《啥是佩琦》What is “Peiqi”?
In today’s sea of advertisements, which have a standard duration of not more than 1 minute, an 8-minute advertisement about a grandfather’s search for the elusive Peiqi stands out from the crowd in China’s social media scene.
This heart-warming advertisement starts off with a grandpa calling his son, David, asking him when he is coming back to visit during Chinese New Year. His grandson Tian Tian answered the phone instead, and grandpa asked what he needs when he comes to visit so that grandpa can prepare.
His grandson wants nothing but “Peiqi”.
What is Peiqi?
Follow this 8-minute adventure as grandpa goes on a hunt to discover Peiqi.
Showing Grandpa’s quest to uncover Peiqi, this advertisement tugs at the heartstrings of the audience, as the values of family love, care, and the heart of the elderly are strongly messaged.
Chinese New Year is just around the corner, so naturally the theme of a family reunion dinner encompassed the advertisement.
In the final moments of the advertisement, we finally discover that the purpose of the ad is to welcome the launch of a domestically produced film: Peppa (Pig) Celebrates Chinese New Year! Because 2019 is also the year of the pig, Peppa Pig is an apt welcome to the Chinese New Year theme.
This cute, pink British cartoon character was slowly forgotten over time, but now takes a hot seat in Chinese social media, thanks to the release of “What is Peiqi?”. It is a great testament to the success of this advertisement.
Immediately, the handmade Peppa Pig toy that grandpa painstakingly created (as seen in the advertisement) was being sold on Taobao for CNY ¥1,299 (USD $190). And many have expressed their interest in purchasing this product. Currently, it is believed sold as the item is no longer displayed on Taobao.
Many have related “What is Peiqi?” to “3 Minutes”, a 7-minute ad created by Peter Chan released last year around this time, which also got people talking. Not only was it shot entirely by iPhone X, it also told a true and touching story of a 3-minute “reunion dinner” taking place during Chinese New Year.
Screenshot of “3 Minutes”
Both ad concepts share the theme of using the traditional Chinese New Year reunion to bring out the importance of family.
In “What is Peiqi?”, subtle messages were communicated on many levels.
The opening of the ad is grandpa calling his son with his old flip phone that barely gets a signal in the rural village.
Grandpa:“When are you coming back for (reunion) dinner?”
Grandson Tian Tian:“We don’t know.”
By angling it from grandpa’s perspective, it evokes the audience’s feelings of filial piety—that sometimes the elderly get left behind when we forget to care for them in the midst of our busy lives. It raises feelings of homesickness and stresses the longing of the elderly for their next-generations to spend time with them.
The generation gap is evident here between the old and young. True to China’s social content, the elderly do not understand what children fancy. Added to this is the gap between villagers and city dwellers: Chinese villagers find it hard to resonate to the lifestyles of their city-dwelling counterparts.
Towards the end, the ad showed that grandpa’s son, David, was insistent on bringing grandpa to the city to celebrate Spring Festival instead of celebrating it in the village as grandpa wanted. David also insisted on buying him a new smartphone. Grandpa initially declined, demonstrating the difference in expectations between city dwellers and villagers.
The juxtaposition of the three generations finally uniting after grandpa’s initial disappointment that his son was not coming back for reunion dinner, and grandpa’s relentless chase for Peiqi to please his grandson, strikes an impulse for the audience to love their elderly more!
With filial piety as one of the Chinese people’s most important values, the ad circles back to the roots of love and care for family and the elderly.
Launched before Chinese New Year, this ad cleverly ignitesfeelings of reunion, family, and parents in one big picture. It is shot beautifully, against the backdrop of magnificent mother nature, and has a heartwarming story plot.
We wonder what next year’s ‘hot’ Chinese New Year ad will be. For now, we wish you and your family a happy Chinese New Year!