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 Dunhill’s new global ambassador announcement to Chopard’s livestream to celebrate Christmas.
Dunhill Announces A Chinese Face As Its New Global Brand Ambassador
PLATFORMS Weibo, Douyin, Bilibili
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-video, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Yang Yang (52M Weibo Followers)
British luxury brand Dunhill announced Chinese actor Yang Yang as its global ambassador on December 4 at the GQ China Men of the Year Awards 2020 – the media outlet’s annual celebration of cultural high points. In addition to launching standard social kits including official announcements on Weibo and Douyin, the campaign drove significant online traffic thanks to the GQ event’s red carpet livestream on Tencent Video as well as user-generated video content on Bilibili.
The campaign-related hashtags on Weibo – seven in total – received over 690 million page views and 3.3 million engagements within ten days. The announcement also attracted over 56,000 new followers for the brand’s official Weibo account. Keywords such as “Dunhill brand ambassador” and “Yang Yang” became the most mentioned ones after GQ’s event on December 4. On Douyin, the topic “Yang Yang became Dunhill’s global ambassador” garnered over 6 million views.
Dunhill’s appointment of Yang Yang indicates that the brand is attaching greater importance to China’s male luxury consumer market. The young actor – with 52 million Weibo followers – has a cult following among young netizens while maintaining a decent personality, which aligns with the brand’s strategic rejuvenation. Moreover, by partnering with GQ, a leading fashion media outlet that is aggressively embracing digital transformation, Dunhill effectively expanded its brand awareness in the social arena via the announcement.
Chopard Hosted Livestream To Celebrate Christmas
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall, Little Red Book, Douyin
MEDIUM Imagery, Short-video, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Wang Yuan (81M Weibo Followers) | Liang Bo (4M) | Uncle Alex (17M) | Mr. Jiliang (3M) | Vivienne Shi (1M)
To celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday, Chopard – Swiss manufacturer and retailer of luxury watches, jewelry, and accessories – launched the “Dedication to Christmas” campaign on November 30, featuring a winter’s tale of “Arty the bear.” On December 14, the brand hosted a two-hour livestream on Tmall, starring brand ambassador Wang Yuan (Roy Wang), brand partner of Alpine Eagle collection Liang Bo; fashion KOL Mr. Giliang; stylist Vivenne Shi; astrology KOL Uncle Alex; and established watch critic and collector Ding Zhixiang.
The livestream teaser posted on Weibo received over 1,300 comments and 19,600 likes thanks to appearances from idol Wang Yuan and singer Liang Bo. As of publication, the livestream on Tmall has received nearly 190,000 views. Netizens commented that the personalities of Wang Yuan and Liang Bo match well with the brand’s image.
Swiss watch exports recently extended their longest decline in about three years, as reported by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Thus, hard luxury players have bet big on mainland China’s market and accelerated their digital transformation since the COVID-19 pandemic. From the Watches & Wonders exhibition to top-notched watchmakers, many brands have leveraged livestreaming to connect with local luxury shoppers. Compared to a typical livestream which aims to promote sales, the ones featuring hard luxury lean on delivering brand legacy and craftsmanship, as well as offering styling tips for viewers. Nevertheless, this soft approach to livestreaming pays off as it cultivates more prospects and builds up loyal customer bases.
Patagonia Educates Consumers About Fashion Supply Chain This Double-12 Shopping Festival
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall
MEDIUM Short Film, Offline Exhibition, Livestream
This year marks the first time Patagonia’s Worn Wear 2.0 program, which promotes the recycling of used clothes, has rolled out its Trade-In initiative in China. During past projects, the brand found that most of the items it collected were practically brand new, sparking the idea of opening an educational exhibition in the country. Patagonia then commissioned local retailer JIUHAO Store to research this phenomenon in an attempt to educate consumers about consumption.
In 2013, the brand launched the short film, “Worn Wear: The Stories We Wear,” ahead of Black Friday, as an appeal to combat consumerism by celebrating old clothes. However, JIUHAO Store proposed that the short film’s narrative, which was based entirely on user experiences, was partial. Instead, the brand opined that the story of garments starts earlier than the moment they are purchased and reaches past the moments they are abandoned. This proposal became the curatorial statement for Patagonia’s exhibition, which opened on December 12 at Shanghai K11 Art Mall.
Local customers showed high interest in the discourse of sustainability, and they proactively responded to the exhibition’s opening call. WeChat user Zhang Nuoya commented below the campaign post that “as a loyal follower of Patagonia, I appreciate its commitment to sustainability and environment protection.” The livestream of the opening-night panel discussion touched upon topics such as plastic recycling, ocean pollution, labor issues, and consumerism, bringing new perspectives to audiences about how to scrutinize both the fashion industry and their own buying behaviors.
In China, an anti-consumerism sentiment has emerged since before this year’s Singles’ Day Shopping Festival. The trend is primarily due to young Chinese consumers better educating themselves about the realities of consumption and consumerism — a substantial attitude change from previous generations, which cared little about such topics. Today, young consumers aren’t as attached to ideas of ownership of commodities. As such, they are more open-minded about second-hand goods and recirculating their belongings. By hosting a physical exhibition as well as an online livestream that amplifies the recycling story, Patagonia is not only strengthening the stickiness of its brand community, but it’s also attracting new customer prospects who are conscious of these social issues.