Last week Italian fashion house Gucci and Chinese internet giant Tencent announced a broad business partnership intended to “stimulate innovation and leadership in digital strategies” including AI, data science, smart retail, and content creation. The partnership offers an opportunity to boost Gucci’s presence in China by tapping into Tencent’s expansive digital ecosystem, spanning entertainment, social media, e-commerce, and gaming.
“The digital landscape is becoming increasingly complex with both existing and emerging technologies that provide significant opportunities for deeper, customized and personalized engagement with our brand community,” said Gucci CEO and President Mario Bizzarri in a statement. “This joint business partnership is designed to create the conditions that allow us to fully capitalize on this potential together.”
Launched in October, the “Gucci Inspiration Map” (Gucci灵感地图) series of four short films is the first project born of the Gucci-Tencent partnership, and it also represents Tencent’s inaugural foray into producing branded content for a luxury label. The films, averaging about 10 minutes each, feature Chinese celebrities and brand ambassadors interacting with cultural figures associated with Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele as they visit several of Europe’s “Gucci Places,” locations that bear an inspirational connection to the brand.
The first film sees singer and actress Li Yuchun contemplating time and history in Rome amid the collections of the Biblioteca Angelica and the Antica Libreria Cascianelli, while subsequent editions pair actor Wu Lei with insect breeder Adrian Kozakiewicz for a visit to the Gucci Garden in Florence, and actress Ni Ni on a scavenger hunt through the palatial estate of Chatsworth as the Countess of Burlington describes her work with Gucci on the 2017 exhibition, “House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth.”
The final video, “I and Ours” (我与我们的), departs from the “Gucci places” model, turning to Beijing for conversations with five popular Gen Z “idols”: Rapper Lai Kuan-lin, actresses Hachi (Wang Yueyi) and Cecilia Boey (Song Yanfei), Rocket Girls 101’s Yang Chaoyue, and Zhou Zhennan of R1SE. It’s worth noting that the singers in this group all rose to fame through their appearances on Tencent Video’s musical competition shows, highlighting how Tencent creates the stars who become the next generation of brand ambassadors. The young celebrities disucss self-acceptance, self-expression and different aspects of their personalities, especially as they relate to specific goods such as sunglasses, handbags and sneakers.
Throughout the series, participants primarily talk about themselves and the places they visit, with subtle and well-integrated references to the Gucci brand, though its presence is pervasive in the clothing and accessories worn throughout, and Gucci’s interlocking G logo and name are seen on other products such as pillows and coffee mugs.
The celebrities tapped for the series are especially popular among China’s Gen Z and millennial consumers, an audience that Gucci is especially connect with as they are the main drivers of luxury goods purchases in the country, and the brand has already seen notable success in reaching this demographic on a global scale.
So far, the videos have drawn more than 64 million views on Tencent Video and Gucci platforms and the official hashtag for “Gucci Inspiration Map” has been viewed some 230 million times, with more than 12 million comments posted.