5 Amazing Commercials from Hong Kong That All Hongkongers Remember
Although we know Hong Kong for its legendary cinematic history, this city’s creativity stretches far beyond the big screen. This doesn’t only include TV shows but also TV commercials. Although it’s not easy to both sell and entertain in a 30-second spot, the Hongkongers surely seem to have a dab hand at it.
So, here are 5 iconic Hong Kong commercials that every Hongkonger surely knows and probably loves too.
1. Afakin and Swirl Wind
There are many ways to die but getting killed in a car crash simply because your driver neglected a case of athlete’s foot is undoubtedly the worst way to meet your end.
Therefore, the passenger’s rage when this scenario plays out in this commercial is wholly understandable. But this rage is accompanied by a product endorsement for Afakin foot spray. Another thing about this commercial was that it was a two-for-one-deal, and was always followed by an equally iconic Swirl-Wind bug spray ad starring a dagger-flaunting, air-flipping, cockroach-killing ninja.
2. Bigen Hair Color
This commercial has an amazing ability to stay on despite its negligible budget. For over three decades, late veteran actor Kenneth Tsang has stood in front of a blue screen and extolled the gradual and instant coloring potential of Bigen’s black hair dye.
The commercial was later updated in the late 2000s to bring in younger models in place of the two background characters. But it still hasn’t lost its humorous touch.
3. Hi-C Lemon Tea
Believe it or not, Hi-C is a drink for young people. How? Because each of its commercials features high school students or at least actors playing the roles of high school students.
For years the brand has introduced us to its ‘sunshine girls’- pretty teens trying to grapple with totally-relatable puppy-love problems. But this commercial from 1993 starring a young Jeannette Lai is my favorite. The commercial shows Lai trying to find ways to casually bump into her crush. Aahhh, don’t we all know that feeling?
4. Hong Kong Communications Authority
It looks like Hong Kong’s cinema industry has inspired not only usual moviegoers but also its Communications Authority. So, you can trust the statutory body overseeing broadcasting to dish out a commercial that really gets Hong Kong’s audiences.
From the old couple watching a show on TV to the housewife following the recipe on a daytime cooking show, this commercial perfectly depicts the habits of TV viewership. Its impact can be gauged from the fact it’s still very much a part of the collective consciousness of people who grew up before commercial-free streaming became a reality.
This 30-second commercial perfectly distills Hong Kong’s office culture. The ad features a group of suited-up workers on a rooftop marching and chanting, “more work, more rewards” in unison.
However, the message that antacids are all you need to be a top salesperson is truly depressing. But as they say, the truth is always a bitter pill to swallow!
Unlike certain Singaporean or Chinese commercials, commercials in Hong Kong are usually brief and direct. Unlike Japanese commercials, they are mostly devoid of any drama and over-the-top acting sequences. However, their product placement is something that I couldn’t really wrap my head around. Hopefully, they’ll soon figure that out too.
We’ll be back with more amazing commercials for you. Till then, stay tuned!