An army of influencers in crochet crop tops has descended upon the California desert, ready for Coachella, a music festival where brands have flocked over the past decade in hopes of gaining relevancy with the elusive millennial (and now Gen Z) consumer.
Joining the influencer crowd this year were celebrities and bloggers hailing from China, highlighting how both brands’ promotions and the festival’s lineup have become more international.
YSL Beauty brought more than 70 Chinese influencers for a promotion of its YSL Beauty Station located near the festival, a photogenic “gas station” stocked with beauty products and other perks like personalization services. The brand teamed up with Alibaba-owned e-tailer Tmall to host a Super Brand Day event at the Parker Palm Springs hotel that was livestreamed on Tmall with links to purchase products. With a mini concert featuring pop stars including Sunnee of the idol group Rocket Girls 101 and beauty tutorials with celebrities like Gen Z actress Zhang Xueying, the event was livestreamed on a WeChat Mini Program with links to purchase directly from the brand, whose Weibo account also features video promotions of fashion and beauty bloggers like You Lina visiting the pink-filled station.
Meanwhile, Coachella is noticeably upping its lineup of international performers, including Blackpink, the first K-pop girl band to perform at the festival (which Chinese vloggers in attendance were sure to mention).
YSL Beauty’s promotion featured a Gen Z lineup of celebrities and influencers to generate social engagement. Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty China finds that thanks to China’s pop idol craze, the Rocket Girls 101 were especially successful at earning social media engagement for beauty brands in China. The fourth most popular Weibo post among beauty brands was L’Oréal Paris’ post about its campaign featuring the Rocket Girls, while the pop group also gave a major boost to a MAC lipstick campaign in collaboration with a popular mobile game. Sunnee’s post about the YSL Beauty event received much higher engagement than the brand itself, receiving over 314,000 shares and 49,000 likes on Weibo.
As industry professionals note that some brands are pulling back on Coachella marketing this year over concerns that it has become oversaturated with branding, use of the event for international promotions remains a novel strategy and could become more common going forward.