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A family reunion that could only lasts for 3 minutes

Apple’s Chinese New Year campaign promotes the new iPhone X. The short film tells a story about a family reunion that could only last for 3 minutes. Hong Kong director Peter Chan has shot the entire film with the iPhone X. Before you read further, make sure you have a box of tissues right by your side. Titled three minutes the story shows the story of a mother who works as a train conductor on one of China’s longest routes during Spring Festival. She only gets to see her son for three brief minutes on the railway station platform. Every year the conductor misses her young son during this holiday. This time she had aranged her sister to bring her son to one of the train stops, so that she could briefly see him. The story is based on real-life elements and the women in the commercial is really a conductor.


To watch the commercial, click here

Key elements: family, obligations and wanting to impress parents

Three key elements create a sense of longing and emotional depth with Chinese people: family, obligations and wanting to impress parents. Every Chinese New Year millions of people travel across China to make the long journey back to their hometown for the holidays. Although not everyone is free on these days and recent years showing quite a few millennials flying to foreign countries, a great many will also have to work through this holiday. Not only the personal sacrifice of the mother creates an emotional moment, also the reciting of multiplication tables of the young son is very moving. It shows the wish of many Chinese children to impress their parents to make them proud. And in these few seconds, the little boy shows his love by showing that he is doing fine.


Will the “Three minutes” campaign help Apple to (re)connect with Chinese consumers? 

That’s the question. Recent years show that Apple has lost share in the world’s largest smartphone market. With the last iPhone, Apple is trying to (re)connect with Chinese consumers through new features that cater specifically to Chinese people: the improving Chinese character keyboard and a new QR code scanning function.

Compared to the performance of its local competitors Apple has seen better days. The most recent demands from Chinese consumer groups about the slowdown of older iPhones is adding towards the weakening positioning of Apple.

Local competitors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi already have similar features to the new iPhone. A day before Apple’s iPhone 8 announcement Xiaomi even launched their Mi Mix 2, a phone series that was the company’s own first bezel free-screen design created by French designer and Xiaomi collaborator Phillipe Starck.

The Chinese New Year is a key holiday for sales of the new iPhone X. Keep in mind that the price tag above 8,000 yuan for the new iPhone X is about double the monthly average salary. However, it seems it isn’t the price that is causing difficulties for Apple. Chinese brands show their understanding of Chinese consumers. They offer features that appeal to local users, such as selfie cameras. Their mobile phones’ popularity increase while the iPhone’s is in decline.