Prada Launches Online Culture Club Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns

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 Prada’s online culture club launched amid COVID-19 lockdowns in China, L’Oréal Paris x NEIWAI collaboration, and Perfect Diary’s 520 Valentine’s Day gift kit.

Prada Launches Online Culture Club Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns


BRAND
Prada
CATEGORY 
Luxury
PLATFORMS 
WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM 
Image

OVERVIEW 
On April 23, Prada launched an online culture club with the release of “Prada April List” on WeChat and Xiaohongshu. The company invited four film directors, three singers, and three writers to recommend the top three picks in their respective fields. According to the label’s statement, art and culture are important for people experiencing physical restrictions: they can help them reclaim their imagination and emotions, and regain peace and dignity.

NETIZEN REACTION
Chinese netizens have been impressed by the books, music, and movies lists shared by the featured talents. Given that many of the names are well-known in the cultural scene — such as Jia Zhangke, Pema Tseden, and Xu Zhiyuan, as well as Gen Z favorite Chace — the lists garnered nearly 500 likes and significant engagement on Xiaohongshu.

VERDICT
Prada has become a pioneer in building up dialogues between various creative minds since the house kicked off “Possible Conversations,” a series of digital talks exploring culture, fashion, and life, in April 2020. This dedication to connection continues amid Shanghai’s lockdown, a challenging period that has halted offline campaigns and retail. The membership-free online culture club aims to serve as a form of support — and secure the house’s loyal consumers, who appreciate the cultural integrity rooted in its brand identity.

NEIWAI Collaborates With L’Oréal Paris to Launch Gift Boxes

BRAND NEIWAI, L’Oréal Paris
CATEGORY Lifestyle, Beauty
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short Video

OVERVIEW 
Homegrown lifestyle brand NEIWAI and L’Oréal Paris announced their collaboration on April 28 with a “True Color Box.” The partnership showcases the two parties’ exploration of diverse beauty and girl power, which is presented via exclusive nude products for Asian skin tones. The gift kit includes NEIWAI’s “Barely Zero” underwear, L’Oréal Paris’ “Velvet Mist Lip Cream” in five nude colors, and a co-branded portable hairbrush that is now available on Tmall.

NETIZEN REACTION
The unexpected crossover between NEIWAI and L’Oréal Paris surprised local shoppers, and it was described as another “dreamy collaboration.” The nude shades resonate greatly with younger women, especially when it comes to the names of the five exclusive lipstick colors that outline various personal characteristics such as freckles and birthmarks.

VERDICT
The Estée Lauder x SHUSHU/TONG collaboration for last year’s Qixi Festival was the first time a leading global beauty player partnered with a domestic designer label. The L’Oréal Paris x NEIWAI presents a more dynamic collaboration: it features both companies’ hero products, and embeds their shared dedication to diversity and women’s empowerment. But it’s no coincidence this collab follows NEIWAI’s entry to the US market; it is clearly hoping such a partnership can build broader awareness and accelerate its global expansion.

Perfect Diary Dropped 520 V-Day Gift Kit 


BRAND Perfect Diary
CATEGORY Beauty
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin
MEDIUM Image, Short Video
FEATURED TALENTS Zhao Lusi (17.3M Weibo Followers)

OVERVIEW 
C-beauty brand Perfect Diary launched its 520 Valentine’s Day gift kit on April 25. The set continues the brand’s V-Day campaign dropped in February, drawing inspiration from retro-designed envelopes and recreating them with glittering pink details. The featured products were selected from the brand’s best-selling items, including setting powders, eye shadows, and lipsticks. To make the experience even more heartfelt, the brand also integrated an interactive feature that allows the sender to record a voice message for the recipient who can listen by scanning the QR code printed on the letter.

NETIZEN REACTION
Thanks to the brand’s lottery drawing posted on its social channels — offering complimentary cash bonuses to winners who share their love story in the comment section — netizens have been actively engaged on WeChat, contributing 57,600 views and over 1,000 likes to the campaign post in one day. The endorsement of brand ambassador Zhao Lusi has also drove substantial traffic on Weibo.

VERDICT
The Yatsen-owned brand was known for its pivot to private traffic, which initially attracted a large number of young beauty enthusiasts. However, the C-beauty battleground has become more competitive as new players dive in, making it harder for Perfect Diary to retain its customers who are price sensitive. Though offering a complimentary cash bonus can be an effective tactic to stir up engagement for the campaign, it’s not a sustainable solution to its diluted brand desirability.

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Marketing