The Social Edition is our weekly series that dives deep into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape. Each week, we highlight brand campaigns distributed across Chinese digital platforms – WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin and beyond.
Our coverage highlights global luxury brands, global beauty brands and local Chinese brands. The latter provides 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 take a look at three campaigns, including Arc’teryx’s March campaign highlighting female climbers, the PUMA x AMI collaboration, and the Veja x Marni limited edition launch.
Arc’teryx celebrates female empowerment through outdoor sports
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, short video, live broadcast
FEATURED TALENT Liu Wen (26.1 million Weibo followers)
In March, Arc’teryx, the Canadian sportswear brand, launched its latest “Her Home Ground” campaign which spotlights female climbers in the great outdoors. Featuring brand ambassador Liu Wen, the campaign also features 10 other women, including a crowd of outdoor KOLs and a group about to climb Luodui Peak in Tibet, China. The brand rolled out a series of livestreams on its WeChat channel between March 9 and March 30, featuring online mountaineering lessons, which were facilitated by Arc’teryx Academy.
Arc’teryx took an alternative approach to celebrating International Women’s Day, and it resonated with the brand’s target consumers. Meanwhile, the endorsement of Chinese model Liu Wen has made outerwear more fashionable and desirable for young shoppers.
Arc’teryx’s agile strategy in the Chinese market of building loyal communities has worked. With workshops, clinics, seminars and socials, the brand’s Arc’teryx Academies have done a great job of connecting with local professionals who are also outdoor sports enthusiasts, providing them with a space safe and supportive to advance their technical skills. Additionally, working with sporty yet fashionable KOLs helps introduce the high-performance brand to a wider audience while tapping into the recent trend of winter sports in China.
PUMA x AMI collaboration takes off on Chinese social platforms
MARK PUMA, FRIEND
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, short video, offline pop-up store
PUMA and French fashion brand AMI unveiled a gender-neutral collaboration, celebrating the bonds between family and friends. The collection features a co-branded graphic combining the AMI de Coeur, the iconic symbol of AMI, and the PUMA logo on sneakers, t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, pants and accessories such as hats and bags. The PUMA x AMI collection has been available on both brands’ sales channels in China since March 16. Additionally, offline pop-up stores will open in Beijing and Chengdu.
The collection, a mix of Parisian and modern fashion combined with a sporty and vintage aesthetic, has been very well received by Chinese consumers. There were 730 UGC posts on Xiaohongshu in one week, including open box review posts and fashionista outfit snapshots. However, some consumers have complained on the brand’s social media about low stock issues. The brand replied that it was due to international logistical difficulties.
Since Sequoia Capital China became the majority shareholder of AMI in January 2021, the Parisian designer brand has expanded its online and offline presence, as well as strengthened its digital strategies. Thanks to this collaboration, the label should reach wider communities in China and consolidate its notoriety. Additionally, the campaign highlights the intimate bonds between family and friends, which resonated perfectly with local consumers amid the ongoing COVID-19 spike.
Marni teams up with Veja for a limited-edition sneaker release
MARK Marni, Veja
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, short video, WeChat Mini program
FEATURED TALENT Zhou Bichang (31.8 million Weibo subscribers) | Xu Kai (19.5M) | Dong Sicheng (5.8 million) | Song Ya Xuan (19.1M) | Yan Haoxiang (13.5 million) | Song Yuqi (6.1M)
Marni, which belongs to the OTB Group, has collaborated with French shoe brand Veja to launch limited-edition sneakers in China. This collection is based on Veja’s classic V-10 low-top trainers and newly launched V-15 high-top trainers, with a splash of colorful Marni graffiti. The star products were released on March 3 at Marin boutiques and Tmall brand flagship stores and have been available on all sales channels since March 11.
The #VEJAxMARNI campaign hashtag has garnered 3.2 million views since it was posted. Social traffic was largely fueled by mentions of male idol celebrities like Dong Sicheng (also known as WINWIN), Song Ya Xuan, and Yan Haoxiang. Many of their social followers commented under the campaign posts to show their penchant for collaboration.
Italian luxury conglomerate OTB has bet on expanding into China with its mix of unconventional fashion houses. However, compared to star of the bunch, Maison Margiela, Marni could use stronger brand awareness and more compelling storytelling to reach local luxury shoppers. So the co-branded sneakers — revisiting a somewhat nostalgic design with a DIY-inspired look — are a positive start, which should appeal to the younger generation who love street fashion and unorthodox aesthetics.