All Hail the Year of the Snake!

The Asian Lunar New Year Inspires Marketing Campaigns to Mark the Occasion

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Asian Lunar New Year is here and a number of corporate marketers are producing advertisements and executing promotional marketing campaigns to align their brands with Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian consumers during this auspicious season. At the end of this article are a few examples of these special Asian Lunar New Year ads.

It is important to note that the Asian Lunar New Year is celebrated on a different date each year. This year the Lunar New Year is officially observed beginning on the eve of Sunday, Feb. 10, and will involve celebrations, observances, parties and family gatherings for several weeks afterward. It is important to note that other Asian and Asian-American communities observe their New Year celebrations in other months, such as December, January, March, April and even May. However, the largest and most recognized Lunar New Year observances will be celebrated in February.

The Lunar New Year is closely tied to the Asian Zodiac. This Lunar New Year will be known as the Year of the Snake, which cycles every 12 years. You are a snake if you were born in any of the following years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 or 2013. The lunar calendar is also associated with specific elements and colors, which may be important if you are planning important events such as the opening of a new business, launching a new product, planning a wedding or even planning a new addition to your family. Because a thorough discussion about the connection between the lunar calendar and key elements is too complicated to discuss in this blog, I will focus only on the general characteristics associated with the Year of the Snake.

Snakes in some Asian cultures symbolize abundance and well-being. The Chinese, for example, have an expression that roughly translates as follows: "If you find a snake in your home, your family will never go without." In other words, your family will never have to worry about having enough food to feed the family, having enough clothes to keep you warm or having enough money to make ends meet. If you are born in the Year of the Snake, you may be told that you possess the following attributes and characteristics: adaptable, strategic, observant and calculating. These attributes, coupled with the characteristic found in water, indicate that 2013 will be a great year for businesses, brands and for individuals born in a snake year.

How does water play a role? Compared to other important elements in Asian culture, such as wood, fire and metal, water is the only element that can be transformed into a liquid, a gas (steam) and a solid (ice). So, the Year of the Snake, as a water snake, forebodes that 2013 will be a time when people and businesses will be more adaptable to change, find more strategic opportunities for growth, be more observant of the needs of consumers and significant others, and be able to properly calculate their next moves in growing their businesses and relationships.

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Wells Fargo
Agency: DAE, San Francisco
Creative Director: Sunny Teo
Designer: Koston Leung
Account Director: Jean Kawamoto/Jamie Yoo
Copywriter: Sunny Teo
Agency Contact and Website: Fan Chew,

Wells Fargo

"A New Way to Fly"

Southwest Airlines
Agency: DAE, San Francisco
Creative Director: Sunny Teo
Art Director: Sunny Teo
Account Director: Fan Chew/Edward Fung
Copywriter: Steve Leff
Agency Contact: Fan Chew,

Wells Fargo

"Year of the Snake"

Agency: Dyversity Communications Inc., Markham, Ontario
Art Director: Doris Chan
Senior Account Manager: Irene Tang
Agency Contact: Albert Yue,

Wells Fargo


Agency: Dyversity Communications Inc., Markham, Ontario
Creative Director: Doris Leung, Charlie Ho
Senior Account Manager: Wendy Fok
Media Director: Lilian Lo
Agency Contact: Albert Yue,

Wells Fargo

"The Golden Little Dragon"

California Bank & Trust
Agency: ES Advertising, Inc., Los Angeles
Creative Director: Billie Jung
Art Director: Linus Tseng
Account Executive: Sam Yoon

Wells Fargo


Agency: IW Group, San Francisco and West Hollywood
Creative Director: Stan Toyama
Art Director: Sisi Zhang
Account Supervisor: Flora Zhao
Media Director: KTSF
Agency Contact: Stan Toyama,

Wells Fargo

"Lunar New Year – Year of the Snake"

Agency: IW Group, West Hollywood
Creative Director: Stan Toyama
Art Director: Sisi Zhang
Account Director: Shagorika Ghosh
Media Director: Tim Thom

Wells Fargo

"Get A Bag Full of Luck and Fortune."

Agency: T.D. Wang Advertising Group, Seattle
Art Director: Abe Wong
Account Director: Tim Wang
Account Supervisor: Victoria Wong
Account Executive: Henry Han
Media Director: Rebecca Deng
Digital Media Manager: Pricilla Chooy
Agency Contact: Tim Wang,
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