This weekend, Budweiser is counting down Chinese New Year in New York City’s Times Square with a campaign set to welcome the Year of the Snake. Chinese New Year is the most important and longest of all Chinese festivals, celebrated by many throughout the world as a time to welcome in prosperity and good luck.
There will be no giant ball falling as on December 31 but the ad campaign, called ‘Celebrate Chinese New Year Around The World’, will be shown across LED screens in Times Square before, during and after the New Year begins on Sunday Feb. 10. From tomorrow, Budweiser will be screening the 30 second TV commercial featuring bright young things celebrating Chinese New Years festivities in Beijing, Paris and New York, joyously counting down the seconds until the New Year begins.
The ad features a special celebration Budweiser bottle with a red and gold snake design, fireworks, fashionistas, and Chinese dragon dancers.
Meanwhile, the ad is already on air in China and the campaign is far bigger there. People engaging with Budweiser’s Sina Weibo microblog and their Facebook-like Renren profile are receiving virtual traditional lucky money red envelopes containing coupons for karaoke or movie tickets. One winner will receive a double trip to New York City to see Budweiser’s holiday festivities for themselves.
Another social media tactic used in the campaign invites key Budweiser fans to contribute captioned photo greetings, with the 30 most popular on social media included in a video. Both strategies are banking on viral outcomes, where the selected opinion leaders chosen by Budweiser will share branded content with their own extensive networks. One chosen fan is a fashion blogger with over 260,000 followers.
Chinese drink about 35 litres of beer a year, half that of the US, and a third of beer consumption in Germany. Budweiser have positioned themselves as a premium beer in China, where one Budweiser 330-millilitre bottle sells for 6.13 yuan compared to local beers that sell for 1.87 yuan.
Budweiser’s brand story in China is targeting the newly affluent, digitally savvy and upwardly mobile youngsters. The brand seems to be doing better in China than on home turf in the US, with 44% of Budweiser sales coming from outside the US.
For some of Budweiser’s past Chinese New Year campaigns featuring their cute Ant characters, have a look over here.