Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat Branding (Continued)


Burberry Chinese New Year 2015

Kung hei fat choy! While this writing marks the official end of the Year of the Horse and Chinese New Year festivities worldwide are celebrating the Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat, we’ve caught wind of a plethora of other branded merchandise to celebrate the lunar new year.

So without further ad-ewe, here is the conclusion of our two-part look (don’t miss part one) of the good and the baaaaaaad:[more]

Premium alcohol is an important status symbol product category in China, a market that has boosted high-end liquor sales to mind-blowing levels in recent years. So it’s no surprise that a few brands aren’t letting a down zodiac year get their goat.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label has released a special bottle decorated with a ram with the good luck goat-mentioning Chinese chengyu 三羊开泰 (sān yáng kāi tài). But that’s not all.

It’s also offering gold leaf-decorated bottles featuring the “Five Gods of Wealth.” Diageo is certainly hoping the one-two-punch special editions will boost interest in China, where Johnnie Walker sales recently fell 30 percent.

Patron enlisted Chinese artist Peach Tan to create its Year of the Ram-inspired tequila bottle.

Château Mouton Rothschild also went blue with a bottle featuring ram artwork by Chinese artist Xu Lei.

Canadian winery Haywire released a branded Year of the Sheep bottle containing a wine “to pair perfectly with Asian cuisine.”

If beer is more your speed, China’s famed Tsingtao‘s limited edition brew featuring Year of the Goat bottles.

And what goes better with zodiac alcohol than zodiac cigars? Following its Year of the Horse smokes, Davidoff has released a set of Year of the Sheep cigars.

If liquor and cigars do not appeal, perhaps you might prefer a sweet treat instead.

Godiva‘s sheep chocolates can be found on Malasia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Duty Free stores.

Belgian confectionary brand Confiserie Leonidas has released a special box of premium pralines.

Traveling for the Spring Festival vacation? Strap on one of  Tumi‘s new Year of the Ram commemorative luggage tags.

Before you go through customs, spruce up with your Estée Lauder Year of the Goat compact.

Or for your keychain, there is Swarovski‘s Year of the Sheep dongle.

Need a cup of tea or coffee to perk up your day? London’s Harrods has the ideal Year of the Ram mug.

To update the first part of our look at the Year of the Goat, which included footwear brands, here is Converse‘s Year of the Goat collection.

Another brand that is doing things right this Chinese New Year is the increasingly popular NBA. The league’s official NBA store onTmall.com (Taobao) is offering a selection of Spring Festival and Year of the Goat-themed team apparel. As an added bonus, a video of NBA stars wishes China “prosperity and wealth.”

Looking for playthings? Lego is offering a Year of the Sheep set.

Hasbro, meanwhile, is selling a special edition Transformers Year of the Goat action figure. We wondered when we would see Xi Yangyang (喜羊羊), one part of the wildly popular children’s cartoon “Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf.” And there he is on a Walmart Lunar New Year promotion (via Weibo).

And Year of the Sheep means it’s no surprise Xi Yangyang is getting around. A human-sized “Pleasant Sheep” recently greeted Shanghai Airlines passengers en route to Hainan Island for New Year. IKEA Singapore also shepherded in the Year of the Goat with a sheepish pun that has consumers bleating.

Finally if you need somewhere to store all of these items, how about HP‘s Ram-inspired limited edition v231w USB flash drive?

But not all brands are having a good Year of the Goat. After releasing a scarf embroidered with the Chinese word for property 福 (“fu”), Burberry experienced major blowback from Chinese consumers.

Burberry was slammed on social media for producing something that resembled the counterfeit luxury products found throughout China. Moreover, Burberry failed to recognize that during the Spring Festival the 福 character is usually placed upside down in a play on the Chinese word for “arrived.”

Not long after Burberry’s blunder, Avery Booker, partner at China Luxury Advisors, tweeted that luxury watchmaker Panerai had seemingly made the same Spring Festival mistake.

We caught up with Booker, who told us he doesn’t think these embarrassing efforts will hurt the brands in the long run.

“With virtually no exceptions, consumers have shown that they have very short-term memory about this type of misguided attempt at localization. Typically, items like the Burberry scarf are the object of Weibo scorn for a few days, but the audience moves on in a heartbeat.”


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