When life gives you lemons, hold an apple event? Mixue hosts lemon conference

On 2 June, a day after teasing on social media, the Chinese new-style tea chain Mixue Bingcheng held its “lemon event” through a video. On a darkened stage, Snow King appears and starts to introduce the past achievements and prospects of the brand’s signature drink, the iced lemonade, closely resembling Apple events held by the Californian tech giant. With over 1 billion cups sold each year, the drink is Mixue’s undisputed bestseller. The video also introduced the lemon used in the drink and gave recognition to the muddler used for making the lemonade.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Mixue Bingcheng Lemon Event” (#蜜雪冰城柠檬发布会#) garnered 11.11 million views and 16,000 engagements. Many on Weibo were impressed by the generous offer of free iced lemonade for a month through a prize draw. Indeed, other prize draws through ordering or a passcode through the official WeChat Mini Program also enables users to claim 1 free drink.

Meanwhile, passers-by near Jing’an Temple Square in Shanghai noticed that there was an unusual “Apple event” poster near the newly opened Apple Store. The apple-shaped logo, with its signature bite, is photorealistic instead of stylised. Upon closer inspection, it was actually for the food stall nearby, set up by German supermarket chain Aldi. With the tagline “More apple than Apple” (比苹果更苹果), the stall showcased New Zealand apple brand Mr Apple’s Dazzle apples.

Mixue Bingcheng has been reported to be making a rapid expansion, especially overseas. They are projected to overtake Starbucks globally in terms of the number of branches within a year, should the expansion rate continue. As competition gets stiffer, Mixue used a creative campaign and generous giveaway to celebrate its bestselling beverage, not only drawing interest to the brand but also building its brand image. However, the clash of the apple event spoofs between Mixue and Aldi, although both playful and funny, and from different angles, seems to highlight the trend of marketing clashes as every brand tries to be creative, humorous and sometimes postmodern.


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