In times of post COVID-19, China continues to stand out to be a significant growing market. Luxury brands are in a competitive race to develop marketing campaigns centered around various gifting and traditional occasions in order to sustain the remarkable level of growth.
One such occasion is the emergence of a China version of Valentines Day which goes under the term “520”. 520 derives from the Chinese acronym for “I love you,” and it happens to take place every year on May 20th.
In Chinese cultur and tradition, numbers has an important place and value. Brands who are in the competitive race has picked this up and quickly started to capitalise around the traditions.
How to celebrate 520?
520 also known as Cyber Valentine’s Day, has become a day to sheer the love for the women, by giving gifts and flowers. In recent years there has also been more campaigns targeting males in form of beauty products and underwear.
China does also celebrate the intenational Valentines Day on 14 February. But, if you think two Valentines Days may be too much, then we guess you havent heard of the Qixi Festival in August. China can’t simply celebrate love too much, they actually celebrates three times a year.
During the celebration of 520 you usually spend time with your loved once and exchange gifts. The gifts have the “touch of love” and includes confectionery, cosmetics, fragrances, clothing, flowers and jewelry.
Notably, renowned Western luxury brands like Cartier, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Balenciaga, as well as prominent domestic brands like Perfect Diary and Florasis, have actively engaged in the festivities of 520 Day in recent times.
NBH highlights brands love for 520
By scanning social media platforms and e-commerce channels, such as LRB, WeChat and Tmall, one theme that stood out this year was “Keep it Classic”. Mulberry created a campaign film with models saying “I Love you” in Chinese and other languages, highlighting iconic bags and latest cloths. Another “classic” example is Dior who campaigned with their classic perfume series.
Net-a-porter stadged a romantic dinner for two, the campaign showed the latest trends for him and her.
LOEWE, the luxury brand from Spain, demonstrates that love can extend to our beloved four-legged companions as well
Balenciaga campaigns for Gen-Z and Green transition
Balenciaga took another direction for this years 520. The luxuary brand continues to target the younger generation, this time with the limited collection of “I Love”.
Balenciaga kicked off its 520 campaign on April 25, nearly a month prior to the May festivities. The campaign prominently features a collection of exclusive 520-themed T-shirts, hoodies, pierced caps, and socks. The designs showcase a graphic representation of the letter ‘I’ intertwined with a red heart shape, creating a blurred effect that conveys a sense of vertical movement.
The campaign emphasizes the simplicity of nature and a blink to the hip young male and female.
Last year balenciaga made a similar targeted take on 520. Balenciaga created a 520 Mini-Game where you could collect agriculture virtual stickers on a farm.
To sum-up, this year’s 520 celebrations were relatively low-key compared to initial expectations. However, as the saying goes, “simplicity is often the epitome of excellence,” and “timeless classics endure.” Luxury brands, undoubtedly, would concur with these sentiments.
Balenciaga reminds us of the rapidly growing young generation, where one should think outside the box. Balenciaga strategically embraces an open-ended declaration of ‘I Love ___,’ to capturing the importance of self-expression and to choose who to love. This campaign’s connection to love for the planet not only aligns the brand’s core values with its target market but also holds the potential to instigate substantial transformations, fostering a drive towards impactful change.
If you are not in the camp of competing with the big giants, collaborating with influencers who share and maybe wear your products on Valentine’s Day is also an effective strategy.
As a brand or markeeter, the China content calender is busy, its important to keep up with the competition.