“I’m ditching my iPhone for Samsung.” The baffling catchphrase has started trending on Chinese social platforms Weibo and Xiaohongshu. Samsung’s latest foldable model — Galaxy Z Flip4 — in collaboration with avant-garde label Maison Margiela, has garnered impressive popularity in the mainland market. According to Launchmetrics, news of the tie-up has generated a staggering $2.7 million (19 million RMB) in media impact value (MIV).
The limited edition Flip4 is designed in Maison Margiela’s signature matte white, with the brand’s iconic numerical coding engraved. To fully immerse the users into the fashion house’s world, the company also personalized the user interface designs, such as wallpapers and icons.
Young generations’ favorite fashion item wasn’t missed either. Alongside the phone, buyers also received two phone cases customized with the brand’s signature elements. Weibo user @Yueyuepi commented: “Modern, fashionable. This is what makes a unique selling point.”
As people spend more time on their phones, these devices have become an essential part of one’s outfits and persona. Not only Samsung, but homegrown mobile giants like Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo are also joining the collaboration trend to show off some style. Here, Jing Daily looks at the best partnerships made by local names.
Xiaomi x Daniel Arsham
American artist Daniel Arsham’s “fictional archeology” list continues to expand — from a Porsche car to Tiffany’s high jewelry, everything can be turned into an art piece. The next in line going through his uchronic aesthetics is Xiaomi’s Mi 12T Pro. From the packaging and phone to the user interface design, the limited edition series is fully customized in a dark green marbled colorway partly eroded with bronze metallic edges.
The striking tie-up — limited to 2,000 pieces only — is collection-worthy: the New York-based artist turned the ubiquitous object into a timeless artwork. “Daniel is a critically acclaimed artist and has clearly stepped outside the traditional art bounds with this collab. In the future, when the phone’s tech becomes outdated, it can be seen as a piece of art. Something you use every day in an art form. Pretty unique,” says Andrew Spalter, founder and CEO of the China-focused agency East Goes Global. In total, the partnership garnered $786,000 MIV (5.6 million) as per Launchmetrics findings.
Oppo x China women’s soccer team
On November 24, Oppo released its new Reno9 series. This time the mobile company partnered with China’s women’s soccer team members Wang Shanshan and Zhao Lina to introduce a new shade for the latest phone model — “Tomorrow Gold.” The color is inspired by the first light of the sunrise to ignite the golden memory of the women’s soccer championship.
After the incredible feat in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, people’s attention to women’s soccer has gradually decreased. Given this phenomenon, Oppo teamed up with Alibaba’s group buying platform Juhuasuan to launch the Oppo Reno9 Tomorrow Gold Charity Project to build a football stadium for young girls.
The timing is spot on. The marketing strategy cleverly taps locals’ enthusiasm for the ongoing Qatar World Cup and offers a unique story angle — women’s football. The initiative received an astoundingly high praise from netizens, “racking up $3.5 million (25 million RMB) MIV,” reveals Launchmetrics.
Vivo x Shanghai Animation Film Studio
For the launch of the X90 series, phone maker Vivo partnered with Shanghai Animation Film Studio to create a short film — the Chinese traditional shadow puppet version of “Nezha Conquers the Dragon King 哪吒闹海.”
The campaign was entirely shot with the Vivo X90 series. During the shooting process, there was only one candle lighting the scene. Despite the poorly illuminated environment, the colors and details were all captured by the phone camera, showing the advanced technology of the new device’s night lenses.
Vivo’s advertising leveraged Chinese youth’s childhood memories. By shrewdly blending traditional elements with its tech functionalities, the campaign resonated well with domestic patriotic audiences: Launchmetrics found that it earned $277,000 (2 million RMB) MIV thus far.
With the mobile industry becoming increasingly competitive, simply offering cutting-edge technology is no longer enough to stay relevant among today’s consumers. Being fashionable has also become a fundamental criterion in Chinese shoppers purchasing decisions. This also signals an opportunity for luxury and fashion labels to extend their lifestyle offerings.
“Companies are coming together to think and act outside the box. In today’s world, there is no clear definition of luxury, or collaboration, and when it comes to luxury plus mobile; it seems like the boundaries are being stretched. Within this landscape, this is very exciting to see and will inspire further collaborations similar to those above. Opening the door to opportunity across the entire space,” concluded Spalter.