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Cosmetic Marketing Strategies during Chinese New Year

  •   13 Jan 2020
  •    Ye Chen
  •  368
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    Cosmetics brands are rolling out  New Year Collections to celebrate the upcoming Chinese year of the Rat. The three main marketing design elements used are the Rat, other traditional Chinese symbols with auspicious meanings, such as golden clouds and lantern, and finally, lucky colors such as red and gold.

    As 2020 begins, the Chinese are counting down to the Chinese year of the Rat (鼠-Shu). It is a good time for brands to build an emotional connection with Chinese consumers by launching seasonal products or special editions. Therefore, a host of brands have taken action, especially cosmetics brands. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting new-year marketing campaigns.


    Many brands are using rats or mice in their advertising or package design. Some brands directly cooperate with famous brands and IP like Disney’s Mickey Mouse.


    Facial treatment essence, a star product from SK-II, aka “fairy water” for Chinese consumers, launched its joint packaging using Mickey Mouse IP. Consumers can currently purchase this big red bottle printed with Mickey's head in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and some other Asia-pacific areas.


    Innisfree, is also cooperating with Disney and are using a range of Disney IPs, including Mickey Mouse, on a variety of daily and makeup products. Products are printed with a range of Disney IP including Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy, and other cartoon images. Basic products include care sets, skincare sets, hand cream, nail polish, and moisturizing spray while makeup products include a six-color blush plate, lip glaze, colored lip balm, and loose powder.


    Maybelline is also cooperating with Disney to use the Mickey Mouse IP. Instead of using the Mickey Mouse image, Maybelline uses just the outline of Mickey's head's on their products, as shown below.

    Etude House

    Etude House chooses to cooperate with Tom and Jerry. A series of products have changed their packages.

    Calvin Klein

    Calvin Klein launched a special version of its perfume. The small red bottle is printed with a small stick figure of a mouse head. Its slogan is “鼠(rat)你当红," meaning "You are popular."


    Clinique redesigned its popular "cheek pop highlighter," changing the package design from a daisy flower to a cute mouse.

    Other traditional Chinese symbols

    Fenty Beauty

    To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Fenty Beauty has launched a gift box with the Chinese character “福," meaning blessing. The black brush lettering is printed on the red and gold packaging.

    Make Up For Ever

    Traditional Chinese handicraft lanterns have been added to the packaging of Make Up For Ever's New Year collection. Lanterns are a symbol of reunion and a means of creating a festive atmosphere. The products in this collection are powder, makeup brushes, and makeup plates. This brand even made its makeup brushes red.

    Estee Lauder

    Estee Lauder's unique series of products for New Year 2020 include lipsticks and Advance Night Repair, aka little brown bottle for Chinese fans. They are packaged with red as the background and embellished with auspicious "golden clouds."

    Perfect Diary

    The domestic makeup brand, Perfect Diary, is using fireworks as their main design theme for their New Year Limitation Gift Box. From ancient times to the present, fireworks symbolize liveliness and joy, representing countless people's good wishes for the New Year.

    Red and Gold

    Also, some brands aren’t using any new- year symbols and have instead changed their products’ package to red and gold, which are two representative colors of Chinese New Year.

    Elizabeth Arden

    Elizabeth Arden launched a Spring Festival Limited product this year for the first time, its “red jacket” gold capsule essence.


    NARS has been a regular player in Chinese new year’s marketing campaigns. This year, it launched a series of products with red and gold colors.

    Bobbi Brown

    Bobbi Brown launched two kinds of New Year 2020 Collection. One of them is designed by Dan Funderburgh, a Brooklyn-based illustrator, artist, and wallpaper designer with the theme of flowers. The other is with the theme of Chinese knots.


    Chanel also launched its special version product for Chinese New Year. Compared with other brands, the design is much simpler.


    For Chinese consumers, the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is no doubt, the most important festival. Localizing products based on traditional Chinese festival culture is a perfect marketing strategy to appeal to consumers. The spring festival is no doubt a good time for global brands to do marketing campaigns, which can help them leave a good impression on Chinese consumers at the beginning of a year. To do this, brands must have a good understanding of Chinese culture and figure out what kinds of design Chinese consumers really enjoy.

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    ChemLinked Editor

    Ye Chen is a cosmetic editor in the ChemLinked team, whose major job is to interpret, track and analyze the latest cosmetic regulatory and marketing changes in China and the rest of the Asia Pacific area. Her main focus is in mainland China, Taiwan (district) and Australia.

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