Pigs aplenty – an Instagrammable retail campaign for Lunar New Year


The Client

QVB – an iconic shopping centre in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

The Audience

A primary focus on Asian tourists, as well as a local affluent Asian shoppers.

The Brief

Create a Lunar New Year retail campaign that stands apart from typical LNY clichés. The challenge: deliver an experience that resonated with the Asian audience, encouraged interaction, and be compelling enough to generate social-media shares.

The Solution

Lunar New Year is a cultural moment that’s been steadily gaining popularity among Sydneysiders. A time when countless brands flood the market with paper lanterns, gold envelopes, and every LNY themed cliché imaginable. We needed to create a memorable experiential campaign that would set the QVB apart.

To do so, we collaborated with a specialist Chinese agency to uncover our audience’s interests, behaviours and motivations. As a result, we discovered some nuggets of truth… Among them, that natural beauty is very aesthetically pleasing (and photogenic). Also, that the peach tree, a lesser-known Chinese cultural motif, symbolises longevity and prosperity for the year ahead.

Armed with this knowledge, we created an installation that could be admired from a distance – but would truly delight on closer inspection. The ‘Big Reveal’? We replaced the tree’s blossoms with 3,000 miniature felt pigs in honour of the Year of the Pig. To build this experiential activation, we engaged a team of skilled creative model makers who worked for three weeks to build the 6m-tall tree. This included a solid circular base for visitors to sit on – and share photographs from.

A bespoke printed brochure captured the essence of the experiential campaign activity, with wishing tags enclosed to drive participation and contribution to our ‘Wishing Station’ installation. Here, customers could write and share their New Year’s wishes, then hung beneath the dome of the QVB. For the accompanying signage, we commissioned award-winning Chinese-born illustrator Lisk Feng, whose client list includes Apple, The New Yorker and Chanel, amongst others. Not only did these elements add to the atmosphere: they also provided more visual content and video content to share well beyond the QVB’s four walls.

The Result

Each component of the retail campaign performed well for the centre.

The QVB Wishing Tree went viral – over 90million hashtag views.

The event ranked in at Top 22 on Weibo (Chinese social-media channel), an amazing feat considering the competition during the LNY celebration activities overseas.

The printed brochure and enclosed wishing tags were so popular with customers, additional copies needed to be printed during the campaign.

Approx. 4,000 people submitted their wishing tags, representing a 38% conversion rate (a 215% uplift compared to similar activations).

We helped increase total centre traffic by +9.48% (the objective was 3%), and helped achieve a total PR value which was 23% over target.

Industry recognition

Shop Awards ANZ (Occasion-Based Campaign)

Shopping Centre Council of Australia (Compelling Experiences)

Sabre Awards (Multicultural Marketing)

Real Media Collective (Agency of the Year)

International Council of Shopping Centres APAC (integrated Digital Campaign)

Client Feedback

“The Year of the Pig campaign far exceeded our expectations – it truly brought a sense of magic and wonder into the QVB. Working with Plump & Spry was a dream – collaborative in their approach, they brought strategic insight grounded in research and cultural relevance, whilst also pushing creative boundaries in order to achieve the spectacular. It was a delight from conception to execution – the team go above and beyond to make the extraordinary come to life.”

Clare-Marie Martinez
Marketing Manager, QVB

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