Farmer Bob Teams Up with NetEase Cloud to Ignite the Internet with “Animal Boyfriend Test”
Starting last Friday, social media platforms were flooded with images of “animal boyfriends,” once again showing how young people are so enthusiastic about “self-personality analysis.”
In fact, this is a marketing campaign designed by Farmer Bob in collaboration with NetEase Cloud for the release of their seventh-generation product. With the simple and fun “test your animal boyfriend” interactive feature, the trend of “animal boyfriends” quickly spread from the cloud village to different social media platforms.
Are you suitable for a “long-termist giraffe” or a natural-born king lion? The various characters in Farmer Bob’s seventh-generation new product “Animal Citizen” transform into boyfriends with different personalities (feels like a callback to the first generation of boyfriend blind box series), becoming a small mirror for everyone to reflect on themselves.
Knowing yourself is an eternal topic for us.
“Are you an e-person or an i-person?” This is a question that young people like to ask when they first meet.
From horoscope fortune-telling to MBTI personality tests, the times have changed and the methods have changed, but people’s enthusiasm for asking “who am I” has never changed. Young people are in a stage where their “self” is gradually forming and stabilizing. They identify with others and seek like-minded groups through summarizing and generalizing their own characteristics. They have a strong desire to understand themselves and a need to release their true selves.
The boyfriend test, a collaboration between FARMER BOB and NetEase Cloud Music, accurately understands this psychology and targets the traits of young people who pursue new experiences. It can be said that they have “tailored” this test game for them – what kind of boyfriend suits you, ultimately pointing to what kind of person you are.
All of these profound understandings of young people have quickly propelled FARMER BOB and NetEase Cloud Music’s entertaining test out of the platform, causing social media proliferation and widespread dissemination.
In fact, “who am I” is a value issue that FARMER BOB has always been exploring. In the latest seventh-generation product release, they have reinterpreted it with the help of the “animal citizen” setting.
This time, artist FARMER has created a “crazy animal city in the trendy world.” In this imaginative society he has built, every animal citizen living here has their own personality: wise owls, adventurous wild deer, compulsive crocodiles, slow-to-warm-up giraffes with long reflex arcs…
Among them, one character I really like is “Cheerful Pig”. The artist has given this animal, which is stereotypically seen as lazy, an image of a hard worker, warning us to be wary of biases and labels.
There is also the shy Bonnie, a “self-pleaser”. It wears a rabbit mask that symbolizes shyness and weakness, and may not be good at socializing, and may even be considered unsociable. However, that mask can be taken off, and underneath it, perhaps there is a shy and introverted person who just wants to be themselves, bravely face and accept themselves.
In addition, FARMER has also given some of their animals a “dual personality”. For example, the lion is a leader with a regal demeanor, but also has a gentle heart. There is also the clownfish and their pantomime, which easily brings to mind the great master of pantomime, Charlie Chaplin. Their humorous and funny performances actually contain sharp satire and gentle compassion…
From a product design perspective, this kind of setting creates more logical connections between surprise and regular products, establishing a more three-dimensional product story and making the unboxing experience more enriching. More importantly, it brings out a deeper level of character thinking in terms of values: even personality is not absolute, and people can have two (or even multiple) sides. These are just elements that enrich your life experience and make society more diverse.
Through the seventh generation of products, FARMER BOB further enriches its brand core concept of “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME” – differences in personality are not right or wrong. Just like these animal citizens, they together form a rich and interesting world, and everyone has a suitable role. There is no need to conform to others or accept the settings given by others, just follow your heart and you will have your own brilliance.
From a values perspective, this provides fans and consumers with new emotional support points, giving us new ways to express ourselves on this long road of self-discovery.
Diversified Marketing Sparks BOB Craze Online and Offline
For those familiar with FARMER BOB, one of the inspirations for the name “Bob” is the reggae singer Bob Marley, whom the artist loves. This lovable bearded uncle has had a strong connection to music since his birth. In the previous generation of products, they focused on the theme of “retro musicians” to pay tribute to the great music creators in history.
Therefore, for this new product release, they chose to collaborate with NetEase Cloud Music to launch the “Test Your Animal Boyfriend” feature, enhancing the connection between the brand and music. In addition, by leveraging the platform power of NetEase Cloud Music and the popular and fun interaction of “testing,” they can not only increase fans’ sense of participation but also reach more potential users interested in music or personality tests beyond fans, achieving breakthroughs in circles and expanding the voice of new product releases.
The entry point of “Animal Boyfriend” also injects more connotations into the new generation of products—it can be your self-expression or your ideal projection, resonating emotionally with you.
This time, they still chose to team up with Tmall Little Black Box during the sales phase, using the form of purchasing a signed BOB shark to preheat the new product release and ignite the participation of online consumers. At the same time, they actively sought out unicorn mini-programs, JD, Douyin, Taobao, and other sales platforms to exert their respective advantageous resources, connecting various consumer groups vertically and horizontally, forming a two-dimensional sales and communication network, and making all products sold out as soon as they went online, sparking a discussion craze and continuously increasing the heat of the new product release in relevant topics.
Through the online multi-platform matrix layout, FARMER BOB has created a gathering of FARMER BOB enthusiasts. At the same time, through this multi-dimensional sales matrix, they have conveyed their trendy attitude and brand culture to a wider audience, attracting new users.
Although the internet is the social hub for young people, with the rise of “check-in culture” and experiential consumption, offline marketing for brands provides a direct way to communicate with consumers and offers more tangible and real brand experiences beyond virtual topics.
For the release of their seventh-generation product, FARMER BOB held a three-city flash store event in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The event featured not only giant inflatable Bonnie, polar bear BOB, and shark BOB, but also an animal carnival party where attendees could wear their favorite animal masks and become a part of the animal kingdom, enjoying this “authentic moment” to the fullest.
With ample “check-in elements” and clever and innovative event design, the event provided attendees with a dual experience of visual and atmospheric sensations.
In addition, the offline flash store served as the main sales channel for the limited edition 151 shark BOB worldwide. Prior to the event, the flash store had already reserved a “city hotspot event” location for this POP UP. On the day of the event, the scene was extremely crowded and the atmosphere was explosive. The high popularity also brought active sharing from attendees on social media, bridging the online and offline communication chain and bringing a new round of publicity for “animal citizens.”
The flash store locations were as follows:
– Beijing: THE BOX Chaowai, a young and dynamic center
– Shanghai: FARMER BOB global flagship store
– Shenzhen: Futian CoCo Park trendy collection store
Of course, people enjoy participating in such rituals and outdated events. However, on a deeper level, FARMER BOB has created a platform for direct communication with consumers by hosting high-quality art gatherings and urban marketing events. This builds emotional connections and efficiently implants brand awareness in the minds of consumers, while also generating widespread attention and further solidifying the brand’s value, resulting in a win-win situation for both the brand and its effectiveness.
Where Does Farmer Bob’s Charm Come From?
Returning to the IP itself, why is it that every time Farmer Bob releases a new product, it can generate such high popularity and achieve both traffic and sales?
Obviously, after going through the most intense stage, the trend of playing with toys is currently entering a period of reshuffling. Brands that have solid product strength, long-term development thinking, and can provide consumers with sustained emotional value are the only ones that can continue to “play” in this field.
First of all, in terms of product strength, design, as the first touchpoint, is undoubtedly the core competitiveness of the trend of playing with toys. For newcomers, appearance and texture are the most direct driving forces for them to enter the market. For old users, the brand’s consistent aesthetics and quality pursuit are also important adhesives to enhance their stickiness.
Looking at Farmer Bob’s seventh-generation product, the cute animal appearance is undoubtedly eye-catching. The use of various materials such as short plush, soft rubber, transparent jelly, and frosted particle paint not only fits the characteristics of different animals but also brings consumers a rich visual and tactile experience, injecting more vitality and energy into each character. In addition, various interchangeable accessories, magnetic masks, and the use of temperature-changing and light-changing materials increase the product’s “play” attributes and bring fresh interactive experiences.
These eye-catching designs not only maintain Farmer Bob’s consistent aesthetic taste but also reflect the brand’s pursuit of daring to try and break through in design, greatly increasing consumers’ expectations and enhancing their attention to future products.
However, for trendy art products, the more important attraction is to provide emotional points of force for consumers. In this regard, Farmer Bob has always been a very attitude-driven IP. The brand’s core concept of “ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME” destined this seemingly simple and honest “farmer uncle” to not be a “conservative” character.
In fact, the artist FARMER has always been exploring the theme of individual identity and self-awareness through different works. The “Animal Citizen” series is another explicit interpretation of this theme, following the “Lie Truth Series” and “Color Series”.
It accurately hits the emotional needs of young people in self-awareness and personality expression. The artist’s own attitude towards life and design can also resonate emotionally with young people through his works. FARMER BOB integrates the eternal topic of human self-questioning into different themed products, helping young people define themselves and providing them with a continuous and diverse paradigm of self-expression. In the process of constantly bringing us new thinking and experiences, it shapes the long-term charm of the IP and gives it sustainable value.
Finally, I believe that the focus of trendy toys is not actually on “playing”. Whether it is blind boxes or other marketing methods that may appear in the future, trendy toys, as a kind of spiritual “luxury goods” for young people, are the touchpoints that connect trendy culture and artistic aesthetics, and also a path for exploring “self” in life. Therefore, it should not and will not be limited to a single carrier.
Currently, FARMER BOB is building a multi-dimensional business chain of art retail, exhibitions, and IP cross-border collaborations, driving the upgrade of art trend brands with IP value. It has collaborated with well-known brands and IPs in various fields such as Maserati, Star Wars, the Hermitage Museum, Strawberry Music Festival, and Lancome, spanning trendy lifestyles, culture, art, beauty, and other fields, injecting abundant vitality into the IP. It has opened the world’s first flagship store in Shanghai, writing new rules for space experience…
Various breakthrough attempts provide a broader display space for this IP and also provide more thinking and samples for the future development of trendy toys.