Dutch fragrance label Rituals joined hands with China National Geographic magazine to launch the “Healing Realm” campaign from August to October, featuring a series of in-person trips to stunning natural wonders in China. The series kicked off with a visit to Kala Kule Lake in Xinjiang, followed by stops at the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia and Wuxu Lake in Sichuan.
For the first episode, the brand invited Xinyi Huang, founder of Creative Shelter and mindfulness meditation instructor, to encourage audiences to explore their inner peace and strength through meditation. Yoga instructor Wang Jing and Zheng Jingru, author of China National Geographic, starred in the second and third edition, respectively. Each of them shared one scent from Rituals that could help consumers embark on a journey of self-exploration.
The campaign hashtag #Healing Realm has received over 47.6 million views as of publication, with positive comments from users showing their adoration of the healing vibe. Meanwhile, the brand’s China ambassador Wang Feifei, along with lifestyle and travel KOLs like @Miaozicongtou and @Lingtingyu, contributed to the distribution of the campaign videos.
In light of pandemic uncertainties and regional lockdowns, many Chinese consumers have turned to health and wellness products for self-care, mental health, and a long-term investment in their livelihood. According to the “2017-2022 China Health and Wellness Industry Market Development Status and Investment Prospect Forecast Report,” urban residents spend more than $138 (1,000 RMB) per year on health and wellness, of which 83.7 percent are young people ages 18 to 35.
This rising awareness among the younger generations has also been recognized by local experts. At Jing Daily’s “China’s wellness beauty trends: Scoring with Gen Z” webinar, Jenny Zhang, Strategy Director of marketing consulting agency Tong Digital, said “it’s clear that wellness today means something different [than] to previous generations,” and that “wellness is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and it’s attainable.”
As such, Rituals’ brand values and image — rooted in the wisdom and ancient traditions of Asian culture — align with the shifting understanding of wellness. Still, there are challenges ahead for the niche Dutch brand as local scent labels such as To Summer and Melt Season aggressively expand their footprint in the local market. Though telling stories about mental health can help Rituals connect with its target audiences, having a physical presence is essential to expand the reach of its fragrances.