The commercial that’s driving China crazy

The Wall Street Journal reports today on the above TV spot, which has become the most reviled ad in China over the last month. (Ignore the first 10 seconds of video, which are from a previous commercial.) The spot, for Heng Yuan Xiang, a wool company, features a girl’s voice reading off the names of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and an adult voice repeating the company name over and over and over. “When they first saw the ad, some people thought their TV sets were broken,” says the story. “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. … On Feb. 17, Heng Yuan Xiang called a press conference to explain that it had stopped running the commercial.” The piece suggests that the outrage means the Chinese are finally sick and tired of low-quality ads that “beat consumers over the head with the same message.” Then again, the Journal has written a whole story about it, and it’s spawned endless Internet parodies. Perhaps the company will soon switch to a new tagline: “Heng Yuan Xiang. Apply directly to the forehead.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd

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