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 La Mer's partnership with Tencent to celebrate 2022 Oceans Day, Qeelin's commemoration of its 18th anniversary, and Shiseido's newly launched men's skincare label.
WeChat, Tencent Music, QQ
Mao Buyi (19.1M Weibo Followers) | Tia Yuan (16.7M) | Ayanga (5.1M)
Six days before World Oceans Day on June 8, La Mer and Tencent Music Entertainment Group presented an online concert featuring Chinese music talents such as Mao Buyi, Tia Yuan, and Ayanga. The two parties also launched the Blue Heart program; this invites WeChat and QQ users to donate their “steps” in exchange for points, which can be used to upgrade a virtual sea area via biology-themed cards. Those who successfully unlock all the cards will have a chance to win the brand’s Ocean Day limited-edition face cream.
The campaign hashtag #BlueHeart garnered 27 million views on Weibo within a week thanks to the virtual concert’s livestream. In particular, the replay of Tia Yuan’s performance received over 200,000 views, while Mao Buyi’s clip racked up over 8,000 impressions.
La Mer has built a brand image characterized by the ocean and remains dedicated to its core belief: giving back to the marine world. For this year’s celebration, the company was clever to find a local partner and leverage music to emotionally connect with audiences. La Mer also invited consumers to engage in content creation as a means to educate them about ocean biology and conservation.
WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu
Liu Shishi (34.4M Weibo Followers) | Angel Zhao (9.5M) | Greg Han (8.4M) | Zhu Zhengting (24M) | Jike Junyi (16M) | Yang Changqing (4.4M) | Estelle Chen (749.5K) | Luo Tianyi (5.2M)
2022 marks the 18th anniversary of Kering-owned jewelry brand Qeelin, founded by Dennis Chan in 2004. To celebrate its coming of age, the company released the Wulu 18 collection, which features the label’s iconic wulu shape enhanced with rivets. Shot by leading photographer Leslie Zhang, the campaign spotlights eight homegrown personalities in a presentation that balances Chinese tradition with modernity.
These celebrities — with a combined social following of 103 million — substantially drove the campaign’s online traffic, accumulating 57.7 million views for the hashtag #Qeelin18Forever on Weibo. Among the stand-alone campaign videos, the ones starring Zhu Zhengting (from the boy band Nine Percent) and virtual idol Luo Tianyi received the most clicks, with 1.1 million and 549,000 views, respectively.
Though Qeelin has always drawn inspiration from traditional Chinese culture, the firm has worked hard to increase its relevance to today’s luxury shoppers. From the product design to the star-studded cast, Qeelin's anniversary campaign puts the focus on younger demographics. Alongside brand ambassador Liu Shishi, the other celebrities have solid Gen Z fan bases in China. As such, the celebrity endorsements match perfectly with the new collection’s target audience.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Xiaohongshu, Douyin, Bilibili
Japanese cosmetics conglomerate Shiseido has launched a new label named Sidekick, targeting Gen Z men in Asia. The first batch of products include eight items under four categories, including lotions and facial masks. The visual identity of the brand features refreshing and simple colorways, resonating with young men’s aesthetic preferences. The brand has launched official accounts on Gen Z’s favorite platforms including Douyin, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu.
“Hip” and “Cool” are two of the keywords that netizens used to describe their impression of the newly-launched brand. Though making orders on the brand’s Tmall flagship store is exclusive to members, the overall product reviews were positive on the marketplace. However, some users on Xiaohongshu say the product ingredients are not enough to solve men’s skin concerns.
As the stigma attached to masculinity is slowly deconstructed in the modern context, Chinese men are becoming more conscious of their appearance. According to Qianzhan data, the size of the men’s skincare market in China is expected to reach $3.1 billion (20.7 billion yuan) by 2026. With the rise of this sector, brands that can find the right approach to communicate with the younger generation will lead the game.