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Marketing Featured East Asia

HSBC’s PayMe takes CNY tradition of red envelopes a step more modern

Hong Kong – As part of the Chinese New Year festivities, HSBC has launched its festivity-centric campaign for its mobile payment service PayMe, focusing on breaking traditional conventions and gamifying the custom by bringing family and friends together in a more fun and inclusive way.

PayMe partnered with an array of gen X, millennial and gen Z talents. Local idol Keung To, along with multi-talented artist Ivana Wong, newly formed girl group members Marf & Day, and YouTuber Ray were cast to reflect the e-wallet’s widespread popularity amongst all demographics in Hong Kong.

In addition, they also released a series of films that make reference to the classic Chinese New Year TV commercial format. Created in partnership with Ogilvy Hong Kong, the films show their star-studded outfit playing the roles of relatives, friends and colleagues and then are transformed into a fun-filled virtual world with gaming-inspired graphics amplifying the message that anyone and everyone in Hong Kong can use, play and have fun with the new group laisee function.

Jaslin Goh, head of marketing, CX and design at PayMe, said, “We’ve positioned PayMe as ‘Hong Kong’s Wallet’ and won over 2.5M hearts and those hearts are pumping fast for love of PayMe’s new elaisee feature over CNY and we’re super excited to hit a record high of over 5.3 million elaisee sent. Within a short one month period, it went viral very fast and we’ve got over 200 earned media and social shares of their love of the gamification experience. PayMe elaisee even became a new urban dictionary term in social media.”

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Marketing Featured East Asia

An AI-powered prediction? Lay’s Taiwan uses AI for generating CNY fortunes

Taipei, Taiwan – Playing on the Chinese New Year tradition of using fortune sticks to get predictions and fortune, potato chips brand Lay’s in Taiwan took this step further: by using artificial intelligence and their own line of potato chips.

Through Lay’s Fortune Telling ‘lucky cam’, users can scan a single chip and then the ‘lucky cam’ telling you how much luck you will enjoy in 2022 overall, and what to expect in five areas of your life – Wealth, Health, Love, Family and School.

Some of those predictions include ‘You may be like a god in stock investments’, ‘You will laugh all year long’ and ‘Your year-end bonus is incalculable’.

The campaign was conceptualised alongside Leo Burnett Taiwan, where the agency first had to teach artificial intelligence (AI) technology to recognise whether different objects really are chips or not. Over 5,000 chip samples were used to train the AI and create data sets. This meant photographing 5,000 chips and painstakingly tracing their edges, nooks and crinkles. With between 1,500 and 2,000 data points in every outline, it took between three and five minutes to document each chip by hand. 

From here, the agency created a vast database of fortune-telling sentences by using web-scraping and social listening programs to collect popular buzzwords relating to the five fortune categories. According to the agency’s social listening database, getting a raise or a bonus, attaining ‘financial freedom’ or getting an ‘All Pass’ to every subject are popular topics among Gen Z in the lead up to Chinese New Year.

Yuan Chuang, creative director at Leo Burnett Taiwan, said, “Fortune telling sticks are a well-known Chinese New Year custom. We wondered if we could modernize this tradition and connect it with Lay’s product in a way that helps Lay’s to engage with Gen Z digital natives. We challenged ourselves to use machine learning to do something that’s never been done before: could we tell people’s fortunes using something as unexpected and silly as the shape of potato chips.”

Meanwhile, Tina Liu, marketing head at Lay’s Taiwan, commented, “People think their fortunes are written in the stars, but now they are written in a packet of Lay’s chips. It has been lots of fun working with the team at Leo Burnett Taiwan to build a new consumer habit of buying Lay’s during Chinese New Year. We hope you will give Lay’s Fortune Telling Chips a try, and we wish you huge five-star luck in 2022.”

Divided into four levels of luck and five fortune categories, the Lay’s Fortune Telling Chips web experience delivers over one million fortune combinations. This ensures each fortune is unique no matter how many chips are scanned or eaten along the way.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AIA Malaysia’s CNY film reverberates the true meaning of ‘Wealthy Life’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — The Malaysian arm of insurance company AIA has launched a festive Chinese New Year (CNY) short film that centres on adventure and family and echoes AIA’s slogan of ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Lives’. The campaign was done in collaboration with Reprise Digital, a full-service integrated communications agency, and IPG Mediabrands network.

The film titled ‘Journey to the WoW’ sees a father narrating a bedtime story to his son on the eve of CNY. The tale centres around 3 travellers, each character representing a specific value that is integral to the World of Wealth – Ah Fook represents Plan Well; Ah Lok represents Protect Well, and Ah Sau signifies Live Well. The activity becomes a way for the father and son to bond and share valuable life lessons.

Amir Faiz, group creative director of Reprise, said that the film was inspired through the imagination of what living a ‘Healthier, Longer and Better Life’ means. He added that health in its simplest form is an abundance of anything we find valuable.

“Yes, this could mean money, but we wanted to show that more than anything else, wealth is a way of life. The modern way of life is sometimes misinterpreted as being hedonistic. By showing these ideas of wealth through classic folklore, it links to values most people hold dear to them that allow them to live their best life. We hope these insights from the World of Wealth bring about a ‘wow’ CNY for all Malaysians in the lunar new year ahead,” Faiz said.

World of Wealth, abbreviated WoW, is AIA Malaysia’s latest take on its ongoing communications to inspire and encourage people to live not just healthier and longer but to have a better life as well. The campaign also forms part of the insurer’s new Total Wealth Solution proposition which supports people to plan well, live well and protect well.

Heng Zee Wang, chief marketing officer of AIA Malaysia, commented, “One important message we wanted to bring forth to Malaysians this CNY is that being healthy physically, mentally and financially are all key to attaining true wealth. As the moral of the story goes, when you plan, live and protect well, you will be able to get the most out of life for yourself and your loved ones. The Reprise team have again been able to conceptualise these values of living a ‘Healthier, Longer, Better Life’, in an engaging and culturally relevant way, through the World of Wealth. Wealth at the end of the day is a journey, and we want you to live your WoW life with AIA by your side.”

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Marketing Featured APAC

HSBC launches campaign to celebrate Asian artists in the US

United States — In honour of Lunar New Year – a holiday observed by Asian and Pacific Island countries and a feature of the Hindu-Buddhist traditions, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), and creative and consultant agency Wunderman Thompson Canada have collaborated on a unique undertaking to seek the most prominent shade of red used in the included cultures to honour and elevate Asian artists in the US market.

HSBC Bank USA partnered with one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art, The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, to examine their collection of over 18,000 paintings, sculptures, textiles, and artefacts using an artificial intelligence-based program called Adobe Sensei. ‘The Luckiest Red’ has been digitally matched by Pantone to be distributed by Asian American artists for the purpose of creating works which will be shared by HSBC Bank USA in May when the US will celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Dr Jay Xu, the Barbara Bass Bakar director and CEO at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, commented that in Chinese culture, red usually suggests something vigorous, enthusiastic, inspiring, or auspicious. Dr Xu added that it is also a common colour in classical Chinese paintings explaining that red encapsulates rich social, cultural and spiritual meanings.

Caroline Scurr, head of acquisition and engagement of U.S Marketing for HSBC Bank, commented on the uniqueness of their venture, saying, “With thousands of shades of red, the ‘luckiest’ can be hard to pinpoint – until now. The journey of finding this colour is as much about celebrating the culturally remarkable forms of art that Asian artists have contributed to the world.”

Ari Elkouby, executive creative director for Wunderman Thompson Canada, says, “The diversity and mastery of Asian art rivals many of the Western or European masters – but few are household names. We saw this as an opportunity to bring light to these amazing artists who influenced many of the more well-known artists we celebrate today.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

TNB’s latest CNY campaign shows fresh perspective on fortune

Malaysia – Electricity giant Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), who is known for its memorable festive advertisements, has just launched a new campaign for the Chinese New Year celebration, aimed at highlighting great fortune and even greater misfortunes.

In collaboration with marketing consulting-meets-agency Entropia, part of Accenture Interactive, the new campaign has the golden touch of Quek Shio Chuan, the veteran Malaysian filmmaker from Reservoir Productions in Kuala Lumpur. It utilises the allure of comedy to draw viewers in and give a light-hearted feel. 

Titled ‘WonderFu Fortune’, the story follows the main character, Aunty Choi, as she becomes the target of a troop of scammers while shopping for her family’s annual Lunar New Year celebrations. Through an elaborate plan involving a series of unfortunate events, these scammers, led by a bogus fortune-teller, convince Aunty Choi her luck for the year is dire. But in a surprising twist of events, revealing the film’s deeper message that ‘true fortune and prosperity lie in the bonds we have with our family’, Aunty Choi’s relatives rally together to overturn her luck in epic proportions.

Cherry Lee, Entropia’s creative director, shared that they tried seeing this festive campaign from a fresh perspective, questioning if it was truly necessary for people to go out of their way to seek fortune, or if fortune can be found much closer to home. 

“Centered around the core thought of good energy, the film aims to inspire Malaysians to share their positivity with those around them,” said Lee. 

Meanwhile, April Toh, Entropia’s principal, noted that brands usually pull out all the stops at this time of the year, tapping on the rich customs and traditions that attract good fortune to the household or protect the family during the Lunar Year.

“And with so many remarkable festive campaigns already in their repertoire, TNB turned to the Entropia team to bring to life their latest vision for the festive period – highlighting the dichotomy of fortune and misfortune in an experience many of us can relate to,” said Toh.

The new film is now available on TNB’s YouTube channel and several major TV channels.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Superunion launches generative ‘Lucky Cat’ game to celebrate CNY

Hong Kong – To welcome the Year of the Tiger, Superunion, the creative agency under WPP, has created its new online game that plays on the use of words.

The new game features a ‘tiger machine’, which is inspired by the Chinese name for a slot machine, that generates a unique ‘lucky cat’ design for each player – attracting good fortune for the agency’s clients, teams, friends, and family. 

When the tiger’s paw is pulled, the ‘tiger machine’ randomises a design – head, body, and plaque – each coming from a different original artwork, to make a unique combination of colour and pattern. Custom tools allow the players to art direct their own background, creating a personalised festive greeting to download and share with friends and family.

Superunion said that the 18 original 3D artworks were created by its teams across Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai, as well as Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.

Tim Brown, Superunion’s creative director for Asia, believes that the Lunar New Year is a great opportunity to come together and work on something fun, to put a smile on people’s faces – something everyone needs more than ever. 

“We wanted to create an interactive, sustainable and shareable way to celebrate the Year of the Tiger. Wishing you all good luck for the year ahead – Kung Hei Fat Choy,” said Brown.

Players can visit Superunion’s website to play the game and create their own Tiger greeting.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Astro MY tugs heartstrings with emotional CNY campaign

Malaysia — TV and radio operator Astro in Malaysia, in collaboration with advertising agency Naga DDB Tribal, has launched a festive campaign ahead of the Chinese New Year to raise awareness on the challenges of local Chinese performing artists amidst the pandemic.

Entitled ‘A Tiger’s Heart’, the film centres around the theme of finding hope and positivity amidst trying times. The film also featured one of the top Malaysian lion dance troupes to create a more realistic representation of the hardships performers endure during a time when the performing industry is struggling. The story starts with a lion dance troupe losing its heart during the pandemic before ultimately finding its footing through the sheer tenacity of one character.

Benedict Tan, Naga DDB tribal’s associate creative director, commented, “Society needs artists, just as it needs doctors, engineers, scientists, professionals, workers, fathers and mothers. We as a society owe it to these gifted and talented artistic individuals, as without the influence of performing arts and culture, one can only imagine what our world will be. And that became the inspiration and reason behind this film.”

Astro started the year with the UHuu Be Strong! campaign. Through the campaign, Astro assisted the local Chinese performing arts community with various initiatives. Aside from the film, Astro has also created a documentary entitled ‘Performers on AEC’, underscoring the journey of grit world-renowned Malaysian performers experienced. The agency also donated RM10,000 to support performing art associations.

Gavin Teoh, business director for Naga DDB Tribal, commented on the continuous support the agency is giving to Malaysian communities, saying that they will continue to use their platforms to open the minds of Malaysians — to raise awareness on cultural issues, challenge societal expectations and champion the right causes for the nation and its people.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Spritzer’s latest campaign showcases various CNY dishes, wishes

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration, natural bottled water brand Spritzer in Malaysia has launched a new campaign, aimed at infusing a little fun and a whole lot of natural goodness into popular CNY dishes. 

The campaign, which was created by advertising agency FCB Malaysia, highlights the benefits of the silica in Spritzer Natural Mineral Water. Titled ‘Auspicious Dishes, Spritzer Wishes’, the campaign also features many familiar sights of a Chinese restaurant, reunion dinner, and plenty of happy family members, but it mainly focuses on the dishes that are being served and the wishes that accompany them, which were delivered by the head chef of the restaurant.

Shiao Chan, Spritzer’s group marketing manager, shared that they wanted to continue introducing the benefits of Spritzer Silica-rich Natural Mineral Water at a time when Malaysians would be consuming a lot of beverages during house visits and family meals, but they knew they had to do it in a way that’s contextual to the occasion.

“Not only did this film achieve all of that, but it also gave us an opportunity to carve out a new purpose for the product by encouraging celebrants to prepare their CNY dishes with Spritzer – so that everyone can enjoy all the benefits of our natural mineral water, especially those that the silica brings as a result of enhanced collagen production, namely softer skin, shinier hair, and stronger nails,” said Chan.

Meanwhile, Wang Ie Tjer, FCB Malaysia’s head of creative, said that they approached this film in a no-holds-barred manner because they believed that even though this is a commercial for a mineral water brand, it can still be really flavourful, entertaining, and insightful. 

“We decided to leverage the insight of how every CNY dish usually comes with an auspicious wish, and then creatively turn the wishes into something that works for the brand and occasion. A big shout out to our partners at Restless Productions for bringing this film to life so beautifully, and also to our amazing clients at Spritzer for believing in the idea,” said Tjer.

The campaign has been launched last 10 January, and is still running across Spritzer’s social and digital channels.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

LEGO Group’s new campaign explores family bond, tradition ahead of CNY

Singapore — The LEGO Group has launched a promotional campaign ahead of the Chinese New Year to celebrate and keep the cultural heritage behind the annual celebration. The campaign was done in collaboration with Malaysian TV show host and content artist Danny Ah Boy.

The promotional video which features Danny Ah Boy entitled ’Abundant Joy’ highlights the traditions behind the Chinese New Year festivities that have been a generational practice and the familiar warmth of family get-togethers.

True to its message, Danny, the protagonist, visits his home for the festivities and goes through a nostalgic reflection on the history of his family, the quest of his father to continue the legacy of Chinese culture, and the importance of familial bond despite the physical distance. The film also showcases LEGO’s new product, the 80108 LEGO Lunar New Year Traditions set, being assembled as a bonding activity by the protagonist’s family.

The video also featured other Chinese Traditional Festival LEGO sets namely the 80109 LEGO Lunar New Year Ice Festival, 80108 LEGO Lunar New Year Traditions set, and the Year Of The Tiger set,  JJf29 LEGO Majestic Tiger.

Rohan Mathur, marketing director of LEGO Southeast Asia, commented, “As families near and far celebrate the festive season, we hope that this video will inspire people to relook at the heritage practices that bind us together, give the gift of play to each other, and rise to new heights in this new chapter in their lives.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Zenyum’s CNY campaign is a fun tale to engage people to ‘smile more’

Singapore – The Chinese New Year celebrations are fast approaching, and there is no shortage of CNY-themed ads and campaigns we can all enjoy. Like this latest campaign from Zenyum, a healthcare brand, where it focuses on the brand message of encouraging people to smile more.

In this 2-minute ad spot, this endearing and quirky film is about Jun Jie, a lion who can’t seem to open wide and seize his ‘ang pows’, until he gets help from his good friend Julie and Dr. Gigi. Titled ‘The Lion Who Couldn’t Smile’, the campaign’s overall message is all about the brand being equally eager to create stories and experiences that deliver on the same promise of ‘smile more’ and promoting their products, such as its “Invisible Braces”.

Speaking about the campaign, Eddie Azadi, VP for creative at Zenyum, said, “Having recently launched a Smile Gym in Singapore and a Smile Land theme park in Hong Kong, this festive film is a positive start to a year that promises plenty more playful pop-ups, unconventional collabs, and meaningful creative endeavours.”

Meanwhile, Bassam Abdel-Rahman, SVP for marketing at Zenyum, commented, “We are a young brand in build mode. So we wondered if it was “too soon” for us to go out with a big brand statement like this. But when Eddie first presented the idea the whole company instantly got behind it – we love work that is as entertaining to make as it is to experience.”

The films were created in collaboration with Fishermen Integrated and Mighty Humble Productions.