In China, the mid-autumn festival is one of the favorite moments of the year for family reunions. Chinese families gather around a dinner, enjoy mooncakes, watch parades, and exchange gifts. And for gift boxes, luxury brands are definitely the best. From Hublot to Louis Vuitton, they offered creative packaging to increase their cultural relevance and build a more special bond with their Chinese audience.
Let’s dive into the best luxury creations for the mid-autumn festival this year.
What is Mid-Autumn Festival?
To better understand why these luxury creations resonated with Chinese consumers, it’s important to understand the specificities and history behind this festival.
Zhongqiu Jie (中秋节) is a joyful celebration with family, mooncakes, parades, and lanterns at the post-autumn harvest. It started more than 2,000 years ago to thank the Gods for the harvest season. A way to get reunited, celebrate the harvest, and celebrate love. A lot of sub-stories emerged like the Goddess of the Moon and her husband (Hou Yi and Chang-E) or the rabbit resurrection venerated with the moon (Buddha).
According to the Chinese tradition, “the full moon is considered a symbol of reunion, as such the Mid-autumn Festival is also known as the Reunion Festival. Shaped round like the full moon, mooncakes signify reunion.”
Luxury brands used these unique stories and symbols to connect with their Chinese audience.
How Luxury Brands Leveraged Mid-Autumn Festival
For luxury brands, cultural relevance is the key to consumer loyalty and brand resonance. They use the mid-autumn festival to propose enchanting gift boxes with unique symbols, stories, and colors. As luxury is a lifestyle for the majority of Chinese consumers, luxury brands take advantage of this family reunion to share their values.
Here are the 5 best luxury campaigns of this year:
5. Tiffany & Co
Tiffany released a gift box in the signature Tiffany Blue with gold to celebrate the festival and added a Connect Four game to capitalize on the reunion topic.
The box includes the traditional mooncakes with the Tiffany logotype on it. They used the old-style logo to reinforce the matter of heritage and history. The design is also an ode to the jewelry of Jean Schlumberger, using the symbols of jellyfish and birds, in a mix of blue and gold.
The luxury brand proposed an original set with a Connect Four game. They reinforced the connection with their local clientele by insisting on the game as a “delightful way for friends and family to come together, celebrate, and create lasting memories“.
4. Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren combined its fashion symbols with its coffee label Ralph’s Coffee for a playful twist.
They presented the mid-autumn gift box as a charming green and white coffee cart. The Polo Bear barista is standing next to the cart for a more “cute” version of the box. And the brand added a canvas umbrella and some white flowers to turn the box into a miniature coffee heaven that could be transformed into a home decoration item.
The box was mixing 2 current trends in China: coffee and toy characters. We know how the coffee frenzy is everywhere. From coffee shops to coffee recipes and events, local consumers are switching from tea to coffee consumption. And the American brand used its coffee label to bring more exposure to its Mid-Autumn festival campaign to add a fun twist to this traditional ceremony served with tea.
In the meantime, Chinese consumers are in love with the Disney character of LinaBell and it’s very common for luxury consumers to add toys to their luxury bags. Ralph Lauren understood the trend and proposed its Polo Bear barista as a gift associated with the box.
The luxury watch brand surprised consumers with a gift of incense.
Hublot wanted to pay tribute to the rich Chinese tradition. They offered four types of incense sticks and a special incense holder. They communicated on the refined source of leisure for Chinese ancient civilizations. Above all, they built a creative campaign, building a bridge between the world of watches and the world of incense. How? In the past, the “incense clock” was a timekeeping method used by ancient generations.
To go further, the brand partnered with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for the mooncakes. They capitalized on the luxury know-how and the community exchange from co-branding campaigns.
2. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton paid tribute to traditional Chinese craftsmanship with a unique box mixing poetry collections, silk mats, jade rabbit paperweights, osmanthus incense, and packaging mixing Chinese dynasty symbols with LV monogram.
For this year, the luxury brand drew inspiration from the Qianlong book box. In the 1700s, this kind of book box was used to preserve precious calligraphy and books. Louis Vuitton learned from this tradition, and they customized delicate book boxes with a special poetry collection to the moon.
No wonder why Louis Vuitton has a strong connection with its Chinese audience. This hyper-local gift celebrates Chinese art and culture. On social media, Chinese netizens were excited about how the luxury brand understood Chinese culture and heritage, transcending the cultural barriers for one of the most exquisite gifts.
This year, Gucci released the “Moonlight Treasure Box” with a set of 4 mooncakes with the double G logo, a tea seat in Gucci pink to serve the tea, and beautiful packaging in Gucci green and gold.
This box is the no. 1 success in China this year. On the social media Xiaohongshu, Chinese netizens are sharing pictures of the box to reveal the gift box they received from their family and friends with a beautiful handwritten letter. The online sentiment from Chinese people is very positive.
According to a Chinese consumer interviewed for another project, “Although other brands have not yet come out for the Mooncake Festival, I would like to call Gucci the most beautiful mooncake packaging of the year. I will not accept any refutation. I will keep the box as a jewelry box after!”. Another consumer commented “Gucci’s mooncake gift box this year is so pretty. It looks better every year!”
Why it worked:
- Elegance: The brand proposed beautiful packaging and the right balance of green and gold colors are highly appreciated by local consumers
- Practicality: They offer mooncakes, tea sets, and plates which are loved by Chinese consumers as luxury must also be practical (some of them even asked for the addition of golden forks and knives)
- Communication: The brand releases a Mooncake Gift Box every year and this year, they released the box very early (end of August, start of September) and gathered all the exposure and impact
Local festivals are a unique chance for luxury brands to create meaningful connections with their Chinese clientele. The key is to understand, appreciate, and enhance the beautiful history behind each celebration. At Reverse Group, we support leading brands and independent designers to propose local creations and creative campaigns.