Hey Tea Blossoms (in) Shanghai, before going nationwide

The long-teased collaboration between leading Chinese tea chain Hey Tea and the viral TV series Blossoms Shanghai has finally landed in Shanghai, before launching around the country. Replicating the nostalgic and opulent style of Wong Kar-wai’s TV series, the tagline of the campaign “Joy is always in Bloom” combines the names of both the series and the tea chain. The campaign began on 31 January in Shanghai and is set to launch in the rest of China on 5 February.

The 16 RMB (2.24 USD) tea drink contains michelia x alba and jasmine-scented Mengding green tea with milk. The co-branding campaign includes a special tea drink, cups, cup carrier stickers and something that isn’t commonly seen in tea and coffee collabs – ticket stubs based on the show. This pays homage to the Shanghai-born Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, who is known to be a cinema auteur, and famous for masterpieces such as Chungking Express (1994) and In the Mood for Love (2000).

The key visual element for both the cup and carrier is postal stamps, a crucial item symbolising the first encounter between protagonist Mr Bao and Miss Wang. Meanwhile, the stickers are inspired by the metropolitan neon lights of Huanghe Road, a key location of the story. From the design to the flavour of the drink, the collab is to recall the aesthetic and feel of the fictional version of 1990s Shanghai from the show.

Although Hey Tea is relatively late to the game, compared to advertiser Meituan’s Shanghainese food search or Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai’s co-branded suite, set menu and afternoon tea, its Shanghai launch coincides with the rerun of the series on CCTV-1 on 31 Jan. On China’s Twitter equivalent Weibo, the topic “Hey Tea collaborates with Blossoms Shanghai” (#喜茶联名繁花#) reached number 21 on the Hot Search list, with 62.40 million views. It would seem Hey Tea is still in time to capture the interest of its audiences, and more importantly, the show’s audiences.


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