The Chinese New Year campaigns of 2019 – the best and the worst

This year's Chinese New Year ad campaigns included the standard themes of family, togetherness and food but there were some surprises too – here is Mumbrella's round-up of both the best and the worst

“The ONG-est Hours” from Malaysian electric utility firm Tenaga Nasional Berhad created by Reprise Digital is about a few youngsters trying to make a break from the family celebrations but being drawn in by their quirky and affectionate elders.

Speaking about the campaign, Reprise managing director Stanley Clement said: “The team was working on the insight that the younger generation spends less time at the family home during CNY. “Traditionally, the eve of CNY is a time where families stay up past midnight to usher in the blessings of the new year together and ensure good luck and longevity for all. This is a territory that is rarely explored in CNY advertisements, thus it presented the brand with a strategic opportunity to stand out.”

TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Ab Rahman added: “This film serves as a reminder for our youth to reflect on the importance of family foundations amidst our pursuit of success in life. Prosperity is more than just wealth and success. True prosperity is about having family by your side, and appreciating every second you have to bond.”

The campaign includes a microsite full of CNY related activities and tasks.

In yet another film from Reprise, this time for Malaysia Airlines, Adrian, a flight attendant suffused by the spirit of CNY, spends his time at the airport being of assistance to those around him. By the end of the film,titled ‘The Spirit of Hospitality’, he is joined by his sister, Vivian, a pilot. Both Adrian and Vivian  are actual staffers at Malaysia Airlines.

Commenting on the film, Malaysia Airlines group CEO Captain Izham Ismail said: “We take immense pride in ensuring our guests receive the very best of Malaysian Hospitality.

“All 13,000 of our employees including our cabin crew work very hard to ensure that every festive travel, be it going home or discovering new adventures, is done as seamlessly as possible, the MH way. This is perfectly captured in our Chinese New Year video which is centred around reunions, and gestures of kindness (Malaysian Hospitality) in making every traveller’s journey a great one.”

Reprise MD Stanley Clement added: “The video truly highlights the importance of family values, duty and Malaysian hospitality, and the team looked at various ways to incorporate all these concepts along with the sense of reunion.

“The inspiration here was that it is very much a real life story, and our insights show us that lots of people can relate to this sense of difficulty in returning home for festive seasons due to their commitments.”

A campaign from Ensemble Worldwide for telecom service provider Maxis, focuses on Dooit Live, an in app trivia game with  RM188,000 (approximately US $46,000) in prize money up for grabs.

The games are themed around Chinese new year with 10 seconds to answer, encouraging people to reach out to friends and family if they are stumped.

Speaking about the campaign Ensemble Worldwide ECD Chan Woei Hern said: “Maxis and Ensemble have always wanted to find ways in which technology and the internet can make lives more meaningful. More importantly, we want Malaysians to be part of the storytelling.

“Dooit has been one of the most disruptive apps of late, and it was a perfect way to gamify the generation gap and make reunions more fun and meaningful. We hope all of you play and more importantly, ask your grandma, grandpa and everyone else in between to join in the fun.”

Maxis head of brand and partnerships Tai Kam Leong added: “We put devices in their hands, and provided them with the number one network so they can always be connected.

“Thus, it’s upon us to use every opportunity to turn technology from a distraction to a unifier.  After all, Chinese New Year is about reunions, family bonds and merry-making together. True prosperity is indeed time spent with your family.”

For its Chinese New Year campaign, HSBC decided to build an empathetic bond with the much-maligned millennial demographic.

【?新年,我有我睇法!?】圓檯,唔止係一件傢具,亦代表我哋同家人朋友相聚團圓嘅地方,而團圓係華人最重視嘅文化之一。今日年三十,生活幾忙碌??都要同你重視嘅人一齊食餐團年飯呀??,滙豐祝願各位有一個喜慶歡愉嘅團年夜迎接新年?!#新年我有我睇法 #新年搞搞新意思【?This is my Chinese New Year! ?】A round dining table isn’t just a piece of furniture, it’s a place of reunion and family togetherness, one of the cultures that Chinese value the most. So, no matter how busy you are??, ensure you make time for dinner with your loved ones on New Year’s Eve??! From everybody at HSBC, we wish you a heartwarming evening and a prosperous start to the New Year?!#ThisIsMyCNY #NewYearNewTraditions

Posted by HSBC on Sunday, 3 February 2019

Its docuseries follows the life of Janis a ‘typical Hong Kong millennial’; chronicling her feelings and interactions with family and friends in the run up to chense New Year.

This series was produced by branded content agency RFI Asia in consult with Facebook’s Creative Shop. RFI Asia head David Ko said: “Our team really enjoyed the millennial aspect of this project, which we believe will truly connect with this generation in an authentic way, and help the people of Hong Kong understand that while everyone has their differences, Chinese New Year is not just about tradition, it’s a time of togetherness and understanding – a message that HSBC fundamentally upholds in all they do.”

Skittles decided to set up a hip-hop battle between Chinese celebrity Yibo Wang and his unnecessary inquisitive uncle. The film was created by DDB Guangzhou and ties into the popular mobile game Daily Crush.

Explaining the rationale behind the film, Mars Wrigley China’s marketing director of the fruity confectionery commercial business unit Shimin Ni said: “Skittles found that, in fact, the older generation don’t want to invade the young people’s privacy.

“They simply want to show their concern and interest to the kids they see so rarely. We created this exaggerated hip-hop conversation to encourage young people to speak out and share their thoughts with their elders, to deepen the mutual understanding between the two generations and ease the small embarrassing moments.”

Among the previous campaigns covered by Mumbrella are the CNY absconders film for Singtel, created inhouse with director K Rajagopal.

According to social media management firm Socialbakers is the best-loved campaign with the festive theme on Facebook, clocking in with 26,024 interactions, most of them in the positive like and love quadrant.

A campaign for Malaysia’s RHB Bank from FCB Kuala Lumpur telling the story of one of the country’s most successful pro gamers.

RHB Group Chinese New Year 2018: Belief

Inspired by true events, this story is about a boy who managed to make meaningful progress in his life, not only because he believed in himself, but also because his two biggest supporters believed in him. Happy Chinese New Year from all of us at RHB. #TogetherWeProgress

Posted by RHB Group on Saturday, 19 January 2019

A campaign from Ogilvy Malaysia for CIMB bank that claimed to be the origin story of the famous Yee Sang salad.

A campaign for Coca-Cola China from McCann Shanghai.

A film for Apple from TBWA/Shanghai.



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