friday 5 | chinese viral brand videos ::
:: as quick as they may be to call shenanigans on corporate / brand hype, Chinese netizens still enjoy interesting, well-made viral videos even after they’ve realized that they’re being marketed to. The following selection of videos have recently become popular on mainland Chinese video Web sites.
Bruce Lee can do anything with nun chucks ::
Bruce Lee was so awesome at kung fu that he was able to play ping pong with his nunchucks (embedded below, too). Or at least that’s what this wildly popular viral ad for a special Bruce Lee-edition Nokia phone would have you believe. The ad was apparently first deployed in a 10-second version that looked like hidden-camera footage, and it was only later that a longer version was released with Nokia branding attached. A second video suggested that Bruce was even more awesome: when someone tossed matches in the air, he could strike and light them off his nun chucks, or light a match held in someone’s mouth with a flip of his nun chucks…(牛B!)… The videos were well-timed, coming on the heels of a CCTV dramatization of the action star’s life. Bravo Nokia. (Bravo W+K?)
the world’s toughest Chevy driver ::
A woman gets into a fight with a man who’s trying to tow her car. Furious, she gets into the driver’s seat of her Chevrolet Captiva and drives off, pulling the tow-truck behind her, as a bystander films the whole scene with a shaky hand-cam (embedded just below, too). Netizens on a wide variety of forums were quick to identify this video as a hoax, guessing from the truck driver’s strangely subdued behavior and the prominence of the “Captiva” name in the video post’s title that it was part of the car’s marketing campaign. A mainstream media follow-up report that is now making the rounds of the big video sharing sites reveals that the agency that hired the towing company has vanished.
smart clean-up ::
Two graffiti artists are eyeing a long expanse of wall that is currently covered in a mess of handbills and spray-paint scrawl. A young kid watches them: will their actions lead him astray? No, they’ve got water balloons and hoses and are actually there to scrub away the mess, leaving only the silhouette of a car behind (embedded below, too). It’s an ad for Smart, a microcar that’s being launched throughout China in the coming months. The video’s in Youtube’s “originals” section and has since been uploaded to other video hosts and linked from automotive and entertainment BBSs.
“Shanzhai” (山寨) Liu Xiang ::
A valet who looks suspiciously like Liu Xiang chases down a man in an ill-fitting Kung Fu Panda suit who has stolen a kid’s bucket of KFC. When he can’t get the bucket back, our ersatz Liu whips out an “Ai Bang” card to buy the kid a new bucket. It’s a shanzhai version – a knock-off of an ad Liu Xiang did for Visa in which he chases a kangaroo that has run off with a girl’s teddy bear. Ai Bang (爱帮) is a consumer-focused search engine of sorts.
CounterStrike breaks the fourth wall ::
A warrior avoids a land mine and then makes his kill by interacting with the seek bar of the video player (embedded below, too). It’s a promo for a game called CounterStrike Online, and it combines the player-vs-player action familiar to Chinese gamers from the original CounterStrike with the stick-figure fighting from popular animations like the Xiao Xiao series, and other similar shorts where characters interact with the video frame itself.
[Friday 5 is the product of my work at Edelman Digital (China). Link here for the full Friday 5 archive. If you'd like to be added to the bilingual (English & Chinese) Friday 5 email distribution list, please send me an email at: adam DOT schokora AT edelman DOT com.]