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Source: China Daily China Daily

Times Square: a Lunar hotspot

Published: 25 Feb 2015 23:50:22 PST

Times Square: a Lunar hotspot

Zhang Qiyue (left), consul general of China in New York, and Miguel Patricio, global chief marketing officer of AB Inbev, join Budweiser's Toast to Dreams in Times Square in New York on Feb 7. Lu Huiquan / for China Daily

Red clothes, lion dances and celebrities reading aloud Lunar New Year wishes - it is not on a Chinese television channel but in Times Square in New York.

The promotions are not necessarily aimed at the Asian population in the city, but are more for marketing in China.

During an event by Budweiser beer on Saturday night, a giant LED screen at 1 Times Square displayed to Chinese-language advertisement themed Toast to Dreams, which showed dozens of stories Budweiser had collected in related marketing campaigns in China, from traveling to Taiwan province to finding a relationship.

Lunar New Year to China is just as important as Christmas to Western countries, and businesses usually launch marketing campaigns to boost visibility for China's own holiday season. Since January 2011, when the Chinese government unveiled its promotional video on Times Square, businesses with Chinese operations have been setting aside some budget for Times Square around Lunar New Year.

"We believe it is the crossroads of the world ... and we think it would be the perfect way to honor Chinese consumers," said Miguel Patricio, a marketing officer with Budweiser's parent company.

Budweiser has not been alone in marketing toward Chinese customers through Times Square. On Jan 29, Pepsi launched its Take Joy Home campaign. It collects moments of participants with their families and encourages the younger generation to stay away from their mobile phones. Pepsi selected some of those moments and made them into a "crowd-sourced" movie that aired on an LED screen in Times Square.

"It is the first time that our campaign has gone out of China ... we want every Chinese [around the world] to participate and take joy back home together," Richard Lee, Pepsi China's chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

The fame of Times Square is enough to make headlines in China, and it also means direct outreach to Chinese tourists and even stirs their national pride. More than 740,000 people from the Chinese mainland visited the Big Apple last year.

"I am so surprised that Budweiser is doing marketing at the Times Square," said Yang.

Tengfei, a Chinese student in the United States. "It shows that China is strong."

Around the Lunar New Year in 2014, Tsingtao beer put up advertisements on Times Square. Chinese pianist Lang Lang rang the bell at the Nasdaq Stock Market around the Lunar New Year in 2012.

"I think this shows that the Chinese New Year is not the holiday that Chinese people celebrated, but it is also celebrated in the United States," said Zhang Qiyue, consul general of China in New York. "They want to share their products with Chinese, and they want to promote the culture to get a better understanding between Chinese people and people of the world."

Although Budweiser's advertisement is largely in Chinese, the Bud logo is in English, but the red lanterns and firecrackers are a nod to the Lunar New Year.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this report.

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Times Square: a Lunar hotspot

People participat in the event paying tribute to the Lunar New Year in Times Square in New York, Feb 7. [Photo/Xinhua] 

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Times Square: a Lunar hotspot

People participat in the event paying tribute to the Lunar New Year in Times Square in New York, Feb 7. [Photo/Xinhua]

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Times Square: a Lunar hotspot

People participat in the event paying tribute to the Lunar New Year in Times Square in New York, Feb 7. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

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