According to CNBC, China is one of the world’s biggest luxury markets, securing close to ¥135 billion (€18 billion) in sales last year. It's no wonder then that in recent years, some of the world’s largest luxury brands have made a strong push to get cut-through in the Chinese market, and now they’re using digital to do it.
From campaigns on Chinese social media behemoth WeChat to partnerships with leading Chinese influencers, here are a few ways that brands are using creative digital marketing to captivate the world’s biggest country.
Montblanc’s Moonphase campaign
To promote its Bohème and Heritage watch collections to Chinese consumers, iconic luxury watch brand Montblanc took to Weibo and WeChat in a unique marketing campaign that featured astrology.
In China, the lunar calendar is based on phases of the moon. Different moon phases are thought to affect different zodiac signs, much like the alignment of planets and different star signs. Montblanc leveraged the popularity of moon phases and created a responsive microsite where users could input their birth date to receive their moon phase profile. The campaign also aligned well with Montblanc’s Heritage and Bohème watches, which track, among other things, the wax and wane of the moon.
With more than 10 million impressions on Weibo and to international acclaim, Montblanc’s Moonphase campaign was a great way for the luxury brand to promote high-end products with content relevant to the Chinese community.
Burberry partners with Chinese model for fall/winter collection
Coined as “the move that broke the Chinese internet”, Burberry partnered with Chinese model Wu Yifan for its 2016 fall/winter menswear line. In addition to having Yifan walking the runway in its London show in January, Burberry gave the model exclusive content sharing rights on Weibo.
Yifan’s influencer status on the social media platform helped Burberry see strong spikes in social engagement, kept them top-of-mind, and aligned the brand with one of China’s most popular models.
Kate Spade rings in the Year of the Monkey with dedicated campaign
For Chinese New Year, Kate Spade launched an app that played on WeChat’s ‘shake’ feature to showcase its dedicated Spring Festival line.
With a screen that had nine tiles, users had to shake their phones to reveal items from Kate Spade’s 2016 Chinese New Year collection, which included monkey accessories and red bags. Once these items were revealed, they could click on any tile to bring up a new screen with a model on a street corner, and could shake their phones again to move the model into different poses. Kate Spade also had a page where users could enter a competition to win prizes, including red envelopes with discounts on products.
By creatively utilising WeChat’s shake function and tailoring the campaign to the Year of the Monkey, Kate Spade created a unique and relevant promotion that brought its luxury items into the digital space and engaged Chinese consumers.
Coach’s inspiring #myfirstcoach campaign
For Mother’s Day in China, Coach launched an emotional WeChat and Weibo campaign to remind young girls that their first ‘coach’ is their mother. While advertising used photos and videos to begin with, Coach integrated user-generated content and encouraged engagement by asking users to upload an image of themselves and their mother for an opportunity to win a Coach wristlet and be featured on the brand’s website.
The results speak for themselves: Coach received more than 5000 submissions from users, more than two million impressions, and its followers increased by 35,000 – all within the span of three weeks.