CBI News Wrap: Branded Art Exhibits, Versace’s Comeback

Ram Han’s “Pitera Is Legendary,” part of SK-II’s Shanghai exhibition

News From China

This week we highlighted SK-II’s latest in our brand film pick, and the luxury skin-care label is also harnessing the power of the arts to build its brand in China. Earlier this month it unveiled the “SK-II Artist Series: Power of Pitera” with a multi-disciplinary exhibition in Shanghai. The works in the series are all inspired by the isolated yeast extract that is the foundation for the brand’s products, and show includes contributions from illustrator Han Ram, choreographer Ryan Heffington, photographer Zhong Lin, and the design magazine “Toilet Paper.” 

Appliance maker Haier is another brand using art to enhance the image of a high-end line.  Its Casarte brand collaborated with Tmall to launch a “Contemporary da Vinci” exhibit at Shanghai’s K11 Mall that creates immersive experiences around Casarte products. The exhibit is part of a broader IP cooperation agreement between Casarte and the Louvre announced earlier this year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s death. 

Coca-Cola is marking the 40th anniversary of its entry into the Chinese market with its own exhibition in Beijing, for which it designed a new “care” font for Chinese characters and commissioned artists to use it in their works. Coca-Cola also produced several animated videos to introduce the font and the concepts behind its creation to Chinese consumers. 

Versace is gearing up for a comeback in China through its exclusive fashion sponsorship of the upcoming government-backed Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival, which culminates in the Golden Rooster Awards. Just three months ago, Versace found itself mired in controversy in China for describing Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries, losing prominent celebrity ambassador Yang Mi as a result, and now it will have the opportunity to dress many Chinese stars for the red carpet and other festival events. 

Tencent’s popular comedy show “Roast!” (吐槽大会) started production of its fourth season last month and is offering new opportunities for brands to be featured on the series. Brands may be written into jokes on the show or promoted through short mid-broadcast ads in a comedy format starring the show’s participants. The show will also introduce a new brand-oriented segment called the “rainbow praise meeting,” which promises to give brands an “overdose” of compliments for added exposure through humor. 

Louis Vuitton’s latest youth-oriented collaboration in China sees it partner with the popular Gen Z video streaming platform Bilibili, offering an AR filter that allows users to transform themselves into a League of Legends character, submit videos, and invite friends to join. It follows the luxury fashion label’s previously announced partnership with League of Legends to design a trophy case, offer branded skins and develop a co-branded clothing line. 

The value of cosmetics brand placements on Chinese reality shows increased by more than 40 percent year-on-year during the first nine months of 2019 to RMB 2.41 billion ($340 million), despite broader declines in the overall advertising industry. Chinese brands in the sector seek to spend more in making connections with Gen Z and millennial consumers through digital media and online reality shows. 

News in English 

  • Beauty was one of the leading categories for sales during last week’s Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, representing a sizable share of the brands that achieved more than RMB 1 billion ($140 million) in sales for Alibaba. Gartner
  • The rise of livestreaming surrounding this year’s Singles’ Day could draw more regulatory scrutiny to the role of hosts and the sales tactics they use. Sixth Tone
  • TikTok has started testing out a feature to make it more like its Chinese counterpart Douyin: links to third-party websites, which would make it more useful for brands to engage in social e-commerce. AdWeek
  • In other ways, however, TikTok is seeking to distance itself from its Chinese parent, with some suggesting a rebrand as it comes under more pressure from U.S. lawmakers over ties to Beijing. WSJ

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