HK Government rap song video condemning violence resoundingly mocked online


(Caption: People have been stopped going to school and work)

Over the course of Hong Kong's ongoing protests against a poorly received extradition bill and extensive reports of alleged police brutality, the local government has continued to launch ads and videos denouncing any violent acts by protesters. Many of these have not been received especially well, and the latest series of videos - urging the public to "stop violence" and "think rationally" with attempts at youthful visuals and audio - have been equally panned by audiences.

On 3 January, the government's Information Services Department released a rap music with the theme of "See the clear picture". The lyrics condemn violence inflicted by protesters and asks the public to "see the clear picture of the reality".

Yet this particular attempt to seem cool and hip has been far from a roaring success, with many online users posting comments that are the written equivalent of eye-rolls.

One said, "Thank you for posting (the) English version to let foreigners know how stupid (the) HK government is."

While another wrote, "It tells exactly the crime that HKPF has been committing for the past 6+ months. Thanks for being so honest."

Among the mocking, there has been a smattering of comments (noticeably almost all written in Chinese) supporting the Hong Kong government, with one user saying they supported the Hong Kong Police Force, while another stating that public broadcaster RTHK "should be the mouthpiece of the government."

Before the new year, the Hong Kong government also released a video starring chief executive Carrie Lam and several governmental department heads. The message being that the government hoped to overcome the difficulties in 2019 and "rebuild Hong Kong".

As was the case with other efforts, the video attracted plenty of negative comments. Many of the responses were about violence perpetrated by the city's police.

One user even criticised Carrie Lam directly saying, "(You're) the trouble making of all these! Action(s) always louder than word(s), don’t talk anymore and actually doing something valuable! Shame on you."

We may not be PR practitioners ourselves at Marketing but it's fair to say this current tactic of shaming output may not be working for the HK government. Though we would love to know if an agency is supporting the creation of this content or it's in-house, we do have one piece of advice for the team behind the latest release:

If you are an official body or establishment brand trying to use rap music or hip hop culture to connect with the youth, nine times out of 10, this is the end result...

So...just don't.