While you may be used to seeing amazing co-branding campaigns with NASA, we notice a rising popularity of China Aerospace culture among Chinese young generations. China’s aerospace business started from 65 years ago and 2021 is a remarkable year. China finally built up their own space station and successfully sent 3 astronauts to stay in the Chinese space station for a 3-month mission.
(Pictures from Xinhua)
The aerospace culture has become one of the most popular IPs (Intellectual Property) among #GenZ. It is not only about patriotism. The China aerospace culture represents a new wave of #Guochao (国潮) – the rising confidence of Chinese traditional culture and modern technology. From the marketing perspective, we also notice that brands are quickly adopting this trend. Many brands are collaborating with China Aerospace Group. In this article, we will share 5 innovative collaborations.
1. Tmall x CASCI (China Aerospace Science and Cultural Innovation) Tmall organized a series of online and offline events to celebrate the successful return of 3 astronauts from the Chinese space station. The campaign posters featured celebrities cosplaying 5 Chinese ancient mythological figures who have stories related to the space. A “space show” section was created on Tmall platform including products related to the China aerospace culture, such as co-branding products, and products powered with the aerospace technology etc. Top live streamer Viya will also host a special live streaming for these products. Tmall also prepared 200 blind boxes with the seeds brought back from the space, to interact with young audiences. In Hangzhou, where Alibaba’s headquarter is located at, Tmall built a pop-up “space module”, where visitors can experience the “space walk”. There is also a space fashion show featuring Chinese independent fashion designers and their space themed fashion items.
(Pictures from Tmall’s Weibo Official Account; Click HERE to view the full video)
2. YIN x CASCI (China Aerospace Science and Cultural Innovation) To celebrate the Chinese “Space Day” on April 24th and the successful launch of the Chinese space station’s core module, the Chinese designer jewelry brand YIN designed a limited-edition jewelry set with the actual space rocket pieces that were collected from previous space launches. A 18k gold rocket-shape pattern was carved on the rocket piece pendent. The set included necklaces, bracelets, earrings and cufflinks. A certificate for the collection of real space rocket pieces was also sent along with the gift box. This limited-edition was named “Rocket Romance”.
(Pictures from YIN’s Weibo Official Account)
We have wrote about the successful secrets of YIN (and other emerging China fashion brands). Click HERE to free download report.
3. NIO x ASES (Aerospace System Engineering Shanghai) Collaborating with ASES, the Chinese leading EV brand NIO launched a series of space-related events including China aerospace exhibitions & seminars, and themed products to celebrate the space month in September. NIO designed a space mooncake gift set under its IP “NOMI” (similar to Siri of Apple) for the Mid-Autume Festival. The mooncakes with different flavors and patterns represent 3 planets – Venus, Mars & Kepler. A special collection of space-themed clothes was also launched.
(Pictures from Nio's Weibo Official Account)
4. Proya x Aerospace Culture The Chinese leading beauty brand Proya launched a space-edition of its iconic serum product with rocket-shape packaging, and a new sunscreen product. The products’ concepts align with the space theme – protect you with anti-oxidant, sunscreen and whitening efficacy even if you in outer space. The campaign’s slogan is “Create in China, Explore the Universe”, which represents the long journey of China aerospace business and is also a mission of Proya - promoting a Chinese brand to the world.
(Pictures from Proya's Weibo Official Account)
5. Goodbaby (GB) x ASES Goodbaby is a Chinese top children products brand. Recently GB launched a new model of children’s car seat powered with technology from China aerospace research. They also opened a pop-up store in Shanghai to showcase the new products. The pop-up store was designed like a space station. The baby will be protected by car seats in car accidents, just like astronauts being protect by the space suits.
(Pictures from GoodBaby)
What Makes a Successful and Not Boring Co-branding Campaign? Although we have seen so many co-branding cases, it’s never enough to discover more extraordinary cases. Co-branding is not just about changing the product packaging. Consumers are tired of seeing collaborations with the same products in new packaging printed with two logos – too safe and predictable with no creativity. Co-branding is about leveraging each brand’s strength and awareness to maximize the campaign’s exposure with minimum costs, so the result will be 1+1>2. STEP 1 is to find a co-branding partner or partners, who can be brands, people or IPs, that match your brand identity in some ways. They are not necessarily in the same industry, but at least have some shared value or attributes. The existing consumer groups of each brand may not be the same, but with overlap, so the collaborations will bring each brand more new consumers. Above cases show 5 brands collaborating with the trending China aerospace culture, which is a great way to reach young generations, a generation who have strong cultural and national identity.
STEP 2 is to find the most common value between the brands, which also matches the trend and can be accepted by consumers, then create the campaign based on this value. Above 5 cases have different angles each. Let’s take YIN’s case as an example. The aerospace research is romantic – hundreds of thousands researchers devote their whole careers to research the outer space, even though they may not have time for families or see any progress in years. YIN focuses on the “romantic” value and designs a set of jewelry. “Wear the romance from outer space” is such a unique experience. STEP 3 is to launch a successful co-branding campaign is to make sure the campaign products and contents are authentic, creative and attractive enough for the social media communications. For example, to maximize the exposure, Tmall’s campaign includes both online and offline launch. The contents combine Chinese ancient myth with the modern aerospace technology and trending blind box, riding on the #Guochao wave to reach young consumers. They also include celebrities and top live streamers to increase awareness. To summarize, co-branding is about redefining the brand concept with innovation. It has become an important part of the whole branding strategy. Brands who can think out of the box will win consumers ultimately.