The Worst 60 Second Chinese Commercial You Will Ever Watch

The Wall Street Journal reports today in “Ad’s Insult to Industry in China?” about a TV commercial by a local Chinese company had annoyed television viewing audiences. The Chinese television viewer is a much more sophisticated consumer these days, and expects better than what can be produced by amateurs:

“The TV commercial everyone has been talking about lately in China is the one that has tested everyone’s nerves. Heng Yuan Xiang Group, a top Chinese wool producer, wanted to celebrate its sponsorship of this summer’s Beijing Olympics; …So the wool company began running a 60-second ad in February, during the celebration of Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday. In the bare-bones ad, a squeaky girl’s voice chirps out a triplicate list of each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, interspersed with repetitions of the company’s slogan by an adult voice…” When they first saw the ad, some people thought their TV sets were broken. Viewers savaged the commercial in print media and online, some calling it intolerable or singling it out as the worst spot they had ever seen. It has spawned Internet parodies, including one with a goat at a news conference apologizing “to everyone — to the animals in the commercial, the customers, their families and every single person in this country.” Other marketers complained that consumers were changing the channel when the spot came on, ad executives say. The spot ran repeatedly on Chinese TV from Feb. 6 to Feb. 12. On Feb. 17, Heng Yuan Xiang called a press conference to explain that it had stopped running the commercial.”

One Western trained executive describes the early days of television advertising in China as the “caveman approach” — beating consumers over the head with the same message. If you take a look at this ad, you’ll see what that executive means… Pretty funny if you ask me.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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