and #ExerciseWithHermès have garnered a combined viewership of 3.5 million on Weibo. In addition to netizens sharing their visits, fashion KOLs like @Anny_Fan, @SunnieLovesFashion, and @Mr. Jiliang also posted about the pop-up event, which drove organic social traffic across Weibo and Little Red Book.
The pop-up gym was a brilliant event marketing tactic based on visitor reactions. Hermès’ selection of Chengdu as its first stop leveraged the city’s growing appreciation for a better quality of life and vibrant lifestyles. It also offered an opportunity for potential customers to experience the house’s products in an immersive and relaxing scenario distinct from its boutiques. However, as the event only lasted four days, residents in other cities may not have had chances to stop by, which limited the amount of social traffic.
Gen-Z China Praises MAIA ACTIVE’s Women’s Rights Campaign
BRAND MAIA ACTIVE
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo
MEDIUM Image, Short-video, Podcast, Offline Event
Homegrown activewear brand MAIA ACTIVE launched its Spring/Summer 2021 campaign called “She can make her own decision (自由选择她可以),” which explores female-related social discourses. The initiative spotlighted five women who made decisions that challenged social norms, such as being a transgender person. In addition to featuring these women in its campaign videos, the brand also collaborated with BIE Girls by digital media powerhouse BIE (别的, also previously known as Vice China) to discuss marriage through its podcast. Meanwhile, a brand offline event called the Rise & Shine Wellness Party, unveiled in Shanghai on May 22, features panels and yoga tutorials.
The campaign hashtag #SheCanMakeHerOwnDecision has become a hit on Weibo, receiving over 12 million views in one week. The campaign video featuring a transgender girl named Yaya Shi launched on May 17 — the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia — and has garnered extensive positive reactions on Weibo. Comments showed their appreciation for the brand amplifying stories of social minorities.
Leading local fashion players from Neiwai to Maia Active have built their cultures and values by dealing with tricky social issues like women’s empowerment, gender stereotypes, and the male gaze, advocating diversity and inclusivity. Instead of emphasizing its products, the brand’s campaign pays more attention to producing social content that inspires audiences. Meanwhile, these stories of unorthodox people, unlike homogenized narratives of celebrities, better resonate with the young generations of consumers with acute self-consciousness.