Coca-Cola’s clay dolls return for Chinese New Year with a story of family love and an innovative reboot

Coca-Cola launches its 2019 Chinese New Year campaign

Coca-Cola China has forged itself a tradition for Chinese New Year in its clay doll characters but for 2019 the dolls are spreading a message that prosperity starts with family love.

Core to the campaign is a story told across TV, packaging, print, outdoor, digital and point of sale about the clay doll characters acting out gestures of family love, such as putting their hands together to form a heart shape.

A TV ad focuses on a playful pair of cousins causing mischief at a reunion dinner, while Coca-Cola launched the campaign officially back in January by lighting up the buildings on the coast of Qingdao. Images of the Coca-Cola Clay Dolls were cast on top of 53 buildings, using the building's lighting set up.

“Building on our previous success, this year’s installment of the Coca-Cola Clay Dolls (Fuwa) retains its magical place during the CNY holidays by being rooted in tradition,” said Richard Cotton, head of content, creative and design, Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea.

The digital activation comes via a partnership with Alibaba and Alipay, the main focus of which is a digital red packet, allowing people to send each other gifts containing the clay doll characters.

A digital Five Fortune-Card activation uses a film to link them back to the key message of the campaign, which is that although good fortune is a key element of Chinese new year, luck is also tied to the family. The film, ‘Story of a Boy and his search for Fu’, tells the story of a boy in search of tee five symbols of Good Fortune, which are the Dragon for Prosperity, Red Knot for Happiness, Gold Fish for Harmony, Turtle for Longevity and Phoenix for Wisdom.

“Our Alibaba partnership enables us to use their entire ecosystem, and we have upgraded the experience through AR and AI technology embedded in the activation, where the Coca-Cola Clay Dolls (Fuwa) send out gifts to participants to express their family love”, continued Richard Cotton.

The campaign has been created in partnership with McCann Shanghai, which helped Coca-Cola bring the clay dolls back as its Chinese New Year symbol in 2001.

Coca-Cola and McCann updated the clay dolls last year and introduced the giving of themed virtual red packets. Over 6 million packets had been shared before the Chinese New Year had commenced in 2018.

Coca-Cola: CNY 2019 by McCann

Added 30 January 2019
Agency: McCann
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