CBI Video: Confucius and Turing Take a Trip on Haier’s Time-Traveling Train

Confucius and Turing look to the homes of the future as imagined by Haier

The concept of “home” is central to the Lunar New Year celebrations and marketing campaigns in China, as families typically come together for the holiday. For its 2020 holiday film, appliance manufacturer Haier Group explored the tensions between tradition and modernity by showcasing how its various consumer brands support new definitions of what a home is.

The six-minute film, told in four chapters, features the characters of Confucius and Alan Turning, who meet aboard a vintage 1940s-style train. As they travel through a wintry landscape, the train stops at futuristic homes that reflect trends in Chinese social structures: single living, men who do housework, long-distance relationships, and multigenerational arrangements. At each destination, Confucius expresses concern about how these types of homes can exist, while Turing explains how Haier’s AI-enabled smart-home technology supports the new lifestyles. 

The film’s sci-fi-inspired visual style ties well with the high-tech gadgets on display, such as a refrigerator that offers cooking instruction. Ultimately, the core of the “home” is preserved in Haier’s stated promise to “use technology to make various forms of home possible,” which ties in to CEO Zhang Ruimin’s vision of Confucian entrepreneurship. 

The campaign was created by Shanghai-based agency Goodzilla and directed by Wang Limin, with production by Start Films.