In a tidal wave of love-themed commercials for Chinese Valentine’s Day or Qixi Festival, luxury brand Burberry’s campaign stands out. Unlike Gucci or Louis Vuitton, Burberry did not present its limited clothing collection with a traditional fashion film and unlike Dior, they did not use celebrities. Instead, Burberry did something completely different.
Two weeks before the Qixi holiday, celebrated in China on August 14 this year, Burberry started to release 19 seconds short cute animations. In each of the five animated stories – POP the deer, Burberry’s IP character – is dressed in specially designed limited edition festival collection, which reinterprets five Chinese love idioms. Media.Monks Shanghai, the agency that envisioned the “Love Idioms” campaign believe that: “Chinese love stories from hundreds of years ago can still touch and move you. When young people start to lose faith in love, we show them that love never changes”.
The idioms are taken from some of China’s most popular or significant pieces of literature, plays and legends – such as Journey to the West, and the love legend behind the Qixi Festival: Meet at the Magpie Bridge. One of the idioms further enhances the connection to the brand through its mascot. While “butterflies in the stomach” phrase describes the excitement of falling in love in English, in Chinese the corresponding idiom literally translates as “little deers bumping to each other”.
Surprisingly, character POP deer was created by Burberry Global back in 2018, and is one of the original characters of the Burberry Family including deer, ox, goat, and unicorn. South Korean animation studio Bugaboo produced the original set of character designs, and so the studio was a natural choice for the campaign considering the tight schedule, according to Media.Monks. From receiving the brief to launch, the campaign took around 3 months: one month to settle on the creative, and two months to complete the production.
In addition to animations, the campaign included social communication, WeChat posts and stickers, as well as red packet cover, a set of unique dictionary cards, outdoor ads in Hangzhou. Media.Monks Shanghai was responsible for every aspect of the 360-marketing campaign, except digital media buying.
Again, this year, Burberry didn’t change its strategy to connect to local culture instead of pushing Chinese Valentine’s Day-themed products in a superficial way. A 2019 “My Love, My Way” campaign done by TOMORROW, now known as Media.Monks is a good example. For the campaign, the brand ambassador Zhou Dongyu met several senior couples who have been together for decades and learned about their view on true love.
今年的博柏利，仍然选择走进中国文化，而不是简单直白地推介自己七夕主题的产品。他们2019年的广告活动“My Love, My Way”由TOMORROW（现在是Media.Monks）制作的，也是个好例子。在这个活动中，品牌大使周冬雨采访了几对走过多年风雨的老夫妻，向他们请教什么是真爱。
Burberry 2019 Qixi 七夕
According to Rogier Bikker, Managing Director of Media.Monks: “Media.Monks and Burberry have a long-running relationship and proven history of boundary-pushing craft. As Chinese Valentine’s Day is a significant day of the year, we want to help celebrate this day by honoring some of China’s great heritage in language. Capturing the capsule collection through this video book that also captures some of these significant Chinese love stories, is a great way for Burberry to connect with its customers.”
Media.Monks 的董事总经理 Rogier Bikker 说：“Media.Monks 和 Burberry 有着长期的合作关系，致力于突破创意边界，产出优质内容。作为重要营销节点，我们希望通过致敬博大精深的中国传统文化，融合品牌精神与传承，来庆祝七夕这一时刻。这次合作不仅以趣味形式展示了 Burberry 七夕限定系列产品，更演绎了许多重要的经典爱语故事，是 Burberry 与消费者建立深厚联系的良好方式。”
Does a luxury brand connecting with its customers through a cute, animated character seem like a balancing act? Maybe, but according to Media.Monks: “The concept of luxury is much broader than it once was. Instead of creating distance, we are coming closer to people’s true emotions. Togeather with the clients, we have a mutual understanding on that one”.
Credits 2021 campaign
Creative Agency: Media.Monks
Managing Director: Rogier Bikker
Client Engagement VP: Caroline So
Creative Director: David Tse
Art Direction: Nicolas Barlier, Soup Wong, Shiwen He, Bagel Si
Copywriting: Icey Han, Mavis Ni
Project Management: Zoe Chu, Sherry Shi, Emma Fu
Producers: Rony Chan, Jaap Bosman, Wenjia Zhang, Xuechun Zhu
Animation Studio: Bugaboo Studio
Credits 2019 campaign
Creative Director: JC
Copywriters: Jing Zhu, Anabelle Xie
Art directors: Lihan Zhang, Chenmiao Liang
Strategy: Dragon Zhang, Elinor Qiao
Account: Rui Zhang, Zoe Chu
Agency producer: Fiona Zhang
Production company: Nowness
Director: Zhao Dan
DOP: Li Dongjun
Production coordinator: Tang Qian
Line producer: Liu Jiangbin
Offline editors: Cheng Lin & FanC
Executive producer: Yao Hui
Photographer: Yu Cong
Producer: Chai Hu