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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Case Study: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Makes Its Way to China

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

Western holidays are slowly entering Mainland China. Christmas trees are displayed in China’s shopping malls and hotel lobbies and children are even telling jokes and pranking each other on April Fool’s Day. With these western holidays having a growing presence in China, it should be no surprise that Thanksgiving is also becoming more popular.

Most Chinese people associate Thanksgiving with being thankful, fallen orange leaves and eating roasted turkey. From this year and the years to come, they’ll also add the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade” to that list.

One month prior to Thanksgiving, we started to socialize Thanksgiving on Macy’s Weibo account. First, we secured several Thanksgiving related hashtags, and 2 of the hashtags went viral:

  1. #感恩节大游行# (#ThanksgivingPaade), sporting 1.1 million views

  2. #梅西百货感恩节大游行# (#MacysDeptStoreThanksgivingParade),which generated 850K views

Using these hashtags, Macy’s kept their followers updated by publishing Macy’s parade history, fun-facts, the route through New York City, and information on the famous floats.

The iconic symbols of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade are their floats. Characters from various famous movies and games were made into giant floating balloons and showcased for the world to see. To give Macy’s Chinese followers a glimpse of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade feeling, we’ve created a mini campaign. This campaign consisted of teaser poster and 10 different GIFs were designed and uploaded one at a time.

We created silhouette of this year’s character floats and left several clues for followers to guess who’s the character on the GIF. For the  Angry Bird’s float  we wrote: “I have a very bad temper because someone can’t stop kicking me”.

In order to win the grand prize – Versace perfume set, users have to guess all characters correctly on the comment sections. This campaign brought 1,2K engagement and 500K impression to Macy’s Weibo account.

To bring the game to the next level, we brought Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade directly to our Weibo and WeChat followers through real time posts. This could also be considered a user generated content piece, as the photos and videos uploaded were contributed by our followers. As a result, Macy’s Thanksgiving live broadcast post successfully gained 8K views on WeChat as well as 600K impressions and 500 engagements on Weibo. Moreover, 140 Weibo media accounts and 4 KOLs tagged Macy’s and had helped to spread this year’s parade’s excitement.

Although Thanksgiving is considered as a new celebration in China, you can’t look down on the thrill and excitement it brings. This campaign demonstrates that Chinese people now welcome Western culture and festivities into their life and they crave to know more about it. Good thing Thanksgiving is all about making sure to satisfy cravings and appreciating all the opportunities we have. 

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