SunRice is discarding the usual cultural clichés this Chinese New Year with a new campaign that aims to create a more authentic portrayal of an Asian-Australian family.
The campaign depicts a new-migrant experience – hosting their Australian neighbours for dinner for the first time. The initial dinner table awkwardness is immediately overcome when a bowl of Sunrice arrives.
The spot positions SunRice as the ideal cultural “rice breaker” in the situation, launching to coincide with Chinese New Year.
“Chinese New Year is the biggest cultural occasion for the community, and we wanted to be there to celebrate this special occasion with them,” SunRice head of marketing Andrew Jeffrey said.
“As a proud Australian brand, we want to show our Asian consumers that we understand the aspirations of modern Asian-Australian families. Our Asian family is proud of their heritage, but they are also eager to be part of the Australian community”.
The campaign creative was developed by multicultural communications agency, Identity.
Identity MD Thang Ngo said: “There are around one million Chinese speakers in Australia, making this audience highly attractive for brands.
“Just using red and gold colours or number 8’s in creative doesn’t cut-through anymore. It’s not new, doesn’t stand out and doesn’t demonstrate an understanding beyond cultural clichés.
“Brands need to demonstrate more sophistication and deeper understanding if they want to build an authentic connection with this valuable audience”.
The campaign will be rolled out on SBS TV and Chinese and Vietnamese channels including pay TV, digital, print, Weibo and WeChat social media and bi-lingual out of home.
SunRice is celebrating Chinese New Year with a campaign via Identity Communications, Sydney, featuring an Asian-Australian family.
SunRice is launching a national campaign depicting a new-migrant experience – hosting their Australian neighbours for dinner for the first time. The initial dinner table awkwardness is immediately overcome when a steaming bowl of SunRice arrives, proving that SunRice is the ideal cultural ‘rice breaker’.
The campaign will be rolled out on SBS TV and Chinese and Vietnamese channels including Pay TV, digital, print, Weibo and WeChat social media and bi-lingual out of home.
“Chinese New Year is the biggest cultural occasion for the community, and we wanted to be there to celebrate this special occasion with them,” says Andrew Jeffrey, head of marketing at SunRice. “As a proud Australian brand, we want to show our Asian consumers that we understand the aspirations of modern Asian-Australian families. Our Asian family is proud of their heritage, but they are also eager to be part of the Australian community”.
The campaign creative was developed by multicultural communications agency, Identity. Says managing director Thang Ngo: “There are around one million Chinese speakers in Australia, making this audience highly attractive for brands. Just using red and gold colours or number 8’s in creative doesn’t cut-through anymore. It’s not new, doesn’t stand out and doesn’t demonstrate an understanding beyond cultural clichés. Brands need to demonstrate more sophistication and deeper understanding if they want to build an authentic connection with this valuable audience”.
Agency: Identity Communications Creative Director: Yasmin Quemard Art Director: Rachel Liang Writers: Yasmin Quemard, Brenda Leung and Sean Zhu Translation Management: Brenda Leung, Albert Han Designer: Rachel Liang Head of Strategy: Thang Ngo Managing Director: Thang Ngo Head of Studio: Tobias Young Client Services Director: Angelica Naranjo Production Coordinator: Murray Wallace Lead Developer: Dipak Sadaula
Production Company: Clockwork Film
Client: SunRice Head of Marketing & Insights: Andrew Jeffrey Senior Marketing Manager: Shannon Cumberlidge Brand Manager: Peta Thomas
The team at IDENTITY Communications, Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency, has a few delicious suggestions for a lucky Year of the Pig in 2019.
the most important festival across Asia, Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and thanks to the large Chinese diaspora, just about any Chinatown across the globe.
It’s a week-long public holiday in In China, when people head back to their home town to celebrate with family and friends, sparking the largest annual mass migration on Earth, some 385 million Chinese are expected travel during this period (below: image credit IBTimes UK).
The festival has many names, Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Spring Festival and Tet (Vietnam). Based on the lunar calendar, new year falls on a different day each year. The coming Year of the Pig starts on Tuesday, 5 February 2019.
Naturally, the New Year is about family and looking forward. It can be a time of great superstition, people act, eat and observe traditions to maximise luck, personally and professionally, for the coming year. Dragon and lion dancing and fire crackers are popular for a good reason – the noise and vigorous movement are intended to ward off evil and bad luck.
Anything that happens during the first days of the new year will be repeated for the rest of the year. So naturally, the house is spotless before the first day of the year, quarrelling is avoided and given of gifts including money in red packets to younger generations is encouraged.
Everyone wants good luck in the new year in the three main areas of health, wealth and happiness – a common greeting for the New Year.
LUNAR OR CHINESE NEW YEAR GREETINGS
Mandarin: gōng xǐ fā cái is the most common greeting “respectful wishes for your prosperity”
Cantonese: gong hey fat choy is the Cantonese equivalent
Vietnamese: chúc mừng năm mới
Korean: Saehae bok mani badeuseyo
FOOD TO BRING GOOD LUCK IN THE LUNAR NEW YEAR
For good luck in the new year, maybe you should try these 8 lucky foods:
Spring rolls, dumplings: are all about wealth, in addition to being delicious, their shapes resemble ancient Chinese gold ingots.
Fish: represents prosperity, as it sounds like “abundance” in Chinese, eat whole fish for wealth all year ’round.
Noodles: if you want long life, choose dishes with long strands of noodles, don’t cut them before you eat them otherwise you risk cutting short your life!
Whole chicken: including head and feet: is symbolic of family reunion, togetherness and happiness. Make sure the chicken is as “whole” as possible, including head and feet.
Tangerines, oranges: brings wealth as tangerine sounds like “luck” in Chinese, while orange sounds like “gold”.
Mut (candied fruit): is popular with Vietnamese, their sweetness brings a sweet life and candied seeds such as lotus bring family happiness through more children (“mut” is a Vietnamese word).
Watermelon: Vietnamese believe good luck comes to the household if a watermelon is cut during New Year and the inside is red, the darker the red, the greater the prosperity.
Ddukguk: this rice cake soup is traditionally served on New Year’s Day in Korea. Lunar New Year is a time when everyone has their birthday. Eating this soup celebrates getting a year older in Korean culture.
Wishing you a happy and successful Year of the Pig from the IDENTITY Communications team.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by almost 1.5 million people in Australia. IDENTITY Communications, Australia’s largest multicultural marketing agency has 5 tips for marketers looking to cash in.
The Year of the Pig starts on Tuesday, 5 February 2019. Get ready for a sea of red and gold, paper cut pig icons, red packets, dragons, and gratuitous use of ‘8’ and ‘luck’ as marketers jostle for the lucrative Asian dollar. Examples of brands cashing in from last year include Chobani (above) and ANZ (below).
What’s wrong with red and gold?
It wouldn’t be in the festive spirit to deride these attempts as bad example of multicultural marketing. Overwhelmingly, ‘red and gold’ has been the approach of marketers and their multicultural agencies over the years. So basically everyone had done it to some degree.
It isn’t the wrong thing to do, but there are drawbacks, which has been best articulated by Alain de Botton.
“The problem with cliches is not that they contain false ideas, but rather that they are superficial articulations of very good ones” Alain de Botton.
5 ways to avoid being superficial in Chinese New Year marketing.
1. Demonstrate cultural understanding rather repeat cliches
Coca-Cola’s approach in 2017 was to put family reunion front and centre rather than default to the road often travelled of new year cliches. Apart from red, which is Coke’s corporate colour, the usual festive cliches have been dialed down.
2. Be confident to stand out
Can a brand win the hearts and minds (and wallets) of their customers without resorting to cliches or even promoting their brand. Against the sea of red and gold, Pokka, Singapore’s number one ready to drink tea beverage brand takes us back to what’s important during the new year, without gratuitous product placement.
3. Inject your brand into the Chinese New Year season
Apple highlights their phone’s product benefits in Chinese New Year commercials. Three Minutes, a Chinese New Year short film was shot on an iPhone X by director, Peter Chan. The tactic showcases iPhone X’s high quality video capabilities via Chinese New Year.
Vodafone’s unlimited calls to China for Chinese New Year campaign compared the ‘unlimited’ promotion feature with the seemingly unending Great Wall of China.
Disclosure: I worked on this Vodafone campaign at a previous multicultural marketing agency.
4. Don’t try to out-Chinese the Chinese
In all of the examples above, the brands weren’t trying to dial up cliches to demonstrate understanding. If you’re marketing to Australian-Chinese, it’s also important to recognise these migrants have come to Australia for a better life. Demonstrating this might take you further than repeating cliches.
While not a Chinese New Year campaign, IDENTITY’s TVC for client, SunRice reflects the the migrant experience – what could be a more uniquely Australian-Chinese experience than having your Australian neighbours over for dinner for the first time? SunRice has effectively claimed the territory of bringing their customers the best of both worlds, a point of difference their competitors can’t compete with.
5. Be inclusive
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by those in China as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea. The festive season is about reunion and inclusiveness, so marketers should also remember to include all cultures celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Brand should use the inclusive term of ‘Lunar New Year’ rather than making it just about China.
Vietnamese celebrate this festival also, they call it ‘Tet’. The commercial above by food brand Knorr for Tet in 2017 appeals to parents who yearn for their children to celebrate tradition in the face of encroaching Western culture. When their children asks for Pizza to celebrate the New Year, mum cleverly gets the family cooking banh chung, a traditional Tet food.