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Brand Purpose Brand Strategy Chinese New Year

Best of CNY: The Drum celebrates the Year of the Rabbit


By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

January 22, 2023 | 6 min read

The Drum selects the best brand films to celebrate the festive season as we enter The Year of The Rabbit. Here's a look at how brands celebrated Chinese New Year.

Lunar New Year

CNY 2023


Nike China enlisted some of the nation's biggest athletes to create an inspiring CNY film, but there was a catch. The athletes: two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na, basketball legend Yi Jianlian, football star Wang Shuang and Olympic Gold medalist Liu Xiang, had all magically returned to their childhood selves. The Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai campaign merged deep fake technology and live-action video to portray the sports stars as kids sharing their big dreams around the table on Lunar New Year. Entertaining and inspiring, Nike demonstrates, once again, why it is a favourite brand among fans and marketers alike.


BMW brought the fun to this year's Chinese New Year celebrations with a good-natured swipe at the things that get lost in translation. The campaign, ‘Translating Joy,’ follows the mishaps that occur after an AI translation engine delivers a unique message for New Year greetings. It's fun, colourful, brimming with joy and has a ridiculously catchy song - what's not to like? The ad was created by TBWA\Juice Beijing and TBWA\Bolt Shanghai

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Once again, Apple pulled out all the stops to create an 18-minute online film to ring in the Lunar New Year. The film, 'Through the Five Passes' was shot entirely on iPhone and directed by Venice Film Festival award-winning director Peng Fei. The story follows a young Chinese opera performer as he prepares backstage for a big performance and reflects on the ups and downs of his life and career. The film, created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab Shanghai, delivers an inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and the power of resilience.


As the year of the Tiger drew to a close, Tiger Beer launched a major campaign urging young Asians to stop endlessly chasing the next big win and stop and celebrate their achievements. In a campaign created by Le Pub APAC, Publicis Groupe's dedicated agency for Tiger / Heineken, a film, stunt and research study, all combined to help remind young people that all work and no play won't make you happy. The brand's film 'A Bolder Tomorrow' starts like a Nike ad but ends in a sparkly new year's party.


When Listerine Malaysia enlisted local content creator Jenn Chia for its Chinese New Year campaign, it was guaranteed to be a hit. The social influencer is well known for her comedic characters, including “Auntie Siow”, the star of this CNY campaign. The ‘It’s time to swish away suay!’ depicts a typical family trying to capture the perfect family photo, only to experience several setbacks due to poor oral care and suay, which means bad luck. Created by Mediabrands Content Studio (MBCS), the ad is humourous, relatable and perfect for the festive season.


Singtel launched the fourth instalment in its ongoing sitcom-style series of CNY films, starring rival families the Angs and Huangs. This year's campaign, 'Don't Worry, Be Hoppy' sees the families become neighbours and share their excitement over the launch of a new streaming K-Drama series, only for disaster to strike when the internet connections drop out right as the show is scheduled to start. Another fun and relatable ad, which demonstrates the brand's importance, particularly during the festive season.

Read more about how brands approached this Chinese New Year here.

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