Qixi, China's true Valentine's Day, rides on a bridge of magpies

Qixi
22 Jul 2018
In Chinese mythology, Qixi tells of the love between the mortal Niulang (牛郎) and Zhinv (织女), the seventh daughter of the Goddess of Paradise. They happily lived on Earth until the Goddess, acknowledging their sacrilege, forced Zhinv back to heaven and created the Milky Way to keep them apart. Every year, right on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, magpies gather together in flight to form an aerial bridge for both lovers to reunite.

Qixi, Lantern Festival, Valentine's Day, White Valentine's Day, etc.: There are no less than 520 holidays devoted to lovers in China. 

All have now become part of the tradition but also of B2C Marketing activities. Accordingly, companies leverage the occasion to urge consumers into a romantic gesture, thus transforming traditional festivities into commercial opportunities. Qixi is the most heartfelt and ancient of all, being broadly regarded as the true Valentine's Day for Chinese lovers. It falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2018, therefore, on August 17. 

Qixi marketing

In 2017, fashion and luxury brands undertook numerous Marketing activities with the ultimate and shared goal of creating a unique customer experience. Cartier's 2017 campaign, for example, is definitely worth a look. It its latest campaign for Chinese Valentine's Day, Cartier has in fact created an activity that started with the online purchase but led to a unique offline experience. 

It worked like this: One day before Valentine's Day, the Paris label launched an original AD campaign. The first 77 customers on the WeChat store would win a romantic helicopter tour, combining that combining that with the traditional numbers (7,7), and an experience that far surpassed a mere product purchase. 

Another successful campaign was that of Chloe, which launched a special offer on its WeChat channel. In fact, thanks to its collaboration with the well-known key opinion leader Mr. Bag, it offered 85 limited edition bags. The campaign was a resounding success and the bags sold out in less than half an hour. 

Qixi social

Market presence is paramount at this time of the year. Creating an activity inspired by tradition whilst delivering a unique experience and product, all at a special price, is Digital Network's take-away for its customers. 

Nonetheless, data released by Alibaba and JD.com should not be underestimated. These indicate a percentage increase in interest for luxury products with a lower budget, such as perfumes, lipsticks and accessories.

Thus, social networks and WeChat in particular represent the main channels for brands seeking to expand their consumer pool. To that end, brands must strike the right balance between their perceived exclusivity and mass market communication channels.