Lunar New Year 2021

Lunar New Year 2021 - Year of the Ox

Lunar New Year 2021

Celebrating the Year of the Ox

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More than a billion people worldwide will be commemorating the Lunar New Year when it begins on Friday 12 February. As we head into 2021’s Year of the Ox, some of the hard-working characteristics traditionally associated with the zodiac sign – strength, diligence, dependability, honesty and positivity – will resonate with many families forced to celebrate virtually.

Though restricted by COVID-19, this year’s festivities and smaller physical gatherings will still generate increased spending. According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in the lead-up to the celebrations, online sales in China alone exceeded 344 billion yuan (US$53 billion) in January in 2021.

Like Singles Day, the Lunar New Year has become an essential event in brands’ calendars around the world. This year, brands are using more inventive ways to reach consumers during the pandemic – from short films that strike an emotional chord to immersive experiences that engage millions, here is a round-up of some of WPP’s work to mark the festival:

Ogilvy: Mercedes-Benz

Chinese New Year is all about love and connection and for its 2021 campaign, Mercedes-Benz partnered with Ogilvy Beijing to release an emotional film directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. The six-minute spot follows two families and one couple who show that 'where there's love, there's a way'.

Wavemaker: Perfetti Van Melle

Wavemaker joined forces with Perfetti Van Melle’s Alpenliebe candy to launch an Alpenliebe-branded express train for the 2021 Chinese Spring Festival. For those able to travel during the Spring Festival, the campaign created an immersive consumer experience through seamless integration of offline and online elements within the carriages. Consumers could order the gift candy box on the train, or simply scan the QR code on their seat, place an order on Taobao and send the sweets home directly.

Perfetti Van Melle - airplane seats

BCW: Lenovo

To celebrate Chinese New Year, BCW worked with Lenovo to sponsor a team of college students to produce a virtual version of Wuhan city and rebuild all its landmarks within the virtual world of Minecraft. With a manufacturing base in Wuhan, Lenovo shows how technology can be used to rebuild the city in both the online and offline worlds.

Wunderman Thompson: Pocky

Tapping into the positive and upbeat spirit of Lunar New Year, Pocky partnered with TikTok inviting Chinese consumers to Share Happiness. The Wunderman Thompson team created an integrated communications campaign by working with top media and influencers to create engagement and impact.

Lenovo to sponsor a team of college students to produce a virtual version of the Wuhan city and all its landmarks within the video game world of Minecraft

Ogilvy: KFC

In China, the Spring Festival signifies a fresh start and new beginnings. Since 2017, Ogilvy Shanghai has participated in the strategic and creative implementation of KFC’s Chinese New Year campaigns, all centred around the theme of The Power of Beginnings. One year ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the 2021 campaign takes us into the world of winter sports, offering a new perspective on what it means to be courageous.


The Superunion team in Asia created a browser game to help ring in the Year of the Ox. Best played on a mobile, the user is invited to inflate the ox to collect good luck symbols and score points – inspired by the ox blowing hot air. In Chinese culture the ox is seen as a strong symbol, and the idea of being ‘bullish’ is not a bad thing, but rather about confidence and optimism. Users can scan the QR code or click the link to play the game.