The Social Edition is our weekly series 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 this week’s roundup, we look at three campaigns, including Xiaohongshu’s onling-to-offline campaign in collaboration with local brands, SK-II’s new brand ambassador Zhang Zifeng, and homegrown fashion label ICICLE’s SS22 campaign.
Xiaohongshu Launches New Collaboration With Homegrown Brands
CATEGORY Social Media
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Offline Event, Online Pop-up Shop, Mini Program
On March 1, Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu launched a new project “Anfu Lu Online” in collaboration with over 30 homegrown brands. These are featured in the scheme’s dedicated Mini Program on Xiaohongshu, allowing easier access for consumers. The name references Anfu Lu (meaning Anfu Road), a neighborhood in Shanghai with trendy eateries, cozy coffee shops, and boutique brands — now the site of the campaign’s pop-up shop. The platform also partnered with five recognized local brands, including Li-Ning, CANOTWAIT_, and WallpaperSTORE, to unveil an online shop featuring exclusive products. Meanwhile, Xiaohongshu introduced its new fashion IP “Red Label,” which will fuel designer brands’ growth by helping them facilitate the content-to-commerce loop.
The UGC posts including the keyword “Anfu Lu Online” hit 4,000 on Xiaohongshu within 10 days, including KOLs and KOCs’ recommendations on mainland designer brands such as Shushu/Tong and RUI. Many users also shared snapshots of their visits to the campaign’s offline pop-up shop at Anfu Road. All of this content drove significant organic traffic on the social platform.
Anfu Road has been dubbed as one of the hippest districts in Shanghai and is a well-known hub for fashion communities. By teaming up with a wide range of domestic designer brands, Xiaohongshu has consolidated its image as a lifestyle-driven platform. And, what’s more, many niche brands with a limited budget for digital marketing will also benefit from the partnership — with the opportunity to now engage far broader audiences.
Can Zhang Zifeng Win New Fans for SK-II?
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, Tmall, JD.com
FEATURED TALENTS Zhang Zifeng (15.8M Weibo Followers)
On March 4, Japanese cosmetics label SK-II announced Chinese Gen-Z actress Zhang Zifeng as its new brand ambassador. The appointment was launched with a photo campaign featuring the celebrity holding the company’s signature face treatment, Pitera Essence. It is the latest iteration of the brand’s ongoing series on women’s empowerment, Change Destiny.
The partnership between SK-II and the young talent has been positively received by Chinese netizens. The announcement on the brand’s Weibo page garnered 17,000 comments within six days, mostly posted by Zhang’s fans in a show of support and admiration. Some users even shared their order confirmations.
SK-II, which has been both dedicated to women’s empowerment and agile in casting role models who are leading players in their respective areas, proves that its strategy is working. Its brand ambassadors — such as Chinese actresses Tang Wei and Ni Ni, as well as young musician Leah Dou — have seen substantial recognition among local women across different age demographics. Considered to be one of the most talented young actresses in China, Zhang Zifeng is a good match with SK-II’s brand image: one that advocates for women to transcend social boundaries. This celebrity partnership shows that such endorsements are not only about driving traffic but, more importantly, finding the right person to tell the brand’s authentic story.
Chinese Fashion Brand ICICLE Goes to the Beach With Tmall
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short-Video, Offline Event, Offline Pop-up Shop, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Yao Chen (84.3M Weibo Followers) | Linda Li (5.1M)
Chinese fashion brand ICICLE partnered with Tmall Hey Box (Tmall’s dedicated platform for new product launches) to debut its 2022 Spring/Summer campaign “Be Like Water.” The collection subtly pays tribute to water — the source of life — in a host of inviting ways. In conjunction, ICICLE launched a touring pop-up space, with billowy sun sails, a touch of beach, and a digital projection of the ocean that will make its way to Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and other Chinese cities. Moreover, it also hosted a livestream on Tmall featuring the actress Yao Chen, fashion anchor Linda Li, and fashion blogger Chen Liuming, who all shared their thoughts on the brand’s philosophy, “Made in Earth.”
ICICLE collaborated with local fashion KOLs like @NeilWang and @Phiphiwearswhat to share their experiences from the brand’s pop-up space in Shanghai, which sparked online discussions with their many followers. More importantly, their Tmall livestream starring Yao Chen allowed the brand to reach the celebrity’s whopping 84.3 million followers, not only garnering a substantial viewership, but also strong sales numbers.
ICICLE has become one of the homegrown fashion brands betting on global expansion in the post-pandemic era, having recently opened its second boutique in Paris. Its SS22 campaign was presented with the brand’s typical natural and organic aesthetic, while adding modern codes that speak to a global audience. Meanwhile, its offline initiatives have only added to the popular local brand’s storytelling, enhancing both ICICLE’s products and messaging.