Hong Kong pop culture fans were rocked on Tuesday by the release of damning hidden camera footage showing Cantopop music celebrity Andy Hui committing infidelity. And local brands are taking full advantage of it.
The 16-minute video released by Apple Daily showed Hui – who is married to fellow superstar Sammi Cheng Sau-man – canoodling in the back of an HK taxi with TVB actress Jacqueline Wong. The release of the video and the ensuing massive online backlash was followed later in the day by an intensely watched tearful press conference apology by the star.
Romantic personal scandals like this are huge news in Hong Kong, which can break the careers of the biggest stars entirely. Brands in the city did not hesitate a single moment to jump on the hype train with a mix of cheeky or incredibly tacky – depending on your sensibilities – social posts.
If you see any more, please send them our way and we’ll update the list. Also, answer our Facebook poll on whether you think it’s savvy or trashy for brands to cash in on this kind of scandal.
But let’s put on our collective cones of shame, because here’s a roundup of some of the notable and ignoble entries so far:
Mercedes asked its audience if it was tired of sneaking around in an Instagram post. This would be incredibly subtle if it didn’t also add the Easter egg of tagging the post’s location as Lei Yue Mun, the same destination as Hui’s taxi.
Pricerite advertised the ability to take Nexcare masks off quickly, taking a jab at Wong removing her facial attire during the video.
KMB took advantage of Hui’s “mouse” nickname to produce this work of art featuring a pair of embarrassed rodents (dressed in a matching hat and mask to the couple) caught on camera. The text is about shaming “secret snacking” on transport, which as you can imagine is a double entendre.
3. Lee Kin Driving School
This charming post – featuring again, the now iconic hat and mask – promises that you can broaden your horizons and increase your income by learning to drive a taxi. It’s rumoured that the taxi driver who filmed the incident on his webcam got a large payout from the tabloids.
4. HK Express
The recently acquired HK Express followed a similar theme to KMB saying that you shouldn’t be stealthily munching food from outside sources. They also highlighted characters that spell out Hui’s name.
5. Hong Kong Buildings Department
Yes. Even the local administrative bodies got in on the action. In an extremely bizarre cartoon parody of Hui’s press conference, a building tearfully apologises for being broken. The pun is that the phrase messed up – which Hui used during his press conference – also means broken or “gone bad”. The post is telling people to report broken buildings and get them fixed.
6. EF English Centers
This delightful ad from a learning centre asks what the English translation is for a green cap. To wear the green cap is slang for having been cuckolded. If that wasn’t apparent, the #cheat tag makes it pretty clear.
7. Kraft Heinz HK
Depicting the illicit taxi scene with Mr. Peanut at the steering wheel, this salty entry is packed full of puns and references. The post uses the slang of eating peanuts – which equates to the English term of sharing “tea” – meaning gossip. It also makes reference to Wong’s boyfriend Kenneth Ma, who starred as a taxi driver in the movie The Exorcist’s Meter 2.0.
A condom company taking advantage of a salacious story? Shocking. Durex did a bit of acrobatic wordplay with Hui’s previous moniker, Alex To and blended it with the Cantonese name for the brand, “To Lui Si”. Throwing in Hui’s “broken” comment from the press briefing and you basically end up with “Andy Hui broke, our condoms won’t”.
With a kind of creepy drawing, Fortress decided to extoll the benefits of the kind of low light camera that caught the footage of Hui and Wong.
We’re unsure if GoGoVan’s attempt to offer advice is sincere or not, but we’re doubtful. The moving/ride-hailing company posted a warning for travellers to protect their privacy and be wary that a driver could be filming them.
Why are so many of these cartoons terrifying? Hong Kong’s anti-corruption bureau posted this…thing with a stern message warning all kinds of cheats that there is always someone watching and that no one is untouchable. Fun.
Travel company Klook decided to inform couples not to take any steamy cab rides on the way to a love buffet seafood special. Classy.
Playstation tried to make a play on words regarding the aforementioned “green hat” of cheating in reference to its green controller for the PS4. Rather than straying, you should stay on target it says.
14. Morning Star Travel
This travel company informed the public that on the holiday package on offer, there is so much food available, there will be no need for sneaking forbidden fruit. Additionally, the post displays durians, surely the…sexiest fruit?