The PRC has world’s largest LGBT community and rich Chinese who spend on luxury fashion brands are more than happy see advertising reflecting positive images of those citizens.
The PRC has a long track record of repressing LGBT discourse, and with it, fashion brands’ opportunities to address them in their campaigns.
However, at the start of 2020, sparks of hopes ignited across different aspects of Chinese society, sending a positive signal for a more progressive future. On December 20th of last year, for the first time in China’s modern history, a government law official spoke about having received a large number of petitions to include “legalisation of same-sex marriage” into the Civil Code during a press conference.
Then, on January 8, a Lunar New Year-themed campaign from Alibaba’s Tmall emerged as a top-trending search across social media. The campaign portrayed a gay couple joining a family reunion. At first, they are greeted with shock from the older parents but are eventually warmly accepted at the dinner table. The campaign received a site-wide applause on the microblogging site Weibo, as it was rare for a major company such as Alibaba to normalise a same-sex couple in a family context. In the same month, another campaign from the gay social app Blued aired on the internet, drawing more than 45.7 million views on Weibo. The increasing visibility of LGBT topics at the start of 2020 presents a sharp contrast to the country’s rigid silence on them during the past decades.
There is hope!
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