Italian ice cream cone brand Cornetto has recently announced an all-year collaboration with the Chinese animated series Heaven Official’s Blessing (天官赐福, TGCF) for 2024. The first drop of co-branded ice creams has been available at selected stores since 5 January. The series includes 6 ice creams with co-branded packaging, including two new flavours: green plum pu’er tea flavour and thick milk black tea flavour. A set of 6 bookmarks are also available when buying by the box and collectible cards are also available as rewards for prize draws from the official Douyin channel.
Heaven Official’s Blessing is a xianxia fantasy novel series by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, the first season of the animated series aired in 2020 and the second season aired outside Mainland China from October to December 2023. The Japanese dubbed version of season 2 will also air in Japan in January. The series follows Xian Le, an unfortunate god who ascended from being a mortal and his relationship with Hua Cheng, the king of the ghost realm who terrorises the heavens.
The reason the second season of the animated show is not yet available in China is because the series falls under the “tanbi”, or “danmei” (耽美) in Chinese, genre. Also called BL, the genre features homoerotic romances between male characters but “created by women for women”. “Dangai” (tanbi adaptation) shows have been facing a crackdown in Mainland China since 2021, resulting in the series’ current unavailability. But the IP has been active on social media with various campaigns, so fans are still hopeful that the series will eventually be available in the Mainland.
Cornetto, on the other hand, has just launched another all-year collaboration with Light and Night, Tencent’s otome game (dating simulator with female protagonists and male love interests). By working with popular female-oriented cultural IPs, Cornetto targets an urban young female demography with precision. For Heaven Official’s Blessing, the collaboration ensures a year-long exposure and maintains momentum for the IP while the main media is unavailable. This is evident as on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Heaven Official’s Blessing Cornetto” (#天官赐福可爱多#) has gained 47.65 million views at the time of writing, reaching number 12 on the Hot Search list.