Nikes Are Great for Outrunning Your Relatives in Charming Ad for Chinese New Year

W+K Shanghai crafts an escapist family tale

Nike both embraces and outruns tradition in a charming new commercial for Chinese New Year, following Apple's short film for the holiday that rolled out earlier this week. 

Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai crafted the Nike piece, which centers around the "hongbao" tradition of children receiving money in red envelopes, as a sign of good luck, from older relatives at the new year. 

One young girl, though, resists the envelope that her aunt is trying to give her. This sets off a years-long battle, in which Nike sneakers eventually figure prominently—as they turn out to be great vehicles for running away from someone who wants to give you something. 

Lunar New Year: The Great Chase | Nike

The amusingly farcical spot, directed by Steve Ayson of MJZ, features a Chinese language version of Doris Day's 1964 hit "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps," which has a playful, michievous quality to it. 

The insight is strong as well—not just basing the spot around the "hongbao" tradition, but acknowledging the pressure young people feel (which has such comic potential) to decline the gifts out of respect for their elders. While nostalgic, the spot is also anchored in the present through the brief scene where the aunt tries to send the money virutally. (WeChat does have a red envelope gifting feature.) 

The ad promotes a new line of Chinese New Year-inspired footwear. 

"At Nike, we inspire everyone to make sport a daily habit, even through the festivities of Chinese New Year," says Steve Tsoi, Nike's vp of marketing for Greater China. "The spot takes a playful approach on a Chinese tradition, reminding the audience to celebrate and have fun, to stay active during a time when we typically eat a bit too much."

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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