In China, February 14th isn’t the only day of love. In fact, multiple festivals celebrate love and relationships—and, gift giving is often an essential component of these celebrations. This is a great opportunity for brands looking to reach Chinese customers, especially if you’re in the Love Business!

Among these festivals, 5/20 Day is one of the most important to understand, as it’s consumer focused and heavily online. Plus, 5/20 Day is coming up just this month. We’ve compiled a helpful summary of how 5/20 Day emerged, what it entails, and what other brands have done to gain extra business during this busy celebration.

What is 5/20 Day? 

“520” began as an online slang word used to abbreviate “I love you,” a Chinese equivalent of “ILY.” It gained this meaning because when one pronounces 520 in Chinese — 五二零 wǔ èr líng— it sounds very similar to 我爱你 wǒ ài nǐ, the Chinese words for “I love you.”
(Source: https://bit.ly/2V3TDfu)

Soon, this online slang transformed into a celebration of love on 520’s equivalent date: May 20th. This celebration focuses heavily on gift giving and confessing love. Couples have also started getting married on 5/20— for example, Nanning metro lines 1 and 2 have a wedding themed train on 5/20, in which couples can get married in a traditional Chinese wedding.
(Source: https://bit.ly/2IXVgdn)

This festival is also heavily featured online— hashtags, photos, and online promotions are a key component of celebrating.

5/20 holds wide-spread popularity within China. It was initially only celebrated by China’s youth, but now older generations have joined in. Many brands have taken advantage of this celebration to launch consumer-centric campaigns on social media to appeal to those celebrating.

Case Studies 

Sephora Beauty

Sephora wanted to market their brand to younger customers in China, gaining recognition and prestige within this age demographic. At 5/20 last year, Sephora launched the Love of the Password campaign. This campaign successfully brought the consumer journey from online to offline in Sephora’s stores.

A week before May 20th, Sephora launched their H5 Campaign on WeChat. This campaign featured a mini program that allowed users to upload their selfies and apply makeup filters to their photos.

After choosing from one of four makeup filters, each user would be sent a QR code specific to their makeup look.

Users could then share their QR codes online, enjoy a free full face of makeup in-store on 5/20, or purchase a Sephora gift card. Generating personal QR codes was key to encouraging users to share and post about their experiences on social media. This in turn boosted offline purchases.

Seven Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) also helped promote Sephora’s campaign and their H5 mini program, adding to the success of this initiative.

Market Feedback

During this event, 10580 users entered the H5 program, 30.98% of users generated personal QR code, and 2030 photos were created in total.

69.97% of the users clicked on “Make an offline appointment” button, and on May 20th, Sephora in-store sales were 4x greater than average daily sales.

Multiple beauty bloggers engaged with and shared the topic—Sephora’s Weibo post had more than 10 000 views.

Durex Confession Studio

For 5/20, Durex launched a campaign with Tmall and created the Confession Studio – an H5 game on WeChat that led traffic to Tmall (the most popular EC platform in China).

Users answered multiple choice questions based on 10 different love-related scenarios. Each question presented a relationship dilemma, allowing users to choose one of three options. After finishing, your test result indicated what type of lover you were. Because of the diversity of test results, users felt special and unique when participating in the game. As a result, they were likely to share their tag results on social media, helping promote the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 5/20, Durex launched a campaign with Tmall and created the Confession Studio – an H5 game on WeChat that led traffic to Tmall (the most popular EC platform in China).

Users answered multiple choice questions based on 10 different love-related scenarios. Each question presented a relationship dilemma, allowing users to choose one of three options. After finishing, a test result with a personal tag was generated, indicating what type of lover you were. Because of the diversity of test results, users felt special and unique when participating in the game. As a result, they were likely to share their tag results on social media, helping promote the brand.

At the end of the game, users also clicked on a link to watch a video called “The Answer Box.” This video demonstrated how the answer box worked: when people made romantic confessions such as “I love you” or “I miss you,” a condom would pop out of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durex marketed its products on the idea that confession wasn’t that hard— the brand’s campaign presented the idea that saying “I love you” was actually very simple. This played along with the spirit of 5/20 and created a unique and memorable campaign.

Key Takeaways

Both Sephora and Durex’s success can be attributed to a couple of key factors. First, content marketing was key— both Sephora and Durex created specific products in order to market their brands. This is especially lucrative on 5/20, as this holiday is heavily focused on gift-giving. User generated content also helped both brands, as users were encouraged to post QR codes or other information which double shared the brand’s content.

What’s Next? 

5/20 is just around the corner, along with many other Chinese holidays. As a brand, you should be thinking about what you will do to appeal to Chinese customers. Get started today by contacting our Chinese digital marketing team.