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8 Chinese New Year Ads From Yesteryears That Will Warm Your Heart

The Chinese New Year is hardly a couple of weeks away. The Chinese tradition has garnered much attention lately and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that it is being equally celebrated by not just the Chinese but also by the U.S. and many other non-Chinese brands. It’s that time of the year when advertisers are ready to spend big bucks to spread the festive message. With festivities in full swing, this is the best time of the year for brands to reach out to Chinese consumers with compelling ads that can drive maximum engagement from the audience.

So, here we are with the 8 best Chinese new year ads from the past decade that touched everyone’s hearts and minds.

1. Cadbury (2014)

The UK chocolate-maker took a very global approach to its 2014 Chinese New year celebrations. The chocolate brand decided to come up with an ad for the Malaysian audience, which revolved around families where children were either studying or working abroad.

The ad appeals to the viewers’ emotions by using the power of family ties. The ad shows the chocolate brand helping the Leong family reunite by paying the travel expenses for their daughter who is studying abroad. The surprise reunion at the end of the ad is truly heart-touching and can be a real tear-jerker for some, so viewers beware.

2. Maxis (2015)

Malaysian telecom company Maxis used the power of a name in its 2015 Chinese New Year ad. In the Chinese tradition, a person’s name given to them by their parents often holds their parents’ blessings, wishes, aspirations. It is a constant reminder of where they come from and the sacred family traditions.

The video features a boy called Kao Sheng who is shorter than most other boys of his age. But ironically, his name means “tall”. The irony of his name often led him to blame his parents. But the Chinese New Year ultimately gives him a chance to reflect upon his name and understand why he was named so. Once he understands what he is destined to be in his life, he starts wearing his name with pride, which is evident from the campaign hashtag #thisismyname.

3. StarHub (2016)

StarHub, the Singaporean multinational telecommunications conglomerate, came up with a rather funny ad for the 2016 Chinese New Year. The ad, through its funny portrayal of the characters, wanted to convey a deeper message i.e., the significance of family togetherness.

The ad features a young man entering a wrong household and greeting them on the Chinese New Year, mistaking them for his own family. The drama that ensues leaves not only the family confused but also leaves the viewers in splits. The ad serves as a gentle reminder to the viewers to visit their relatives more frequently than the routine annual visits.

4. Malaysia Airlines (2017)

Malaysian Airlines celebrated the 2017 Chinese New Year with an ad that highlights the beauty of its rich diversity. The ad demonstrates the richness and diversity of the Malaysian culture with people from different races coming together to celebrate the Chinese New Year and wish the viewers on same in various dialects.

The advertisement showcases how important is the role of diversity in the happiness and prosperity of a nation. In fact, the ad fully captures how a diverse Malaysian population has led to the growth of the nation.

5. Mercedes-Benz (2018)

The 2018 Chinese New Year ad by Mercedes-Benz highlights the significance of family in a person’s life. But more importantly, it drives home the message that one doesn’t have to be related to someone in order to call them their family, rather love between two people is what binds them together and makes them “family”.

The ad features a girl reminiscing about her life in an orphanage and the values that she picked from the orphanage caretaker, Papa Sam. Growing up, she realizes that we don’t have to be related to someone to care for them, instead, we can care for them simply because we can. This lesson in selfless love is what forms the crux of this beautiful ad.

6. RHB Bank (2019)

RHB Bank’s 2019 ad for the Chinese New Year emphasizes the importance of self-belief and more importantly the trust that parents have in our aspirations. The ad traces the journey of a world-renowned professional gamer, Chai Yee Fung aka Mushi, who is asked by his mother to help his father in his business. But the young gamer asks them to wait until the Chinese New Year after which he’d join his father if his gaming career doesn’t take off.

To everyone’s happiness, the young lad makes it to the finals of the International E-sports Championship that was to be held in Paris. The ad ends with Mushi acknowledging that it was his parents’ unwavering belief in him that made him the champion that he turned out to be later.

7. Nike (2020)

Nike’s 2020 Chinese New Year ad demonstrates the humorous side of one of the most important traditions of the Chinese New year i.e., giving and receiving cards. In the Chinese tradition, children receive red envelopes from their relatives growing up on the new year and are expected to give red envelopes once they have a family.

The ad features a young girl trying to outrun her aunt every new year to escape from having to accept the red envelope. The fun-filled ad takes an even more humorous turn when the aunt shows up at the girl’s place many years later on the Chinese New Year. The girl now has a family and is, therefore, expected to gift a red envelope to her aunt too. But the ad shows the aunt wearing Nike shoes to indicate that it’s the aunt’s turn now to have her niece come after her.

8. Coca-Cola (2021)

Coca-Cola’s 2020 ad for the Chinese New Year is a poignant portrayal of the things that we take for granted and our ultimate realization of their significance once they are taken from us. The Coca-Cola ad features three young Chinese youths who didn’t use to like the Chinese New Year because of some reason or the other.

But the restrictions on new year festivities because of the COVID-19 pandemic helped them realize how important a role the new year plays in bringing people together and bridging hearts. It conveys the important message that the essence of the new year doesn’t lie in going to exotic locations but is indeed in celebrating togetherness with one’s family and friends.

Wrapping Up

So, that was our list of the best Chinese New Year ads from the last few years. Each of these ads tells a story of a family, of a time or idea to reflect upon, of harmony, and the coming together to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Regardless of where you are in the world, or how far you’re from your loved ones, you always have a family and a home where you’re welcomed.

With the Chinese New Year just a few days from now, brands are already trying to cash in on the occasion by dishing out impressive ads for their Chinese consumers. We shall soon be returning with the best ads from 2022. So, stay tuned for a list of the best Chinese New Year ads for 2022 that we shall bring to you shortly.

But before we go, we’d like to wish you a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year hopefully this year will be better than the last one. Have a great year ahead, folks!


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