Creative Director’s Choice: We Are Social’s Khlauss Feldhaus on Apple’s Chinese New Year spot- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the best work and spotlight campaigns that are making a difference.
This week, Khlauss Feldhaus, group creative director, North Asia at We Are Social, talks about Apple’s Chinese New Year spot and how it compares to a John Lewis Christmas ad.

Khlauss Feldhaus of We Are Social

Global brands and cultural nuances are the kind of combinations that either go well — like coffee and milk — or terribly wrong — like sleeping pills and laxatives.
Growing up in Brazil in the ‘90s, when our global economy was promising, I remember foreign brands trying to blend in with locals — only to end up looking like gringos dancing samba with stiff necks. I’ve witnessed the same attempts again while living in China in the ’00s, where international brands have to cross a much more nuanced cultural border.
Apple’s Chinese New Year’s Shot On iPhone ads became something we’ve been almost conditioned to anticipate, comparable to the affect of John Lewis’ Christmas ads in the West. This year is no exception; the nine-minute commercial that flashes before your eyes, as if it were only 90 seconds, is a heartwarming masterpiece filled with cultural truth from big to small, whether they be about hindrances like flat tires or like a daunting society’s playbook of hard-set expectations.
My favorite moment of the film was of the kid dreaming about “Dinosaur dumplings, fairy dumplings, chocolate dumplings” while her mom craves the most ordinary filling — the leek and egg dumpling. That’s the flavor of her family affection, of her mom’s tender care; a sentiment that in Chinese families is much more likely to be expressed with food than with words. It shows the respect for the family reigning even over disagreements and polarization.
Even though the taxi-driving mom would need to save up a year’s worth of rides to afford an iPhone 11 Pro to attach to her cab’s dashboard, this piece feels believable in every one of its amazing frames. I can’t say I will shed my savings on a new iPhone just yet, but I know for sure what I want for dinner.
Khlauss Feldhaus is group creative director, North Asia at We Are Social, based in Hong Kong.
See the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.
To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit Tempemail’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien.

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Nike stays true to its value while paying homage to Chinese tradition- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year (CNY) campaigns from over the years, as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
It’s that time of the year again for red and gold, packets of money and eating. Lots of eating. Unfortunately, it also seems like a tradition for brands to create awful CNY commercials filled with dated tropes. Cue inquisitive aunties and ungrateful kids living abroad.
Just stop it already.
Perhaps we can learn from the recent Christmas spot by a humble hardware store in Wales. With a tiny production budget, Hafod won the Christmas showdown against the likes of mighty John Lewis by focusing on the heart of why us humans love Christmas. The endearing message of “Be a kid this Christmas” isn’t the brainchild of complex strategic posturing. What it does is simply cut through the clutter with its innocence and a wonderful cover of Alphaville’s Forever Young.
Truth is, the point of the commercial is not that different from how we feel about Chinese New Year. Least how I used to as a kid. It’s a big deal that only seems to grow smaller as I grew older.
My advice is to look at how your CNY spot mirrors the times we now live in. Time Magazine referred to the Hafod piece as the Christmas Ad that is melting icy hearts across the internet. As far as reviews come, that is pretty bang on. With everything seeming more negative than ever, the cynic in us can do with a reminder of what’s pure. Whether you’re in the United Kingdom or Asia.
Honestly, it was a struggle to pick a CNY spot that I truly adore. But Nike’s first festive spot for the Chinese market deserves mention. The brand found a charming way to stay true to itself while paying homage to tradition. There were none of the usual tropes while at it.
Instead, the plot focuses on a generous aunt and a niece who isn’t supposed to accept her generous red packet. What ensues is a delightful cat and mouse chase annually through the years. Till the young girl has grown old enough to dish out red packet as a sign of respect to her elderly aunt. Cue aunt with brand new Nike trainers and the chase continues, albeit now in the opposite fashion.
The casting for the spot was spot on, with nicely art directed CNY feels without being overbearing like others. A tiny detail that I loved was the pay-off in mandarin. It was beautifully on brand. And Chinese viewers would better appreciate its meaning. The English translation that tells you to hold nothing back this new year doesn’t quite capture the same essence. But hey, this was meant for China. So, all in all, an impressive debut from Nike.
Hopefully this year my niece will run away from me as I dish out her red packet. But that right there would be how my story ends.
Ed Cheong, executive creative director, Iris
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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Airbnb unveils heartwarming animated Chinese New Year short- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Airbnb has created a touching animation that tells the story of a young girl called Jia Jia, and the significance of the holiday she celebrates with her family every year.
The film centres on the age-old Chinese tradition of hanging a ‘Fú’ banner upside down, which symbolizing “good luck comes.” Endearingly, it’s a tradition that Jia Jia struggles to grasp from the outset, which leads to a cute exchange between the little girl and her father each year, as both keep flicking the banner up and down.
The animation sees the family celebrate the holiday throughout the years until it is time for Jia Jia to fly the coop to the big city to pursuit her dream of a career in nursing. This, therefore, prevents her from returning home for Chinese New Year to celebrate with her family.
Disappointed that they won’t be together for the holidays, her parents use Airbnb to offer a unique solution; while she can’t go home for Chinese New Year, her parents can come to her.
Produced by Final Frontier and Taiko Studios, the ad demonstrates how the brand’s properties can become homes away from home at a time of year where young Chinese are finding it difficult to return to their loved ones.
Discussing the animation, Airbnb China creative lead Justin Leung said: “We wanted to create something that we’ve never done before. By using animation, we brought Airbnb’s unique light heartedness to address an emotional topic and tell a story that Chinese millennials can relate to and feel could have been them or anyone they know.”
The film and its supporting assets continue to be rolled out as part of an integrated campaign leveraging numerous channels, platforms and collaborations across China.
Reflecting on the production, Leung explained: “The collaboration between Airbnb in-house creative and the animation teams at Taiko Studios and Final Frontier to make our vision come to life is an amazing milestone.”
Besides managing the overall production, Final Frontier drafted Taiko Studios to direct and execute the film and supporting visuals.
Led by founder and director Shaofu Zhang, with teams in Los Angeles and Wuhan (China), he said: “The project was immediately personal to us. Much of our team in Wuhan is around the same age as the protagonist and we realized that many of us had the same experience of missing Chinese New Year at home. It was such a good fit for us because of how closely we identified with the core message of home and family.”
Adding to this, Final Frontier executive producer Chris Colman commented: “We were excited to work with Airbnb on this project, and Shaofu immediately came to mind when we received the brief. He and his team had that unique combination of genuine Chinese cultural insight combined with world-class storytelling sensibility and cutting edge execution developed over the years with Disney. It was the perfect fit.”
The film’s release coincides with the announcement that Taiko Studios will join Final Frontier’s roster in Asia and South America.
Vote for the campaign below in Tempemail’s Creative Works.

Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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TNB plays with VR this Chinese New Year to appeal to reluctant millennials- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Malaysian electricity company, TNB has revealed its latest Chinese New Year (CNY) ad, focusing on bringing families together even when they can’t be there physically.
The film, titled ‘Reality Not Virtual’ and directed by Quek Shio Chuan of Reservoir World, sees millennial Bryan receiving a care package from his mother as he is not sure about going home for CNY.
More and more, millennials are seen to not want to make the trip home for CNY, but this ad shows, in a quirky, humerous high tech way, how that could be possible, even if you can’t be there in person.
The ad begins with Bryan sitting at his work desk, taking a call from his mother. Unsure of whether or not he can make it home for the holidays, she has sent him a special package, a VR headset. He places the tech on his head and is quickly met by his Ma. As he is so busy, she has brought home to him in the form of virtual reality.
Throughout the ad, Bryan heads on a journey home through an emotional VR simulation that is simultaneously humourous as he navigates within the real-world. While virtually greeting family members and taking in traditions, he makes his way through his office, shaking hands with colleagues, talking to mops, eating paper and causing a ruckus throughout the office.
Ultimately Bryan sees that he misses his family and wishes to come home for the festivities with his loved ones. The ad’s tagline “Celebrations are best experienced in real life”, perpetuates the strong family values that the season brings.
Kevin Le, executive creative director of Reprise said, “We wanted to reiterate how technology, while increasingly prevalent in our lives, cannot replace tradition. Youth today don’t favour spending time with family during festive occasions as they deem it boring or a tedious journey back home.
“When coming up with the idea, we thought, what if we could bring CNY to them? That’s how the VR simulation came about. Through this medium, we were able to bridge and collide these two worlds to take the viewer through a humourous journey together.”
Sutapa Bhattacharya, general manager – Corporate Strategic Communications at TNB added: “TNB is a strong proponent of family values, and these festive occasions are an important part of maintaining family bonds. This is our third CNY film with Reprise, and we are always looking at ways to keep the brand relatable to remain in step with the times. The team has managed to hit all the right notes in both the virtual and real worlds of Bryan, and effectively convey the positive essence of our brand.”
The ad is scheduled to air across TNB’s social media channels, with content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and free-to-air TV networks.
In addition, the integrated campaign features a 360-video contest where users have to include their answers in the comments section which ties into TNB’s Energy Efficiency initiative. Viewers will discover Bryan’s VR world and will be asked to spot things they can do to conserve energy this CNY.

Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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How Petronas’ Chinese New Year ad, Nobody’s Child stands the test of time- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year campaigns from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
Insightful, powerful human truths make for compelling storytelling. Many families don’t eat reunion dinners with their loved ones anymore, and those that do might be physically there but are mentally in a world of their own, scrolling through their mobile phones. It’s not surprising that brother and sisters end up like strangers, and cousins end up not recognizing each other’s names.
Some view Chinese New Year (CNY) family gatherings as a waste of time, and would rather travel overseas for a holiday. I have encountered my close ones calling at that very afternoon they were supposed to have CNY dinner, to cancel.
That’s why I love this Petronas ‘Nobody’s Child’ commercial done in 2008. It comes with the message of cherishing your family during CNY. From earlier years, Petronas’ investment in its festive campaigns touched the hearts of many Malaysians.
“Nobody’s Child” is about Tan Tiam Hock, a nerdy seven years old boy who cannot draw a family reunion dinner. He remains smiley despite being scolded by his teacher. We soon realize why he doesn’t draw anything. When school ends, the boy is finally picked up by an Indian woman who escorts him back to an orphanage. ‘Please be home for reunion dinner, if you can. Gong Xi Fa Cai’, reads the endline.
What makes this film so powerful is a reminder of how important family is. Spending time with your loved ones is usually taken for granted, and if we are not careful, our family unit will slowly deteriorate. There is a real danger of this happening in today’s social media-obsessed world. A good CNY ad doesn’t just entertain. It should encourage good social values and enrich our lives. This content is very respectful of the local culture and is concerned about our Asian values and the society we live in.
The late Yasmin Ahmad, whom I had the pleasure of working with during my early years in Leo Burnett, directed this film. She has a way of creating touching human stories that bring out the tension in society using unpretentious characters we can all identify with, and Tan Tiam Hock is no exception. Her work always included a blend of humour, heart, and love that crosses various cultural barriers.
This film might be 12 years old, but the importance of family reunion still resonates with me until today. So if you are going for your reunion dinner with your extended family this CNY, count yourself blessed that you belong to an extended family that treasures you.
Tay Guan Hin, founder and global chief creative officer, TGH Collective
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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Facebook says technical error caused vulgar translation of Chinese leader’s name – Cloud – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Facebook Inc on Saturday blamed a technical error for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name appearing as “Mr Shithole” in posts on its platform when translated into English from Burmese, apologising for any offence caused.
The error came to light on the second day of a visit by the president to the Southeast Asian country, where Xi and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi signed dozens of agreements covering massive Beijing-backed infrastructure plans.
A statement about the visit published on Suu Kyi’s official Facebook page was littered with references to “Mr Shithole” when translated to English, while a headline in local news journal the Irrawaddy appeared as “Dinner honors president shithole”.
It was not clear how long the issue lasted but Google’s translation function did not show the same error.
“We fixed a technical issue that caused incorrect translations from Burmese to English on Facebook. This should not have happened and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We sincerely apologize for the offense this has caused,” Facebook said in a statement.
The Facebook system did not have President Xi Jinping’s name in its Burmese database and guessed at the translation, the company said. Translation tests of similar words that start with “xi” and “shi” in Burmese also produced “shithole”, it added.
China’s foreign ministry declined comment.
Facebook is blocked in mainland China. But it is not blocked in Hong Kong and mainland companies advertise elsewhere on the platform, making China Facebook’s biggest country for revenue after the United States. It is setting up a new engineering team to focus specifically on the lucrative Chinese advertising business, Reuters reported last week.
Facebook has faced numerous problems with translation from Burmese in the past. In 2018 it temporarily removed the function after a Reuters report showed the tool was producing bizarre results.
An investigation documented how the company was failing in its efforts to combat vitriolic Burmese language posts about Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, some 730,000 of whom fled a military crackdown in 2017 that the UN has said was conducted with “genocidal intent”.
It also showed the translation feature was flawed, citing an anti-Rohingya post advocating killing Muslims that was translated into English as “I shouldn’t have a rainbow in Myanmar”.

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Time is precious: Apple’s Chinese New Year ad ‘Three Minutes’- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year (CNY) campaigns from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
Time. I barely have any to write this piece. You have even less to read it (it’s a miracle you’re reading thus far).
In today’s world of bite size content, instanews and impulse wars, it’s really refreshing to see that people still take the time for what matters: meeting family during CNY to connect with one another and honour a bond that runs as deep as our DNA. An entire country comes to a halt, millions migrate.
And so I found it more than fitting when Apple made ‘time’ the topic of their 2018 CNY film: three minutes. The bittersweet reunion of a mother and her son for which she only has three minutes. As a parent, this story tore my heart into pieces. On the one hand, I feel for the mother who has to work during a period when everyone takes time off to be with their family. But there is an underlying message which makes this story actually bittersweet for me. A cultural commentary if you will on an achievement-oriented society.
There is a boy who hasn’t seen his mother for a year. And in order to connect with her, he recites a maths equation to prove his worth, not knowing that in this moment, all his mother wants is to connect, to embrace him, maybe say how much she loves him. But he just goes on 1×1=1, 1×2=2, 3×1=3, 4×1=4, 5×1=5 … And as he’s so dutifully reciting and his mother is desperately waiting for him to finish before she has to leave again, I’m getting angry about their situation.
Both parties seek affection but aren’t getting any, because they misjudged what the other person values. All they needed was time. Not even words. A story that really makes you think about what’s getting in our way to make time for the people that matter in our lives.
Sascha Kuntze, chief creative officer, BBH Asia Pacific
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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Adidas, Singtel, JD.com: Chinese New Year 2020 campaign coverage- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the year of the Rat on January 25, Tempemail’s Creative Works pulls together Asia’s offerings of Chinese Lunar New Year (CNY) ads.
Brands like Carlsberg, Singtel, JD.com, Adidas, Nike, Apple and EcoWorld have revealed their Spring Festival ads across countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, perpetuating the need for family, togetherness and traditions.
Make sure to vote for your favourite campaign below by clicking on the stars. Check back here often to see all the latest campaigns and check out Tempemail’s ongoing CNY coverage here.

For project information, credits and more click on the Creative Works box to expand to full screen. You can submit your own work via our online form. Make sure to also visit our global Creative Works site to keep up with everything creative going on around the world.

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Nike’s first Chinese New Year ad brings tradition and family together in playful pursuit- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Nike is taking its first steps into Chinese New Year with a witty ad putting a twist on the hongbao red envelopes tradition.
These envelopes are often filled with money and given to children by elder relatives for good luck. The 90-second spot from Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai depicts a cat-and-mouse game between an aunt attempting to give an envelope and her niece who repeatedly declines out of politeness.
The action begins with the niece as a young girl, donned with a conventional ‘lucky’ Chinese bowl cut. Her aunt tries to give her the red envelope, but the girl is quick to refuse as her mother does not want her to accept it. Not quick enough, however, as the elder slots the envelope into her niece’s pocket and leaves abruptly.
Over the next few years, as fashions change and the struggles between both become more intense, the niece eventually dons a pair of Nike’s to try to outrun her determined aunt.
Through factories, festivals, massive crowds, fields and rooftops, the chase goes on for years with the aunt winning each time, even resorting to internet banking to transfer the envelope onto her niece’s phone from afar.
Bringing the ad to the present day, the niece is now an adult with her own family. Cue the aunt turning up for Chinese New Year, at which point the niece turns the tables and give an envelope to her relative. But the aunt is prepared with her own Nike’s, a new pair inspired by Chinese mythology, and the chase lives on.
Steve Tsoi, vice president of marketing for Greater China, Nike said: “At Nike, we inspire everyone to make sport a daily habit; even through the festivities of Chinese New Year. The spot takes a playful approach on a Chinese tradition reminding the audience to celebrate and have fun, to stay active during a time when we typically eat a bit too much.”
Directed by Steve Ayson and featuring the Chinese-language version of Doris Days ‘Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps’, the ad promotes Nike’s new line of Chinese New Year-themed footwear which is inspired by the last four cycles of the Year of the Rat.

To keep up to date with what brands are doing to celebrate Chinese New Year 2020, the year of the metal rat, visit the CNY 2020 page and CNY campaign round-up.

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Chinese audiences are pining for simpler times: PepsiCo CNY ‘Bring Happiness Home’- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

As we enter the Year of the Rat, advertising creatives across Asia offer their favourite Chinese New Year campaigns from over the years as we celebrate the best work from the festive period and hear their views on what is best in class.
I’m not really the target audience for Chinese New Year commercials, so the heart-string-tugging family fare doesn’t tend to move me. The spot that grabbed me at the time and has stayed with me is Monkey King Family for PepsiCo, directed by Civilization’s Andrew Lok. It’s just a fascinating intersection of modern Chinese culture, pop culture, history and mythology.
First up, it taught me something. I like that from a commercial. I knew how significant a myth Journey to The West is in Chinese culture, exemplified by the slew of Monkey King movies each year, and I was dimly aware of the TV series in the 1980s, but I had no idea how huge it was or culturally significant it remains.
I was also unaware of the tradition of actors making entire careers playing the Monkey King. Zhang Jinlai (aka the ‘6th Little Master’) is the fourth generation of his family to portray the character. The storytelling in the journey from the Qing Dynasty through the Zhang family’s appearances in grassroots village performance, theatre, film and into TV, is on point and engaging. I enjoyed the staging and cinematography, and the slo-mo cutaways to the boy training in the warehouse work really well.
It’s also a great cultural insight into what moves modern Chinese audiences, beyond the more obvious sentimental family stories. Nostalgia can be a powerful tool for filmmakers and advertisers, nowhere more than in China, where the massive and rapid change over the past 40 years makes people pine for simpler times. This piece really nails it, without becoming sickly or overly sentimental.
Above all, it’s six-minutes long and a commercial – yet I actually wanted to watch it, as did more than 800 million Chinese viewers. That’s quite an achievement. Pepsi must have been pinching themselves to be able to align with such a hugely culturally significant icon at all, let alone in a spot that earned so many hits.
Chris Colman, executive producer, Final Frontier
Check out the latest holiday ads here, and keep an eye on Tempemail’s ongoing Chinese New Year coverage.

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