After a 15 ½ hour flight to Hong Kong from Newark my eyes are tired and a bit bloodshot. The efficiency of the transit system in Hong Kong (and Asia in general) is offset by the bright lights of outdoor advertising that is seemingly omnipresent.
My luggage was waiting for me on the carousel when I made it through customs (which took less than 10 minutes). Walking into the carousel there were advertisements left and right as I quickly walked to the train that was waiting to whisk me in to Central Station in HK. No Virginia, this was not LaGuardia.
Ads run on the TV’s on the train and once I arrived and took a taxi (again very easy to find and the taxi line was short) the rampant outdoor ads in Hong Kong put Times Square to shame. I don’t really know the reasons why OOH advertising is so popular in the places I’ve been in Asia – Japan, China, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Just the other day Jing Daily http://bit.ly/e00QUb out of China reported “Over the past weekend, Beijing’s much-hyped ban on outdoor advertisements that promote “hedonism, lavishness and the worship of foreign things” took effect. As Jing Daily wrote last month, the ban is ostensibly aimed at “[easing] public concerns about the country’s widening wealth gap” by ridding the city of advertisements that use words such as “luxury,” “high-class,” “supreme” and “royal” at risk of a 30,000 yuan (US$4,595) fine per infraction.”
So perhaps the OOH climate might be changing on the mainland where I am headed tomorrow but here in Hong Kong the lights are brighter than ever. I happen to like it as it brings home the hustle and bustle of 21st century Asian city life. But then I am partial to Times Square as well.
If you notice them do outdoor ads bother you?