Malaysia Local telco provider TM and creative firm VML have jointly launched a touching campaign in 2024 to clarify the real meaning behind elderly relatives’ ostensibly foolish remarks made during Chinese New Year. 

The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness among viewers nationwide of the brand’s Unifi Exclusive TVBAnywhere+ Premium Zone TV bundle.

Unifi TV’s Ang Pow campaign attempts to break down generational boundaries and foster family togetherness over the Christmas season, which is generally associated with younger generations answering probing inquiries and comments from their elders. 

The campaign showcases “Yunni,” Unifi’s mascot, and explores the “love” that lies beneath each difficult question posed by the elder generation. This program provides an opportunity for understanding and intimacy, together with an Ang Bao QR code from Unifi. This highlights the brand’s family TV packages for Chinese New Year as the perfect way to strengthen bonds throughout the celebrations.

Speaking about the campaign, KC Aui, executive creative director, VML Malaysia, said, “This campaign aims to bridge the generational divides which can create tension among families at this time of year. By revealing the thoughtful intention behind seemingly insensitive comments, we hope to inspire more understanding and connection, coupled with the opportunity for family bonding overUnifi’s high quality TV packages.” 

Malaysia MBCS, IPG Mediabrands’ media-driven creative content practice, has partnered with Aiken to produce a campaign aimed at encouraging Malaysians to shine as the brightest stars during Chinese New Year (CNY).

In the movie, a group of girls use the Aiken Vita-C Bright Skincare line to embrace their brightest selves. The girls are given the chance to succeed on the football court because of their glowing skin.

Inspired by the recent worldwide talent search for women to try out for his next film, “Shaolin Women’s Soccer,” the Aiken Brightest Star ad honours Hong Kong actor and filmmaker Stephen Chow. 

The advertisement features an open letter written by Aiken to Stephen Chow, inviting him to see the movie. It also invites Malaysians to enter the #AikenBrightestStar competition and embrace their brightest selves this Chinese New Year.

Speaking about the campaign, Phang Mei Jeng, managing director of MBCS, said, “We know that CNY is a time to watch and re-watch Cantonese films that are old favourites, and Stephen Chow’s films are number one on that list. With his movies consistently trending around the festive season, and his recent open casting on social media, we looked to do this as a tribute to this huge icon and feature Aiken as the brand that helps you be the brightest star.” 

Meanwhile, Saki Goh, senior general manager marketing of Wipro Unza, expressed, “We’re extremely excited about this campaign, as it speaks to CNY pop culture. Stephen Chow’s movies are funny and legendary, and MBCS have found a creative hook that enables us to pay tribute to him in a very special way. We hope more Malaysian women join this callout to be the biggest and brightest star, using Aiken as their ammunition to glow up in this Year of the Dragon.” 

Singapore – Popeyes Singapore has launched its latest Chinese New Year (CNY) activation campaign that lets people exchange their excess mandarin for some lucky discounts on their limited edition chilli crab chicken menu.

The campaign aims to provide a delicious solution for those with too many mandarin oranges collected during the festive season. It is also Popeyes’ creative way to promote the comeback of their limited chilli crab chicken menu.

Instead of discarding the fruits in the bin, consumers can take a photo of their excess mandarin oranges and post it on their social media, tagging Popeyes Singapore’s account on Instagram. Popeyes will contact the lucky winners privately on the app with their discount voucher that they could claim at the physical store.

To further boost this campaign, Popeyes also tapped some renowned Singaporean influencers, gifting them with mystery kits that led them to redeem their discount vouchers at the Popeyes store.

Rafael Serer, general manager of Popeyes APAC, said, “We are very excited to bring back our limited chilli crab chicken in Singapore! Combining the delicious flavours of a uniquely Singapore dish with our Cajun chicken heritage, we want to make CNY an extra special occasion for our guests. More importantly, at Popeyes, it’s about creating core memories that will last a lifetime.”

Ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities, many luxury brands are embracing the cultural significance and immense consumer enthusiasm surrounding this year’s well-known occasion through their creative energies translated into campaigns. For these brands, such types of campaigns not only aim to resonate with Chinese traditions, values, and aspirations but also aim to capture the attention and loyalty of affluent consumers during this pivotal time of festivity and renewal.

For MARKETECH APAC’s latest What’s NEXT Interview, we spoke with Nausicaa Charrier, Marketing Director for Moët Hennessy Singapore & Malaysia to learn more about how luxury brands can create authentic campaigns for the Chinese New Year, and what outlook can the luxury marketing industry in Asia-Pacific expect this year.

For Charrier, creating engaging campaigns is not all about who’s making the most out of new marketing mediums to execute their stunts but rather using these mediums as a way to create narratives that resonate with audiences. Recently, Moët Hennessy created a drone show with 500 drones painting the sky, symbolising the brand’s unique alchemy obtained from the art of blending singular eaux-de-vie to create cognac masterpieces.

Moët Hennessy recently did a 500-drone show in the Marina Bay as part of the brand’s Chinese New Year activations

“Technology isn’t just a tool; it is a platform that allows us to reimagine traditions and elevate how we are telling our brand stories,” she said.

She also added that they firmly believe that luxury is not just about opulence but also about showcasing authenticity and that this principle is particularly crucial when integrating cutting-edge technology into their branded experiences. 

“Rather than using technology for the sake of using it, we strategically utilise it to complement and amplify our narratives in an innovative way. It will always go back to our Maison DNA and the story we want to tell. Technology is a mean, not an end. Ensuring authenticity means that each technological endeavour seamlessly aligns with our partnerships, reflects our cultural essence, and reinforces the genuine connections we foster,” Charrier explained.

When asked about the key trends for luxury marketing in Asia-Pacific, she notes three things: a rising demand for immersive, personalized experiences, driven by a quest for exclusivity; sustainability taking centre stage, emphasising eco-conscious practices and responsible event management; and the use of advanced technology, including virtual and augmented reality, as a way to revolutionise event boundaries.

“To stay ahead, our brands adopt a versatile approach. We focus on innovation and curating personalised experiences that highlight customisation and exclusivity. Sustainability takes a central role, emphasising ethical practices and minimising environmental impact. Our commitment extends to engaging with our communities, both fans and consumers,” she explained.

Charrier also highlighted the importance of advanced technology for future luxury brand campaigns, adding, “The integration of advanced technologies is strategically woven into our events, ensuring a seamless blend of tradition and innovation. In alignment with emerging trends, our brands strive to deliver unmatched luxury experiences that resonate with the evolving preferences of our discerning audience.”

In terms of advice brands should take note in executing their future marketing campaigns, she states that navigating the luxury brand industry in APAC will bring a mix of challenges and opportunities. In Moët Hennessy’s case, the challenge is maintaining the brand allure across diverse markets with unique preferences. However, she offers an actionable insight despite this challenge.

“To address this, we focus on authentic collaborations that go beyond typical endorsements. Our strategy involves integrating seamlessly with local cultures, creating genuine connections that resonate with our discerning audience. This ensures our brands align with the nuances of each market, enhancing desirability in the ever-evolving APAC luxury scene,” she said.

Charrier also added, “Moreover, the industry faces the challenge of adapting to changing consumer expectations. However, this challenge offers an exciting opportunity for our brands to lead through innovation. Embracing technology is crucial to enhance customer experiences. Our commitment is to stay agile, addressing evolving trends in the region and keeping our brands at the forefront of the dynamic APAC luxury landscape. This approach positions us not just to meet but to exceed the expectations of our discerning audience, driving continued success in the coming year.”

Malaysia – Maybank’s Chinese New Year film, “Unspoken Connections,” sheds light on the deaf community’s unique experience of honouring one of the world’s most vibrant, loud, and happy events. The film digs into their perspective in a peaceful setting, emphasising the critical role of sign language in overcoming silence for them.

The film, starring Lim Bee Chin in the lead role and co-directed by Barney Chua and Pan Wai Ling, was created in association with Grey Singapore and the production company Mojo Films. 

Pan Wai Ling and Bee Ching, two members of the deaf community, portray an honest and personal picture of their daily lives in the campaign. The film’s core offers viewers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the deaf community’s experiences, promoting a deeper comprehension of their reality. 

For the production company behind the movie, this project went outside of traditional narrative and became a life-changing investigation of empathy and discovery. They experienced an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning of filming to the intense ending, overcoming communication barriers and gaining new insight into the challenges faced by the deaf population. 

The team planned to actively engage with and comprehend the deaf community in advance of the project. The first conversations revealed perspectives on the deaf community’s experience in Malaysia, highlighting important topics, especially during Chinese New Year. 

Pan Wai Ling and other deaf cast members and staff members led the production without a script, working together with the larger team. The resultant video closely reflects their actual experiences.

Speaking about the campaign, Barney Chua, director of Mojo Films, said, “Collaborating with the hearing-impaired community is familiar territory for my team. Over time, we’ve developed strong connections through various projects. That’s why I approached Wai Ling to co-direct this project. Her fearlessness and intelligence, evident from our previous encounter, made a lasting impression. She brought a wealth of creative ideas to the set, affirming my belief in her potential as an excellent director.” 

Meanwhile, Pan Wai Ling, co-director of Maybank’s CNY film, stated, “My hope with this film is that it not only showcases the experiences within the deaf community but also underscores the importance of sign language. It’s more than just a mode of communication for us; it’s a lifeline, a bridge that connects us to the world around us.” 

Graham Drew, CCO of Grey Singapore, commented, “According to scientific research, non-verbal communication accounts for 70-80% of our daily interactions. We don’t realise, but we all speak in ‘signs’ every day, suggesting that learning sign language may be easier than we think. It’s time we recognise and embrace this natural aptitude so we can foster a more inclusive society for the deaf community.” 

Furthermore, Shazlina Binti Mohd Suffian, EVP & head of Group Corporate Marketing of Maybank Malaysia, added, “The deaf community holds immense potential and talent, yet often faces barriers to fully realising their capabilities. At Maybank, we have been working closely with them by offering training and support, empowering them to succeed on their own terms. We hope that this film will serve as a catalyst for greater awareness, inclusivity, and support for the deaf community.” 

Singapore – As the Chinese New Year approaches, Coca-cola calls on everyone across generations in Singapore to celebrate in an interactive and meaningful way through a striking new packaging that is suited for the holiday. 

Designed to resonate with a wider audience, Coca-cola’s campaign features a redesign of Coca-cola’s cans with a dragon, this year’s zodiac symbol which perfectly embodies the spirit of the Chinese New Year.

Aside from this, Coca-Cola aims to recreate the tradition of wish-giving, a symbol of rediscovering each other and bringing families closer through their own interactive Dragon AR filter available on Facebook and Instagram, an engaging way for young people to send well-wishes to their loved ones.

The campaign is further brought to life as MediaCorp personality Hazelle Teo collaborates with Coca-cola on a music video that aims to light up this Chinese New Year and celebrate in style. 

Additionally, Coca-cola also made sure to put up engaging city-wide outdoor digital displays, as well as organised an experiential activation outside Wisma Atria through an immersive dragon tunnel, where Singaporeans can capture picture-perfect moments and take part in the activities to receive prizes. 

The new dragon-themed packaging of Coca-Cola is available only for this Chinese New Year. It is also worth noting that customers can win limited edition gold-plated dragon cans by spending S$18 and above on brands across Coca-Cola’s group of companies.

Malaysia – Malaysian-based home improvement retailer MR D.I.Y. has partnered with advertising and digital agency Fishermen Integrated on its latest heartwarming campaign for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

The campaign includes a short web film titled ‘Wo Ai Ni (I love you)’ that follows the journey of Long Wei Feng, whom his grandson and family refer to as ‘The Most Strict Headmaster in the Country’. Gearing away from the usual tear-jerking films, it is set around the Lunar New Year and combines hints of humour with family values to highlight the role elders play in the family.

MR D.I.Y.’s ad film is also anchored on the wordplay between Ai (love) and AI (artificial intelligence) technology, reminding viewers to skip the AI and simply add the Ai instead. It aims to encourage audiences to express their love in the most sincere and fun-loving way possible.

MR D.I.Y and Fishermen Integrated campaign film for Chinese New Year is a heartwarming twist between AI and Ai (love).

Aside from the web film, MR D.I.Y. also prepared a Wishing Wall at MR D.I.Y. Plus in Mid Valley Megamall, where everyone can try craft workshops, watch traditional performances, and take photos at the photo booth with their loved ones.

Speaking on the campaign, Andrew Perera, creative director at Fishermen Integrated, explained, “Although there has been a lot of talk about AI and how powerful it is becoming, our team realised that there is a better kind of AI that artificial intelligence will never match—the ‘AI’ in Wo Ai Ni (I Love You). For this reason, this Chinese New Year, we wanted to break free from the usual Gong Xi Fa Cai prosperity messages and reach out to the Chinese community, who shy away from vocal expressions of love, to start a far more valuable tradition—by saying Wo Ai Ni to their loved ones.”

Alex Goh, head of marketing at MR D.I.Y. Group, also shared, “The Lunar New Year is all about bringing family and loved ones together. The best and simplest way of doing so is to bring out the spirit of ‘Ai’ (love), which is to say “我爱你 Wo Ai Ni” or “I love you”. Our web film shows how a grandfather uses unique ways to express his love to his family members with the assistance of AI. With this, MR D.I.Y hopes to remind everyone to make this festive season a little extra special by injecting the spirit of ‘Ai’ (love) instead of ‘AI’ (artificial intelligence).”

Malaysia  It’s the year of the rabbit, folks! As we all know, rabbits love to hop from one place to another. Just like them, people also love to hop on their journeys in life – from being at the lowest point to coming out on top in the aim of achieving success.

To commemorate Chinese New Year this 2023, Malaysian brands from various industries featured different stories – ranging from heartfelt scenarios and inspiring life stories to catchy music choreographies – to showcase the beauty and strength of the human spirit.

YouTube Malaysia has recently presented the top 10 Chinese New Year Ads from the market in this 2023. The most engaging ads included in the list were sized up through the platform’s rubric that factors in total views, organic views, and audience retention. 

Arranged in alphabetical order, here are the top CNY ads in Malaysia:

  1. Affin Bank: Affin CNY 2023: Qiao Hao’s Fa Gao

For this year’s CNY ad, Affin Bank tells a story of a man who was raised by a single mother and eventually turned the tables around to give back to her when he succeeded in life.

  1. Etiqa: Etiqa CNY 2023: Pretty Little Things

Malaysian life insurance company Etiqa highlighted its commitment to sustainability through a short film, reminding its viewers to find beauty in little things.

  1. Hong Leong Bank: HLB CNY 2023 – A Life of Kaya #itsaboutyou

Hong Leong Bank’s ad features a man who helped his mother improve her business despite the competition they endured.

  1. JinYeYe: Music video feature for CNY 2023 

This music video showcased lively sounds and dance steps to interpret the true essence of reunion, joy, happiness and gift-giving during this festive season.

  1. Maybank: Maybank “Papa’s Lunchbox” (Chinese New Year 2023)

Maybank encourages its audiences to celebrate life to the fullest by sharing a story of a father who lost interest in his passion for cooking, and through the help of his daughter, brought it back to life. Eventually, the father got back to his feet, and turned the passion into a business.

  1. PETRONAS: PETRONAS CNY 2023: The Negotiation

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas highlighted the importance of heritage and culture through its short film for CNY. 

  1. McDonald’s Malaysia: Golden Taste, Grand Celebration

Through a short ad, McDonald’s featured their CNY-themed ‘golden prosperity burger’, which can be shared with family while celebrating ‘golden’ moments.

  1. RHB: RHB Chinese New Year 2023: A Clean Start

RHB Bank features a true-to-life story of Lex Low, a hairstylist who gives free haircuts to homeless people. Amids this, Low meets a homeless man who is in search of his mother. The hairstylist successfully helps to reunite the man and his mother, emphasising that kindness can help in achieving progress and new beginnings.

  1. Taylor’s University: Torn | CNY 2023

Educational institution Taylor’s University features a girl who’s having problems with her studies and is resented by her mother for it. Little did the mother know that the daughter’s time is occupied by tending to her disabled younger brother, helping him to learn despite his condition.

  1. Watsons Malaysia: Watsons CNY 2023 – Happy Beautiful Year! 

Health care and beauty chain store Watsons showcased a mixture of short skits and musical drama that encourages the viewers to bring out their most beautiful selves. It ends with a note saying, “when your heart is filled with love, good things will come your way.”

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In celebration of the Chinese New Year, Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has released a new film that gives importance to culture and heritage that serve as the ‘roots’ of every individual. The theme is anchored to the Petronas festive theme of the year, ‘Roots of Our Future’ which highlights and embeds the richness of heritage, customs and culture into all the festive films of 2023.

Titled ‘Yǐ Hé Wéi Guì’ or ‘The Negotiation’, it features a community of shopkeepers who received a devastating news that they need to leave their places on the eve of Chinese New Year because businesses will be developed in their area. They are convinced that they will benefit from the plan due to the job opportunities. However, the group didn’t want to leave because the place brought joy and memories to them.

The film ends with the residents staying in the community, celebrating the festive together, in a unified effort to save their history, heritage, home and way of life. It was also shown that the community was also preserved by fixing the roads and buildings.

This film is created in collaboration with Ensemble Worldwide, the creative unit of Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS), the media-fueled creative content practice within the IPG Mediabrands network. It was directed by multi-awarded director P Prem Anand Pillai, in collaboration with Reserve Tank as the production house.

Ahmad Nazril Ibrahim, group creative director at MBCS explained that the film highlights how it feels to be a Malaysian. He also said that upon the modern development of society, it is important to understand the cultural heritage which serves as the roots that shapes an individual’s identity in a significant way.

Ibrahim added, “We’re excited to be embarking on this new journey of films with Petronas for the year, and hope all Malaysians are excited to journey with us in celebration of our rich culture and heritage.”

Singapore – With just a few days before the Lunar New Year celebrations, streaming platform Netflix goes an understated but no less unconventional route of developing a bespoke piece of paper artwork to commemorate the festivity. The artwork, which was done together with global creative company Mash and Malaysian artist Eten Teo, aims to highlight the value of ‘togetherness’.

Framed with the symbolic elements fish, coins, and peonies, which mean abundance, wealth, and prosperity, respectively; the artwork by Teo showcases interactions of the cross-generational family when celebrating the Lunar New Year, a tradition that is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Asian communities.

Rich Akers, Mash Director and Project Lead of Creative Services in Asia, said, “We’re always excited to work with Netflix. Building a virtual creative studio and partnering with an incredible artist, like Eten to deliver on such an ambitious vision, is not a project you get to do every day.” 

In order for the artwork to be an authentic representation of the Asian festivity, Mash curated a Virtual Creative Studio that brought together seven creatives from Mash’s global network. Each one dug deep into their experiences in order to uncover that one key theme that spoke to the true essence of the celebration—the tumultuous and chaotic beauty of cross-generational families over the most important holiday of the Asia calendar. 

The papercut piece is the first physical artwork that is digitised and featured on a local moment on Netflix, a specially-curated collection of titles that celebrates seasonal moments or social events that are important to local audiences.

The artwork will be live on the Netflix screens of viewers across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan for the duration of the holiday.