This online ad for Chinese car maker Chery has been viewed 2,782,911 times on Youku and has received 843 comments since it was uploaded on January 9th. This is, therefore, a very significant viral video in China.
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A reference to a recent challenge made against Chinese kungfu by Thai boxers, the car featured in the ad defeats the foreign challenger before kungfu even has a chance.
According to Youku Buzz, which has also written about this “banal” clip, this was Youku’s most-viewed video last week. At the time of writing my post, there were twice as many thumbs up as there were thumbs down.
Despite this apparant support, the comments, which began overwhelmingly positive, end up being almost exclusively negative.
I think there are much more sophisticated ways of appealing to nationalism than this. This ad has none of the things I think make a good viral: it doesn’t make me laugh, it doesn’t evoke any emotion, and it doesn’t teach me anything.
Kudos is due, however, for getting the ad out in time to resonate with the recent martial arts showdown. This is the only legitimate reason I can think of why it has had so much positive attention.
One recent comment suggests another theory, “The people that gave this a thumbs up were employed by the company…”