Advertising Chinese New Year Creativity

Coca-Cola uses real-life stories in 2021 Chinese New Year ad


By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

February 2, 2021 | 5 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative from the brands that should be on your radar. Today, we look at Coca-Cola’s Chinese New Year ad.

coca cola

Coca-Cola's CNY 2021 campaign

Coca-Cola has launched its Chinese New Year campaign, ‘CNY Confessions’, based on some real-life stories exploring the meaning of Chinese New Year, in a world that changed with the pandemic.

The campaign, conceptualised by Mccann Worldgroup Shanghai, is a pastiche of three independent stories of three young citizens living in China.

Meiling is a young teenage girl who lives in a bustling home filled with family and visiting relatives and craves for privacy. Xiaoming Wang is another young boy who is always being asked to run around to run errands and get stuff for the family – he is not happy since he prefers to play video games. The third story is of Little Piggy, the young boy who lives in the city and dreads the bumpy bus ride that he must take to meet his grandmother who lives in a distant village. He is all she has and she yearns for his visits.

Every year these young people and many others like them, go on with their routine lives, often seeing these tasks as a burden. They do the chores more as compulsion than by choice or out of happiness. Till 2020 - the year when everything changed. As the film progresses, all three protagonists realise the true meaning of Chinese New Year is found in those little, and often routine things, that they thought to be a burden all these years till the lockdown showed them the true mirror.

Cia Hatzi, McCann Worldgroup chief client officer for Coca-Cola said, “this New Year, the Chinese youth’s yearning to reunite with family wasn’t about the big celebrations, but the little simple joys found in the normalcy that bring us together.” To keep it real, the brand spoke with Chinese youth to make sure that stories in the film were authentic.

Bassam Qureshi, head of IMX, Coca-Cola said, “Many Chinese youth once saw Chinese New Year as an obligation, a routine. In 2020, Covid-19 changed all of this, taking away something that many youths once took for granted.” It also inspired a shift in perspective of what truly matters – family, friends, connection and love, he added. For Coca-Cola, it made sense, with its positioning of a brand that stands for togetherness and optimism. The beverage brand finds subtle placement intermittently during the film.

To give the campaign legs beyond the film, Coca-Cola is inviting consumers to share their confessions with their loved ones via an H5 activation.

Coca-Cola CNY campaign

coca cola
H5 activation

In addition, the iconic Coca-Cola clay dolls – A Fu and A Jiao – will make an appearance across TVC, OOH, POSM, trade, and packaging to remind consumers that the beauty lies in the little things.

Coca-Cola’s Fuwa characters were launched in 2013 and over the years have become a regular and a cultural icon in the brand’s Chinese New Year campaigns reiterating their part in help discover the little joys of Chinese New Year.

Show me entity :: 35477

The campaign is part of the beverage brand’s positioning in its key markets to celebrate the local festivals like the Chinese New Year reiterating the togetherness and optimism plank.

Advertising Chinese New Year Creativity

More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +