Last week, Chinese New Year was celebrated in accordance with the country’s traditional lunisolar calendar. Celebrating along with the Chinese, it seemed, were many U.S. and other non-Chinese brands.
In recent years, this strong Chinese tradition has generated more attention among brands that want to reach Chinese consumers, both at home and abroad. The Chinese New Year is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in which families, friends, and business associates gather to celebrate with food and festivities, additionally exchanging red envelopes with “good luck money.” This year’s celebration began Friday and will last as long as 15 days, stretching to Feb. 14 for some.
The Chinese population is valued by many brands. In the U.S., for example, Chinese-Americans are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree and hold a median income that is $15,000 higher than average. While some brands’ Chinese New Year marketing targeted these consumers in particular, other brands set their sights on reaching those in China and other Asian markets. Take a look at how some of these non-Chinese brands decided to ring in the Chinese New Year.
This Chinese New Year, Coca-Cola wanted to help some Chinese citizens get home to their children for the holiday. A four-minute documentary produced by McCann Shanghai profiles several Chinese families representing some of the 61 million Chinese children that are forced to live away from their families because of job availability. These children stay in the countryside with relatives while one or both parents travel from town to town, sending money home and typically returning only for the new year.
In the case of the families in the video, several parents hadn’t been home for years because of lack of funds or time to travel. Coke set out to reunite the families featured, and the result is a video that will tug at your heart strings. The video was shared through social media and played on taxi screens prior to the holiday.
Over 220 million Chinese will be traveling around the Lunar New Year to be with loved ones. Increasingly, the affluent are choosing to travel internationally to celebrate the holiday. The U.S. is a popular destination for Chinese wanting to celebrate the new year with a trip.
According to the World Luxury Association, Chinese travelers spent over $7.2 billion on luxuries overseas during Chinese New Year celebrations. Because of this, many luxury brands gear up to cater to Chinese travelers. One example is the stunning two-story display of a snake, an animal with strong symbolism in Chinese culture, at the Bulgari store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The Italian jewelry brand also released a $275,000 diamond bracelet and $9.5-million snake necklace.
U.S. fast food brand McDonald’s has long been known, for better or worse, for its reach internationally. Because of the brand’s presence in Asian countries, it should come as no surprise that the fast food giant produced several ads centered on the Chinese New Year – both in the U.S. and abroad.
In the U.S., Chinese-language print ads celebrating the new year popped up in U.S.-Chinese press, like this one spotted by the Huffington Post.
McDonald’s also spent some cash on TV spots in Singapore, featuring colorful cartoon lions and promoting “prosperity” burgers and chicken sandwiches. The spots were produced by DDB Singapore.
British grocery chain Tesco has its own way of celebrating the Chinese New Year. With a strong presence in Asia, the world’s second-largest retailer is sure to pay attention to this big holiday with special promotions.
This year, Tesco created a one-minute, high-energy spot featuring a social media campaign. The spot encourages shoppers to search for the Ong Mali and share it on Facebook with the #ongmali hashtag. Winners are eligible for cash prizes, and the promotion offers discounts to shoppers, as well. The spot ran in Malaysia.
U.S.-based air-conditioning and heating brand York developed a humorous Chinese New Year commercial for Malaysia, featuring the god of prosperity trying to bring some comfort to residents.
The spot is a bit tongue-in-cheek with its over-the-top Asian stereotypes, including a big-glasses-and-suspenders-wearing “nerd” type.
U.K. chocolate maker Cadbury took an international approach to its Chinese New Year celebration. The international brand developed a spot for Malaysia featuring families with children studying or working abroad.
Like the Coke spot, this five-minute online video uses family ties to appeal to viewers’ emotions. In the video, Cadbury makes it possible for the featured Leong family to reunite by paying travel expenses for its daughter, who is studying abroad. The surprise reunion at the end is quite the tear-jerker, so viewers beware.