“In the competitive world of terrible tourist board adverts, there’s a new contender to the throne”
Steve’s breakdown: That was the sub-headline in the Independent. Grey is the agency for Hong Kong Tourism Board and maybe it’s time they talk to some more globally conscious agencies. The US Director is Mr. William (Bill) B. Flora at [email protected] & (323) 938-7269
HONG KONG, China & LOS ANGELES, CA: The idea of a passport being withheld by an ex-boyfriend is a haunting image for those in abusive or manipulative relationships—so it’s understandable that many took issue with a new Hong Kong tourism ad that centers on that scenario.
In “The Camera,” part of a recent tourism campaign from the Hong Kong Tourism Board promoting the shopping-centric Sham Shui Po neighborhood, we see a woman desperately searching for her passport so that she can leave China to pursue her photography degree. She soon realizes it’s in the hands of her ex-boyfriend (or perhaps current boyfriend) who doesn’t want her to leave.
What follows is a frustrating scavenger hunt across the neighborhood, in which he’s planted clues among the spots where their romance first bloomed. We also see that her camera was smashed against a rooftop, and while it’s notably left unclear whether that was his doing or hers, it definitely seems to have happened in the context of a heated argument.