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Gung Hay Fat Choy (“Happy New Year”) in the Year of the Ram

Date: Feb 12, 2015


Gung Hay Fat Choy (“Happy New Year”) in the Year of the Ram


New York, New York — February 12, 2015 – The Year of the Ram, Asian Lunar New Year, starts February 19th as Chinese Americans, Koreans and Vietnamese will be saying Gung Hay Fat Choy (Happy New Year or literally “Wishing you get rich), celebrating with families and exchanging red envelopes with money inside.

“Lunar New Year is a major holiday celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asian communities” said Vicky M. Wong, President & CEO, DAE, San Francisco. “Lunar New Year also offers a premium opportunity for customer outreach and engagement in brand building or capturing sales.”

The New Year is a holiday rich with traditions that include special food and events. One of the traditions is giving each other “red-envelopes” with money inside. The significance of red packets is the red paper, not the money, with the hope that by wrapping money in red packets happiness and blessings will be conferred on the recipients. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters like happiness and wealth.


Red envelopes and the color red are visual themes used by advertisers in Lunar New Year messaging. Here are a few examples from ad campaigns for the Lunar New Year with commentary for work created by Dae for clients Wells Fargo, AARP and Southwest Airlines and for PG&E created by T.D. Wang Advertising Group.


Wells Fargo

Lunar New Year represents high time to set new goals. A common gesture and symbolism during the festivity is giving of red envelopes, which helps teach the next generation the idea of saving and planning for the future. In alignment with this tradition, Wells Fargo embraces the idea of giving – providing the Asian American community with a $50,000 scholarship through APIASF.


AARP is a new entrant in the Asian American market. We used a greeting print ad to demonstrate AARP’s support to the Chinese American community tied to its mission of enriching lives of 50+ and their families.  The message – positively moving ahead in the Year of the Ram creating great possibilities in the year.


Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is the title sponsor of Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in San Francisco. With their recent launch of the new “Heart” branding – their witty, quirky and fun brand attributes are incorporated in the Lunar New Year outdoor campaign. Cleverly constructed well wishes and cheerful nods to the community headline street pole banners, bus shelters and billboards tying together Southwest and Lunar New Year throughout San Francisco.



Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been supporting the Asian American community in Northern California for a long time and this year is no exception. PG&E was present at the Oakland Lunar New Year Bazaar and will be present at the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in San Francisco. PG&E offers programs, rebates and ways to save for all and during these events, attendees will have the opportunity to enroll in a program that offers a significant monthly discount on residents’ bills for qualifying households. The enrollment form for the program has been customized for Lunar New Year. This form includes the character “Fu” (meaning fortune) which has been displayed upside down to symbolize “good luck arrives” because in Chinese the sound of the word “Dao” (meaning upside down) is identical to the sound of the word “to arrive.”


According to the China Daily USA, “Bloomingdale’s will hand out red envelopes at several of its US stores that will be filled randomly with prizes such as merchandise cards in denominations of $8, $88 or $888, eight being a lucky number in Chinese. The upscale retailer is also selling a ram tote bag.” “[We] look forward to honoring Chinese culture and tradition,” Tony Spring, Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO, told Chicago Magazine.

Other brands celebrating Lunar New Year include The New York Philharmonic, Castle Hill Inn in Newport, RI, The LINQ Promenade and Bloomingdales.

Fun Facts about the Year of the Ram:

Personality: Those born in the Year of the Ram tend to be adaptable and highly motivated, as well as calm, gentle, creative, thoughtful and honest.


Ram Years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015


Best Careers for Those Born in the Year of the Ram: Advertising, Research, Actor, Painter, Musician, Landscape gardener, Television presenter, Dancer, Investor,


Corresponds to Western Sign: Cancer


Famous People Born in Year of the Ram: Kate Hudson, Claire Danes, Gene Hackman, Matt Leblanc, Nicole Kidman, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Orville Wright, Rudolph Valentino,  Diego Luna, Frida Kahlo,  George Harrison, Heath Ledger, Jimmy Smits, Julia Roberts, Julio Iglesias, Kevin Costner, Leonard Nimoy, Mark Twain, Mel Gibson, Michelangelo, Mick Jagger, Mikhail Gorbachov, Olga Tañón, Paul Giamatti,  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rosario Dawson, Pamela Anderson, Jane Austen, Anne Bancroft, George Burns, Catherine Deneuve, John Denver, Mel Gibson Buster Keaton,  Sir Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Bruce Willis, Debra Winger.
Next Lunar New Year: Year of the Monkey: February 8, 2016.


See more Lunar New Year ads as they are posted on at our Gallery of Ads.


By Lisa Skriloff

Editor, Multicultural Marketing News (MMRNews)

President, Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.


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