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Chinese New Year - the year of the finance brand

An occasion for content

A hugely significant holiday to millions globally, earlier this month saw finance brands across the world celebrate Chinese New Year as we welcome the year of the ox. In Chinese cultures, the ox is signified as diligent, hardworking and reliable but how did finance brands capture this sentiment to celebrate prosperity?

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Celebrating Chinese New Year and the importance of family

Malaysian-based retail bank, RHB Bank released its emotive and heartwarming film, Love Carries On which tells the real life story of Ngu Nyok Ping, a young girl who is diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. RHB Bank says, “The path to our dreams is often obstructed by challenges, but we seldom have to walk it alone. The strength to progress will always be found in the unconditional support of our loved ones.” RHB Bank shows financial marketers that cultural holidays are a time to focus on what’s important to customers – their family – and how content can be used effectively to capture the hearts of its community. 

Digitising traditional gift giving

With Chinese New Year comes the traditional red packets containing gifts or symbols of good luck. CNBC reported that China’s capital city was set to hand out a total of 10 million yuan distributed through about 50,000 packets of 200 yuan (~A$40 and £22). What sets these red packets apart is that this is the first year trialling the use of digital currency. The Financial Times reports that, “China is intent on becoming the first large economy to introduce a digital currency, showcasing its position as the global leader in payments technology.” Financial marketers should take note that as digital and cryptocurrencies become part of mainstream finance, there will need to be educational content to support this shift and give consumers peace of mind around privacy and data security. 

Chinese New Year content that’s licensed to thrill

Darren Buckley from Citigroup China takes centre stage for its Chinese New Year campaign. Head of consumer banking by day, he is transformed to a 007 action man, sprinting into operation and racing down mountains to save his damsel in distress (played by his real life wife Aphitchaya Boonkhong). Posted on Citibank China’s Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), Buckley’s James Bond-style character features on a 20-second video that Bloomberg reports garnered 2.3 million views in a week.

Buckley’s James Bond-style character features on a 20-second video that Bloomberg reports garnered 2.3 million views in a week.

Not the usual type of stunt you’re likely to see a financial institution pull, but as The Standard reports, “Having a senior banking executive star in a dozen online ads marks the most recent unconventional bid for attention by a financial services firm eager to make an impression on China’s emerging investor class.” 

Although starring in your own action-packed campaign might not be for all finance marketers, Buckley has demonstrated that slashing fees and offering free gifts isn’t the only way to stand out in a crowded market. He also hails the power of social media, crediting Douyin and other social media campaigns with bringing in new users, with the number of clients with more than $1 million in assets at the bank growing 60% in 2020.

When looking ahead and planning content for the year, all financial services brands should be aware of the major calendar events that are important to their audience. A momentous holiday that’s celebrated globally, consider how your finance brand can mark the occasion next year. For help planning a content campaign that will help deliver prosperity for both your brand and customers, get in touch. 

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The Dubs is the content marketing agency for the financial sector. Get in touch.

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Aisha Noor
Aisha is a Dubs content producer specialising in all things digital from video production to website development. Having been a Sydney-sider for a few years now, she's mastered the art of Tim-Tam Slamming with the perfect cuppa.