For advertisers, the Chinese New Year period is their Super Bowl season where they get to show off their festive commercials. Here, we round up a few that caught our attention.
1. Apple: ‘Daughter’
This bittersweet promo, part of Apple’s ‘Shot on a iPhone’ series, stars Zhou Xun as a cab driver and single mum who’s unexpectedly reunited with her estranged mother on CNY’s Eve while on the job. It plays like a seven-and-a-half-minute sizzle reel for a feature-length tearjerker.
2. Singtel: ‘His Grandfather’s Road’
The telco skips its usual emo route (remember ‘Mr Lim's Reunion Dinner’?) for this amusing ad about two families (one led by Alaric Tay and Pamela Oei), in their cars, stuck headlong in a narrow street on the first day of CNY house-visiting. Neither clan budges. So until one of them blinks first, they wait it out in the cars. Good thing they have mobile devices to keep them entertained.
3. Adidas: ‘CNY 2020’
Here's a party everyone wants to crash, especially when Jackson Yee, Eddie Peng, Angelababy, Eason Chan, and Mulan herself Liu Yifei on the guest list. The message is obvious: CNY is nothing without Adidas footwear. Or something like that.
4. AirBnB : ‘Fu’
Two words: Very Pixar-esque. Remember that short anime Bao that was tagged to The Incredibles 2? Same vibe.
5. Tenaga Nasional: ‘Reality Not Virtual’
An employee is so busy that he can’t return home for the CNY celebrations. So his family sends him a VR headset for him to enjoy the festivities vicariously. Hilarity ensues when he enjoys it too much.
6. Petronas: 'CNY 2020: Bao Bei’
The title in this Malaysian gas and oil company ad refers to a ‘precious blanket’ (loosely translated) an old lady is making. Turns out she’s making it for another bao bei. Cute special effects.
7. Alibaba’s Tmall ad
The 23-sec ad for the Alibaba-owned Tmall went viral for featuring a gay couple — a young man attends the reunion dinner with his boyfriend. Or just a regular friend who happens to be a guy. Alibaba, in a statement to CNN, didn’t acknowledge the ad’s gay subtext, saying, "Chinese New Year is a time for family reunion and inclusion, and the ad is a creative expression to celebrate such an occasion."
8. Coca-Cola: 'Let Coca-Cola Surround You with Prosperity and Happiness'
The soft drink giant plugs its Fu (Happiness), Lu (Prosperity) and Shou (Longevity) cans with this seemingly ordinary ad set during a reunion dinner. Look closer: it's an immersive 3D video!
9. Nike: ‘Lunar New Year: The Great Chase’
There’s a lot of running involved in this made-for-China ad about a girl declining her her aunt’s ang bao. How far would she go to avoid her? Apparently very far, in a chase spanning decades. Why? Because the lass is too polite to receive it? Sure or not? And her aunt the only relative whose ang bao gets rejected? Go figure. Nice running shoes, though.