WeChat Campaign Spotlight: Kate Spade Rings in Chinese New Year With Digital Red Envelopes


Screenshots from Kate Spade’s interactive Chinese New Year app.

Kate Spade is bringing Chinese shoppers onto cobblestone lanes with its stylish models—virtually, that is, with the help of its Spring Festival WeChat campaign. The brand has stepped up the usual text and pictures micro-blog experience by taking a high-tech route that shows off its monkey-themed accessories when users shake their smartphones.

The Chinese-language app’s home screen features nine tiles, three of which are spades, symbols of the brand, and six of which feature select items from Kate Spade’s Chinese New Year collection. These include a cute, cowhide crossbody monkey bag, along with red handbags and a red lace dress. Clicking on a tile that features an accessory opens up a new screen that shows a model on an urban street corner (seemingly not in China) wearing the accessory.

The app follows the WeChat campaign trend of making use of the interactive “shake” feature. Similar to a holiday Burberry app in which users had to shake the phone to “unwrap” Chinese New Year gifts, Kate Spade’s version directs users to shake and swivel the phone from side to side to move the model into different poses. For example, the model holding the handbag swings it around and appears to walk in place in the street when the phone is shaken. This also mirrors the shake feature WeChat used to allow users to receive red envelopes with money for the holiday.


The app allows users to turn the phone to show a model doing different poses.

This portion of the campaign is a bit awkward to use at times, but a second click brings the user to the meat of the app, where users can enter to win a prize. When Jing Daily tried it, we received a red envelope worth approximately $30. Shoppers can enter to win once per day.


Users can enter their information at the end to be entered to win a “red envelope” with discounts.

One of the great aspects of these apps is that WeChat users don’t have to follow Kate Spade’s WeChat account in order to use it. Those who do use the app can share it on their Moments feed or directly with friends so that the app gets forwarded beyond the brand’s initial fan base. There is also a prominent option on the app to follow the brand’s WeChat account.

Aside from Kate Spade, brands including Lacoste and Ted Baker have WeChat games for shoppers this year, and many of them are inspired by the “red envelope” or hongbao gift-giving tradition that takes place on Chinese New Year, a marketing tactic that popped up in the luxury world last year with Coach’s social media campaign and through Tencent itself.