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Airbnb unveils heartwarming animated Chinese New Year short

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Airbnb has created a touching animation that tells the story of a young girl called Jia Jia, and the significance of the holiday she celebrates with her family every year.

The film centres on the age-old Chinese tradition of hanging a ‘Fú’ banner upside down, which symbolizing "good luck comes." Endearingly, it's a tradition that Jia Jia struggles to grasp from the outset, which leads to a cute exchange between the little girl and her father each year, as both keep flicking the banner up and down.

The animation sees the family celebrate the holiday throughout the years until it is time for Jia Jia to fly the coop to the big city to pursuit her dream of a career in nursing. This, therefore, prevents her from returning home for Chinese New Year to celebrate with her family.

Disappointed that they won’t be together for the holidays, her parents use Airbnb to offer a unique solution; while she can't go home for Chinese New Year, her parents can come to her.

Produced by Final Frontier and Taiko Studios, the ad demonstrates how the brand’s properties can become homes away from home at a time of year where young Chinese are finding it difficult to return to their loved ones.

Discussing the animation, Airbnb China creative lead Justin Leung said: “We wanted to create something that we’ve never done before. By using animation, we brought Airbnb’s unique light heartedness to address an emotional topic and tell a story that Chinese millennials can relate to and feel could have been them or anyone they know.”

The film and its supporting assets continue to be rolled out as part of an integrated campaign leveraging numerous channels, platforms and collaborations across China.

Reflecting on the production, Leung explained: “The collaboration between Airbnb in-house creative and the animation teams at Taiko Studios and Final Frontier to make our vision come to life is an amazing milestone.”

Besides managing the overall production, Final Frontier drafted Taiko Studios to direct and execute the film and supporting visuals.

Led by founder and director Shaofu Zhang, with teams in Los Angeles and Wuhan (China), he said: “The project was immediately personal to us. Much of our team in Wuhan is around the same age as the protagonist and we realized that many of us had the same experience of missing Chinese New Year at home. It was such a good fit for us because of how closely we identified with the core message of home and family.”

Adding to this, Final Frontier executive producer Chris Colman commented: “We were excited to work with Airbnb on this project, and Shaofu immediately came to mind when we received the brief. He and his team had that unique combination of genuine Chinese cultural insight combined with world-class storytelling sensibility and cutting edge execution developed over the years with Disney. It was the perfect fit.”

The film's release coincides with the announcement that Taiko Studios will join Final Frontier’s roster in Asia and South America.

Vote for the campaign below in The Drum's Creative Works.

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Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on The Drum's ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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