Retail in Asia


A look at how brands are celebrating China’s digital day of love

“520” began as an internet acronym meaning ‘I love you’ in Mandarin. The three numbers were eventually linked to the 20th of May, the day which eventually became widely known as “China’s digital day of love” for brands targeting China’s most digital savvy consumers to date – Generation Z.

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According to data obtained in 2021, brands tend to engage more actively in 520 celebrations as compared to Valentine’s Day, marking the growing significance of China’s digital day of love. Undoubtedly, the trend seems to only be getting stronger as brands plan to pick up on the economic slump from COVID through the power of love.

Though mostly seen as a big marketing stunt for brands, consumers still tend to buy into this one-of-a-kind marketing concept thanks to the coeffect of Guochao. With international brands slowly tapping into this uniquely China based concept in recent years, below is the countdown of a few notable brands riding on the hype this year. 


Source: Valentino

To celebrate 520 Valentine’s Day, Valentino launched online campaigns and product giveaways. Shoppers can write their love letters under Valentino’s 520 feed on Weibo, the biggest social platform in China, to express their love to their loved ones. Giftbox will be offered to 5 participants who are the most popular among the others. Top selling perfume and lipstick are included in the giveaway box set.

Estée Lauder

Source : Estée Lauder

The luxury beauty house Estée Lauder launched two 520-limited gift boxes, lipsticks box set and skincare box set, to celebrate 20th May this year. The brand described the relationship of two as two lines crossing over. Taking lines as the main concept in designing the outlook, the box set uses the colour of love, red. The box set provides a luxurious option for last-minute shoppers to express their love.

Yves Saint Laurent

Source : YSL

Designed in the similar shape of ring box, four different 520-limited giftboxes have been released as the campaign for 20th May. Best-selling lipsticks, perfume and perfume candles are included in the box set. Every gift boxes are named after different Chinese blessing words, so shoppers are allowed to show their love with the typical gift box.

Tiffany & Co.

Source : Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. presented a limited edition Tiffany HardWear necklace with rubies to celebrate 520 Valentine’s Day. Tiffany & Co.’s global brand ambassador Eileen Gu, an Olympic gold medalist and model, starred in the campaign “Blue is the Color of Love”. The limited-edition necklace is currently available online and in stores, as well as on the brand’s official sites and dedicated WeChat boutique.


Source : Pandora

Pandora is hosting a series of campaigns for 520. Apart from 520-limited gift sets, the brand has also hosted a series of online live shows since early May, so shoppers could pre-order before 20th May. A special discount was offered for shoppers who bought their gift during the live show. Friendship is another focus for Pandora in 520 Valentine’s Day this year. Online campaign on Weibo is launched for shoppers to show love for their friends.

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Following the growth of social media and online platforms in recent years, brands are in favor of online-based campaigns. Besides, as China has already adopted a digital lifestyle due to COVID, brands have already shifted their marketing focus online with the help of livestreaming and social media-based campaigns.