12th of February 2021 marks the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year.
It’s a time for getting together with family, celebrating, gift giving and – for brands – a major retail event. Preparing your marketing strategy and social channels with compelling content now will give you the best chance of standing out and making sales.
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What is Chinese New Year?
The celebration marks the first day of the Lunar New Year on the Chinese Calendar. Festivities run for 15 days until the moon is full which marks the end of the celebrations and is called Lantern Festival. Usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, the festival is celebrated with lots of food, the colour red, honouring ancestors and reuniting with family.
Where is it celebrated?
Chinese New Year isn’t just celebrated in China, approximately 2 billion people celebrate the holiday worldwide. Outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and other Asian Countries also mark the holiday. Celebrations have also expanded in Chinatowns in cities around the world such as London, San Francisco and Sydney. The latter claims to have the biggest Spring Festival celebrations outside of Asia and in 2020, 1.5 million Asian-Australians celebrated Year of the Rat.
What are the popular content themes?
During Chinese New Year, the colour red is everywhere. Red Spring Festival couplets, red lanterns, red paper cuttings and clothes. It symbolises happiness, wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture, can ward away evil spirits and bring good luck. Burberry embraced this theme in their 2020 campaign which included bright red statement pieces and a a personalised game called ‘Ratberry’ for WeChat users.
Another big part of Chinese New Year is coming together with your loved ones, also known as the reunion dinner. This ritual involves a big feast to celebrate the past year and is the most significant time to be with family. In the run up to past celebrations, data has revealed that an incredible 1,000 train tickets were sold every second in China and nearly 3 billion trips made by planes, trains, buses and ships. Prada captured the ‘spring festival travel rush’ beautifully in their 2020 ‘Coming Home’ campaign which captured Chinese top model Chun Jin and her real family members reuniting.
How can marketers get ahead?
You don’t need a luxury brand budget to tap into the Chinese New Year conversation. Here’s how you can effectively connect with customers around the celebration.
#1 Focus on connection
Traditionally, people travel to their families for the celebration but this year, due to the current travel restrictions, many will struggle to reunite. With the world feeling more divided than ever, embracing the 3,800 year old tradition brings an opportunity to focus on connection and togetherness. These themes will likely resonate with many of your customers. Ask yourself – how will your products help people get the most out of their quality time together or help them connect with family whilst being apart?
#2 Use Chinese phrases
Whether this be your own unique greeting or one of the most used Chinese greetings, “Guo Nian Hao” which means “Happy New Year”. In a Chinese New Year Story, “Nian” is an evil monster which eats kids and livestock but is scared of the colour red and fire cracker sounds. This is why people use red decorations and fireworks to drive away “Nian”. Taking time to understand these intricacies will allow your brand to connect to the roots of Chinese New Year.
#3 Tell authentic stories
Partnering with influencers who can tell meaningful stories will allow consumers to emotionally connect with your brand. The very human themes of family, happiness, nostalgia and good fortune can be difficult for brand to bring to life alone, but through their content, creators can make these connections in an authentic and engaging way.
Vamp campaign success stories
Big celebrations bring ever more brands to the overcrowded social media space, each vying for attention with their content. These clients worked with Vamp creators to cut through the clutter and engage their customers, achieving impressive returns.
Adobe wanted to raise awareness of their products Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop and Illustrator. Vamp creators showed how they had edited their Chinese New Year content using those tools with a series of eye-catching posts and Stories. Our creators showed not only their creativity, but their understanding of the celebration through themes which resonated with their followers. The content reached 188,517 users and achieved an engagement rate of 4.2%.
When Estée Lauder launched Power Soft Emulsion, a new product designed for Asian skin, they wanted to raise awareness. In sharing their plans to celebrate and personal experience of the product – as well as its benefits – our creators were able to position it as the must-have for people getting dressed up to celebrate Chinese New Year. 22 influencers generated 828 link clicks and a high average engagement rate of 4.4%.
Grab partnered with Vamp for the Chinese New Year relaunch of the e-angbao. Our creators shared content promoting could use GrabPay to send virtual red packets to friends and families and enjoy cashback. The campaign reached over 264,000 social users, delivering 76% over target, with an average engagement rate of 3.5%
Vamp’s Chinese New Year offer
We are offering five free usage rights (worth $2,250) for brands that start a Chinese New Year campaign for 2021. Get in touch with us and quote ‘CNY offer’ to claim and begin fuelling your marketing channels with beautifully effective content.