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 NEIWAI's collaboration with Chinese fashion KOL @SavisLook, Peacebird Men's crossover with mobile game Game for Peace, and L'Oréal Paris' launch of exclusive gift box featuring game Honor of Kings.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall
@SavisLook (4M Weibo Followers)
On April 28, the homegrown lifestyle brand NEIWAI announced its partnership with the Chinese fashion KOL @SavisLook on its Weibo account by launching a vacation capsule collection featuring dresses, lingerie, and accessories. The collaboration aims to provide consumers with an “alternative normal,” turning vacations into daily life, as Savi explained on her social media. The collection will be available on the brand’s online and offline stores on April 29.
The 15-second campaign teaser video released by NEIWAI, along with a longer edition posted on @SavisLook’s Weibo, have respectively received 14,700 and 61,000 views within one day. Netizens commented below the collab announcement with adoration for both the brand and the KOL. As Weibo user @YourKa said, “It’s such an exciting crossover between my beloved lingerie brand and fashion KOL.”
NEIWAI is no stranger to collaborating with domestic brands and retailers, such as the fragrance label To Summer and the popular coffee shop MANNER. Through such crossovers, the lingerie disruptor has not only expanded its consumer reach, but also consolidated its relevancy with local communities that share its values. Similarly, @SavisLook also has a history of partnering with fashion names, such as Re/Done and C/MEO Collective, to develop capsule collections. These previous series usually sold out immediately thanks to her loyal social following. As today’s Chinese KOLs can understand their followers — who are also brands’ target customers — better, granting them enough room for spontaneity and creativity is crucial for brands to elevate their reliability to local shoppers.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall
Fei Qi Ming (9M Weibo Followers) | He Chang Xi (6M) | Li Lan Di (7M) | Fan Shi Qi (8M) and 12 more KOLs
Homegrown fashion label Peacebird Men collaborated with Game for Peace — a military competition mobile game developed by Tencent — to roll out its Unlimited Land campaign for its summer collection. The brand also invited the artist Cattyum, who specializes in 3D character art, to merge pop culture with the military style of the game. Additionally, the brand partnered with Wonderland Magazine to present the campaign during the May Fourth Youth Festival. It featured a crowd of young faces, from idols to game livestreamers, creating computer graphics.
The campaign’s futurist and technological visual presentation resonated well with young Chinese audiences. The four personas introduced via the partnership between Peacebird Men and Wonderland Magazine were titled Citizens of the World, Science and Technology Pioneer, Passionate Youth, and Son of the Future, and each respectively tapped micro-communities of idols, gamers, rappers, and Gen Z KOLs. As such, extensive celebrity and KOL endorsements allowed the campaign hashtag #UnlimitedLandCGBlockbuster to garner over 22 million views.
The crossover between fashion and video games is not novel for today’s Chinese shoppers. But in this case, Peacebird Men extended the scope beyond the gaming community, incorporating more dynamic digital identities to reach a broader range of consumers with varied niche interests. Meanwhile, the campaign video featuring CG animation elevated engagement by mimicking the virtual world of Game for Peace, making it more relatable for viewers.
WeChat, Weibo, Tmall
Esther Yu (15M Weibo Followers) | Ouyang Nana (20M) | @INTO1-Zanduo (1M) | Ding Yuxi (6M) | Lee Jong Suk (10M)
L'Oréal Paris has launched the third edition of its "Youth Code" face serum to target beauty shoppers with anti-aging demands. To promote the product, the brand collaborated with one of the most-hyped mobile games, Honor of Kings, and released a limited-edition gift box that features Diaochan, who plays a female character in the game. The collaboration also featured an exclusive AR experience that allows users to interact with Diaochan. Meanwhile, an offline pop-up store is open from April 27 to May 11 in Chongqing, where visitors can enjoy immersive shopping and skincare experiences.
The esports collab and its extensive celebrity endorsements — featuring Ouyang Nana, Esther Yu, and selected idols from the boy group reality show, Produce Camp 2021 — drove substantial social traffic for the campaign. Thus far, the hashtag #3rdEditionYouthCodeSerum has garnered 210 million views. However, the casting of the Korean male actor Lee Jong Suk received negative comments from netizens (L'Oréal Paris originally named Lee its brand ambassador for China, prompting netizens to ask, "Does China not have enough local celebrities?").
From partnering with a mobile game online to unveiling a pop-up shop offline, L'Oréal Paris has ticked all the right boxes for leveraging omnichannel marketing. The brand’s collaboration with Honor of Kings extended to interacting with netizens on social media and exclusive product launches, attracting many gaming KOLs to engage with the digital campaign. However, netizens’ reactions to the campaign took a sudden turn due to the announcement of Lee as a brand ambassador. In fact, some even called for the cancellation of the brand.