Before we leap straight into the topic, we have a question for you.
Tired with the same old advertising and promotions methods that your company uses for the annual Lunar New Year celebrations?
Here's a tip we can offer you for a bountiful new year ahead for all sales and marketing professionals.
To come up with innovative ideas, start early in planning. More time means more work can be done.
Instead of simply replicating what others have done, try putting in more effort and originality to your marketing campaign.
How Tiger Beer failed in its 2016 Chinese New Year campaign
Having everyone to celebrate Chinese New Year globally is a silly idea. It's like trying to get everyone to celebrate Hari Raya and Deepavali - which is just irrelevant to people from different cultures, especially so in Singapore which is infamous for a diverse mix of people - not to mention the world.
Paying off popular international Caucasian celebrities such as Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead to spout some Chinese words sure doesn't add any festivity to the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.
Sure you may like the crossbow wielding Southerner and the TV series but having him to utter a few Chinese words is hardly exciting or interactive.
Getting Australian actor Liam Hemsworth to drink a beer and say the words "Hu Hu Sheng Wei, He Shing Nian" is also pretty no expense spared and boring. What Tiger beer got out of their campaign was a whole slew of boring "copycat" videos of most people doing the same thing.
It kind of loses the meaning of Chinese New Year and attracts more of the kind of people who want to draw attention to themselves in any way possible (such as third grade celebrities) - which shouldn't be the message Tiger Beer would like to portray - unless Tiger Beer values numbers over substance.
The non-traditional way of celebrating Chinese New Year is exactly the opposite of how a centuries-old festive celebration steeped in culture and deep tradition should not be celebrated.
"Hu Hu Sheng wei" was used as a Chinese New Year greeting because it contained the words "hu" or "tiger" in Mandarin.
However, "Hu Hu Sheng Wei" is also a popular brand of male viagra and also has connotations to "tiger whip". This sort of association is probably what Tiger beer would like to stay away from.
How they could have done it better
The simple idea of getting people to share videos using celebrities may be effective using star power and influence but may still prove to be pretty pointless in this context.
Tiger beer could have made their marketing campaign more meaningful and interesting without foregoing the whole point of the Chinese festive celebration.
Remember to keep relevant to such cultural festivities unlike Tiger Beer - they got Emily Ratajkowski to present two grapefruit instead of two mandarin oranges in her short Chinese New Year greeting video. Caucasian celebrities looked awkward in the video trying to speak a difficult phrase in a foreign language and they sure did not look like they had an inkling about what Chinese New Year or Chinese culture is all about.
To date, Tiger Beer's micro-site has about 86 videos and counting in response to the celebrity ones, including some from local celebrities and bands who did little more than take this opportunity to create a bit of buzz for themselves.
How the marketing campaign failed is probably Tiger Beer management team's lack of understanding about the culture and values of a specific racial group - The Chinese and the significance of this festivity.
The local creative agency that handled the campaign TSLA (The Secret Little Agency) also could have helped provide the Heineken Asia Pacific Breweries marketing team with a more informed strategy and decision making on this unfortunate large-scale, global advertising campaign.
Dutch brewer Heineken NV won full control of the maker of the Singapore-founded beer brand "Tiger beer" in a S$7.9 billion ($6.4 billion) deal in 2012.
It did not seem that much time or effort was put into strategy or creative thinking, making the overall campaign look weak other than the straightforward, in-your-face celebrity pay-off.
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