Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. has partnered with renowned Chinese painter Yu Hong – known for her paintings of women – to create a number of portraits of women with Tiffany’s signature key symbolically “unlocking” the women’s futures.
Tiffany is not only trying to market its Keys collection, but is looking to better position itself in the Chinese market and to appeal to more consumers. Collaborating with a local artist, particularly one with a largely female fan base, could win over new consumers.
John Casey, an industry expert and senior vice president of New York-based Havas Public Relations, commented on the marketing strategy in an interview with Luxury Daily. “First, unlocking applies literally to how you place and remove the necklace, so Yu Hong’s creed works for the functionality of the product, and ‘unlocking future possibilities’ applies to the forward thinking strategy the brand probably wants to convey.”
The multifaceted campaign also looks to reach out to more consumers by using familiar faces in their portraits. One portrait that has surfaced on the jeweler’s Facebook page is of the well-known Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.
The company has released a three minute video interview with Hong and Ziyi. The clip, which was directed by Mackenzie Sheppard, uses a Chinese voiceover and narration by Hong. Though English subtitles were added, the video’s aim was to connect primarily with Chinese consumers.
The video focuses on Hong as she details her artistic process and how she develops a close relationship with her subjects. After she explains how it is hard to objectively view oneself, the lens is turned to Ziyi who talks about her fear of failing as an actress, and how she started running in order to center herself.
The video transitions between shots of a butterfly, Hong at work painting, and Ziyi running through a forest. Ziyi, who is shown wearing a yellow diamond Tiffany key necklace, discusses the symbolism of the jewelry and how it represents promise and possibility.
Tiffany has also partnered with Chinese composer Tan Dun in an attempt to reach more affluent shoppers. Dun—inspired by the Tiffany 128-karat yellow diamond—composed a piece to embody the line and foster a brand connection with classical music enthusiasts.
Casey said that using household names to push products is a technique sure to see results. “China is increasingly becoming a key market for global retailers, and most particularly, for luxury brands; thus, it’s a smart strategy to engage a popular artistic figure in that country, since Tiffany’s products are considered by many to be works of art.”
If all goes as planned, Tiffany’s use of local artists will help to unlock a larger customer base for the company.
image source: tiffany & co.