Tips for Marketing Around Lunar New Year
Starting February 1, around one-fourth of the world’s population will celebrate the Lunar New Year. While it’s a major occasion in several countries, nowhere is it celebrated more than in China. For many brands, the holiday represents a major opportunity to connect with consumers and celebrate the holiday. At PMG, we’re celebrating with internal events and experiences in partnership with PMG’s Diversity & Inclusion Group (DIG) and BIPOC employee resource group.
If your brand is considering jumping into the fray, here are some recommendations on how to effectively pull off an authentic and respectful Lunar New Year’s campaign:
Focus on the family, especially around the sense of coming together. Typically, the world’s largest movement of people happens around this time of year, as Chinese workers embark on a massive migration to their home counties within China to celebrate with their families. While COVID has had an impact on this, the focus on coming together with family still holds true — in China, other Asian countries, and among those in the diaspora.
Use characteristics of the zodiac animal that’s celebrated. In 2022, it’s the tiger, the third of the zodiac’s 12-year cycle. Do more than just use a photo, though, as consumers will appreciate the extra thought and effort. Savvy marketers will leverage traits associated with the Year of the Tiger, such as determination, confidence, and leadership. And even better, brands that incorporate blessings, traditions, and other elements of the culture around the holiday will stand out.
Remember that the Chinese speak more than Mandarin. Many Chinese overseas, as well as in Hong Kong, speak Cantonese. The best bet is to localize the dialect by the audience.
Start early, and remember to go the distance. Asian consumers do a ton of shopping before the actual holiday (Chinese shoppers alone spent $127 billion on shopping and dining during the 2021 holiday, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce). And remember that the celebrations will continue through mid-February.
Make sure WeChat and Weibo are pillars of your messaging plan. Other popular social networking and messaging apps in the Chinese market are Kuaishou, Douyin, Meituan, Tencent QQ, and Teiba.
Using a Western-centric template won't create resonant messaging with Chinese (or other Asian) consumers. The good news is that the principles of localization, market authenticity, and audience-centric design can and will lead to success if brands are assiduous about it.
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Happy Year of the Tiger!
Posted by: David Gong
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