Leaning into Lunar: Year of the Brand

Earlier this month, various events were held Australia wide to celebrate the traditional Chinese festival: Chinese New Year, also called Chinese Lunar Year. Different to western culture, Chinese Lunar Year has a unique way to record the New Year dates. This year – Year of the Pig – started on the 5th of February.

Not surprisingly, brands try to leverage and integrate themselves with the festival through campaigns, promotions and products designed specifically to target Asian customers. International fashion and cosmetics brands release limited edition products commemorating this year’s zodiac animal: the pig. For example, Longchamp and SK-II designed limited-edition products by adding the element of pig’s squiggly tail onto their signature products. Gucci launched their Lunar Year bespoke designed handbag, wallet, shoes and watches featuring Disney’s three little pigs characters. Even Johnnie Walker joined the celebration with a limited-edition blue label bottle with the character of a pig.

Local brands also got into the festivities.  Australia Post launched collectables including gold and silver proof coins, coloured bullion coin and stamp pack with at least 6 unique designs of the pig, as well as a kids friendly Peppa Pig stamp.  Telstra re-purposed their digital billboard on Bourke Street to display personalised messages to loved ones, where they generated social media buzz not only within Australia but also within Chinese media platforms.

So, here comes the question, what are brands getting out from these products or strategies?

In my opinion, there’s a two fold strategy.  First and foremost, limited edition products are generating sales.  This is the time of the year Asian consumers make big and indulgent purchases on clothes, new appliances, and gifts internationally. The release of Lunar Year products is keeping brands top of mind for Asian consumers. By denoting good luck and prosperity messages onto the products, the product become a perfect gift choice.

But there are more than just sales, I think the core is to connect with Asian customers during the Lunar Year. Through a clearly defined and targeted social media strategy, there’s no doubt Telstra increased brand favourability and recognition within the Asian customer. This is an excellent opportunity for a brand to nurture the existing relationship, to get remembered, and extending a warm welcome to future possible customers. Remember – relationship building generates powerful word-of-mouth marketing.

So, don’t let this opportunity slip by, it is absolutely worth the investment!


By Rain Yang

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