French luxury sportswear brand Lacoste’s themed activation, rolled out this year to mark its 90th anniversary, has landed in Aranya, a coastal city in northern Hebei province’s Qinghuangdao known for its cultural and artistic programs.
After visiting cities including Seoul, São Paulo, Tokyo, and New York, Lacoste transformed the Aranya community into “Lacoste City” from September 6 to today.
The brand took over landmark locations like clay tennis courts, hard tennis courts, the Lonely Library, sports multi-brand store Doe, and Bar Lotus, where visitors explored the French sporty lifestyle as they followed the “Lacoste City” map guide.
On September 7, Lacoste hosted a mini tennis tournament at China’s first seaside clay court, sharing its tennis heritage with local enthusiasts.
Thanks to a series of pre-event engagement activities, the livestream of the brand’s 90th-anniversary celebration attracted a staggering 9.41 million views on Weibo. The campaign’s hashtags, including “Crocodile Lands In Anaya” and “Lacoste 90th Anniversary,” garnered 130 million and 57.14 million reads, respectively, significantly boosting the brand’s exposure in China. Moreover, celebrities like Gülnezer Bextiyar and Mika Hashizumes hared photos and videos from the event on social media, which encouraged netizens to explore the campaign in Aranya.
Luxury brand marketing activities in northern China mostly occur in Beijing, leaving the northeast relatively untapped despite its substantial consumption power. One of the few coastal cities in northern China and strategically located near Beijing and Tianjin, the Aranya community in Qinhuangdao can lure visitors from cities around the Bohai Sea, such as Dalian and Shenyang.
In the past few years, Aranya has emerged as a popular destination for short-haul domestic tourists, making it a gathering place for luxury brands. In particular, Louis Vuitton’s spin-off menswear show and Valentino’s Pink PP campaign in September 2022 publicized the community to a broader audience.
More importantly, Aranya has been touting its cultural identity to residents and visitors through various artistic activities. The area’s uniquely inclusive and vibrant atmosphere has boosted the community’s reputation among the younger generation and high-net-worth travelers. However, as more brands descend on the destination, it will be more difficult for them to excite and impress consumers.
* Janice Li and Wenzhuo Wu contributed to the article.
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