The Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony and Tiffany & Co. Create an Innovative Brand Partnership in China

Key Takeaways:

  • Tiffany & Co. gained significant brand exposure via online-to-offline marketing during The Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony 2021.

  • The partnership enhanced the emotional bonds between celebrities and their social followers by releasing behind-the-scenes vlogs that included featured products.

  • For brands eyeing China, scouting for a partner with extensive reach will help them gain more access to the local digital ecosystem.

Co-hosted by Weibo Film and Weibo Entertainment, the annual Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony celebrates the talent and achievements of China’s film industry, quickly becoming one of the most popular and influential entertainment events in China.

But unlike previous ceremonies, this year’s focus is on the re-emergence of China’s vast film industry post-COVID-19. As a leading social platform in China, Weibo has played a crucial role in bridging audiences and the film industry. To embrace this rebound, the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony began its social communications with a warm-up lap on May 20 (before the actual ceremony on June 12), also implementing a long-tail strategy to extend its marketing cycle through June 20. As a result, the Weibo hashtag #WeiboMovieAwardsCeremony accumulated over 5.5 billion viewers.

As the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony’s exclusive luxury brand sponsor, Tiffany & Co. also gained substantial social exposure through this partnership via its social initiative. The campaign hashtags TiffanyPartnersWithWeiboMovie (蒂芙尼携手微博电影之夜) and #AtlasXCollection (时刻主宰X自带光环) had driven massive viewership (610 and 620 million views) as of June 20.

The campaign hashtag #AtlasXCollection (时刻主宰X自带光环) drove 620 million views as of June 20. Photo: Weibo screenshot

A common form of event sponsorship is to dress the featured celebrities in brand fashions. However, for the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony partnership, Tiffany & Co. capitalized on celebrity power by generating organic engagement with online-to-offline strategies. Here, Jing Daily explores how the two parties reimagined this sponsorship and how their innovative crossover model ignited Tiffany’s impact in China.

Maximizing brand exposure — online-to-offline

Since this year’s Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony was co-hosted by Weibo and the state-owned China Movie Channel, viewers could watch the event on Weibo’s livestream, other major video platforms, or the China Movie Channel’s satellite broadcast for the first time.

Meanwhile, over 80 celebrities attended the event, so Tiffany gained significant brand exposure, thanks to red-carpet looks and various celebrity interview sessions.

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi wore Tiffany & Co. jewelry at Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony 2021. Photo: Zhang Ziyi’s Weibo

Upgrading celebrity endorsement  

Beyond logo exposure, the collaboration between the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony and Tiffany elevated their audience engagement by enhancing the emotional bonds between the featured celebrities and their social followers. This approach significantly improved the effectiveness of  Tiffany & Co.’s sponsorship and its sponsorship ROI.

Jackson Yee, who Tiffany recently announced as its global ambassador, was also nominated as Most Popular Actor at the ceremony. By signing endorsement deals with younger faces like Yee, the brand notably lured more Gen-Z shoppers to the brand and the event.

Tiffany & Co. also leveraged this approach by rolling out content favored by Chinese social users, which elevated engagement. And in addition to dressing over 20 celebrities for the event, the brand posted behind-the-scenes vlogs on Weibo showing how Jing Tian, Wen Qi, and Hu Xianxu got ready for the event. Of course, the Tiffany jewelry that these celebrities all wore was highlighted in the videos. This approach lovingly showcased the brand’s jewelry designs but also offered fans a previously-unseen glimpse into stars’ lives — just another way to build more intimacy between celebrities and their social followers.

A behind-the-scenes vlog featuring Chinese actress Wen Qi received positive reactions from netizens. Photo: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Ingraining a brand image in the local cultural context

Discerning luxury players have been seeking opportunities to elevate their relevance via indigenous culture in China, and Tiffany & Co. enriched its brand image by helping shape China’s cinematic landscape in the post-pandemic era. As such, its partnership with the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony increased the house’s commitment to China’s local cultural scene far beyond any immediate social buzz.

In addition to featuring celebrities active in the film industry, the Weibo Movie Awards Ceremony 2021 incorporated various other fields, such as the music and beauty sectors, further allowing the event to break social engagement boundaries. For example, both musicians and music bloggers involved in event marketing attracted viewers by reinterpreting film scores.

Dynamic partnerships between luxury brands and local partners have emerged as powerful attractors in post-pandemic China, and Weibo and Tiffany & Co. showcased the innovative possibilities of this approach. For brands eyeing China, scouting for a partner with extensive reach will help them get more access to China’s local digital ecosystem.


Events, Marketing, Presented By Weibo