The Lunar New Year, more commonly known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important celebration of the year for every Asian community around the world. This year, the beginning of the festivities will be on February 16th, marking the arrival of the new Moon and the beginning of the year of the Dog. According to Chinese astrology, this sign represents loyalty and fidelity. The New Year’s period will extend over a fortnight, until the next full moon. Just as Christmas is widely used in the West as a marketing asset, the Chinese New Year is also a very good opportunity. However, to take full advantage of it and launch a successful marketing campaign, it is essential to understand this holiday. Using this event without understanding Chinese culture would be a big mistake. For a perfect campaign, you need to learn and understand this festival in its whole: how it is celebrated, what it represents, its importance, etc.
Why is it that important?
The first thing to know to fully understand the Chinese New Year is that it has nothing to do with our Western New Year. Indeed, this one represents much more than a simple change of year as we can celebrate in the West through the night of December 31st. If we should find a Western equivalent for the Spring Festival, then it would be closer to Christmas or Thanksgiving, in addition to the New Year. This notion is important to know, because it helps us to imagine the importance of this festival in the Chinese culture, but also in the heart of the inhabitants. It’s the biggest celebration of the year and it’s sacred because it’s a family celebration. But since most people have left their home regions to work in big cities, family reunions are rare. In addition, employees only have two “Golden Week“, which represent their two weeks of annual paid leave. The Chinese New Year is therefore one of the only times of the year when the entire population is on vacation and everyone returns to their home village. Moreover, this is the largest human migration in the world every year, as there are so many trips and the human flux is unbelievably high. Last year again, airports, railway stations, highways were stormed by hundreds of millions of Chinese during this period. All families come home to celebrate this much-awaited party.
How do they celebrate?
The houses are decorated with garlands, lanterns and other traditional decorations in red color. Great banquet is also prepared, as no Chinese celebration can be celebrated without a decent dinner. When the family is reunited on New Year’s Eve, activities can begin. They traditionally consist of singing, dragon dance, fireworks and greetings exchange while watching the New Year Gala on CCTV. But with the wishes also come the gifts and the famous “Hong Bao” (the traditional red envelopes with money inside). Actually, Chinese even have more and more social pressure on this subject. Because to have a great image, not lose your face and return an image of social success, you must always offer the most expensive gift and give the most filled envelope. This pressure is so strong that they can spend up to several months of salary for those gifts. The youth is therefore spoiled, but suffers another form of pressure because they are afraid to disappoint their families if they do not meet the criteria of “social success” (such as having a good salary and a partner) after the many questions during family meals.
Obviously an event like this one is unsurprisingly the most important of the year and therefore also a good opportunity to improve your brand image and increase its power of attraction. Do not be afraid to be original, funny or even cheesy. The Chinese will love it. A good example of a 2018 New Year campaign is Star Hub, a Singaporean telecommunications company.
In this video, Star Hub used a touching ad, recalling the values of the family, which
is the central element of the Spring Festival. That’s why it is important to know about this holiday to integrate it into your marketing campaigns in a smart and efficient way. For example, you can use:
- Decorations of traditional Chinese paintings as a theme for your site
- Chinese characters for Happy New Year greetings
- “Hong bao” to integrate into your site / app, for example as a reward for a contest
- The red color
How to Do an Effective Marketing Campaign ?
It is also essential to use the new technologies used by the Chinese for an effective campaign. For example, WeChat or Weibo are essential for integrating the Chinese market. If you need more information or help rising visibility to your brand in this promising market, then do not hesitate to contact Gentlemen Marketing Agency, a specialized agency to implement your company in China efficiently, thanks to a digital marketing campaign carried out by professionals.