Luxury and beauty brands are going all out on China’s top messaging app WeChat to celebrate this week’s Lunar New Year holiday, also referred to as Spring Festival. Their year of the dog-themed campaigns take advantage of new features including the mini-apps and brand zones discussed in L2’s recent WeChat report as well as tried-and-true popular functions like digital red envelopes. Here are the biggest trends this year:
As usage of WeChat mini-apps grows, brands are using them for Lunar New Year gift promotions. Swarovski launched a mini-app (also called a mini program) that allows WeChat users to invite contacts to pitch in money via WeChat Pay to buy a group gift for someone, featuring special items for the year of the dog. Meanwhile, multiple brands have adopted a standard gift card mini-app format that allows users to purchase gift cards for specific items with WeChat Pay and send them to recipients to redeem within WeChat. While Dior is offering both Valentine’s Day and Spring Festival gift cards, Coach and NARS used the same gift card mini-app format for Spring Festival-specific gift cards.
Sticker sharing has gone into overdrive on WeChat as users shower their family and friends with festive holiday animations in between WeChat red envelopes. Brands including Bottega Veneta, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton have created animated year of the dog sticker sets to get in on the trend, featuring cartoon dogs, logos, and various leather goods. iPhone X owners get the added bonus of a Gucci year of the dog animoji, marking the first time a fashion brand has created one.
Holiday Brand Zones
With the capability to search the web, social posts, and in-app published articles, WeChat’s search function continues to pose a growing threat to Baidu; it recently rolled out the capability to add a brand zone to the top of the search results page. Early adopters of the new feature, including Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors, are decking out their brand zones in holiday style.
Digital Red Envelopes
Digital versions of the traditional Lunar New Year red envelope given to friends and family during the holiday remain one of the most popular WeChat promotional themes for brands. Brands launched their own plays on red envelope promotions in a variety of ways on WeChat: Dolce & Gabbana launched an interactive red envelope game, Michael Kors created a red envelope mini-app, Olay had users bind their phone number to receive red envelope coupons, and Laneige featured an interactive H5 promotion that allowed users to receive a coupon through WeChat’s Cards & Offers section. It’s no surprise why red envelopes are such a common theme: last year, 14.2 billion WeChat red envelopes were sent for the holiday.