China To Come Into Americans’ Living Rooms

Beijing is planning an ad blitz in the U.S. to accompany President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington next week. Familiar faces to Americans such as basketball player Yao Ming and film star Jackie Chan will be deployed as will less familiar ones such as pianist Lang Lang and astronaut Yang Liwei. In all 50 Chinese celebrities have been recruited to the cause, according to the Guangming Daily. There are to be a couple of TV spots and a 12 minute film showcasing China’s achievements. It is not clear what the tone or content will be (though we can guess, and the good people who brought you the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo know how to put on a show).

Political advertising, as propaganda is known in the U.S., is pretty slick. Wooing let alone wowing America’s media-drenched public will be a hard task for this exercise in soft power. That said, with a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing most American’s now think China has displaced their own country as the world’s no. 1 economic power the ads, as propaganda is known in the U.S., may be preying on vulnerable minds.

Update: A 60-second version of the film has started showing in New York City’s Times Square.

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3 Comments

Filed under China-U.S.

3 responses to “China To Come Into Americans’ Living Rooms

  1. pug_ster

    I think China is just wasting money and effort in this kind of PR campaign. Unless the US government changes its policy toward China to view them as an ally instead of a ‘competitor,’ China’s PR campaign will probably drown out in US’ media circus.

  2. Pingback: Mr Hu Goes To Washington | China Bystander

  3. chinabystander

    I am sure it will provide an instructive lesson in the difference between delivering propaganda in overwhelmingly state-controlled media and advertising in what is probably the most media-satiated market in the world. The bigger point is that how a country chooses to portray itself to the outside world tells you something about that country in its own right. — CB.

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