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Watches & Jewellery December 2013

Christmas emotions; an opportunity not to be missed

With the increased internationalisation of China and its urban population, Christmas has become increasingly popular, especially for young people who have had it established in their minds over the past ten or more years. Unlike people from countries in the west who spend Christmas with the whole family, young people in China would rather spend the holiday period as a couple or with their close friends. Christmas to them represents happiness, fashion, romance and of course, also a time to shop.

The expectations are that brands across the luxury sector in China will have been preparing for their Christmas and New Year’s promotional activities for some time, in particular using digital technology to reach the younger consumer base. However, according to official Weibo accounts of 18 watch and 16 jewellery brands that we monitored in December, the marketing activities on the most popular social networks in China are not as proactive as would have been imagined.

According to our data gathered on December 20th for the 34 brands, only 2 watch and 6 jewellery brands have actively used Christmas to promote themselves or their products.

Those not using Christmas as a marketing tool


Who has been active?


Cartier organised the best in Christmas promotion among the 8 active brands, and receiving the highest responses. From December 9th, it posted a series of videos called ‘Cartier Winter Tale’ telling seasonal stories. All the products that appear on film are shown on Weibo with detailed information. This series has been forwarded about 7,000 times, and commented on over 800 times.

TAG Heuer

TAG is promoting their in-store activity ‘TAG Heuer can make your dreams come true! ’ on its Weibo site to attract consumers to the store to complete a wish list. According to the activity rules, the winner of the competition that is chosen in a vote of online users will realise his or her wish from the brand. The activity has been forwarded over 500 times and received 44 comments.


Piaget on the other hand recommended several Piaget Christmas gifts on Weibo and linked these back to their official website. Those posts were forwarded over 1000 times and over 400 comments were made.


Tiffany introduced a video entitled ‘A Very Tiffany Holiday’ to support the brand and introduce its recognised light blue box. The site also made gift recommendations receiving 150 comments and being forwarded 650 times.


Simply offered a series of Christmas gift recommendations.

Harry Winston

Harry Winston introduced 12 mysterious pieces of luxury diamond jewellery to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with its fans, publishing one a day up to the 25th.


The brand created a 40 second promotional video and dedicated pages on its official website to promote and recommend a range of gifts for New Year such as pen’s, jewellery, watches, leather goods, perfume and glasses.


Breitling combined online and offline activities by recommending a variety of watches that are suitable as Christmas gift to consumers on Weibo, and promoted its Christmas themed store window display’s online to attract consumers to visit the stores to see them.


So why has jewellery been more proactive than watches?

37.5% of the jewellery brands monitored, orgnised special promotions before Christmas and only 11% in watch sector had seasonal activities. Jewellery being female oriented is more easily linked to the romance of Christmas in the Chinese consumers’ minds; also the use of beautiful images of Christmas are more likely to stimulate female purchases. When compared to watches, jewellery can be less expensive and is seen as more suitable for seasonal gift giving, in particular, rings, necklaces and other gifts usually given between lovers.

Watches are seen as more business orientated to the Chinese, and with the watch price often being higher, Chinese buyers usually evaluate their purchases a great deal and compare products before they purchase. It’s unlikely that Chinese will impulse buy an expensive watch just because of pretty pictures or simple recommendations on Weibo.

Those brands that created Christmas specific promotions and told seasonal stories managed to catch the imagination of the Chinese consumer. Those who didn’t, carried on telling their followers about the brands history, special functions and large scale events, and they missed an opportunity to personalise their interactions and make their followers feel like individuals. Christmas may not be a traditional holiday in China, but its romantic warmth draws consumers to dream and wish for better things; brands that did not tap into these feelings will be the losers over the holiday period.

Under the current tighter spending controls that all Chinese have imposed on their wallets, it is unfortunate that many luxury brands in the jewellery and watch categories missed a real chance to reach into their hearts and pull at the emotional strings that were ready for something special.


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