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.

A marketer’s best friend

Lunar New Year is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Asian culture, and the 16th of February 2018 will herald the year of man’s best friend – the Dog. In this blog, MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager, Katrina Hall looks at LNY18 and asks – What is the multicultural marketing opportunity during this special time?

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is marked by around one-sixth of the world’s population – a total of approximately 1.5 billion people!

Names for the festival vary – for example, it is also commonly known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, but the naming varies according to region and country too – for example, Vietnamese celebrate Tet, Koreans celebrate Seollal, Tibetans celebrate Losar and Mongolians celebrate Tsagaan Sar – however, the common theme is that celebrations involve reunions, harmony and good fortune for the new year. It is also the world’s biggest annual detonation of fireworks, with fireworks lighting up the skies across much of East Asia (and the world!).

The Year of the Dog

In Chinese astrology, each zodiac year is associated with one of 12 animal signs – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, plus one of the five natural elements – metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

The life of a Chinese Daigou

chinese-daigou

Meet Jenny

Jenny – 47 – works full time at a bank, but has been boosting that income by hitting the shops after work and on weekends. She puts in an additional 20 hours a week sourcing products like skin care, health supplements, breakfast cereals and chocolate products. Jenny knows that there is a big demand for these items in China.

She started off working as a Daigou by default, as her family in China were always requesting items to be posted back to them. They thought the quality of Australian products are better than China, and as time went on, word spread like wildfire. Her reach went beyond her immediate family and friends to a wider network in China – her WeChat followers increased by the day.

From there, business exploded to where she was earning AUD 2000 each week. Jenny posts images of products on her personal social media, WeChat, offering to purchase Australian products in-store for her clients and post them to China.

Demand for Australian products

Some of the products Chinese buyers are looking for are only available in Australia.

Some products, like baby formula and some health care products, are subject to Australia’s stringent safety regulations – making them highly appealing to Chinese consumers.

To alleviate safety concerns regarding China-made products, consumers are looking to Australian Daigou to help them find alternatives.

Trust is the key to good sales in China, and Daigous are often highly trusted. “Word of mouth plays an important part of Daigou activity,” Jenny said. As Jenny walks into a pharmacy, preparing to fill her basket with health supplements and skin care products, she will Skype with her friends, family’s friends and friends’ friends in China from her phone. She said video calls with clients are crucial when purchasing items, to prove that the products are genuine as they are from a legitimate store.

Since joining MultiConnexions as a Client Servicing Executive, I can see the huge potential of utilising the Daigou market for our clients.

Chinese consumers depend heavily on product recommendations from online reviewers. Peer reviews that they read on social media are very important when it comes to making a purchase decision.

In particular, WeChat, the most widely used chat app in the Chinese community, has opened up great opportunities for multicultural marketers. Sharing feedback and recommending products to friends has become substantially easier, due to the fact that the app allows sharing on a platform that is more private in nature between individuals and small groups. The Chinese community generally will only take the step to purchase a product after getting consent from their peers via social media and ecommerce forums. Hence, the most popular Australian exporters to China aren’t the brands – they’re the relationships and the unique marketing initiatives that Chinese enjoy.

5 Daigou Facts

1. Daigou are often entrepreneurial Chinese students living in Australia or Chinese visitors, who wish to send a number of Australian products back to China.

2. In China, the most-searched keyword on the web associated with Australia is Daigou.

3. Popular products among Daigou: Baby milk formula/powder, medications, health supplements, body lotion, face lotion, hand cream, body wash.

4. Reasons the market exists:

High quality, well known Australian brands
Fear of non-genuine Chinese products
Expensive retail price in China compared with Australia

5. It is widely acknowledged that there are between 40,000 to 60,000 Daigous in Australia advertising Australian products on WeChat, Weibo or C2C e-marketplaces in China.

Today, as a MultiConnexions team member, we help our clients to adopt the most appropriate strategy on a grass-root level to target various multicultural and diaspora audiences.

We can utilise WeChat social media platform to its fullest, increasing your brand’s exposure, in order to target buying agents and generate new business opportunities.

Whether it is setting up a client’s official WeChat account, creating unique and culturally tailored content, organising interactive competitions to increase your followers, or having our creative team to design artworks for display advertising, we know how to reach the hearts and minds of Chinese customers.

If you have a product, we have the answer.

This blog was written by Anabelle Yong, MCX’s Client Servicing Executive – a.k.a. Anabelly, the food lover.

The business of love

Yes, I know Valentine’s Day has come and gone but I promise this blog is not about actual love. Those who consider the prospect of finding the perfect present a challenge should be glad they don’t live in China – which has not one, not two, not three… but FOUR love-centred holidays that come with the expectation of gifts. Whether you love or hate these traditions, brands are embracing the notion of love in marketing and reaping the rewards. Why? Because love means big business!

Let me break it down.

Little Red Book

While the term Little Red Book in China may previously have brought Chairman Mao’s book of the same name to mind, today’s Chinese may associate it with something altogether different.

Little Red Book – the go-to online retailer for overseas luxury goods

Little Red Book – Xiao Hong Shu in Chinese – is an app that has attracted over 17 million consumers and $200 million in annual merchandise sales in just 3 years. Things don’t look to be slowing down, with the company recently having raised $120 million from major investors such as TenCent and ZhenFund.

Something to crow about in the Year of the Rooster

Lunar New Year is one of the busiest times for MultiConnexions (MCX), as there is often a flurry of work as our clients seek to target audiences of Chinese and other Asian backgrounds during a time when they are very receptive to positive messages.

The 2017 Lunar New Year was one of the most memorable for me, as I was heavily involved with the research and implementation of activations and events for our clients, Medibank and Telstra. It was also memorable as recently I had started to embrace Chinese culture more, starting to learn Mandarin at University of Sydney, as well as trying more Chinese cuisine (hotpot being a new favourite).

How Brands Can Capitalise on the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year… Lunar New Year… Spring Festival… Whatever name you prefer to use, it’s the most significant festival celebrated by the Chinese diaspora across the world, and by communities with a strong Chinese relationship. It marks the first day of a new year on the lunar calendar, when these communities welcome another year with festivities that are steeped in cultural heritage.

Rule the roost with great guanxi

Lunar New Year (commonly called Chinese New Year) is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Asian culture. On the 28th of January, 2017 celebrations will come to a crescendo as we enter the ostentatious ‘Year of The Rooster’. This is tenth sign of the Chinese zodiac, and the rooster is generally said to be loyal, sociable and friendly (albeit, a little bossy). While celebrations go on for several weeks, the Lunar New Year period is typically a time when Chinese and other East Asian families come together with their family and friends to honour traditions, to enjoy each other’s company and to hope for a bright future.

That’s Numberwang for you

Last week, the MCX team attended the ReTHINK TV Marketing Forum in Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf – Sydney, where there were plenty of fascinating insights as well as facts and figures showcased by industry leaders and corporate heavyweights. Among them was Tess Alps, the charismatic and passionate Chair of Thinkbox – the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, who delivered an engaging speech on her vision for the future of television.

Relationship Matters in Business

It’s not B2B, it’s P2P (People to People).

A critical piece in the missing puzzle while doing business with India or China is cultural understanding.

Relationship matters in building trust and only when there is trust will the Asians do business with Australians. Yet how often do we hear Australian business leaders say – ‘let’s cut to the chase’. Impatience can often blow a great business opportunity out of the window in seconds.