ROARING 2022: Our 5 best Chinese New Year Campaigns


This key marketing event offers plenty of brand lessons: here are the five campaigns that have earned their stripes on our list.

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It has a few different names (Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year), but they share one goal, one that’s celebrated by over 2 billion people, a quarter of all people on the planet. It’s an incredible event, with millions of red envelopes shared, lanterns lit, fireworks launched and families travelling far distances to share the celebrations. Every CNY starts with a different zodiac animal (there are 12 of them), and this year it’s the fierce feline with claws and stripes. In Chinese culture, the tiger is a symbol of bravery, wisdom and strength, and that’s exactly what brands and marketers need in this weary, post-pandemic world.

There’s too much generic marketing noise across all channels right now. Just like other global celebrations such as Christmas and Easter and huge sporting events, brands need something culturally relevant, authentic and unique to attract the attention and engagement they want and unlock the retail spend. If they get that right, it also offers much-treasured long-term brand love. Here are five examples we can all learn from:

1. CREATING PAWS FOR THOUGHT: THE HUNT FOR THE LUCKY TIGER BY SINGTEL

In a world of staycations and Covid-19 cancellations, this fun, family-focused adventure shows the most valuable gift you could receive during the holidays (and inspire your next trip). The campaign also included a smart way to celebrate the Year of the Tiger, as Singtel collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to launch the Ar-mazing Tiger Trail. It is a gamified augmented reality (AR) trail and tailored IG filters for the public to engage with during the holidays while learning more about tiger conservation. In short, doing public good and driving awareness of their 5G network at the same time.

2. COLLABORATING ON SOLE SOLUTIONS: CHEN YINGJIE X VANS

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Vans tapped Chen Yingjie (also known as Huatunan) – a renowned, young artist born in Foshan, China, with a cult following – to create a special CNY collection with a tiger focus. The Vans x HUATUNAN Year of the Tiger collection covers Vans’ iconic silhouettes, including the Authentic, the Sk8-Hi and the Old Skool. The goal: resonating with Gen Zs. The result: massive, authentic engagement with the younger generations, thanks to amplification on WeChat from the right trendsetters (including fashion bloggers’ posts) and the creation of a custom topic on the popular microblogging site Weibo for the drop.

3. FELINE FASHION IS AN ART: PRADA & ACTION IN THE YEAR OF THE TIGER

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China is one of the biggest markets for Italian luxury brand Prada, so it wanted to provide brand value via a worthy cause as well as pay respect to the Year of Tiger. This campaign relies on an invitation to all talented under-30s at art schools from all over the world to produce their own personal interpretation of the tiger. The artists have free rein to express themselves however they like using the languages of painting, design and sculpture. The winning artworks will be used in a ‘special project’ for Prada later in the year. As part of the project, the Prada group has contributed to the conservation of the endangered Amur tiger by donating to the “Walking with Tiger and Leopard” program that was initiated by the China Green Foundation.

4. CELEBRATING IN THE METAVERSE: MCDONALD'S HALL OF ZODIACS - 2022 LUNAR NEW YEAR

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The famous burger brand teamed up with Humberto Leon, the co-founder of fashion brand, Opening Ceremony, to create a unique collection of zodiac animal designs. These are housed in an immersive, interactive experience in the metaverse. This digital space provides horoscope readings based on their zodiac signs, or visitors can explore the virtual venue that was designed by Cliff Tan, an architect who relies on Feng Shui principles. It's accessible through Altspace and Spatial VR platforms and mobile and desktop versions. To support their first cross-media metaverse campaign, McDonald’s ran TV spots and red envelope activations at stores.

5. TELLING A BETTER TIGER TALE: COKE REAL MAGIC LUNAR NEW YEAR

This beautifully animated tale depicts a son’s homecoming during the CNY festivities and plays on the tensions between a young tiger and his father, which in the end, is calmed by sharing a Coke. Inspired by traditional Chinese folklore, illustration and sculpture, master storyteller Yves Geleyn has skilfully captured the importance of family and customs by crafting an emotive narrative that works for all generations.

WRAPPING THINGS UP...

It's not just CNY that has become noisier with brand messages, all marketing campaigns now need to work harder to cut through the hype. To unlock roaring engagement and brand ROI, you need to create content that is authentic, culturally relevant, and innovative. For us, that includes harnessing creative technology and partnering with the right people. If you need some help in the marketing jungle, we’re here to help you earn your stripes. Drop us a line below to get started.

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