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The Tom Hiddleston China ‘Centrum’ Commercial That Has Got Everyone Confused

“Please feed me too.”

Manya Koetse

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A new commercial for Centrum Vitamins in China that was released on Weibo this week, starring Tom Hiddleston, has attracted the attention of Chinese netizens for being both “weird” and “irresistible.”

“Hey, good morning! I finished early, so I popped by and made you breakfast” – it is the English actor Tom Hiddleston speaking, who is preparing breakfast in the kitchen wearing an apron in the latest Chinese Centrum Vitamins commercial. While he is serving out a plate full of vegetables and a heart-shaped egg (“peppers on top, right?”), he suddenly starts speaking Mandarin when he grabs a bottle of Centrum vitamin pills, saying: “And here’s your Centrum!”

The 38-year-old Hiddleston then looks straight into the camera again – the entire commercial is shot in that manner – and says: “You look great.”

The 50-second commercial ends when Hiddleston puts on his coat and says: “I’ll probably be a bit busy in the coming few weeks, but I’ll make it up to you soon, I’ll promise.” We then, still from a first-person person perspective, see the hands of a woman straightening his jacket and Hiddleston walks out the door.

What was that about? That’s what everyone is now trying to figure out. Hiddleston coming back from work to cook his girlfriend breakfast, and then leaving for weeks? What kind of goodbye was that? Why is the woman not saying anything? And what is the popular actor doing in a Chinese Centrum Vitamins commercial in the first place?

Hiddleston is known for playing Loki in Marvel’s Thor and The Avengers. In the TV series Night Manager, Tom Hiddleton stars as Jonathan Pine, the night manager of a Cairo hotel. Some commenters think that he is also a manager working night shifts in this commercial.

On Tom Hiddleston’s official Weibo account, where the actor has over 600,000 followers, he promoted the Centrum commercial on March 27: “Here’s something special for you at breakfast time. Wishing all my friends in China a great start to their day!”

“My god, how can women resist this commercial?” some commenters wonder: “Please feed me, too!”

There are also commenters on Weibo who wonder why the actor is starring in this commercial at all: “But Tom is just so handsome, I can forgive him for it.” One Hiddleston fan writes: “This commercial just gives me the motivation to keep on living!”

“I saw the ad last night, and then I dreamed that Tom and I were together.”

Although the die-hard Tom fans praise the Centrum commercial, many netizens are very confused about it – calling it “crazy,” “awkward,” and “weird.”

Despite the mixed reactions, the commercial does seem to be a marketing success for the Centrum brand. “I’ve seen the commercial, I’m going to buy Centrum tomorrow,” some netizens write on Weibo, with others sharing pictures of their own Centrum vitamins and online order status.

Judge for yourself and see the commercial here:

By Manya Koetse  and Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Pierre

    April 16, 2019 at 7:25 am

    on social Media , Chinese Nationalist are hunting Mistakes of Brands.
    China is changing

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China Digital

Must-Read: SCMP’s China Internet Report 2020

The China Internet Report brings order to the chaos of China’s ever-changing digital environment. There’s a special What’s on Weibo discount for the Pro-edition.

Manya Koetse

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SCMP Research’s China Internet Report 2020 is here, covering the country’s biggest tech trends, breaking down the major players and key markets, and bringing some order to the chaos of China’s rapidly changing digital environment.

Today, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) has launched its third edition of the China Internet Report – a super-comprehensive resource on China’s technology landscape offering insights into the most important trends and players shaping the world’s biggest internet community.

This year, China’s online population has reached the staggering number of 904 million users, with the average daily time spent on the internet rising to 7.2 hours in March.

COVID-19 has significantly increased online media consumption across China.

China’s rapid digitization has not just radically altered Chinese society – it is also increasingly impacting the global internet ecosystem at large.

With yesterday’s local startups becoming tomorrow’s international tech leaders, and today’s trends soon becoming worldwide shifts, understanding China’s latest digital developments has never been more important.

The new coronavirus outbreak in China has not just temporarily affected people’s online behavior, the report finds, suggesting that COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on China’s tech sectors.

Besides social media platforms and other apps becoming a crucial tool of mass communication and information for Chinese netizens in times of COVID-19, the pandemic also changed how people in China started using technology in their everyday lives, from online learning to digital healthcare seeking. These trends have brought about permanent changes.

The accelerated digitization and the innovative tech use in times of the coronavirus crisis are listed as one of the major trends of 2020, among other vital digital shifts changing China’s online landscape, from the mass adoption of 5G to live streaming in China reaching its third phase.

To check out the main trends for 2020, China’s latest internet statistics, its top tech competitors, internet companies, and more, here’s a link to the report.

This year, in addition to the free report, SCMP Research also introduces its Pro Edition (US$400) that features more than a hundred pages of deep-dive per sector – from e-commerce to healthtech, 5G and more – providing additional analysis, data, as well as access to six closed-door webinars with leading C-level executives of internet and technology companies in China.

The folks at SCMP have been kind enough to reach out and offer a special 30% discount on the Pro Edition report for What’s on Weibo readers.

You’ll get the discount by using the discount code: “WHATSONWEIBO“, or by clicking this link that will automatically include your discount code.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Food & Drinks

Spicy Sauce Scam Goes Viral – Tencent Duped by Fake Lao Gan Ma Deal

The bizarre story that went trending this week involves China’s tech giant Tencent and China’s undisputed sauce queen Lao Gan Ma.

Manya Koetse

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The super popular Chinese chilli sauce brand Lao Gan Ma has been all the talk on Chinese social media this week since a somewhat bizarre incident occurred where the world of tech scams and spicy sauce collided.

News came out earlier this week that Chinese tech giant Tencent sued Lao Gan Ma over a contract dispute for failing to pay the advertising fees for their online platforms. The case led to an initial Shenzhen court ruling requiring Lao Gan Ma to freeze 16.24 million yuan ($2.3 million) worth of assets.

According to Chinese state media outlet Global Times, Tencent claimed it had signed a marketing contract with the famous chilli brand in March of last year, and has since delivered marketing promotions worth of tens of millions yuan without receiving payment.

Lao Gan Ma, however, denied ever signing this contract with Tencent and reported the matter to police.

It then turned out that Tencent had actually signed the marketing cooperation with imposters pretending to represent the chilli manufacturer, and had actually been cheated.

Meanwhile, the hashtag “CCTV Investigates the Lao Gan Ma Suitcase” (#央视调查腾讯老干妈诉讼事件#) received over 400 million views on social media platform Weibo.

The imposters’ goal allegedly was to obtain the online game package codes that are part of Tencent’s promotional activities, in order to resell them online.

On July 1st, Guiyang police released a statement on Weibo saying they had arrested three people in the fraud case; a 36-year old man, and two women aged 40 and 36. The topic became trending on Weibo (#警方通报3人伪造老干妈印章签合同#), receiving 190 million views.

On social media, many netizens wonder how a big company such as Tencent – one of China’s biggest internet giants – could fall for such a scam.

“Even I know that Laoganma doesn’t need advertisement to promote its products,” some commenters wrote.

“Wouldn’t such a business deal actually require them to meet?”, others wonder.

Other people express their anger at Tencent, demanding an apology from the company for suing their beloved chilli sauce brand.

But the majority of people think the matter is somewhat hilarious, ridiculing Tencent – that has a penguin as its main logo – for getting caught up in such an embarrassing scam. Dozens of memes circulating on Weibo make fun of the company for being so stupid and naive.

The Tencent penguin: deceived, used, and ridiculed.

The Tencent company joined the meme machine to also ridicule itself, asking Chinese netizens for information that could prevent them from falling for such a scam in the future. As a reward, the company writes, they will give away thousand jars of Lao Gan Ma chilli sauce.

Want to know more? To read all about the Lao Gan Ma brand and its history, click here for our feature article on the brand and its founder.

Hungry? Lao Gan Ma is also for sale in your local (Asian) supermarket, and also sells it products through Amazon here.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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