How a publicity message went viral in China

On 28 August, a Chinese-language message that said “With my country giving me an extra day off on 3 September 3, what shall I do for my country?” debuted on the large billboard overlooking New York’s Times Square.

Using the iconic elements of Chinese royalty, red walls and yellow tiles as the backdrop, the message drew the attention of many Chinese passers-by who stopped and took photos.

Chenyang Waterborne Paint, which was selected as the paint provider for the repair and renovation work taking place at Tian’anmen Square ahead of the grand parade to be held on 3 September, admitted on its official Weibo account that they placed the advertisement as an expression of gratitude for the new public holiday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance.

The move set off a craze of internet users creating one-liners mimicking the structure of “Given the new holiday, what shall I do for my country?”

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