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Top 5 terms to focus on in your Chinese New Year advertising3 min read

You may have heard about the $25bn in sales generated during last year’s Double 11 Shopping Festival; you may already know that there are three Valentine’s Days in China to boost shopping activity. However, there is one holiday period you should always put at the top on your marketing list – Chinese Lunar New Year.

The traditional Chinese Lunar New Year has been celebrated in the Greater China region for more than 4,000 years – even longer than Mid-Autumn Festival.

Usually called ‘Spring Festival’ by Chinese people, Lunar New Year lasts for almost a month. Whilst some Chinese shoppers may avoid Singles’ Day (aka Double 11 Festival) and the various Valentine’s Days, everyone celebrates the Spring Festival – not only in China, but worldwide.

With such huge participation, how can you engage with your audience during Chinese Lunar New Year? Here are five key terms you don’t want to miss in your advertising.

1. New

Chinese New Year, much like in the Western world, represents a new start for all Chinese people. From new clothes, new shoes, and new accessories, to a new car, or even a new job. According to the The Ministry of Commerce of the Government of China, Chinese shoppers spend 840bn RMB (£97bn) on shopping and dining in the seven days of Spring Festival 2017. Moreover, just like the gifts exchanged during Christmas, Chinese consumers also purchase gifts and presents before the holiday to send to family members, relatives, and friends.

By focusing on the concept of everything being ‘new’, businesses will benefit – particularly retailers.

2. Chunyun

Chunyun is the noun used to describe the Spring Festival travel season, during which more than 2.7bn passenger journeys take place – by rail, road, air, or sea. As Chinese Lunar New Year is all about family reunion, and with many people living apart from their families, this massive period of travel lasts for around 40 days.

Advertisers can tap into this trend in their ad copy, targeting those on the move over the Chinese New Year period – particularly those in the travel sector or with related products. And don’t forget to increase your bid on mobile!

3. Pressure to ‘tie the knot’

Peer pressure can be bad enough during this period; but pressure from parents and relatives to ‘tie the knot’ can be even worse. Launched in 2015, partner rental app Hire Me Plz now has over 700,000 users, looking to rent a temporary partner in order to avoid their parents or relatives setting up dates. Businesses can use this as a fun way to engage with the younger generation in their advertising campaigns.

4. Fortune

Red envelopes are a key symbol of Spring Festival, representing good luck for the year to come. Generally speaking, elderly relatives will put money in the red envelopes and give them to children as a blessing.

Popularised by Tencent (owner of WeChat) and Alibaba, virtual red envelopes are now very popular in China. During the first five days of Spring Festival 2017, 46bn digital red envelopes were distributed through WeChat by billions of users. The trend is only on the rise, and the digital red envelope is now the must-have item of Chinese Lunar New Year – and another one that businesses can tap into, particularly if you have a WeChat account!

5. Teasing CCTV New Year’s Eve Gala

Each year more than 700 million people watch the New Year’s Eve Gala live show, broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV). The clothes and accessories worn by the hosts and performers in the gala soon become popular and available online.

Moreover, people nowadays enjoy watching teasers for the CCTV New Year’s Eve Gala, rather than just watching the live performance, offering additional opportunities for advertisers. The gala can therefore be another useful platform through which to promote your products or services.

So there you have it – five key trends for Spring Festival this year. Good luck, and happy Chinese Lunar New Year in advance! And if you’d like to find out more about the marketing opportunities in China throughout the year, why not download our Chinese marketing calendar, or contact us for more tips and advice.