British luxury leather brand Mulberry is looking to woo Chinese shoppers—and lovers—today in its mobile-led marketing campaign for Qixi Festival, or Chinese Valentine’s Day. Called “Mulberry Love Letters,” the O2O campaign allows Chinese people based all over the world to send heartfelt messages over WeChat that, with the help of digital marketing firm Hot Pot Digital, Mulberry transforms into a custom image for the recipient.
To then bring people into their stores, Mulberry has promised a selected number of recipients a chance to take their digital love letter into one of the participating shops in Shanghai, Beijing, London, Paris, New York, and Toronto to receive a handcrafted leather bracelet that can be personalized.
Companies marketing during Qixi the past few years have attracted criticism over whether their campaign strategies traded Chinese tradition for Western-charged Valentine’s Day romance. It seems, though, that Mulberry has stuck with the Qixi legend on this one.
In the mythology surrounding the festival, every year on the seventh night of the seventh moon on the Chinese lunar calendar, two lovers who have been banished to either side of a river are able to reunite with the help of magpies who form a bridge across the water. Mulberry’s WeChat campaign may as well be those magpies, aiming to connect Chinese people separated by miles of land and ocean through social media.
“Given the global nature of today’s Chinese community, we felt it was important to recognize our Chinese customers in the UK, US, mainland Europe, and beyond,” said Mulberry Brand Director Anne-Marie Verdin. “We love the fact that Mulberry is helping our fans to reconnect with a little romance on this important day in the Chinese calendar.”
The heritage fashion house is stressing the long-distance factor this year, but Jaguar opted to do a similar digital campaign last year when it encouraged WeChat followers to make “love confessions” that its system would then pair alongside a car that best matched the recipient’s personality. These were then sent to the recipient in the form of a digital card. Swiss luxury watchmaker Piaget also used a WeChat e-card for Qixi in which it had its fans write three-line poems.
Mulberry joined WeChat just over a year ago, and this is one in a series of digital marketing campaigns the brand has been using to get customers into the store. During the past winter holiday shopping season, it launched an interactive app that allowed users to shop a virtual 360-degree image of its flagship store in London.