China’s 520 originally began as an online slang word in Mandarin Chinese as a shortcut to say “I love you”. Soon after it became associated with the date May 20th and has now become an annual Valentine’s day marketing craze. Could 525 (literally “I love myself”) be the next best thing?
Mental health is often overlooked in modern-day Chinese society, with high competition and workplace culture such as ‘996’ taking an insidious toll on people’s psychological health. The long-standing status quo is now coupled with the recent lockdowns in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. As a result, people across China have truly appreciated the unofficial mental health day.
Surprisingly, this holiday is not as trendy as one may think. While mental health and self-development trends have taken countries like the United States by storm, it has yet to make waves in China.
This, however, could begin to change as personal growth and the pursuit of enriching experiences become the new luxury. One Chinese yogurt brand, Chunzhen, managed to seize the marketing opportunity to promote its nutritious yogurt while sending a powerful message to the modern-day woman. Chunzhen’s advertisement addressed all contemporary women who take on multiple roles to take some well-deserved time for themselves.
The lack of marketing seen on ‘525’ compared to ‘520’ speaks volumes about the marketing potential for the wellness and experience industry and the progress still needed to be made in terms of mental health. “Mental health day” may not sound as appealing as “Singles Day”, but “I love myself day” certainly sounds enticing and not at all menacing.
With pockets of self-development circles popping up in several Chinese metropolitan cities, the versatility ‘525’ offers could open doors for companies looking for a fresh new take on their marketing strategy.