French luxury fashion label Balenciaga’s new promotional campaign for the Chinese Valentine’s Day (QiXi festival) on 25 August has been a hit and a miss.
The netizens of the Asian country have not received it well with thousands flocking online to call the campaign behind the times and a perfunctory effort on behalf of the brand.
The Kering-owned brand debuted four limited edition bags from its Hourglass range on Tmall with graffiti in the form of Chinese phrases ‘He loves me’, ‘I love you’, ‘You love me’ and ‘I love me’.
All bags retail for US $ 2000. However, the bags are not part of the problem. In order to attract attention, Balenciaga released a campaign with models in front of stock image backgrounds.
The clearly fake and outdated editing on the tacky, pixelated images have been said to look like “works shot by photography studios in rural areas during the 1990s”. This has caused outrage among people saying that the shabby work and lack of effort seem to be an insult to the taste of the Chinese population.
There are several hashtags trending on social media against Balenciaga and the campaign with over 220,000 discussions and 180 million views on Weibo, clearly indicating that Balenciaga’s tone and pitch for the campaign was all wrong.