In Chinese culture, Valentine’s Day or Qixi Festival is celebrated every year on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, but did you know that there is a second “Valentine’s Day” in China?
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The second Valentine’s Day is an internet festival celebrated on 20th May. It is not an official holiday, but it is known to be Chinese netizen’s Valentine’s Day.
Why on 20th of May? Numerology and homophones play a big part in the Chinese culture. For 520, when you pronounce the numbers in Mandarin, it is pronounced ‘wu er ling’, which is homophonic to ‘I love you’ in Mandarin, ‘wo ai ni’.
520 originally started on the internet as a shortcut for ‘I love you’ in Mandarin, like ‘ily’ in English. Eventually, the three numbers were associated with the date 20th May and it became a love-themed commercial promotion day for brands and retailers who were targeting young Chinese consumers.
Every year, brands plan their campaign, let’s take a look at 2021’s celebrations.
Using the color of love, red, as the main color and the iconic blue double G logo, Gucci celebrates this day with a special 520 collection showcasing different representations of love. The limited collection includes a series of handbags, shoes, accessories and clothing.
Starring brand ambassadors Ni Ni and Lu Han and actor Lai Kuan-lin and actress Lareina Song in the four campaign videos, the fashion brand wants to deliver the message that 520 is not just a festival for couples, but is for everybody to enjoy, as shown in the video. Love for partners, pets or for themselves, the 520 is for everybody.
The Italian fashion brand presents a 520 special collection of handbags, apparel and footwear.
Focusing on depicting a typical “Miu Miu girl”, Miu Miu joined hands with photographer Fan Xin on a series of photographs of the Chinese model Ju Xiao Wen with the collection to present female love. The campaign captures every single moment of a woman’s daily life to showcase 90s confidence, self-love and independence.
Tiffany & Co.
To unlock the infinite possibilities of love, the jewelry house debuted an online exclusive limited edition of a Tiffany Victoria Key Necklace for 520. The collection is showcased by actors Gong Jun, Ou Hao and Cecilia Song and the livestreamer Li Jiaqi in a 15-second campaign video to explore new opportunities in love.
In celebration of 520 and its 20th anniversary, the Chinese beauty brand released a 3-min video, hashtagging #520iloveme. The video revolves around the life from her birth till adulthood of a woman named Li Wu. The message of the video is about self-love. There is no need to please others, no need to be influenced by other people’s preferences, no need to be attached to or to be affiliated with anyone. Every woman is their own precious gift. The brand wants to pay tribute to beautiful women.
The campaign launched on Weibo has over 3000 likes and 10K shares. It encourages people to share their 20 year-old attitude and the top 20 participants who reshare the post will receive a skincare product for free. 520iloveme became one of the top 10 searches on Weibo on 20th May.
In addition to all the different brand campaigns trying to present love, on this unofficial Valentine’s Day, two Chinese celebrities, actress Tong Liya and celebrity Chen Sicheng, decided to announce their divorce on Chinese social media.
In turn, the divorce was celebrated by fans who called her decision “long overdue”. The hashtag “Congratulations Tong Liya” became one of the top searches on the Chinese social media Weibo. There are comments from fans saying that “divorce on 520 is the beginning of new happiness.”
As the attitude towards love and marriage has changed for the new generations, brands and retailers are depicting love in different ways to appeal to the new generations of consumers.
What will brands do for the next 520?