Double V. Consulting handpicks and analyzes 3-5 interesting Chinese marketing campaigns in this monthly series. We mainly cover consumer goods categories, including beauty, fashion, and food brands etc. Every month, we highlight brand campaigns distributed on Chinese digital platforms — WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, Tmall, Douyin, and beyond.
CASE 1: GIRLCULT product funeral
Chinese emerging makeup brand Girlcult arranged a “funeral” for its discontinued products. Girlcult treats each product as its child. To memorize classic but to-be-discontinued products, the brand arranged a"funeral" on major social platforms, including Xiaohongshu, Bilibili and Douyin.
Girlcult first produced a short video reviewing all to-be-discontinued products, including each product's name, age, weight, characteristics and an eulogy. The brand then invited customers to join the group and attend this online "funeral". Each customer was invited to share personal stories and memories with these products, and also suggestions for improvements.
（click here to watch full videos）
After the "funeral", all discontinued products were on sale and customers could purchase with big discounts. The brand also offered blind boxes including random products during live streaming. Girlcult even opened an official account on Xianyu (a second-hand product marketplace owned by Alibaba) to sell returned or faulty products.
Double V. Comments: Stock clearance sale can be another chance of branding? Wow your customers with not only discounts, but also good stories and social rituals.
CASE 2: KFC x POPMART Blind Box
To celebrate its 35-anniversary in China, KFC collaborated with top Chinese designer toy brand POPMART and launched a series of blind box. The blind box was designed with DIMOO figure (a popular IP under POPMART) and KFC's most popular menu items, such as "Sleeping French fries", "Flying colonel's chicken nuggets" and "Frozen sundae" etc. Purchase a bucket set and you can get a random blind box toy. KFC also redecorated 6 theme stores in 6 major cities.
The co-branding blind box is super hot and attracts a lot of attention online. On second-hand marketplaces, a full collection can be sold for more than 1000 RMB. However, there is also some negative voice. One of the 7 blind box toys is limited edition - only 1 exists in every 72 boxes. To get the full collection, a few customers would spend more than 10,000 RMB to purchase 100 bucket sets. Some customers even purchase "eating" services - ask someone else to eat for them so they can get more blind boxes. This leads to a lot of negative feedback online, including criticism from China Consumers Association. Double V. Comments: Blind box is super hot now in China, especially among Gen Z. KFC's "hunger marketing" strategy is quite successful in creating buzz online and attract young customers. However, brands should also study the latest Chinese regulations and watch out the public opinion environment, to avoid PR crisis and punishments from governments.
CASE 3: To Summer's New Courtyard Store
Chinese niche lifestyle fragrance brand To Summer (观夏) opened its first offline in Shanghai. The new store was renovated from an old style building and is named as Xiao Ting (闲庭 Eastern Courtyard). Unlike other brands, To Summer didn't choose busy streets. The new store is located in a quiet street with not many stores. The brand wants customers to slow down from their busy daily life and enjoy their time.
The first floor is a space of fragrance including a display perfume, home fragrance and body care products. When customers enter the store, they will be "deodorized" and wash their hands so that they can better enjoy the scents and products. The second floor is a lifestyle event space that will be used to host Chinese cultural and lifestyle events with VIP customers. Double V. Comments: Living in a big city like Shanghai, you don't always have the chance to slow down. "Slow marketing" from To Summer matches perfectly with its brand philosophy. Young customers want to find brands who can not only offer good products, but also connect and resonate with them spiritually.