9 Chinese New Year ads that will warm your heart


When the adland focuses on Oscar, Christmas and Superbowl every year, let's not forget the Chinese New Year, which is THE festival that celebrated by 1/5 of the world's population, is also one of the major parades of great ads and creativity. 

Every year the adland anticipate what creative ads are going to set a new bar for Christmas and the Superbowl.  In Asia, our version of Christmas or the Superbowl is Chinese New Year, or we called Spring Festival or CNY.  If you think Superbowl TV ad is a big deal? Think again.  On last Wed -  the eve of CNY, there were over 700m viewers tuned in to the annual Spring Festival Gala on CCTV-1, compared to 'just' 114.5m viewers of 2015 Superbowl.

As we start our celebrations in welcoming the Year of Goat, we have shortlisted 9 ads around in Asia that connect and remind us of what this festival is all about.


Here, a list of our 9 favourite CNY ads:

1) 'The Old Record' by Apple, China

Apple China wisely localized its Christmas TVC for its Chinese audience in this wonderful CNY ad.  The video features a feature a young woman and her grandmother.  The woman discovers an old music record with her grandmother’s voice. She create a digital duel version with herself and her grandmother singing together using Apple products – a heartfelt gift to show her love on CNY.


2) ‘You are my CNY’ by McDonald’s, China

CNY is known as one of the largest and longest human migrations on the planet,with over 3.6 billion people and last for 40 days. Many young audience nowadays don’t necessarily find it a pleasant experience, especially with the trouble of getting train ticket, long traffic jam on coach, the unbearable crowd. McDonald’s wants to use this ad to remind its audience the true meaning of CNY is all about spending quality time with your family, no matter how hard the journey might seem. 


3) 'This is My Name' by Maxis, Malaysia 

Maxis, a telecom company from Malaysia, uses the power of a name in its CNY ad. In Chinese, your name, gifted to you by your parents, often holds your parents’ wishes and blessings. It is there to remind you of where you come from and the sacred traditions of family.  The video features a boy called Kao Sheng, who is relatively short compared to his mates, but ironically his name means ‘Tall’.  He hated his name so badly and blamed his parents for it throughout his childhood.  But on Chinese New Year, he has a chance to reflect and reconnect with his birth names, and finally wear his name with pride.   


4) Share the Lights' - Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia

Tenaga Nasional, the largest energy provider in Malaysia, reminds us of the ultimate meaning of CNY – to share joy with the others.  The ad starts with a humourous tale of a rivalry between two neighbours, who are both trying to show-off their best CNY ambient and decorations, while they are finally brought together by the festive harmony of lights.


5) 'Chopsticks' - CCTV, China

Chopsticks are the essentials of everyday’s life of Chinese.  They are not only the knife and fork on the table, they also symbolise the inheritance, the traditions and the harmony in Chinese culture. CCTV, the national broadcaster in China, created this heart-warming film to remind these values when families across all ages and of all background are reunited around the dining table to celebrate the New Year.


6) ‘Don’t let our dialects and cuisines disappeared in time’ by Eu Yang Sang, Malaysia

CNY is a festival that’s celebrated by the entire Chinese community, not only in China but also across Asia.  Eu Yang Sang, a traditional Chinese medicine retailer in Asia, made this powerful video reminding its audience the beauty of the diversity in Chinese community. 


7) 'Blessing' by Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia 

Of the many reflections we have, blessings and reconciliations are some the strongest notions. In this short film, Malaysia Airlines follow the life of a man who learns to rediscover life’s real treasures and the value of reconnecting with family, with a rather intriguing message: ‘Sometimes it’s better to stay at home than going out.’



8) 'Be Safe' by Goodnite, Malaysia

Goodnite, is a mattress provider in Malaysia, takes a total different approach in its CNY to deliver a powerful message to its audience about family reunion. This is also in correspondence to Goodnite corporate philosophy and it is also part of their ways in contributing to the society.


9) 'My Name' by CCTV, China

The last one is also our favourite one, it is another CNY TVC series produced by CCTV.  This video illustrates that no matter where you come from or where you go, you name has a special and important meaning that makes you uniquely who you are. The ad ends with 'Never forget where you come from'. 

Each of these videos tells a story of a family, of a time to reflect, of history, of harmony and the coming together and sharing together in the celebrations of Chinese New Year. No matter where you are in the world, or how far apart you are, you always have a family and a home in which you are welcomed.


So, as we welcome in the New Year and embrace the start of the year of the ram, let us also take a moment to reflect. What does your name mean? Where do you come from? And what are the values that you want to share?


Happy Chinese New Year!!