Apple release moving Chinese New Year ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro


Chinese New Year has grown in importance not only in China but also across the globe.

While most of the world gathers to be merry, sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, and set off fireworks each new year, China waits patiently until the first day of the lunar calendar to host a celebration that puts all others to shame.

The holiday is about spending time with family and sharing blessings and abundance with loved ones; providing the perfect foundations for marketers to create a campaign that will pull on our heart strings.

Over the past few years, Apple have created a series of poignant family-related stories around Chinese New Year. For their latest campaign, Apple have created an impressive and cinematic short film which showcases how professional content can be made using only the iPhone 11.

This year the story tells a tale of three generations of women in a Chinese family, and how breaking from cultural traditions effects them on Chinese New Year.

The story is called ‘Daughter’ and is inspired by true events about a woman who goes against cultural norms, becomes a Taxi driver and raises her daughter on her own.

The film highlights the conflicts these actions create with her own mother, and the challenges she faces bringing up a child by herself around the Chinese New Year. The concept behind the ad was to remind us about the existing generational differences in China, particularly when it comes to the expectations of family.

Apple Chinese New Year 1

While the campaign is shot using the iPhone 11 Pro, the filming had some high-calibre professional help. Academy Award-nominated director Theodore Melfi and award-winning cinematographer Lawrence Sher both worked on the ad, while award-winning Chinese actress Zhou Xun plays the single mother.

According to Apple, the film had an underlying message that “no matter how much we all grow apart, humanity has the power to bring us together”.

Apple also released ‘behind the scenes’ footage, to teach viewers how to make professional-quality films themselves.

An experiential Q&A session was also hosted at Apple’s Shanghai store this weekend, of which Melfi and Sher also attended.

Emotive campaigns are proving an effective way to approach cultural and political issues. We have seen ambitious examples from the likes of Lego’s Rebuild the Future campaign, and Burger King’s powerful anti-bullying experiment.

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I have over 15 years of experience in delivering award-winning campaigns across a multitude of marketing sectors in New York, London,
Singapore and Hong Kong.