Watsons MY puts modern twist to Chinese opera in comedic CNY spot

It is common for the younger generation to face a series of questions posed to them by their elders during Chinese New Year on topics such as marriage, finances, future plans, and family planning. Based on this insight, Watsons Malaysia and Naga DDB Tribal collaborated to produce the #HappyBeautifulYear 2020 campaign, to bring all generations closer this festive season.

The latest spot centres on the tensions and misunderstandings between two different generations in the same family, with the twists expressed in Chinese opera styling and singing. Interestingly, the hero who manages to bridge the barriers for both generations happens to be the family’s youngest child, performed by Sawyer Leong.

The video features a star-studded cast including Han Xiiao Aii, Bernard Hiew, Pink Tan, Elyn Leong for the younger generation and Chan Fong, Chui Ling, Freddie Huang and Catz, who played the roles of the older generation. In addition to this main spot, a TV commercial, cinema ad and extension videos highlighting the products on sale at Watsons during the campaign will also be screened.

Watsons and Naga DDB Tribal wanted to honour the rich Chinese cultural history by revitalising Chinese opera interestingly through a collaboration with actual Chinese opera experts, to get proper direction and advice in terms of outfits, styling, actions, choreography and singing.

Caryn Loh, MD of Watsons Malaysia, said it produced the #HappyBeautifulYear 2020 video for this year’s campaign to promote the understanding and bonding between two generations in a family, by delivering it in a comedic and musical style with underlying messages.

"Keeping traditions alive and bringing out your most beautiful self is always important while keeping up with the latest trends. We believe that our products and services are ‘ice breakers’ or talking points with friends and families, as Watsons offers all kinds of different products for all ages," she added.

Naga DDB Tribal's head of brand management, Kevin Teh, said the agency wanted to seize the opportunity to expose its consumers to the beauty and grace of the traditional art form in a contemporary setting.

"To strengthen the key message, the lessons to bridge the generation gap have been incorporated into the lyrics of the theme song, which infuses both traditional Chinese Opera music elements and contemporary music,” he added.

In celebration of Chinese New Year, Watsons is also hosting an AR selfie contest and giving away RM2,888,888 worth of prizes, as well as angpao packets.