It’s Not Singles’ Day, But Valentine’s Day!

We’ve all heard of Singles’ Day in China by now – it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, and generated $14 billion in revenue in a 24 hour period last year. This, however, is not going to be our topic today.

A holiday that has a vastly different concept is Valentine’s Day, and Chinese people also celebrate this holiday – there is something for everyone to celebrate!. In fact, there are actually two Valentine’s Days in China – one is the Western Valentine’s Day, which falls on February 14, and the other one is the Chinese Valentine’s Day, which falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. This is called the Chinese Double Seven Festival, also known as Qixi Festival.

In this post, we will be talking about how Chinese couples celebrate the Western Valentine’s Day, and how brands are marketing their products.

This year, February 14 falls during the Lunar New Year holiday. For this reason, many couples decide to use their CNY holiday for traveling. Popular destinations include Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan. In addition, statistics have shown that traveling is the most desired gift followed by dining, electronics, and flowers.

We are seeing some creative ways that brands are marketing their products for Valentine’s Day. For example, New Balance launched limited edition Valentine’s Day sneakers. The gift with purchase for these sneakers is chocolates that come in a pink heart shaped tin boxes.

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Burberry is buying Valentine’s Day-related keywords on Chinese search engine giant, Baidu, and directing traffic to their Gifts to Women landing page.

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Cartier has also bought Valentine’s Day keywords on Baidu and the image below is their brand zone ad on Baidu.

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Tiffany & Co. launched a “Love is…” campaign for Valentine’s Day, featuring video footage of people explaining what their definition of love is – http://www.tiffany.cn/holiday/vday/default.aspx This campaign was promoted on Weibo as well as WeChat. The campaign generated 48 reposts, 36 comments and 122 likes on Weibo. It also generated 30,862 pageviews and 156 likes on WeChat.

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The tricky thing about marketing for Valentine’s Day to the Chinese demographic is that it’s very close to Chinese New Year. It is important to consider the timing of the marketing campaigns and messaging to ensure you are speaking to the right audience at the right time.

Chinese people have adopted the major traditions of Westerners on celebrating Valentine’s Day, such as exchanging gifts (like flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and watches), or making a special date to enjoy a romantic dinner.

Header image credit: Bloomberg

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