On February 5th, 2022, in celebration of the Beijing Olympic Games, Yili’s (伊利, one of China’s dairy giants) sub-brand, Zhixuan (植选, directly translated to “Plant Select”) released a video, “Beijing’s Rhythm of the Winter Olympics” (京韵冬奥), fusing the characteristics of traditional Chinese cultures, in collaboration with Qiu Jirong (裘继戎, a famous Peking Opera artist) and Ling (翎, a Chinese AI virtual influencer).
The concept of integrating realism and virtual reality has been highly praised by netizens, as it is a breath of fresh air from the traditional celebrity effect, in addition to this unique alliance between Qiu and Ling due to their contrasting background.
Aligning with the theme of the Beijing Olympics, Zhixuan captured the essence of novelty and winter aesthetics by obliquely echoing winter sports into shots of ancient Chinese traditions throughout the video – including Tai Chi (太极, a Chinese martial art involving slow movements and deep breaths) and chess.
For example, both Tai Chi and figure skating pursue a balance between movement and silence; while playing chess and curling imply intelligence; likewise, Peking Opera and skiing both explore the extreme use of speed and skills.
This contemporary synthesis of traditional oriental charm and modern athletic spirit showcased Zhixuan’s unconventional perception and passion for Chinese culture, whilst acknowledging the trending subject of the Olympics.
Alongside the surprising choice of characters, Zhixuan also released a commemorative collection of its products by embracing a Beijing Winter Olympics-themed packaging, which has been immensely adored by people.
The exclusive design is inspired by the three venues for the 2022 Olympics: Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou (北京，延庆and张家口). It also adopted elements of Chinese calligraphy, such as thick and light; shape and spirit, to exhibit the stunning silhouettes of various winter sports by associating with ink strokes of Chines characters.
The in-depth yet minimalistic dialogue between the historical and avant-garde aspects of the video also subtly reflects upon both Qiu and Ling’s characters – “real-life” and virtual. Moreover, the recreational facet of the campaign has portrayed the brand’s philosophy of natural and healthy living.
As a result, positive comments were gushed from all channels for its revolutionary ideas. In addition, Zhixuan enhanced its interaction with netizens by a random-gifting system on WeChat Mini Programs, which has attracted over 4 million views and tens and thousands of likes on the video.