WeChat has become one of the most important windows for luxury brands to communicate with Chinese consumers. While users of the app receive many WeChat campaigns from brands they follow each day, what are some of the factors that inspire people to open a post, and to read and engage with the brands, and purchase the products they offer, whether online or offline?
The "Winners and Losers" column is where we attempt to help luxury brands understand this question. Each week, the editors of Jing Daily pick the winners and losers of luxury and premium fashion campaigns on WeChat. We select our choices based on pageviews* (those with the most and the least), originality and creativity, and the level of engagement. Since there are two types of accounts** you can have on WeChat, we also indicate the type of account.
In the comments section below, tell us what you think were the best and worst campaigns of the week.
This campaign by Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana won us over from the start with its catchy title, "The first and second half of my lifetime is equally devoted to purchasing handbags," which not only captures the ongoing heat of a popular Chinese TV drama but also conveys the female consumer's obsession with handbags. It must have struck a cord with readers since the post attracted over 17,816 pageviews, and many comments, in just one day since its posting. The campaign, which aims to introduce Dolce & Gabbana's 2017 Autumn/Winter Collection, offers great images of core products such as Millennial Bags and Lucia Bags. And while the campaign features several Chinese celebrities, it manages to balance the spotlight evenly with its products.
The debut of the smartwatch by the French luxury powerhouse was a landmark event within the industry, but Louis Vuitton still faces the challenge of conveying this hype and excitement across the sector to customers around the world. Therefore, in this week's WeChat campaign, Louis Vuitton's Chinese marketing team has tapped into the popularity of the country's top "little fresh meat" celebrity Lu Han to bring its brand new "Tambour Horizon" smartwatches to affluent consumers. The article contains a short introductory text about the functionality of the new smartwatch, while leaving it to Lu Han to charm readers. The campaign also has purchasing information in the end that directs readers to its newly launched online e-commerce store in China.
In the comments section on Gucci's WeChat post this week, the brand released the commercial ads for the 2017 Autumn/Winter collection. The WeChat audience was amazed by the creativity of the campaign. Gucci has once again wowed the Chinese consumers with its bold design and compelling imagination. This season, the Creative Director Alessandro Michele took inspiration from the legendary Hollywood Sci-Fi movie "Star Trek." Applying the story of the movie, the whole campaign invites readers to take an imaginative getaway from their routine daily life and immerse themselves in a new world decorated with Gucci's philosophy and aesthetics.
The highly-regarded French fashion brand Alaïa has had an extremely bad week on WeChat as indicated by its low pageviews and likes. The Richemont-owned luxury label just might not be ready for the Chinese market yet, but one thing it definitely can improve is how it brands itself in China. The latest WeChat campaign, featuring celebrities (including Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga) in Alaïa's outfits, reveals how the brand could up the ante with regard to how it tells its stories to Chinese consumers. The article is all about highlighting the chic yet elegant French style it represents. Yet, with so many brands with French heritage flooding the market, Alaïa should really make it clear why its French style is different from the rest. Consumers can get the French style at the Chinese-owned Maje and Sandro stores, too.
Our first impression of the campaign is that it's not clear about what is wants to say. The WeChat post is presented in a very unconventional and quirky way that tries to demonstrate the distinctive qualities of the brand. However, it just seems like something is off and the influencer they chose doesn't quite fit. It is interesting to see that the Italian luxury label has chosen to work with Ju Xiaowen, the country's rising supermodel whose appearance is a break from traditional Chinese aesthetics and who always has a sense of playfulness. But, in spirit, this is different from what "Salvatore Ferragamo" means to consumers in China, which is "elegance" and "gracefulness," like its signature ballet flat favored by Chinese consumers. This doesn't mean the brand can't undergo a transformation of its image to become more appealing to younger generation. Some growing pains are to be expected.
The British fashion brand Stella McCartney has collaborated with the fashion magazine Vogue China this week to sell their 2017 Autumn collection on WeChat's Mini Program. The event has been reported by the Chinese media, which is supposed to spark online social media buzz for the brand. However, that excitement has not been felt among the brand's followers as the low pageviews and level of engagement of its post reveal. One possible problem with Stella McCartney is that it directly copied Vogue China's campaign on its channel. Such a lack of originality can lead to low interest by users to read and engage with the article. On the other hand, the lukewarm response by users also sparks another question on the mini program: is it really the channel that people want to use to purchase their products?
*We derived our data on pageviews from the WeChat industry monitoring software Curio Eye, which monitors over 1,000 accounts in 15 different industries. Our pageviews report is based exclusively on data from this monitoring tool. While some brands have multiple accounts on Curio Eye, not all of them may currently be monitored.
**A WeChat account can be categorized as either a service account or a subscription account. A service account allows the brand to publish four times per month and to focus more on customer service, whereas a subscription account focuses on providing content and allows the brand to publish once a day. Because each brand may have more than one WeChat account, in this series we specify the type of account on which the campaign was published.