Tamsin Smith
Dec 19, 2017

Why Michael Kors’ Shanghai party is a killer digital marketing campaign

Luxury brand harnesses live streaming and user-generated content.

Why Michael Kors’ Shanghai party is a killer digital marketing campaign

Last month (November) American fashion label Michael Kors hosted guests from around the world at the Shanghai Expo-I-Pavilion, as part of a digitally-led experiential event. The new regional strategy sought to entice Chinese consumers through an immersive user-generated campaign, with the lavish event seeing a host of celebrities grace Shanghai for what was heavily tipped as the party of the year.

Using the #korsshanghai hashtag, Chinese fans and consumers online were invited to interact with the event via a live-stream sent out across popular Chinese app YiZhiBo. At the center of the live-stream was Michael Kors “The Walk,” a runway spanning 50 feet in length and incorporating over 600 square feet of LED lighting, choreography, fashion cinemagraphs, three cameras, and an artificial intelligence “editor.”

Via six cameras inside the event space, the YiZhiBo live-stream had 9.53 million online viewers, according to Michael Kors’s official Weibo. YiZhiBo is partnered with Weibo so it can be used without downloading a new app.

According to a study by The Economist, China’s live-streaming apps are expected to reach a market value of $5 billion by the end of the financial year, having seen growth of 180 percent since 2013. Chinese live-stream consumers are largely quite young, with those under 35 making up over 75 percent of viewers.

During the event, VIP guests taking a turn on the catwalk included Yang Mi, Soo Joo Park, Hikari Mori, Ella Richards, and Princess Olympia of Greece. Michael Kors himself was also in attendance, with the famously private designer demonstrating his dedication to the Chinese market. The extravagant event boasted performances by DJ Sebastien Perrin, singer Bibi Zhou, and hip-hop artist Nick Chou.

“I love visiting China – there’s this amazing, simultaneous sense of incredible history and an exhilarating future,” said Michael Kors. “The energy and curiosity is something I feel every time I visit. Our Chinese clients love fashion and travel the same as I do! So I’m thrilled to be back in Shanghai with an event that allows our customers to experience the energy and style of Michael Kors in a glamorous, unique, and exciting way.”

Local Chinese social fans were asked to share their own ‘Walk,’ in celebration of The Walk Shanghai event, on local video-streaming app Douyin. Michael Kors’s innovative social strategy marked the first partnership between Douyin and a luxury brand.  With live-streaming apps proving to be the ideal place for brands to find key opinion leaders, the Michael Kor’s social media campaign on Douyin is latching on to a booming market.

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