Chinese New Year or The Spring Festival comes in quite early this year – 23rd January 2012 to be precise. Advertising during this major event in the Chinese calendar is a very big deal indeed, it is equivalent to the Christmas advertising seen in the West. Brands both big and small battle it out to win the hearts and wallets of Chinese consumers at this time.
Coca-Cola has become one of the most prominent advertisers to be seen in China throughout the Spring Festival. Since 2009, the drinks giant has year on year built upon its “First Coke Of The Year” advertising campaign. To welcome the ‘Year of the Dragon’, Coca-Cola’s celebrity ambassador in the Mainland, Liu Xiang, once again features at the heart of the promotions. Here is the TV Commercial:
The ad is titled ‘School Visit’ and is based on a true story from Liu’s school days. We see Liu returning home for the Spring festival. The scene shows him at his old school, eager to reunite with past classmates. Liu daydreams about a failed attempt at running for class president where he received a single vote, but he is interrupted by a former classmate, now teacher, who confides that he gave his vote to Liu. The message the ad is trying to communicate is that Coca-Cola helps old friends connect and families reunite – this is also shown in the three campaign posters:
The ‘First Coke Of The Year’ campaign with Liu Xiang began in 2009. The initial TV ad aired after his withdrawal from the Beijing Olympic Games due to an injury to his Achilles tendon. The storyline of the ad hinted at his public disappointment at withdrawing from the Olympics and his looming redemption. You can watch the ad below:
Agency credit to: Leo Burnett (Shanghai)
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