8 of the best: Lunar New Year marketing campaigns with lots of bark and plenty of bite

Lunar New Year – it’s the most special time of year for the estimated 1.5 billion people that celebrate it. And this year, marketers worldwide have rolled out some top-notch marketing initiatives to tap into the increased spending, goodwill and opportunities during this time.

Here are 8 of the more inspiring and creative campaigns and initiatives that we have seen worldwide – including a fantastic one from MultiConnexions’ client Telstra which is kicking off this week.

1. Gucci – Dog inspired collection and social media emojis

Gucci’s LNY campaign in China was inspired by Bosco and Orso, two dogs owned by the brand’s creative director Alessandro Michele. The brand has released a dog-themed collection using the dogs’ motifs on multiple digital channels, including WeChat and Weibo. There are also branded animated WeChat emojis.

Gucci landing page in Chinese, with bespoke collection
Image Source: Gucci Official WeChat Account Page

Gucci WeChat emojis

2. Coca-Cola – Mischievous animated children brought to life

Coca-Cola China has produced a Chinese New Year themed television commercial featuring two iconic animated mischievous children brought to life in their campaign in China. The children are depicted in scenarios that bring families together for genuine moments of happiness. The TVC taps into the cultural insight of family and togetherness to celebrate during this special time.

Another interesting campaign component utilises the physical Coca Cola bottles. Coke fans can use their mobile phone to scan the image on the label, for a special Lunar New Year greeting to pop up (pictured below).

Image Source: Adquan

3. China Unicom – customisable chun lian selfies

Chinese telco China Unicom’s social media campaign on WeChat allows fans to upload a selfie that can be placed in a customisable Chun lian image. A Chun Lian is a kind of traditional Lunar New Year red decorative banner. After posting the selfie, you enter into the running to win 500MB of data.

Image Source: China Unicom WeChat campaign page

4. Starbucks China – Clever copywriting with a fun promotion

Starbucks’ Chinese brand name is Xing Ba Ke – with xing meaning star (pronounced very similarly to the word xin, meaning new). Starbucks has tapped into this language similarity with a fun play on words in their advertising copy encouraging coffee lovers to celebrate the New/Star Year together. With the creative campaign pictured below, WeChat fans can shake their phone for a chance to win a gift voucher.

Image Source: Starbucks WeChat campaign page

5. Alipay China – Rethinking red packets to blend tradition with technology

Leading online Chinese payment tool Alipay this year unveiled traditional red packets (Hong Bao) in the virtual world. Utilising Alipay’s augmented reality mapping (akin to the wildly popular Pokémon Go game), users can search their neighbourhood for virtual red packets to collect. After scanning them to hide their location, users can send clues to encourage their friends to find the red packet’s location – an engaging use of technology and tradition from a tech company.

Image Source: Alipay WeChat campaign page

6. Apple iPhone X China – Emotive film with a famous director

Apple worked with famous Chinese film director Chen Ke Xin, to create a 3-minute movie on the high-quality iPhone X camera. The narrative of the short film revolves around a Chinese family reunion, with some happy moments. The film has been very well received and is doing well online.

7. Häagen-Dazs China – cartoon motif gone viral

Maker of delicious, creamy diet-killers, Häagen-Dazs has this year promoted a limited edition Häagen-Dazs Frog ice cream flavour in 4 major Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The attractive and cute cartoon frog character used by the ice-cream brand has shot to popularity this Lunar New Year, with a corresponding WeChat mini program game going viral the past few months.

Image Source: Häagen-Dazs WeChat campaign page

8. Telstra Australia – Lunar New Year Billboard

Telstra is helping people celebrate the Year of the Dog in a big way this weekend, by opening up its landmark 26 metre digital billboard in Melbourne for personalised new year messages. Anyone in Australia can make an impact with their new year wishes by texting their name and then the name of a family member or friend to 0484 800 800 (for a standard national SMS charge) and it will appear on the Telstra Discovery Store billboard on Bourke Street, Melbourne. Those who text in will receive an MMS message of their personalised billboard to share on social media. So, it doesn’t matter if their family or friends are in Sydney or Shanghai, they’ll be able to see their billboard Lunar New Year messages.

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