On February 1, 2022, Chinese Canadians will celebrate their New Year, the most important event for the community. Here’s what you need to know and some thought starters on how your brand could fit in to the celebrations.

How big is Canada’s Chinese community?

There are 1.77 million people in Canada of Chinese origin, putting them a close second to the South Asian community (Stats. Can). For brands, that’s a lot of consumers celebrating! In terms of spending, the Chinese market in Canada is estimated to have a purchasing power of $61 billion, and as the market grows this number is increasing fast.

How important is the Lunar New Year in the Chinese community?

It’s a very big deal if you live in Hong Kong or mainland China which is where over 30,000 new immigrants to Canada come from each year. To put the importance of the holiday into perspective, look at it this way. People in Hong Kong are very hard working. On average they work +35% more hours a year than your typical Canadian (OECD). But even hard-working Hong Kong shuts down for three full days to celebrate the New Year holiday. Mainland China shuts down for seven days!

How do Chinese Canadians celebrate the New Year?

Keep in mind age and acculturation. The younger the person is, and the longer they have been living in Canada, the less likely the festival is to be observed as intensely. However, just about everyone will get together with their family the week of February 1 to enjoy a special
feast to welcome the New Year.

Commercially, buying traditions are different. The spending is still huge, with a balance between self and giving expenditures. People ‘reset’ their own lives with personal purchases of clothes, electronics, etc., and give money to others in their family. The most important giving ritual are ‘Red Packets’. These are the traditional red envelopes filled with money that married couples give to children and younger, unmarried, adult relatives. If you’re a Chinese Canadian child, Red Packets are a looked-forward to ritual.

There are also several other traditions and rituals that are observed to varying degrees. Most Chinese Canadians will give their house a thorough cleaning to sweep away ill-fortune and welcome good luck in the coming year. They will traditionally also buy and wear new clothes on February 1 to start the New Year off. Red and gold are auspicious colours for clothes and décor.

Where do Canadian brands fit into Lunar New Year?

Many Canadians companies have already recognized the importance of reaching out to Canada’s Chinese community during their New Year celebration. Here are some strategies your brand can embrace.
1. Create a product or service specifically for the Chinese community. These could be commemorative items like stamps and coins, and products to address Chinese Canadian’s tastes and holiday traditions.
2. Recognize the cultural significance of the festival by reaching out to the community and wish them well. This can help grow brand loyalty and advocacy.
3. Put your products front and centre to the community, in a relevant and authentic way.
4. 53% of this consumer segment report that they pay more attention to advertising in their own ethnic language. So, ensure your outreach is in Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Use the right ethnic media vehicles to connect and engage.

Here’s how our clients reached out to their consumers celebrating.

Neutrogena – The Glow of Good Fortune

Neutrogena wished customers with a festive digital and social campaign. The brand tied traditional motifs of good fortune like the gold bullion, with product attributes that consumers resonate with, through digital banners, landing page, WeChat advertorial, social media and online videos.

Neutrogena Lunar New Year offer on products

Listerine – The Roar of Refreshment

Listerine Green Tea Zero welcomed the Lunar New Year of the Tiger with a focus on the hero animal. Digital banners in vibrant traditional red and gold, emphasized the brand promise, highlighting a flavour that is loved by the Chinese community, green tea.

Listerine Lunar New Year offer on products

ROYALE – Tiger Strong

ROYALE reached out to Chinese Canadians through digital banners and social media with wishes and a savings offer on ROYALE Tiger Paper Towel. The creative with stripes in the background and a strong, energetic tiger, cued positive energy for the New Year.

Royale Lunar New Year offer on products
Royale Lunar New Year offer on products
Royale Lunar New Year offer on products
Royale Lunar New Year offer on products

Glentel – Festive Savings

Glentel’s generous $50 Lunar New Year savings offers on Tbooth wireless and WIRELESSWAVE was welcomed by customers who see this as an auspicious time to purchase gifts for themselves and the family. Online videos, social media, digital banners, print and in-store messaging spread the brand’s festive wishes. 

Maple Diversity Communications wishes you and your loved ones a happy, energetic, and prosperous Lunar New Year of the Tiger. If your brand is looking to engage with the Chinese Canadian community, we can help you connect in authentic and relevant ways.