Red packet design considerations

How to maximise the branding mileage for your red packets

Many companies still print “ang pows” or red packets for distribution during Chinese New Year as a branding collateral. I suspect it may still take a couple more years before e-angpows or electronic funds transfers (eg., WeChat in China or DBS Pay Lah!) will take off in SIngapore. What are some of the  branding objectives for producing such collaterals?

  • To convey class and prestige (eg., wealth management banks produces high end red packets for their high net worth clientele so that the clients will have “face” using them and the banks can be branded with the right target audience and imagery)
  • To have maximum brand exposure (eg., Fairprice+Cheers red packets that are widely distributed)
  • To satisfy hygiene factors (eg., POSB and other consumer banks where the mass customers still make it a yearly ritual to visit the banks to bank on certain days, exchange new notes, and get red packets).

Regardless of the intent, one important factor remains: the red packets must be selected by the consumer for use. This will ensure that the packets are “circulated” and be seen/admired by an extended “audience” thereby maximising branding mileage. So what are the design considerations? Apart from understanding the target audience’s preferences for colours and images, I found myself choosing to use a particular design this year because of one design element.

CNY Ang Pow/Red packet design consideration

I chose the one in the centre with the “dog” element. All of the red packets in the picture are of high quality. My preferred design is not the one with the dog but my choice is. Why? Because the Chinese Zodiac comes round once every 12 years. If I do not use the “dog” design red packet this year, it will be useless until 2030… Of course, the dog design red packet is well designed and produced in the first place (otherwise, I would have just gotten rid of it and went for my preferred design). But the fact that it has a time sensitive design element pushes it to the fore.

Of course there can never be a silver bullet solution that is guaranteed for success. Nevertheless, I thought it is a good element for design consideration. Another possibility is to work with licensing partners especially if the brand image fits. Eg., doing a design with Paw Petrol pups will be a hit with kids. There will be good co-branding mileage to be milked.

So if brands take up the licensing idea for next year, maybe I should start talking to Peppa Pig for some commission? Hmm…