COVID-19 brought the world to an abrupt halt during 2020 as brands and companies scrambled to respond quickly to new disruptions and adapt to the evolving market. In spite of this, many Asian brands were able to curate striking campaigns in the lead up to the festive holidays through innovative and flexible marketing strategies.
From meaningful partnerships to considerable use of KOLs and celebrities, as well as savvy use of popular social media platforms, here are some brands that jingled all the way through the festive season.
American luxury fashion brand Kate Spade welcomed Christmas with much-loved cats for their Malaysian campaign. While Kate Spade is renowned for its obsession with felines as seen in its previous shoots, the Malaysian campaign took it a step further in 2020 by partnering with Allergic Rescuers KL, a stray cat rescuing team to promote awareness on pet adoptions.
The campaign also features seven fashion personalities from Malaysia including the founder of Allergic Rescuers KL, Rosy Kim, fashion designer, Kittie Yiyi, actor and singer, Daiyan Trisha, among many more. An image of Aina Syahirah (influencer) cuddling a white cat in a cone with its right eye bandaged in the campaign effectively captured the love and affection the Christmas campaign aimed to evoke.
Utilising WeChat to communicate with its market, Kate Spade’s long-form posts featured cats among bags and accessories in creative images and animations.
As brands start to think about how to sensitively market during the pandemic rollercoaster that will be 2021, the campaign demonstrates how the right local partnership can add heart and reduce the hard-sell feel. It’s also a classic lesson in Chinese marketing techniques in regards to its use of channels, celebrities and KOLs.
Photographer: Daiyan Trisha
Photographer: Kittie Yiyi
Photographer: Rosy Kim
Tiffany & Co
Luxury jewellery company Tiffany & Co had a strong and active social media presence during the festive period, lined up with posts featuring numerous celebrities. It also got the hashtag #MyFavouriteTiffany trending over 170 million times on Weibo (Jing Daily).
Singer, Li YuChun, who has amassed over 13 million followers on Weibo, was one of many celebrities endorsing Tiffany & Co during the festive period, appearing at the launch of the Christmas lighting ceremony in Shanghai. In addition, 22-year-old actor, Zhao LuSi, and 20-year-old singer, Jackson Yee, who are both featured in the campaign reflect the younger demographic targeted by Tiffany & Co.
Through consistent social media use and numerous celebrity endorsements, the brand was able to create an impactful festive experience for its followers. It will be interesting to see how they continue to activate and showcase these celebrity relationships through the year ahead – and if they revisit them for Chinese New Year.
Photographer: Zhao Lu Si
Chinese cosmetic and beauty brand Florasis (also known as Huaxizi) curates elegant aesthetic products inspired by traditional Chinese culture. During the 2020 holiday season, Florasis released its ‘Porcelain Lipstick’, a red lipstick delicately carved to replicate traditional porcelain. Paying consistent homage to ethnic Chinese culture, the product was first shared on Florasis’ Weibo account (Jing Daily).
In comparison to luxury brands with numerous celebrity endorsements, Florasis sees more KOLs sharing their products. One such influencer is beauty-enthusiast, Li JiaQi (also known as China’s ‘Lipstick King’) who is followed by around 40 million fans and whose reviews have previously led to lipstick sell-outs. Given that Florasis’ demographic consists mostly of young women, its products are likely to feature significantly on social media platforms like RED where 86.1% of users are female (CBNData 2019) and beauty products are commonly shared.
Florasis’ distinct characteristic is in its emphasis and maintenance of Chinese culture and history as it combines both modern beauty with tradition. For Western brands targeting Chinese markets, it is worth considering whether elements of Chinese culture, history or art can be appropriately incorporated into its products or marketing strategy. However, brands need to be wary not to engage in cultural appropriation.
The Asian Takeaway
- Work alongside celebrities and KOLs that are relevant to your brand’s target demographic
- Maintain a consistent presence on trending social media platforms with creative posts and hashtags to engage with followers
- Combine several strategies within the one campaign such as celebrity endorsements and partnerships with charities to make it more impactful