News From China
Spring Festival marketing efforts are in full swing, with brands releasing a slew of limited-edition products, gift boxes and branded films to mark the coming Year of the Rat, along with special events around the holiday. Here are some of the highlights we’ve seen thus far:
- Nike’s campaign includes nods to the Chinese holiday tradition of paper-cutting as well as the brand’s own history in China, with a series of shoes inspired by its previous designs for the Year of the Rat going back to 1984. Its humorous holiday commercial featuring an ongoing battle over the tradition of giving out red envelopes has also been a big hit.
- Burberry is tapping into trends in youth culture by creating a cartoon character named Bobo Mouse to star in the brand’s campaign for its New Year’s products. It released a short brand film of Bobo’s travels around the world with actress Zhou Dongyu that has received a lot of buzz on Weibo.
- Pepsi also enlisted Zhou Dongyu to appear in its Spring Festival film, the twelfth annual installment of the brand’s “Bringing Happiness Home” (把乐带回家) series. The ten-minute film “Home Has a Treasure” (家有一宝), which follows a family uncovering memories as they chase a rat through their apartment, is also offered in an interactive version via Tencent Video.
- Colgate’s short film, “The Heart of a Women’s Team” (一颗女排的心) features former national volleyball team captain Hui Ruoqi as part of the brand’s tie-in with one of this year’s big Spring Festival movies, the Peter Chan-directed “Leap” (中国女排), which covers the history of the sport across 40 years.
- Snack brand Lyfen teamed up with design and branding firm Donglaiye, known for its traditional aesthetics, on a multifaceted campaign for a lavish gift box. Lyfen worked with Beijing’s Palace Museum on a Weibo campaign that utilized the official account of the Qianlong Emperor to ask for New Year’s gifts, which drew other brands to participate before Lyfen was revealed as the winning entry with an “imperial certification.” Lyfen also released a short video expanding on the story of the emperor’s requests.
- Oreo released a red velvet cookie flavor for the Lunar New Year, promoting it with the Weibo hashtag “I want to be red in the New Year,” which plays on the varied meanings for “red” in Chinese that include “popular” and “lucky.” Oreo released a short video on the theme, and collaborated with other brands including Red Bull and Thermos on holiday gift boxes. Consumers can also use the hashtag to participate in a game via Tmall’s app to win virtual red envelopes.
Bytedance’s news aggregation platform Jinri Toutiao hosted its annual entertainment awards ceremony on January 8, recognizing Li Xian and Zhou Dongyu as the celebrities with greatest commercial value in 2019.
Entdata recognized brands in its annual Entertainment Index Awards, which included a list of the top ten branded content marketing cases. Among those featured for their work in entertainment were BMW, Audi and Vivo.
News in English
- In the run-up to its big sponsorship of CCTV’s Spring Gala show, Kuaishou ran what is reported to be the longest TV ad in a prime-time spot during CCTV’s nightly news broadcast. The two-minute commercial, shot by acclaimed brand film director Zhang Dapeng, highlights how the app celebrates the spirit of Chinese people. Campaign Asia
- Alexander Wang’s collaboration with McDonald’s was a hit on Tmall, selling out within 10 minutes, underscoring the ongoing demand for creative partnerships among young consumers. Glossy
- Will surging interest in short-video support a demand for vertical televisions? Chinese TV makers are betting yes, revealing new models that can be oriented two ways. SCMP
- Private traffic, KOCs, and a few other must-know terms for marketing in China these days. Forbes
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