In one of the images posted on Burberry’s social media accounts on Thursday, Zhao, Zhou and six other models posed without smiling in a “family” photo while wearing the global fashion brand’s latest collection pieces.
The campaign image, directed and captured by photographer Ethan James Green, is being ridiculed for “lacking the festive cheer” which is normally found in Chinese New Year-related fashion images.
“Introducing our new collection, curated for #BurberryChineseNewYear,” read the photo’s caption.
“A portrait of togetherness, gathering the cross generations of family for a seasonal celebration. Starring #ZhaoWei and #ZhouDongyu; directed and photographed by @EthJGreen.” According to 42-year-old actress Zhao, the campaign, “draws on the concept of families reuniting for the most important holiday of the year, and represents a sense of belonging, but in a very fresh way.”
Zhou, 26, said that while the concept was very simple, “the ceremonial sense behind it holds so much more.” “For me, being able to go home once a year to spend quality time with my family is something I value above all else, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she was quoted as saying.
However, many Weibo users noting that the image hardly gives off the “festive message” it is supposed to convey.
“What a creepy family portrait. It looks like a horror movie,” one netizen commented. “Am I the only one to say pulling a long face does not go well with the Chinese New Year?” a Weibo user wrote. “This is a group of people who plan to kill this ultra-rich grandma and keenly fight over her inheritance,” wrote another.
Meanwhile, there were also those who appreciated the brand’s approach to the Chinese tradition. One netizen said she is “really sick of seeing a happy Chinese New Year.” “The Spring Festival is not just a false appearance of bliss, I see a big label with a global vision viewing the Chinese festival with a more tolerant perspective.”
“Burberry Chinese New Year’s return to tradition is timeless,” said another commenter.