How Valentino Marketed China’s Latest It Bag

The Social Edition is a weekly special-focus Jing Daily newsletter, 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 addition, we deliver need-to-know news, updates, and best practices on navigating social media platforms in China within the luxury space.

The below is an excerpt from The Social Edition newsletter. For weekly coverage, subscribe to the full newsletter here. In this week’s edition, we look at three campaigns: from Michael Kors’ customization service online to Valentino’s SuperVee Handbag campaign playing with personification.


BRAND Michael Kors  CATEGORY Fashion
PLATFORMS Weibo, Tmall, WeChat, Little Red Book
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery, Music

Michael Kors’ “My Way” campaign promotes a newly launched customization service where customers can personalize handbags with the brand’s signature monogram. As physical retail still remains generally restricted in China, the brand has leaned on its upgraded Tmall storefront to roll out the digital pop-up service in conjunction with its first “Super Brand Day” on the platform. The pop-up also features an “Ask Michael” section – an online quiz consisting of a series of lifestyle and personality questions that then generates a customized recommendation from the brand’s namesake founder.

To drive online traffic for the campaign, Michael Kors has collaborated with Chinese singer-songwriter Zhou Bichang (also known as Bibi Zhou) to produce a single “Dance.” Additionally, short-videos featuring brand ambassadors Leo Wu and Lareina Song as well as partnership content with fashion KOLs like Mr. Bags, Ximeng Dasao, and Mia Kong are distributed on Weibo, WeChat, and Little Red Book.

Leo Wu (40.3M Followers) | Lareina Song (14.1M) | Bibi Zhou (31.9M)

The Weibo hashtag “Monogram Group” (老花天团) has reached 150 billion engagements while the WeChat teaser has been viewed almost 100,000 times. The celebrity endorsements successfully resonated with the young generation of digital consumers in China.

Customization services have become a well-received strategy to engage Chinese luxury consumers. Yet, Michael Kors seasoned this approach with a highly interactive digital shopping experience fueled by Tmall’s technological support. The brand pulled out all the stops with a campaign that flooded all Chinese social media platforms, called on KOLs and idols, and leveraged tech. The innovative campaign and the buzz around it marks a promising future for the brand’s reissued China strategy.


BRAND Valentino  CATEGORY  Luxury
PLATFORMS Weibo, Tmall, WeChat
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery, Livestream, Mini Program, Offline Pop-up Shop
CREATIVE Vogue China 

Dubbed “Big V Handbag” (大V包), Valentino looks to repromote its signature SuperVee handbag through this campaign. The campaign plays with the personification of handbags — different colorways are imagined as idols trainees with various characteristics — for example, black represents “classic” while rouge stands for “attractive.” Among the lineup, two collaborations stand out: supermodel Liu Wen and top livestreamer Li Jiaqi. Both fashionistas will pick and showcase their favorite colors in short-videos and livestreams. The concept and shooting of the campaign was done in collaboration with Vogue China.

In addition to a series of digital initiatives, an offline pop-up shop in the Beijing SKP shopping mall is open from April 28 to May 22 to drive an online-to-offline shopping experience.

Liu Wen (25.5 M Followers) | Li Jiaqi (15.1M)

The nickname “Big V Handbag” has successfully elevated the awareness of the handbag on social platforms. WeChat users commented below the campaign post: “the nickname is quite impressive.” Meanwhile, the 15-second short-video featuring Li Jiaqi has received 2.3 million views on Weibo.

Whether a handbag, a lipstick, or a skincare product, nickname marketing has proven effective in China. Instead of promoting a handbag’s original English name, it’s a must for luxury houses to come up with an impressive localized Chinese version. In addition to using the nickname as the basis for the Weibo hashtag, Valentino also embraced the nickname on the brand’s official site to target the Baidu index and strengthen Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing.

Though the SuperVee collection originally debuted last November, it was not until the campaign came out that the exposure and recognition of this collection improved on social platforms. However, successfully creating an “IT” bag moment among Chinese shoppers must go beyond simply adopting a nickname, and requires long-term cultivation from design and production to leveraging the brand’s equity.


BRAND Gentle Monster CATEGORY Eyewear
PLATFORMS Weibo, Tmall, WeChat
MEDIUM Short Video, Imagery

Tmall Super Category Day is an ongoing marketing event where the e-commerce giant guides consumer consumption and boosts awareness around niche categories. As one of the most well-known luxury eyewear brands in China, Gentle Monster was featured in the eyewear section hosted from April 24 to 28. The campaign focuses on the brand’s latest “My Mars” collection, produced in collaboration with London-based artist Matthew Stone. To introduce the collection to local consumers, the brand launched a 50-second video featuring Chinese music talent Hua Chenyu to showcase the products.

Hua Chenyu (35.9M Followers)

With a large following on Chinese social media, Hua Chenyu has fueled incredible online traffic for the campaign and the upcoming Tmall Super Category Day event. The campaign video has reached over 10.4 million views on Weibo and the hashtag “Make New Fancy,” which is also the conceptual theme of the video, has driven over 240 million engagements.

Following the newly released collaboration with Jennie from Blackpink – one of the most established K-pop girl groups – Gentle Monster casted Hua Chenyu to promote its collaboration with a lesser-known artist in the Chinese market. Localizing a global campaign through featuring a Chinese idol, this approach demonstrates the brand is adept at leveraging celebrity influence while keeping a distinct brand identity.

Meanwhile, exclusive discounts are available during the five-day Tmall Super Category Day event, although Gentle Monster rarely marks down its products on official channels. The collaboration between the brand and Tmall has proven successful for the brand to attract more prospects and expand its community among younger consumers while minimizing risking its brand identity.

This is an excerpt from The Social Edition newsletter. For full weekly coverage, subscribe to the newsletter here.