Cathay Pacific celebrates the hell of family holidays in a delightful CNY campaign

As Chinese New Year approaches, brands are launching their campaigns to celebrate the festive season. In a new video, Cathay Pacific has presented an unconventional family trip to demonstrate the joy of holidays with loved ones, even if chaotic.

Family reunions have long been a common theme of Chinese New Year-related campaigns. But though this latest entry is similarly centred around that concept, it adds a biting twist of tone to the form, starting with the main character's relateable opening line: “Dear God, please take me back to Hong Kong right now".

Throughout the ad, a travelling Hong Kong family encounters a number of messy situations along their journey. Intimate moments and hilarious anecdotes are captured along the way as this tumultuous family reunion on the road tests their ability to tolerate each other's antics and quirks.

By the end of the film, the family's car has broken down in the middle of a highway, forcing them to stop the journey and actually talk to each other. And eventually, they see the sunrise together and celebrate the new year in an unexpected way.

“For this festive campaign, our light-hearted approach is based on empathetic insights, because at the end of the day, celebrating Chinese New Year, and maybe every other holidays, are about spending time with the loved ones you call family, and home is where the family is," commented Carol Lam, chief creative officer and Greater China President of Leo Burnett.

It's good to see an ad try to take a different swing at the season and add a bit of salt to the usual schmaltz. Though we often get brands telling us how wonderful families are, it's nice to have reality - that they can be a total pain, especially at the holidays - reflected. A cheeky (but still sweet) piece of quality work.

We'll be watching out for all the CNY campaigns that appear over the coming weeks. So if you notice any we miss, make sure to send them our way!