Happy 牛 (niu) year! Get ready for a bull run!

With people all over Australia shuffling back to the routine of work and school after ringing in the New Year 2021 with hope for a brighter future, MultiConnexions would also like to wish you an early happy Lunar 牛year (pronounced niu).

牛means cow or bull or ox in English, and is the Chinese zodiac being welcomed in for 2021 on 12 February. See what we did there?

The year of the niu looks to be an auspicious year because ‘niu’ is common slang for something great in Chinese e.g.: I love your shoes, they are so cow!

And as Australian brands and organisations are scrambling to finalise their Lunar New Year campaigns to target Australia’s large Chinese and other Asian communities of new and established migrants who are celebrating, MultiConnexions has rounded up some of our favourite executions.

Creating bespoke Lunar New Year creatives to wish your customers who celebrate a Happy Lunar New Year can be a minefield. It is not simply a matter of chucking in a few Chinese characters, red envelopes, mandarins, lanterns, and fireworks… et voila! Campaign success.

Quite the opposite – deep audience understanding and respect as well as proper knowledge of traditional symbolism need to be utilised in a clever and engaging execution to truly reach and engage your audience.

Getting it wrong can make a brand look tokenistic, which is total… bull! (See what we did there?)

So without further ado, here are some winning creatives we have seen so far (and why we love them!)

Starbucks Lunar New Year 2021 Year of the Ox merchandise collection

Coffee chain Starbucks has rolled out bespoke merchandise including drink-ware, a music box and Lunar New Year snacks available in red packaging for easy gifting. The designs are fresh, modern, and culturally appropriate and come with LNY themed discounts and tiers for VIPs.

adidas Ultra Boost

With new clothes being a popular and common purchase during LNY, this clever new shoe – the adidas Ultra Boost features Eastern-Influenced Illustrations and a range of new colours. The company’s history of tapping on celebrities and leveraging cultural insights has seen them bounce back quickly even in a post COVID world.

LEGO Year of the Ox

Continuing LEGO’s long-running tradition of festival themed models, this latest edition is adorable and highly relevant. There is also a Story of Nian set inspired by the Chinese legend where a mythical beast Nian comes around to attack villagers every Spring, and is only driven away by the colour red, fire, and loud noise. As Marketing Director of Lego Southeast Asia said: “We hope to bring the Lego play closer to the hearts of our consumers and support the children with learning through the gift of play experiences this Chinese New Year.”

Shu Uemura Limited Editions

Japanese cosmetics and skin care brand Shu Uemura’s campaign on Weibo, Tmall, Douyin (Tiktok) and Little Red Book features imagery and a short video with influencer Wang Yibo – a (gasp!) man! There is a trend recently of cosmetics companies targeting Chinese women using male talent and it certainly draws attention – this topic was trending on Chinese social media recently. The limited-edition package with red and gold is certainly tapping into the insight that these colours can bring good luck and fortune.

Lunar New Year is certainly one of the most significant traditional holidays and gifting occasions in China and other Asian countries including Korea and Vietnam among others.

Australian brands and organisations looking to target Australia’s 2 million plus Chinese and other Asian audiences will do well to tap on the significance of this holiday and create goodwill and brand equity through a bespoke cultural campaign.

For further information on targeting Australia’s Chinese and other Asian diaspora this Lunar New Year, contact MultiConnexions.

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