The Chinese Dragon New Year is drawing near, marking an important period for engaging with local consumers, during which luxury brands are testing their “localization” marketing capabilities.
As luxury brands continue to deepen their exploration of the Chinese market, their understanding of local culture has gradually deepened, especially in terms of content creation and dissemination. Brands have started to integrate more unique intangible cultural elements and emotional components, aiming to resonate genuinely with Chinese consumers. This Chinese New Year, short video collaborations with stars, directors, and artists have become a favored medium of communication for many luxury brands.
This article, featured by Luxeplace.com, highlights the Chinese New Year marketing campaigns and short films of eleven brands, including Rimowa, Qeelin, Maison Margiela, Bottega Veneta, Max Mara, Loewe, Bally, Moose Knuckles, BVLGARI, Zenith, and MICHAEL KORS, to see how they eloquently tell their “China Story.”
- Delving into Local Culture and Folk Customs
- Focusing on Traditional Crafts, Collaborating with Chinese Artists and Craftsmen
- Evoking the Sentiment of Homecoming and Reunion
Delving into Local Culture and Folk Customs
Rimowa: Seeking the Image of the “Dragon” in the Beautiful Scenery of Shu
The German luxury travel luggage brand Rimowa released a New Year film titled “Dragon Roaming Between Heaven and Earth,” set in the ancient Shu region, rich in Chinese cultural heritage.
The film follows a family trip to Shu, from the bustling streets of Chengdu to the mountains and rivers of Dujiangyan and Western Sichuan, searching for various “dragons.” The camera focuses on the beautiful scenery of the ancient Shu region, capturing the reunion moments of the family during the auspicious Year of the Dragon.
Qeelin: The Year of the Dragon Begins on the Yulong River in Yangshuo
This year, the high-end jewelry brand Qeelin ventured deep into mainland China to the Yulong River in Yangshuo, Guilin City, Guangxi, to shoot the New Year short film “Golden Dragon Parade.”
The Yulong River, the longest tributary of the Li River, hosts a “Kilometer Golden Dragon Parade” during major festivals, where villagers connect bamboo rafts to form a nearly kilometer-long “golden dragon” on the river, praying for good weather and national peace.
The New Year’s short film features global brand ambassador Liu Shishi, wearing Qeelin’s iconic Wulu series jewelry and holding a gourd lantern symbolizing safety and wealth.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Qeelin’s name is inspired by the qilin, a mythical creature representing love and luck in Eastern mythology, akin to the dragon’s auspicious meaning in Chinese culture. Through this New Year’s short film, Qeelin hopes to deepen the emotional bond with consumers and the Year of the Dragon while conveying the brand’s philosophy of “balance and harmony.”
Dragons carry people’s wishes for prosperity. Rimowa’s film vividly depicts a family’s New Year journey, searching for “dragons” in the streets and natural landscapes of Shu, from Chengdu’s East Gate to Dujiangyan and Western Sichuan. In Qeelin’s Yulong River New Year film, a “golden dragon” sails on the Yulong River, showcasing its majestic power against the backdrop of Guilin’s mountains and rivers.
There are many unexplored places and folk customs in the vast land of China, which are essential parts of Chinese culture. Rimowa and Qeelin delve into Chinese regional landscapes and folk customs, exploring the close connection with “dragons” and achieving a deep conversation with local consumers through localized context.
Focusing on Traditional Crafts, Collaborating with Chinese Artists and Craftsmen
Loewe: Chinese Jade Carving Art
This year, the Spanish luxury brand Loewe commissioned jade carving masters Cheng Lei, Qiu Qijing, and Yin Xiaojin to create three limited-edition jade pieces, featuring their stories behind the jade carving in a series of short films.
Cheng Lei designed a white jade pendant shaped like a pea pod with a snail, symbolizing blessings of wealth and longevity; Qiu Qijing created an eggplant-shaped amethyst pendant, resembling a crown symbolizing happiness and success; Yin Xiaojin, known for his animal and plant carvings, crafted a complex hollowed-out jade pendant shaped like a cabbage with a cricket, symbolizing prosperity and wealth. These pendants are available exclusively at CASA LOEWE in Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu.
Bally: Sugar Painting, Shadow Play, Lanterns
The Swiss luxury leather goods brand Bally drew inspiration from Chinese traditional culture, incorporating sugar painting, shadow play, and lanterns into three short films for the Year of the Dragon, featuring brand ambassador Wang Yuan.
In the sugar painting episode, craftsmen use a spoon as a pen and sugar as ink to create various auspicious dragon patterns; in the shadow play episode, craftsmen cut out dragon-shaped shadows to tell ancient stories with light and shadow; in the lantern episode, artisans craft red lanterns with bamboo frames and paper, adding a festive touch to the New Year.
Zenith: Collaborating with Beijing Paper Cutting Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritor Xu Yang to Design Chinese New Year Greeting Cards
Zenith, a luxury watch brand under LVMH, collaborated with Xu Yang, a representative inheritor of Beijing paper cutting, to design red and gold greeting cards for the Chinese New Year, inspired by Zenith’s brand gift box and combining Chinese paper cutting art. These greeting cards are distributed online and offline, accompanying gift boxes for brand customers and partners.
Moose Knuckles: Collaborating with Chinese Designer Panda Mei to Narrate a New Meaning of “Dragon”
The Canadian luxury fashion brand Moose Knuckles collaborated with designer Panda Mei from Dali, Yunnan, to create a limited series for the Chinese New Year, reinterpreting traditional dragon patterns with modern aesthetics.
The series launch was accompanied by a New Year’s film “Rise of the Dragon,” featuring Panda Mei, fashion brand owner @Lei Qian’s MMs, and stylist @Li Yuqi, narrating the new significance of the “dragon” among trendsetters.
The Italian luxury jewelry and watch brand BVLGARI collaborated with UN partner artist Pan Hu to create a Dragon Year totem, drawing inspiration from the mythical narratives of “dragons” and “snakes” found in the classic Chinese text “Shan Hai Jing.”
The artist meticulously depicted the dragon’s body and horns using the traditional Gongbi painting style, known for its detailed and vivid use of color.
BVLGARI also released a New Year’s short film through its WeChat public account. The film starts with a scroll slowly unfolding, showcasing BVLGARI’s iconic Serpenti totem embarking on a journey from its flagship store on Rome’s Condotti Avenue, transcending time and space, and eventually meeting the auspicious dragon in the East.
Under the theme of localized narrative for the Chinese New Year, luxury brands have found ideal “partners” in Chinese traditional craftsmen, artists, and inheritors of intangible cultural heritage.
Loewe focused on “jade” as its theme, commissioning three jade carving masters to create three limited edition jade pendants and inviting them to share their insights on jade. Bally’s short films showcased how artisans create sugar paintings and lanterns, and how shadow puppeteers craft their figures. Zenith collaborated with representatives of intangible cultural heritage to incorporate paper cutting art into New Year greeting cards. BVLGARI partnered with a Chinese artist, drawing creative inspiration from Chinese myths and legends.
These artisans and artists, deeply rooted in local culture, possess a profound understanding and mastery over Chinese aesthetics and classic elements, enabling them to innovate freely. Through deep collaboration with them, luxury brands have been able to bridge cultural divides, delivering holiday gifts that deeply resonate with Chinese consumers, delighting them with heartfelt and unconventional offerings.
Evoking the Sentiment of Homecoming and Reunion
MICHAEL KORS: Carry Your True Self, “This Year, I Won’t Pretend”
The American fashion luxury brand MICHAEL KORS has launched a special Chinese New Year short film for 2024 titled “This Year, I Won’t Pretend,” using a bold and sharp creative angle to depict the inner emotions of contemporary young people as they return home for the Spring Festival. The play on words with “no pretend” conveys the brand’s message encouraging young people to return home for the New Year’s celebrations being true to themselves.
Max Mara: “Max’s Dragon Year Family Visit”
The Italian fashion luxury brand Max Mara presents a New Year’s short film filled with childlike whimsy. In the film, Max Mara narrates a story about a Chinese dragon named Max leading the brand’s mascot, Little Teddy, on a family visit to Scandinavia, using the form of an audiobook.
This is not the first time Max Mara has chosen to celebrate the Chinese New Year through animated short films. Last year, the brand released an animation where Max, a small rabbit wearing a red coat and with a love for music, sets off with a backpack to find music around the world that suits his singing.
Maison Margiela: Taking the Bus to Childhood, “The Road Home Remains the Same”
The French luxury brand Maison Margiela released a New Year’s short film titled “The Road Home Remains the Same,” starring model Ju Xiaowen.
Sitting on an old bus carrying childhood memories, the film features encounters with childhood friends holding little fish lanterns. Scenes of bus stops, buses, and childhood memories showcase the urgent feelings of returning home and the warmth of long-missed reunions.
Bottega Veneta: Finding “The First Sunrise With You in Reunion in Motion
The Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta collaborates for the fourth time with Chinese female director Jess Zou to release the 2024 New Year’s short film “The First Sunrise with You.”
The camera follows the brand’s global ambassador, renowned actress Shu Qi, as she steps onto a balcony to await the first light of dawn in the New Year. The scene shifts to riversides, seashores, cities, and mountains where friends, family, and lovers gather to await the rising sun together.
In Max Mara’s animated film, the dragon is anthropomorphized, embarking on a “family visit” journey, fitting perfectly with the theme of reunion for the Chinese New Year.
In the short films by Bottega Veneta and Maison Margiela, the sentiment of homecoming and reunion is fully expressed.
Whether it’s the bustling streets and alleys, the old bus filled with childhood memories, or the seaside, mountains, and rivers passed along the way home, the brands convey a similar message: in the hustle and bustle of life, people can take a moment during the New Year to slow down, find inner peace and happiness, and fully enjoy the joyous journey home.
MICHAEL KORS focuses on capturing the authentic emotions of contemporary young people facing the traditional Spring Festival. Unlike previous luxury urban-style advertisements, the dialogue between the brand and contemporary youth forms the core of this New Year’s story.
By triggering deep memories and traditional values, these short films naturally evoke emotional resonance among consumers, making their “China story” even more compelling during the special moment of the Chinese New Year.
| Image/Video Credit: Provided by brands
| Editor: Zhu Ruoyu