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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

How brands use Chinese New Year to drive sales

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

When it comes to Chinese New Year, a lot of brands take the opportunity to get into the celebration and create special editions for the Spring Festival. It is a period known as one of the best for sales in China, considering most people go back home to get together with their families and buy presents.

There were a few times where brand’s fail their goal to reach and engage Chinese consumers: Nike launched CNY sneakers this year with 2 characters, 發 (“Fa” meaning getting richer) in one shoe and 福 (“Fu” meaning fortune arrives). The problem was that when putting both together, it actually means “to get fat”. This went viral and caused a big wave on Weibo with Chinese users making fun of Nike, with a few even saying the sneakers look fake.

This is terrible for the brand’s image in China and it can be consider as lack of respect towards Chinese people. It makes us think, how can such a big and global brand not have a good marketing team in China to revise that? And if they do, how come they didn’t realize such a big mistake before launching the product? Our tip here is, do it right or don’t do it at all!

Nevertheless, brands keep preparing all kinds of CNY special products and, considering even posting “Happy New Year” on social media has big effects on traffic, it is a very skillful marketing move to drive sales.

Check out a few releases for this season:

Apple sports watch

Apple launched a CNY edition of its sports watch. The model is available in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan until February 22.


Adidas launched a CNY version of its sneakers D Rose 6 (signature athlete Derrick Rose) and D Lillard 2 (signature athlete Damian Lillard), inspired by the Fire Monkey

Android Minis

Dead Zebra will celebrate CNY with a special edition and each of them come with a red envelope – 2 of them contain 10g gold coins worth 450 U.S. dollars!


The charm and bracelets brand has prepared a campaign for CNY with new products that will be initially only sold in Asia.

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