Hot or Not: Hong Baos of 2017

The upcoming Year of the Rooster's best and worst red packets

McDonald's
23 Jan 2017

McDonald's

Cutesiness and cartoonishness aside, we appreciate how McDonalds’ modernised take on the hong bao gives us a much-needed Chinese lesson. 

Verdict: HOT

P.S. Cafe
24 Jan 2017

P.S. Cafe

We half-expected a truffle fries motif, but okay, this is way better. 

Verdict: HOT

Standard Chartered
24 Jan 2017

Standard Chartered

"Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking." 

Verdict: NOT

Prime Supermarket
24 Jan 2017

Prime Supermarket

Prime Supermarket's red packet might not be red, but we'll give it credit for adhering to Pantone's Colour of the Year. 

Verdict: HOT

UOI
24 Jan 2017

UOI

So this is what would ensue if Picasso were Chinese. 

Verdict: HOT 

Cadbury
23 Jan 2017

Cadbury

Oh, how adorable (or shall we say, sweet) – one hong bao for each member of the family.

Verdict: HOT

Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
23 Jan 2017

Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

While Iron Man is far from our favourite Avenger #TeamCap, the ever-loaded Tony Stark would be the one we'd approach for red packets. 

Verdict: HOT

Caltex
23 Jan 2017

Caltex

This pudgy cartoon character is all of us after three rounds of steamboat. Also, that font is too obiang for life.

Verdict: NOT 

Etude House
23 Jan 2017

Etude House

From Etude House to Hen House. We can live with that.

Verdict: HOT

Fairprice
23 Jan 2017

Fairprice

Blame it on brand stereotyping, but we’re pretty impressed at Fairprice’s chic series of hong baos. Check out that colour blocking!

Verdict: HOT 

FairPrice
23 Jan 2017

FairPrice

FairPrice tried to jump aboard the neon trend (which isn’t even a trend anymore) and failed badly with colours seemingly inspired by MS Paint. 

Verdict: NOT

Food Junction
23 Jan 2017

Food Junction

Plain appearance aside, we’re giving Food Junction points for including Silkies on their envelopes. #diversity

Verdict: HOT

Frasers Centrepoint
23 Jan 2017

Frasers Centrepoint

Colour-blocked hong baos, the perfect envelope for the fashionista in your life.

Verdict: HOT

Honestbee
23 Jan 2017

Honestbee

As much as this resembles an everyday voucher envelope, we’ve got to credit Honestbee for not stuffing its adorable logo into a chicken suit (or worse, into a God of Fortune costume).

Verdict: HOT

DBS and POSB
23 Jan 2017

DBS and POSB

While neither DBS nor POSB reinvented the wheel with their hong bao designs, both are adequately charming and kid-friendly. 

Verdict: HOT

Kikki K
23 Jan 2017

Kikki K

Leave it to a Swedish stationery brand to release a hong bao design that we’d wear on a T-shirt.

Verdict: HOT 

Koi
23 Jan 2017

Koi

Is it just us, or do those pineapple stalks look disconcertingly sharp?

Verdict: NOT

Mercedes-Benz
23 Jan 2017

Mercedes-Benz

If our eyes had a gag reflex, they’d be totally triggered by this tacky mess.

Verdict: NOT

Nickelodeon
23 Jan 2017

Nickelodeon

While a Spongebob-themed envelope could have easily been an assault on the senses, Nickelodeon was wise enough to tone down the cartoonish colours and motifs.

Verdict: HOT 

OCBC
23 Jan 2017

OCBC

Yeah, yeah, OCBC, we see you opting for an alternative to the over-exposed roosters and hens. 

Verdict: HOT

Old Town White Coffee
23 Jan 2017

Old Town White Coffee

Old Town White Coffee’s hong bao design is so uninspiring it doesn’t deserve the effort required to come up with some commentary.

Verdict: NOT

Changi Airport
23 Jan 2017

Changi Airport

We’d be happy to receive these adorable Pokemon envelopes regardless of their contents. [Insert obligatory "gotta collect 'em all" joke]

Verdict: HOT

Redmart
23 Jan 2017

Redmart

A surprisingly elegant effort from a purely practical online service.

Verdict: HOT

Scotts Square
23 Jan 2017

Scotts Square

Scotts Square’s Japan-inspired hong bao design perfectly marries traditional colours with a contemporary motif. 

Verdict: HOT

Sephora
23 Jan 2017

Sephora

We love how the makeup giant managed to sneak a Chinese character into their design while staying on-brand.

Verdict: HOT

Swarovski
23 Jan 2017

Swarovski

Anyone giving this envelope had better make sure that its contents are as impressive as its appearance.

Verdict: HOT

Atelier Swarovski
23 Jan 2017

Atelier Swarovski

Swarovski struck gold again with an origami-inspired take on red packets.

Verdict: HOT

Uniqlo
23 Jan 2017

Uniqlo

Nothing too ostentatious here, as per the brand DNA, but these would be perfect for the 20-percent-fashionable-80-percent-normcore cousin in your life.

Verdict: HOT 

United Square
23 Jan 2017

United Square

Sure, these look nothing like hong baos – or like anything related to Chinese New Year – but if you’re going to break the mould, you might as well go all the way. Plus, the chicks are felt-coated and FUZZY.

Verdict: HOT

Way Fengshui Group
23 Jan 2017

Way Fengshui Group

At first, we dismissed this envelope as a tacky mess, but upon closer inspection, we had to laugh at how it adheres to each zodiac sign’s fortune for the Year of the Rooster. Talk about a reunion icebreaker (poor snakes, rams, and rabbits though).

Verdict: HOT… as long as the receipient is born in a happier year. 

Yu Kee Duck Rice
23 Jan 2017

Yu Kee Duck Rice

We love how this series of hong baos perfectly embodies the spirit of reunion dinners, where families sit at a round – or in this case, an oval – table, feasting on er, duck rice.

Verdict: HOT

Nespresso
27 Jan 2017

Nespresso

Nespreso's hong bao design might not look like much from afar, but upon closer examination, it is lovingly and meticulously designed. 

Verdict: HOT

DBS PayLah eAng Bao
23 Jan 2017

DBS PayLah eAng Bao

Kudos to DBS for providing an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional red packet. #SavingGaia

Verdict: HOT

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