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 Farfetch's collaboorative marketing with Tmall, La Mer's short film launch to celebrate "soft power," and the creative platform XCOMMONS' campaign in celebration of Shanghai Fashion Week.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Red
Lareina Song (15M Weibo Followers) | Fei Qiming (9M) | ANNYLOU (2M) | David Wu (10M) | Chu Yitian (2M)
On April 6, the luxury e-commerce platform FARFETCH launched “Trendy Season” in collaboration with Tmall Soho Live channel, a luxury lifestyle marketing tool, and Tmall Luxury Pavilion. The initiative marked the first-ever crossover marketing campaign since the platform debuted on Tmall Luxury in March. The campaign introduced over 50,000 new product releases from brands like AMBUSH, Marine Serre, and Y/Project, featuring eight cutting-edge trends that are popular among Gen Z shoppers, such as vibe style, neo-deconstruction, and cyberpunk.
Starring FARFETCH Tmall recommenders Lareina Song and Fei Qiming, as well as fashion KOLs including ANNYLOU, David Wu, and Chu Yitian, the campaign has received positive reactions from local digital natives thanks to their combined social followings of 38 million. In particular, the KOLs’ posts of their stylish, niche designer brand looks generated organic engagements on Weibo, with many commenting that they finally have legit online accessibility to brands that were rarely found in China.
FARFETCH’s collaboration with Tmall embraces aesthetic diversity that has been surging among younger online shoppers. The platform also allows more independent designers and niche brands to increase their awareness and find potential customers in China’s vast market. Moreover, Tmall’s established e-commerce ecosystem can help the global retail platform accelerate its localization progress in the post-pandemic era.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin, Red
Chen Xiaonan (757K Weibo Followers) | Wu Chao (2135) | Luo Yang (211K)
Estée Lauder-owned luxury cosmetics brand La Mer teamed up with new media brand Xin Shi Xiang to promote its moisturizing soft cream through the exploration of “soft power." Three women were featured in the campaign video — a war reporter, an artist, and a photographer — to elicit various definitions of "power.” Meanwhile, La Mer and Xin Shi Xiang encouraged netizens to "exchange soft moments with strangers" on social channels such as Weibo and Douyin.
The seven-minute short film has received over 23.3 million views on Weibo — a substantial number for a commercial film. By focusing on the women’s respective professional experiences, the film tells stories about weddings on the battlefield, waking vegetative patients, and photographing girls with burns. The idea that “soft power could be more resilient” resonated with Chinese audiences, garnering over 1,400 organic engagements under the campaign's post.
The campaign drew its inspiration from the brand's featured face cream, approaching softness through social stereotypes and the typical feminine characteristic attached to them. Marketing to Chinese women has become a hotspot for brands in this segment, and La Mer has used these unique and powerful personal stories to intrigue its audience. This approach not only strengthened the idea of its icon product (further demonstrating the core selling point), but it also elevated beauty through more powerful social contexts.
Image, Short-video, Livestream
Moil Dai (2M Weibo Followers)
During Shanghai Fashion Week, the creative platform XCOMMONS is rolling out its “New Normal” campaign to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Shanghai-based showroom notSHOWROOM. Focusing on four themes that range from gender issues and brand power to internal circulation, the platform invites fashion talents and insiders to facilitate conversations via livestreams that touch upon the evolutions of their respective fields and social spaces. Meanwhile, art installations and immersive performances featuring performance artist team Zhihao and electronic music producer HOWIE LEE will align with notSHOWROOM’s Fall/Winter trade show to help engage local audiences offline.
The overall social traffic for the campaign has been relatively moderate, even though the featured topics are critical to China’s homegrown fashion scene. Each livestream is averaging roughly 500 views, which is low compared to top livestreamer feeds. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether livestreaming will work for in-depth conversations.
The broadcasted dialogues between fashion designers and talents give audiences a look at Chinese designer brands' production and branding processes. As China’s younger shoppers tend to be more sophisticated, their buying decisions are not just driven by the products but also by culture and brand values. Thus, both livestream and offline exhibitions extend the campaign beyond simply presenting products. They also shed light on brand strategies and values, the latter of which could help brands elevate their customer engagement by making their narratives more relevant to local shoppers long-term.