How brands are ringing in the Lunar New Year
This year, it seems brands have come out in full force to celebrate the Lunar New Year, but it’s not all sentimental, heartfelt fare that is defining the holiday’s advertising. Sure, there is plenty of the warm and fuzzy stuff, but there are daring visuals and comedy, too. Here, a look at some of the best we’ve seen so far.
Panda Express and its creative AOR, The Many, had us choked up over this cross-cultural tale of a boy named Jordan who is welcomed into the home of his neighbors, the Lee Family, during the Lunar New Year holiday to enjoy their feasting and merrymaking. Ultimately, you'll see that the event leaves a lasting imprint on Jordan's life. The well-crafted storytelling, with Chinese American director Erica Eng at the helm, will suck you in emotionally, but it will likely leave your belly growling, too.
Apple is known for its ambitious Lunar New Year films. In previous years, it has included an emotional reunion between mother and child and a story about a dutiful son willing to carry home a weighty gift from mom. This year, however, Apple takes a fantastical spin at the hands of director Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”) who brings a brave, modern-day twist to the classic New Year’s legend of the mythical “Nian” beast.
New Year’s messages aren’t all feel-good. Lexus and agency IW Group bring laughs—and education—to its holiday promo. Comedian Ronny Chieng wrote and directed this Instagram video in which he unconventionally schools viewers on Lunar New Year traditions including the hong bao, or red envelopes, while showing off the features of the Lexus IS.
The new year is a time for families to come together—over video games. That’s the thinking behind Mother Shanghai’s campaign for Supercell’s “Brawl Stars," featuring a stylish suspenseful film helmed by acclaimed Chinese director Diao Yinan (“Black Coal, Thin Ice”).
In yet another effort from IW Group, McDonald’s partnered with global Asian artist collective 88rising on an integrated push that brings a fresh take to holiday traditions. The “Golden Start” experience features a virtual concert with Chinese hip-hop artist Masiwei on the McDonald’s app. There’s also an IGTV mini-series starring Korean American hip-hop artist Dumbfounded, as well as custom branded red envelopes, available at the 88rising Night Market online store. McDonald’s has been celebrating the Lunar New Year in various activations since 2003.