Chinese tea chain Guming, or GoodMe, has officially announced its second collaboration with the animated series Heaven Official’s Blessing, or Tian Guan Ci Fu (天官赐福, TGCF). The new team-up comes 3 months after the first one and was teased with an acrostic poem in a thank-you letter to fans at the end of the last collab in November, coinciding with Thanksgiving.
In the new crossover, instead of concept stores that tour the country, from 29 January onwards, shops across the nation will be decorated with graphics from the animated series, as well as stamps which can be collected in-store or via takeaway. The main event, however, is the huge, themed installation that Guming has set up at its Hangzhou HQ, and surprisingly is open for fans to visit.
Of course, as in most tea and coffee collaborations, co-branded drinks are mandatory. Guming has brought out a whopping six different beverages for the team-up, as well as an exclusive paper cup and paper bag. The paper cup has 9 dragons printed on the surface with an extra hidden dragon only visible when shining light into the cup. Cross-over merch includes red envelopes, a calendar and digital graphics for WeChat Red Packets. On the digital front, a new time-limited mini-game is also available on Guming’s WeChat Mini Program.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Guming TGCF anime CNY collab” (#古茗天官赐福动画春节联名#) has garnered 110 million views. Although the second series of TGCF has not streamed in mainland China yet, due to its “BL”, or “boy’s love” theme, it has had several high-profile collaborations since its overseas release in October, such as the first crossover, a Cornetto icecream co-branding and co-created shorts with food and beverages giant Unif.
On 2 January, Guming filed for IPO in Hong Kong, the same day as Mixue Bingcheng. With over 9,000 locations, Guming ranks second in the Chinese tea chain market, after Mixue’s 36,000 branches. Guming had a profitable first 9 months in 2023. During the period, the tea brand had 5.6 billion RMB (788 million USD) in revenue and 1 billion RMB (140.72 million USD) in profit, making up an 18% profit rate.
Arguably collaborations like this campaign with Heaven Official’s Blessing or the recent crossover with live acton wuxia mystery series Mysterious Lotus Casebook are strengthening Guming’s popularity among the younger generation. During its first team-up with the animated series, merch quickly sold out at popular locations and people travelled to branches from cities where the chain was not available. These indicate that there is still untapped potential for Guming expansion and competition with Mixue.