Asian American Commercial Watch: Nike’s Lunar New Year Ad – ‘The Great Chase’

When I first saw this Nike ad for the Chinese New Year in China, I loved it. It brought back many memories of my father fighting over a bill with others at a Chinese restaurant. As noted in this article:

“The ad, which was released just before the Year of The Rat kicks off on Saturday, features the Chinese custom of giving out money-filled red envelopes, which are typically distributed by family elders. While it’s respectful for kids to initially decline the packet, the young girl in the spot takes it to the extreme when her equally-stubborn aunt attempts to give her the New Year’s gift.  …   The result is a cat-and-mouse chase on foot, spanning years, across rooftops and alongside rivers.

Chinese viewers found the ad particularly amusing because of the uncomfortably aggressive, yet also hilarious politeness and humility displayed between the pair. While the “polite fight,” in the spot involves the New Year’s tradition, the contentious back-and-forth is well-known to be prompted by the check at the end of a meal out.”

If you’ve grown up in an Asian household, the practice of fighting over a bill in a group setting or being excessively polite when treated or invited or providing gifts, is quite common, at least from what I’ve seen among Chinese and Taiwanese families.


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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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