WeChat Red Packet, a new social game.

By Penny ZHANG

In 2019, WeChat launched the Red Packet Cover customisation service. WeChat Red Packet Cover Platform announced in December 2020 that it started to support individual creators and adjusted the customisation price from 10 RMB/ea to 1 RMB/ea, making it much more friendly for brands to take advantage of. In 2021 CNY, collecting Red packet Covers became a new social game.


On 21/01/2021, the WeChat Index (search volume across Wechat ecosystem) of ‘Red packet Cover’ peaked at 73.83 million, increasing 226.49% day-on-day. By Feb 1, the WeChat Index of ‘Red packet Cover’ had climbed to 135.7 million, even hotter than ‘Chinese New Year’.


At present, branding Red Packet Covers can be collected by scanning QR codes, clicking on links, entering serial numbers, etc. As the Red Packet Covers are connected with WeChat functional modules such as Official Account, Video Channel and Mini Program, it inspires a lot of new ways for brands to promote new activities.

I. Qualifications for WeChat Red Packet Cover Customisation

Currently, only business entities and individuals who have a qualified WeChat Video Channel can apply for Red Packet Cover customisation. See below for the application process.


II. Case Study of WeChat Red Packet Cover Customisation tactics

i. Insert QR code / link to collect Covers in WeChat Article


During the 2021 CNY, Brand Catalyser collaborated with Alibaba ANZ to launch the Red Packet Cover Campaign. 4 different styles of cover were designed for this campaign, targeting Alibaba’s 4 different main services: Tmall, Taobao, Alipay and Alibaba Cloud.



2,000 custom covers were distributed through multiple channels from Feb 11 – Feb 15 as an incentive to drive traffic to Alibaba ANZ WeChat’s Official Account. The campaign succeeded with a strong result of 35% new followers conversion rate.



ii. Follow WeChat Official Account & Reply keywords

In the case of Ping An Bank, the WeChat official account published an article to announce how to get the Red Packet Covers. Audiences need to scan the QR code to follow the official account and reply “Red Packet Cover” to interact with the official account to get it.

iii. Premium personalized tactics for brands

Based on the basic tactics, big brands like GUCCI took advantage of the Red Packet Covers and created a social phenomenon in 2021 CNY.

GUCCI released a very limited number of covers, in collaboration with the IP ‘Doraemon’. Users could get the cover by entering enter the GUCCI mini program (need to complete personal account registration), making a reservation for the lottery. Only after the reservation is successful can audiences participate in the Red Packet Cover lottery. This tactic cleverly helped the brand gain massive traffic while obtaining the personal information of potential users.


III. WeChat Red Packet Cover Design Tips

The launch of ‘WeChat Red Packet Cover Open Platform’ shows that Red Packet Cover customisation will become a regular module of WeChat ecosystem for brands and business in the future. With a similar meaning to memes, but with more space and marketing scenarios than memes.

Key point 1: the pursuit of personalised experiences for differences

Compared to the default red packet cover, when people send red packets in the community, your personalised cover red packet will instantly make you the focus of the whole scene, with its own social attributes.


Key point 2: Good but soft storytelling

In the design, the brand should be as soft as possible, a strong brand placement is not a pleasing way of telling a story. It would be better if the red packet cover can express an emotion of the user or indicate an identity of the user.


Key point 3: Scarcity is indispensable to drive traffic

Brands with an adequate budget should consider a co-branded or celebrity collaboration cover. Such red packet covers are more precious and scarcer for hunger marketing.


Key point 4: Different groups like different things, it is more effective to make a Red Packet Cover matrix

Different groups like different things, so it is wiser to design different styles of red packet covers for different groups; even if your product is for a very vertical group of people, you can design multiple red envelopes for users to choose, and it is easier to enhance the probability of users using red packet covers by playing a combination.

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