A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year

Victo Ngai

For 3 months last year, I worked on the Tiger Beer 2014 Chinese New Year Advertisement Campaign. We hope to achieve a whimsical image which captures the light-headed soaring feeling from Tiger Beer and all the Chinese New Year festivities.

There are 9 carps in the image as 9 has always been a lucky number in Chinese culture. It’s the noblest number of all as it was historically associated with the Emperor. It is also a homophone of the word for “long lasting” (久).  And fish(魚) is pronounced the same way as “extra” (餘), therefore “年年有魚(餘)”, literally translated to fish every year, is often used to wish for plentiful years ahead. 

 Chinese New Year is a time of fun, When Tiger suggested putting 8 hidden horses in the image, I thought it was absolutely  brilliant.  Furthermore, 8 horses symbolize a prosperous 2014 (Year of The Horse).  8 is yet another  lucky number in Chinese culture.It shares a similar sound as 發(fortune). If you visit China, you will see many rich people’s car plate being 88888. So…any luck spotting out all the horses? 

3 months is a long long time compare to the usual editorial deadline which I am used to. The process is also a lot more meticulous. I am the type who like to have loose sketches and go with the flow with my finals, but I learnt that would give advertisement clients heart attacks. The color palette, number+ sizes of lanterns, peach blossom, carps, fashion, ethnicities. etc were planned starting from the sketch stage. The biggest challenge for me were drawing the bottles and can. I don’t like to use references and tend to go off grid with quirky free-handing, this time the accuracy of the products is very important. It took me a few rounds to get all the details and the refreshing glow right, but I am quite proud and happy with how they turned out!

One of the best thing I took away from this job was the sense of teamwork. I play solo for most of my assignments. This time I got to work very closely with ROTHCO, especially my art director Dylan Davies and project manager Jessica Derby. Because of the rush deadline and time differences among me (NY), the agency(Dublin) and the client (Singapore), we often had to work late into the nights together. They shared my excitement and frustration, they give insightful suggestions and help me with many challenges along the way. Also my rep Gail Gaynin, who is not only the business warrior but also an amazing emotional support.

 This ad campaign is described as “daring”, “inventive” and “fresh” in the article  ”5 Brands that got Chinese New Year Marketing Right" by Marketing-Interactive.com, I think my ace team deserves a big round of applause. 

Thank you so much Robin Yoong from Ogilvy Singapore,  Peilin Lee and Tai Yun fromAsian Pacific Breweries Limited and all my followers (Prudence, Christina, Teo.Aikcher, James, Erwin, Seetoh, Sandy, Twu, Benjamin, Yan) for sending me the photos so I can see the image coming to life! 

Happy Chinese New Year Y’all!

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