Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is a special version of it this week. Happy Chinese New Year! or 新年快乐

CNY

Whilst Christmas is the big ad time in the UK market and the Super Bowl dominates American advertising – the Sinosphere is dominated by lunar new year. You see Chinese new year adverts (in the Motherland obviously), Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. They are generally exceptionally sentimental and mawkish, but beautifully shot. It is a time for for family get togethers and when childhood memories are made. Things that symbolise Chinese new year include special food, getting given money in red envelopes and wearing new outfits for the first day of the new year.

Here are some examples I have found of this years ads.

KFC

A film director goes back in time to see his younger self and tries to give him advice. I found this interesting given the Chinese government’s ban on time travel in dramas.

Apple

This was done for Apple China by Peter Chan and reposted on Apple Singapore’s social channels. They’ve done a really good job of capturing the gruelling journey home that many Chinese make every year.  Shenzhen’s main railway station is anarchy at this time of year.If this one doesn’t wring your tear ducts out you’re one heartless bastard.

Digi Telecommunications

A mobile carrier in Malaysia. the largest shareholder is Telenor. This one has a slight twist in the tail. I was expecting it to be a family matriarch – but it touches on wider connections and childhood memories. Education is much more highly prized in Chinese culture than British or Irish culture.

Maybank – Malaysia’s largest bank

Nothing quite like a bit of TVB style family melodrama to be squeezed into this four and a half minute film. A family in financial hardship gets pulled apart as the daughter grow up and ambition put a rift in the tight family unit.

AirAsia

My favourite one is this ad by AirAsia, who managed to weave in a deft bit of storytelling through the camera PoV and reference the symbolism of the Chinese horoscope for this year through the main character Ah Boy.