Be your “purple” self? Purple from M&M’s on Bazaar cover with Yang Chaoyue

On 2 July, the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar published a special article reporting on a “purple carpet” event at the M&M’s World Shanghai. Opened in 2014, the Shanghai M&M’s location remains the only flagship of the American chocolate brand in China. The event, called “Purple Night”, was to introduce the latest member of the M&M’s characters family: Purple.

Near the end of June, M&M’s announced its new brand ambassador, Chinese actress and singer Yang Chaoyue. For the big reveal, Yang and the purple M&M’s spokescandy appeared together on the cover of a special supplement of the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Incidentally, purple was Yang’s theme colour during her days with the C-pop idol girl group Rocket Girls 101. Bazaar hosted a feature for the duo and a video was released featuring Yang hosting a talk with the CGI version of Purple, discussing what it is like to “be yourself”. With Purple being awkward while Yang forgets her lines, the sketch-like interview hits home with the message of “just be me”.

The slogan of the campaign is “不完美,也要做‘紫’己”, which literally translates to “be your (purple) self, even if you’re not perfect.” Here in the typical punny fashion of Chinese copywriting these days, the “自” in “自己” (zi, self) is replaced by “紫” (zi, purple). Purple, who represents inclusivity, released a theme song “I’m Just Gonna Be Myself” when first introduced internationally in 2022. Although the Chinese launch focuses more on accepting oneself, the key message remains to be one’s (purple) self.

On China’s Twitter equivalent Weibo, the topic “find the you that is being your “purple” self” (#寻找做「紫」己的你#) reached 9.47 million views. The “Purple Night” event, with both Purple and Yang in attendance, was livestreamed on 27 June. Yang was once controversial for her number 3 spot on the reality show Produce 101 China because she was thought to be not very good at singing, dancing or acting and only won by popularity votes from online viewers. She was even ridiculed as being just an extremely lucky person. The theme of embracing an imperfect self seems to work perfectly for both Yang and Purple.


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