Smart approaches to occasion marketing

This article is part of a series of articles on smart approaches to occasion marketing. Read more.

At a glance

Brands need to understand and embrace China's demographic, cultural and media consumption changes over the past 20 years to capitalise on the country’s biggest annual occasion, Chinese New Year.

Why it matters

How people in China spend their CNY is intricately linked to the changing fortunes of the nation. But as China’s second tier cities attract new migrants and China’s middle class grows, long-held traditions and consumer motivations are evolving for a new reality.


  • The ability of large provincial cities to keep more young people inside the region has encouraged the boom of local cultures, such as dialect-specific television and music.
  • In 1999, 18-35 year olds made up 35% of China’s population; in 2018, this segment has dropped to 27%. Coupled with the distribution of wealth among different cohorts, family dynamics are changing.
  • China’s tech giants have successfully leveraged CNY to introduce new tech applications, including visual search, mobile gaming, and mobile quiz games.