The Mid-Autumn Festival in China, an opportunity for brands

07 Sep 2020

Mid-Autumn Festival in China:  local customs and global opportunities

As also in China the summer is drawing to a close and winds are getting cooler, on the other side of the Great Wall people are starting to think about the next great opportunity to meet and get together: the Mid-Autumn Festival.The traditional Chinese celebration is based around the legend of Chang’e, the lunar goddess of immortality, which is why it is also called Moon Festival.

In 2020 the festival is especially meaningful as it falls on Thursday 1 October, which coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China also known as National Day, and first day of the Golden Week holidays, the seven days of celebration and vacation involving all Chinese workers: this combination gives further relevance to the event and offers an important opportunity to all brands keen to enhance their presence in China.

Why it is one of the most important Chinese festivals

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most eagerly-awaited events by the local population, during which families and loved ones come together to admire the moon, gathering in the open air and sharing moments of contemplation that are a real break from the frenzy and stress of everyday life, especially in large cities.

In keeping with tradition, it is also the time for giving small cakes and cookies as a gift, which recall the round shape of the moon, with a soft or crumbly skin enveloping varied filling. Mooncakes are a real distinctive feature as they sweeten the festivity and make it even warmer.

This will also be the case this year, when mooncakes will take centre stage during the double commemoration of China’s National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival, in a flood of celebrations and good wishes, marking the start of most significant holiday in the country, the Golden Week.

How to turn the festivity into a marketing opportunity

Precisely because of the coincidence of these events strongly felt by the population and so important in the local culture, it is crucial that all companies that operate in China and wanting to stimulate the curiosity of consumers prepare themselves properly.

How?First by adapting their entire digital presence to the upcoming festival, creating profiles on social networks and commercial platforms (from WeChat to Weibo and from QQ to Tencent) that reflect the occasion, with graphics that refer to the Mid-Autumn Festival and its typical themes.

Then, of course, there are the posts or ad-hoc campaigns, which tell the brands story and the characteristics of the products through contents designed to involve the Chinese public using references to the moon.

Finally, why not consider special offers or promotions on online sales channels? Companies present on the main marketplaces (from Tmall to or with dedicated e-commerce sites can get very creative.

A strategy capable of conquering the Chinese public during the Golden Week

Here is a brief guide to prepare yourself for a week of fireworks and mooncake tastings, while raising brand awareness in the world’s market with the highest potential.

Update the corporate graphics on online channels and thematize them for the Moon Festival by adopting its characterizing elements from sweets to the jade rabbit, but also other key references such as tea and lanterns or links to family and traditional costumes. In the coming days, WeChat, Littleredbook and TikTok will all be swarming with moons.

Create personalized posts, videos and content, while paying attention to style. Every detail counts, especially when it involves factors such as tradition and popular sentiment. But it is impossible to resist the temptation of updating the references and develop high-quality brand content.

Structure a web marketing campaign by leveraging local influencers. The brand does not live by thematic content alone: for those wanting to give even more prominence to the products and perhaps move towards direct sales, it may be interesting to involve well-known faces of the Chinese web scene and transform them into real ambassadors, with obvious references to the festival.

Write themed blogs, capable of showing originality but also attention of the brand to the local culture. Words, videos and images are powerful when integrated with each other and can help to best describe brands and products by theming them around the Moon Festival and creating greater proximity to the local population. Weibo is the perfect channel for such an initiative [link a un vecchio articolo su Weibo].

Add an element of fun to entertain. Nothing is more immediately recognizable and contagious than spontaneity and fun. This also applies for setting up a communication and marketing campaign linked to Chinese festivals: fun creates enjoyment which stimulates greater overall engagement, brings consumers closer and emphasises the brand as much as the context, in an appropriate tone and original style.


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