Mid-Autumn Festival -“From the Chinese Festival to gain brand inspiration.”

Mid-Autumn Festival -“From the Chinese Festival to gain brand inspiration.”

By Vivian (Target China)
09 Sep 2021


The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important festivals for Chinese people. It heralds the reunion of family members, yearning for hometown and family members. Nowadays, with the empowerment of the Internet, the Mid-Autumn Festival is not only a day of reunion, but also a marketing battlefield for major brands.

Target China will share with you some of the “Mid-Autumn Marketing Cases”, hoping to let you get the high-ranking mid-autumn festival marketing strategies!

  1. Marketing Perspective

Elements of the Mid-Autumn Festival:

Moon cakes, moons, Chang’e, jade rabbits, Kongming lanterns, lantern riddles, etc., to the origins of the Mid-Autumn Festival and myths, historical events, as well as poems, folk songs, proverbs, allegorical sayings, etc.

Brands need to seize the different Festival elements to find the marketing entry point, to stimulate emotional resonance, in order to create a complete marketing plan based on momentum.

  1. Marketing Form

Nowadays, young generation is getting more and more attention from brands. Whether it is from a marketing or commercial point of view, this group cannot be ignored.

Compared with the single graphic form in the past, the personalized and creative marketing form can attract their attention more. Therefore, in order to satisfy the orientation of young consumers, the current Mid-Autumn Festival marketing mostly adopts forms such as brand cross-border marketing, joint IP, offline flash events, and video advertisements.

  1. Case study

Mid-Autumn marketing cases are frequently creative, Target China has selected several representative cases:

  • Alipay (payment industry): Mid-Autumn Call You Home

The Mid-Autumn Festival heralds returning home and reunion, which is an eternal theorem for the Chinese. Alipay is very good at grasping the point of “Going Home on Mid-Autumn Festival” and created two advertisements with completely different styles, “Waiting for You Go Home” and “Home Is Missing You”.

Waiting for You Go Home

In the Alipay advertisement, 9 kinds of “going home” are interpreted in a way of counting news events and with amateur audio. Whether it is a migrant worker returning home by train or an astronaut returning to the earth, for those who are out of town, going home is a major event for their families.

In addition, Alipay also has joined 9 provincial newspapers to jointly launch the “AR Sweeping the Moon” activity, calling on everyone to “Sweep the Moon with AR”. Subsequently, there was a “moon sweeping wave” all over the country. As long as you turn on Alipay AR to scan a round object, you can light up the moon, and collect all 6 moons to get rewards such as moon cakes and Lucky Money.

  • JD Health (Pharmaceutical E-Commerce Platform):” Herbs for your health” and ” Herbs for Your Happiness”

Mid-Autumn festival, moon cakes are essential, but how to make new moon cakes in new tricks should be a difficult point in the mid-autumn marketing battle of major brands.

For this topic, JD was given their creative thought, which plays with the concept in a different way and to dig out new keywords. JD Health launched two sets of very creative concept moon cakes” Herbs for your health ” and ” Herbs for Your Happiness “, which can be called a clear stream of Mid-Autumn marketing.

“Herbs for your health”

From the poster idea of the medicinal mooncakes, we can see that this is JD health’s accurate insight into the needs of the current society. Nowadays, the pace of life accelerates, and many people’s bodies are in a “sub-healthy” state. Health has become one of the mainly concern of the present, and health care is getting younger and younger.

In the coming of the young people’s health tide, the use of ” medicinal moon cakes” as creative point focus on consumer health concerns and attention, which output the brand concept of “health” for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The brand carries out kindly reminding is a new way of communicating with young people.

  • Three Squirrels (snack category): I speak for the mooncake with Chinese Culture

When the fashion trend of Chinese Culture is prevailing, this fashion boom represented by the Forbidden City IP has successfully entered the new generation of consumer groups born in the 90s and 00s. The Three Squirrels fully grasped this trend to carry out the marketing of cultural IP, combined the image of ancient literacy and modern trend design, which collided with a new sense of moon cake ceremony.

Three Squirrels strongly focused their attention on food, and combined with Netease News to screen 8 famous ancient Chinese poets. The marketing strategy is to imitate the behaviors of modern people through different scenarios, such as punching in online famous shops, procrastination, weight loss, sharing food. By posting moments to friends ingeniously recommended Three Squirrels national style mooncakes, and set off a new national style craze on Weibo that “I speak for mooncake with Chinese Culture”.

Market Insight from Target China:

Whether it is technology or national comics, the Mid-Autumn Festival uses new marketing methods to highlight family reunion, family joy, and a bright feeling. This marketing strategy is in line with the new trend of changeable and innovative marketing for young people who are pursuing individualization.

  1. Target China Marketing Inspiration

     a) Clarify the Target group and find the right point to value the brand

Marketing, in simple terms, is to make a specific group of people produce a specific behavior through a certain activity. Accurate positioning of the target people can achieve outstanding results. Brands need to have a clear target group and clearly know the preferences of the target group in order to design a marketing strategy that accurately touches target customers and improves the targeted marketing activities and effectiveness.

     b) Differentiated marketing – Using the consumer scene to penetrate

Brands are willing to stand out from the fierce competition in the Mid-Autumn festival brand marketing, and leave a perfect and deep impression on customers. This not only flexible use of expression through marketing strategies, but also the combination of the core content of the brand with the customers’ usage scenarios. Therefore, customers can feel a sense of empathy and intimacy when they saw those campaign, so that users can pay for creative marketing.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is usually about watching the moon, eating moon cakes, and family reunions, but according to the findings of the White Paper, “only 22% of them can be reunited with their families every year”, especially for the “first-line drifters”, quite a few people cannot go home for the Mid-Autumn Festival. People who are far away from home have limited reunion time, which will cause this group of people to be unable to return home. Some brands will notice that is a resonance point that the audience can dig deeper. Making a fuss on this point of “not going home” is not only contrary to the concept of family reunion during the Mid-Autumn Festival, but also to flaunt brand difference.

Therefore, in the same hot spot, brand can understand customers’ needs and lifestyle, which can express the value of the brand differentially. That means brand can increase customers engagement to the greatest extent and light up the entire festival.

     c) marketing is not a one-man show, but to interact with customers

Every trending marketing is an opportunity to narrow the emotional distance between brands and customers. Whether it is comments or social media sharing, it can strengthen relationship between brands and fans and increase the brand popularity.

In marketing activities, brands can increase customers participation through online and offline interactions. Brands can attract consumers to participate through interesting topics or welfare activities, so that they can contribute UGC content on their own and spread them among customers. Therefore, the visibility and participation of the brand has been improved invisibly.


In Conclusion

Brands should let go of their obsession with festivals when doing marketing activities. On the basis of digging out the selling points of brand products, Marketers need to deeply understand the characteristics of its own products and the needs of the target group, and convey the brand values, in order to win the user’s reputation and trust. From these perspectives, marketing strategies are sustainable and benign.


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Digitaling. (2020). Mid-Autumn Festival marketing case review. Retrieved 30 August 2021, from https://www.digitaling.com/articles/71665.html

Lee, L. W., Tang, Y., Yip, L. S., & Sharma, P. (2018). Managing customer relationships in the emerging markets–guanxi as a driver of Chinese customer loyalty. Journal of business research, 86, 356-365.

Zhihu. (2020). Brand marketing enlightenment from festival marketing. Retrieved 30 August 2021, from https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/82832182