Chinese New Year, or The Year of the Rat, is upon us. One of the many delightful traditions is known as The ‘hongbao’ – a red envelope stuffed with money – that is given by older relatives to younger children in a family. A part of that tradition is a playful tug o’ war where the child attempts to politely refuse the gift, in order to not appear grasping and spoiled (and to avoid a telling-off from parents later). Nike smartly taps into this cultural insight with a spot that is smart and playful.
This polite to-and-fro is a cultural insight that Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai has used to set the scene for Nike’s playful and energetic Chinese New Year campaign.
As reported by lbbonline, the 1:31-minute spot opens on a small girl, who attempts to vigorously refuse her Auntie’s enthusiastic gift giving. Over the years, this antagonism intensifies until the girl – now a teenager – pulls on a pair of red Nikes (the color associated with the festival) and sprints away, pursued by Auntie.
The pair race through factories, car parks, markets and paddy fields – and as the years roll past the Auntie even adopts a more high-tech approach by using virtual WeChat hongbao.
Eventually the niece is old enough to return the favor, and the spot ends with her attempting to give Auntie a hongbao… only, Auntie has bought her own pair of Nikes. It’s a wonderful spot, full of cultural insight. Watch below:
Director Steve Ayson, of production company MJZ, manages to deftly blend comedy and action as the chase unfolds.