Love and marketing by the numbers

This blog was written by Katrina Hall, MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager.

May 20th and May 21st are dates that typically pass by without so much as a blip on the radar among mainstream Australia. But for Chinese millennials, the digital generation, May 20 and May 21 hold significance as very special days – days that are recognised and celebrated by more and more young Chinese every year.

You see, in Chinese, May 20 (5.20) sounds like “I love you” in Chinese – so the day is celebrated as a kind of Valentine’s Day. Couples may go on a date together, purchase gifts or even plan a getaway together.

Jewellery advertisement for May 20 on Image Source:

And by a stroke of serendipity, May 21 in Chinese (5.21) sounds like “I do” making it an obvious choice for many romantic couples to propose or tie the knot on this day.

Many marketers in China, Australia and around the world – including MultiConnexions’ own clients – are choosing to tap into these special dates to leverage the increased spending on romantic, luxurious and significant goods and services in line with the romantic theme.

During last year’s May 20 promotional period, Starbucks China ran a clever campaign in collaboration with a Tencent WeChat video sharing app called ‘520 Show Your Love’. Coffee lovers were encouraged to upload their own short videos using specially-created Starbucks love-themed filters. The first 100 to upload a video and receive 52 likes received a Starbucks gift card.

Indeed, Chinese traditionally have a fascination with numbers (and dates) and often ascribe them hidden meanings.

Here’s a quick look at a few more special numbers that marketers need to be aware of when doing things like creating comms to target Chinese, choosing special dates, pricing goods and services and more…

4 – this is a number associated with death and ill fortune as it sounds like the word for death in Chinese. Fun fact! Elevators in high-rise apartment and office buildings in China often skip the 4th floor, the 14th, 24th and so on as well as the 13th because so few people want to live/ work on those floors.

6 – this number sounds like ‘flow’ or ‘smooth’ – a lucky number associated with smooth sailing

8 – this is the luckiest number by far, as the pronunciation ‘ba’ sounds like ‘make a fortune’. Fun Fact! Chinese young people often say ‘88’ when saying goodbye, as it sounds like ‘bye bye’

Image Source: Hivemind

 – also a lucky number as it sounds like ‘jiu’, which means everlasting or eternity in Chinese. This number is often associated with emperors.

13 – the phrase “13 O’Clock” in Chinese means a crazy person

250 – this is slang for a stupid idiot

For further information on navigating marketing to the Chinese audience in Australia, contact MultiConnexions today.

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