With the Spring Festival holiday now over, celebrations will still continue in China until Lantern Festival, and therefore with good will and a sense of celebration in the air, festivals are always seen as a valuable marketing opportunity for brands and businesses and as the most important traditional festival in China, special emphasis is always placed on Spring Festival. Along with a strong enthusiasm to celebrate and a general spending vibe, brands and merchants may even wish to be open 24 hours around the clock.
While in recent years, one of the most popular marketing activity during Spring Festival may have been the virtual red envelopes collected by scanning the Chinese character “Fu”, which implies the meaning of fortune and good luck. In fact, there have always been certain popular and classic methods brands apply to their promotion during festivals. The following are some typical examples.
From the beginning of 2021, we can see luxurious brands’ latest advertisements posted on the opening page of popular social media platforms and for most brands, it is still a common marketing tool to invite popular stars and internet celebrities for product endorsement. This tactic has been tried and tested repeatedly, for example, Armani invited Zhong Chuxi and Jackson Yee to star in the 2021 New Year advertisement. Zhong, who is highly praised by brand owners relying on her excellent filmography, was also named as the face of luxury brand BVLGARI. When it comes to Jackson Yee, a member of the well-known group TFboys, his influence on fans and consumers also cannot be underestimated. Not only in terms of his achievements in music, but also in acquiring many awards/nominations for best actor in his role in the film Better Days（少年的你）, at the tender age of 20. The combination of star and brand influence can further fuel shopping.
As we mentioned in our previous article, Case Study: Top Brands' Mid-Autumn Marketing Strategies 中秋营销策略分析, most Chinese festivals have their own story and cultural elements, therefore it is crucial to have a better understanding of their historical background. Only brands that are willing to study Chinese traditional culture and understand the tastes of Chinese consumers of all ages may win in the battlefield when the dust finally settles.
Many international brands launch a variety of limited products during the holiday period with the New Year Zodiac sign and the color Red, representing happiness and celebration in Chinese traditional culture, mainly used to decorate products of famous brands.
However, it seems as if these are the only tactics employed by certain brands during spring festival, but simply decorating a product with these elements is far from enough. If the product can successfully convey the notions of family reunion and happiness, it may resonate deeper in people’s minds, perhaps leading to increased sales.
Social media activities and promotions that tap into the holiday vibe would get more opportunities. Whether it be Weibo or Xiaohongshu, most well-known brands have their own accounts on social media platforms, as it is the most direct and effective way to reach consumers and promote their products. For example, on Xiaohongshu, anyone can share their lifestyles and feelings about the products they use through short videos and pictures.
Many young people like to follow fashion trends and find product feedback on the platform before purchase. In fact, Xiaohongshu is a platform that has successfully integrated content, commerce and community. The power of KOLs/KOCs is especially strong on this social media platform and this is the reason why many brands invite famous KOLs to assist their promotional activities. For most Chinese buyers, they tend to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations during their shopping journey.
For international brands, it is still not easy to fully understand the special significance of Spring Festival and cultivate marketing strategies. Furthermore, this year, rules suggested by the government for people to remain within the regions in which they live and work during the Spring Festival period in order to reduce personnel flow, has already disrupted marketing plans, such as the area of tourism, transportation and catering industries.
If you want to know how to better leverage the role of marketing in the Chinese holiday market, please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.