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Almonds’ Beauty Journey in the New Markets in China

Reviewing 2022: Being experiential and driving demand with a fresh digital strategy


Given the enormous size of China, it’s common for brands to take a geographic approach to marketing, and in recent years, the Almond Board of California focused marketing efforts in the three top-tier cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In 2022, ABC shifted marketing efforts to one top-tier city and three tier-two cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing, respectively, where consumers are seeking healthy foods and experiencing rising incomes but are less aware of the benefits of eating almonds. Furthermore, the populations in these four cities are equivalent to the other cities, making this a great opportunity to build new demand for almonds in China. 

While entry into these new markets brought many opportunities for California almonds, the recent introduction of updated advertising restrictions in China presented a number of new challenges. In light of the restrictions, ABC took a fresh approach to engaging audiences in these markets as it sought to deliver messaging around the concept of ‘healthy beauty’ to drive consumer demand for California almonds.

California almonds’ 21-Day Antioxidant Diary beauty campaign was launched on REDBOOK

In 2022, the Almond Board partnered with REDBOOK — China's go-to social media platform for beauty and lifestyle content. The Almond Board teamed up with REDBOOK’s most iconic beauty program, the Beauty Academy, in October to launch the ‘21-Day Antioxidant Diary’ campaign. The campaign aimed to encourage consumers to enjoy the antioxidant benefits of California almonds and transform their beauty from the inside out by incorporating California almonds into their daily beauty routine. 

The REDBOOK campaign began with three short videos showing how California almonds intuitively fit into different moments and bring radiance to everyday life. Zhang Li — one of China’s most popular movie stars — put the spotlight on the topic by sharing how, despite her busy schedule, she manages to take good care of her skin and keep it nourished and shining every day. And of course, California almonds were included as part of her routine. Following Zhang’s video, health professionals and influencers on REDBOOK shared their own tips and advice about antioxidants and how almonds could help keep their skin beautiful from the inside out and how to enjoy almonds throughout the day in a variety of different ways. 

Get beautiful skin on the go with the California Almonds Radiance Kit

To help boost user-generated content and give consumers even more opportunities to experience California almonds, ABC also created an exclusive California Almonds Radiance Kit with REDBOOK. Designed to give you everything you need to keep your skin beautiful while on the go, the Radiance Kit includes a UV-blocking umbrella, a pocket mirror, a multi-purpose beauty clutch, and a serving of California almonds with their very own tin.  

The 21-Day Antioxidant Diary campaign was a smash on REDBOOK and the buzz quickly spread to other social media platforms like Weibo. To date, the campaign has generated a total of 320 million impressions and over 4.6 million engagements. Consumers participated throughout the campaign, contributing more than 34,000 pieces of user-generated content in which they shared their beauty tips and experiences eating California almonds. 

The Tmall 917 Foodie Day e-commerce campaign (top), Social media videos, celebrity endorsement, and professional content put the spotlight on California almonds on REDBOOK (bottom).

Riding on the buzz of the beauty campaign, ABC continued to drive sales on e-commerce platforms. For its fifth year collaborating with Tmall on the ‘917 Foodie Day’ promotion, ABC took the tactic to another level with the help of movie star Jin Sha in a livestream promotion. Sha and her livestream co-host discussed their skincare tips and recommended California almonds as a smart choice for getting beautiful skin. The livestream was a hit with viewers, racking up 4.7 million impressions over its 90-minute run. Fifteen brands also joined the campaign, with eight of them hosting joint-promotion livestreams during the campaign period for the first time in the tactic’s 5-year history. Thanks to their support, overall impressions for the livestreams hit 15 million, representing a 25% increase over the previous year.