Ad Nut
Jan 29, 2019

Want a little Pepsi in your CNY space epic? Neither does Ad Nut

Cinematic extravaganza jarringly brought back to Earth by beverage intervention.

For a while, Ad Nut was engrossed. The intensity, the gripping story lines, the breathtaking cinematography and some rather fine acting. Ad Nut’s pop-acorn was chewed through in minutes. Literally, as this epic movie cum Chinese New Year ad weighs in at a colossal seven-and-a-half minutes.

Then, with all the subtlety of a meteor smashing into our fragile planet, a bright blue Pepsi can appears, filling the entire screen. The fantasy is punctured.

So runs the plot of PepsiCo’s latest CNY instalment, created by Civilisation Shanghai. “Bring Happiness Home” took more than three months to 'conceptualise', product, shoot, edit and score. Ad Nut has no doubt that’s the case, because it has the feel of a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster – it was produced by renowned director Peter Chan. It was also meant to chime with China landing its first robot on the far side of the moon. Nice touch.

See more 2019 Chinese/Lunar New Year ad campaigns

But that bloomin’ Pepsi can at the end? A head-scratcher. Ad Nut was fully aware throughout the dark intensity of the drama that Pepsi had to make an appearance. It isn't the presence of the product itself Ad Nut objects to. But for its entry to be so jarringly ham-fisted, after the carefully constructed six-and-a-half minutes prior, is just bizarre. A space oddity if you will.

Also, the astronauts talk about a taste of home at CNY, and then it cuts to…a Pepsi can? Is that really the first thing that screams ‘taste of home’ for a Chinese consumer at CNY? Ad Nut doesn’t think so.

Ad Nut appreciates the undertone that many who wish to be home for the festival may not be able to, so the idea is good. The Pepsi branding could easily have be woven more naturally into the thread of what is otherwise a genuinely interesting and touching film. But instead, it just gets blown away by the intrusion of the Pepsi can, like an alien crash-landing on Earth.

Ad Nut went from holding in breath to being left speechless. And then laughing quite a lot.


Brand Team: Lilly Yip, Nina Mu, Lynn Lin, Lin Qian, Kiki Yang, Brian Zhang, Yang Chen, Jessica Yang, Evie Lai, Chris Wu, Diana Huang, Lorraine Chen, Irena Zhang, Stella Li
Creative Director: Elaine Yang, Alex Xie, Andrew Lok
Executive Producer: Xu Jing
Project Management: Amanda Dai, Jes Chen, Hill Xie
Art/Copy: Qian Xiao Shu, Zhang Wei, Zhang Yi Nan, Lin Shuo Shu
Director: Clement Cheng
Executive Producer : JoJo Hui Yuet Chun, Derek Tsang
Scriptwriter: Lam Wing Sum, He Liang Yu

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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