Media and Advertising

Super Voice Girl sings for sour yogurt

Sour and sweet Kristy Zhang.

Mengniu, dairy to China's space program, is running a series of ads featuring runner-up Super Voice Girl Kristy Zhang (张含韵). In what may be a poke at the type of talent that often appears on the "Idol"-style show, Ms. Zhang starts out singing horribly off key. One sip of Mengniu Sour Yogurt, though, and she sounds precisely like the studio version of her song.

The song she sings is the advertising jingle, "Sour and sweet is what I am," but it started out as "Pretty Young Thing," a tune sung by Lene Nystrom of the pop group Aqua. While Mengniu keeps the original music, it doesn't bother to translate "i wanna bruise your lips with a tender kiss / i wanna crush your heart / i wanna be your scar;" rather, Ms. Zhang's version is the innocent dream of a girl who just wants to grow up:

With earphones in my ears I read comic books under the covers. I may still be in an ivory tower, but I really want to grow up. Mom and Dad, don't call me stupid. Although I listen to you, that doesn't mean I don't have any thoughts of my own.
Album cover featuring a frog with a band-aid over its navel.

Kristy sings like a star in the commercial, but she hasn't even released an album yet. Her first record, I'm Really Zhang Hanyun, has had distribution difficulties, but it's finally supposed to come out today. Naturally there are already bootlegs; one count puts them at over 20 different CDs, VCDs, and DVDs.

And from the album cover, it looks Ms. Zhang's image handlers are really pushing the "pretty young thing" angle; the English name of this 16-year-old is given as "Baby Zhang."

Here's a transcript of the commercial linked below:
Song chorus: (sung out of tune) The one that likes sour-sweet is the true me / Every day is new and fresh to me
(Kristy takes a drink, takes off her headphones, and sings again in tune)
Chorus continues: My discriminating palate tastes the most uncommon differences
Crowd: Mengniu Sour Yogurt
Kristy: Sour and sweet is what I am.
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