Chinese New Year is an opportunity for new social media trends, and 2017 is no exception. Here are several examples:
The “before-and-after coming home” pictures
A trend we have observed this year is the “before-and-after coming home” pictures. Many young urban Chinese returning home posted these photos on Weibo. The contrast is striking between their outfits and makeup in their urban life, and the rural way of living when they come back home for Chinese New Year.
Indeed, most young urban Chinese people have their roots and family still living in the country side of China. The living conditions are different and less comfortable. Millennials returning home must wear numerous warm clothes and layers because of the absence of heating, they cook on coal or wood stoves, they harvest vegetables from the garden or from the fields, and finally, they connect with the rustic, more traditional way of thinking. Of course, the gap between generations is huge, both in terms of ways of life and ways of thinking.
This “challenge” and the sort of pride expressed toward citizens Chinese rural roots can be explained for several reasons:
- First, going back to their roots can be considered as a shelter for some young urban people, whose lives sometimes don’t match what they expected and what they dreamt of. Their life can be very stressful and returning home can help relieve that pressure.
- We observe an increasing level of interest of young people in politics (especially through President Xi Jinping). This strengthens the pride of these urban workers for their Chinese rural roots. The public expression of this interest is a way of gathering around more traditional Chinese culture.
- A return to a less opulent way of life is promoted by President Xi Jinping, and this is important for the Chinese, showing a rustic way of living is then less “shameful”. We can observe a return to Confucian values in a certain way.
- The general pride of Chinese people had been improving last year because of the political changes that occurred in the United States and in Europe. Being the main point of numerous international discussions (on the economy, the environment…) is for the Chinese a proof of the development of the country and the society, but this also energizes a pride in the unique culture of China.
We can certainly say that this “trend” has allowed a better comprehension and display of pride from young Chinese Millennials towards their Chinese rural backgrounds.
Brands’ Chinese New Year Videos
Chinese New Year is also an occasion for brands to publish targeted commercials and videos. Here are several examples:
- The juice brand Tropicana presents us a very emotional yet empowering video reminding us how the breakfast table is the place of so many memories.
- Pokka, a Japanese-based company selling beverages communicates about the loneliness some Chinese people face during Chinese New Year. With their emphasis on « joyful reunion », people like Tan Longs can celebrate Chinese New Year with her loved ones.
- Paramount property reminds us of the importance of the rooster in this commercial. It also demonstrates how family can share values and knowledge.
- Finally, through the emotional story of Tan Kao Sheng, Maxis (a subsidiary of Electronic Arts) encourages us to surpass ourselves and to overcome the challenges we face.
Luxury brands and Chinese New Year
Luxury brands also use their creativity to create new products for Chinese New Year. However, this is a tricky challenge to be original without being cliché or becoming a cheap caricature of Chinese culture. Here is a selection of the best exclusive Chinese New Year luxury products: