The Tale of Rose: Luckin Coffee collabs with hit TV series

On 24 June, the leading Chinese coffee chain Luckin announced its newest collaboration. This time, it’s not with a brand, a person or an established IP but with the latest hit TV drama series The Tale of Rose. The collab’s official topic “Yellow rose latte” (#黄玫瑰拿铁#) shot to number 4 on the Hot Search list on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, with 40.76 million views.

The main draw is, of course, the drink that combines Luckin’s IIAC prize-winning coffee and the flavour of rose. But for many, merch such as the exclusive cup sleeve and paper bag are equally attractive. This time, the most desirable item from the collaboration is a yellow rose-shaped keychain, which you can get by ordering a set of two yellow rose lattes on the Luckin Coffee mini-program or through takeaway platforms Meituan or Luckin also considerately added a 62% off voucher in its promotional post on WeChat.

The TV show, starring Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei, is based on Hong Kong author Yi Shu’s (亦舒) novel of the same name, telling the story of Huang Yimei (Rosie) from when she was a girl to adulthood, following her career and love life. The show also birthed a meme based on side character Fang Xiewen’s (played by Li Gengxin) rant about Beijing, and used by state media to promote tourism in Beijing.

In fact, Luckin’s semi-competitor HeyTea (competitor as in Chinese beverage chain but the coffee brand has never ventured into the tea chain’s product line, and vice versa) has been experimenting with co-branding with TV sensations, such as with Blossoms Shanghai and Joy of Life 2. This form of co-branding is a great way for tea and coffee chains to capitalise on the TV series’ popularity, but it also brings more attention to the shows by having an offline presence. After the Luckin x The Tale of Rose, We are expecting more of these types of team-ups and diversification of partners from brands, as Luckin already teased its next collab, with either the film Havoc in Heaven, or with the Monkey King himself.


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