Communist Party Tries Hand at TV Commercials

2016-07-27 05:52:02

The Communist Party of China (CPC) has its first TV ads. “Who Am I?” wants to impart to viewers that party members are the most reliable and selfless members of society, while “Heartbeat Chapter” alludes to the party ruling forever.

The former, a one-and-a-half minute clip, begins by asking “Who Am I? What kind of person am I?” It then shows several party members, each going beyond the call of duty, before concluding “I’m the Communist Party. I'm always by your side.”

Featured in the ad are a teacher who is the last one to turn off the light, a street worker cleaning the roads in the early morning, and a police officer directing traffic while weathering a thunderstorm — all accompanied by evocative piano music.

First broadcast on television in June, the party’s foray into this new form of propaganda was not an immediate success — the videos only started making waves on Tuesday after they had been shared by the Communist Youth League, the party’s youth arm, several days prior.

Wu Dezu, head of new media at the Youth League’s publicity department, told Sixth Tone that few people knew of the ads because many young people and white-collar workers nowadays don’t watch a lot of TV.

After watching the video, followers of the Youth League’s Weibo microblog mostly took to the comment section to profess their love for their country, though some were less enthusiastic.

According to Chinese media, the ads were produced by state-owned China Central Television and two media companies in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the party’s founding on July 1. The video was filmed in Shanghai, and production took 20 days.

The second commercial is called “Heartbeat Chapter.” Alluding to the party’s reign, this video asks how long a heart can beat, saying that “As long as it’s full of love, it can go on forever.” The one-minute video is full of imagery showing China’s accomplishments under CPC rule, before concluding, “One heart, beating forever for the people.”

The ads follow the example of the party’s Youth League, which in recent months has published numerous videos to get its message out. Among its most recent productions are a rap song about foreign prejudice and a flash mob on Tiananmen Square.

Additional reporting by Fu Danni. With contributions from Fan Yiying.

(Header image: A worker cleans the hammer and sickle communist symbol at Nanhu Revolution Memorial Hall in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, Dec. 23, 2014. Zhu Jun/VCG)