With one more week until Chinese New Year officially begins, I’m sure you have already seen CNY campaigns EVERYWHERE in China as many brands have started promoting their tiger-print products to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.
However, the standards for a good CNY campaign have changed. To capture the heart and attention of Chinese consumers, it takes more than a simple incorporation of the zodiac animal print in the product design. In recent years, brands have learned to show respect and understanding for Chinese consumers by creatively infusing artful zodiac designs and adding meaningful messages in the campaigns.
To showcase some examples of a successful CNY campaign, we’ve selected 4 of the most meaningful, most engaging, the most “tiger-related”, and the most fun campaigns.
Most Meaningful: Prada Tiger Year Mission
While most brands simply include tiger-related words or patterns on their product, Prada’s campaign came with a special mission and a message to get across this year.
The brand calls on art students under 30 to create art versions of tigers. Best designs will be selected and shown throughout Prada’s Mission 2.
Prada works with China Green Foundation to protect Siberian tigers in the northeast of China. Together, they will educate the public on biological diversity and the importance of protecting wildlife.
To stand out amongst a crowd of brands merely promoting their latest Tiger-themed products, brands can build an emotional connection with Chinese consumers by spreading a positive message. This not only spreads brand awareness, but also builds rapport with the future generation of consumers.
Most Engaging: Clarins Tiger Game
French beauty brand Clarins is known for its strong sense of social responsibility. It has worked with many charities, including the World Food Program, to help people in need.
Similar to Prada’s campaign, Clarins has partnered with WWF to protect the Siberian tigers. The campaign also played into the trend of gamification.
WeChat users can play the Tiger Running game on Clarins’ Mini Program, gain points, and participate in the lucky draw. For users whose points rank within the top 50, three will be selected to personally visit the Siberian Tiger Protection Base in Jilin Province (吉林省), and Clarins will reward the all the top 50 players with its hero product: Double Serum.
The game has cleverly visualized Clarins’ products and its mission to support the Siberian tigers. In the game, a tiger is running to gain points in the forest. The “points” are Clarins’ key plant extracts in its products, such as turmeric, kiwi fruit, cocoa and quinoa.
There are also cages on the runway that the tiger needs to escape from. Playing the game is the same as what Clarins is doing for the Siberian tigers, which is to help them grow and protect them from danger. What a brilliant design!
Most “Tiger”: Gucci Tiger Year Campaign
The previous two brands tell stories along with their CNY campaigns. Gucci took a straightforward approach by directly showing real tigers in its campaign. It has a strong visual impact with a tiger walking around crowds who are wearing the Gucci tiger year collection.
To further promote their special collection, Gucci has opened several pop-up stores in cities including Shanghai, Macau, Nanjing (南京), Wuhan (武汉), and Dalian (大连).
The brand also shows respect for Chinese culture by embedding tiger patterns and words on its products, instead of just reusing old designs from past collections and naming it a “tiger year collection”.
Most Fun: Bananain or Jiao Nei (蕉内)
Bananain (蕉内), a Chinese apparel brand specializing in underwear and pajamas, does something that paid homage to the CNY tradition: giving out red packets.
The red packet symbolizes good luck and prosperity in the coming year, which is why people tend to pick fancy-looking red packets to gift others with the best of luck.
While the tradition hasn’t changed much offline, the online experience of red packet gifting has changed with WeChat’s personalized red packet covers.
Bananain sends out covers of red packets. Users can get one if they win the Rock Paper Scissors game in the Official Account article. In total, we tried 3 times, and finally got one. The moment that we got to pick up a cover, we were so excited, because we could send out a different and special red packet to my friends on WeChat!
It is beneficial for brands to create their own red packet covers because it brings attention and exposure. By inviting users to play games to win those unique covers, brands also increase the interactions between them and the users.
One red packet only costs 1 RMB, making it a cheap incentive for brands to gain valuable insights, which brands can use for targeted personalized marketing.
Just incorporating Chinese design elements or patterns with zodiac signs, lanterns, and dragons are not enough to catch Chinese consumers’ attention among CNY campaigns.
Selling products are, of course, important. But, to stand out amongst a crowd of brands that are merely promoting their tiger-themed products, brands should build an emotional connection with Chinese consumers by spreading a positive message.
Branded red packet covers are trending right now. Brands should create a fun and interactive process for people to get their covers, and leave the rest of the brand promotion to users when they send red packets out to friends and family.
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