Chinese young generations have grown to become the most significant consumer groups for luxury, both in terms of size and purchasing power. To better engage the digital savvy and virtual obsessed young consumers, especially the Gen Z ones, luxury brands are actively adapting their marketing strategies and looking for new touchpoints to reach out, among them the ACG (anime, comics and games) culture.
Booming ACG culture brings new opportunities for marketers
An important component of ACG, online gaming and eSport have been thriving in China. Today, the Chinese online gaming player base hits 484 million, accounting for a third of the country’s population. On Bilibili.com, China’s leading video streaming social platform with 100+ million monthly active users, eSport related videos have gone viral. Over 4 million videos with the tag “eSport” have been uploaded, gaining a total of 33+ billion views.
In China, top eSport players generate social media traffic compatible to celebrities, making online gaming overlap with real life entertainment. Moreover, with 58% of Chinese players being female and nearly half of them indicating interest in purchasing game-related products, online gaming presents ample commercial opportunities.
The proved popularity as well as strong engagement of online gaming market gives rise to new marketing and communication channels for luxury brands who wish to seize these current or potential consumers. As ACG culture and the luxury brands both create fantasy and focus on storytelling, the collaboration of brands and games blurs the boundary between the real and the virtual world, bringing luxury experience to users on both ends.
Louis Vuitton surfs on the ACG trend
Louis Vuitton is one of the pioneers among luxury brands to leverage the ACG trend. Having tapped the market of online gaming as early as in 2015 through appointing Final Fantasy character “Lightning” as its virtual ambassador, the French luxury giant now targets a wider audience base with its latest collaboration with League of Legends, the arguably most popular multiplayer online game in China.
In September 2019, Louis Vuitton announced a series of collaboration with League of Legends, including designing the trophy case for the game’s World Championship, releasing Louis Vuitton champion skin for the game character and dropping a capsule collection.
Apart from the collaborations in both the real and virtual worlds for the players and consumers worldwide, Louis Vuitton also launched dedicated initiatives to engage Chinese Gen Zers. In November 2019, the brand announced a partnership with Bilibili.com to launch together a League of Legends AR filter on the platform, as part of the collaboration series. The filter invites platform users to transform themselves to a female League of Legends character in Louis Vuitton accessories, share the videos and invite friends to join.
Notably, through leveraging Bilibili.com, the ACG-centric social platform where 82% of the users are Gen Zers, Louis Vuitton effectively targeted ACG-frantic young audience and aimed to win their hearts by evoking resonance of the heritage brand in the virtual character.