Ads We Like: CIMB pokes fun at claims to the origins of auspicious Chinese New Year dish Yee Sang


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

January 31, 2019 | 3 min read

CIMB bank has decided on humour as the route to people’s hearts this Chinese New Year, as it tells a story mocking the competing claims over the origins of Yee Sang (or Yu Sheng) in its festive ad.

In a cinematic style, set stylishly in the 40s, the ad tells the story of an impeccable restauranteur that kept customers waiting with his attention to detail. The fable tells of a family who, in their rush to eat the delicious food, mixed together the ingredients the chef would painstakingly put together himself.

Yee Sang is a dish mostly eaten in South East Asia among the Chinese community during Chinese New Year. Each ingredient represents good luck in different areas of life and a ritual has developed around the creation, and eventual destruction, of the food and is now a core part of Chinese New Year celebrations for many.

Mohamed Adam Wee Abdullah, group chief marketing officer, CIMB Group, said, “The inspiration behind this video was to celebrate diversity and the coming together of Malaysians through the tossing of Yee Sang, an iconic and proudly local Chinese New Year dish. We chose to convey the video in a fun yet meaningful manner where Malaysians from all walks of life could relate to. Besides the charming, and entertaining short film, we also took this opportunity to roll out the first mobile Yee Sang tossing game to engage and unite Malaysians through laughter and good cheer."

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"We are delighted to see that the video has been well received by over three million viewers over 8 days. We hope that the video continues to spread joy and inculcate the togetherness in all Malaysians throughout this festive period. To all Malaysians, we wish a prosperous Gong Xi Fa Cai together.”

The insight behind the ad, called ‘You-Sang, We-Sang’, was to look at perfection and uses the messy nature of Yee Sang to show how the best times are spent without the need for a perfect aesthetic.

The campaign, created by Ogilvy, focuses on the video but it supported by a mobile game that allows people to toss the food, as they would during Yee Sang.

Ogilvy: CIMB You-Sang, We-Sang

By Ogilvy

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