Thursday, March 2, 2017

Advertising Lunar New Year Plastic Surgery in Zhongshan

About two years ago, I mentioned a promotion in Zhongshan for lip hair removal services by the AIST "beauty hospital". The use of flowers to make a mustache around a large photos of a woman's lips was one notable aspect. The promotion occurring on International Women's Day was another.

Recently, I saw a new advertisement for AIST at several street-side locations in Zhongshan.

Lunar New Year advertisement for the AIST "beauty hospital" in Zhongshan, China

As the rooster suggests, the ad was for the Lunar New Year. The message expressed by the large red characters "不俏不過年" may be less clear though. Several Chinese speakers I asked, including a translator, expressed confusion over its meaning. After thinking about it more, I now suspect fully appreciating the unusual message requires recognizing an implication which wouldn't leap out to everybody. My current translation would be "If you're not pretty, don't celebrate the Lunar New Year." The unsaid implication is that the long holiday would be a good time to recover from plastic surgery, which some people consider.

The phrase in the red box also intrigued me. I see it used in some places for the practice of combining astrology and plastic surgery, which could connect to the Lunar New Year theme as well.

So, I have a basic story for the ad but am not sure it is the right one. I would be interested to speak to the ad's creators about their intentions. I would also be interested to know how their target audience, which might not include any of the few people I asked, interpreted the ad.

But I won't be digging into this further. However, as always, I would be happy to hear from any readers. At the very least, I feel safe in saying that the ad isn't about plastic surgery for chickens.

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