Bulgari’s ‘Unexpected Wonders’ hits the bull’s eye in China
In Bulgari’s new brand film, “Unexpected Wonders”, a journey to discover a miracle begins in the eternal city of Rome. Flowers, sun, jewelry and beauty: the dreamlike visuals are a collaboration between Bulgari and acclaimed Italian director and Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino, known for his hyper-realistic and surreal shooting styles.
In the video, the house’s global ambassadors, Anne Hathaway and Zendaya, wear the Bulgari High Jewelry collection as they explore exciting new horizons, revealing the power and diversity of women. But what is behind “Unexpected Wonders” and why is it winning hearts in China?
Here, Daily Jing explores how ‘Unexpected Wonders’ is helping the internationally renowned brand accelerate its global presence and analyzes how its China ambitions continue to unfold.
“Unexpected Wonders” in the Eternal City, Rome
Rome is known as the “eternal city”. Thousands of years of cultural heritage, the glory of the Roman Empire and the supremacy of the Catholic Church contribute to the eternal splendor of this ancient site. As one of the “protagonists” of Bulgari‘s campaign, Rome is also home — the company was founded in 1884 by the talented Greek goldsmith Sotirio Bulgari.
Since then, Roman, now 138, jewelry house was inspired by the historical and architectural treasures of this timeless city. From color codes to the combination of geometric elements, Bulgari expresses the spirit of Rome through its creations and its storytelling.
In “Unexpected Wonders”, Anne Hathaway and Zendaya travel together to Bulgari’s birthplace to bask in its breathtaking landscapes. Together they marvel at the difference in sunlight, dance in a magnificent palace and bathe in a romantic shower of flowers. In addition to presenting Bulgari’s magnificent high jewelry collections, the film also invites audience to fully appreciate the joy found in the smallest and simplest things in life. Although it is not difficult to find wonders in Rome, of course, the brand shows that even ordinary things can bring extraordinary pleasures.
How does the film facilitate Bulgari’s international reach?
Between the late 1950s and early 1960s, Italy’s rapid economic development reached its peak. Rome became a favorite location for American films during this era, being hailed as “Hollywood on the Tiber”. Many famous streets of Rome, including Via Condotti, where the Bulgari boutiques were located, have become the “living room” of the world and the famous meeting place for celebrities.
As the city became increasingly glamorous on the big screen, so did Bulgari. Her bright, colorful and eclectic jewelry designs have captured the hearts of many elites and celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly and many more. By building relationships with these stars on and off screen, her international reputation grew. Business expansion in Europe and the United States in the 1970s followed.
To date, Bulgari jewelry has been involved in more than 40 films, including “Never So Few” and “Mission Impossible”. This mutualistic relationship has naturally extended to the red carpet, with Bulgari jewelry seen at many international events, such as the Oscars, Golden Globes and the Cannes and Venice film festivals.
Bulgari jewelry has been involved in more than 40 films (swipe left). Photo: Bulgari
This latest project is a continuation of Bulgari’s legendary history of “jewelry about beauty”, which pushes it to embark on a new international journey into a new era. Here, Anne Hathaway and Zendaya represent two types of female power:Dare to lose yourself, then find yourselftalks about Hathaway’s maturity and authenticity, while “Travel without movingshows Zendaya’s youth and vitality.
Indian-American actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Blackpink singer Lisa also appear in the campaign, showcasing the resilience and versatility of glamorous women. With the K-pop trend, Lisa caters to the Asian market and is an important bridge for Bulgari to reach the Chinese market given its popularity there. Thanks to this spokesperson (nicknamed the “Human Barbie” by beloved Chinese netizens), the house is able to better address a younger audience.
Blackpink’s Anne Hathaway, Zendaya, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Lisa featured in the Bulgari campaign (swipe left). Photo: Bulgari
Bulgari’s Chinese ambition
According to the “2021 Development Report of China’s Jewelry and Gemstone Industry” released by the China Association of Gemstone and Jewelry Trade, the total size of China’s jewelry market set record sales of $107.6 (720 billion yuan) in 2021, an increase of 18% from $91 billion (610 billion yuan) in 2020. So there is no doubt that China is a key market that major international brands of jewelry do not want to miss.
Thus, Bulgari has been active in the Chinese market on all fronts. After announcing its partnership with JD Luxury last year, it officially entered the Tmall Luxury Pavilion in April 2022 and became the first luxury brand to adopt the platform’s innovative flagship store model. Additionally, Bulgari has partnered with Tmall Hey Box to launch site-specific initiatives for the 520 campaign, including posting videos featured by Ding Yuxi and Chen Yuqi – which received an impressive 3.6 million likes. views on Weibo.
The movie “Unexpected Wonders” has also sparked a lot of discussion among Chinese social users. Two days before the film’s official release, Bulgari posted four “teaser” videos on its official accounts across all major platforms, which sparked a lot of speculation about the film’s stars. After the official launch on May 24, the brand continued to engage on social media, posting a series of behind-the-scenes videos and other Easter eggs.
At press time, the Weibo hashtag #UnexpectedWonders has racked up 7.6 million views. The video series has been viewed over 428,000 times on Weibo and received a total of 83,000 likes on WeChat channels. Netizens exclaimed, “Divine beings in the same frame,” and the comment “Let’s thank Bulgari together” was among the most popular.
In the rapidly changing Chinese market, marketing gimmicks are never lacking. However, as traffic comes and goes in a tidal wave, only a long-lasting brand narrative will ensure that luxury players reach their target consumers with authenticity. Whether highlighting jewelry and watchmaking masterpieces or conveying the brand’s spiritual and cultural narrative, Bulgari’s brand film perfectly fulfills its artistic and commercial mission.