Branding and Chinese Nationalism at the Rio Olympics 2016

Interesting read on SocialBrandWatch. The English global campaign completely differs from the Chinese one. Gillette’s weibo channel uses the hashtag #就是刃性# which loosely translates to just the blade/edge, but pun on the word blade, as it is the homonym for 任性 which in this context loosely translates to “unrestrained”, but the usual context is capricious.

The Chinese language always paints a deeper, more poetic colourful picture, with the clever use of puns.

gillettegillette china olympics

Olympic Swimmer Ning Zetao Shows Us #PerfectIsntPretty for Gillette

Campaign Asia raised some great points:

“Olympic advertising by sponsors ahead of the Games, usually wonderfully global in nature, was very nationalistic this time. Tencent featuring huge billboards of Chinese athletes winning, in isolation to other competitors, is just one example of the outward display of nationalism.” 

You can have a look at the Coca Cola Global vs China campaign as well as the Samsung one here, both were a complete localisation to play on nationalistic pride, rather than celebrating the global event through multi-cultural lenses during the olympics.


Juliana Loh

Juliana is a freelance marketing communications strategist with more than a decade of experience in the field of advertising, journalism and luxury hospitality, with a focus on China and the Asia Pacific region.

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