Advertising and Marketing

China is obsessed with breasts

Gongli_chest0614s.jpg

It's summer, and all the magazines are full of well endowed women. This image of actress Gong Li at Cannes was published in numerous magazines across the nation. The Beijing Youth Weekly outdid themselves, reproducing the image across a full tabloid-size page (pictured left, click on the image to enlarge).

Easy for Gong Li, but fashion is not easy on those who don't have the goods: appealling to Chinese women's chest anxieties has become big business in the last few years. Everyday, women are bombarded with advertisements in newspapers and bus shelters encouraging them to try plastic surgery, breast 'enhancing' lotions, firming-up massages, and a variety of other treatments some of which are about as likely to work as snake-oil.

One company is determined to position itself as the bra that can stop the breast anxiety. Gracewell (Tingmei) is a Beijing-based underwear manufacturer with a large range of 'beauty' bras. A few months ago the company ran a March 8 campaign telling women not to buy a bra on International Women's Day (on Danwei here.

On June 10, Gracewell placed two large ads in the Beijing Daily Messenger. This is the first. The headline is:

Oh my God! Her chest drooped 8cm in the last 5 years!

gracewell_half2.jpg

Under the headline, there is subtitle that reads: Her chest line went up by 6cm after using Gracewell "raising shape" type bra. The rest of the copy is a testimony from a Ms Wang, whose breast anxiety was cured by Gracewell's bra.

The second ad appeals to hopes, rather than fears with this headline:

Oh my God! I can't believe my chest can be so beautiful!

gracewell_half1.jpg

This ad features a different bra model and testimony from a different bra user.

gracewell0610_fulls.jpg

Last week's Shopping Guide / Life Style magazine (jingpin gouwu) also published a full page ad for Gracewell, showing four different breast problems, all of which can of course be solved or ameliorated with Gracewell bras. The headline of this ad is

What model should I wear to "beautify the shape?

Click on the image to the left to enlarge.


Media Partners
Visit these sites for the latest China news
090609guardian2.png 090609CNN3.png
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
laomo2010x80.jpg
From 2008
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.
Danwei Archives
Danwei Feeds
Via Feedsky rsschiclet2.png (on the mainland)
or Feedburner rsschiclet.gif (blocked in China)
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Main feed: Main posts (FB has top links)
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Top Links: Links from the top bar
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Danwei Jobs: Want ads
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Danwei Digest: Updated daily, 19:30