The Chinese Valentine’s Day, also known as the Qixi Festival, fell on 14th August this year. It falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year. As one of the biggest sales driving holidays in China, Qixi Festival has become an opportunity for brands to connect with their Chinese customers through different initiatives.
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This year’s Qixi campaigns have been rolled out since July – much earlier than usual. To stand out from one another, brands are approaching the theme of love through different angles and working with different artists and celebrities to capture the attention of Chinese consumers.
Let’s have a look at some of the campaigns this year.
To celebrate the Chinese festival of love, the fashion house explored the concept of gifting through a series of photos taken by photographer Zeng Wu and directed by the brand’s Creative Director Wu Woo. A short film is also launched with the photographs, featuring brand ambassador Cai Xukun creating the song “You Know What I Want”. To generate engagement, Prada launched a challenge on Douyin (a.k.a TikTok) where over 20K users participated.
Inspired by the love story between Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, Burberry invited three Chinese illustrators, Aaren, Vikki Zhang and Sunjiayi to work on a series of postcards featuring two cartoonistic foxes. In addition to the postcards, the fashion house also launched a 1-min video, featuring the two foxes, that depicts classic Chinese love-themed proverbs in a modern perspective.
The fashion brand proposed an A side and a B side to love, one side being more colorful and lively while the other side is more calm and cool. The special Qixi collection featured its classic MK monogram revolving around the two sides of love, one set of the collection in multiple colors and the other set in black and white.
For its campaign, Michael Kors had a series of photographs of multiple Chinese celebrities such as brand global ambassador Gao Yuan Yuan, brand China ambassador Wang Feifei, singer Kong Xueer and actor Qiming Fei showcasing the different Qixi collection items.
To celebrate love, friends reuniting after too long apart, Givenchy’s Creative Director, Matthew M. William, partnered with Seattle born and Mexico-based artist Chito to launch a limited collection for Qixi.
The capsule showcases specially made graphics by Chito The Pop inspired Truehearted motif of a girl with a heart appears on an oversized mohair knit, as all overprint on a zip up silk shirt, or in red and black on a classic white t-shirt The 4G Heart emblem is seemingly air brushed onto a black hoodie with snap details, a t-shirt dress or a t-shirt with a crossed out in tufted lettering.
The Qixi campaign featured Canadian singer Henry Lau, Taiwanese singer and actress Amber Kuo, Chinese singer Ma Siwei and Chinese singer and actress Jenny Zeng, appointing them as the “Givenchy Love Ambassadors”, to showcase the collection in different personalities and styles.
Louis Vuitton collaborated with three Chinese female celebrities, brand ambassador Dilraba, actress Liu Haocun and singer Xi Jiaqi to showcase the “Fall in Love” special collection that featured heart-shaped red prints on women’s clothes, handbags, sneakers and accessories.
The 30 second campaign video of the three ladies drove high engagement on Chinese social media platforms, with over 180K likes on Weibo.
Valetino celebrates the festival with its Amore 2021 collection featuring special heart motifs and a vibrant red hue. The collection includes a range of womenswear and menswear, bags, footwear and accessories. The campaign video starred brand ambassadors Lay Zhang, Tang Yan and singer Luo Yizhou in three different settings, sharing their romantic moments. The three videos are well-received with over 250K likes on Weibo.
In addition to online initiatives, Valentino also launched multiple love-themed pop-up stores across major cities in China, such as Shanghai, Ningbo, Chengdu and Dalian.
Local Chinese brand campaigns:
Known for its ancient Chinese aestheticity, the C-beauty brand, Florasis, released an ancient China inspired animation, “Zhang Chang Touches up Eyebrows”.
The four-minute animation video retells the romantic story from the Book of Han about a man named Zhang Chang who would paint his wife’s eyebrows every morning to cover up a scar. To celebrate Qixi, the brand launched a social campaign, inviting consumers to share pictures or videos of them touching up their beloved one’s eyebrows using Florasis products.
The short video drove high traffic and sales on the brand’s eyebrow pencil product.
The Chinese lifestyle brand the BEAST launched a limited-edition Qixi flower bouquet and handbags featuring its mascot Panda Pai-Pai.
The campaign video features its brand ambassador Boran Jing and its two mascots, Panda Pu-Pu and Pai-Pai, to encourage people to express their feelings and love. It received over 46K likes on Weibo.
On social media, the brand engaged with its customers by encouraging people to share their love stories. The stories that get picked are read out by Boran Jing and the mascot Panda Pai-Pai will personally deliver a bouquet of roses to the customers. The videos of customers and celebrities, such as aiwanese musician Ouyang Nana and Chinese actress Meng Ziyi receiving roses from the Panda are posted on Weibo, receiving a high engagement rate.
As the narrative of Qixi has been moving beyond the origin story behind the festival, brands are adding modern twists to speak to the younger generations. From the above examples of this year’s Qixi campaign, we see the importance of celebrities in brands’ campaigns. Brands are casting celebrities alongside their brand ambassadors to reach more audiences.
One interesting finding is that many of the collections from luxury brands focus on red and hearts, while on Qixi, the Chinese fashion label PRONOUNCE proposed another color for the festival of love – Purple.The brand shared scenes in love movies where purple is the color.
Maybe Valentine’s Day does not have to be all about hearts and red, but a much deeper sense of love?
Looking forward to seeing what other innovative campaigns brands will bring to us for the next Chinese Valentine’s Day.