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01. DeBeers debuts Cai Xukun as newest spokesperson.

DeBeers is the latest to debut male KOLs promoting traditionally feminine jewelry lines.

Cai Xukun and gogoboi showed off DeBeers’ Reflections of Nature collection, including delicate necklaces and earrings.

(Singer-songwriter, dancer, actor, and rapper Cai Xukun rose to fame on reality show Idol Producer. This year, his new album reached one million reservations on QQ Music after only two hours, the fastest to do so this year. Gogoboi is one of China’s most well-known fashion boggers, especially beloved for his witty analysis. He has 10 million followers on Weibo.)

The debut was well-noted in the world of WeChat! DeBeers’ two most recent posts featuring Cai Xukun earned an average of 63K reads and 36% engagement, compared to an average of 19K and 6% the preceding month.

Though met with much applause, this move is unsurprising considering the buzz around Jackson Yee and Tiffany & Co. last summer and Gucci’s recent partnering with top livestreamer  Austin Li to sell their Poudre De Beauté Mat Naturel’s shade range.

Bringing in Cai Xukun and gogoboi isn’t just for the female audience – men in China are increasingly interested in exploring beyond the traditional confines of “masculine” jewelry. Tiffany’s Reed Krakoff explained in an interview with WWD, that “In China, the men’s customer is much more engaged, much more enthusiastic about men’s fashion and much more comfortable with wearing jewelry, cosmetics, fashion all these different categories. The opportunity is really quite big.”

 


02. What difference does a male KOL make for makeup?

Speaking of Cai Xukun – wonder how much of a differenct male KOLs really make for traditionally-female luxury?

Tom Ford Beauty’s March 26th and 27th WeChat posts created a sort of “A/B test” over this question. Both posts featured the exact same make-up product, but the first had a female model and the second spokesperson Zhu Yilong 朱一龙 with the tagline, “Zhu Yilong invites you to spend extravagant moments together.”

The content of the posts was nearly identical. Each began with a 15 second video, had similar copy, and ended with a code to paste into Tmall. Zhu Yilong’s personality wasn’t especially apparent in the second post, and we don’t even hear his voice in the video.

The results? The first article got 6.6K views while Zhu Yilong’s received 16.4K – more than double! And it wasn’t just that more people opened the article – Zhu’s post earned 37% engagement, while the first post received just 1%. This should come as no surprise given other’s success, but it is amazing to see the effect so clearly in action.

 

        

03. Boucheron crafts a bespoke online-to-offline experience.

Boucheron’s Multi-Faceted “Ornament” Corner pop-up in Beijing SKP came paired with a WeChat content page, “Question of Style.”

From within WeChat users were able to:

  • book an appointment to visit the pop-up.
  • answer questions about their personal style.
  • virtually try on Boucheron necklaces.
  • get bespoke jewelry recommendations.

Plus, after completing the above “experiences,” users were given an exclusive QR code for a free drink at Boucheron’s Jardin D’Hiver café.

The online content was beautifully designed for user engagement and value. By learning about shoppers’ styles and customizing recommendations, Boucheron made a meaningful connection with each user. Plus, they delivered real value and incentive for further interaction with the café-gift QR code.

Boucheron’s post featuring the “Question of Style” experience and pop-up store got well over 20% engagement. One comment with over 100 likes said, “Thanks for Boucheron’s invitation.” Most commenters also praised male singer/actor Lu Han 鹿晗, who Boucheron invited to the pop-up. When Lu Han sports Boucheron, people take note, as when he wore a diamond arrow earring from their Flèche du Temps series to Weibo Night in February.

(Singer and actor Lu Han became well-known as a part of boy group Exo before going solo in 2014. In 2017, Forbs China Celebrity 100 listed him as the second highest-paid celebrity. In early 2020 he was China’s first singer to sell 100 million RMB of his digital albums.)

 

 

04. Longchamp and EU bring broken hearts and tough love in exciting collaboration.

Longchamp x EU (streetwear label Emotionally Unavailable) are bringing “the spirit of boxing” to WeChat and Shanghai via a boxing-ring pop-up and an exclusive—release capsule collection.

The theme is one of breaking boundaries and to “never say die and never fear anything,” comparing life to a boxing match where the most important thing is getting back up. In a video posted on Longchamp’s WeChat Channels, EU’s co-founder Edison Chen said that the collaboration sought to “keep the authenticity of EU and Longchamp, but also push the envelope so that it is a further step for each of the companies.”

Their innovative pop-up is open April 7th to the 21st. Visitors can participate in interactive boxing challenges, with score sheets posted daily and weekly prizes. So far, the hashtag #LongchampXEU# has viewed 44M times on Weibo, with Chen’s post announcing the collaboration getting over 13K likes. Interestingly, the hashtag got a huge spike in views just as the pop-up location opened, perhaps emphasizing the well-known importance of the offline component for luxury.

The collection could be viewed on Longchamp’s WeChat store well in advance of the drop, but wasn’t for sale until April 13th. Those eagerly anticipating the release were able to sign up for an alert in their Mini Program. The collection includes large and small bags (nylon and leather), t-shirts, hoodies, boxing-style wear, and even a ribbon for 850 RMB. Clever phrases like “Been a Champ a Long Time” and the EU bleeding heart adorn the pieces. The grey hoodie (pictured below) sold out in the first day!

It’s not the first we’ve heard of the campaign. A purple eco-friendly nylon Le Pliage bag from the collaboration was released in early March. And Longchamp’s WeChat account ran a lucky draw just two weeks prior to the pop-up.

The campaign has featured EU co-founders Chen and Kybum Lee, along with several famous artists, including actors Ou Hao 欧豪 and Zhou Yutong 周雨彤, and even boxing Olympian Zhou Shiming 邹市明.

We love the fresh and energetic feel of this collaboration, especially the way they’ve woven in a truly unique offline component!

 

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