British luxury house Burberry has collaborated with Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) to dress the short-video platform’s virtual avatars named Zaizai. “Douyin Zaizai” is a new feature that allows users to create their own avatars and socialize online. Burberry’s virtual apparel, accessories, and shoes featuring its signature TB monograms are now available for fitting. Avatars styled with Burberry were also featured on the cover of fashion magazine ELLE China, presenting various lifestyles popularized by today’s younger generation, such as camping, surfing, and skateboarding.
Virtual avatars have become a golden ticket to connecting with China’s digital natives. The launch of Douyin Zaizai is not an exception, sparking organic engagement across social platforms including Weibo and Xiaohongshu, in addition to Douyin. The hashtag #DouyinZaizai has driven nearly 15 million views.
More importantly, Douyin’s announcement of its partnership with Burberry helped the feature reach a broader audience. Short videos starring the avatars wearing branded products received 177,000 and 19,700 views on Burberry and Douyin’s Weibo accounts, respectively.
Virtual avatars have boomed in China thanks to the dynamics of local social media ecosystems. According to a report by research firm iiMedia, 87.8 percent of Chinese netizens have a basic understanding of avatars in 2022, marking an increase from 63.6 percent in 2021.
In addition to growing interest, there are several reasons for ByteDance’s bet on avatars: their high plasticity, the immersive user experience, and the booming metaverse, all of which align with the younger consumers’ expectations of virtual social interaction. Just as Meta launched digital fashion stores on its platforms, Chinese tech titans will not miss this lucrative opportunity to invest in the future.
Currently, Burberry’s virtual wardrobe is free for users to dress their avatars on Douyin. With these edgy, luxury outfits, users can not only take selfies with their online friends and post videos on their homepage, but also use the virtual figures as their profile picture. Through the partnership with Douyin, Burberry can cultivate potential customers and consolidate the innovative essence rooted in its brand culture.
As digital fashion continues to score with Chinese shoppers, it’s only a matter of time before another luxury brand joins hands with Douyin Zaizai.