Thursday, March 08, 2007

Digi ad is offensive

I fully agree with Star's Hoo Ban Kee's opinion piece titled
"Hello, where are your manners?" (

I also found the recent CNY TV ad from Digi ("Longevity Calls") to be offensive. It depicts a "reunion dinner" where everyone at the table is busy chatting on their handphones. (see screencapt) Worse, the ad also depicts a child looking on in puzzlement at all the adults with their handphones. Eventually the child tries to imitate the adults!

Such a thing would never happen at my family's reunion gathering. In fact, if anyone even tries to play with their handphone during dinner, they can expect to get a severe tongue-lashing from my grandma.

She (rightly) believes that CNY is important time of the year for everyone to talk face-to-face. If not, what is the point of traveling all the way back to gather at one place?

Are there no Chinese executives in Digi? Did they not preview the ad first? Did everyone there think it would be "cute" or "funny" to shoehorn a product ad into such an important Chinese tradition?

The ad is also offensive in another way; it perpetuates some stereotypes about Chinese, particularly the "Ah Beng always on handphone" stereotype.

1 comment:

摇把 said...

I agree with you, though I'm Chinese. Chinese society is rapidly changing but the government has paid too much attention on GDP growth rate but too little on social balance and justice. There are increasing gaps between different classes. These gaps exist in many aspects including economy, human rights, as well as education and manners. I think this is the most serious threat to sustainable development of China.