Hot or Not: Hong baos of 2019

Which red packets “boar-ed” us and which are worth hogging?

Hot or Not: Hong baos of 2019
Hot or Not: Hong baos of 2019
30 Jan 2019

Hot or Not: Hong baos of 2019

It’s a pork feast this year, with brands shining the spotlight on Babe’s counterparts on its red packets. From the atas and artistic, to the downright eerie, here are the best and worst hong baos in the Year of the Pig.

AMK Hub
AMK Hub
30 Jan 2019

AMK Hub

We love how the suburban mall incorporated all the 12 zodiac animals into one piece of tropical-inspired art with the pig taking centre stage. Kind of reminds us of the Singapore Zoo for some strange reason!

Verdict: Hot

Robinsons
Robinsons
30 Jan 2019

Robinsons

Yay to fuchsia hong baos in thick matte paper. We appreciate the quiet and classy design featuring a pair of cranes and embossed Sakura flowers.

Verdict: Hot

Universal Studios
Universal Studios
30 Jan 2019

Universal Studios

SQUEE! We love how the Hello Kitty red packets come in six huat-worthy designs, but we are partial towards the ong lai within an ong lai a.k.a pineapple-ception.

Verdict: Hot

SIA
SIA
30 Jan 2019

SIA

Love the red-white treatment on the kebaya print embossed on high quality art paper. We expect nothing less from our national carrier!

Verdict: Hot

Courts
Courts
30 Jan 2019

Courts

The thin paper quality needs improvement but we like the use of blue as a background colour, and the effort put into designing a cute cartoonish pig character.

Verdict: Almost hot

Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank
30 Jan 2019

Deutsche Bank

What a sensational work of pop art! Wish this could be blown up into a poster. Pity the gold embossed words look a little old-fashioned next to the modern illustration.

Verdict: Almost hot

Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon
30 Jan 2019

Nickelodeon

Finally, some red packets the kiddos will appreciate receiving. We love how they feature beloved Nickelodeon characters from Paw Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants, dressed in their CNY finest!

Verdict: Hot

LinkedIn
LinkedIn
31 Jan 2019

LinkedIn

We wouldn't mind having these Peranakan tiles line the kitchen floor of our home.

Verdict: Hot

UOB
UOB
30 Jan 2019

UOB

We get the clever use of circles to create an image of a pig but this is a little primary school if you ask us. Next please.

Verdict: Not

McDonald’s
McDonald’s
30 Jan 2019

McDonald’s

We don’t know about you, but these graphic red packets are something we’d collect. We like the simple use of two colours and iconic Maccas details like a sesame seed bun and French fries packet.

Verdict: YUM

Skechers
Skechers
30 Jan 2019

Skechers

Love the little ears that stick out and different greetings for different members of the family. It’s the little details that matter. 

Verdict: Hot

Swarovski
Swarovski
30 Jan 2019

Swarovski

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

Verdict: Hot

Honestbee
Honestbee
30 Jan 2019

Honestbee

Hot-stamped beehive on a beehive background... if it’s not obvious enough that this is an Honestbee hong bao, then you don’t deserve one! Message aside, the design is a little too simplistic for us.

Verdict: Lukewarm

BreadTalk
BreadTalk
30 Jan 2019

BreadTalk

Not quite sure if the number eight is to signify prosperity for the recipient, but the gold embossing of the 12 zodiac signs is a nice touch. Love the illustrations of the food… they’re making us hungry!

Verdict: Hot

ION Orchard
ION Orchard
30 Jan 2019

ION Orchard

There’s nothing more prosperous than a pair of kois. The embossed fish with the metallic scales is clean and modern, and we love how it gives the red packet a luxurious touch. Very atas.

Verdict: Hot

Coach
Coach
30 Jan 2019

Coach

Coach’s hong bao design may look like a paisley carpet from afar, but upon closer examination, you will see golden hogs cleverly hiding in the mix.

Verdict: Hot

Pacific Light
Pacific Light
30 Jan 2019

Pacific Light

Five oinks for the repeat patterns of a graphic hog. Very current and cool.

Verdict: Hot

Metro
Metro
30 Jan 2019

Metro

This is very different from last year’s cute dog design. How come Metro regressed and came up with boring old flowers? C’mon, we’re sure you could have come up with a socially acceptable piggy motif, no?

Verdict: Not

Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung
30 Jan 2019

Din Tai Fung

There is way too much going on on this envelope, with the Magic Eye design and floating xiao long baos. OUR EYES!

Verdict: Not

Tuas Power
Tuas Power
30 Jan 2019

Tuas Power

Yes, but no, but yes, but no. We’re very conflicted about this cute piggy hong bao because everything about it looks somewhat cheap and lazy.

Verdict: Not

SPC
SPC
30 Jan 2019

SPC

Very uninspiring, unoriginal and too auntie. It’s like the budget this year was halved and only restricted to royalty-free stock images.

Verdict: Nope

Lay’s
Lay’s
30 Jan 2019

Lay’s

This is Chinese New Year, not the 7th Month. These characters are so creepy, they look like Yanxi Palace ghosts.

Verdict: EERIE

Takashimaya
Takashimaya
30 Jan 2019

Takashimaya

These ang pows are kind of ho-hum. We’re more interested in the red packet holder made of PU material featuring a honeycomb cut-out design.

Verdict: Not to the red packets; hot to the red packet holder.

Mediacorp
Mediacorp
30 Jan 2019

Mediacorp

You can’t help but feel happy when you look at the smiling Zhu Bao Bao. Just pray you don’t become rotund like them after all the festive feasting.

Verdict: Hot

Irvins Salted Egg
Irvins Salted Egg
30 Jan 2019

Irvins Salted Egg

While we think the paper and background colour need major improvements, the illustration of Irvins’ duck mascot decked in a CNY costume gets two thumbs up. He’s sitting on an ingot oozing with salted egg sauce… could this get any cuter?

Verdict: Hot

UBS
UBS
30 Jan 2019

UBS

UBS never fails to impress us. Not only do we love the vibrant and ornate bird and floral designs, the detailing and embossing make these envelopes delightful to touch.

Verdict: Hot

Mojo
Mojo
30 Jan 2019

Mojo

While we’re not keen on the thin paper quality (we can see a shadow of glue!), we do enjoy the abstract illustrations and naughty pun. If you do not understand it, get your friend to translate for you. ;)

Verdict: Hot

DHL
DHL
30 Jan 2019

DHL

The design isn’t bad per se, we’re just disappointed that there’s no effort to it at all. Perhaps cut budget after the #KFCcrisis?

Verdict: Not

Tiger Beer
Tiger Beer
30 Jan 2019

Tiger Beer

Our first thought was very ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. Featuring Chinese New Year elements like firecrackers, lanterns, dragons, kois and even the beer brand’s icon weaved into its design, it doesn’t get more festive than this.

Verdict: Hot

Old Chang Kee
Old Chang Kee
31 Jan 2019

Old Chang Kee

This has a very “love thy neighbour vibe” featuring the various dwellings of the different cultures in Singapore. And, no matter what your background is, there’s always time for an Old Chang Kee snack! Nice concept.

Verdict: Hot

Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered
30 Jan 2019

Standard Chartered

You can’t go wrong with something as traditional as Sakura flowers and a pair of loving birds, but why do we feel that this design has been used elsewhere? It might be lacking some originality.

Verdict: Lukewarm

Jetstar
Jetstar
30 Jan 2019

Jetstar

Jetstar’s very localised design showcasing Singapore’s landmarks, icons and unique quirks makes this hong bao one of our favourites.

Verdict: Hot

Starbucks
Starbucks
30 Jan 2019

Starbucks

We’re not quite sure what to think about these hong baos. While our young nieces and nephews would be delighted to receive these cute envelopes, we find the pigs a little melancholic when the vibe should be merry.

Verdict: Lukewarm

Burberry
Burberry
30 Jan 2019

Burberry

We like the sweet and simple use of the brand’s letter B. The art deco font is super cool and the glossy finish gives it a lovely luxe touch.

Verdict: Hot

Crystal Jade
Crystal Jade
30 Jan 2019

Crystal Jade

You don’t always have to be literal and feature a piggy picture. Thumbs up for the beautiful use of flora and fauna to decorate these horizontal red packets. Very stylish and timeless.

Verdict: Hot

MSIG
MSIG
30 Jan 2019

MSIG

The Japanese insurer’s origami-inspired hong bao design perfectly marries tradition with a contemporary motif.

Verdict: Hot

Dreamworks
Dreamworks
30 Jan 2019

Dreamworks

We know Toby the pig is a character in The Adventures of Puss in Boots but he kind of looks like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. In a cropped top and hot pants. Ugh, now we cannot unsee it.

Verdict: Hot for Puss, Not for Toby

Hock Wong
Hock Wong
30 Jan 2019

Hock Wong

This design reminds us of a very famous fresco. We’ll leave it at that.

Verdict: Hot

OCBC
OCBC
30 Jan 2019

OCBC

The bank makes sure not to leave out the lion dance troupe – an essential part of Chinese New Year celebrations. These red packets in cheery shades feature iconic lion dance symbols like the drum, lantern and lion head. Love how the CNY greetings are also discreetly hidden in the graphics. 

Verdict: Hot

Goldlion
Goldlion
30 Jan 2019

Goldlion

Now, this is how you do logomania.

Verdict: Hot

Nespresso
Nespresso
30 Jan 2019

Nespresso

We would have given this a “hot” if not for the giant gold font on the front. Less is more.

Verdict: Not

POSB
POSB
30 Jan 2019

POSB

While we appreciate that POSB tried to shine the spotlight on their squirrel mascot, we wish we could flip it inside out and showcase the super cute design on the interior instead.

Verdict: Not

Related:
Huat is the best time to deposit your money this Li Chun
Best Chinese New Year takeaways and goodies to bring home
Chinese New Year goodies celebs love to pig out on

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