CHINA

“Avoid the locals, stay in your hotel room!”

That's the message Hong Kong residents got when they saw this advertising campaign for Langham Hotels. Read more and see the, frankly excruciating, adverts.

Advertising

That's the message Hong Kong residents got when they saw this advertising campaign for Langham Hotels.

The videos, created by SO-U.TV have caused such a furore on the HK web that they've been removed by the British hotel chain, which apologised for any offence caused. Two of the three videos however, are still available on YouTube (for the time being). The debate goes on... Here's episode one:

The video was posted on The Dark Side HK blog. 

"A lot of foreigners actually come to Hong Kong precisely for those ‘local’ and ‘dangerous’ experiences"

Isabella Steger, 23, is a freelance journalist from Hong Kong.

This incident hasn't gotten much coverage in the local press. I only found out about it myself through expatriate blogs. I think the videos are stupid and were a failed attempt by a hotel chain to run an 'offbeat' campaign. They probably wanted to create a memorable viral campaign on the internet to get publicity but misjudged what the reaction would be. They failed to read that perhaps a lot of foreigners actually come to Hong Kong precisely for those ‘local' and ‘dangerous' experiences that are depicted in the videos.

I don't think it's racist, but the ad campaign is just unfortunately perpetuating that very wrong expatriate stereotype of Kowloon. It is in fact a wonderfully vibrant part of Hong Kong that unfortunately many expatriates who live here miss out on because they believe it's crime-ridden, dangerous, dirty etc. It's wrong!"

"I didn't expect such violent reactions! If I had, there's no way I would have agreed to act in the video!"

Kay Ross is the female actress in the episode two of the ads (below). She's a Hong Kong-based marketing consultant and performing arts enthusiast.

I was just an actor playing a role; I had nothing to do with devising the concept or managing the campaign. Personally I'd say it was a tongue-in-cheek, satirical exaggeration for the sake of humour (although I have in fact seen some tourists and restaurant waiters behave that way). Even people who live here (expatriates and local Hong Kong-Chinese people) often find the crowds and the noise stressful.

Good grief, of course I didn't expect such violent reactions! If I had, there's no way I would have agreed to act in the video!"