Scope: TV, digital, bottle packaging, WeChat emoticons
Details: Communications featuring A Fu (阿福) and A Jiao (阿娇) launched across China two days ago, opening with a 30-second film reintroducing the clay-doll characters, which previously representated the brand for a period of six years, from 2001 to 2006.
Press release quote: Stephen Drummond, senior director of integrated marketing solutions, Coca-Cola China: “Chinese New Year is steeped in rich traditions that honour the family. However modern family life is swiftly changing. With many believing family is the most important value in China, we wanted our communication to take a step towards embracing those long established family traditions."
Campaign Asia-Pacific's comments: McCann Shanghai hasn't disappointed since it recaptured the Coke account from Leo Burnett, and this new move seems well considered.
As Tomaz Mok, chairman of McCann Guangming China, who led the creative development of the campaign, explained, there has not been a universal icon for Chinese New Year. Even though recognisable images such as God Of Fortune are common, these cultural references are not "ownable" by a brand as such and are also less appropriate due to religious connotations.
Coca-Cola aims to use the clay-doll folk art to associate itself with Chinese New Year, just as it did with realistic illustration to depict Santa Claus 90 years ago.
Notably, clay doll figurines have also been a symbolic character in advertisements for the 'Chinese Dream', a phrase promoted by Xi Jinping described as a collective effort for "national rejuvenation, improvement of people’s livelihoods, construction of a better society and military strengthening". Looks like the government will approve.
Client: Coca-Cola China
Project: Coca-Cola 2015 CNY Clay Dolls Campaign
Creative Agency: McCann Shanghai
Chief Creative Officer: Tomaz Mok
Creative Directors: Jeremy Guo & Hesky Lu
Account Management: Cia Hatzi & Grace Fong
Producer: Christine Chen
Production House: Gwantsi Production