Rayquaza used Dragon Dance, it’s super effective! Pokémon celebrates CNY with animated ad and events

Japanese game and anime IP Pokémon have teamed up with the animation studio HMCH of The Legend of Hei fame to produce a heart-warming short film for the Chinese New Year. The film is accompanied by a series of pop-up events at the Longemont Mall (龙之梦, lit. Dragon’s Dream) in Shanghai between 2 and 18 February.

The film, titled “A Good Day for a Dream” (良辰有梦) was released on Weibo, Douyin and Bilibili on 2 February. The 2-minute short depicts various Pokémon trainers trying to travel home for the Chinese New Year, either by car, train, sea, air or by Pokémon, with varying degrees of difficulty. The film then follows the activities of the characters through their preparation and celebration of the festivities like cleaning up, grocery shopping and meeting with (and battling) friends back home. The crescendo of the film shows fireworks, an Entei-shaped lion dance and a Rayquaza-shaped dragon dance. The finale of the film shows the real Rayquaza, the emerald dragon soaring over the night sky, seemingly blessing the mortals below.

Pokémon released a collection of merch based on the ad including keychains, a body pillow, A4-sized folders and a jigsaw puzzle. A pop-up event will be held at Longemont Mall with an installation for photo opportunities, as well as a stamp collection which can win you prizes like Pokémon stickers, toy windmills and hats. On 3 and 14 February, there will also be a Pikachu meet-and-greet as well as a Rayquaza dragon dance, as depicted in the ad.

On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “A good day for a dream” reached number 33 on the Hot Search list with 34.98 million views. The short film not only captured the family reunion theme of the Chinese New Year but also portrayed the everyday nature of being at home. Special events such as fireworks and dragon dances are an important part of the festival but simply doing tai chi with your grandpa or doing dishes after a meal with your parents are equally significant for those who live and work away from home.

Working with one of the top animation studios in China not only safeguards the quality of the film but also connects with fans of Chinese animation. The offline events also bring the fun of “catching ‘em all” to IRL fans and recreating the dragon dance can be an attraction from both a festive and creative point of view. Pokémon’s latest campaign, in this sense, captured the interest of both die-hard fans and regular viewers with its realistic depiction of the festival, despite being set in the Pokémon world.


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