Brands cash in on CNY festivities

Festive ads abound during Chinese New Year, with the occasion holding several different opportunities for brands such as reaching youth or endearing a "western" brand.

Often these can be serious investments for a brand's marketing budgets, with some running into millions of dollars. What warrants the heavy spending?

While most brands Marketing spoke to declined to comment on if they saw increased revenues in the season, these said there were many opportunities to reach consumers through Chinese New Year.

Juliana Lim, senior marketing director of Pizza Hut told Marketing that it is a way for the Western brand to be part of the occasion.

She adds that for Pizza Hut, advertising through platforms such as press, outdoor and direct mailers, the brand is able to "create associations between product and the occasion and communicate the great value deals we offer."

Rene de Monchy, head of marketing, Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, said advertising during the season is vital in staying on top of mind among consumers and generate incremental sales.

Tiger Beer will be executing several marketing initiatives during CNY including introducing a special edition bottle, advertising and several road shows in the heartlands.

Both marketers state that successfully integrating above-the-line and below-the-line tactics are key in ensuring consumers brand recall.

De Monchy also added that this is much needed in "ensuring that consumers will be continuously engaged with the brand during this key beer buying period."

Simon Bell director of strategy of Landor Associates also said the season allows greater opportunity to reach the youth market.

He cites examples of red Converse trainers in the markets and McDonald's Prosperity Burger along with a 22-minute mini movie produced by Pepsi for the Chinese market.

"As the holiday season is a time when families get together," he says, "brands hope to target the more accessible youth market in hope that their brand message will get filtered through the family by word of mouth."

He adds that the trend has gathered pace alongside digital marketing due to more people being at home during the holidays and online usage doubling to. This widens the customer base brands can communicate to.