INNOVATION DRIVES FASHION FORWARD

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Coming of Age - Bulgari In-Depth Dialogue with Generation Z

August 2,2020

The Roman film city Cinecittà, known as the "Hollywood on the Tiber", not only gave birth to "Cleopatra", "Roman Holiday", "Sweet Life" and other film history masterpieces, it also made the BVLGARI jewelry famous at both home and abroad.

Bulgari, an Italian high-end jewelry brand founded in 1884, is known as the muse of many classic films. At the same time, she has also constantly drawn creative inspiration from movies and tried to convey deeper values ​​through this form of artistic expression.

In the summer graduation season, Bulgari launched the micro-film "Age of Blossom" with the theme of "Coming-of-Age Ceremony" with the young Chinese director Mai Zi. From the delicate and perceptual perspective of women, the film discusses the propositions about independence, identity, and love with the audience.

Different from the previous propaganda focusing on the brand historical culture, Bulgari tried a breakthrough role this time: as an interlocutor, the brand listens to users' voice, accompany them to grow, and establish a solid emotional connection between the brand and users.

This strong connection is particularly valuable in the global luxury goods market that is in urgent need of recovery in the post-epidemic period. According to Bulgari data, the current Chinese market can be said to have reached the "best in history". It is worth noting that the e-commerce business, which is dominated by young consumers, has achieved triple-digit growth in China.

 

Sending a Heart-Warming Signal to the Market in the Post-Epidemic Period

Generation Z, represented by 18-year-old youths, is called a "hopeful" generation who are regarded as more tolerant, rational, and optimistic.

The latest report "True-Luxury Global Consumer Insight" of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states:

Although 50% of Gen Z and 48% of millennials surveyed said their income was severely affected by the epidemic which proportions were higher than that of previous generations, 53% of Gen Z and 44% of millennials firmly believe that their luxury goods consumption will recover quickly, and this proportion is much higher than previous generations such as Generation X (26%), Baby Boomers (21%), and Silver Generations (20%). In the jewelry and watch categories, the proportion of young people who are relatively optimistic is 8% higher than that of previous generations.

This positive outlook on consumption is also verified in the Luxury Consumption in China: a 2020 White Paper. The data shows that jewelry (44%) has surpassed the bag (41.6%) category and become the young respondents most likely to buy in the future Luxury category.

"Never too much" is the Chinese meaning of the brand’s new spirit MAI TROPPO proposed by Bulgari in April this year.

From the previous "Larger Than Life" to today's open concept, Bulgari tried to convey positive and heart-warming signals to the market and users in the post-epidemic period from a more microscopic life.

In the recent “A perspective for the luxury-goods industry during and after coronavirus” global Internet seminar, 40% of luxury brand CEOs agreed that the old rules of the industry are about to be broken. One of the important trends is that consumers pay more and more attention to not only luxury goods themselves, but more importantly the values ​​they carry.

Starting from a more subdivided time point such as the "Coming-of-Age Ceremony" this time, Bulgari hopes to become a brand that accompanies the growth of users and jointly start the exploration of values.

Use Movies to Build Dialogue Scenes and Explore Values

From brand spokespersons Kris Wu and Mitsuki Kimura to supermodel Lily Aldridge, and Naomi Scott, the actor of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin, Bulgari has spared no effort to deploy the young user market. This time, the brand broke through the blessing of celebrities and chose micro-films featuring emerging directors and amateurs as the dialogue scene, which opened the hearts of young people.

The three topics of "Age of Blossom", independent living, showing the true self, and yearning for love, may reflect the perplexity that every young person has experienced in the adult season, or has or will face.

After the film was released, it resonated strongly with the audience. Among them, we saw such relevant comments:

  • I think I am not gentle, but I am trying to be brave.
  • I also want to be a girl defined by myself.

The three girls with completely different personalities in the film are just the epitome of every Chinese audience outside the camera representing the current you, the former you, and the future you. They are also the inspiration muse for Bulgari's upcoming growth.

The definition of Bulgari’s female image in people’s impressions is constantly being broken and reshaped:

They can be goddess-level figures such as Hollywood legendary stars Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, and Chinese actress Shu Qi. They can also be the young female images portrayed in "Age of Blossom": independent, delicate and not defined.

The three girls wore Bulgari Divas’ Dream necklaces in the life-like scenes, inadvertently presenting the beauty of the details of the works to the audience.

In front of the camera, the protagonist is no longer a specific piece of jewelry, but the wearer and the mood it represents. Under this deduction of personification, jewelry has been given real vitality.

For Bulgari, the film is not only a source of inspiration for creation, it is also an artistic carrier of its values:

Over the years, Bulgari has not only sponsored top events such as the Berlin International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festiva, the Venice Biennale, and the Shanghai International Film Festival but has also been committed to supporting the power of innovation in events like the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It is worth mentioning that in 2018, Bulgari and Tribeca Studios jointly launched four female-themed original short films, telling the story of modern Italian women breaking stereotypes and gender recognition. In 2018 and 2019, Bulgari also released two Spanish short films "Bvlgari: Mario Casas X Bvlgari" and "Bvlgari: Let It Bling".

Arouse Empathy Among Users from a Localized Perspective

Every summer in June and July, college entrance examination, graduation, career choice, love, etc., have become the "big exams" for every Chinese young person must pass in the coming-of-age ceremony. At this special stage, they often fall into confusion and anxiety about what am I going to be when I am 18?

  • "Maybe, maybe I should try to have a relationship first"
  • "I think the first topic in adulthood is to learn how to live alone"
  • "I just want to be a girl defined by myself"

The three girls in the film gave different answers.

Choosing to cut in from the "unconventional" luxury goods marketing node such as the graduation season, Bulgari hopes to use this film to convey the brand's keen insight and empathy for the psychological state of young people, to arouse empathy.

Kolia Neveux, President of Bvlgari Greater China, once said in an exclusive interview with Luxe.CO:

"Fully understanding the local market, looking for the connection between brand DNA and local culture, and in-depth insight into the consumption preferences and behaviors of young people are important issues facing luxury brands in the Chinese market."

In August 2019, the Bulgari SerpentiForm exhibition was held in Chengdu and attracted 50,000 fans in five days. The exhibition cleverly combined the brand totem spirit snake with the traditional Chinese culture's worship of the snake totem, seeking to resonate with local audiences in the depths of history.

At the beginning of 2020, during the special period of the COVID-19, Bulgari opened a WeChat video account. When China's short video ecosystem is mature, it strives to maintain close contact with local consumers by creating online content and digital experience.

 

Conclusion

As a rite for the Coming-of-Age Ceremony, its content and value far exceed the jewelry itself.

From self-question to self-answer, from confusion to self-examination, Bulgari uses movies to construct dialogue scenes, providing a platform for people inside and outside the lens to express themselves: how to define 18 years old is up to you.

In the future of life, the brand is no longer a beacon, but your companion.

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